Bernard Welm

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since Mar 31, 2015
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Recent posts by Bernard Welm

We have been making our own maple syrup for the past 8 years. Over that time I would say a few jars each year get a white or yellow scum mold. How ever it just covers the top of the jar but does not really grow much, even over the year it takes us to eat the syrup.

We do not can the syrup or anything. We just boil it down and when still hot do the final strain and into jars that have a canning lid. Syrup done like this and kept in the pantry has kept for 2 years before we ate it.
2 years ago
I would agree with Aaron,

If this is going to be Black water (human waste) then I would think the separation between humans and animals and the waste water would be a good thing. That said in your case it could be a very simple system. You could make a trench perpendicular to the slope and put drainage tile in the trench (say 1 -2 feet down, covered with sand/gravel). This would then allow the liquid to be spread over a larger area and keep the contamination of the surface to a minimum.

If it was gray water I would be less worried but something similar might spread the water over a bigger area so you would keep things drier.

Reasoning behind this:
there are pathogens that are carried in human waste that cause infections (cholera for example) that you would not want on the surface where it could contaminate things you would touch
2 years ago
Is the field fenced? if so are you able to put some cows on it? If you have something to keep the grass/weeds down that may help in the long term. I have been haying my field for 7 years now, it went from a nearly burnt out hay field to a decent field where I am able to get around 250 small bales off it and have cows on it for 3-4 months. I have watched it going from sparce grass to more of a clover mix over the years without seeding it or doing anything but grazing and haying it.
3 years ago
I would suggest trying to talk to some neighbors. It sounds like you have most of the ability to cut and bail the hay your self. It still may be more profitable to talk with a neighbor and ask if you can borrow/rent their equipment rather then building something for your self. Especially if you just need to borrow a mower rather then a tractor and mower. That would very likely be the cheaper way to get the hay done.

I do not have any equipment but I am able to get neighbors to cut and bail my hay for about $1 per small bale. That is a LOT of small bales before reaching $2500.
3 years ago
If you are going to go through that much work, I would think using paper bags might be more efficient (As long as the pollination has already occured)
From what I have seen of conventional ag around me. You end up waiting until the grain is dry or mostly dry before harvesting.

One thing the conventional farmers have is a propane dryer to finish drying the grain.

That said what would the old timers have done? One thing that I remember from the Little House on the Prarie is that they had seed grain stored in the wall of their cabin.
here is a location where you can find all sorts of nursery reviews on Permies

Personally I would suggest looking at St. Laurent Nurseries they are in NY. They are in zone 3 so anything they have will grow for you.
5 years ago

I have the same issues with the lawn tractor but I find that if I keep a 2 width area blown clean it helps throughout the rest of the winter. That said if the drifts are big or we get a lot of snow yes it does take some extra effort to keep the same width but in the end it makes life easier since I can walk back and forth easily. One area I blow is in the barn's steel roof dump line but my water spigot is there, so I have to keep things clean. The other one is the path to the wood pile. Here I have to take a 90 degree turn. I end up just blowing a LARGE area for my turn zone. If i keep things clear I can use a garden cart to haul wood. I really don't want to do that by hand

I still think you may be able to find a space where you can make a lane to your buildings. Is there a way to avoid the area with the dip even if it is a bit longer?
5 years ago
Can you make better paths in the non snow part of the year so you can use your lawn tractor to keep those paths open?

That is the way I have been keeping my paths open. And next year with a high tunnel we are putting in 300 ish feet away that will still be my preferred method
5 years ago
I was just looking up some info I remembered on VersaLand and came across this blog post from the property owners I think it is an interesting perspective from the other side of the coin. Seeing the pictures of the land after Grant left really do make me sad for the state it was left in.
5 years ago