norm graham

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since Jul 27, 2014
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Recent posts by norm graham

Lets face it, we are energy pigs. Unless you make a serious effort to reduce your consumption, you are part of the problem.
Solar will not reasonably power a $10 heater you can buy at WallMart. Yes, people are going to jump down my throat, and claim, I"m being silly, use something else to heat your home, but this is just a simple fact. IF you are in the north, you own an electric heater. You are an energy pig.
You also can feel the heat of the winter sun, thru a window. So, using a solar cell is the wrong approach to capture solar energy for het, but it's just an illustration of how ubiquitous our energy gluttony has become. There is a local home that just installed a 300 amp service! Wow....I lived in a home in my youth that has 30 amp service, but now, 100 amp is on the low side of acceptable. Do you own an air conditioner? you own an incandescent bulb.....piggie...and electric heater...bigger
-- Forget the solar, try to insulate your home better, and/or stop the heat loss during the winter.
If you really want to be smart, install a "cold roof", which allows cold air flow between the roofdeck and the old roof-deck, and insulate your attic to the gills. Build part of your home underground, so, you can cut down on the AC....(Stepped cantelivered wall, and another home supporting wall used in combination create a very livable space under grade), slopped properties are your friend. They also have lower taxes, because they sell for less.
4 years ago
You and I are NOT smarter then a hungry fox.
He will not stop until he has killed them all.
What I do is trap the preditor and remove it. But, lets be like chicken...your fox likes chicken....You have that much in common...
It's very hard to keep things out of the hen house, and I've even constructed a new one on a concrete base to prevent losses....eventually they were still all killed, because they want to get out and spend time in the yard. Others have used "double" fences.
4 years ago
You've defined a model for the gulf stream.......however, both pools must be at the same height...... (water seeks it's own level).
The movement of water between a COLD pool (in your case pool covered from the sun), and a WARM pool is thermodynamics.
Here is an interesting experiement you could do. Put a small bucket with two holes (a low and a high hole) drilled (plugged with a rag) inside a larger bucket both filled with water. One is hot water, other is cold water. both filled to the same level (mark with a perm marker). Throw in some food coloring, pull the rags out, and see the flow into the other bucket.

4 years ago
My homeowners/farm insurance had issues with Bison (I have 300 acres).
They wanted me to get additional insurance.
Bison do not respect the fences as much as "cows".
However, a local was able to suspend blankets over the fence, and keep the Bison in.
In general, a barbed wire fence cannot really even hold a cow back, it's just that a cow will respect the fence (usually). Bison have far less respect for the fence. They will go thru it to eat a sapling on the other side. So, you've got to have much better fences.
The insurance issue is a state law issue, if "my" cow is run over by a car, and causes damage to the car, I'm responsible. Same goes for other property damage.
Therefore....the cows are owned by a man who owns zero law has unintended consequences).
4 years ago
Look towards your local Soil and Water annual sales, or a neighboring county. States do not like you moving plants too far around the country.
Diffrent counties have diffrent deals, and you might find a better price in a neighboring county for 10 vs 100, if that's all you want to plant...etc.
4 years ago
Go to a LOCAL state forest.....find the nut tree you want. Look and make sure no one is looking (it's illegal to remove the tree nuts from state land), and then pick up a few nuts. Or along a road, etc.
Doing this locally, will help slow any disease/bugs moving around the country.
Another thing you can do, is go to the local soil and water commission, and find when their annual tree sale is. (I've bought a thousand trees this way).
I plant 60-200 trees a year....(Mostly because I own 300 acres, and for several years before I bought the land valuable trees were all logged. Thus, there are broken oak trees of 3 feet in diameter, in the woods.......but....ZERO oak trees left in the woods, and the squirrels have left the It will take ? years to fix this problem. All the tiny oak trees that get going, get over browsed (the deer and rabbits eat them), and even after nearly 10 years, the problem is slow to fix itself. Also true of pines, but these grow unexplainably fast on most of my land.
-- do a ph test on the soil...make sure it's in the range of the tree you'd like to plant.
Look at the trees growing in the area. Trying to plant a tree that does not belong, will often result in failure. Planting a tree near beavers is a waste of time, they will use the sapling in their dam.
We spend entirely too much effort trying to get a nut to germinate artifically, just go with a digging bar and plant 50 of the nuts. Do not plant them too deep, they need to freeze during the winter. Plant nut trees on a slope where they get plenty of water. If you see blueberries growing out of control in an area, then this area has a high PH, do not try to plant a tree that will not like that.
4 years ago
Technology vs Experience.....look for someone with more experience.
Trying to apply technology, often just ends up with the results laughing at us (and I'm an engineer, lol).
Experience wins over technology when it comes to farming.
(I bought two sick cows, and they got better, but eventually one died suddenly! My best reference was a woman with years of experience.).
Pigs/cows, cannot really tell you when they are sick. Thus, by the time you realize they are sick, they might be on the way out.

4 years ago
Compost is not that complicated. The best compost I have ever seen and used, was created using simple chicken wire around a compost pile. That's it, it's not that complicated. No turning, etc. HE (Ernie Pisano), threw anything/everything organic into the area, and egg shells. Food scraps, fall Leaves. He also added some lime, and let it overwinter. He might throw a tarp over it to keep the fruit flys down, but not always. HE had two of these bins. After his death, I pulled the wire, and used his compost. Whoa. I had bags and bags of food from my garden, and ended up throwing way too much of it away (I could not get rid of it fast enough). The bulbs from the flowers, quadroupled and started chocking each other out. (So, I needed to dig then out and split/thin the bulbs). He had more leaves then food scraps in the bins.
I have also had good luck using freshwater seaweed under tomatoes, but the plants get huge, perhaps too big, although the crop was nice, the plants were six feet tall. Also had good luck using fish poop water. (Throw a dozen feeder fish in a tiny $35 lowes fish pond, and you have green fish poop water every few days.). Not a complete fertilizer, but it could not be simpler. This is what I use until the compost finishes it's yearly wait.
4 years ago