Johan Thorbecke

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since Jan 13, 2013
The Netherlands
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Recent posts by Johan Thorbecke

I had good results with ''Eeuwig moes''(don't know the English name for it, Brassica oleracea ramosa), it is one of the oldest cabbage species. After it has taken a good root in your garden it requires next to no maintenance and will grow to be a shrub around half a metre high. Just let it be and cut what you need.

10 months ago

BeeDee marshall wrote:No problem...:^)   I am always looking for free as well, but these sites are insidious.  Even if you don't finish the sign up, they get you with the email address and spam arrives for many a moon.

There are several site that offer 10-minute disposable email addresses.

Mick Fisch wrote:
I assume, since I'm seeing this in February, that the cold weather is keeping the window shut and causing the problem.  I'm guessing you also don't have a ventilation fan.  Opening the door will provide much needed humidity in the winter.  A slightly open window in warmer weather would probably solve the problem.  

An open door is probably the best solution.  (Although I would still opt for my other two suggestions as backups).  Unless someone is seriously ill, it shouldn't stink up the house.

Not only that but when you keep the windows closed indoor CO2 levels rise alarmingly fast, I have a meter and you're above 1000ppm levels before you know it.
1 year ago
Staggering is good, the ability to conserve meat by freezing it has pretty much freed us from seasonal slaughter.

What also has gained traction again over here is buying a quarter/eight/whatever of a cow/pig. Once enough people have signed up for a whole animal you then can slaughter and process it and send everybody their quarter/eight/whatever of their cuts. This saves a lot of freezer space and time and you don't get stuck with the less desirable cuts after the rest has sold.
1 year ago
The neighbours at the eco modders forum have a lengthy thread about trucks, and came to the conclusion that a trailer is better in most situations.
1 year ago

Mark Tudor wrote:The cell reception at the land I just bought is pretty minimal, which is unfortunate as I was thinking cellular would be handy for cheap internet access. So I'll likely have to purchase satellite internet service, as the area is pretty low population and the lay of the land doesn't offer long site lines to towers. Maybe another network would work, we will see down the road.

Although I work in the IT realm, I'm not a big fan of new tech, especially the constant bleeding of money for the endless upgrade cycle. As long as I have enough internet access for information and a little entertainment value I'm good. Having a phone on me but turned off which has a signal would be handy if I hurt myself while felling a tree or a mountain lion or bear decided to take exception to my presence.

You could consider a signal booster, if the signal is there but weak a larger antenna does help a lot.
1 year ago

James Freyr wrote:Yes you can. A 12v charger can charge any 12v battery. The difference is your scooter battery is 7ah (amp hours, for those reading who may not know) and a car battery is hundreds of amp hours, so it isn't going to take very long to charge the scooter battery compared to a automobile battery. If the charger is an old analog style where you turn a knob to set the number of hours to charge, put it at the lowest setting. If it's a new digital charger, it should know when the battery is charged and will stop charging. Over charging makes the electrolyte liquid in the batteries boil and it just kills the life of them, then they lose their ability to hold a charge. If it's charging and you hear fizzing like soda pop, the electrolyte is boiling, so stop charging.

One more note, is the age of the battery in question. If this scooter battery is 5 or more years old, and it's a lead acid battery, it may just be time for a new one. There are interesting techniques I've seen on youtube of revitalizing old lead acid batteries by dumping the electrolyte, then filling with a epsom salt solution, and getting many more years of life out of them. I have yet to try this myself, but the information is out there.

On a modern charger most of the time you can even select that you're charging a motorcycle battery and it will tune down the amps a bit. Most modern chargers also have a desulphating option, it takes some time to do it but you can rejuvenate older lead-acid batteries with it and squeeze an extra year or so out of them.
1 year ago
Polder is the right word. The whole system of more industrial scale food production is a direct result of the war and the famine that happened at the end. In the years after the war more or less half the system had to be rebuild, and the specially appointed Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing, and Food Supply had a clear goal, no more hunger, never again. The minister at the time, Sicco Mansholt, became to be one of the founding fathers of the EU and the Common Agricultural Policy. A few years later he saw that although the food production skyrocketed the environmental and social costs were high, too high. He later saw the mistakes he made and it haunted him for the rest of his life...
Here is an interesting article about him(in Dutch), and over here is the google translate version of it, which is still pretty readable.
1 year ago
Jerusalem artichoke is an excellent self seeder, it is so efficient that it is advised to keep it in a separate pot/plot because it might just self-seed a bit too much and spread through the entire garden.
2 years ago

Bryant RedHawk wrote:
You would probably be surprised at how many hams get ruined by folks that have studied the processes.
I've killed at least 25 hams and I learned from some of the best masters in Spain.

That's the thing with curing food, sometimes you do everything right but the ham, beer, whatever just spoils.
2 years ago

R Ranson wrote:
I hope one day, solar systems like this will be more plug and play. I was surprised that they aren't yet.  Green plug goes in green hole, yellow plug goes in yellow hole - most things these days are pretty idot proof.  Hopefully alternate energy systems will get there soon as I'm also keen to create a wind generator for the hen house, but not sure how to hook it up.  

Those do exist but are mostly a fixed kit. Idiotproofness and fully customisable sets are a hard thing to combine.

How is the wind situation at your plot? The thing with wind is that it really profits of scaling so a small wind turbine is way less efficient than a medium one. You can make your own from the ground up, it is a fun learning process but don't expect miracles. On the other hand if you're only planning to light up a chicken coop even the smallest wind generator will probably be enough.
2 years ago