John Master

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since Dec 04, 2012
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Recent posts by John Master

My wish is coming true, sort of.  After becoming sort of a used lawnmower salesman (don't ask I am parting ways with my mower.  Replacing it with the exact same thing only electric powered.  Took a blown up mower and without an engine, bought an electric motor and put 3 golf cart batteries in there and now I have a quiet low maintenance yet familiar machine my wife can still use that just needs recharging and I don't have to keep buying gas for it.  Also has a snowblower attachment that gets used often in our Wisconsin winter.  Still need to mow regularly but no longer have all the hassles with the old clunker, noise smoke maintenance, constantly junp starting it when the kids leave the key on.

whats left of our old one will be leaving this weekend!

Converting a gas riding mower was surprisingly straightforward.  The motor is an ME1004 you could find on ebay.  it's enough to move the machine and spin a 3 blade 50 inch deck.  one large switch, fuse and 3 batteries in series for 36v, pull the switch and it spins.

bit by bit trying reduce mowing.  we have a rather large comfrey patch taking over now and letting that spread as much as it wants to.
10 months ago
I eat it...raw milk with a little rock dust stirred in, cod liver oil, butter oil, wapf recommendations.
1 year ago
When bees are happy can literally take my boy right near the hive entrance and they will fly by us without a problem this spring has been different bees been cooped up too long and this cold wet spring has forced them to be cooped up much longer than what I would like.  hoping when the honey flow hits they mellow out.
1 year ago
If you have plants started you can split them easily to expand your patch of comfrey, if you don't have many to start with I recommend Coe's comfrey.  He has many different sizes from thin little sliver of root cuttings to large complete plants.  You may want to get the complete plants if you are having a hard time getting them started and then splitting those once they're established...
After checking in on her this morning there's not much apple cider vinegar is going to do for her  rigor mortis has set in... Thank you for the suggestions though, have been using acv and also diatomaceous earth with them regularly and will keep doing so.
1 year ago
We have 6 young laying hens about 5 mos old, supposedly black orpington breed but not sure.  None have begun laying but are due to very soon.  Within the last day one has become lethargic, squatting when all the other bids race to get scraps, not interested in eating or drinking, can walk right up to her and pick her up, vent is pulsing as she breathes.  lost a bunch of feathers on her neck, not sure if it was the other birds or if she tore them out, wouldn't go into the coop tonight and was sitting out in the rain...we figured it could be a stuck egg (it would be her first) and did the warm water bath and massage on her abdomen to try to free up an egg if there is one stuck.  Not really sure how to tell if its an egg stuck, cant feel what would be an egg.

Any suggestions, we have her in a clean box full of straw indoors.   
1 year ago
Two things I have learned about varroa that seem to be very unpopular. 1 is keeping Russians instead of other breeds.  Although I have 5 colonies this year that are packages of Italians or carniolans, I have been keeping Russians in as many of the hives as I can.  They are incredibly disease resistant and have overwintering traits that are perfect for southern Wisconsin.  Have been basically treatment free, I used probiotics once to get rid of a brood issue.  otherwise none of the typical apiary chemicals.  The second is that if they get a varroa infestation for some reason I would use a heat treatment type remedy which is the principle behind the thermosolar hive.  the idea is that  bees can survive a higher temp than varroa so holding the temp there for a few hours kills the varroa and not the bees.  done twice (once two weeks later) you basically eliminate all of the varroa from the entire colony and the bees go on being bees and doing be related stuff like planning on creative ways to sting me.
1 year ago
along the lines of grazing it instead of re-landscaping it I like the Rabbit tractor idea.  We had a chicken tractor, I don't mind moving it but the chickens don't do much for the grasses that are growing here.  I learned they were more into seeds, bugs and worms and not as much into grass and greens (or the millipedes they were brought in to eliminate).  rabbits have a reputation for eating their greens, providing a source of meat and multiplying rapidly.  Definitely something to consider.
1 year ago

John Weiland wrote:Re: Help me break up with my lawnmower....

Well, John, the fact that you've come to this forum in search of assistance with this deeply personal and difficult matter tells me you are serious about your decision.

Holy crap I almost wet myself reading this!  You made my day!
1 year ago
I can water it to establish it, but not going to install irrigation. 
1 year ago