Dean Howard

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since Nov 24, 2014
NE ARIZONA, Zone 5B, 7K feet, 24" rain
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Recent posts by Dean Howard

My Question:  So, where are we now?  2018

As builds continue in so many different directions, I'm wondering if there are concrete answers on the questions that have plagued us for so long.  
For those  of us who followed the discussion for years, and then tapered off... have we nailed anything down, or are we still experimenting in so many directions I can't keep up.  I was hoping for a Zaug stove solution and then cancer strikes... and yatty, yatty, ya...  I'm not trying to minimize anyones efforts or struggles.  People have excelled in different ways, then BAM, bad luck, poor heath, and doors close.

Do we have a best "name the part of the stove here" design?

We know a few designs work well when plans are followed, but I'm looking for long-term durability, even code-buildability, simplicity, interchangability, affordability, crowd pleasing suitability, light and durable, and other considerations that yield that "inexpensive shippable core", or other part that is so easy to build that even my mom could do it?  I'm thinking the one part or two that I love so far is the J-tube, the Pebble Style, Pauls shiny copper looking stainless steel barrel patina.  Where are the molded manifolds, the latest heat risers, and latest off the shelf parts to be had?  Hmmm?  Are they out there and I just can't find them?
1 month ago
Thanks for your interest...
This area is high desert, not far from the beauty of the White Mountains, Show Low, Petrified National Forest, skiing, etc.  It gets an average of 22+ inches of rain a year.  I have two full time neighbors who raise goats, sheep, chickens, pigs, dogs, and cats.  I've married since this project started and need to consolidate elsewhere nearby.  Send me Purple Mooseage for further details, if interested.  Dean
Good start on a high-country permaculture site (7,000ft).  Pics to follow.  
House w/new metal roof on 10 slightly sloping acres w/ 20+ inches of annual rainfall, with hoop house garden, water catchment, and swales started.  2.5 acres w/ barbed wire fence.  
Some Pinion Pine, lots of Juniper and free firewood.
Soil is getting fertile, shade cloth protects from UV, and hail.  Respond for further details.  25 minutes from Show Low, AZ.  House and site need plenty of work, but that's Permaculture.  Thanks.

$150K cash, but I can discount, and give you a $1000 pellet stove allowance, it if you can get in before the snow flies.  Tours on request.
The reason I ask is... I looked a long time before asking.  I found a few properties for sale, but did not find a category where all ads might show up.  Just a thought.  Thanks peeps!
Is there an appropriate place or category to promote your land, farm, homestead for sale on
Great job R!  This is info so many of us need and appreciate.
3 months ago
I've had my place for four years now.  I still don't have my fruit trees in... in fact, I've moved to a nearby country lot in the city.  My point being there are many things to prioritize before you move to a new place... and I would add much to learn about in choosing a property you can live with long term.  I added a few swales, made a few hoop houses, a raised bed, learned to raise earthworms in my compost, put in water catchment, but fought the wind, hail, drought, predators, allergies, mud, controlling the torrential rain, distance to Home Depot/Jobs/Groceries, and ultimately the distance from my future wife.  So, I would suggest people think about the:
Top 3 Priorities in Choosing a Permaculture Site.  

I would think this would be beneficial for longevity's sake.  Looking back it's easy to see why one would want to consider all the Geoff Lawton-type priorities of choosing a site based on drinking water, rainwater and drainage, both location of the site, and site layout, soil health, future location of trees, pens, pasture, gardens, type of people living near you (crime), and so many others...  I would start early to figure out what types and quantities of trees you would plant, how to protect your garden plot, and property.  

I kept a constant list of things I would like to do to  my property and slowly moved things up  to the top depending on available money, materials, and need.  It's good to know that Permaculture can work on any property, anywhere, with enough persistence, but take a good hard look at your reality (health, constitution, ability to work, benefits to you, and your family, your ability to get to town/doctors/work, etc.)  There are many preparations one can do in advance and I encourage people interested in Permaculture to support the notion by buying up books, DVD's and getting smart before you choose your site.
3 months ago
If you think of it in terms of a "Y-shaped joint, each limb will fail the soonest when it is pulled back against itself.  I do this all the time when breaking green limbs off of fallen, or cut branches.  Trees are amazing, but that's asking a lot of them to grow out farther and farther, and then hold the extra weight of fruit.
4 months ago
I know tree seeds rarely do well at near surface depth.  I would recommend the balls be quite a bit bigger, say 1 1/2 to 2" in diameter.  They will slump when wet and that just might be "whistlin' Dixie>
5 months ago
Hi, Paul.  I have limited time to even peruse Permies these days.  The more you focus on permaculture, the more time it takes, and many are real busy doing, and not able to keep learning.

I usually choose to fund kick starters on the basis of:  
Is this new and exciting? (this one is to quite a few), Is it for me? (not at this time),
Do I really have time for this? (not at this time),
Does it further Permaculture in a positive way (this seems to),
Can I afford it? (the kick starter, and then can I find time to get involved with this project, when I still need to build a RMH?).  

You are quite generous with your rewards and I thank you deeply, and it does not take long to gather many of the things you offer.  I would not worry that so many can't find the time to respond and help out in so many directions.  Each is unique and will jump in at different times.  Thanks for all you do.  I'm leaning toward doing permaculture on a new plot now, and less toward building community.  Each of us will find out spot.  Mine is "I'm moving, and having to start over".  Keep being AWSOME!
5 months ago