Dan Boone

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since Jan 24, 2014
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Dan Boone gardens, plants fruit trees, and tends wild fruit and nut trees and vines in Central Oklahoma.
Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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Recent posts by Dan Boone

Roberto pokachinni wrote:So I got a bit more of an update from the accident scene yesterday.  The auger was a post hole digger, and what happened was that the auger grabbed onto a length of old wire that was buried in the sod, the wire whipped around and got around the guy's leg, and it constricted so tight on his leg that it could not be removed, even at the surgery at the clinic that I was at, where the ambulance brought him.  He was flown by medivac helicopter to Vancouver. 

Hey Roberto, just for clarity, do you know if we are talking about a post hole digger powered from a tractor power-takeoff unit, one of those stand-alone tow-behind post-hole-diggers with its own large engine, or the one-person gasoline-powered auger with what looks like a chainsaw engine on the top?

I'd say "asking for a friend" in the ironic manner of the kids on Twitter if I was sure the joke would translate; I just bought one of the cheap Chinese chainsaw-type dirt augers this spring and have been using it with great care.  I grew up around quite a bit of mining equipment and chainsaws and buzzsaws (we burned twenty cords of wood a winter along the Yukon River where I grew up) so I have a lot of respect for rotational energy and I thought I had enough imagination to comprehend all the likely ways in which it could maim me, but this one had not crossed my mind.  Am still trying to visualize if it's a one-person human-portable model that did this or one of the larger models that is independently glued to the ground by gravity and fed by a lot of horsepower. 
4 hours ago
I, too, am still seeing the bell go dark once I click on it.  (Chrome/Win10)
Hi, D, welcome to Permies!

To a man with a tractor, everything looks like an excuse to dig.  Boy do I wish I had one!  But I am a firm believer that swales are wonderful ... only when you can answer the question "why do I need one right here?" firmly and confidently.  And it does not sound like you are to that point, certainly not yet.

Indeed, from the sound of your description and the look of your photo, it's not manifestly obvious to me whether swales are a place you will wind up going.  You've got a nice property there but I'm not hearing the level of design confidence yet that says "time to do large-scale earthmoving".

I don't know if you've got the budget or time or inclination to get a permaculture designer to come in and sketch up some ideas for you, but it might be worthwhile.  If local legalities allow, my thoughts are that you ought to consider turning that wetland below your garden into an actual pond, which could dry out the rich but wet soil just uphill from the wetland, serve as garden water storage for future dry spells, give you a place to raise ducks or catfish or something similarly aquaponic, be a nice beauty feature, and probably serve a dozen other functions I haven't thought of because I'm not a permaculture designer.  It just seems like a huge feature of the property that somehow could be designed into greater functionality.
16 hours ago
I have posted in the past about my childhood experiences as impressed labor when my mother would compost salmon offal during the king salmon runs along the Yukon River in July:

We also toted the heads and guts from king salmon down to the garden in five gallon buckets and twenty gallon wash tubs, with instructions to dig holes in the garden rows and bury all the offal. That was disgusting; we never managed to bury them deep enough and they would float back to the surface in a state of terrible decay. Then we'd be yelled at and told to carry buckets of sawdust to go and cover the mess. Come spring the whole garden would be rototilled and shaped back into new rows, with fish vertebrae flying in all directions behind the rototiller. But by then the smell would be gone and the new crop of potatoes always thrived.

We also fed a lot to the chickens, a few times; but we didn't like how it flavored the eggs.
20 hours ago
I guess we're talking past each other, because it seems to me that you're saying the same thing as me now, only with more words.  No worries!
1 day ago
I have seen a lot of differing anecdotes and opinions and experience-based statements about the lifetimes of Eastern Red Cedar (a juniper) posts when buried in or exposed to soil, both here on this forum and locally in Oklahoma.  The thing is, none of them match each other. 

I am beginning to form my own theory that results are exquisitely sensitive to soil type, soil moisture levels, and possibly to local biota populations (mycology/insect), as well as to the nature of the wood itself (cf the heartwood/softwood distinction mentioned upthread).  It could even vary depending on weather patterns over the years in question, with resulting effects on whether and for how long soils in contact with the wood stay saturated. 

