Dan Grubbs

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since Nov 30, 2012
I'm a 25-year PR professional working in the corporate sector while starting a new small farm of 15 acres using regenerative techniques. PDC in spring of 2015 with certificate from PRI.
northwest Missouri, USA
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Recent posts by Dan Grubbs

Hey all ... I'm a self-proclaimed gear geek. I watch several YouTube channels of tool guys and makers. I'd like to know which tool review YouTubers you all watch and which is your favorite and why.
I'll start us off ...

I like what I learn from YouTuber AvE, but I don't like how bad his language gets and I have to take some breaks away from his channel for a while. But, I've learned the most about power tools from him more than anyone else.
Here's a link to his channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/arduinoversusevil
1 month ago
Though I love my tractor, without a doubt the most useful tool on our farmstead is our cordless impact driver. We also have this in a set with the cordless drill and in tandem, they are a powerful work saver. Everything we build or restore at one point or another will call for use of the impact driver.  Brands are less important since most are manufactured by companies that are owned by the same two parent companies. But, I can't find fault with my Rigid brand. I know many also like the DeWalt brand as well. I've not personally used a Bosch, but if someone is set on a European company, that might be an option.
1 month ago
I haven't read everyone's response, but there are some great areas of Missouri (both north and south) for homsteading. The Ozarks are great because there is usually a culture of "leave me alone to do my thing." There are fewer restrictions but these are based on county and that often is a function of how close you're getting to Joplin/Branson/Springfield and certain areas of lake country. But, there is affordable land and opportunity to do what you want in a very favorable climate. I have heard from several people that people buying land in southern Missouri need to carefully obtain accurate records of how deep the soil is. There is often rock shelves that "lurk" quietly in shallow soil. Though I'm in northwest Missouri, I can commend the Missouri Ozarks as a great place to live a permie lifestyle.

Regarding climate ... don't judge a climate until your body has actually had a chance to acclimatize. If you jump out of a car in mid August in the Ozarks, you're likely to want to jump right back in. But, I remember when I landed in Manila for the first time and felt the suffocating heat and humidity of that place. It wasn't more than a week before I was rather used to it. Not all people acclimatize, but most humans do adapt. But, spring/summer/autumn are amazing in Missouri. Long growing seasons, plenty of rain, good soils, people who mind their own business ... a great option.
1 month ago
Three areas in which I think we need to train people better are outlined below. They are a result of my own experience in design and implementation, watching others do the same, and a careful review of the questions and topics found right here in permies.com.

1 - A more in-depth understanding of soil structure and soil health. A deeper understanding of the microbiological processes that take place in the soil, such as nutrient exchange and the interplay between different compounds in the biology of the plant and the soil, especially the rhizosphere. This would include a better understanding of what plants appear or thrive or give signs under different soil health conditions.

2 - Tone down a tendency to hyper focus on earthworks during the PDC classes themselves. Of course this is dependent on one's goals and the nature of the actual place, but I think many of us are too quick to jump to invasive earthworks as a means of developing a framework for a given design. I was guilty of this in a big way. Don't get me wrong, earthworks have their place. It just seems that in our desire to implement a plan and see immediate progress often leads us to earthworks that have objectives that can be achieved in a better way.

3 - Point 2 above is often born out of our eagerness. So, to counteract that we need to couch all teaching lessons in the context of observation. I know I'm guilty of not wanting to wait. However, I have found that when I wait and spend meaningful time in observation of macro- and micro-level details, I am better off. I know observation is taught in PDC courses, but almost invariably, people plan and implement without proper observation.

"Doing the rope. Doing the rope."
1 month ago
Some awesome info above.

I would like to have some experts chime in here because I've been advised to look into any testing service provider carefully. Not all soil tests are the same. If I am going to pay for a soil test, I'm told that I want to know not only about the presence and levels of minerals, but also their availability. I understand that some tests only tell you the "presence" of a mineral but not if they are in plant-available form. This may be less important if you have a really healthy microbiology community in your soil to turn nutrients into a plant-available form. If nutrients are not in plant-available form and your microbiology is not healthy, you may have the presence of desired nutrients but the plants may not have access to them. It's my understanding you can talk to your lab to discuss this topic.  Redhawk? Travis?  Others? can you shed some light here?
2 months ago
Not sure if anyone has mentioned it because I haven't read every reply. However, as with many challenges we encounter in our efforts on our homesteads, farms, homes, etc., most have already been solved hundreds of years ago. Timber and log framing has been in practice thousands of years. If I were wanting to keep posts surviving for several decades, I'd look to how the Japanese and Chinese have solved these problems. Japanese timber framing is astounding. Here's one relevant thread in Permies you might want to read: https://permies.com/t/40487/scribing-posts-stone
I would also reach out to Jay C. Whitecloud to discuss your specific application.
I've reached the age that I find it's much better to put my self away for a few moments and look to others who have successfully solved whatever problem I'm facing and adopt what they did. Then, I can bring myself back into the picture in the execution of the idea. Way too many people who are way smarter than I am have done nearly everything already. It's silly for me to try to re-invent the wheel.
2 months ago
We have PEX in our home. I have to say that performance isn't an issue. Installation is. It is easier and faster. However, PLEASE resist the temptation to skimp on mounting your PEX tubing to something solid. Our PEX is the nosiest stuff in the world. Every toilet flush, every shower, every dishwasher cycle, every washing machine cycle, every sink use of our water causes the PEX to rattle and bump in the walls. I recommend doubling the number of fixing points that code or instructions call for. Any change in pressure (turning on and off of any value in the system) causes our PEX to be very noisy. I'm sure a better job of affixing the tubes to studs and joists would have solved this, but I wasn't the builder and someone somewhere along the line didn't do a good enough job of securing all the tubing.  Word to the wise.

2 months ago
Gothic design are better suited in climates that have snow and ice. The gothic design sheds the snow and ice a bit better.

You may want to consider how you'll deal with the shedded water that runs off these structures.
3 months ago