Jeffrey Loucks

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since Apr 14, 2015
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My wife and I bought a small farm in SW Michigan after my last tour in the U.S. Army. We raised 4 children and now we are enjoying being alone. Don't get me wrong, I love our children, but I am enjoying quality spouse time an awful lot.
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Three Rivers, MI
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Recent posts by Jeffrey Loucks

Kristine,  A very warm welcome to Permies.  I hope that you enjoy this site as much as I do.  There is a wealth of information about many topics and with your knowledge about water poultry it will be even better. I think the reason I keep coming back to when there are so many other sites online now is that the members give their knowledge and experience to others freely with no reserve.  People don't look down on the beginner level person . Instead they seek to elevate and educate the new person. This attitude,  encouraged by Paul and his staff who give away things all the time,  has motivated me to teach others in my area about gardening and permaculture. I sincerely hope your book sales go well.  Jeff
2 weeks ago
I would hazard a guess and say that our ducks were obtained a little outside the norm.  We own about 10 acres at the NE corner of Lutz Road ( a very busy thoroughfare) and Fairchild Road (a back country road) in the lower SW corner of Michigan.  Early last spring,  I was cutting up some logs in the pasture that we have when an overloaded pickup truck zipped by on Lutz Road traveling close to 70 m.p.h.  A small box on the top of a bunch of others came flying off and landed in the middle of the road.  Of course the truck never paused and was soon out of sight.
    After a few minutes of watching traffic dodge the box, I wandered over to take the box out of the road.  What a surprise I received when I heard funny little noises coming from the box. Now, you must understand that the box was just a regular box from the supermarket.  (If I recall correctly, it was for mayonnaise type salad dressing. ) Getting back to the story; I placed the box upon a log and opened it up.  I received the surprise of my life when I saw baby ducks. There were 10 of them and they were all only a few days old.  Unfortunately,  4 of them were already dead so I buried them in our pasture.  The other six stayed in the box for the next few hours while I cut wood.  I hoped that the pickup would come back looking for the box but it never showed up.
    When I was finally done cutting I brought the box of ducks up to the farmhouse area with me.  I showed them to my Better Half,  Renee,  and she decided that we should keep them.  We put them into our baby poultry area in the chicken house and proceeded to raise them. After a few weeks it became obvious that we had at least 3 different types of ducks.  Second mystery (The 1st was who lost them.) becomes evident because our local stores only sell 2 types of ducks.  
    Moving forward by about 4 weeks,  the ducks are allowed to move in with the chickens. We put a small pool in the chicken pen and proceeded to watch the show begin!  If you've never seen it before I can't begin to put it into words.  A few baby ducks and a  container with about 5 inches of water in it can a dull moment into a very entertaining day.
     We really enjoyed the ducks until they grew up. Then we had our first problem.  It seemed that we ended up with 4 females and 2 males.  The 2 drakes started to get very rough with the females.  I don't know why this happened.  I do know if it was that the drakes were Pekins and the hens were not caused the difficulties or what.  But 2 of the 4 hens were blinded in one eye each and all 4 were getting tore up. Because of this we decided to put the drakes down and can the meat in half-pint jars for stir fry meals.  
    The 4 hens are still doing fine.  They made it through a Michigan winter and they are laying eggs pretty much every day.  We have found out that baked goods made with duck eggs are superior to ones made with chicken eggs.  All of the hens are friendly and they still get very excited when we use the garden hose around them.
     I would hazard a guess that we will continue to have ducks on the farm for the foreseeable future.  They just seem to make life go smoother.  They're relatively easy to care for and they give us back eggs,  meat,  and humor  - with emphasis on the humor, which is so very important in a world like today.
2 weeks ago
To whoever sent me a slice of pie,  Thank you very much for being so considerate.  Sincerely,  Jeff
I received a Happy Permiversary message yesterday.  In it there is a link for a free piece of pie.  The link didn't work.  It sent me to a page that says something went wonky instead. Sincerely,  Jeff
My better half makes a homemade pumpkin pie using sugar pie pumpkins from our garden that I love.  It has a soft rich flavor and texture that let's you know that all is well at that moment in time.  
    A close second would be a steaming hot slice of shepherds ' pie made with vegetables from the garden and spices from the herb spiral.  
   There is something about using just picked produce that allows one to sit back and let the world go by for a while without one worrying about it.  Kind of reminds me of getting a dose of when I've been listening to the news.  
2 months ago
Dear Paul Wheaton,
    You are getting the word out.  It may not be overnight like you desire, but you,  along with your team are succeeding.  I had absorbed everything put out by 3 permaculturists in Australia.  I even paid to become certified by one by taking online courses.I had subscribed to numerous homesteading sites that regurgitate the same information as a thousand others. I ended up putting in a larger garden than I had for the last 30 years.  Your advice has helped my wife and I to actually make changes in the way that we live.  Our grandchildren are interested and so are some other younger folks in our area. One of which will soon be one of the largest land farmers in the lower SW corner of Michigan.   (I just gave his wife the 3rd copy of your book you had sent me. )
  So Thank You Paul.  My wife and I (and extended family) are now healthier and happier than we have ever been.  Our grandchildren get excited about coming over to our little farm.  We give away the surplus like eggs and vegetables because it generates discussion on how we accomplish so much considering our age and being on a fixed income.  From there it's easy to work your ideals into the process. So, again.  Thank you.  Sincerely,  Jeff and Renee
Devaka, I appreciate the feedback.  I use the credit functions for paying for things because about 7 months ago my account got hacked.  I had my checking account attached to the PayPal account for making payments and when PayPal got hacked my checking account information was there for the world to see.  It was not fun getting everything back to normal.  That's when I decided to let PayPal make all of my payments and I pay them off once per month.  They immediately approved me for $5,000.00. The most I use each month is approximately $375.00 so I don't think it is an overdrawn problem.  I'll call them again tomorrow and try to solve the problem.  Sincerely,  Jeff
Also, all other transactions through PayPal appear to be functioning normally. I have bought items on Permies another site is getting paid with no problem.
I seem to be having a problem purchasing slices of pie for the past 2 months. Here is the message I am getting from Paypal (I have it set up automatically through Paypal credit to buy the slices of pie each month.):

Your automatic payment did not go through

We've tried to process your automatic payment several times, and it is now past the original due date. You should contact paul wheaton to pay what you owe.

Here are the details:
Amount: $3.00 USD
To: paul wheaton
For: 1 permies pie slice for $3.00 per month
Automatic payment ID: I-GPUC2VMGG1YR
Payment due: Mar 10, 2024 Failed
Outstanding balance: $6.00 USD
Customer service website:

Then I get this email from Permies:
Hello Jeffrey Loucks,

Hot dog! We have completed processing your monthly pie purchase and granted you with 1 slice.

Your pies will expire on May 09, 2024 09:38:56

You can bask in the glow of all of your pie at:

Enjoy your pie!

And, last but not least, I get:

Hello Jeffrey Loucks,

Your monthly pie purchase has failed as we're having some trouble with your current billing information on Paypal.

To keep this plan active, please check the funding source of your Paypal account.

This email was sent to:

Please let me know how to fix this. I like the automatic purchase option as I don't have internet at home and have to come into the public library to solve problems like this. Thank you. Sincerely, Jeff

I'm bumping my post as I still have not received an answer.  Thank you for your assistance,  Jeff