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Brian Murphy

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since Jan 09, 2014
Dublin, Ireland
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Recent posts by Brian Murphy

hi Richard - any joy with the herbs?
saw this today and thought you might find it interesting :
here's hoping!
3 years ago
Hi all.

i happen to be T1 for past 8 years. and a doctor - though an anaesthetist.

back before insulin t1dm had a 100% mortality rate.
Without insulin Richard, you and I will be dead - i would imagine - within matter of weeks, probably sooner, while eating carbs. You might be able to extend that longer eating a completely carb free diet - buuuut i wouldnt advocate trying it. while you might be able to stave off symptomatic dka through absolute avoidance of carbs and exercise for a period (people are indeed correct that most cells can ultilise ketone bodies instead of glucose), the body recognises it as being in starvation due to the lack of insulin in the bloodstream. so even though you might have high glucose levels and have eaten a big carb free meal of meat eggs and veg - it will still breakdown fat and muscle to turn into ketones. these ketones are acidic and change the pH of your blood.
normal physiological pH is 7.35 to 7.45. pH's <7 are critical and easily lead to cardiac arrest.
the important think to bear in mind that even if you do not eat ANY carbs, you still need insulin to prevent these physiological changes. (ketotic diets are different as the patient still retains his/her ability to  secrete insulin - even if in very small amounts, to prevent these changes) you richard will run with a basal rate and an extra bolus ability for when you eat. I have an accu-chek spirit pump - does the same thing. this is the reason why.

I have treated people in ICU presenting with DKA comas - histories are always vague, but they typically have stopped taking their insulin for a only matter of days, or indeed had been taking their insulin but not enough when they were sick.

People are correct to delineate the difference between t1 + t2 dm, but with respect i'm not too sure i would be willing to try out some of the recommendations suggested. the medicinal mushroom pubmed link is just to an abstract - not the article and no mention of type of DM. I dont intend on giving myself a coffee enema for 2 hours every day and I take everything Mr. mercola says with an enormous pale of salt.

you can do whatever you like with your own body. if you want to try something go on ahead! you have the ability yourself to check on how they work for you. you can take off the pump and monitor your own blood glucose yourself  -we've both been doing it for years! dont be afraid to put the pump back on when youi see the numbers rise.

an anecdote however. before i had the pump i was using levemir twice daily - 6iu morning and 10iu nightly. plus 1:10 insulin:gram ratio of novorapid for food bolus. i started training relatively intensively for a triathlon - evercising ~5 days a week. either 60 km on the bike, 15 km run or both. in the midst of training my levemir useage had dropped to ~ 1iu in the morning, 4iu at night and ratio had dropped in half. and i was still getting hypos daily doing normal stuff. it isnt rocket science or to be unexpected. your liver (as someone mentioned) stores glucose as glycogen. your muscles also store some. as it gets used up it needs replacing, and when it does so it becomes relatively more sensitive to insulin. sensitivity to insulin is a huge part of t2dm (they have loads of insulin, but they are not sensitive to it). If you want to reduce your insulin requirements, exercise like a demon! but rest assured, you will still need some to prevent your body initiating 'starvation mode'.
personally i dont believe there is likely to be a 'herbal remedy' that can stop my wbc's from killing my beta cells and thus render me t1dm free. but i certainly have not tried any. if there was a legitimate and sound scientific basis for why they might work and some kind of evidence for it  then i might consider giving them a shot. but ultimately i believe anyone trying to sell us some herb to 'cure' my dm most likely to be a shill.

as has been mentioned insulin secreting beta cells that can be injected are in the pipeline. talking to my own consultant ~12 months ago he believes there could be big discoveries in the next decade. he thinks we'll stop treating t1dm with insulin within his lifetime.
3 years ago

Earl Mardle wrote:

Elijah Kim wrote:First off, I have a little experience with gardening/permaculture, but ultimately... yea I'm a newb.

So we have some land and won't be moving there for at least 3 years... I'm wondering what I can/should be doing to help prep us for our eventual move to the property. I have a rough idea, but would love the input of someone who has a little more expertise than I currently do. The property is currently 24 hrs away so we only get back once a year during summer leave (Julyish).

