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Will Meginley

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since Nov 19, 2014
Will likes ...
food preservation forest garden hunting tiny house trees woodworking
USDA zone 5b, ~40 inches rainfall per year.
Concord, New Hampshire
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Recent posts by Will Meginley

Those are definitely catkins, which means it's either an alder or a birch. Birch usually (but not always) has smooth bark, so I'll go with alder as well.
1 year ago
That's definitely a fungus of some kind. If it didn't already look like that when you cut it then there might still be hope, though. It takes time for a fungus to work its way into a chunk of wood that size, especially since it's only working in from the ends. (Good thing you left the bark on.) Try cutting an inch or so off of each end until you get past the discoloration. With luck you won't lose much. Then inoculate as normal. Even if a small amount of the wild fungus remains in the log it will have to compete with all of your plugs. Odds are it'll probably lose.
1 year ago
While I was living in a rented duplex in Charleston, South Carolina I got permission from the landlord to build two raised beds. I constructed both from 2x6 untreated pine. When I moved out three years later, both were still structurally sound.
As with just about any question in permaculture, the answer is "it depends." But the answer could be "yes" a lot more often than the average person has been lead to believe. Hence, the imperative to learn all you can about your own little corner of the universe.
1 year ago
I've had good luck just rotating it on the burner while looking at the gap between lid and vessel. If it suddenly starts to get wider or narrower I'll make the necessary adjustment. Admittedly, with a full load some may find this process more taxing than I do as a young, relatively fit male. You aren't supporting the weight, though, just rotating it - so relatively little strength is required compared to getting the thing onto the stove in the first place.

I've had some success with backing the screws off just enough to get the handles off the lid (usually 2 to 2 1-2 turns counterclockwise), such that the lid will be on relatively straight the next time I put it back on. Just remember to clamp down simultaneously and equally on each pair of opposing handles.
1 year ago
Our faithful standby is boiling them in water with a few tablespoons of honey then served as a side dish. Don't use any other recipes where carrots are the "main" ingredient, but we add them heavily to many recipes that don't normally call for them.
2 years ago
I'll pay you a dollar apiece to take any of these off my hands:

Someone's kids
Someone else's kids

Admittedly, most of them are nearing their expiration date and not very helpful - but I can give you a moneyback guarantee that they are, in fact, someone's kid. And most of them are in dire need of a good civics lesson...
2 years ago
The only difference between regular sharpening and "extra care needed" is the amount of work. The procedure is the same, whether you need two file strokes or two dozen file strokes to get the teeth sharp again. Before sharpening, rotate the chain at least one complete revolution looking for the most chipped/bent/worn down tooth. Sharpen that one first. Then sharpen all the other teeth to be the same length and angle as that one. Don't count strokes - use as many or few as necessary to make each tooth identical to the one before it. A chain with unevenly sharpened teeth will cut crookedly. Depending on your skill level, every two to four sharpenings you will need to file down the rakers (depth gauges) for the reasons listed above.
2 years ago

Bernard Welm wrote:Are the piles of logs a fire hazard in them selves?



Any large pile of organic matter is a fire hazard, though as long as none of the piles are near infrastructure it shouldn't be a huge problem.

Peter Ellis wrote:Go into mushroom cultivation?
Not a joke, a possible Avenue to hasten decomposition and get a yield from your problem. Also probably reduce their flammability, although I cannot document that thought.



Keeping the logs extremely damp is a requirement for successful mushroom cultivation. This would dramatically reduce flammability. This would require access to LARGE quantities of water and lots of time/energy spent irrigating or moving bolts of wood into/out of water tanks. If you just innoculated the logs and let them rot in place there would be some extra moisture from the fungi, but nowhere near the same reduction in flammability. It would certainly hasten decomposition and increase biodiversity.

Peter Ellis wrote:What sort of useful fungus grows on those trees?



According to this website you might try Phoenix oyster or turkey tail.

2 years ago
If the limbs are dead it shouldn't matter when you prune them. I've heard it's generally best to prune live limbs while the tree is dormant, i.e. during the winter and early spring. For what it's worth the forest service usually does pruning during the summer because that's when the manpower is available and the trees turn out fine. Forest trees aren't orchard trees- they haven't been mollycoddled by centuries of cultivation.

As for the needle layer at the base of the tree: unless it's collecting water and rotting the bark away where it comes into contact with them, there's no need to remove them. The thickness of the bark is what gives ponderosa its resilience to fire. If there's any large woody debris that will burn for a while at the base of the tree it should be removed, but leaf litter alone will not produce enough heat to kill all but an already dying ponderosa.
2 years ago