Win a copy of Straw Bale Building Details this week in the Straw Bale House forum!

Daniel Kaplan

+ Follow
since Jun 20, 2015
Adana, Turkey, Zone 9b
Apples and Likes
Apples
Total received
0
In last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Likes
Total received
5
Received in last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Given in last 30 days
0
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Daniel Kaplan

Making knives is a lot of fun. I made a few from saw blades but I always avoided carbide-tipped ones. I figured that if the edge holding ability came from the carbide the rest of the blade would be pretty soft. How did you cut it? I used an abrasive cut-off wheel. If it can be cut with a hacksaw it's too soft. Assuming you go slow and use water to keep the steel cool while cutting and grinding, it should stay pretty hard. Heat treating it would be better but that takes a little more skill and equipment. Check out "Wayne Goddard's $50 Knife Shop" if you want to tackle that. That book got me started in knife making. The only important thing it didn't cover was sheath making. A good test to see if a piece of steel will make a good knife is to heat it until a magnet won't stick and then quench it in oil. Then hit it with a hammer. If it shatters it will be hard enough to make a good knife.
I've made lots of knives with a one-brick forge with a propane torch as the burner. My torch had a long burn tube and was a lot hotter than normal soldering torches. I could braze with it. I think Turbo Torch sells ones like it.

Of course, this seemed to be more aimed at a survival situation. Recently I've been trying my hand at flintknapping.

I wouldn't have left the teeth on the butt end of the handle. A comfortable handle is really important and it would be way too easy to cut myself on the teeth. In a survival situation, an infection might mean death.
2 years ago
I'm not sure what kind of hazels they are. It's whatever I bought at the market, same with the almonds. The almonds are from Turkey and I assume the hazelnuts are, too. They have a decent-sized nut, maybe 5/8-3/4" dia.

I noticed that the goats hadn't gone into the already-forested area (at least the seedlings there were fine) and the boar that had gone by earlier in the day hadn't touched them. So great for improving biodiversity and setting up a living seed bank, but not so good for reforesting the bare areas.

Kostas, I'll definitely have to try other varieties. Time to start saving seeds.
3 years ago
Kostas you've inspired me. Last year I planted some almonds and hazelnuts in a local forest ares. There has been some conservation work in the past. They've made some over-built but not very level swales and I think planted some pine trees. But the whole area gets grazed pretty heavily by sheep and goats. This past year wild pigs moved in. Not sure how many seeds have been dug up and eaten by the pigs but I planted a number of seeds where the pigs dug. So far about 8 of the almonds came up and none of the hazelnuts. Not really surprised by the later since it's not really their climate but I figured it was worth a try. The majority of the almonds that came up were in the little holes that the pigs dug. I figure they made for a little extra water to germinate. A few of them have been nipped off but I think all of them are still hanging on. We'll see how they do once summer hits. Depending on the results I'll probably hit planting a bit harder this fall. I have my eye on an area that needs it more. A south-facing slope without as much ground cover. It has me a bit intimidated.
3 years ago
In that case you'll want to put in some check dams. They'll be while before they get to the point where soil has built up enough to plant. You probably won't want to do those right away but not too far down the road either.
3 years ago
Reading "Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands vol. 2" seems like a good starting place. I recall pictures of the al baytha project in Saudi Arabia where the swales they hadn't planted yet had things start growing by themselves. Obviously planting them is better but you want to make sure that all of your rain is getting into the soil.

Can you give us any more information on the place? I found 8.5" of rain per year. Is that correct? How many acres is the place? I saw some drainage areas but I couldn't tell from the map if they were heading toward or away from your property.

It sounded like a well was not in the plan, but if it was it would give you an idea how thick the caliche is. However if it's impermiable would plants get much benefit from roots getting below it?

As they say here, kolay gelsin (may it come easily)
3 years ago
Trust the zombie hordes to get the discussion going.

I tend to be of the slow descent persuasion. I remember reading an article a year or two ago about younger people in Greece who were moving back to their family farm from the city because there they would at least be able to eat. There was a situation where the economic situation got tough enough to squeeze them into needing to grow their own food. Or at least some of it.
But there's the sticky part about having the food ready when you need it. 6 months for veggies and 6-10 years for nut trees doesn't cut it if I'm hungry today. I see the food forest as the most vital part to plant early. That way it will be established and producing when stuff happens. Veggies and small animals can be established on a lot shorter notice. Maybe we should think of this as step one, which coincidentally won't take a lot of maintenance after it's going. That gives you a solid base to work from assuming you are diversified enough that not everything fails at once.

As far as growing all my own food. In my mind Complete Self Sufficiency = Subsistence Farming. Not a place I want to go but a food forest would be a good start. It would at least let me free up part of my food budget to pay inflated prices for other foods.

One thing that doesn't seem to have been covered much yet is water. I know we're all permaculturists but I wouldn't want to have to rely on irrigation. So extra swales and water catchment. What would really be nice is if that soil re-hydration got some old springs going. Then you'd have a little more security on that end.



3 years ago
Looks like spear orache, Atriplex patula. We always just called it saltbush. Fun fact is that the seeds are 'set' for different time delays. I think the large seeds germinate immediately and the small ones wait a few years.
3 years ago
The Apache's used wolves as their model for how to conduct a scout team. That would include how to move invisibly, how to hunt as a team, and how to leave minimal tracks by stepping into the tracks of the lead wolf. Presumably that would extend to community living and long distance travel as well.
3 years ago
I think I would have to answer the question based on other uses. Like do do you plan to build a house there or just grow the food forest? I would never put a house there or barns. But just a forest would probably be OK. I'd probably look at things like bamboo that might slow the water down some when it comes onto your property. Tree placement might be important, too, to make sure that you aren't stopping the water hard and creating concentrated erosion but just slowing it down.
3 years ago
At first I though "That's a bit hasty to be putting in a dam. There's no way to hold all the water from a rain, overflow pipe won't keep up, etc." But why not? It will take a bit more engineering to make a full on dam but it's probably doable. If it was me, however I think I'd go for something like a semipermeable gabion that filled side swales while the water was running. I just think that would be easier to make which would give me a better chance to affect a larger area. Even better would be to combine them all. That way the ephemeral springs that you create upstream will flow into the pond for a while.
3 years ago