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Thomas Olson

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since May 05, 2013
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Recent posts by Thomas Olson

Try heading over to SEED over on Salter and Duffern. I think you might be able to get a starter ($10k) off MASC. Plenty of land out there you can buy for less than 10k. If you are really lucky you can get a good 80 acres. Get a subscription to Dauphin Herald, they have tender things all the time.

Learn to use google maps with the terrain function. There is a sustainable agriculture MOOC at coursera.org you may want to think about taking if you are going to do the SEED thing.

Manitoba is pretty flat, it doesn't lend itself out to permaculture. But it does have 3 "mountains" (Duck Mountain, Pembina Mountains, and Porcupine Mountains). I met a lady that was quite willing to let me do orchards on her land (cdormr@mym‚Äčts.net). I'm sure she'll be happy to set you up with some horse manure.

University of Saskatoon has a list of cold tolerant species. Haskap being the most important and will likely take off soon.

I myself am changing gears. I'm going to grow medicinal marijuana. If you're 18, I am looking for a Proposed Alternate Responsible Person in Charge (A/RPIC). You would need to do a security clearance and account for your actions in the last 10 years. If it takes off, I'll put you to work in permaculture. It will be a rough first year.

Are you metis? If so, get your geneology done and get your harvester card. You can also harvest up to 100 m^3 of wood for housing/firewood/stuff.
5 years ago
Celtis occidentalis might work.

Manitoba Maple sprouts like crazy. You might have trouble keeping that under control.

Get some Basswood in there for the bees. Caragana (I mentioned it earlier) is a nitrogen fixer that bees will also love. There are wild plums but maybe better to do your homework on them because I hear that many animals will ignore them because they are too bitter. If it were my land, I would plant some wild blueberries near the Caragana. Not for the deer, for me.

I think leaf mulch is better when it has a variety of different leaves. Here are some trees native to Manitoba:
Manitoba Mapble, Black Ash, Green Ash (especially good for leaf mulch, drops first), Tamarack, Showy Mountain Ash, Eastern Cottonwood, Balsam Poplar, Hop-Hornbeam, Wild Plum, Bur Oak, Basswood, Hackberry, White Birch, White Elm, Largetooth Aspen, Peachleaf Willow, Trembling Aspen.

Consider black-summer truffle innoculation while planting trees, especially the burr oak. And the bark of oak is also used for cork. And make sure you have a mushroom you like.

Perennials for the field: Goldenrod, oats, mullein (can this kill voles?), barley (also use it on algae problems), perennial wheats, comfrey, yarrow, clover (nitrogen), purslane (omega 3/6 fatty acids), calendula.

Wild rice if you have a shallow pond. Cattail for the muskrats.
5 years ago
Take what this guy says and apply it to greenhouses

http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/energy-efficient-house-building-in-fairbanks-alaska.122044/

Don't forget the 22000 liter water tank for thermal banking.

The chinese greenhouses look effective. It's long instead of rectangular. I have a hypothesis. Put a wall up splitting the north and south. Chop up some poplar and inoculate with mycelium. Hoist it up on the north side so that it is exposed to the oxygenated air. It will make CO2.

Also use the masonry fireplace. I have another hypothesis, it's probably flawed, so wait for someone that knows better to comment. Make it to code but put in a valve to vent the CO2 into the plants just before it exits the building. The masonry fireplace is highly efficient and I'm thinking the air is going to be clean of pollutants.
5 years ago
I'm from Manitoba. I've been thinking a lot about this. But keep in mind I haven't actually done any of it, it's just hypothesizing at the moment.

Since you mentioned oak, I'm thinking you are south of 51.14 latitude. I haven't seen much oak north of Dauphin. I think the furthest up would be around ethelbert. Anyway, I hear the same thing about apple all the time from my dad, in fact every time I mention other food sources, I keep hearing about the apple. I'm pretty sure deer need more than apples. As much as drunk deer make for easy hunting, I'm sure multiple food sources will also help.

