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Pearl Sutton

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since Oct 02, 2015
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Pearl Sutton currently moderates these forums:
Chronic reader, creative dreamer, a LOT of hand skills to make things real, intense health issues that limit my activity, but not my creativity or dreams. Moved to southern Missouri with enough tools and junk to build a life that might work well with my health. One of god’s gigglers, I punctuate with smiley faces and exclamation points when I type, and smile and laugh a lot in real life. (Often at things no one else understands.) And I both curtsy at people (even when wearing grubby work clothes) and purr when hugged, both online and in real life. “Normal” is not a word that has ever been used for me.
Been organic gardening all my life, and bought 4 acres that I have designed from the ground up. Making it happen is being the most fun I have ever had in my life, the best 3D jigsaw puzzle ever! Reading Mollison’s Designer’s Manual was like coming home, ah, THERE I am! A reality where I can use all of my multifaceted talents and skills!
Dumpster diver, recycler, second hand store shopper, I tell people I am attracted to rust and lace. I have violated every warranty I have ever met, I’m a tool using animal, and I use my tools to modify everything in my world. And it only gets weirder...
SW Missouri
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Recent posts by Pearl Sutton


Paul Wheaton
Duke of Permaculture

I am a giant doofus that is bonkers about permaculture.  

my bitcoin thing-a-ma-bob is 177pNU2a9iCpUXQwXX9EbtA2UwZpgeqcMT

my paypal id is

missoula, montana

Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Burra is a hermit, and a dreamer, and an eternal optimist. She loves ideas, and she loves testing them out and sharing what she finds out. She's constantly starting new things but rarely finishes them. She is hopelessly disorganised and lives in a state of total, blissful chaos. She loves apricots. And cherries. One day she'll grow all her own food so she never has to venture off her farm.

Despite her hermitic tendencies, she somehow ended up being the community manager, aka Mother Tree, of, and if she attempts to take a week off, about three other staff members get burned out instead.  

So please forgive her if she sounds grumpy and exhausted in her PMs.

She means well really...
Contact Burra

Raven Ranson

An insomniac misanthrope who enjoys cooking, textile arts, farming and eating delicious food.
Contact Raven

Nicole Alderman

Five acres, two little ones, one awesome husband, 12 ducks (give or take), and a bunch of fruit trees and garden beds. In her spare time, Nicole likes to knit, paint, draw, teach kids, philosophize, and read fantasy. She doesn't HAVE spare time, but does like to fantasize about it!
Contact Nicole

Jocelyn Campbell

Jocelyn's life is all about balance. (That's Jocelyn on the left.) Maybe that's why she's an accountant and is such an advocate for keeping our natural systems healthy.

As a child, she perched on branches and swayed in tree forts in her beloved Pacific Northwest woods. Then, as a teenager, she learned that reining in sugar kept her more alert and energetic. These youthful observations grew into passions for walks in the woods, gardening, herbal remedies, and natural parenting with whole and traditional foods. More recently, Jocelyn's interest in the natural and healthy led to all things permaculture and she completed her first permaculture design course in 2010.

Beyond the PDC, hanging out with Paul Wheaton (that's him on the right) has led to even more permaculture adventures and friendships. Including, now (as of 2013) living at wheaton laboratories!
Contact Jocelyn

Joseph Lofthouse

Joseph Lofthouse grew up on the farm and in the community that was settled by his ggg-grandmother and her son. He still farms there. Growing conditions are high-altitude brilliantly-sunlit desert mountain valley in Northern Utah with irrigation, clayish-silty high-pH soil, super low humidity, short-season, and intense radiant cooling at night. Joseph learned traditional agricultural and seed saving techniques from his grandfather and father. Joseph is a sustenance market farmer and landrace seed-developer. He grows seed for about 95 species. Joseph is enamored with landrace growing and is working to convert every species that he grows into adaptivar landraces. He writes the Landrace Gardening Blog for Mother Earth News.
Farming Philosophy
Promiscuous Pollination and ongoing segregation are encouraged in all varieties. Joseph's style of landrace gardening can best be summed up as throwing a bunch of varieties into a field, allowing them to promiscuously cross pollinate, and then through a combination of survival-of-the-fittest and farmer-directed selection saving seeds year after year to arrive at a locally-adapted genetically-diverse population that thrives because it is closely tied to the land, the weather, the pests, the farmer's habits and tastes, and community desires.
Joseph lives under a vow of poverty and grows using subsistence level conditions without using cides or fertilizers. He prefers to select for genetics that can thrive under existing conditions. He figures that it is easier to change the genetics of a population of plants than it is to modify the soil, weather, bugs, etc. For example, because Joseph's weeding is marginal, plants have to germinate quickly, and burst out of the soil with robust growth in order to compete with the weeds.
Joseph is preserving the genes of thousands of varieties of plants, but does not keep individual varieties intact or pure. The stories don't matter to him. What matters is the web of ongoing life. For his purposes a squash is a squash is a squash. Plant purity doesn't exist in Joseph's world, other than in very broad ways like keeping hot peppers separate from sweet peppers. Some landraces might even contain multiple species!
Contact Joseph

Anne Miller

I am a very frugal person, I like doing food storage, canning, sewing and genealogy. I have traveled to or lived in states from California to New York and Canada.

