Jeff Williams

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since Mar 18, 2014
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Recent posts by Jeff Williams

Hello everyone

I am building an 18 acre market garden farm from scratch. And I have never farmed or gardened until this past spring, 2015. I bought a Hoss Wheel Hoe to teach myself about gardening. I like it a lot for a small half acre or less garden. However my plan is to build over time to 3 acres of 50' long raised beds and about 10 acres of orchard and pasture. I've been looking for a john Deere 850 or comparable tractor. But then I stumbled across the BCS tractor with its multitude of attachments. Since I have about 3 acres in wetland plus a quarter acre pond I want a brush hog. I've been renting one and know I will get good use out of the BCS with brush hog. The plus is I can use it to mow the lawn as well.

I am handy with a wrench and would really like to have a front end loader. I know I will use it but can't say why until I need it. However I am not wedded to the idea of a tractor. I think a BCS would be adequate and very cost effectivef for my needs as listed here: mowing, brush hogging, building /maintaining raised beds, tilling. I know with a tractor I can find and buy any implement I might ever conceivably need. But like everyone has said a tractor is a commitment.

On the other hand how do I use a compact or sub-compact tractor to build and maintain short raised beds? I clearly see how the BCS rotary plow would build beds and how the tiller would assist in maintaining them. What about a tractor? I just don't know enough about using a tractor to make a comparison between a tractor and a BCS.

I need to buy something in preparation for spring. I'll listen to all ideas and advice. Let me know.

Any suggestions?
7 years ago
Mr burns,
They carry syphlis.
8 years ago
Hello nick
Interested in the South Carolina Low Country? I have purchased undeveloped land and have a PDC developed plan. Now I need help implementing the plan. Interested in helping to build a permaculture homestead from scratch?

If so drop me a purple moosGe.

8 years ago
Hello Jay

Thank you for your time. I agree that such minor topo features will be graded away. My question is how do I use the A-Frame on such unlevel land prior to the grading. It seems to me those bumps will make the A-Frame work totally inaccurate. Do I level the ground in the area I'm searching for the contour prior to using the A-Frame? I'm just a bit confused.

Many thanks

8 years ago
Hello Everyone

I think I understand how an A-Frame level and a Bunyip level works. What I don't understand is how to use either of them on very uneven land. My land is mostly flat. The northern part has a gentle sloop.

The relatively flat part of the land is very uneven. It's been logged and plowed and terraced then logged again over the years such that it is very bumpy. How do I use an A-Frame level when the land has foot to two foot bumps running all through it?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

SC Low Country
8 years ago
Hello everybody

What mapping system are you using to generate those contour charts! I recently purchased 18 acres to homestead. I am working with a local designer to layout what I want. I recognize the need to plot the contours but I'm not sure how to get the elevations. A contour chart of my area would be a big help.

Any suggestions?
8 years ago
Hello r Scott

What tractor do you have? I just purchased 18 acres so I can get out of this retirement community I live (a long story for another post). I have zero farm background so I need some advice on what to get to build and maintain a permaculture-based homestead.

Your description of yours sounds like what I need.

Manu thanks
8 years ago
I am buying land in the South Carolina Low Country to build a homestead. I've been wondering how to build a root cellar on flat land. I've read about burying an old refrigerator or freezer. I've also read about burying a septic tank to use as a storage area.

The land I'm buying has a section that will be behind the planned house location that is heavily wooded. Would a 20' shipping container located under the trees and covered with three or four feet of earth maintain a good temperature here in the south? Don't really have to worry about freezing, just keeping the temp down during the summer.

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

8 years ago
I've been looking at doing something with shipping containers for a while. Here are the info sources I have found.

I'm thinking about using two of them as the foundation for a vehicle barn. Build a pole barn that is 50x50. Put a 40' container under two opposite sides and you have a 30' covered drive thru with storage and workshop capabilities.
8 years ago
Having just completed such a search and now moved into the purchase phase, allow me to post a word or two about having a stream as a starting requirement for the selection of land. I would advise against it.

Any stream or agricultural ditch in the United States is under the jurisdiction of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USA/CE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In my opinion, having a running stream on your property is the equivalent of giving the USA/CE and EPA free access to your land at any time under any pretenses that wish to use. Such areas, including an old agricultural drainage ditch (the western boundary of my property selection), are 'wetlands' as defined by the type vegetation near the area and the type soil. The number of weeks of the year the area is actually wet is irrelevant.

If you question if an area is a wetland, you can submit to the USA/CE a Request for Determination. They then look at it, or require you to hire a consultant at your expense to look it, and declare it a Jurisdictional Wetland. All a Request for Determination does is move the classification from assumed to actual. You can't develop it without going to a lot of expense. Read up on the Tulloch Rule if you want to explore developing an area of wetlands. It can be done, using 19th century technology and techniques.

Our country has changed.
8 years ago