Sean Pratt

Lab Ant
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since Jan 01, 2016
Rensselaer New York
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Recent posts by Sean Pratt

i often lay in bed at night wondering all of those questions as to why food isnt the same in peoples opinion as when they were a child. glad im not the only one who thinks it through!
call me purple for saying this but.... what ever tree you plant for your daughter will be the perfect tree for her. its just how it works in my opinion. im not yet 30 and many trees were dear to me as a kid. some still stand some still bear fruit some do not. the ones that didn't last just encouraged me to be more of a caretaker.
2 years ago
i think there is every chance that this could go just fine with an air layered tree but one thing to note is that when you take from a living plant without sexually reproducing the offspring is really the same age as the mother plant.so if i take from a 100 year old apple that has been damaged physically to save the genetics next year i will have a 101 year old grafted tree. this isn't always an issue i know of one case where a annual was cloned for about 30 years before the gardener decided it just wasn't what it used to be. i often wonder if this is why select varieties of apples never taste as good as when we were kids. i speculate that the DNA is becoming wonky after so many years of asexual reproduction.  just food for thought. i didn't see it mentioned. i really love this idea i will plant one for each of my young family members this year in fact.
2 years ago
another thing i am considering is adding mass around my existing stove. something like the German hybrid masonry heaters i think they are called. im thinking of cobbing a dome around it with an air gap between the stove and cob. a vent at floor would draw cool air in and a vent at the top would let hot air out. i seen one on youtube i am sure i could whip up. i am also thinking that maybe an air intake directly into the stove from outside might help. the logic is that my stove wont be sucking air threw the drafts in my house as much so i will be able to hold onto my heat longer. just thinking out loud here.
2 years ago
very nice work! who's on the job?im curious to see how you use the space under the stairs and how much better this trom wall works!
2 years ago
after a long summer of wearing the same boots i had a bad case of sewer foot. it just wouldn't go away even when i bought new boots. i had used baking soda but it got to the point where the bacteria laughed at it.soap and water also did not work no matter how often. i eventually tried soaking my feet in vinegar. after about 20 minutes my issue was resolved! talk about an embarrassing issue.... im a dirty hippie but i dont enjoy smelling... no one does!
2 years ago
it all sounds legit to me. it is basically what i have done one the top boundary of my plot at Wheaton labs last May and for me it has worked. I piled one to three feet of logs and tree tops left over from my cabin building the whole way. Evan was nice enough to come over and run the excavator. he took scoops from the far side of the hugel and pulled them on top of the brush . along the way we decided to add some randomness for micro climate. its very deep sub soil so we got them very high in spots. one thing i wish i did is to put a small terrace midway on the tall ones before planting. they are to steep to easily harvest or to tall in spots. other than that i am very happy with the shape and height of them. some are 12 feet or more above the bottom of the trench i believe. when Evan finished i started throwing down cover crop seeds every time it down poured during the storms. all sorts got added. then i got some "survival garden" packs off ebay and added them as well to see what veggies grow. around June its got to damn hot and i started to mulch them with what ever i had around  ( mostly pine branches) . this gave enough shade to give my plants a chance.mustard and diakon took over . some other flowers and veggies to . it was really pretty.by fall i got a decent amount of squashes and sunflowers. then the next round of planting started. i got free fruit from Missoula lawns and planted the seeds in my berms . apricots, plums wild and cultivated, apples, cherries , nanking cherries, maple, alder, mountain ash, choke cherry, hawthorn, pear and black locust are the trees i can remember. the herbage i planted was "weed mix" i collected over the spring and summer months yarrow, clover, alfalfa ect.

i have yet to see what trees are there this spring i wont be home till around may 17th. one year to the day from the first earthworks. i am a little worried that the settling of my berms will be bad for some of my trees down the road but that's  part of the reason i planted free seeds. i figure if i keep planting my berms as much as possible with a mostly free seeds i cant loose.

i hope this helps. best of luck ! be sure to let us all know how good it turns out!
2 years ago
great thread! i didnt know much about nettles for cordage before this. My girlfriend crochets constantly and im starting to relies how many things we could make 100% off our land if i just had a fiber crop of some sort. so far no luck with nettles. Kai me and Sara sowed some seeds in a local wet spot and i haven't seen any plants yet . but when we do have some nettles be sure we will be Nettle-A-Long with you!
2 years ago
I'm not in a place in life to spend 2000$ on a rocket mass heater . I  already have a wood stove and im sure that will get me through the coming winter but if at all possible i would like to use a rocket mass heater.i might be able to scratch up 200$ for this if im lucky but i cant bank on it. so what im thinking is something that could use my floor as mass ( space is very limited currently in my 8x16 cabin ). what im envisioning is getting a free barrel and using cob and stone for the majority on the "bench" in the floor including the replacing the stove pipe with a stone channel. fire brick is expensive i hear but i cant help but wonder if vermiculite and cob would do the job minus being sturdy. i would be okay with it not being as efficient as the RMH i am used to .i am also okay with having to replace it in a few years or just spruce it up once in a while. im mostly just wondering if i can pull something off thats much better than my woodstove without spending a bunch of money i wont have.  
2 years ago