My husband and I sold our homestead where we had cows, goats, a horse, a pig and chickens.  We also raised German Shepherds dogs.  Since then we have owned tiny homes, two of which we designed and finished the interior, doing all the electrical and plumbing ourselves.  

Since moving to this very remote location, I have spent my time learning about its flora and fauna.  We have lots of native grasses, plants and wildflowers.  We have lots of deer, a fox or two, bobcats, wild turkeys, and other small animals.  We also have lots of birds such as cardinals, vireos, warblers, dove and hummingbirds. And lots of butterflies.
Contact Anne

Julia Winter

Pediatrician with a Master's Degree in Nutritional Sciences. Moved to Portland, Oregon in the summer of 2013. Took Geoff Lawton's first online PDC in 2014.
Contact Julia

Miles Flansburg

I was born into a ranching family. Mom and Dad moved to the big city so I have lived in both worlds. I am married with two college aged children. I have been gardening all my life , in Colorado and Wyoming. A Wyoming Master Gardener and Permaculture newbie. I love hiking, camping and fishing in the Rockies. We live on a small suburban lot outside of Denver and own a ten acre forested lot in Wyoming that is slowly being planted with food crops.
Contact Miles

Devaka Cooray

Devaka started programming with Pascal and BASIC languages when he was 13, and he has been coding with Java since 2003. Devaka got his bachelor's in computer science from the University of Moratuwa, and currently holds SCJP, SCWCD, and SCBCD certifications. He is mostly known as the author of ExamLab , which is a popular exam simulator for SCJP certification.

When he is not wrangling with his JavaEE and enterprise projects, he likes to play with sneaky web application security stuff.

More about Devaka can be found at his website
Contact Devaka

Tracy Wandling

Tracy is an artist, graphic designer, musician, market gardener and permaculture addict. She lives with her partner on beautiful Cortes Island, BC, on 27 acres. Her goals are: to grow most of her own food; take care of her little plot of land and her community; and spread the word of permaculture to anyone who will listen
Contact Tracy

Mike Jay

Mike is a homesteader, gardener, engineer, wood worker, blacksmith and most recently a greenhouse designer.  He heard about permaculture in 2015 and has been learning ever since.
Contact Mike

Bill Erickson

Retired ariwing jarhead working a second career as an engineer in the semi-conductor world to be finally free.
Contact Bill

Craig Dobbson

Craig is a permaculture designer and consultant with a focus on temperate climate, perennial food forests and homestead management.  He has been testing and implementing his own designs while sharing knowledge and experience with others for the past seven years.  In 2014 he completed his PDC and began a larger expansion of his homestead and business.  The future is bright, as long as you're willing to face it.    
Contact Craig

Adrien Lapointe

Adrien grew up in Northern Quebec where he was exposed to gardening, hunting, fishing, and small fruit gathering. Adrien was also exposed to large scale farming as his parents owned a farm for some years growing barley, canola and at one point raising milk sheep. Growing up he always had rabbits, chickens and various other small livestock.

Now an avid gardener, foodie, amateur woodworker, and raw milk advocate, Adrien is experimenting with hugelkultur and polyculture, cooking from scratch, experimenting on reducing his ecological footprint, and much more.

Adrien was introduced to Permaculture few years ago through Joel Salatin’s techniques and travelled down the rabbit hole to end up at Permies. He has been a Steward and Paul’s assistant since November 2012.
Contact Adrien

Josiah Wallingford

PermaEthos Online PDC as well as a contributor to PermaEthos TV. Josiah is the director of education for PermaEthos and owner of Brink of Freedom.
Contact Josiah

Liutauras Vilda

software developer, moderator at coderanch, a father, husband and nintendo switch owner
Contact Liutauras

Cassie Langstraat

I grew up on a variety of farms and ranches all over Montana so I have been amidst large and small scale agriculture my whole life. (Parents always had a big garden too.) Once I got my own place I decided to see if I possessed the famous green thumb that all of my family has, but I set out to attempt this without all the toxic gick. Ever since I coddled that first tomato plant to life, I have had a passion for growing food. Since I am still young and quite broke, my main interests are frugality and doing permaculture design in an urban setting. I also am a huge foodie and love experimenting with all different kinds of organic cooking.  Side note: I also got a degree in English, with minors in Psychology and Gender Studies so my other passions are reading A LOT, writing A LOT, talking about feminism, and getting into heavy philosophical conversations about all sorts of things.
Contact Cassie

tel jetson

tel is quite certain that Woodland, Wash. is the best place on earth. born with dirty fingernails and a contrary disposition. between naps, he can be spotted on a bicycle, in a river, hunting for rope swings, or otherwise avoiding responsibility. tel is also one half of the labor force at the Pikku Farm, and interim archdeacon at the First Church of Dirt.
Contact Tel

