Trevor Walker

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since Oct 03, 2014
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Recent posts by Trevor Walker

Congrats on finding the major issue!!
Sometimes it does take that close look, but you just don't know until you SEE it, right?

Not surprised it helped to remove the gunky screen in the final egress.
But now you have to look out for the barn swallows coming down in roosting weather.


This looks like a stove I used everyday for a few winters.
I prefer the door open just a crack, so it jets air in quickly.
That was the perfect air feed for a fresh hot start, or right after adding a handful of kindling and a couple small logs.

But naturally, the compromise of this design of stove is the best fuel efficiency is a dirtier burn.
One is meant to close the door completely and damp down the air inlet a bit to slow the burn.
Its meant to swirl flame, but not burn particularly quickly, keeping more of the heat for your comfort, rather than send all the heat out the flue.
1 year ago
My thought is that the addition of an acidic ingredient should be small prior to the first major reaction of lye and oil. Mixing a little bit with the oil makes sense. I know it would not be a huge amount, but perhaps later is better. Since this is a liquid solution, I would think adding the D-limonene after waiting out the major saponification would be good?

If I were to use zest, I think it would make the most sense to infuse some oil from it, then blend the strained lemony oil in as possibly a late add, like a finishing oil?
(The thing I was thinking around is complication of adding an acidic ingredient prior to saponification. It could imbalance a good recipe, overtaxing the lye.) This should be a fun experiment!

I bet washing dishes with that sharp clean smell is pretty nice!
1 year ago
If I were to apply to this as a gardener-player, here is where I'd likely be coming from, and what I'd want most.
Perhaps potential players could corroborate?

I'd be able to leave my work/family/etc for several months to a year and go to Montana.
That means I'd be, to some extent, free of encumbrances, but likely need the pay too.
I'd be experienced and knowledgeable enough about gardening and permaculture to qualify.
That means I may have a desire to make money at market-gardening and a willingness to accept help getting there.

It means most of a year committed to garden food production would give me a really good idea if this was something I could commit to as a career, self-employed back home.
Maybe that means the best prize would be like a winner support team after the game is over, made up of experts.
A small-business class, a set of garden experts on speed dial, and an in-depth walk through someone else's successful building of a produce business.
Here are some ideas, maybe.

- On competition, collaboration, and winning:
Since competition is fun on a certain level, but destructive on another, I think the processes should compete, not just the people.
I believe that in a group of folks, everyone needs to play to their strengths and also rise to the challenges they've got. This is difficult when each is sequestered. It should be expected that all primary gardeners will have to help each other to some extent via bartered time or whatever. The documentation of all the transactions will help to show benefits of each plan, as well as reflecting on individual input.

- On plans, and defining "winning":
Everyone has some pet projects and ideas for their BEST permaculture solution for this.
I think part of the hurdle for entry could be a thorough and robust plan (using as much proven success as possible as a basis).
I look at it as a person uprooting their life and immigrating to rural Montana, trying to make a harvest against the local obstacles and within specified constraints. What if this were my only option for feeding myself after harvest begins and had to survive til I could feed myself again the next Spring? That's tough, very tough. I think the idea is that winners stick to the pre-arranged constraints. But the over-arching decision-maker is whether something leads to more success for the group as a whole.  If everyone eats and lives, everyone is a winner.
Plans that produce well while staying in constraints provide useful intelligence, which is VERY VALUABLE.
That's the goalpost for me. Did a gardener/player adequately plan and document a truly successful harvest? Are the details, constraints, and narrative informative enough so someone could repeat the process?

- What happens after first harvest, and how does that reflect on the quality of the plan and execution?:
What is the minimum required to look beyond the first year? How MANY trees? Or goats bred or whatever?
This would be part of judging both the quality of the plan, and success even after a year.
Perhaps, instead, the one method or goal is to put as little effort into that first harvest as possible, while still succeeding? "What have you to show for yourself?" - "Well, I just barely got the 1M calories, but also I learned to do a handstand, make baskets, spent many summer days helping my neighbors  ..." - that sounds successful to me. So does investing time in whatever will make next year more successful and productive.

- Off-dirt exchange of goods/services, before, during, and after:
It might be also reasonable to use off-farm exchange as a metric of success.
Not only exports are success in communities.
Does the gardener's Permie community have the necessary connections to IMBUE what's needed? What would the hard limits be?
What do we gain through collaboration and connection with the "outside"? Don't we all consume what the honey makers make?
Flexibility there, I suggest, should be biased toward success in repeatable TARGET situations.
That is, a good winning example might culminate in dairy-goat farming for cheese, and that requires cold storage.
I think winning strategies should include connections to outside resources as a requirement, such as finding cold-storage to rent until the cheese-cave is built(?). It goes to commitment and longevity. I don't know if it is objective to deeply limit outside input, if it will amplify a successful plan.

Just thoughts. Cheers.
I think you have a correct soap for the application, based on your description of being tough on grease but not on hands.

It sounded like there was some aqueous solution left over after rendering the fat? I don't know, but perhaps a fat separator could help? Unless it adds contamination some how, I'd be less concerned about the addition of a little water than if it were present after processing the soap. Water coming from lye-soap after the initial formation of glycerin can contain lye-excess, to be avoided as it is highly caustic.


Perhaps an enzymatic cleaning stage, after the soap, makes sense?
Vinegar is always a popular suggestion, post-soap, but is mineral residue the concern? Is returning the surface to a lower pH the idea?
I think if it is about removing the most cooked-on organic matter possible from a food-grade cooking utensil, an appropriate enzymatic cleaner may help.
1 year ago
Reminder set. Happy trails along your road of exploration!
1 year ago
I'm going to be working, but taking a break to pop my head outside and say "ooo"  and aaaah".
Really looking forward to seeing what yall post, who are in the direct path.
I'm going to be in central Ohio, so a bit North.  But watching peoples reactions is more fun for me than seeing the actual thing.

Cheers!
5 years ago

I hope everyone has their proper eye protection. Viewing glasses with ISO 12312-2 certification or welders glasses shade 12 or higher are required. Be safe.

Get ready. It's going to be EPIC!  


Here is a link to an NPR story on the eclipse:
How To Watch the Solar Eclipse

Here is the American Astronomical Society list of safe eclipse-glasses manufacturers, to which the NPR story links:
AAS, solar filters
"The following ... have been verified by an accredited testing laboratory to meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for such products"
5 years ago
@ Shella, etc al:
I would again recommend those books, or find his online resources for current info on your round headed borers.
(That is borers, not voters, silly autocorrect!)

In addition to birds, y'all can find a source for any number of predator insects sold specifically to help sort other insect problems. Research is a must, though.

One thing to consider is if it is not time to remove the infected tree root and branch.
If all else fails, save the orchard from the destructive bugs.
I can imagine a situation where a beautiful tree lasted decades in a prime spot, but through erosion and other factors the spot is no longer prime, or not for an old tree anyway. Wet feet, for instance.
And one might be better off planting new elsewhere, then using the former spot for what fits better.
5 years ago
Also his suggestion, mulch with "ramial"(sp?) mulch.
The twigs, small branchs and such have concentrations of new, recently living wood. The mulch made of large branches, and of trunks is higher in tannins and lower in nutrients needed for growth/healing.
5 years ago