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Phil Stevens

master pollinator
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since Aug 07, 2015
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chicken duck homestead cooking trees wood heat woodworking
Ashhurst New Zealand
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Recent posts by Phil Stevens

Devin gets major dad-joke cred for that comment about hit and miss.

My infrequent need to do low-precision metal banging has me content with standing a length of rail in a hole filled with sand.
6 days ago
I quit using sponges years ago for this very reason. Now I'm in the habit of pouring boiling water over the dish cloth every other morning or so. Helps a lot.
1 week ago
Sounds raccoonish to me. They like to take their food somewhere that they can wash it, don't they?
1 week ago
Where are you located? Who are your usual suspects in the fruit thievery department?

If you were at my place I'd say possums, then rosellas, followed by kereru (wood pigeons). Each of these tends to leave some sort of evidence, though. Possums break branches, rosellas rarely consume a whole fruit, and kereru leave all sorts of bits on the ground.
1 week ago
What sort of wood are you burning? How does the exhaust look when it's running? Any smell that you can detect?

A properly functioning RMH should have close to zero creosote formation, since all the volatiles are being consumed in the superhot zone of the burn tunnel and heat riser. My suspicions would revolve around wet wood, insufficient airflow, or incorrect dimensions.
1 week ago
My in-laws live on the outskirts of Springfield. I'll ask them next time they call.
1 week ago
Kia ora Mara, and welcome to permies. I haven't come across this plant, although I do grow oca. I'll ask around and see if anybody in my networks locally has some.
2 weeks ago
Bamboo has a high silica content and will definitely dull blades faster. The rods from coppiced trees  are also ideal for feeding into a chipper. This is one of the main reasons I grow willow and mow it down every other year. And yeah, the fungi go nuts on it. Even willow logs don't last more than a couple of seasons if they're in contact with soil.
2 weeks ago
I think you're on the right track with poplars. These (and willows) are so easy to propagate and get established, and they adapt well to coppice and pollard management for continuous harvest. Easier to chip than bamboo, too, and less likely to spread and cause headaches later on.
2 weeks ago
For light straw infill, check out these for starters. On the top left there's a video on slip straw construction, and on the top right they have one on mixing the slip and adding the straw:

Same guy (Michael Smith) in a Q&A about the method:

Another video with some context in the comments:

Some presentation graphics showing the process:
2 weeks ago