Ken Peavey

Ken has worked as a foreman for a refractory contractor for the last 8 years, all the while learning about natural growing methods. He lives with Bull (pictured) and a bunch of hens on just under 4 acres of potential a couple miles south of White Springs, Florida. That potential is taking shape as a Pick Your Own Vegetable farm. The future holds stories of naturally grown fruits and vegetables, renewable energy, and plenty of fresh air and sunshine. He joined in 2009 and tries his darndest to be helpful all the time.


Bryant RedHawk

Part Nakota, part Irish. The Nakota took over long ago but still lives in two worlds, the European world and the first people's world. He lives on a small (15 + acres) piece of mother earth deep in the woods. Was trained in the cooper's arts as a child, sinces the family owned a cooperage. He has been a carpenter, and timber wright but love all aspects of farming.He holds a BS in Chemistry and Biology and a MS in Horticulture. Worked for the USDA for 16 years. Currently working on his PHD in Microbiology, the thesis is plant communication through the micro-biosphere network. Redhawk and his wife Wolf are setting up to be fully self sustaining, growing all their own foods and collecting rain water. "Soon we will be self sustaining and closer to being off the grid" he said when asked about future plans. They continue their own research both in Agriculture and soils with the hope to make the world more like it used to be, before mankind began screwing up the Earth Mother. This is the only way humankind will survive, we must fix what we have broken.
Contact Bryant

Joylynn Hardesty

Joy discovered Permaculture in 2015. Thanks, Paul! And suddenly the vast expanse of grass began to shrink. Her hubby is appreciative, as mowing is not fun for her guy.
Joy is designing her permaculture paradise from the edges. Fumbling and stumbling all the way. She successfully grows weeds and a few fruits and veggies in the humid Mid-south.
Contact Joylynn

Shawn Klassen-Koop

Shawn spent the most formative years of his life working at a summer camp where he quickly gained a passion for nature and for building a better world. Struggling to see how his future career in computer engineering was going to solve these big problems, he decided to leave it behind and dedicate himself to finding practical solutions that people can implement in their backyards. Shawn looks forward to starting his own homestead in southern Manitoba in the next few years, where he plans to implement many of the techniques laid out in his upcoming book and come up with a few more solutions along the way.
Contact Shawn

John Suavecito

John Suavecito has been growing fruit for a few decades.  He teaches grafting and how to grow food sustainably in the Portland, OR area.  He bought a book and read about organic gardening 40 years ago, but has gradually been finding out about sustainability, permaculture, eating weeds, and using the power of nature to make human systems work, including food as medicine, fermentation, and bicycling transportation systems.    He has a suburban garden and works with other people and groups in a very sustainability oriented part of the US.  He is trying to interest in children about gardening, to mixed success.    Wife is an avid vegan vegetable gardener.  He is very interested in experiments and innovations to make the abundance of nature work for all people.
Contact John

Dan Boone

Dan Boone gardens, plants fruit trees, and tends wild fruit and nut trees and vines in Central Oklahoma.
Contact Dan Boone

Dave Burton

I am in my fourth year of college for my undergraduate degree, majoring in Biochemistry, and I will be graduating in May 2019. Permaculture is my passion, and I intend to gain hands-on experience in permaculture and make the world a better place! It's time enough to stop being angry at the bad guys and get to work making a new world!
At the moment, I am currently looking for farms, intentional communities, and ecovillages that I could be a part of, so that I can get hands-on experience and practical knowledge of permaculture.

I am always available for hire for any in real life or online projects. Just make me an offer, and we can start talking.
Contact Dave

Pearl Sutton

Chronic reader, creative dreamer, a LOT of hand skills to make things real, intense health issues that limit my activity, but not my creativity or dreams. Moved to southern Missouri with enough tools and junk to build a life that might work well with my health. One of god’s gigglers, I punctuate with smiley faces and exclamation points when I type, and smile and laugh a lot in real life. (Often at things no one else understands.) And both I curtsy at people (even when wearing grubby work clothes) and purr when hugged, both online and in real life. “Normal” is not a word that has ever been used for me.

Been organic gardening all my life, and bought 4 acres that I have designed from the ground up. Making it happen is being the most fun I have ever had in my life, the best 3D jigsaw puzzle ever! Reading Mollison’s Designer’s Manual was like coming home, ah, THERE I am! A reality where I can use all of my multifaceted talents and skills!

