Baxter Tidwell

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since Apr 18, 2013
Hi, I'm Baxter Tidwell. In my previous life, I was a computer nerd, writing programs, solving client problems, and writing books. About five years ago I bought a 45-acre spread in New England and for the past three years I've been learning about agricultural principles, permaculture in particular. I don't have any background in growing things and jumping into the deep end of a pool before fully learning how to swim always seemed like a good idea to me. So I went straight into the concepts that seemed to make sense. After successfully finding out that I didn't have enough background knowledge of how things grow, I then stepped back and am now learning the basics of gardening.

So that's where I am now, working both ends of the permaculture continuum; soils tests and planting seeds on one end and getting large machines to clear land and move boulders around on the other. Somewhere during this mission, I hope that the two will converge and I'll get nature to help me feed my family and community.
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Recent posts by Baxter Tidwell

My friend Cynthia just built a Warre hive from scratch and wrote an Instructable to show how.

It's worth checking out!

4 years ago
I didn't have any problems with the new site, just an old one that I might as well put right here. When you get to the bottom of the page, you want to go to the next page. But I can't seem to find the"Next Page" button. I have to go all the way up to the top to get to the next page.
I make my own soap using tallow and lard from the local butcher. I just rub that on my hair a bit, and that puts on enough soap to do the job. It's nice because the soap is also used for washing and shaving. A single bar lasts for weeks, even with daily showers. Not sure if that counts as poo-less, but it's certainly non-toxic and really cheap.
5 years ago

evan l pierce wrote:...and they involve pie...

Spending too much time around Paul?
5 years ago

Kerry Rodgers wrote:Can you or Evan (or anyone else) suggest a simple starter set that you actually use? There are both technical and ethical considerations. And other crypto-currencies than bitcoin. And...???

I feel your pain, Kerry. I felt that way every time I thought about planting a garden! Seems like the more you learn, the more you get curious and the more you learn and so on. Pretty soon, you're so intimidated that you never get started. I did this for years with gardening until I just put a seed in the ground. I learned more from that than in years of confusing research. And now I'm well on the way to creating a sustainable food forest that will feed my family and community for years. But it never would have happened if I didn't put that first seed in the ground.

I suggest you take the same approach with Bitcoin. Or any other thing that seems confusing. Just like gardening where there are experts that talk in a language of cations, soil micronutrients, and mycelium density, there are the Bitcoin nerds that talk in terms of blockchain bloat, the 51% hack, and mining difficulty.

Just ignore these people. You can circle back around to them like I came back around to the cation/anion people. For now, just dip in your toe. The first step is to get a wallet. The next step is to put something in it. Just a couple dollars. After that, you'll be invested and you'll be motivated to learn more. And then go to and buy something. Or 20,000 other merchants that accept Bitcoin. Or send Evan a tip. You'll quickly see how easy and smooth Bitcoin is as a payment system.

I like Coinbase for beginners. It's easy, secure, and well-funded. You can create a wallet and then link to a bank account for moving between standard currencies and bitcoin. (If there are any Bitcoin anarchists out there, please take your criticisms elsewhere for now; the goal here is to get people started. Sometimes I think infighting within the Bitcoin community is the worst enemy of Bitcoin adoption! Nothing like that happens in Permaculture, right?)

Don't even worry about the other crypto-currencies, or alt-coins. Once you understand Bitcoin, then you can circle back around to figure them out. Most are just vanity projects that won't amount to anything.

So that's it to get started. Grab a seed, put it in the ground, and observe. Same goes with Bitcoin.

5 years ago

evan l pierce wrote:For those who aren't familiar, bitcoin is an open-source peer-to-peer currency based on the innovative blockchain technology. You can send me bitcoin. Here's my address, (1CKBCGDPB3LFv4mc1MAJM9edYjMnrqF4fgu), or you can also scan the qr code below.

I think Bitcoin would make a fine currency option for the Lab, especially for those people who might not have a bank account. It provides for instant transfer of money between two people.
5 years ago
Just wait until the grasshoppers get there...
5 years ago
Clover it is, then. We have had a very wet June, and ground I cleared of pine trees two years ago is going crazy with clover this year. The clover is actually choking out the plantain this year. And the berries are back. Amazing what happens when you clear out a pine desert!
7 years ago
Thanks, John. Actually, about a third of the logs in the two beds were cut down last year and spent the winter in a wet, swampy area. They already have tons of mycelium, so I think it will spread soon.

As far as manure, I'll get as much as I can and put it on the top or maybe till it in a few inches. But I was wondering about the hairy vetch. will this grow in the sandy soil and at least give me a start for next year?
7 years ago