Corey Schmidt

+ Follow
since Jun 29, 2015
Kachemak Bay, Alaska (usda zone 6, ahs heat zone 1, lat 59 N, coastal, koppen Dfc)
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand Pollinator Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Corey Schmidt

In addition to the great ideas above, I would like to point out the benefit of the cool earth, just a couple of feet down, which can be tapped into with an uninsulated floor.  
I think the strawbale idea is perfect for your location, if done right.   I would think an uninsulated slab on grade, or better uninsulated earthen floor with thick strawbale walls could be the solution.  At least 2 or three feet deep of perimeter insulation will also help you tap into the cool thermal mass below your feet and exclude the summertime heat. Also a passive solar design tailored to your latitude and climate can be helpful- this includes making the house long east to west and narrow north to south, with about 30 percent of the south wall in glazing with overhangs and shading such that the glazing receives sunlight only in the months when you need heat in your climate.  

Geoff Lawton's greening the desert site in Jordan has a strawbale/ cob or maybe mud brick structure such that the sun side of the building is strawbale and the shade side is earthen, which leads to passive cooling.  I don't think that climate has much of a need for winter heat, however.
1 week ago

Dennis Bangham wrote:Well I will soon start looking at the CSV and well pump combination.  When I measured the water table over summer the bottom was at 100 ft and the water level was 45 feet.  
Anyone know where I can look for a solar package that will run the CSV and 1/2 HP pump?  Should I get a submerged pump or one on top that can draw up the water?

I'm looking back through your previous posts and it seems you are only wanting to use this well water to irrigate.  Is that the case?   If so you can save a lot of money and trouble- I would suggest trying a really simple water transfer system.  One option would be a  pv direct system with or without a storage tank at the highest location of the property so you can send the water wherever you like by gravity after pumping it into the tank or even just to that highest point, or swale, etc., to then drain away wherever you want to send it.  Then no need to worry about pressurizing pipes, pressure switch, pressure tank, csv, etc.   This could be set up to pump automatically and stop when the tank is full, or just transfer water to a distribution point (swale, or irrigation manifold, etc.) with simple on/off switch.  Alternately (and what I think would be most cost effective)- run a wire from your house to the well, with a switch in your house, put a deep well pump in the well and have the output from that pump at a distribution point at the top of your irrigation system, or into a tank at the top of it, then just flip the switch on from the comfort of your home when you want to irrigate.  Your system is always open so won't build up or need pressure and again won't need all the extra equipment that a house needs to maintain a fairly constant pressure- you would just be transferring water.  If you have a swale system you could just transfer water to a swale, for example.
You have indicated its cloudy a lot so you could add extra solar panels and/or a larger storage tank if you wanted to go the pv direct route.
Here's an example of  a really simple pv direct package on Amazon (I can't vouch for the brand or quality but it claims max submersion is 100 ft and it can produce up to 1.6 gpm)
and here's an example of an AC powered deep well pump that would pump water a lot faster for less price:
again I can't vouch for that brand.
You can get a quality deep well pump from a more well known brand with good warranty for 2 or 3 times that price, I would think.  There are also deep well pumps that are not submersible, and its important to make the distinction between these and shallow well pumps, which can only handle about -20 feet of intake head.  In general its a good idea to check out the performance curve of a pump you are considering and selecting one that has your requirements in the middle or even lower end of its curve to keep from overworking it.  Cheap pumps fail quickly when asked to operate at the high end of their performance curves, in my experience.
good luck and interesting topic. I'm curious to see how your system design unfolds.

1 month ago
Zillow is a great resource.   I remember seeing some very reasonably priced old but liveable homes on small acreage in southeast Kansas on Zillow.  In all likelihood your 22k isn't a lifetime pension and an income source will be needed and this is a real consideration.  Alaska outside of incorporated towns and cities is a great place, though land is not always cheap and there may be borough or state level regulations.  As far as I can tell, if you are willing to work hard here there is always work to be had, but maybe that's true all over this great country, or maybe I'm just lucky??  Another one I personally looked into is Terlingua TX.  Very cheap land and few restrictions.  I'm not sure how easy it is to find work there, and its true desert, but  a beautiful place and great vibe.  I wish someone had told me about FIRE movement ideas (or maybe they did but I just didn't listen) 20 years ago...That is one way to be able to devote your life to permaculture.  Its also worth looking into other countries, like Georgia, Albania, Bulgaria, Central and South American countries.  Digital nomads including remote English teachers, can find countries with easy immigration policies and lower cost of living.  Best of luck to you, and success and freedom to all.
2 months ago

Lorinne Anderson wrote:
The Bear Aware programs are the only logical way forward, long term, particularly long term, in my opinion. The truth is, this is a people problem, NOT an animal problem, in my opinion.

