Daniel Gair

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since Nov 25, 2013
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Recent posts by Daniel Gair

Our goats free range and during the rainy season when the jungle kicks in so does the milk. We had them nearly dry in June, mostly so we can travel and then the rain hit and they were off and full of milk again. We will try the Dolomite if I can find it here in Mexico.
Thanks so
Much!
Holly
We have a motley mix of milkers here in Mexico. Our issue for the last decade has been drying the ladies off when it’s the end of our season and we are ready to breed them for the following year.we have not found a great way to efficiently reduce milk supply without high incidence of mastitis. Of course we go from one milking a day to every other, etc., but still often have issues.
Would love to have your thoughts on this.
Many congrats on your book, it’s hard work to be sure. My hubby, Dan just published “The Mexico Diaries”, an account of living off grid in rural Mexico.

Amedean Messan wrote:I have been working for a few days on a project to construct a highly affordable method for manufacturing a CEB.  If you are familiar with CEB construction than you understand that these machines can be incredibly costly which limits use.  I wanted to have the option for making CEB for retaining walls or raised bed gardens so I did some research on making something good enough and affordable for those small projects.  So far I am almost finished with my design but I hit a snag with the block mold.   I did the press in Solidworks below.



The press should generate over two tons of force.  I decided to go to Lowe's Home Improvement today and spent a little over 30 dollars in materials to construct the press.  There is about 9 inches of clearance from the base to the contact board where the force is directed.





Again, the compressive force from the press pulled out the screws from the wood easily when I tried to form a block from clay soil.  I wish I took a picture of the block I made but it clearly had enough compression to harden significantly which proves the viability of this economical method for constructing CEB.  Here is the very basic mold I constructed.



SO this leaves me with the final design challenge which will require me to construct a mold which can be withstand the compressive forces applied by the press.  I will also have to look into making an efficient process to extract the block from the mold.  Obviously when the dirt is compressed it creates increased friction along the walls so in the next few days I will potentially have the mold constructed of two pieces - the outer wall to confine the internal stresses and an inner wall which will allow me to extract the block.



We have constructed a guest house with CEB and used a substantial stone foundation to protect the blocks from rain & water. I really can’t picture how you can use these for raised garden beds?
7 months ago
cob
Have you already begun your foundation?
We decided to go with a 7 meter rondaval made with cob and a reciprocal roof. Even at that size we needed to create a bump out for the bathroom, shower and closet. We still made it too small once we realized things we need to store. Even here in Mexico it gets colder in the winter so blankets, jackets & rainboots have no home. Brooms, buckets & mops. Forget storing tools and this is with the kitchen in another rondaval same size. There are two of us & hubby  has way too many musical instruments. Just saying you may want to look at what you own first and make sure there is a home for all of it in your design.
Enjoy the process!
Holly
7 months ago
cob
We are in an arid subtropical climate in Mexico. Last summer we planted a bean crop to cover all bare areas that we had cleaned. The bean bushes grew quickly and produce small, purple flowers with dark green leaves about 24” high. I love them! They’re still green a year later with minimal water, produce more beans for ground cover and can be eaten, although I don’t care for them in the pot. They’ve shaded our bananas & papaya roots perfectly and discouraged weeds elsewhere.
We hosted two volunteers initially to help build the beds and the frames to keep the chickens out and provide shade. You may want to check out Workaway and/or HelpX, even WOOFER for some help. They can stay in tents.
Good Luck!
Holly
Rancho Sol y Mar
8 months ago
I treated my urinary tract infection quickly with crushed Corinander seeds and fresh cilantro as a tea in addition to copious amounts of organic cocnut water. 24 hours later pain and frequent urination were gone.
Dr Sharon Tilgner may also have suggestions for this thread?
8 months ago
Rancho Sol y Mar is pleased to offer a unique and exciting program for travelers to Mexico. EEP! (Experiential Education Program!) provides an affordable & fun learning experience in one of the most gorgeous natural settings imaginable. Just steps from one of Mexico’s most pristine, swimmable beaches, the program includes daily hands-on instruction in a wide variety of interests including: Permaculture concepts, building with natural, local materials, animal husbandry (chickens and goats), solar energy systems, nursery propagation techniques, composting, and other related homesteading practices. EEP! will also include additional practical learning in such diverse skill sets as carpentry basics, fencing, knot tying, animal care, introduction to tools, food processing, and more!

