Thomas Marlow

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since Oct 08, 2013
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Recent posts by Thomas Marlow

If you live near a brewery or distillery, they are usually happy to let you fill up a 5 gallon plastic bucket full of the spent mash. I know chickens, pigs, cows love that stuff.
5 years ago
I've owned three wood cook stoves in my life. Everyone of them I've taken apart, scrapped with a wire brush and put back together with "stove sealer".

It looks like a big stove, so taking it apart will not only help you move it, but will allow you to rebuild it and seal up the joints properly. WD40 is helpful for loosing stubborn door hinges, enough to unbolt or cut off the bolts to be replaced with new bolts.

Oil all parts of the castiron with a mixture of coconut oil to re-season the castiron. If you have a metal container large enough to submerge the pieces in oil and bring the oil to a boil, that would be a good way to although the pores in the castiron to expand and "drink" up the oil. Remove from heated oil and the "bake" the thoroughly wiped and dried parts in a 500 degree oven for several hours. I use coconut oil because its the most pleasant smelling when burning in the first few firings.

I agree with the previous response of finding an experienced wielder to fix any cracked castiron parts. If the top where the eyes fit on is cracked, see if you can find a replacement part. This part will be receiving the most heat and would be best as an unwielded piece.

Once you've cleaned it up and start using it, clean out the soot every three weeks for maximum efficiency. Oil it with the coconut oil at this time too. If burning coal, you'll need to clean out the soot every week. This guideline only applies if the cookstove is your primary source of cooking.

"If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen." - Last bit of advice; make yourself an outdoor "Summer" kitchen, say on your porch. Invite your neighbors over for a "stove moving party" every Spring and Autumn to help you move it outside and inside. Figure that an average human can lift 150lbs with a bit effort. take things inch by inch and don't rush. You don't want to crack the castiron. Provide beer/wine and I might even come for it.

I'll be taking my Martins King 8-20 stove apart and resealing/oiling as one of my Winter projects. It's never been taken apart since it was manufactured in the 1910s/20s.

Cheers!
5 years ago
I live in Black Bear country (mountains of western NC). I'm planting an orchard/food Forest of Pecans, Chestnuts, Apples, Pears, Peaches, Figs, Persimmons, etc. I adopted two female Plott Hounds last October from a local Bear hunter who said they don't hunt.

Well, they do hunt. And they are often out all night baying up and down the valley.

I'm posting this because I'm seeing a lot of posts about getting dogs to protect livestock. Yet, have you ever seen what a Bear will do to a fruit tree to get at the fruit. Breaks it in half.

I'll be adding Chickens to the homestead in the Spring. I'm hoping to find inoculated eggs from a local Chicken keep and hatch them myself in a cage inside the cabin, where my Plott Hounds sleep via access through a Dog door cut in the wall. I think my Plotts will bond with the chicks and their motherly instincts will kick in, we'll see.

At any rate, Hounds are great at keeping large foraging critters off your edible plants. But, I'd advise to let them run loose. If you have a place that is appropriate for that, then let them run loose. Their noses are keen to scents on the air and will guard their territory vigorously.

I'm partial to Plotts, because they have gentle nature about them and are very loyal to each other and their Human.

Plotts are also fearless. Chasing after God-knows-what in the dark of the night. Expect them to get Snake bit a time or three. Just let them rest and offer them raw egg. If they make it past the 48 hour mark and begin to eat again, they'll live. And the more they get bit, the more Nature builds an immunity in their bodies against the poison.

I'll be adopting two Terrior breed soon, to manage the Deer Mice, Forest Rats, Squirrels (killed 17 of my Pecan seedlings) and Chipmunks. Jack Russell's probably, or perhaps a thicker furred version.

Most of all, love them. Let them know you do. They value being a part of a "pack" where they are excepted, rather than being chained up and left on their own. Never have understood people that chain a Dog all it's life.

Happy Dog Caretaking!
5 years ago
Hello Permies Community!

My name is Thomas and I fell in love with the Forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains a quarter of a century ago. Finally was able to find a little piece of heaven on 5.69 acres that was an exception reserved out from the family that homesteaded here when the US government purchased the many thousands of acres around it in 1913 to form the Pisgah National Forest. Their old fallen over stone chimney is still here, but their house has long since rotted back to the Earth. Of course, the Forest has reclaimed it's hold on the land with the canopy now being 60-80 feet tall, where once there was a field. Old American Chestnut logs and stps still can be found here.

I've come to call this place Star Gap Farm and its located 4 miles north of Old Fort, NC, 6 miles south of Mount Mitchell and 3 miles east of the Eastern Continental Divide.

Along with foraging for wild edibles and establishing "wild" colonies of edible plants, I'm clearing the land to plant an orchard of Pecans, Hazelnuts, Apples, Pears, Cherries, Serviceberries, Peaches, Plums, Paw-Paws, etc, etc. Beneath the orchard trees will be a broadcasting of tasty, domesticated plants being allowed to grow wild with a focus on perennials. Oh, and Muscadine and Scuppernong Grape vines. I do enjoy a bit of wine with a nice cut of Tobacco.

There is an abundance of clean Water here with two large creeks and two springs. Eventually I'll build a spring house and pipe water to my little cabin, but for now, fresh drinking water is 10', and lower than the cabin.

I don't own a car and the nearest regularly traveled road is a 50 min hike through the Forest, so getting materials in here to build with and general supplies are a challenge, but the benefits of being here far outweigh the inconveniences. I've built a 14'x8' cabin with a sleeping loft to live in until I can get the reclaimed brick in here to build the main house.

There is a gated USDA FS road that comes close, so I hire folks with trucks to bring heavier materials up here and carry them in pieces the 1/4 of a mile rest of the way on my back. Roman wasn't built in a day. Brick by brick. Sacks of seed by sacks of seed.

I will create a paradise out here. Will build a modest, energy and labor efficient, but comfortable brick house. Wood-fired Sauna. Trout ponds. Solar power (gas genies currently). A place from which I can feed those I love and hand off a life's work to a successor when I pass on.

Mollie and Maggie (Plott Hounds) are my constant companions, who I adopted from a local hunter last October and they do the job I "hired" them for which is to keep the critters away from the plants I'm raising. Dogs a certainly better than a fence, although there has been a Raccoon hanging around that keeps out smarting them, much to Maggie's frustration.

Well, if you've read this far, it's great to be able to connect with folks doing similar things. There are other folks homesteading here in the mountains, but its always good to connect with new people who are understanding of the challenges of living outside the generational imprinting that has brought on by modern life.

And possibly find that one in a billion woman who could handle making a life here together with me. A tough as nails woman who can work through her fears of the unknown and realize that fear exist only in the mind, which is a terrible neighborhood to be in the first place. I'm 40 years of age and have a 17, going on 30, year old daughter, so I'm open to a woman who has children already.

Great to internet-meet you all! If you want to see connect, drop me a line. And if any of you are getting married, I photograph weddings to make the green. You can see my work here - www.thomasmarlow.com. Mostly I shoot in Chicago, NY and LA, but can travel anywhere in the world. If you want to see photos of my progress out here, look me up on Facebook by searching Thomas Marlow.
5 years ago