Dumpster diver, recycler, second hand store shopper, I tell people I am attracted to rust and lace. I have violated every warranty I have ever met, I’m a tool using animal, and I use my tools to modify everything in my world. And it only gets weirder...  
Contact Pearl

Daron Williams

From a young age growing up in arid Eastern Washington Daron learned the importance of protecting our rivers and watersheds. This was later enforced while working to restore water systems in England, and studying climate change in the Fiji Islands. Daron has worked to protect the waters of the Pacific Northwest through jobs with several non-profits, the US Geological Survey and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.
Through this hands-on field experience and with degrees in water resources, political science and a master’s in environmental studies, Daron understands the challenge of protecting our region's natural habitats – Daron is meeting these challenges head on through his current role as the Restoration and Public Access Manager for a local Land Trust.
Daron was also brought up with a passion for growing his own food. Throughout his youth, his family grew approximately half of the vegetables they consumed in the backyard of a suburban home. Given this background in water and gardening, it was no surprise that permaculture and other ecological based methods for growing food would appeal to Daron.
Now that Daron and his wife have purchased land with a small house, Daron hopes to be able to apply what he has learned over the years to create a demonstration ecological based garden/farm system to provide for his family and to share with others what works and what does not.
Contact Daron

Mike Barkley

After a long career electro-geeking for R&D labs in the electronic industry Mike has checked out of the rat race & moved to the woods. Not entirely off grid but trying to achieve that goal. He raises a few animals & enjoys growing healthy food in various gardens. He is a life long nature lover, adventure seeker, & to a certain extent a minimalist. Eventually bears will probably eat him & turn him into compost. He is ok with that.
Contact Mike

Mandy Launchbury-Rainey

Retired teacher reforming a house with 1 acre at 'La Vida Verde', Virís, Lugo province.
Contact Mandy

Rebecca Norman

I have lived in Ladakh in the Indian Himalayas since the 1990s. The alternative school I work and live at, SECMOL Campus, started on empty desert with a permaculture workshop in 1995, and now has solar heated earthen buildings, solar electricity, gardens, fruit trees, shady outdoor classroom space, composting toilets and greywater, cows, and lots of other cool stuff. Ladakhi youth come to stay for two week camps or one to three year programs. My favorite program is the one-year Foundation Year for kids who fail the mind-numbing 10th grade state exams. They run and maintain the campus, and learn confidence and independent learning, English, Ladakhi history, traditional song and dance, and practical science like solar energy and heat, health, organic growing, and food preservation, and lots more. I teach or guide in any of these subjects (except song and dance). I'm learning more about wild foods and eating weeds, and I suffer from an annual condition I call Caper Obsessive Disorder. I hope to publish my Ladakhi-English dictionary in 2015.
Contact Rebecca

Greg Martin

Biochar maker, forest gardener/edible landscapist, plant breeding dabbler, forager.
Contact Greg  

Steve Thorn

I started my 1st "permaculture" garden when I was about 7, and it was only about 20 square feet back then. I didn't want to use fertilizer or pesticides and wanted to plant it as natural as possible. Years later I started planting a larger garden, berry bushes, and fruit trees. I have learned show much from the Permies community, and I'm excited to learn and share our experiences together!
Contact Steve

Roberto Pokachinni

Just a little guy with big ideas, trying to get it done in the Canadian Rockies.
Contact Roberto

Kyle Neath

Somewhere in between a software developer and agroforester. Once upon a time I built a lot of software in a very fancy city, but now I can usually be found running around in the mountains.
Leaping Daisy is my main gig. It's an old high country ranch in the Sierra Nevadas. In the summers, I spend my time fixing 100 year old log cabins, improving the forest, and building out infrastructure to host small events. In the winters, I strap on my snowshoes and play in the snow.
In between that, I'm still trying to figure this whole life thing out. I spend a bit of time writing software to pay the bills, a chunk of it caring for my parents, and the rest playing around the mountains near Tahoe.
Contact Kyle

James Freyr

James is in his forties, is an active homesteader who is married, and has no children aside from six cats. He is an alumnus of The American Brewers Guild and while he no longer brews beer he does dabble in the fermentations of food and dairy. He resides in the state of Tennessee where he has been in the skilled trades since 2004 but as of lately only installing hardwood floor and tile and is trying to hang up that hat to homestead full-time. An avid gardener for more than twenty years, he is preparing to add animal husbandry to his lifestyle. When he has free time he enjoys hikes through the woods and reading books.
Contact James

Satamax Antone

I'm the biggest french procrastinator sloth on this forum. Intrested in rocket stoves of all forms. And by timberframing strawbale houses, and some procrastinator gardening.
Contact Satamax

