Mick Fisch

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since Jun 24, 2013
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Recent posts by Mick Fisch

David Mallett is one of my favorite writers and singers.  He's from Maine and tried for a long time to make it in Nashville.  Here are a couple of examples of his music.  He's got dozens of great songs on Youtube and a website.

David Mallett - Haying Song lyrics

When the raspberries burst from the woodbine
And the summer lies close to the ground
And the porch is the fit place for young boys to sleep
And the brook in the hollow dies down
Then with straw hats and wagons and horses
Like young Tim and tired old Dan
We head for the field to the creek of the wheel
With the pitchfork that blisters your hand

And ya have to make hay when the sun shines
That's what all of the hill people say
Ya just keep your load wide, keep an eye on the sky
And make sure it's dry when you put it away

I remember the chaff on the back of my neck
The cool at the edge of the trees
And you rest for a time, you talk about the weather
You drink from the spring and get mud on your knees
But it's back to the wagon, it's back to the mow
Six loads in and eight more to go
And there's biscuits and beans at the late supper meal
And there's nothing like beans when you're workin' you know

And ya have to make hay when the sun shines
[Lyrics from: https:/lyrics.az/david-mallett/-/haying-song.html]
That's what all of the hill people say
Ya just keep your load wide, keep an eye on the sky
And make sure it's dry when you put it away

'Tis the season of clover and killdeer
'Tis the time when the earth does her best
It's when all men are strong and the workdays are long
And ya know when to rise and ya know when to rest
And in the cool of the evenin' I'd perch on the load
And let the wagon wind blow thru my hair
And count off the stars and talk to the moon
And sing to myself in the sweet summer air
Hang on at the corners and duck from the branches
And sing to myself and the sweet summer air

And ya have to make hay when the sun shines
That's what all of the hill people say
Ya just keep your load wide, keep an eye on the sky
And make sure it's dry when you put it away

And ya have to make hay when the sun shines
That's what all of the hill people say
Ya just keep your load wide, keep an eye on the sky
And make sure it's dry when you put it away

Here is a second song of his

David Mallett - The Last Time I Saw Annie lyrics

Well they say that Annie's married
And livin' on the mainland
And workin' as a waitress
While her husband runs a crane
But the last time I saw Annie
We were s'posed to meet in Calais
Back in nineteen sixty-seven
But my Annie never came

Now some people are farmers
And others farm the oceans
And some men own the factories that clutter up the towns
And some people are good folks
And others they're just outlaws
But Annie was an angel, and me, I hang around

Now the old man at the station
Say's he's got a pint of whisky
And he keeps it mighty handy
And forgets the things he's told
And I'm headin' out for nowhere
For ten days dodgin' memories
And ten nights in a barroom
And I know it's gettin' cold

Now I know that I'll forget her
'Cause I try not to remember
But I've always been a dreamer
Dreamin' dreams of long ago
But the last time I saw Annie
We were s'posed to meet in Calais
When we both we young and hungry
But my Annie never showed

Now the road does not run smooth
It runs in gentle desperation
And there are memories of the kindness
That we find along the way
And they say that Annie's married
And she saves for her vacation
It's a solid situation and it passes time away
But the last time I saw Annie
We were s'posed to meet in Calais
Back in nineteen sixty-seven
But my Annie never came
6 days ago
I specifically directed my comments to permies in Africa, in this case.  As I looked over the description of the plant, it seemed to me that it may well have the capability of becoming an invasive species in desert places like the american southwest or the australian outback.  It is seen is seen as an indicater of depleted soils, but does not tolerate shade.  That would keep it out of wooded or even really brushy areas probably.  Since it is seen as a sign of depleted soil, I wonder if it might be a unrecognized nitrogen fixer, since many other plants that are markers for depleted soil fix nitrogen.  I don't know.  It seems to me that as we learn, we find out how much more we don't know. (every question answered reveals 2 or 3 more questions).  Not a reason to quit learning, just recognizing that the universe is SO big and we are SO small.

Looking back at the article, it seems the researchers were using chop and drop as opposed to the local practice of burning it off.  They noted it improved the soil.

I have no idea what word would describe the ability to pull up deep water and redistribute it into the near surface soil.  I'm hoping that Dr. Redhawk or someone else who knows more than me about this stuff will enlighten us.
6 days ago
I just read an article that sounds like it has great possibilities for permies in Africa.

It appears that there is a shrub native to africa, Guiera senegalensis.  I gather it is a popular medicinal plant.  The article claims that planting this plant with millet  led to a 900% increase in food production.  It appears that the guiera roots reach down 30 or 40 feet deep for water.  At night, when the stomata close and photosynthesis stops, the roots near the surface release water into the upper soil, where the millet can reach it. 

I claim no expertise or knowledge here, but read the article and make your own evaluation. 

This sounds like a wonderful plant.

1 week ago
I just got purple moosaged that a post of mine needed adjustment.  I'm fine with that.  I have no problem with the standards, but sometimes I have a relatively long post and I just can't figure out what it is that anyone would object to.  I suggest that when something gets flagged, the offensive part gets copied into the purple moosage so I know where to look.  I can't be the only person with this problem.  Usually I just delete the message but sometimes I think I said something worth reading.
I guess it depends on the family and their reason for homeschooling. 

The ones I have known had real sharp parents.  My son has told me of some he has met who where the whole family was pretty messed up. 

