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

Found a quick video that makes it look a bit easier to use a vegetable peeler than a knife on this job:

3 hours ago

Mike Haasl wrote:
Each Amazon delivery equals X tons of carbon

I'm not quibbling ... in fact I'm appalled at how sometimes during the pandemic we've had a UPS truck turn up in our rural driveway to drop off a badly-needed six-ounce item that we thought was being shipped in the same box as thirty pounds worth of other stuff -- but my rough back-of-the-envelope calculation puts the carbon footprint of an Amazon delivery at more like 35 pounds than any number of tons.  

In 2019, Amazon says (they could be lying, but they have various incentives not to fudge the numbers too much) they had a total carbon footprint of 51,000,000 metric tons.  Obviously a bunch of that is in warehouses and such, but if we take the delivery to be the ultimate point of the enterprise and apportion the whole carbon budget among the deliveries, well, how many deliveries did they make?  2,500,000,000, according to this. 51,000,000 divided by 2,500,000,000 is .0204 metric tons per delivery.  A metric ton is ten percent bigger than a real ton, so it's .01836 tons or 36.72 pounds of carbon footprint per delivery.  I would not put much faith in this calculation but it helps me understand orders of magnitude; call it closer to 35 pounds than to three and a half or 350.

Doesn't undermine your point at all. Minimizing or avoiding Amazon deliveries looks like low hanging fruit for cutting our carbon footprints.  But knowing the right order of magnitude insulates you from charges of hyperbole, if you care.  

I have a freelancing client whose project needs a dedicated cell number.  As part of that work I have been using a Family Mobile phone from Walmart.  It's not quite as cheap as the deal from Tello that Judith got, but I'll mention it here in case it suits someone's needs.

Phone got purchased over the counter in the electronics department from Walmart.  About $45 for a cheap android smartphone with the full functionality you would expect from one of those.  Also a fair bit, but not a crippling amount, of the shovelware apps that usually get bundled with free phones.

No contract, no monthly subscription, no need for them to have my name or billing information.  Voice/data/text (a couple of GB of data) comes on a scratch-off PIN card you can also buy over the counter at Walmart, although not all Walmarts seem to sell the Family Mobile line.  You can also buy new PINs online at some loss of privacy, but a gain in convenience obviously.  All the cards are monthly; which means, they enable the phone to work for 30 days after you type in the PIN.  If you use up your data before then, you can buy a data-only card to top up.  The cards have different amounts of data but they all seem to offer the same more-or-less-unlimited voice calls and texting.  The cheapest one is, I think, about twenty bucks; the one we use is $25.  

I know people who call these "terrorist phones" but obviously if the number crossed the radar of any police authorities, they could cross-check with Walmart and pull the surveillance cams that show whose smiling face bought the phone or the top-up cards.  Which would be a pretty dumb way for a criminal to get caught.  So the value here lies in the lack of an administrative/paperwork overhead for managing the phone and preventing unwanted/unneeded ongoing charges.  
6 hours ago

T Simpson wrote:For a specific variety that does well where I live in 8b  Ficus carica "Desert King" fig is hardy to zone 7 (some sources say 5). You can order them from NatureHills.com

That spreadsheet I linked says this variety has the breba crop only.  That means if you grow it in colder zones, it may be hardy in the "freezes back to the ground but does not die" sense, but maybe won't produce fruit that year?  (For me in 7b, that would be every year, so this type is a no-go.)
1 day ago

Greg Martin wrote:The holy grail for hardy figs are the wild mountain figs in Iran that survive -40 degrees.  If anyone has a connection to dried fruit from those plants I know someone who is VERY interested (it's me).

Oh, man, why you gotta do things like that to me?  I was reasonably happy not knowing about the unobtanium superfigs, LOL.
1 day ago

leila hamaya wrote:
additionally, the whole *plant the tree at same level as ground* rule of green thumb - doesnt apply to fig. you can just keep mounding dirt/mulch on top of them, keep burying the stems, and mound it up.
it doesnt hurt the stems, the just form new roots where you bury them, and this helps the roots get deeper by adding tons of stuff around them each year.

this makes the roots hardier.

I completely missed this part of the discussion in my first fast skim through this thread, because it was adjacent to some active-protection discussion that isn't relevant to my eccentric schemes. (I am an inconsistent gardener at best; anything that has to be done w/o fail every year is something best planned around, because with me it will not reliably happen.)  But this is brilliantly useful!  I already have my figs growing in tire rings, which is fundamentally a protection from mowers and brushhogs.  I do mulch inside the rings in years that I remember to do so, but I can't say WHY it never occurred to me to fill the rings with soil either directly or by such heavy and repeated mulching that soil builds up.  I already don't have the ideal drainage the figs most prefer, so building up their grow sites into little mounds can only help!  I guess I just didn't realize that figs were fine with having buried stems, since many trees don't like it.  
1 day ago

T Simpson wrote:The common fig Ficus carica should be hardy to USDA zone 6-10.

Well, yeah, but that's the view from orbit, not really granular enough to progress this conversation.  The whole question of "what's the most cold-hardy fig" is focused on variations between different cultivars and selections of Ficus carica, which seem to vary wildly in in their actual degree of hardiness.  Nor is "hardy" a well-defined term with figs; there's the question of the temperature at which the top growth is killed versus the question of when the entire plant is killed beyond possibility of resprouting from the roots, and, rightly or wrongly, people use the term hardy for both, sometimes without specifying which they mean.  Further complicating both questions is that factors like soil type, drainage, wind protection, and perhaps more affect the degree of hardiness also, but not to the same extent for every cultivar and selection. Plus, we just had a Zone 5 appropriate winter event in my part of Zone 7. It is, as they say, complicated.
1 day ago

Dan Boone wrote:Yesterday it got to 80 degrees here so I really should check for new growth today.

Once again permaculture observation beats the heck out of concern and speculation.  I think it was three days ago that I did a casual walk-by of two of my in-ground figs, and careful inspection of my potted ones.

So just now I went and did a careful check.  Potted figs are still dead and I don't expect miracles.  But... O frabjous joy!  All three of my in-ground figs are showing signs of life!  Two of them are in semi-wooded areas without the full sun they really need, and one of them got lost/buried last summer under a heap of invasive honeysuckle as high as my belly button.  Took some doing to clear that out, but I'm glad I did it now before more of the stems turned woody.  There's one of my home-made soda-pop-can aluminum tags in one photo, I must have affixed it to a stem that died back in a previous year, because I found it loose in the leaf rubble at the base of the plant.  
2 days ago
Here in Central Oklahoma we are too rural for natural gas so we have a 250gallon propane tank in the back yard.  It feeds a ducted furnace that needs electricity to operate, so our backup is a wall-mounted propane heater (very similar to the wall-mounted natural gas heaters you see as the main heat source in so many cheap older Oklahoma rentals) in a central hallway location near the kitchen.  We could by no means keep the entire house at 72F with that one heater, but it would keep us above freezing throughout the house and tolerably warm in the front of the house.  

A traditional woodstove is great if one has lots of firewood, but if when one has to buy and store it, one will be dismayed at how fast it goes goes away in inclement weather.  I love the notion of rocket mass heaters, but the many barriers to installing them in existing housing stock are... daunting at best.
2 days ago
Ooooh, look what I found!  This is a publicly-viewable spreadsheet of hardy fig varieties, with at least some notes about hardiness and characteristics of each one.  I am going to have to take some time with this list.

2 days ago