Jeff Marchand

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since Dec 21, 2012
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goat pig trees
Eastern Ontario
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Recent posts by Jeff Marchand

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.
1 month 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.
3 months ago
Raised golden eckdorf in my garden last year for pigs.  I realized I did nt have enough garden space and the mangels were not worth the space they took up. If you are equipped to plant them on a field scale it would be.  Pigs loved them. My one raised bed of mangels fed 7 pigs 2 meals.
4 months ago
If you have access to a wood lot then heating with firewood is the cheapest source of heat going.  In the past I have cut wood with a chainsaw and split it with a hydraulic splitter. Not the cheapest way to go but the easiest. Still cheaper than fossil fuels but I have begun exploring using an ax to cut, buck and split my wood. Its not easy or fast but instead of investing $1000 on a chainsaw and $2500 on a splitter  and fuel and lube all you need is a $10 antique ax head , a $15 store bought handle , $15 axe file and  a $10 sharpening stone.  $50 and you have a lifetime of firewood and good physical exercise.  My favourite youtuber Skillcult has great vids on cutting wood with just an axe and a cordwood chalenge that I am doing.

Put a sweater on, woolen socks  and a tuque! And why not curl up under blanket while on couch? What ever your heat source, do you need so damn much of it? I keep my house in low 40's F in winter.  A block of firewood not burnt is a block of firewood less you have to cut for next year.

When shopping for a new wood stove look for dealers that sell refurbished stoves.  I bought a nearly brand new refurb stove for $700 last year that would have cost over $2800 new.

Other frugal tips is burn your old soup bones in the fire for extra minerals in your garden (you are applying your wood ash to the garden right???).  Of course  seed saving.

Check local butchers for pigs feet. You can get them for free or nearly free.  I make awesome pigs feet and bean soup for pennies a meal.

'rent' videos for free from your library.

4 months ago
Man this brings up memories.  Went trough same thing myself years ago. Did nt end well for me. Divorce, heart break, and 13 straight years of financial hardship.  I try not to think about past anymore, focus on future is healthier.

That is to say avoid divorce like the plague.  If  you divorce DO NOT leave your home until everything is settled otherwise you will be seen as abandoning your son and that will be used against you.  As sole bread winner you would pay not only child support but spousal too.

I would drop the matter for a while but  begin by subtly  reminding her that NO works both ways. Does she want more kids?? Sorry, no more until you are both happy about your future plans together.  Its not fair to any future offspring to bring them into this world with uncertainty hanging over your heads. Always wear a codom. Dont leave family planning to her.

When she points to nice house she would like you to buy for her with your income. Say No. Its not what you want.
Put your family on an austerity budget and save as much as you can for as long as you can.  Best way to cut down a 30 year mortgage is to put down as big of a downpayment is possible.
In the meantime volunteer at Habitat for Humanity builds. Great way to gain skills.

Can Grandma babysit? If so why cant princess get a job and start making contributions to YOUR future.  Put all of her take home towards downpayment.
6 months ago
This is also another outcome of one of the most powerful laws ever not written. The law of unintended consequences. Thanks to technology  demand for pulp is way down.  People get their news online not from newspapers. So no need for all that news print, so no need for those pulp logs. When people read books its often on their kindle so same result no need for pulp logs. Cities are passing laws against heating with wood.  Furniture manufacturing is too often done overseas with local (to them!) lumber.

We need to support our forest industries  by reading books and newspapers again. We also need to  heat our houses with firewood (I know of no terrorist attack funded by lumberjacks) and wood is carbon neutral  while oil , gas and electricity are not and when you have wood supply for winter its an uniteruptable source of heat.
And by all means try to buy quality wood furniture by local craftsmen. Oh and for gods sake buy real freaking christmas trees!!

6 months ago
Welcome to Permies Bob.

You are right. Insurance will never insure home owner built RMH. What advocates of RMH should do is see this as an opportunity and become WETT certified and fully insured installers of RMHs and make a business of building RMHs  and dealing with insurance companies for others. I think there could be  good business in that.  Paul has all these RMH Myth videos .  I notice that he has nt done one on the "myth" that homeowner built RMH can not be insured.  Probably because its not a myth. 

Paul: maybe I am dead wrong. Do the video showing how easily RMH can be insured and give lots of case studies of people getting insurance for their RMH.  But if they cant be insured then why are you promoting  them as a solution for most peoples primary asset, their homes??
6 months ago
Has anyone ever coppiced Honey Locust?  Black Locust will coppice like nothing I have ever seen. I wonder if Honey's do?
6 months ago
If you want to hide the truth from your insurance company and risk having your claim denied when you need it most go right ahead. I know I cant afford that so I am upfront with my insurer with the exact model of stove I have, that it is inspected by a WETT certified inspector.  I sleep well at night  and dont have to worry.  Forests are like gardens they need to be weeded of poor formed trees, and inferior species. Thats what I heat my house with. With careful selection of trees to harvest I intend to leave my previously abused bush in better shape then when I found it more closely resembling an old growth forest. Although admittedly it will take generations of careful management for it to actually be an old growth forest, but what I will do in my lifetime will be a start.

Yes cutting firewood is work but quite frankly most of us in the 21st century could do with a little more physical effort in our lives. My wood stove is a high efficiency unit that burns clean.

I might build an RMHs in the future  to heat my workshop and/or greenhouse which I can live with loosing to a fire. But not in my house.
6 months ago
Hi Kimberley,  sorry this is a over a year late.
I too am in Ontario.  I thought long and hard about getting an RMH.  I currently heat with a wood stove. Its hard to find an insurer who will touch houses whose sole source of heat is wood stove.  I called my insurer and was told they would not consider insuring my house with RMH. That to me was all I needed to know. I cant afford to not have house insurance.  If I had a house fire , caused by electrical or cooking totally unrelated to RMH my house insurance would be invalidated and I would loose everything.  NO THANKS!

You live in 30 acres of bush?? I have almost the same at my place.  So the question you have to ask yourself is why build an RMH to spare firewood when you have an abundance. You can easily heat you house sustainably with a woodstove with wood from your bush. Hire a forester to mark unacceptable growing stock in your bush and keep your house warm by improving the quality of timber in your forest would be my advice.
6 months ago