Sometimes people home school for religious reasons, sometimes for other reasons.  Some religious people are obviously a little off, many are well adjusted.  I've got a geology and EE degrees and I will be the first to agree that I've seen some pretty sketchy home school science stuff.  Although as an enthusiastic amature history buff, I have some real issues with some things I've seen in school history textbooks also.  Seems like everyone has an agenda and they want to indoctrinate the kiddies.  As someone once said, "tell the truth, but tell it slant".  I've seen some truths that were pretty much tilted sideways and you had to squint to see the truth.

Not every kid that makes it any type of school is a shining example of of the system.  We need to make sure to discern between the individual and the system sometimes.  Ideologies are a net that catches every kind of fish.  I've seen screwed up athiests relying on science, just as I have seen screwed up religious people.  Religion is often the final hope of the desperate, but mental illness and just plain stupid don't discriminate.  People suffering from either seem to latch on to whatever seems like it may keep them afloat.  There may even be one or two permies who aren't the best ambassadors for permaculture (perish the thought). 
2 weeks ago
I think freedom to explore, learn, figure out the world are one of the most important things you can give a child.  They can also learn to avoid bullies or stand up to them.  In adult controlled situations a lot of times they can't get away from them and however the adults try, they can't keep a handle on all of the social interactions and the kids don't really have a chance to stand up to the bullies because it's the second punch that gets caught.

I was talking with one of my older sons about my youngest son, who has decided he has no social skills and he needs to just avoid people.  The problem is, I can see he likes to be around people.  He just got beat up emotionally by so many disfunctional assholes in high school and junior high (I'm pretty sure he's somewhere on the ausbergers spectrum).  My older son made the observation that trying to develop normal adult social skills in jr high and high school is kind of like Jane Goodall trying to learn to be human by interacting with gorillas. 

I have raised 9 kids, each one unique, with their own brands of genius and foolishness.  (We didn't home school, but we actively tried to supplement what they learned as much as we could).  I would summarize my ideas in a few words.

1.  Kids need to know they are loved, valued, and their opinions matter.
2.  Kids need to know that their opinions don't necessarily matter more than everyone elses.
3.  Kids need to know that everyone's opinion should be measured against the truth.
4.  Kids need to be taught how to think logically, recognize illogical thinking and con jobs.
5.  Kids need to know that there are limits.  They need to know where the limits are.  They need to know there are consequences for stepping over the limits.  The consequences have to be significant enough to keep them within the limits, usually.
6.  Kids need to be educated.  There are lots of ways to educate.  I like stories, examples and hands on experience.  Children are born little animals.  We make them human as we raise them.  They make us better humans as we raise them.  Keep examples of bravery, honor, toughness, intelligence, caring and wisdom before them as often as you can.
7.  Kids need freedom, within the limits.  One of the big problems I think we've created is the lack of unscheduled, child controlled, free time.  Time to play, to make friends or fight, to explore, to figure out who they are.  It's how they internalize and learn. 
8.  You need to know that it isn't all about you.  Your 'me time' ended when the kids were born and you may never get it back for an length of time.  Your mission, whether you choose to accept it or not, is to love and raise these kids into competent caring adults. 
9  You need to model the behavior you want to see in your child.  Admit it to them when you do something wrong (and you surely will).  Show them how to live a life with integrity, love and a sense of humor.  Show them joy.
10.  Have Fun!!!
2 weeks ago
Interesting bit of history.  Gabions were used by soldiers as far back as prehistory to build quick defensable positions.  Instead of chainlink the soldiers would commandeer, buy or make baskets or bags, fill them with dirt or rock and pile them into walls.  the basketry actually made the walls more stable and harder to dig down once things had settled and everything kind of 'grew together'.  A pure dirt wall always develops a slope on it, making it less defensable and more easily climbed.  The basketry held things in place and allowed them to have more verticle walls.
2 weeks ago
My mom always slipped our dog a fried egg periodically.  She said it made their coats shine.  She wouldn't give a dog raw eggs.  I think it was a carry over from the farm and how people hated 'egg sucking dogs'.  Dogs would sneak into the chicken house and steal eggs. 

Anyway, it got me thinking.  Eggs are about the cheapest protein source there is, the standard other protein is judged against and probably excellent dog food (arm quarter backing here, I really don't know).  I realize a solid diet of eggs would probably not be the total answer, (if nothing else, a dog on a pure egg diet would probably empty a room if it farted) but I'll bet they can be a big part.

Side note, another thread got me thinking about dog poop.  Years ago I pulled apart several samples of coyote scat out in the desert to see what they were eating, (mostly rodents in that case).  What impressed me was all the hair was on the outside of the turd and all the bones were in the center.  I discussed that with the guys I was with and we decided the coyotes gut arranged the hair on the outside to protect the gut from sharp bits of teeth and bones.  How did the gut arrange for the different components to come out that way?  I haven't got the tiniest clue.  Anyway, it made me think that maybe the hair (and maybe feathers) is good for roughage and to protect the gut and tender anus.  So, I figure a wild dog would not eat just the meat of smaller animals, it would eat bones, hair and guts, which probably would provide things that a pure meat diet wouldn't.What do you guys think?

Years ago I watched my bosses dog (half sheperd, half husky) hunting mice in the grass.  As I watched I think he caught and ate 8 - 10 in the space of about 5 or 10 minutes.  I've read that they can be a surprisingly large part of a wolf's diet some parts of the year. 

I also saw a side question in the other thread about the cheapest way to raise meat and that and the two paragraphs above got me thinking.  Would raising mice be a cheap source of meat for dogfood?  In some places I lived I think I could feed a dog for a week or more on trapped mice, but the supply would quickly dry up if I were using them regularly.
2 weeks ago