Burr Oak is supposed to be good for their taste because it's a white oak. Red oaks have more tannins and this affects flavor. Burr Oak don't produce nuts every year though. I was thinking about using Korean Pine. It can serve as a wind break and food source. I know elk will eat willow but I don't know about the deer. Do you have elk where you are? You might get the land owner draw. Are you metis? If you are metis you'll have more options when it comes to hunting if you do the paperwork.

Chestnut is supposed to be the clear winner though. These deer evolved on chestnut, so even if they haven't seen it before, they know what it is. It's in their genetic memory and they will take it over anything else. Also chestnut produce more than oak, I think they might produce almost every year.
http://www.saskatoonfarm.com/tableofcontents.htm#chestnut

Get some Caragana in there as well to get nitrogen in there. Keep in mind that deer live at the borders between fields and forest. So put some zig zags in there to increase surface area.

If the land has a pond on it and there was a beaver in it, I think it would be beneficial to get poplar and willow around it. Poplar and willow fix nitrogen in their bark, so you don't have to worry about that. The beaver would be constantly killing off vegetation so there would always be something sprouting. Deers will eat that.

The University of Saskatchewan is working on cold tolerant hazelnut. They will browse on that.

Deer like to browse on young Eastern White Pine. They also make a good tea. I think there is also a cedar if you are in a marsh.
5 years ago
This looks like it might be important reading for us. This is from 1891.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=sOQkAQAAIAAJ&pg=RA3-PA44&lpg=RA3-PA44&dq=grow+black+locust+in+manitoba&source=bl&ots=53Y6FS0lYX&sig=EgjNXWXKtN5m4n3ewBWgkF4MX84&hl=en&sa=X&ei=7YP5Ueu_D6_lygGS34G4Dg&ved=0CFoQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=grow%20black%20locust%20in%20manitoba&f=false

Oddly enough they mention shelter belts. In other words we knew we were screwing everything up before the dust bowl happened. We are so awesome.

"The attempts to grow the sugar and red maples, sycamore, black locust, butternet, black walnut and western catalpa have so far been unsuccessful."
Good to know, I'll read the rest later when I'm out in the bush."

Caragana was also mentioned.
6 years ago
I'm poor and have a monster debt so I don't have money to be playing around with ideas that have bad science behind them or have little to no actual benefit. But I do have ideas, so I'm going to bounce them off you folks.

You know that solar chimney thing Molison mentions? They use it in the earthships as well. I was thinking about the intake. What if I used two intake pipes, one inside the other? The inner one copper, the outer pvc. The heat moves past through the copper as it goes up. The pvc pipe will have its own solar chimney or solar thermal collector. The pvc will have insulation with an emergency blanket wrapped on the outside. I want isolate the temperatures from the outside of the pvc pipe as much as possible so the ground doesn't contribute to the heat. The objective is to move even more heat then the normal method by sucking off the heat from the top of the copper pipe.

Just a thought, not really an idea. Mollison says the air drops the water as it moves up the pipe, if the pipe is angled upwards at the building. The water in the air takes up space, with less water the air gets dense. Which would mean the oxygen is more combustible. So if I did that solar death ray that green power science did with that air, could i get higher temperatures? Maybe the sun is a bad use for that, perhaps just a regular forge. Another thing, since there is less water in the air, that means it can pick up even more water for air conditioning, thus further increasing its cooling capacity right?

What if I had an insane amount of spare time and unlimited access to tires? I'm on Canadian prairie land, so everything is flat. There is no gravity fed irrigation system for me unless I build one. So I was thinking about using tires on the perimeter and gaining about 1.5 to 2 meters in height. But maybe I just do 1 row of tires ever year. And no digging under the surface so I can maximize gravity. I'll use a pond liner. Can the tires hold it? More importantly, can I fill it? I was thinking about pushing the snow from the road into my tire pond during the winters. I would build a large ramp and drive the snow up to the edge. Perhaps throw a black tarp on top when I'm done so I can move another load on it later. I think I need to plant caragana right against the tires to block the sunlight as the tires will absorb the light. The water should be warmer than normal in the spring and fall when the leaves fall off the caragana, due to the absorption from the black tires. I'll also plant bur oak further away on the south side. Or maybe I'll just do duckweed. I guess it couldn't hurt to do both. I wonder if the shrubs will grow on the top layer of the tires.
6 years ago