Melvin Hendrix

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since Oct 27, 2013
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Recent posts by Melvin Hendrix

Hi, Big Al. Not having coppiced the trees yet, I am still confident that it works, having coppiced other plants for years. My ash trees are very mature, some more than 50 feet in height, but I'm willing to top them off to obtain the wood and prevent the trees closest to the house from falling on it. The one secondary reaction may be the survival of the pest over winter, but once you start sawing the trunk into manageable sections, you should be able to identify the areas where they are located. The trees are most affected where the larvae reside. Your arborist will be able to identify the entry point by the familiar D shape. If you choose to harvest for logs, then you will need to go over the trees with a fine tooth comb in order to control their development not only in your landscape, but your neighbor's also.

Each year I treat, hundreds of mature borers are forced to evacuate from the trees and are all over the garden, but are not a threat, since they are in the process of dying from the chemical treatment, administered in early spring when the sap starts to rise. They are tiny borers, about 1/8 - 1/4 inch. You probably see them every spring if the EAB is a problem in your area, but they do not look threatening. The treatments have saved the trees, but like many permies, using the chemical is problematic. And, of course, the trees must be treated annually since our state governments have not acted judiciously in introducing the wasp that is a natural enemy of the EAB. EAB further underlines why monoculture in the landscape breeds problems that polyculture, even in an orchard, can help to abate.
4 years ago
Hi, Lorenzo. Great question for permies not based in the US or Canada What you need to know is whether the Home Battery DVD's are available in PAL (region 2:Europe) format or just in region 1 DVD (North America) format. Once that question is answered, then you will know what you need to do. For future reference, there are a number of media converters available that are not too expensive, around USD30. I use MacTheRipper, a software for Mac, with great success. For Windows, the following forum discusses some other options: VideoHelp Forum
4 years ago
Great point about ash and the emerald ash borer, Valerie. I have a ton of ash on my property and need to start coppicing some of the trees, instead of treating all of them. This will be a winter project if I can find the right arborist.
4 years ago
Hi, guys. I'm interested in a solar energy configuration that I can install as inexpensively as possible in rural homes or village locations in a developing country. Those of you familiar with the Barefoot College know that this institution recruits and trains grandmothers from developing countries for 6 months of training as solar engineers. I'd like to promote a similar venture. Any ideas and interest in this type of project would be appreciated.
4 years ago
To join the familiar refrain to the initial question, there are many plants that can be grown for use in RHM. Ironwood is a tree with a narrow trunk, similar to honey locust, and the wood burns hot. I prefer shrubs as opposed to trees for ease of coppicing and storage. No expensive equipment required. Harvesting can be accomplished with hand tools with your feet on the ground. Plus, the plants can be grown in zones 1 and 2. Arrowwood viburnum can be pruned back regularly and its branches in a mature plant are 3-4 feet long. Sour cherry has branches 2-6 feet in length and can be pruned a couple of times per season, if berries are not desired. Elderberry grows to enormous heights each year, the stems dry quickly, and produces long reeds 8-10 feet or more that can be chopped up and used for kindling or mixed with sawdust and pelleted. Willow branches come in different diameters, and produce an enormous amount of wood from each plant that is easy to store.
4 years ago
Bippy, thanks for the suggestion. I've used stones of varying heights in the water basins, but not marbles. I've got a bunch that needs repurposing and will do so this season.
4 years ago
Paul mentioned that Christy was going to offer some advice about providing water for bees. There are several insectary beds in my garden with plants covered with bees and other pollinators during the season. Water is provided at several locations, one with a slow dripping hose. The wasps seem to frequent more often than others. What does christy recommend.

4 years ago
Thanks for the historical overview, yukkuri. Shows how unintended consequences can change the political-economic landscape of a region. Given the self-interests involved and Japan's need for broad-based solutions other than nuclear, there can be little doubt that solar sharing on agriculture lands have a future. What is interesting, too, as you suggest, is that the solar sharing projects are thus far all located in eastern prefectures and how they may be impacted by the fallout (excuse the pun) from the Fukashima Nuclear disaster area from both land and sea. No sane person wants those spent fuel rods to create the type of disaster that they portend. Many Japanese consumers already are not buying food products from the region; when neighbors stop buying locally produced foods because of the threat of radiation it's likely the only income farmers will earn will be from their solar cells, which is still much more revenue than derived from farming. I suspect, too, that if consumer fear or more explosions occur at Fukashima, it is likely that the 80%-20% policy will be revisited.

As an aside, I've always been impressed by the capabilities of local communities in Japan to organize and fight the big fight against government, including wearing the same protective gear as the authorities. Even when people are jailed or their protests meet formidable force, they still quickly impact policy as no political party is interested in seeing more communities follow the same path of resistance to current policy.
5 years ago