Tuition (aprox. $33 U.S.D. per day) includes accommodations, 2 veg/flex meals/day, and instruction. Flexible rolling admission. 1 week minimum and advanced notice of arrival preferred. email: ranchosolymar@gmail.com For more information: www.ranchosolymar.com Rancho Sol y Mar
1 year ago
Rancho Sol y Mar, a working Permaculture ranch and sustainability education center located on the Pacific coast of Mexico is looking for a new Director for its Experiential Education Program (EEP!). Rancho Sol y Mar is beautifully situated in a small, friendly beach town about two hours south of Puerto Vallarta.

Our current opening is for an individual or couple who have advanced organic gardening experience, particularly in the tropics  or sub tropics. This position will run November 2017 through spring 2018, with the possibility to continue seasonally or year round. The position involves managing and educating students in entry level homesteading and/or Permaculture knowledge. This opportunity will include lodging and a generous profit sharing plan for the right candidate(s). Intermediate or higher Spanish, teaching experience, PDC certification, vegetarian cooking, and gardening experience in the tropics are all a plus in applying for this position.

Please contact us at: ranchosolymar@gmail.com or come meet us at the Permaculture Convergence in Hopland CA, Oct. th/8th!
1 year ago
Seeking Manager or Manager couple for guest house at off-grid ranch, short walk from a spectacular, unspoiled beach on the pacific coast of Mexico. This exchange runs mid-October through Mid-December 2017, and may be extended. Comfortable lodging, bulk food, internet, and profit sharing provided. Candidate(s) must have intermediate or higher Spanish, and be very comfortable living in BIG nature. Experience with life in rural Latin America, hospitality, gardening, farm animals, all a plus. Owners will be on property most times but occasional care taking of entire ranch for stretches of a few days will be needed. This is our shoulder season so guest stays are sporadic, but generally 4-5 hours per day is ample time to cover all duties. Time not occupied with guest house duties will be spent gardening, with plenty of free time to explore the beach, local fishing village, etc. Please email ranchosolymar@gmail.com or meet us at the Permaculture Convergence in Hopland CA, Oct. 7th/8th!

We also have a job opening for a Director of our Experiential Education Program (see separate ad at job opportunities link)
1 year ago
Care Taker / Care Taker Couple

Rancho Sol y Mar, a working ranch and Permaculture center, is looking for a summer or possible year-round caretaker or caretaker couple. Rancho Sol y Mar is beautifully situated in a small, friendly beach town about two hours south of Puerto Vallarta. Summer is the slow season here in Mexico, and we (the owners) will be away for the three months this position lasts for (July through September). Duties include basic animal care (goats, chickens, cats & a dog), house & garden upkeep, managing our local helper 1-2 days a week, and keeping a general eye on the place. Comfortable accommodations and stipend sufficient to cover living expenses provided. Spanish, ranch animal care, and off-grid living experience all a plus. Skype Interview + Professional References will be required.

Ongoing Involvement...

In addition to the summer position above, Rancho Sol y Mar is also searching for an individual or couple interested in a longer term situation. This open ended, year-round opportunity involves covering the above three month late summer stint with plenty of time off to pursue own interests, either away or here at the ranch, during the rest of the year. This opportunity will include use of a house or comfortable screen casita, kitchen, garden, dipping pool and most of the other ranch facilities. Compensation is in the form of having a long term residence and use of the ranch's Permaculture based infrastructure plus food from the gardens and fruit orchards, all set in a superb, tropical beach locale. This compensation is offered in exchange for the above summer coverage plus occasional shorter periods of a week or two when the owners are away during the rest of the year. Applicants for this longer term involvement should have some savings and/or a means for earning outside income. Teaching Permaculture, Organic Gardening, Homesteading skills or other things like Yoga or Spanish to our visiting travelers is another possible means of supplementing income while here. Knowledge of Permaculture, organic gardening, off-grid electric systems, Spanish fluency, entrepreneurial experience, and experience living in the tropics are all big pluses in applying for this position. Skype Interview + Professional References will be required. This opportunity will involve a trial run through the end of 2017.

To apply for either the summer position or the longer term involvement opportunity please visit the FAQ's page at www.ranchosolymar.com.

2 years ago