Overall, folks in these parts report much better luck with buried bark-on cedar fence posts than the collected "received wisdom" of most folks here on Permies.  But there is a ton of variability even in local accounts.  I no longer give much weight to other people's heavy pronouncements of fact on this topic; my silent question is "did you set those posts in my yard?"  In fact I set some Red Cedar posts of my own in a non-critical application (a dog fence) about three months ago, so I'll start getting my own data in months and years to come.  
1 day ago
Update: The pump-machine snobs can sneer all they want, but this morning's mocha was the first real cup of coffee I've had since I crossed the spine of the Rocky Mountains heading east in May of 2017.  I may actually have to start caring about beans and grind again, but even with the crap on hand, this machine blew away what I've been drinking.  It's a royal pain in the ass to *use*, but a note for fellow frugality-hounds: it extracts a great deal more virtue from the grind than the tepid hot water of the Keurig does.  My overall mug was at least twice as strong as usual, on the amount of grounds that would fit in a single Keurig cup or reusable basket.

(Note that what is currently on hand is a mixture of espresso-grind dark roast generic supermarket coffee and mystery flavored crap ground for drip brewing. Once I've worked through that I'll treat myself to a bag of real beans -- can't get anything too special here but I can go to the city and find something fairly freshly roasted in a vacuum pack -- and grind it myself for a proper test of this new toy.)
1 day ago
We are lucky to be rural enough that deer aren't a problem on our 40 acres; in fact, we welcome the ones that hole up here, figuring they are a protein reserve for hard times.  But we are surrounded by hunting neighbors and wild coyote packs, and I joke that we are harboring a pack of coyotes that sleeps in our living room on our couches, led by a wolf -- by which I mean our four large dogs that are slavish minions to our huge new LGD.  One serious bork from him on the other side of the property and they all go flying...

Our dogs keep the deer out of our immediate yard and garden areas (call it my zones 1-3) and the coyotes off the property entirely; that leaves room for a few deer to visit zones 4-5, but though I have seen up to 8-9 at a time, there's rarely more than three back there, because my shooty neighbors blast them every fall, with no small amount of poaching at other times of year. 

My shooty neighbors also believe in killing coyotes on sight but apparently they suck at it, because on any given night I can hear packs singing in three different directions.  Now that my dogs have a 150lb boss-behemoth they want to go out and take on the packs, but I try not to let them; they are the worst collection of limpy misfit beat up old rescue dogs you ever saw, and they would get outsmarted, separated in the dark, and defeated in detail, despite having all kinds of spirit and good intentions.   My one dog that looks vaguely like a German Shephard did come home with the tip of a coyote tail one time though and carried it around for days like a conquering hero.  Proudest dog you ever saw!
1 day ago

Dan Boone wrote:I'm a frugal garage sale hound in darkest red-state heck.  It's possible that a home/countertop espresso machine will turn up at a garage sale for a price I'm willing to pay, one fine day... but it hasn't happened yet.

Talk about bread upon the waters!  Picked one up from a church rummage sale this morning for five bucks.  (I do love a good church rummage sale.)  It was filthy and I'm still working on cleaning it up, but the nice church lady who was helping run the sale assured me it works, because her husband donated it to the sale.  Church ladies never lie. 

The internet tells me that serious espresso drinkers sneer at these steam machines, but then, they weren't very impressed with my Keurig hot-water pump-through-a-basket stuff either.  It's a tiny-dollars upgrade.  I'll throw some bread back out there: maybe next week a nine-bars-of-atmospheric-pressure restaurant-quality pump-type made-in-Italy restaurant-quality chrome-and-brass espresso machine will fall into my clutches for twenty bucks.  Not holding my breath, though.
1 day ago
"There's a fortune hidden somewhere in the Rocky Mountains."  This statement (headline from Business Insider) and pretty much everything else in this thread that's stated as fact about this fun treasure hunt (except that the gold is not known to have been found) all traces back to a single source: Forrest Fenn and his various statements and writings. 

It's fun, yes, but it could as easily be fiction as fact.  More easily, in a literal sense; it would have been easier to get to where we are in the story today if the treasure never existed and Fenn were merely a convincing fabulist.

In order to have fun actually chasing this treasure, a person would have to do the "faith" thing, putting trust in an eccentric old man and believing that he's not laughing in his beard at the people stumbling through the mountains looking for something that might or might not ever have existed.

How I see it, anyway.
2 days ago