I think your statement is right on.  I've really been enjoying my study of black bears and Bear Aware/ Bear smart info and practices.  Key takeaways for me so far in terms of action are electric fencing and human dominance techniques  if appropriate- bear doing something that could get it into trouble-(we normally only have black bears here).  In terms of knowledge the most salient points for me so far are how timid and peaceful black bears normally are, and that bear spray is a safer and more effective deterrent in a rare attack situation than firearms statistically.  Thanks for all your expert input on this thread.  I hope I can show by example that there is a way to peacefully coexist with bears while growing food. The more I learn about them, the less I fear them, and the more I love and respect them.  
5 months ago

Reading through the Lynn Rogers links above communicating with and coming to an understanding with bears seems a bit less of a fantasy and more of a potential reality.  There is also a paper in the links above posted by Echo that was a study of a diversionary feeding program, and it worked well with black bears.
He also claimed in another paper that 1 black bear in 950,000 kills someone vs 1 person in about 18,000.  I assume this is a per year statistic.  
and on a side note, I looked into the Defenders electric fence incentive program, and its legitimate for my area and some others down south, and I got on the list, I will just need to send receipts and photos of the fence and get reimbursed for half.  I'm at the stage of choosing a battery powered charger.
5 months ago
Thank you, Echo!  that link is a real gold mine.  I was not aware of the work of Lynn Rogers, and I'm quite impressed.
5 months ago

C West wrote:Corey,  I must admit I didn't read the last handful of replies.  We are neighbors!  I'm 18 miles East of Homer (by road).

I've had no bear encounters on my homestead in the past 4 years which I suspect is due to a long history of the neighbors shooting anything with teeth (not relevant to your issue).  I use polywire electric fence to protect my delicious pastured ducks, chickens, and sheep.  So far its confirmed to deter dogs and my belief is it would deter bear.  I know electric fence is not the creative answer you were looking for but wait...there's more!

Did you know that you can get 50% of your electric fence cost reimbursed up to $500 in Alaska?
The Defenders of Wildlife have an Electric Fence Incentive Program.
check it out - note it looks to only be advertised for 2020 as of now, so maybe move quick if you decided to take that route.

I rotationally graze a small pasture so I have a perimeter fence which is 5 strands of poly wire held on tposts with plastic clips, and inside the fence my flocks are each inside of an "electronet" that I bought years ago from Premier1 fencing (who's alaska shipping costs are insane - I got mine while living in Oregon).  I use a solar fence charger for the moving electronets and a stationary charger hanging from a tpost covered with a 5 gal bucket for the perimeter.  I owned all of my equipment before knowing about the Defenders of Wildlife program so haven't gone through their funding process myself.

One of the age old after apple trees but before guns methods was to have outdoor dogs working in packs.  

Best of luck.

Thanks for your post!  That is great info about the electric fence incentive as I'm planning on setting one up so by the time my trees are bearing they don't contribute to bears becoming 'anthropogenic food conditioned'.  So you've probably just saved me some money! I've been studying and particularly a pdf guide I found there titled "responding to human-black bear conflicts: a guide to non-lethal bear management techniques" and the idea of training black bears to 'stay out of trouble' is satisfying my hunger for a creative non-violent solution, and it seems electric fencing can play a big role in this. My dream that inspired this thread would be that they not only leave my trees alone but also somehow do some free labor for me, if they happen to be in the neighborhood...  But I will be really happy if I can just get achieve the first part of that and not contribute to them getting shot by providing them with an easy meal.  My neighbors have some things in common with yours it seems, so I don't expect to see many bears here next year, at least.   We are also lucky in a way to only have black bears here, no grizzlies for many years.  Thanks again and all the best to you.
5 months ago

Lorinne Anderson wrote:NOTE: Just how do companies secure "predator urine" such as wolf?

I can only assume it is similar to the procedure used to collect "Pregnant Mare Urine" aka Premarin, by keeping them contained and catheterized to collect said urine. I, personally, have ethical issues with this....

Honey, aloe, or an aloe/honey combo beneath the plastic cling film would be an excellent alternative to actual burn cream.

Here is the link to the page where they tell how they get the urine
they claim its from the drains in enclosures.

I like to pull out comfrey stalks and crush them to make an instant hand lotion for any kind of injury.  I haven't tried it for heat burns, but it should work for that too.  Putting a catheter in an animal to collect its urine does not sound nice.
6 months ago

S Smithsson wrote:I live in an area with many bears in town.  Most houses dont have garages or anywhere to lock up / put away trash.  I've had bears in my yard, eating bird feed.  Yelling and running at one made it go away.  I have never had one in my garbage, but the neighbors have.  I have house cats and put the litter in the garbage.  Coincidence? I dont think so.  

Perhaps I should sell packets as anti-bear additive.


This is very interesting.  This thread or a different one had a post that linked to a website selling wolf urine as a bear deterrent.  I'm thinking house cat litter should be easier to obtain.
6 months ago
Thank you to all for your responses, both supportive and challenging.  This thread has motivated me to go back to a thorough study of all the conventional approaches to bear risk management, because creative ideas are born of thorough knowledge of a topic.  I am studying all the info at as a starting place.  I have a lot of respect and admiration for the Canadian sources of information on this topic, as they are based on research and practicality and come from a compassionate point of view that values bears intrinsically as well as human aims and activities.
6 months ago