Ben Plummer

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since Nov 15, 2012
Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b
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Recent posts by Ben Plummer

I'm no expert, and it wouldn't surprise me if my sheep were a bit odd in their habits. We have a variety of barriers to keep the sheep away from plants, young trees and shrubs; chicken wire around stakes, pallets, rings of fencing, etc. It doesn't seem to take much to discourage them so long as there is plenty of other food around.

They seem to avoid what is poisonous, we have a lot of nightshade in a few areas and they don't bother with it. Mine love one thing that is supposed to be toxic to them, acorns.

As for shelter, my sheep's favorite is a tarp lashed to some poles to make a low "cave" about 3' tall. We bring them in to a barn at night but really don't need to, they'd probably be just as happy staying out on pasture under their tarp. Ventilation is important, a three sided run-in style is great, I built one for our ram and wether. It is 8x8, 7' tall sloping to 5' with a shed roof. I wanted it tall enough for me to get in and muck it out easily. The run-in doesn't have a floor, the barn does and is easier to clean.

Our sheep have lived with ducks and chickens just fine. The sheep will occasionally swing their head at a chicken but the chickens are too fast. We have Jacob sheep at the moment for their fiber and eventually meat. I'd like to get Katahdins for our meat breed when we have more land.

I've never tethered our sheep, but our ram came trained on a collar and leash. Makes it much easier to move him around, unless he gets bored and wants to fight.
Years ago I was dating someone whose "issue of the day" was female genital mutilation. She didn't share my viewpoint of the correlation between that and circumcision. Baffling.
5 years ago
Hi Sebastian and welcome to permies! Looks like a beautiful spot you've found. With a lot of pasture, sheep are probably better suited than goats, who like woodier forage. I have no personal experience with them (yet!) but have heard that Katahdin sheep are pretty low maintenance. They are a meat breed, don't require shearing or docking, and tolerate heat and cold well.
Always great to have Erica spend even more time here during these promotions!
5 years ago
Hi Ove, I'm not sure what Sepp does but here's a post with a few different ideas: http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/19586#164583. There are other folks in that thread who put pocket rocket stoves in the tank.
5 years ago
Have you seen the four videos over at Geoff Lawton's site: http://www.geofflawton.com? Maybe the urban video is a good starting place, lots of permaculture concepts put together in a small space.
5 years ago
Looks like a smiley messed up the link, here's a working one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP39fPIw698
5 years ago
Here are links to a couple articles by one of the members here, Abe Connally:

One about a black soldier fly bin
One about a worm harvester

There are many different ways to build a worm bin, here's one from Appropedia.

There are lots of threads about vermicomposting and black soldier fly composting in the composting forum.
5 years ago
Hi Maha, welcome to permies! I haven't done too much research on earth bag construction, it didn't seem to fit where I live but I'm pretty sure I've seen photos of earth bag homes with what looked to be traditional window frames with lintels above them. Like this one:



Hopefully someone more knowledgeable can give you a more definitive answer.
5 years ago