Guerric Kendall

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since Oct 09, 2013
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zone 6a, NY
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Recent posts by Guerric Kendall

It may be viable that bacteria in their stomach can digest styrofoam.... But how are you planning on getting them to eat it? Having raised mealworms in styrofoam containers, without them ever damaging it, I think asking whether it renders them inedible is getting ahead of ourselves here. I've seen this come up from time to time as in this thread here, but have yet to actually see anybody get them to eat it.
6 years ago
Today I learned about the process felt hats are made from rabbit fur. (I always thought there was only wool felt!)
7 years ago
To me the main question is why?
If you rig up something to let the chickens out, won't you still have to walk there anyway to gather the eggs?
And likewise, if the door closing is automated at night, who will check if everybody's in? If any chickens are hurt? Have decided to roost in a tree?

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of making things easier. That's why dogs are wonderful on the homestead. They know what they have to do, and they do it well. That's why we have mulch instead of timed watering systems. Gravity-based feeders and waterers instead of tossing feed by hand and carrying water in bucket, and goodness knows what other labor-saving devices.

But when you take the human factor out of things, and have automation for the sake of automation, other areas get passed over. Everything needs to be thought of thoroughly, rather than just being attracted to the shiny new stuff.
7 years ago
Many of us do lots of learning and research day to day on permaculture, homesteading, and farming, but we keep it all to ourselves unless someone asks or we find a topic to mention it on.

So this thread is for anything that isn't so big it needs an informational thread started, but where we can share and exchange links and little ideas.

I'll start:
Today I learned about heating walls for crops, and how you can keep grapes fresh for long-term using bottles of water.

(Please try to avoid things that could be considered cider press stuff, or advertising.)
7 years ago
No, they won't. They'll make it their home base and come back there every few hours, but they won't stay there if they feel the need to go off exploring. And they're not like chickens who sometimes split off into small groups. If one decides to go investigate something, they all will.

Bird fences don't need to be elaborate, but my biggest worry would be aerial predators hovering over that open field...
7 years ago
Sorry if this isn't helpful towards your question, but I definitely agree with rabbit stew.

I've had rabbits that needed to be adopted by another mother(that had kits too) after theirs died after/during birth. Also, dead/stillborn kits needing to be removed from the nest box(that's often what starts the kit-eating habit).

And there have been other occasions which are not so life/death, such as moving the entire family since a rabbit in a cage nearby had mites, cleaning dirty/wet bedding, or needing to sex them at a young age.

I've told this to a few friends who raise rabbits too, and they were shocked. None of the instances caused any issues though. A lot of people may not agree with this, but they can stand it- and need to, for the health of the kits.

I've never agreed with the notion of not interfering with farm animals. They're domesticated, bred in captivity, and require care.

If a mother has a bad habit, then she needs to go. It's the same for any other animal, such as chickens who eat eggs.
7 years ago
I've always seen "should" as advice, an option, rather than an order or demand. Maybe it's a cultural difference, but I've always found it odd how people are so touchy about any phrasing that could possibly be construed as an telling another what to do. And the possibly vitriolic response may accompany it.

That said, on the opposite end- I used the search function to check how often I actually use the word should on permies, and I think I'm pretty good at not should'ing people. Usually I use it in saying [this/that/they] should [work/be fine/do okay/be enough]. I hope that's an okay use of the word should? It doesn't seem to fall into the whole teaching someone problem.

My default is usually "you could". The only time I consciously use "I would" in order to avoid confrontation, is when saying what I would do when it comes to a medical situation.

paul wheaton wrote:If nothing else, please compare "I found a great article. You should read it." and "I found a great article." .... or "I found a great article. I think you would enjoy it."

This is interesting. The first option is what I would expect from someone, and I'm very likely to read it, especially if it's someone who's judgement I trust. It seems like a friendly invitation to me, like "We're having a party tonight. You should come." Not an order. The second, reminds me of the sideways manner of speaking often found in marketing/advertisement. Maybe it's specifically because people don't often use it that I find the wording odd, but then that's another problem.
Oooh I saw that Osterizer in the thumbnail and just had to check out this thread. I love those old blenders. I had one that was from the 70's too, got it from my parents. It lasted up until 5 years ago under heavy use. Then about 3 years ago(and 2 new blenders later) I see another such vintage blender at a garage sale from a woman who it turns out got it from her mother, and didn't really know how many decades old it was. I still can't believe she let it go for $3, but I expect that machine to be lasting at least another 20 years.

If you want a kitchen appliance that lasts, go on ebay, or scour yard sales and thrift stores. Just keep checking for something that's proven itself for decades, and it'll prove itself for you too.
7 years ago
Youtube comment upvoted. √

Todd Parr wrote:If I try to explain most permaculture principles to my own family, they shake their heads and laugh about Todd with his crazy ideas.  I've long ago given up trying to explain most anything I do to anyone.  Let's face it, most people are simply not willing put forth any more effort than it takes to buy a different kind of light bulb.  Make a giant pile of rotting wood in your yard and cover it with dirt to grow plants?  How about I just plant things, water them 3 times a week and put some fertilizer on?  Spend the time and effort it takes to figure out how to build a rocket mass heater, buy the supplies, spend hours making adobe, split or gather wood, hope I got it right so that my house doesn't fill up with smoke, hope I don't ever have to sell the house with the "no way in hell it passes" heating system, and learn to live with a giant barrel in the middle of my living room?  How about I walk over and turn the thermostat up instead?  Prepare my soil, bring in organic matter, build my soil web, and try to nurture my plants, save my seeds, possibly start my own landrace?  How about I buy a fifty pound bag of potatoes for $6?

People who do this, myself included, have to do it because they love it.  "The masses" are never going to switch to a permaculture lifestyle unless they are forced to by some catastrophe that makes the permaculture lifestyle easier than the current mode of operation.  I am very grateful to Paul, Geoff Lawton, etc. because without them, I would never have found this path.  If people continue to put the information out there, other people like me that are ready will find it.  I don't think it will happen quickly, but I personally am not trying to change the world.  I'm just trying to make my little piece of it better.  

This. This needed to be said. I tried to say a similar thing in my post, but deleted it since it wasn't coming out right. Even in the farming/homesteading community, it's incredibly hard to promote permaculture. I've tried giving permie-style answers to questions on the other forums I'm on, and the response is pretty much the same. Very few care unless there is a significant, tangible benefit to the person doing it. And even then, most people take the path of convenience, or bow to social/cultural norms.

Especially when it comes to gardening. Mostly only newbies will change things up. Otherwise, you'll find them to be incredibly protective of their water 3x a week and add fertilizer style. And they are the people closest to the permaculture lifestyle. So random people on the web? ....Nope.... So I completely agree. Permaculture is a labor of love. Not something you can convert the masses to.

Honestly, I feel like innovation is better than promotion, but then I remember the overwhelming amount I still don't know after years of research and yup, re-covering old information is maybe better.

I'm willing to be there and help if Paul wants to try anything. Who knows. If anyone can find a way, he can. But I do agree.
I've noticed that before with amaranth, but never thought it odd?

Include amaranth leaves as higher in protein than seeds, and both directly relate to chickens, so there's no mistaking it with ruminant percentage.

....Perhaps chicken food is better when it isn't boiled?

Honestly, I'd just choose a number and stick to it. Basically every source has it's opinion, and with many animals, you have a significant range of leeway, such as with chickens (16%-21%). Better to little protein than too much. Too high protein can result in digestive problems as well as gout, when excess protein is excreted by the kidneys and results in high amounts of uric acid.
7 years ago