Dillon Nichols

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since Feb 18, 2015
Victoria BC
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Recent posts by Dillon Nichols

Welcome to permies!

Hugels are pretty applicable darn near everywhere... unless made of black locust or some other ridiculously rot resistant wood, the wood *will* decay, and decaying wood *will* hold moisture if there is water present.. eventually the wood will be gone and you will have soil. And yes, it's a lot of work, especially by hand.

A hugel is often not a very happy spot for a tree, though, because of all the settling that goes on during the aforementioned decay. The usual advice is not to plant trees in hugels, unless they are old hugels which hace finished rotting and settling. Ie... they have become a mound of lovely soil.

Nothing to say that the hugels and the orchard can't mingle, just not great to plop the trees right in hugels.

Hiring someone with local knowledge to help you do the site design and select the best trees/support plants for your site might be an excellent idea. I would be seeking demonstration sites or locally well-known permaculture designers; these people should have a portfolio, references, and ideally a site of their own..

Perhaps someone will happen along with a reccomendation; the odds would improve if you titled your thread to provide your location!
11 hours ago
Comfrey always seems to be a real bee-magnet for me.

I stick with th sterile Bocking cultivars so that I have some control over where it goes...
18 hours ago
I am guessing there is a point at which things are just too sparse, where the '5-24 hour grazing' area is so big and vegetation so spread out that the animal traffic damage outweighs the manure benefits.

Where this point is... not so sure.
4 days ago
Seems like a perfect spot for an in-law suite to me..

I can picture soaking that water into large scale hugels once you convince it to hold still.

I'm not sure that the usual mantra if 'slow and spread' is practical..  that sounds like a lot of force.

I wonder if one could cut channels back uphill, deep enough to slope down, leading to holding ponds; the water would hopefully mostly rush past rather than all flowing into and then back out of said ponds...

Got any equipment on hand?

5 days ago
I use a cordless grinder for some of what I bet you use the sawzall for... but I use it because discs are cheaper than blades and I'm not getting paid.

The sawzall throws a lot less nasty shit around than a grinder, or a big saw; I think it's proportionately safer.

As you point out above it's going to cut mixed media better much cleaner than the other options.

(I jumped from 5AH to the new 12AH on my old hackzall. Man, what an upgrade... it really drinks the juice, so the capacity bump is awesome.)
6 days ago

James Landreth wrote:I’m going to get a bit dreamy here, and add this:

As a young person, my relationships with mentors have been very important. Our culture has definitely evolved away from certain traditions, and I think that we have lost an important element in doing away with master-apprentice relationships. They provide a sense of self within our community and also some element of rite of passage that is rare these days.  I think that the bond between mentor and apprentice is really special, and hard to describe. We as people are usually more open to guidance from an adult who is not our parents. I think that being a mentor and/or educator brings people into a new stage of life and ways of thinking as well.

In the context of the bigger picture these relationships are important because of the passage of time and the passing of responsibilities from one generation to the next. In my area, I see a lot of retirements on the horizon. Farmers, beekeepers, arborists, etc. There is a big and valid concern of who will take their place. Some have trained replacements, including me, but the loss will still be big. Even at my age I’ve already decided that I want to be more organized someday when I pass the torch, so I’ve started to involve myself with teaching a local youth group about permaculture, food forestry, and natural beekeeping.

To me, the definitions of intern, apprentice, and volunteer are less important than the actual relationships and knowledge passed on. I want to take this time to thank my mentors, teachers, and friends

This is both good and nice to hear. My own experiences while interning, wwoofing, worktrading, etc have never yielded up such an individual.

I like to think I learned a lot anyhow, but sometimes it feels like I have invested in a library of books with titles like 'Precisely How Not To Do The Thing', 'The Overachiever's Guide to Overreaching', and 'Type 1 Errors: How to Stack Them'!
6 days ago
I would look into your specific make/model of car; if the transmission is a known weak link, maybe switching vehicles before adding a trailer would be wise. Otherwise I'd go for it.

A roof rack, or some old couch cushions and good long ratchet straps, is also helpful; you're not going to tow the trailer without a known need, but sometimes that thing on the side of the road is not gonna wait for you to get back!

Making sure you have quality ratchet straps is key. For roof loads, a system to secure front and back to solid points on the front and back of the car is wise, too.

I'm on my own farm now, but I did plenty of making do for the previous decade of apartment and van living. Pots, a raised bed in the side yard of the shitty rental complex, gardening on the weekend at my parents place... at a bare minimum it was good stress relief and experience, and many of the trees/plants I propogated then are finally getting planted on my farm this year!
6 days ago
I'd love a definitive answer on this too..

I'm reasonably confident that steel and iron are fairly safe in and of themselves...

The stuff I worry about is the paint, batteries, heavy metals, plastics, and oils/chemicals that may be connected to the steel.

The other interesting avenue for concern that comes to mind is contaminated recycled metal. Something built from recycled steel might have mercury from switches, for example..

Things like the below study are somewhat encouraging.. I am confident that the farm/sawmill that used to be here, never generated scrapyard levels of volume. I still get angry when I find a random oil filter in the bush, I have to assume the used oil went straight onto the ground as well... I really, really hope there are no hidden fuel tanks around.

6 days ago
Welcome to permies, and congrats on the new land!

It's possible for 'oil slicks' to be caused by bacteria, rather than actual oil. The location is suspicious, but one can hope...

As the below link describes, the way to distinguish is by disturbing the sheen; true oil should recoalesce smoothly, while bacterial residue will not.

6 days ago

Trinity Outpost wrote:Looks great! My feedback while having the various categories to organize the individual posts is great but if I wanted to see say all of the posts in community when I click community it just shows the other categories. So really it can be both. On CR when you click community it shows all the posts under the various categories in community and then if you want to browse one specific category you have that option. Sometimes the specific category isn't as important as the date posted if you are looking for current posts or have a time sensitive need.

Also just a note that WWOOFing is very different than a work trade where that a work trade is defined time for pay or boarding where as a WWOOF host we offer food and boarding as a means for people to obtain experiences not a means for labor. It's more of a cultural exchange and very different than a work trade.

Perhaps this is an important legal distinction. OTOH, the sorts of experiences that WWOOFing provides often look a lot like work... and it's a little hard to see what's in it for the host, if these experiences aren't quite... work-adjacent, say.

Also... what does the second 'W' in the acronym stand for if not 'workers'?
6 days ago