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Jeff Marchand

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since Dec 21, 2012
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cattle trees wood heat
Eastern Ontario
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Recent posts by Jeff Marchand

Thanks Redhawk.

Turns out I am in  a Leda/quick clay zone.  I had forgotten that. Its very unstable.  A few years ago a family died watching a hockey game (can there be a more Canadian way to go?) when their house fell on top of them.  

Unless I am mistaken Leda does nt contain aluminum (Ive never heard of Aluminum as a trace mineral) but Magnesium, then Potassium and Calcium.  Which plants like, so as long as my house does nt fall on my head the next time Canada plays US for the gold in the olympics I should be fine.  (http://www.geologyontario.mndmf.gov.on.ca/mndmfiles/pub/data/imaging/S029/S029.pdf page 56 )
4 weeks ago
Hi I will building a fairly large pile of  cow,goat and horse manure this spring.  I will turn it at least weekly with front end loader of my tractor to keep it hot and kill weeds.  I have a large heavy duty tarp which will keep pile covered when not being turned and watered.  I also have large piles of grey clay from when I had some ponds excavated.  I'd like to see the clay piles get used up and it occurred to me that if for every 6 bucket loads of manure I added 1 of clay that after many turns and 1 year of curing the clay would  disappear and make the finished compost even more mineral rich.  Do you agree? Im only guessing at the 6:1 ratio.  Has anyone done this?  If so what ratio would you recommend?

Next year once compost is finished I will fill trenches with it and plant asparagus.  I think asparagus is a good profitable perennial crop.
4 weeks ago
It is my belief that there are 2 types of woodburners out there.  Those that light their fires with broken up branches and those that split blocks of wood into small pieces.  Which one are you and why? Do you have a third option?

Im in the twig/branch group. Cutting firewood produces so much branchwood that to me breaking up a big piece into little pieces when I have ready made kindling is counter productive.
1 month ago
The answer inevitably depends on local conditions.  My answer assumes you already have grid power.  If you have to pay for lines to your place then I think off grid is a no brainer.

Here in Ontario,  you can go grid tied by paying $30 grid access fee each month.  That lets you use the grid as your battery. You might think well to hell with that I'll buy my own. Well  if you budget $10,000 for batteries the monthly interest on that would be $41 at 5%.  So financially going grid tied saves you $11 a month.  Not a ton of cash but every penny counts. Plus maintaining batteries is one less thing to worry about.  You dont have to worry about running out of power when its dark and cold in January and all of the nice clean electricity you produce is used either you or the grid when you have surpluses in summer.

What about from an environmental perspective?  Most of my energy use (85%) is in evenings and weekends when sun is not shinning (why does it always rain on Saturdays! haha).  In Ontario we have our baseload electrical needs met by nuclear and hydroelectric. Both are low carbon energy sources.  During the day when demand is at peak natural gas fired plants are used -- cleaner than coal but still emit CO2. It would seem to  me that every watt of clean solar power my panels will produce would offset the need for a watt produced by  nat gas and reduces CO2 output.  When I come home my grid produced is low carbon nuclear and hydro. So if I were to go off grid my pannels would replace very low carbon energy (off peak grid) with no carbon solar. But if I went grid tied my panels would replace higher CO2 energy with no C02 energy so I think in the fight against climate change going grid tied is a bit better. Plus it makes financial sense, in Ontario anyways.

2 months ago
Are you sure you are not dealing with honey locusts?  They are tire poppers for sure but black locust thorns are like a 1/4 of an inch and are really too small and frail to threaten a car or tractor tire.  They do go through leather gloves and skin for sure.

Black locust are invasive for sure. I have an area that were planted in BL that I want to converted to an orchard. Just cutting them down is pointless. They will just coppice like crazy. This year I plan to cut them down and surround the area with electric wire and put goats in. Hopefully over time the goats will exhaust the black locust shoots  and the soil will be fertile from both the goat manure and the nitrogen the BL fixed.  Should work for honey locust too.  Beef would do the same if area was bigger my cows LOVE BL leaves.  But livestock is not for everyone or every situation.  I think without animals the only other way to get rid of them (other than chemicals) would be to  cut them down plant desirable shade loving trees and stay on top of regrowth. Eventually the BLs will be shaded out.  But that will take years and years.

In the last few weeks I ve had scores of wild turkeys visiting my place.  They are feasting on the BL seed pods that have dropped and laying on the snow. So if your a hunter thats another item in the BL plus column.
2 months ago
Heating/Cooling company in Cornwall Ontario had sign for many summers that said "Your wife if HOT!!! We have great prices on Air Conditioners"
8 months ago
I have ALOT of black locust on my property, more than I can deal with.  But its a great tree species as everyone here knows, nitrogen fixer and all that. I pollard them feed the  branches to my cows who love (leaves have comparable protein to alphalfa) them then use branches as fuel and I make biochar from them. I  will start to chip them to mulch my garden too.  

Ive wanted to get some thornless honey locust on my property and feed the pods to the cows. But I have nt sourced any yet. I do have some seedings growing in the house but it will be a long time before I have pods from those babies.  Anyways my neighbour has trees that have confused me for years. They look like honey locust but Ive never see pods on them. So I asked her what they were and they are honey locust but a pod-less (not pod free) variety and is willing to give me some seedlings. My question is if they dont produce pods is there any point in having them since I have lots of black locust. Should I bother?
9 months ago
Hi I am in Apple Hill!  Welcome to Glengarry! I raise beef on pasture and garden. Cut my own firewood. May be putting in an RMH this fall.  I work in Ottawa. Gone 12 hours a day. So progress on the homestead is slow but steady. No shortage of things to do.
9 months ago
Is there a thornless variety of black locust?

I coppice my BL for fuel wood.  The thorns are a real PIA.  If we could breed a thornless variety it would make a great tree even better.
11 months ago
With apologies to Ezra Pound (In a Station of the Metro)

The apparition of these feces in the leaves:
Petals in a wet, black bucket.
1 year ago