David Dodge

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since Apr 09, 2014
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bee trees woodworking
College Station, TX
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Recent posts by David Dodge

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3 years ago
Yes, thank you Grant. Invaluable info here. I was able to find some basic info on the Texas EQIP program so I'll head on down to the county office to start the process. One thing I noticed was they ask for an adjusted gross income statement. I'm not a poverty level farmer looking for limited resource aid and I'm not rich either but is there a level where they say you make too much money for us to give you any of ours?
3 years ago
Grant, I've read with interest about all the grant money you were able to get for Versaland and while I don't currently aspire to such large scale agriculture I would like to transform my 15 acres with some Silvopasture tree plantings. To do this I'd like to set up a greenhouse for starting seedlings. I know the EQIP program has a high tunnel initiative but i remember hearing you mention something in a podcast about going through the organic program to maximize the offering from the NRCS. Can you explain this a bit more? I'd like to go camp out at the local office and sound like I know what I'm talking about. Thanks in advance for your help.

David
3 years ago
I sell industrial dust collectors for a living and can tell you for certain combustible dust is no joke. Over the last ten years there have been several major instances of whole buildings being leveled and multiple lives lost. OSHA and NFPA have really stepped up enforcement of workplace safety and housekeeping standards to prevent these explosions. That being said, a major component of dust explosions is containment (like you get inside a dust collector). Unless you are working in a phone booth with a cloud of dust and happen to light a cigarette you're about as likely to be struck by lightning during an avalanche as you are to cause an explosion. Not to be flippant but the odds are very low. Possible but not probable.

Much more probable is a flash fire which these guys demonstrate quite well...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IvPL7KC1DEA
3 years ago
I like it. I'll be doing my first at-home butchering this fall and I've been researching scalding methods from around the world. Mostly YouTube videos of rednecks with some crazy variations. Here's one of a professional mobile butcher with an interesting foot massage technique. About 45 seconds in it gets very interesting

3 years ago
I agree that you don't have enough light but not that you have it too close. My setup uses two 48" 2-lamp fluorescents with one cool blue and one warm red bulb each. I have a seed starting tray like yours that has a bottom tray that holds excess water and a clear cover or humidity dome. I don't use Miracle-Gro or any other fertilized growing medium, only pure coconut coir. I cover the seeds until they sprout and use some form of bottom heat (top of refrigerator is cheap or heat mat for $25). The lights are placed within 1" of the seedlings and raised as the plants grow. You can't burn the plants with the fluorescent bulbs but I try not to let the plants touch the bulbs as they grow. I add water to the bottom tray if I'm feeling lazy - instead of watering every cell individually. If yours is pooling in the middle it may be warped. Once you have true leaves and some decent growth started you can add diluted fertilizer. I pot the seedlings into 3" peat pots after they are strong enough to be transplanted and continue under the lights until about 8 weeks or when the garden is ready. I finally put leggy seedlings behind me once I found this system. Just remember to harden off the plants before they go out into the sun.
The top opening of the cone should be about 9 inches in diameter and the bottom opening no more than 3 inches in diameter....

Taken from DIY Killing Cone
3 years ago
My pigs like to rub on the big trees and may knock a little bark loose but they are not killing them for sure. They will uproot small trees and knock over dead ones, and may cause damage to shallow roots. Not sure about the maples but your oaks should be fine.

Are you trying to make a pond for drinking water or for mud wallows? They'll make their own wallows with any amount of water on the ground. If you have a Trackhoe and some clay content in your soil you can easily make a small pond. Even if it doesn't seal well at first it probably will after they get in there pigging it up a bit. I wouldn't use the road as a dam personally, especially if it's your main road. Too much risk of undermining the soil structure under the road. I'd make a small dam with an overflow that will flow into your road pipe.

They'll make a bit of a mess, especially if left there without rotation, but having the pigs in the woods is a good way to keep them cool and happy in the summer and fat on acorns in the fall.
3 years ago
It would depend on the size since the larger the trees get, the more bark is included in the crotches (forks). The bark is what makes the crotch wood weak. If you use a wide crotch angle without any noticeable bark inclusion I can't imagine it breaking. Once the wood dries it is stronger than when it is alive.
3 years ago
Holly,

I'm current raising RW hogs and I really enjoy them. My goal is to create a pastured program but right now we are feeding a non-medicated commercial feed. We had them penned initially but opened them up to some unimproved pasture to see how they'd react. They went out and immediately started eating certain grasses to the ground and did some minimal rooting. It gets hot where we are so the digging they did was mostly to create wallows. In the fall we roped off a section of oak forest and they spent most of their days looking for acorns. Our plan is to farrow in late spring, raise the pigs on summer pasture and commercial feed, fatten on acorns to butchering size and then overwinter the breeding stock on cool season pasture like rape and turnips. Still figuring it all out but the RW as a breed is a good choice IMO given the fact they were reintroduced from wild populations where they foraged for 100% of their food.
4 years ago