matt hogan

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since Feb 08, 2013
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chicken hunting
Tennesse, an hour west of Nashville, zone 7
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Recent posts by matt hogan

I'm having difficulty visualizing how LGD's work. I get that they are 'out' with the livestock, but if you have multiple pastures with animals that all need protecting, do you put the LGD in one pasture, or outside the pastures? If something gets into a pasture, how does the dog get in there? If we have fences that keep in chickens and goats, how does a dog get in and out?

2 years ago
It entertains me greatly when people say that you can't grow food without pesticides, as if before the 1940's, everyone starved to death.

Of course, what many mean is that we can't grow food in the way that we do now without pesticides. It may be necessary to plant older, more resistant varieties and have more of a polyculture (at least keeping hedgerows), but we can certainly grow food without spraying.
2 years ago
Paul mentioned in a podcast once that he likes to put one very large bolt in the tree and hang the whole structure from that. I like that idea because it minimizes the stress to the tree, and it eliminates the stress issues mentioned in the link.
2 years ago
If it were my project, I would start by using earthworks to control the water. That way, soil isn't washed away and your plants don't all get wet feet. I would probably use swales, overflowing into each other, maybe with ponds if appropriate. This will give you some texture and variation in soil conditions so plants can be planted where it is moist or where it is drier.
3 years ago
I forgot to mention that the orcs (and others) in Mordor were fed by vast fields in the South, worked by slaves. I picture this as monocultural, soil-depleting agriculture, which is, of course, not permaculture, neither earth care nor people care. But maybe you could think of a way to represent it without doing it. Perhaps if you walk down a dark path, there's a mural.
3 years ago
Hey, I'm not a LOTR ner... no, wait. That tracks.

Hobbits: "the brewing of ales"; "the smoking of pipeweed"; potatoes "the Gaffer's delight and rare ballast on an empty stomach"; Bilbo had cold chicken and pickles in his larder (pickles would have been fermented); meat (Bilbo mentions it comes from the butcher already cut)

Dwarves: "red meat on the bone"

Of note would be trolls, who like their meat cooked but are afraid of fire. You could have a fire pit with very long skewers for them.
3 years ago
I would not use fire to get rid of the weed seeds. It can mess with your soil (nutrients, soil life). After making your swales, pepper the place with seeds from nitrogen fixers (think peas or beans) and put them thick enough that they will choke out unwanted plants. Then plant your other plants amongst the nitrogen fixers.
3 years ago
I would definitely section off the yard and rotate the grazing as much as possible. Move the chickens before the plants are destroyed. Have a sacrifice area to preserve the rest.

When I still had a chicken run, I was thinking about planting some vines like grapes in a corner that is fnced off or outside and trained through the fence to the inside but above chicken destruction level. That could feed them and cycle some more nutrients into the soil.
3 years ago
Has anyone tried keeping quail in a Johnny box (aka recall pen) for the purpose of eggs and/or meat? I would like to raise quail, but I want them to be able to get out and forage and be quail-like.

In researching this, I saw the people who free range them when they are young using a chicken as surrogate mother (above), which is brilliant, but I am hoping to do something throughout their lifecycle. I also found some places in jolly old England that say they free range their quail, but apparently across the pond, "free range" means "we have a big run and we feed them pellets that say 'free range' on the bag".

It sounds like only bobwhites recall so that would be the breed for this. Let most of them out each day, with one or two kept to recall the rest, realizing that some will go missing and some eggs will be laid where I will never find them. However, having the only free range quail eggs in the area (perhaps anywhere) means I can charge a premium price.
3 years ago
I like Paul's sneaky way of finding out about pesticide usage on agricultural land: "How do I know the place isn't full of weeds?"

Also, you might want to check for internet access. Satellite internet is expensive.
3 years ago