Thomas Rubino

13 acres in extreme rural Montana 100% off grid since 1983. Solar and micro hydro. Summer time piggy farmer. Restoring 2000-04 Subaru outbacks wagons for fun and a little profit. Not quite old enough to retire YET but closing on it fast... until then I must occasionally leave Paradise "home" and run large construction cranes on union job sites across the inland northwest. I make (Well try) A-2 A-2 cheese, I love cooking with my wood smoker for everything! Would not live anywhere else but rural Montana ! My wife Liz runs "Rocks by liz" a successful Etsy store and we have a summer booth at the Missoula peoples market. We currently breed and raise persian cats but are about to retire all the girls and let them be happy kittys for the remainder of their days.Oh and my biggest thing is... I LOVE MY RMH !
Contact Thomas

William Bronson

Montessori kid born and raised in Cincinnati.
Father of two, 14 years apart in age,married to an Appalachian Queen 7 years my junior,trained by an Australian cattle dog/pit rescue.
I am Unitarian who declines official membership, a pro lifer who believes in choice, a socialist, an LGBTQ ally, a Black man, and perhaps most of all an old school paper and pencil gamer.
I make, grow, and serve, not because I am gifted in these areas, rather it is because doing these things is a gift to myself.
Contact William

Bill Crim
Contact Bill

Wayne Fajkus
Contact Wayne

Jay Angler
Contact Jay

Amit Enventres
Urban homesteader, garden designer, and more.
Contact Amit

Mark Brunnr
Contact Mark

Kim Goodwin
Native of Oregon, misses the forests, but now staying warm and dry in the desert.
Contact Kim

David Good

David is the author of four books, a radio producer, painter, garden writer, musician, naturalist, teacher, and mad scientist with almost 30 years of gardening experience. Some of those things he’s even good at.
David Good

Erica Wisner

Was born, raised, and turned loose on an unsuspecting world. Originally an educator, now growing into writing & publishing, fire fighting, family care teams, and mountain ecological maintenance. Prone to extended explanations. (I like to explain things so that a 5-year-old and her PhD grandparent can both enjoy and 'get it'... no offence meant if you're somewhere in between!)
Contact Erica

Duane Hennon
Contact Duane

Karen Donnachaidh

I'm Karen Donnachaidh (pronounced donna-key). I grew up in a large Scots-Irish family (poor by many people's scale) where we grew most of our own food; had large gardens and many fruit trees; raised cows, hogs and chickens; preserved our bounty through canning and freezing anything that we could grow or forage; and, we made most of our own clothes. Growing up, these skills were necessary for our survival. While not exactly necessary today, I choose to live a frugal life and live close to nature just because it's in my very soul. Things I love: reading everything; word games; saltwater fishing (well, any kind of fishing) mostly for flounder, croaker and sand mullet; abundant sunshine; the smell of the marsh; creating new recipes and eating great home cooked food; lots of gardening; drawing and painting when I find time; secondhand shopping for great bargains; and, listening to music from the 40s/50s/60s. And I love Gaelic music, bagpipes, knobby knees in tartan kilts and a jolly fine céilidh (party).
Contact Karen

Glenn Herbert

Early education and work in architecture has given way to a diverse array of pottery, goldsmithing, and recently developing the family property as a venue for the New York Faerie Festival, while maintaining its natural beauty and function as private homestead
Contact Glenn

Thekla McDaniels

Thekla has been studying soil life and the process of soil development since 1965, also, the then new idea that fossil fuels were a limited resource.  She currently farms 2 1/2 acres of what used to be fine grained blowing desert sand but is now 4 inch deep soil, and counting!
Contact Thekla

Fred Tyler

Showed up for a PDC at Wheaton Labs and decided to stick around. He's now planning to build a passive solar/hobbity wofati on a deep roots plot at Wheaton Labs.
Contact Fred

Peter van den Berg

He's been a furniture maker, mold maker, composites specialist, quality inspector, master of boats. Roughly during the last 30 years he's been meddling with castable refractories and mass heaters. Built a dozen in different guises but never got it as far as to do it professionaly. He loves to try out new ideas, tested those by using a gas analizer.

Lived in The Hague, Netherlands all his life.
Contact Peter

Cris Bessette

I am Cris Bessette and I live in the mountains of Northeast Georgia, USA. I have 2 acres of semi-wooded rural land where I live with my dogs, Currently I work as an electronic technician for a communications company, have been an international sales rep, telephone tech support, pizza delivery driver, carpentry, occasionally paid musician, etc.

I have more interests and hobbies than I have time for:

Reading pretty much anything, gardening, tropical plants and "tropicalesque" landscaping, multi-instrumentalist musician, band member, build musical instruments, listening to music, recording music, carving wood, discussing philosophy / religion, contemplating the meaning of life (42), cooking, experimenting in the kitchen, hiking, photography, entheogens, playing with my dogs, camping, learning new things, studying plants, foreign languages and cultures (hablo bien el español / falo um pouco de portugues),traveling, laughing, hanging out with friends, occasionally being a hermit, oh yeah, and permaculture.