I would start by asking why you are doing this, and why you chose this particular property.

I don't want to seem mercenary but what is your budget and your time frame?

Until those things are clear you can't start planning for what you are supposed to achieve.

Also dont want to seem a mercenary but i think you firstly need to decide how much you need to earn to cover your basic living costs over the next 5 years as any permaculture 'system' is going to take years before getting anywhere.
80 ac seems like a big area, and it is but i think you need to decide how to cover your costs most efficiently. Jean martin fortier is (yet) another youtubeable resource who's (and wife's) farm interestingly makes >100k on <10 ac and if i remember correctly requires 3 fulltime staff. However his BIGGEST advantage is that hes < 1 hour to a major population centre in montreal thus market gardening is a viable and profitable venture. I note that your nearest town has a population of 7k as per wikipedia and the county in general has 20k. I dont know the area at all so you will have to decide for yourself what YOUR advantage is. However if your population (potential market) is small all i would say is be realistic about possible sales of produce locally.
I was in your thought mode a couple of years ago in terms of maybe establishing a permaculture system which turns a profit however i realised what i most loved about being outside was just being in nature, wildlife and physically active unlike my dayjob. I also realised that there would be nothing as terrifying or daunting than looking at a piece of land and thinking to myself 'this HAS to pay its way' AND trying to do it trying something i dont have experience with. I would hate to fall out of love with the land due to pressure of earning a living from it.
Perhaps the most realistic thing to do would be consider whether a 'dayjob' would be wisest and of course doing homesteading and establishing permaculture systems with spare time etc. If they prove successful then great.

In my own situation i have a reasonable farm size (40 ac) within 15 miles of dublin city centre as the crow flies. I have most of it leased out to someone grazing cattle. I have a stream with trout , pheasants (i dont allow random hunters from shooting so they can hide here) rabbits and hares eating my newly planted trees (sigh), and buzzards living nearby who swoop by my kitchen window on a daily basis and will probably eat my chickens one day. I do work the dayjob. Im going to trial cobnuts on a reasonable area. I will plant trees and berries and veg. But in my own time. Do i regret this choice? Not a bit.

Btw id knock the idea of setting up a permaculture course centre on the head as a 'goal'. Joel salatin appears to earn sizeable revenue from courses books and possible public speaking, but its driven by being very successful at his day job. Everything else followed suit.
Best of luck with everything you do!
3 years ago
so i've recently purchased a property which has a stream flowing through it - not very big. maybe 18ft wide, currently 16 inches deep - though have no idea what its like in winter. it flows year round, and i have the land on both sides of the river for approx 200m. i also do not know what the flow is like - but it has no significant drop in height from entry to exit from the property.
Generating electricity from it was not on the agenda until after i bought the place, and am now attempting to determine if it would be a realistic proposition. I have no huge determination to generate electricity as am not in an off-grid situation, however think it might be funky and a bit of fun to do - if done right.
there a various micro-hydro videos on youtube - but generally involve having a reasonable drop in order to create the power necessary to generate sufficient electricity. i came across
- the hydrocat which is technically a boat, fixed with cable, floats on the surface, and has a turbine which rotates with water flow generating electricity. this seems ideal to me, as planning might be an issue in the area for something more permanent.

they have published an interesting pdf which has the various models and pricing too with expected electricity generation for respective water flow rates. i have no idea how this compares with other personal renewable sources of energy... the 'green' electricity company is airtricity - which charges approx 18c per kwh currently.
there is no building on the land - but i would ultimately hope to power a single home and associated outhouses for workshops / garage.

Does anyone have any thoughts on these? i am completely open to considering all other alternatives to this and would be grateful for any advice at all in relation to this topic as i am a complete novice
5 years ago
Howdy -
Found this
video which demonstrates a nifty integrated veggie and chicken system.

