Su Ba

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since Apr 18, 2013
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Retired from veterinary medicine. My second career is creating a homestead, aiming to be self reliant.
Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Recent posts by Su Ba

I would check how much weight load the trailer is rated for before I sink money and labor into it. A tiny house may be over the rated limit, especially for the cargo trailer. Something to think about.
5 days ago
Nicole, even without running the numbers, it bothers me to see people losing work opportunities. I'm aware that change has been going on for centuries, and will continue until this species declines, but it bothers me. History shows that people lost their livelihoods due to progress, be it the development of the plow, the sickle bar mower, the tractor, the combine, etc . Most people adapted by acquiring new skills. But a group has difficulty adapting.....the older, the less educated, the less skilled, the less able, the less intelligent. This group struggles. And if there is no opportunity to acquire new skills, this group essentially sinks into deep poverty that it cannot get out of.
The simplest thing would be to bury them near a plant. Before I had livestock to feed, I buried carcasses in the garden walkways between the plant rows.

On my farm I usually toss small critters into the Mom's Famous Slop n Glop cook pot. That's the pot I cook the livestock feed for the chicken and pigs. Carcasses go into the pot whole. Mice. Rats. Mongooses. Birds. Dead chickens. Feral cats (a farm up the street traps and kills feral cats.)
5 days ago
Hawaii acquired their original pigs via the Polynesians who brought them along. These pigs either escaped into the wild or were released, or both. Their descendants live on today. But these pigs are no longer pure Polynesian. They have crossbreed with escaped European pigs, that were introduced later on.

My island has lots of feral pigs still. Locals use them as a regular food source. I keep a few for raising, and a pair for breeding. They aren't as easy to control as domestic breeds, but they are hardy and can survive on eating just about anything and everything.
5 days ago
Yes, I'd plant weeds or whatever would grow. By the very virtue that they have roots, they will be improving the soil, albeit slowly. I'd also keep chopping it back, using the plant as a source of biomass/mulch. The constant slow addition of mulch atop the soil will gradually improve it.
5 days ago
I agree that they easily could do it.  But is it permaculture?
It's interesting seeing what people have to say on this topic. I can't speak for other regions of the country, but in my district of Hawaii, the "serfs" who lose jobs due to mechanization have zero opportunity to find another job.

Two large macadamia farms switched to mechanized harvesting, causing dozens and dozens of people to lose jobs. The local coffee farms are talking about going to mechanized harvesting and robots & machines to do the rest. Dozens and dozens of jobs will disappear. The country bought a street cleaning machine and also now uses herbacide for weed control along the roadsides. Thus street cleaning and weedwacking jobs disappeared. A local business that use to hire unskilled workers is shutting down and moving to Hilo.....thus the loss of over a dozen low level jobs. These "serfs" have no jobs to move to.

My area has no vocational training or adult education. "Serfs" have no opportunity to acquire new skills so that they could qualify for some other job. Add to that, county regulations that make it quite difficult, complicated, expensive, and sometimes plain impossible to start your own small business. So what happens next? The area gets more and more people just hanging around. Theft increases. Some people resort to selling drugs to make some money, thus drug use increases, and the crime that goes along with it. More people go on food stamps. They can't afford rent, moving in with relatives or squatting on vacant land in tents or garden sheds. Thus local landlords start finding their houses empty, and thus switch to vacation rentals. But alas, the county in its wisdom just passed new laws making those rentals illegal or expensive to register.

While business benefits by mechanization and robots, and consumers might see prices stay acceptable, the "serfs" lose big time. This loss trickles down to hurting the community. I'm seeing Walmart and other big stores switching to robot floor cleaners. I see most big stores switching to self check outs. This all means loss of untrained jobs.

In my area, the public schooling adds to the cascading problem. Kids graduate with zero marketable skills. Zero. So unless they move out of the area, they join the unemployable population.

Personally I'd like to see lots of small businesses start up that hire the unskilled worker. But alas, Hawaii's regulations make that unrealistic. I'd also like to see a vocational training school here, but that's not about to happen either. So as the established businesses mechanize and incorporate robots, I see the serfs least where I live. Face it, there are only so many Walmart greeter jobs or supermarket bagger positions available anymore.
I have mostly those small jungle fowl type chickens.  They lay small eggs, but some of the hens are prolific, laying 5-7 a week. But they are prone to go broody, so they don't lay nearly as well as the commercial breeds. But just like the commercial breeds, they do best when fed a decent amount of protein. Mine get cooked meat, mostly slaughter waste. And worms. When they forage they eat bugs, lizards,  and a mouse if they roust one up. I keep a casual eye on their protein intake, aiming for about 10% meat and free choice fresh grass clippings. What they forage makes up the difference. Since they lay well, I'd guess that they are getting 20%-25% protein diet. They get all sorts of garden and kitchen waste, mostly cooked. Calcium is provided via cooked egg shells (cooked because most are from commercial eggs) and free choice coral sand.

I like Bryant's comment. Sounds like handfuls of mealworms is they way to go, rather than just a few per bird.
1 week ago
Gail, in the Homesteading forum there is a catagory for Farm Income.

By the way, I love your suggestions. They're great ideas.
Here in Hawaii my top choice is a native wood for smoking food is called ohia.
2 weeks ago