In short I am a jack of all trades, master of none. I love learning new things and teaching things to other people.

Got into permaculture through trying to improve my gardening skills, now considering starting a permaculture religion and bringing the good news to the people
Contact Cris

Isaac Hill

Isaac has been obsessed with permaculture since January 2011. Isaac likes the tendency towards generalization in permaculture, thus he can float from wildcrafting to alternative building to philosophy to sacred geometry to shoveling manure at whim. Isaac likes the third person.

Other Gardeners
Contact Ann Torrence
Contact D. Logan
Scott: I paint my tools hot pink, so I have more chance of finding them. I have grass that grows at light speed, and it's always deep, pink gives me a chance.

Jay: I don't think I've seen a 10 foot sewing tape. I use mine for all kinds of odd things, measuring lumber, or chunks of rebar. Plus in my world it has the bonus of being able to measure weird shapes too, that matters to me these days.
17 hours ago
Cool work Ms Jay!!  
I carry a flexible sewing tape in my purse as a lightweight tape measure  :)
1 day ago

Travis Johnson wrote:I see you have a nice robust tractor there Pearl, nice and heavy with wheel weights in the rear on those industrial lugged tractor tires! Nice tractor!

For working on hillsides, liquid ballast, whether beat juice or calcium, is a little better because the solution is always in the bottom of the tire making the center of gravity on a tractor a little lower than on the steel weights you have, but it is not so big of a deal that you should have your rear tires "loaded" as it is called. It is a fairly big expense, and may have been done on your tractor already.

Glad you like my lady tractor! The guy who replaced my tire sighed when saw those weights. I hope I never have to remove/reinstall them myself, I'll have to get creative with it, those puppies are heavy. The scraper blade it came with is weighted heavy too.
It has one back wheel calciumed. The other is empty, new tire etc, we did not add fluid into the new one.

In my roll over, I was coming around a corner on a 9% grade next to a fence line. because of that I had my loader up pretty high to clear the fence coming around the corner. I was also plowing and so making a 14 inch deep rut. What happened was, my front tire popped out of the furrow, and so I steered back into the furrow and when I did, the tractor just kept going over. The reason I rolled over was because the front axle never hit the frame during oscillation; my rear tire and front tire were on the same plane, and quite low compared to the left side of the tractor, and so it just rolled over. had I hit a bump, rolled over a stump, etc, I would have broke traction and spun out and never rolled.

Thank you for the explanation! That picture has bothered me since I first saw it, knowing why it rolled makes it MUCH less scary. I'll look at how mine looks underneath today. All I have looked underneath was for things like "are you leaking?"
1 day ago
Eric Hansen: thank you for your reply! Yeah, I simply won't cut sideways in a ditch. Just ain't gonna do it. Grass can stay there! So far I've manged to just ignore it, I'll get that ditch tweaked to be mowable.
My current tractor: Lady Sybil Ramkin, a 47 hp International Harvester, about 1969 model, was a highway dept beast for years. industrial tires.

You can see the wheels on the pic that shows the feathers I put on it. My previous tractor was stolen, and Kubotas all look alike. I made this one distinctive. (And horrifying to a prospective buyer. The name of the paint job is "What the hell did she do to that tractor?!")  

Regarding the front axel, most every tractor I have ever seen has an axel that pivots about a center point.  As an example of this in action, if the tractor is merrily going straight over flat land but hits a pothole on the right front tire, the front axel will pivot down on the right side so that all 4 tires maintain contact with the ground.  Alternatively, if the right tire hit a bump the axel would pivot up on the right side.  Without this feature, any time you hit a bump, dip, or any uneven patch of ground, the tractor would lose ground contact with at least one tire and possibly even two tires.  The front axel almost acts like a sort of suspension for the front of the tractor.

VW bugs have a swing axle that adjusts the camber on the wheels, basically it's two separate axles, that hook in the middle at a flex joint, so they can bend separately. Like that, kinda? I'll crawl under the tractor and look at her front axle tomorrow now that I know what I'm looking for.

No rollbar, no place to hook one, but I did put a seatbelt on it.

