Gerard Bonneau

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since Mar 12, 2013
still workin' for the man to pay off my home ground.  I should write a book on how not to pursue the homesteading life.
Cheyenne Wyoming
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Recent posts by Gerard Bonneau

Today is folk day, featuring tunes from Scotland and England.

http://youtu.be/Js7x3u2GHYs

http://youtu.be/P5h4PFBuzvw

7 years ago
Beautiful Marianne!

Since you liked that, I think you'll also like this. Enjoy.

http://youtu.be/iO7ySn-Swwc
7 years ago
Love those sideways walkin' blues baby..

and now, the best song ever written about football (soccer, to amurikins).

http://youtu.be/OE9OaujxHPg
7 years ago
I'm thinking this will become one of my fav-o-rite threads, and I'll eventually listen to it all. I love to sample what music folks are listening to as there is no faster way to begin to understand where they're coming from. Having said that, I'm going to share some music by Jalan Crossland, one of Wyoming's best folk singers and banjo pickers. Just a rolickin' fun guy who loves to poke fun at the trailer park set this state is full of. Enjoy.

http://youtu.be/SdYUx7E0oYE
7 years ago
Cj,

I can confirm that small terriers are just the ticket for gophers. My cairn has more confirmed kills than I do, and I'm armed with a pellet gun. Last summer, I finally gave up on shooting them and just started flooding holes with water while the dog waited for them to pop out. He made short work of every one of them. Good exercise for him, more efficient for me.
7 years ago
Interesting discussion, good thinking all around.

We have a Cairn terrier we just love, but if we didn't fence him in his insatiable curiosity would soon get him in trouble. But he's great gopher, mice and mole medicine, generally can't catch jack rabbits but does run 'em off, and I have no doubt he could take down a fox, weasel or a skunk in a straight-up fight. Unfortunately, he thinks he can take on badgers and coyotes, too, hence the aforementioned fence. He weighs about 15 lbs. very solid, quick on his feet, barks at everything that moves and is utterly fearless. As a bonus, he shows little to no interest in chickens, ground nesting birds, ducks or other poultry, and he and the horse get along well. I think he would be equally indifferent to other larger livestock, but I doubt I could keep him from killing domestic rabbits, so we don't have any. I'm not sure I want to butcher rabbits anyway.

He makes a great foot-warmer in the winter, too. If he were teamed with a larger LGD out in the pasture, I prolly wouldn't need a coyote gun, but I'd have one anyway. But a small suburban homestead or small acreage could get by fine with a Cairn, as a small varmint killer, and large varmint alarm system. They bring a lot of personality to the 'small protector' niche as well. For all his boundless energy and enthusiasm, he doesn't eat much either, less then a cup of good quality dry dog food a day!

7 years ago
Hi Devon,

I see your project is in Cheyenne. I am NW of town, and would love to see first-hand what you're doing. I'm new to all this permie stuff, (there seems to be an entire foreign language being spoken here, and I've had to google lots of definitions just to understand what folks are talking about) Anyway, I'm interested and would like to know more. I don't have to tell you how tough our climate is, but I long to make my patch of prarie produce more food, and maybe even fiber and building material down the road. If we (you and I) can help each other, that would be great.
7 years ago
Hello everyone,

I just have to weigh in on this. We built a strawbale house from '95 to '97 on our acreage here in Wyoming. I have not regretted it. Yes, there are some things I would do differently, but strawbales make a lot of sense in dry (less then 30" a year) climes. Our bales were purchased from a local farmer, and were trucked about 30 miles. They cost less than $2.00 each. They weren't 'custom', whatever that is. Basically, we eye-balled them to make sure they were dry, clean, not moldy, tightened them up as needed and started stackin' 'em. Strawbale construction is not rocket science, and from all I've read on the web, I have the impression that people are over thinking it a wee bit.

We built our house back when building codes weren't being enforced in our county, but we did have a few contractors come through and make suggestions for improvements. We took notes and incorporated all of these suggestions we could afford. We did have the electrical inspected as well, since I did it with a book in one hand and a screw-driver in the other. And, I had to satisfy myself that bales were sufficiently fire safe (I was a firefighter at the time) so I doused one with gasoline in my driveway, and lit it. The upshot is: bales are self-extinguishing as long as their ties don't come apart, introducing more air into the straw. My bales are wire-tied, which isn't typical anymore, but was still common in our area at that time. Also, our bales are small by current standards: 18" W x 16" H x 36"- 42" L and weighing only 40 to 50 pounds each. Our finished walls are about 20" wide, and the bales are notched and fitted into a pole barn frame. They are not load-bearing.

It was simple to do, but not easy in the sense that it was done quickly, or without lots of sweat labor. But hell, what are people for, right? Work is life, and life is work. Anyone who says different is selling something. If I had to do it over again, I would build on a basement, use a full bale width wood frame, and plan the wall openings so no bale notching was needed. I would also put steel on the roof instead of asphalt shingles. They blow away too often in my area. Other than that, I'm pretty happy with it. It is easy to heat, easy to cool, and you can't hear the wind howl like you can in a frame dwelling. I can guarantee no damn wolf is ever going to blow this straw house down. Also, it looks lumpy and quaint, like a proper peasant's cottage should. It only cost $35 bucks a square foot, at a time when new construction was going for $90 to $100 a square foot. Best of all, our four kids who are now adults living in a big city, love to visit mom and dad, and never tire of wistfully dreaming about their own 'bale house, 'someday'. How many children of suburbia can say that?

I have only one regret. I wish I had payed off the land before I started it. If I had, we would be mortgage free now. But, our mortgage is still a pittance compared to rent or buying in today's market, so overall I can't complain.

7 years ago