Thoughts? seems to incorporate some of PW's podcast ideas on keeping chickens - though size wise nowhere near sufficient for the chickens to feed without human inputs. I've never kept chickens - any ideas on how big each enclosure would need to be for that aim even just for summer months?

regardless of whether it is possible to set up so the chicks don't need feeding, thought it was an attractive method of keeping the chickens and worth sharing!
5 years ago
May not be entirely useful - but over here in the ireland we tend to have lots of small fields which are demarcated with hedges - almost exclusively made from whitethorn/blackthorn/hawthorn which are excellent living barriers as...thorny. Plant 12-18 inches apart. After a 4/5 years the branches can be 'layed' horizontally (where a cut is made approx 50% of the thickness and the vertical bough pulled horizontally. this makes the hedge a lot less liable to breakthrough by cattle. the wound will close over and the horizontal branch will sprout new vertical branches, thickening up the barrier nicely. Also is a dense wood which burns well though liable to spitting if in an open fire. Carefully managed you can have a good fence and a source of firewood. While these species may not be available in your area, the idea of laying the branches horizontally after a few years may be useful. main problem is in the initial period before it is mature enough to keep animals in/out. also if not managed well the vertical boughs can get over vigorous causing your fence to thin and become a bit useless.
5 years ago
thanks for the reply - in the end i didnt go for it - mainly because of logistical reasons for work etc, and the lack of a dwelling makes planning permission a pain. am investigating another parcel of land which should improve those areas though
5 years ago
Is there a gradient running from the road at the top of your diagram to the water channel at the bottom? what kind of water is this - stream/standing runoff water? just wondering if it would be possible to create some kind of stream running in a through your property from one side to the other to do your irrigation for you - though you prob have already thought of this...a pic might be handy.
5 years ago
Thanks for replys!
There is only a small area which seems boggy near the river. Perhaps the Formation of the ditches resulted in the land drying somewhat.
Bees are definitely on my list. While the is some crop ag nearby, its dairy and sucklers beside as far as I can tell. Dairy in ireland typically involves a paddock shift system like paul wheatons chicken example referred to earlier.
Will try get some topographical maps if available...will let ye know what happens!
5 years ago
Hi all, first post but been lurking a little while.

I am looking around for a potential site to build a house and establish a permaculture based homestead - though not in any huge rush at this point. my gf and i are both medics and moving around quite a bit while on training schemes - relevant as while i can purchase land now i probably wont be in a position to work the land much other than tilling it (i think there has been significant compaction from horses), seeding it (lots of dock weeds), establishing trees, potential earthworks etc.

anyway a 27acre parcel has come up which is approx 30mins from dublin city centre which is as good as can be expected. i have walked it for the first time today and was reasonably drawn to it, however it is essentially flat, and the shape is a little unwieldy as is is a long rectangle (approx 200 paces wide) with the road access on the narrow edge.

i have included an edited google earth pic...

Here are some of my markings -
north is top; area marked '1' is a small stream which has good flow at present as we've had a decent spell of wet weather - from its condition i'd imagine it is all year round, though probably a trickle in the summer. A small concrete bridge allows access.
the other blue markings are a network of ditches with small streams running currently though i imagine them to be dry in summer.

anyway - my principle question is - is completely flat land like this a disadvantage? - the lack of a hill / reasonable slope prevents decent swales and water collection earthworks however that may be mitigated by living in ireland (zone 9, average daytime temp 4-20C / 40-68 F; av monthly rainfall 50-80 mm / 2-3 inches) , and having a probable year-round stream.
Also, one of the joys of being in the countryside is waking up to lovely landscape every day - i don't include a hedge 100 yards from my window in that...

Any other thoughts? suggestions? observations? anecdotes?

I should probably mention my aims for the land:
Build a home, grow veggies, fruit orchard, chickens (paddock system that the amazing...the wonderful...the gargantuan...paul wheton advocates), permaculture pond is important as both source of fish but also an area for wildlife to proliferate. Use some to perhaps raise a few cattle, cow/2 for milk, possibly have a horse. Ideally establish a food forest.
Generate some electricity, possibly heat my home with wood exclusively in the long-term.
I don't envisage using this as an income generator, though i would like to give excess away to friends, family, neighbours - i would ideally job-share long term. My gf is not exactly farmer material though she would happily live on one.

5 years ago