I have learned a lot, just every so often I get scared again by something. At this point I know where my worst hazards are (found most of them by hitting them with the Kubota, that was NOT fun) and take precautions. The dirt work will help a lot, I look forward to things being easier.
1 day ago
Dave Burton:I bought a pair of cheap elbow length leather welding gloves from Harbor Freight, no blackberry shredding for me :) Or catbriar, I have a lot of that around too.
1 day ago

Travis Johnson wrote:
The major thing to understand is the oscillating front axle. It has to pivot otherwise the rear tire would come off the ground and it would lose traction and stop. BUT that travel is limited, more so on a tractor then on a skidder which needs all the rotation it can get to go over stumps and rocks. So as the tractor goes into a hole with its rear wheels, the front axle pivots, but at some point it hits the frame of the tractor. 99% of the time or more, this is where the tractor stops rolling. It almost has too. In order for the tractor to keep rolling, the tractor must be so top heavy, or moving so fast, that it now overcomes the entire weight of the machine, and overcomes the width of the bushhog on the ground, and the stance of the tip over. To do that takes a lot. And I mean a lot. A LOT!

What a person is really feeling is the "pucker factor". It feels like the tractor is going to tip over, but it almost can't. What it takes to go over is to have a high center of gravity, and that means the bucket of the tractor is high up in the air, or the tractor is going too fast. If the bucket is lowered, the center of gravity is lower, and if the tractor is going slow, the front axle will pivot, then the tractor breaks traction and just spins one wheel.

To prevent roll over:

Go slow
Keep your bucket low
Keep your bushog as low as possible
Do not use your differential lock
Stay out of four wheel drive if you can
Go straight up and down on hillsides and avoid sidehilling
Invert your back wheels (do not do so on your front wheels though).
Load your rear wheels with liquid ballast

Travis: THANK YOU!! That's the kind of information I wan hoping to see! You are one of the people I was hoping would chime in on this, since I have seen pics of you and tractors that make me pucker up just to look at!  Your one roll over, was that the one in the ditch (I think it was a Kubota?)

Can you explain "oscillating front axle" to me? I turn the wheel, the front wheels turn, (mine are much smaller than my back wheels, does that affect the stability at all?) is the whole axle moving? What if the front wheels hit the hole long before the back wheels? They are in front...

So am I correctly understanding what you say about what it would take to tip over is it would basically jam up on the frame and kind of bottom out before it rolled over? Unless it really was being top heavy with weight.

Ditches scare me. The city has a guy who cuts ditches around here that I have seen straddle the ditch and cut that way, oh no...  I have been thinking on it, and while there is equipment out there doing stuff (I found someone I LIKE to do the dirt work!! Whoo! Who is actually working with me, not just saying "I dig the hole, I don't care why, I go away.") I'm going to get him to reshape the ditch too. Not sure if it's allowed or not, but if it's done, hard for them to complain :) The next door neighbor did it, but due to weirdness, he's in the county, I'm in the city. If anyone complains I'll point to his ditch, that functions just fine as it is. At some point before I got here the city dredged my ditch, to steeply dropped sides that can't be maintained. I'll flatten the curve, and add a ponding area by the culverts so they don't need the steep drop to flow right.

I need to ballast the tire we replaced, I'll go for beet juice, as the reason I had to replace the rim, tire, and tube involved the calcium stuff in it eating the metal past repair.

Thank you, my friend, for chiming in! I was thinking of you when I started this thread, knowing you'd know. :)
2 days ago

Rene Nijstad wrote:Uhm, did anyone ever thought about terracing slopes? I know it's a lot of work, but excavators go quite fast and it only has to be done once. Benefits are huge if done correctly. Erosion almost totally grinds to a halt, terrain is suddenly save to traverse, most rainwater just sinks in because your compacted soils get broken up and are flat now... Stumps get dug up, and if you just keep mowing on time never grow again...

I mean, why not at least try it on the slopes most scary to you?

Rene: Terracing is expected to start within a couple of weeks here. That's why it has to be cut right now, so we can see the ground levels. I contour mapped and marked it all last fall, then the heavy rains hit this spring (I'm in the Midwest flood territory) and next time I could get my tractor out the grass was 5 foot deep. I have had the terraces planned since the first time I walked this property, lot of factors in the way. It's part of house construction, the excavator will be here already. We are also building ponds! Had to cut that area too. I left 18 inch deep drifts of grass cuttings in that area, that was not easy to cut. House, terrace, and pond areas all had to be done. I'm down to a few bits of icky stuff near the house site, where we put test trenches, that have eroded, hard to cut when I don't know where the 3 foot deep trench is, or how bad it's edges will crumble if I get too close. The grass is over my head!!
2 days ago

Artie Scott wrote: ...don’t beat yourself up because you get scared, or take longer to cut using an unusual pattern. We need you round here!

