Daniel Schneider

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since Aug 21, 2016
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Recent posts by Daniel Schneider

I hate to be the lone voice of dissent, but it would personally  drive me crazy. I have ADHD, and one of its characteristics is the inability to automatically ignore distractions.The erratic , percussive nature of the sound a typewriter makes would be absolutely impossible to ignore- I know this from personal experience: when I was a child, my mother used to type late into the night, in the room right  next to my bedroom, amd then wonder why I didn't fall asleep, or couldn't focus on schoolwork.
4 weeks ago

wayne fajkus wrote:

Anne Miller wrote:So what is this?


I think it's the lamp for a magic lantern- a Victorian slide projector

EDIT  oops, I guess I should look at the whole thread before posting....

3 months ago
We don't have kids yet, but the last 2 owners of our farm have had alcohol/drug problems, so we're starting with a place that has suffered from neglect and half-arsed fixes since the mid seventies: there's a *lot* of work needed just to maintain things in their current state, and get basic systems and infrastructure functional. One thing we do is lists-lots of lists. We do a dated, dailyish list of the day's  things to do, and cross things off as they're done, then we save the lists. When we're feeling overwhelmed with what needs to be done yet ( and we're still at the point where for every big project we get finished, we discover 2 or 3 new ones), we look at the old lists and remind ourselves how much better we've made the place already. Remember, having final goals is good, they give you something to work towards, but as you go on, you're going to change those final goals, so you'll never actually reach them, or at least, when you do, they won't be the final goal anymore, so it's important to look back from time to time and remember what you've gotten done- at some point you'll look back and say, 'hey, wasn't that thing there one of the things  we wanted to end up with when we started? cool! Now, back to the new thing we want to end up with'
4 months ago
I would afdvise asking a lot of questions before signing such a contract, and I'd want some fairly strongprotections written in if you do decide to go that route. How often would the farmer be cutting the hay? How often would he be fertilising, and with what? After 25 years of corn, your fields are going to be in pretty poor condition; if he just seeds and harvests, you're going to have nothing but dirt at the end of the contract. If he *does* plan on fertilising, would it be solid manure (best case), liquid manure (okay biologically, but won't really do much for your soil structure), or chemical fertilisers (just bad)?

Would he be planning to put on pesti/herbi/fungicides? IMO, very much  not a good thing, but you may feel differently, and so may the other farmer. But if it's important to you, you'll want to haveit clearly stated in the contract what is and isn't allowed.

What will he be planting? Here, it's generally reckonned that red clover will have to be resown about every 3-4 years or so, so if someone rents a field for 4 years, and sows it to just red clover, it's pretty much going to be played out right when the contract ends. If your area is similar, you could potentially end up right back where you started from at the end of the contract: Rememer, this is the growth pattern in central Sweden, it may be(probably is) different in your region; you'll have to ask around, if you don't already know.

What kind of equipment does he use-how heavy is it? There was a dairy farmer haying the fields of our farm till we bought it last year, and he used a *really big* tractor to do so. This caused a lot of compaction on our clay-silt fields, which is going to take a number of years to fix.

Is it going to be hay, haylage or silage that he takes? This is connected to the previous question, as if he's making hay everything needs to be nice and dry, which means less compaction, while if he does haylage, he could be going over the fields when they're wetter that is good for them.  We were visiting a friend earlier this week, and I happened to look out over one of her fields which she's renting out, and I saw wheel ruts that were between 6 inches and a foot deep: the person renting the field had driven over it when it was *far* too wet and left these canals in her field. Even if they plow and harrow out the ruts, they'll have left subsoil compaction.

Remember, people tend to be more...relaxed about the long-term condition of other peoples' fields than they are about their own ones, so you're going to have to make sure your land is treated the way you want it to be, and I'd strongly recommend that you get it all down in writing so there aren't any misunderstandings about that treatment. That being said, it is potentially a way to give land you don't have time to care for right now at least *some* attention-we're renting out, on an annual basis, a smaller parcel  off to the east of the home farm to the dairy farmer with the big tractor: we have enough on our plates  with the main land, and this way it won't overgrow while we're busy here.

Finally, if you decide you want to come to an agreement with the other farmer, perhaps you could give him the 3-4 year contract he wants  for part of the 25 acres, but retain the right to take back part of it earlier, on the condition that he seeds all of it?
6 months ago
This came at a really opportune time for me. We had a 50-year winter's snowfall this year (almost literally; the people who grew up here say the last time we got this much was 1966), andhen it all melted in one week, our cellar flooded. I have a submersible pump from my old boat, but between the fine dust-mud from thedirt floor and the random floaty bits, it  kept clogging up which meantI had to take it apart and clean it, which got tiresome. I've been trying to reckon out a better system in case this becomes the new normal, and the washing machine drums seem like a really practical solution. If I dig a hole about 2/3-3/4 of the drum's height, and set the pump inside it, the holes wil llet in water from the ground (it was groundwater coming up through the floor, rather than through the walls or windows/ventilation holes), but hold back most of the dirt, and the lip I leave will keep the floaties out of the hole, at least if I can keep ahead of the rising level. Then, I can just put a lid on it when it's not in use. Thanks, Dale for starting this,and Nicole for putting it in the dailyish!
6 months ago
Hej Hans!
  Thanks for your answer. I was kind of afraid it would be something like that. Oh well, I'll just use them for inside applications,then.
6 months ago
Over the winter, I cut a bunch of prunus padus (bird cherry/hackberry) to let some more sun into one of our growing areas, and I was wondering; does anyone out in permieland have any experience with using prunus padus as fence posts? I have about 3 kilometers of fencing that needs to be put up (not all at once, thank the gods) and if I can use the stuff I cut anyway, it'd be good, but I'm *powerfully* uninterested in setting several dozen posts that I'll have to replace in a couple of years, so if it rots quickly in the ground, I'll  use them for heat next winter instead.

Happy spring!

6 months ago

r ranson wrote:There are many ways to make wood waterproof, or very nearly.  Think boats.  Maybe there is a solution there? 

Probably not. I used to own a wooden sailboat, and  every year I had to scrape the hull and repaint it, which goes against his 'no aftercare' condition: even so, what kept the wood from rotting was that  the salt in the  water that leaked in anyway permeated the wood. Older boats used tar rather than paint,which lasted longer, but even that needed to be reapplied from time to time. Tar also has a quite distinctive odour, which some people love, and some ...not so much. There is a substance called 'brewer's pitch' which is/was used to seal barrels and othe staved containers, which *might* work.  Barrel staves are held much more tightly together by the barrel bands than the joints one could get with screws or nails, so I'm not sure that the pitch would have enough gap-filling ability, but it might be worth a shot.

EDIT: Here's a source, and a video showing how to use it to seal a canteen. It's possible that if you were *really,really* careful, you could use a natural bristle brush to paint the hot pitch on the inner surfaces.

6 months ago
Thanks, Xisca! That was what I had thought, but my eyes aren't what they once were, so I couldn't really tell with any confidence.
7 months ago
One thing I couldn't tell from the video was; when you insert the scion wood, is the flat place you trimmed facing in or out? I'm guessing that you're lifting the bark away from the cambium, and the flat goes in?
Dan Schneider
7 months ago