Win a Fokin hoe blade this week in the Gear forum!

judd ripley

+ Follow
since Dec 03, 2015
zone 8b
denmark
Apples and Likes
Apples
Total received
3
In last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Likes
Total received
5
Received in last 30 days
0
Total given
5
Given in last 30 days
0
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by judd ripley

thanks for the quick responses! great suggestions and advice. thank you!
Hi everyone, hoping someone can help me out here. I have an established kitchen garden in its third year now, no till. everything going great. I have found that with  growing potatoes, the old "trench and heaping" method works the best, but of course does not conform to the rest of the no dig method I am using. my problem is that if I am growing potatoes in the same beds as everything else, when I rotate the crops, I end up having to dig up my previously untilled beds, which I'm not happy about, so I'm wanting to hear if anyone has a solution to this? I have tried growing potatoes several different ways, but the old traditional method yields the best results. to clarify, I used a subsoil plow on the kitchen garden three years ago, and rototilled it, when I first established it, and have since only been adding compost to the beds without further tilling, which has so far been delivering impressive results. I am considering starting a whole new garden just for potatoes, seeing as how they thrive here in the soil I have minimal maintenance apart from the hilling every now and again, so I could dedicate a space intended to be dug, tilled, etc, move it the following year, etc. until finally rotating back to where I started. so in other words, a garden dedicated to just potatoes. any input or experienced advice appreciated! thanks in advance.
i use a chicken tractor for summer and winter. it is built on an old trailer frame, and i can hook it up to the tractor if i need to haul it serious distance, but most of the time, it is very managable with just me and my wife pushing it a few feet to its new location, and moving the portable solar electric fence. im planting a forest garden, so these guys prepare about 300 square feet at a time before i move them to the adjacent patch. it is insulated with recycled styrofoam boxes, and the internal walls are clad in recycled plastic floor protectors, making the whole thing very easy to clean. windows open in summer, and are predator proof, and there is plenty of ventilation under the eaves of the roof. in summer i just wash it out with a half bucket of water every morning, and when things get crazy cold, i can use a deep litter of straw etc on the floor which i can clean out regularly. i designed it to be super easy and quick to access and clean, open two doors, and hose the whole thing out! i have an automatic door opener to let them out in the morning, and with an automatic feeder and frost free drinking water, i can stay in bed on frosty mornings! i have since added a floating rebar grille above the floor, so the chickens dont walk on the floor/ their poop to get to the nesting boxes. clean eggs most days! the roosting posts are a removable unit, which i clean when necessary. all in all its been very successful.
2 years ago
I want to share my solution for frost free, no electricity drinking water for my chickens. I searched high and low for ever to try to find a solution online, and the following is an amalgam of different ideas that has so far worked perfectly for me, and has cost exactly zero dollars. This idea could be scaled up somewhat I think, to suit a bigger flock, but there would be limitations with regard to materials, weight etc. i am in a relatively cold area, (Denmark-Scandinavia) with daytime temps of around 20 degrees farenheit ( minus 6 celcius) dropping to around 10degress f, but rarely lower in my area. i don't know how effective this would be at lower temps, but it has so far proved to be very effective, with very little input.  i wanted something portable, ( to follow my chicken tractor around with my five chickens)  electricity free, and automatic, in the sense that i wanted the water supply to the chickens to be constant, clean and unfrozen. essentially it is just an insulated automatic gravity fed waterer, made from an old polystyrene cooler i had laying around, with a couple of plastic jugs, and some minor modification, in all, about 30 minutes work. a couple of things to consider:
(1) the waterer needs to be on a level surface, i have mine sitting on top of a piece of concrete, off the ground.
(2) the drinking access hole needs to be small enough to restrict temperature transfer, but big enough that the chickens feel safe to insert their heads. mine needed to be 3 inches in diameter before my chickens would put their heads in it to drink. ( i experimented)  i have isa browns and Icelandic chickens. This could vary for different breeds, i don't know. # IMPORTANT! chickens eat Styrofoam, so the drinking access hole needs to be sealed, i used a piece of plastic pipe inserted into the hole i cut with a holesaw.
(3) the outlet hole in the water supply jug needed to be 3/8 of an inch to allow water/ air transfer to be effective.
(4) the height of the drinking access hole needs to be considered, depending on the animal, but also considering the outlet hole in the jug for the water to pour out.  after experimenting, i put the outlet hole on the TOP of the jug, near the handle, for convenience in refilling and carrying. i insert the jug upside down in the cooler when i want to start the waterer working. this way i can carry the jug, before and after filling, using the handle for convenience.
(5) to calculate exactly where the outlet hole in the water jug needs to be, you need to measure the level of the LOWEST point of the drinking access hole, and make sure that your outlet hole in your water jug is BELOW that height! otherwise your automatic waterer will pour out the drinking access hole until it is empty.
(6) one jug inside the cooler is just for thermal mass, it is filled and sealed with ordinary water, i have used hot water inside this jug when temps are particularly frosty out, with very good results, otherwise, its not necessary, you can  bring the  cooler inside a heated dwelling overnight, to keep temperature up.
(7) make sure there is enough free space and water surface for the chicken to insert its head and drink comfortably ( see my awesome diagram!)
( placement of unit. i have mine outside the portable coop, on a brick, surrounded by bales of hay, with old windows on top, allowing the sun to provide some additional heating to the unit. my chickens also enjoy the space under the windows during the day as its out of the wind and it is warmer under the glass. all of these things combined have made this waterer as easy as i would have hoped! i tend to my chickens every day, but i have had occasion when i haven't been able to, and the waterer has functioned perfectly, without frost, even when outside water is frozen. i usually top up the water every day, but depending on many factors, the water supply can last many days without any input from me. i have been very pleasantly surprised on many occasions when i thought i would be in trouble with frozen water. a high quality, heavily insulated cooler would be a plus, as mine is very thin and cheap, as would having it black / painted black to absorb solar heat.
2 years ago
We have been harvesting plenty of wild garlic, as well as these old favorites, nettles and wood ear mushrooms. Freestyled a nettle and wood ear stir fry type thing with quinoa, delish!
3 years ago
Thanks folks! I should have mentioned that they are in fact white birch, at least, that is the only type of birch on the property and in the vicinity. I have 6 and a half acres, but more than happy to let one be a birch forest! Its old farmland, so pretty much old pastures. I am homesteading and have more than enough land for mu needs. I also value them purelynfrom an aesthetic/ wildlife perspective, and seeing as how im surrounded by farmland, im very happy to let nature run its course and reclaim some of that land! My concern was whether it was wise to let it be, and not interfere, or better to thin it out, to allow fewer trees a better chance for a quicker healthier growth. I have no experience at all with a situation like this, it amazes me that so many trees are able to occupy the same space. My instinct tells me to selectively thin, to have bigger healthier trees faster, but was hoping someone else had experienced a situation with so many saplings in such a small space. I should mention that all over the property there are birch saplings, but growing much further apart from each other.
3 years ago
Hi everyone, im looking for some advice on what to do about a volunteer birch forest on my property, i have a small stand of birch trees, which have self seeded about an acre or so of birch saplings, the saplings are about 3-4 years old im guessing, based on size and what the previous owner told me. I bought the property last year, and im more than happy to let them run wild, but they are so densly packed in, that there must be an issue with competing for nutrients etc, and part of me thinks that it being a natural occurrence, then surely natural selection will sort out their future, but i would like to hearsome opinions on the best strategy for managing them, ( or not managing them) and also their value as a possible resource. Thank you!
3 years ago
awesome! congratulations! that looks amazing, that really was an inspirational video. what are you planning to use for insulation?
3 years ago