oh, I'm absolutely not beating myself up about this, I'm trying to learn how to NOT be scared, how to do it correctly, so it's less scary. Fear of the unknown is different from fear with no basis. I fear the unknown, and am hoping to get wise people who know more than me to teach me, more than just "you'll pick it up!" What I put in the post is what I have picked up, and I'm hoping for more education, as it feels inadequate. :)  I look at people who are doing things that make my stomach churn to watch them, and wonder "how did they learn to do that?" and wish I had someone like that to teach me. I was working with a guy, I was on the tractor, he was on the ground, we were using chains to pull locusts out by the roots, he said something, I forget what, and I said "How old were you when you first drove a tractor?" "8, I think, when my dad showed me how."   "I was 54, and no one has showed me anything. Be patient with me!"
2 days ago
My property gets brushcut sometimes, and I have a cutter and a tractor, and sometimes I’m afraid of doing it. This is what I have learned helps, and I’m hoping to get more people talking about how to do it well, so we can all learn, so it’s less scary and easier to do. I realize a lot of people do it casually, and wouldn’t think my property was bad at all, but some days it’s scary to me, and I suspect there are others who are afraid too. I wasn’t taught to do it, I was told “you’ll pick it up!” and that was pretty much it. Some of this is stuff I learned in my other jobs, some stuff a guy I hired once to cut for me taught me (some by words, some by watching him) and some I have figured out on my own. Take it all with grains of salt, I may be wrong :)

Background (feel free to skip this paragraph) I have been in several car wrecks, one of which did permanent damage to my body, another one of which left me terrified of the feeling of losing control, losing traction, skidding and rolling over. The first tractor I had turned out to have bad brakes, which I didn’t learn until I was pretty scared by the fact that I couldn’t control it. Getting the brakes fixed helped it, but added to my fear as I was trying to learn to do it on my own, not being sure why the tractor was not going to do as you tell it to when it’s doing something scary is not a good learning experience.

I have training and experience in nutrition and exercise, and some of that is worth considering. Panic in the human body is a chemical process, started by the brain, generally, but then amplified by body chemistry. When I know I am going to do something scary, I make sure the night before and that morning to eat a high protein meal, and that morning avoid sugar and keep caffeine down. This lowers the amount of chemicals available to amplify the panic, and makes it far easier to keep in control of it intellectually. I also make sure I have had Vitamin B complex that morning, it helps your body calm stress chemistry down. I drink a lot of water, dehydration does weird stuff to moods too. I have back issues, I wear a back brace, not flinching from pain as I hit bumps helps keep my muscles loose, and that also stops the panic feedback cycle. I am female and need it, so I make sure I have on a good supportive bra, for the same reason.

The property hadn’t been cut in 5-10 years when I got here, and it was a mess. The closest neighbor cuts his hay and sells it, and there was Sericea Lespedeza amok in my field that was beginning to encroach on his land, and it’s an invasive that would lower the value of his hay. He agreed to not start spraying on his side if I’d keep it from invading him, as I’m on his watershed and he knows I don’t want it coming down to me. So I had to cut it.

There was one part that was really scary, steep, and filled with brush and trees and holes, so thick I could almost not walk it, and I was terrified of it. My tractor was small, not a high power machine, and I feared it getting stuck down there. I found someone with a bigger tractor and more experience, and paid him to cut it the first time. I hated paying someone to do something just out of fear, but it was worth it. He told me to go SLOW, and that I had more power going forward, so if I was afraid of an area, lift the cutter, back into it as far as I was comfortable, drop it and pull forward slowly. He told me to cut it in stages, cut it part way down, then come back a second or third time as needed. And I watched him cut himself a path first, in an easy place, so he had somewhere to work from.

I had laid out in my head where I plan to have paths on this property, so I cut them early on, long before I got the bulk cut. I have learned that helps a lot, I never feel like I am going to get totally trapped somewhere. Some days when I do an area that I’m only comfortable going uphill or downhill on, I go till I hit a path, then come back the long way around, and do another swath. Slows me down, costs more in time and gas. But isn’t as frightening.

I learned to mark my known hazards, stumps and such, it’s easy to know where they are as I look out across the field, it’s hard to keep track when I am just doing the next line, or when I am dodging something like a hole, or backing toward it. I use tomato cages with ribbon, white plastic moveable fence posts that are made to just step in with a spike, and bright colored objects.

I hate the feeling of being sideways on a slope, I fear rolling the tractor. My current tractor is fairly stable, but still high, and at this point only has one back tire ballasted. I have learned to cut 90 degrees straight on all slopes I can, even when it means I’m cutting a weird spray pattern, the tractor not tipping around helps immensely. I HATE a slope that doesn’t feel too bad, then I hit a hole or rock I didn’t have marked, and now it feels REALLY bad. The more level I can stay, the more stable I am when I hit weirdness. The pictures below show the basic property with current path layout in purple and topographical lines in green, and a really rough sketch of the cut patterns I do it bright pink, although the hazards are not on there. You can see my weird spray patterns, see how they work with the topographical lines, and how they loop back to my paths.

How many of us are afraid? What do people who are more experienced do? I’d LOVE to learn more about how to do this well.

2 days ago