Doug Pillow

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since Apr 13, 2013
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Recent posts by Doug Pillow

Picture update on progress. These pictures don't do justice to just how much work I have done out here. I can see great progress though.

My Wall O' Wood.
50' long, 5' high, 18"-20" wide. This is just a small portion of the logs I have cut. Only managed to stack this wall. At least as much wood waiting to be hauled and stacked, plus much, much more to fell.

This image faces directly where the pond will be. I will be clearing past that old metal shed about 50 yards farther into the woods. I haven't measured out the exact pond dimensions but the goal is to have as large as one as I can with about 40 ft of cleared grass between the waters edge and the surrounding trees on all 4 sides.

And this final picture is of my nemesis. Which is also why it is taking me so very long to get done what I need.
Gosh dang, thorn ridden, chain saw dulling, arm scratching Osage Orange. My land is just chock full of it. Saving as many straight trunk pieces as I can (ha ha, Straight Osage Orange trunks, now that is a laugh) to turn into lumber.
Although beastly to cut, it is a very hard wood that turns a very nice honey brown color when dry. It is also providing a large amount of free fence posts from the branches.
Not worth a darn for hugle beds though. This stuff does not rot.

11 years ago

Jason Talmage wrote:Welcome Doug, congrats on the purchase. My parents live in Davis and I have been all over that country in Murray county. You picked out a nice area. I would love to get a hold of 20-50 acres north of Sulphur. Nice rolling hills and some seasonal creeks up there. Once you get rocking along I would love to come out and take a look at what you have planned. Jason.

Thanks Jason.
You are welcome to come visit at anytime. It will be quite awhile before I get rocking. I am out there almost every weekday after work until dark, and then all day Saturday and Sunday.

Head north from Sulphur on HWY 177. Go past the turnpike entrance for 3 or 4 miles to Nye's Cabinet Shop. That is Buell Green Road. Turn west at Buell Green Road and HWY 177. My 20 acres is the first property west of the cabinet shop, on the south side.
Just listen for the buzz of the chainsaw, and you will find me.
11 years ago

Emily Aaston wrote:Very cool! Thank you for sharing. I am doing all kinds of research right now to create a container garden and this is very helpful. How has it worked for you?

As they say, the proof is in the pudding.
Seeds in the bucket were planted the same day as seeds in the starter cells.

Both were placed on the front porch, and the starter cells on the left use the same soils as in the bucket.
The colored container to the edge are one of the peas that I started indoors from seeds between layers of wet paper towels.

I think it is a combination of being perfectly watered and wind protection from the top of the bucket. Not sure, but I do know it is working just fine so far.
I just need to run and get about 20 more buckets and scatter them around the yard.

I live just a little but north, of north Texas.
Good hay is very expensive around here. Cattle ranchers are paying top dollar for it as well as reducing the number of cattle that they run.

Also the main reason behind me not wanting more than a single bull and dairy cow on my place. Any young ones I get will be reserved for family consumption only.
Making a living on a large number of cattle is a tough gig around these parts lately.

Goats have a much higher plant fiber input to animal protein output.
Thanks Ken,

Prices for fresh green bales of hay around here are crazy high after being in a drought for so many years. Folks will spend over $75 for a large tight round bale of green hay without a second thought.
Prices only go higher as the warm months continue.

So many uses for that much baled grass, I just couldn't see letting it get burned up.
Mulch, compost, mix with clay and sand to make bricks, bury it in shallow pits to make for an awesome planting spot next spring, animal fodder and bedding, save for the pigs to mix up and smash into the ground as they forage in the woods, stuffing into old clothes to make scare crows, etc.....

Don't have any animals on my property yet, but hope to have them in place by the fall.

Turning it into cash and profit was not the goal of the purchase at all, but just another one of the many uses for the stuff.

I will have copious amounts of fresh green once I fire up the wood chipper and my lawn care guy starts dumping the yard waste he generates clipping suburbia.
Also have access to an almost unlimited supply of cow manure patties.
Was talking to a co worker the other day who lives on 80 acres. Talking about land, and live stock, and what not and he started grumbling about having to burn hay.
It peaked my interest and come to find out he had 40 large round bales of pasture grass that were left out in the environment now for over 18 months that were moldy and no longer good for feed so he was going to burn them.

My land is about 15 miles away so I worked out a deal that if he could deliver them, I would take all he had for $40 a bale.
These are the large 6'x5' round bales. My plan is to turn the entire lot of em into dark and healthy compost. Besides being able to use it myself, I will be able to sell large lawn and leaf bags full of it and pay for the initial investment many times over.

Now I just need to figure out the mechanics behind composting such a large amount of material.

Also willing to bet that under the moldy shell of the rounds, that there is still plenty of good grass that goats would not object to eating one bit.

Any ideas on converting moldy hay to healthy compost?

Saw this idea in a few different forms and came up with this version that is working very well.
Cost of materials is about $7.00 which included the $5.00 for the bucket with lid.

Parts needed:
5 gal bucket with lid,
7" of 4" PVC
17" of 1 1/2" PVC
3 drink cans.

Cut the lid away from the lip and then cut a 4" hole in the center and a 1 1/2" hole at the edge.
Drill many holes in the 4" pipe and cut an end of the 1 1/2" pipe at an angle.

Place the cans in the bottom of the bucket.

Place the cut lid on top of the cans, the 4" pip through the center hole and the 1 1/2" pipe through the edge hole with the angled cut side down.

Take your favorite potting soil/compost mix and start filling the lid. Pack the 4" PVC pipe as tight as you can. Water will wick up through here.

Measure 4" from the bottom of the bucket and drill a drain hole.

Now all you do is add your seeds or starting plant and pour water down the 1 1/2" pipe.
When the water comes out the drain hole, it is full.
Every few days add more water.
Water will wick up and keep the soil in the bucket perfectly watered.
This particular bucket is growing spinach from a .20 cent seed packet from Walmart.

Absolutely amazing. Yes, I will definitely give these a go.
The photo below is from what I call the "bottom" on my property. It is the lowest spot and all ground water flows through here before leaving. Every tree in this photo is being felled and logged to make room for the 1.5 acre surface, 20ft deep pond.
Limbs will be ran through a chipper, logs split for firewood, and several nice trunks of Osage Orange(horse apple) trees will be turned into hardwood lumber.

I will have plenty of extra material.

The pond will be stocked with fish for family food and pumped out as needed to provide water for live stock.

This now clear path leading down to the pond area was nothing but deadfall and bramble before I started on it. The huge gnarled old Oak in left center frame will remain in place.

11 years ago

Miles Flansburg wrote:Are you doing any hugel beds with those trees?

Have never heard of a hugel bed. Did a quick web search and it seems interesting.

Looks to be nothing more than covering logs and other wood matter with soil for a raised gardening bed.
Thank you, this seems like a fine idea.
11 years ago

Miles Flansburg wrote:Howdy Doug, welcome to permies. Some folks here don't do FB so any pictures and stories you could post here will help us all learn.

Will do. Nothing much picture wise worth sharing yet as I am in the very early stages of planning and setting up the infrastructure needed.
I will post as much as I can on the success and failures along the way. I know I will make more than one mistake before I get everything figured out.

Just clearing trees for the pond, and general dead fall removal at the moment. I don't think anyone has worked this land in a very, very long time.

11 years ago