Kamaar Taliaferro

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since Jun 22, 2015
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Berkshire County, Ma. 6b/4a. Approx. 50" rain
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Recent posts by Kamaar Taliaferro

1 part millet
2 part buckwheat
3/4 part amaranth
1/2 part flax
1 1/2 part wheat
1 1/2 part oats
1 1/2 part barley
2 parta field peas (black eyed is what I have access to, and I grind these roughly)
4 parts black oil sunflower seeds.

A ground kelp product for those minerals, occasionally DE but I'm not consistently committed to that.

The ratios are somewhat flexible. I do add water, probably a little more than 1 to 1, I don't measure. And I do ferment that mix.

Occasionally I offee some alfalfa. Of course I offer food scraps. On very cold mornings I warm the "mash" with some milk like hot cereal, and occasionally add butter.

I do attempt to do some composting with them, but I'm very much on the learning curve there.

I found this link useful https://afs.ca.uky.edu/poultry/nutrition

2 years ago
Perfect Circle Farm in VT
Sacred Circle Farm in VT
Fedco Up in Maine.
Haven't tried Oikos yet but they're doing cool stuff.

There's a relict tree nursery outside of Philadelphia. As I understand it, the guy who started it had done some work with an agricultural station in Tennessee collecting some choice genetics of various tree crops. One can get their hands on some genetic material. Think really large walnuts and hickories, high sugar honey locusts etc. I can't find the link to the story with the folks names who catalogue it.

Edible Acres.
Twisted Tree Farm.
Tripple Brook Farm.

On FB there's a Northeast Scion Exchange group and folk seem to have a lot of knowledge and plant material.

There's a Castanea Dentata Society that's doing some genetic work to revive the species. They'll send you some trees, for a donation.

Geneva Agricultural Station in NY. I know some folk around here who make good use of various state college affiliated agricultural stations. I think it's Missouri's that a lotta folk use? Their stock seems to go quickly.  

I'm technically in 5b too. This past year we had a wild drought. The general trend has been hotter and drier stretches punctuated by storms. How much time do you have for management? How easy is it to get mulch materials? Is there a water source on the property?

2 years ago
Shou sugi ban is fun.

A hack (at least for me because I'm a newbie) was to coat the boards in linseed post-char after they'd cooled overnight.

And it was a very very thin coat. The water on coated boards beaded up and just sat on the surface. The boards were from old pallets. It rained before I could hang them.

Board and batten style, as seen on Mr Chickadee's YouTube.

I made a small chicken coop. We've had 1 really intense (for our area) storm so far, and no water or moisture got in the coop.

The coating also kept the char off my hands better.

I probably would have put on a 2nd coat but I ran out of flax seed oil. Doesn't seem to have made a difference this far.
3 years ago
Roberta, I just saw a video from a guy named Ben Falk who found a Butternut in Vermont disease free. He said he may make some of the seed available. Blood oath to plant them though.
3 years ago

So this 250/1000 combo whetstone has served me well for a few years now. Axes and those Mora knives that come with the plastic sheaths.

I then polish with a 6000 grit king whetstone. Those are easier to find. Amazon used to carry the 250/1000 long whetstone at a really good price, like 25 bucks. I didn't search there for too long though.

It works for me. It's relatively inexpensive. Can be cut to make an "axe puck" with 6 inches left over for sharpening knives. I've found that it puts a fine enough edge on axes alone without the 6k grit.
3 years ago
Try making some compost tea/ferment with the chicken bedding?

First year with schools so I've never tried it. I heard of the idea from skillcult on YouTube. He basically just soaks the chicken manure in water until he wants to use it.

What's the USDA confirmed growing season like? I'm zone 5ish and I know a couple gardeners who succession plant corn until like mid June. If you added some water to the chicken bedding it might be useable, straight up, in a few weeks.
Hiya, I think whoever chooses to garden in the CG will be lucky. My community garden experience wasn't quite that.

I'm not really sure, at that scale, there's a better way to set up a relatively clean slate that then allows people to people.

Maybe set aside a smaller plot divided into a few different strategies for setting up a new garden in sod? That would then allow you to talk about those strategies and where to source the resources to employ them.


Eric has a lovely thread detailing his experiment. Around the same time I was doing something similar but with a different goal. I purchased spawn, and spread it in layers. Burlap sack--spawn--woodchips/leaves/small soil clods/. Repeat. I made about a 4 foot layered pile. That was 2 sacks wide. About a month later I spread that burlap on top of flipped sod and covered with woodchips. 4 to 12 inches deep. The woodchips were from a local tree company, not shredded just chipped.

NC, however you're planning to progress, considering making a "compost tea". It can be super involved with molasses and finished compost and all that good stuff. Or it could simply be a 5 gallon bucket with a fish tank aerator and some grass, leaves, soil. Spread as needed, however is convenient. That should help kick start soil biology.
Mike beat me to it.

That's exactly what I was going to suggest. Air prune beds.

If you're feeling frisky you might even make the Twisted Tree Farm variant. (I think he's got some YouTube videos showing his.)

They're basically just longer versions.

3 years ago
I love that channel. I'm sure you could find some hand tool only projects to make use of that blown down timber.

Did you check part one? If I'm remembering correctly it shows how he prepared the sills and joists for the planks. And how he prepared the planks to be the same thickness. So the finished flooring is also his "subfloor". It would also give you an idea of the amount of work involved.

If you already have a sturdy subfloor I'm sure you could even do 3/4" (19 mm).

If you're installing over a subfloor you'd have to replicate the sills (which would be akin to the perimeter of the room) and the joists. I might call the joists "dovetailed dados"-- if you look up Paul Sellers on YouTube he has some videos on various housing dados and how to craft them.

Now, in replicating those sills and joists, it would be wise to fasten them to your subfloor. Like others here have suggested countersink your screwheads and cover with wood plugs.

The ingenuity of that flooring system is it's possible, as the floor shrinks, to add additional planks to tighten the floor, without having to remove the entire floor.

I think it would be similarly difficult to use wavy boards, as others have said, but they could be shorter--so possibly a little easier?
3 years ago