Brian Karlsen

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since Jan 12, 2016
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bee chicken forest garden
pietermaritzburg, South Africa
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Recent posts by Brian Karlsen

hi all how many of you keep bees? here is a quick video i put together showing how i make my own foundation at home.


2 months ago
here is a little project i used last winter to extend my laying season.

11 months ago
thank you for your input i had the same idea originally of putting the heat riser inside the outer barrel but i think it would take up too much room unless as you say you found some larger container for the bell i chose to go this way as 55 and 30gal drums are easely obtained im not sure of any easily available bigger container.on the other hand it dos'nt necessarily require any metal it could be a brick or cob bell.

agreed exposing the top would give better accessibility and protect piping.

i was in error when i suggested glycerol I knew it decreased the freezing temp but didn't realize it increased the boiling point so much i was under the impresion that it actualy decreased the boiling point thanks for enlightening me.

11 months ago
Hi here is an idea ror rocket hot water that i thought id share please give your ideas and criticism but please be respectful.
i am not that keen on having a fire in the house but this could be just outside the back door and have hot water available in the house another coil and pump could be added to feed radiators in the house controlled by a thermostat it would be a little less efficient than a RMH but more controlled heat more like an outdoor wood boiler but more efficient because off the rocket combustion. in my climate i still like hot showers and hot water for washing dishes ect but very rarely need to heat the house. this would allow only heating the house when i want to without needing two separate systems.


11 months ago
please could you post a link to small planters in south Africa I live here and have not been able to find them.
what about draft cows yes they cant pull as hard as oxen but then they are also producing calves and milk so their maintinance costs are covered by thoes outputs or an intact bull that you use for covering your cows but he would have to be of good temperament but it means they arnt just draft. ive also seen a fair amount lately of cows being ridden and even doing show jumping aulthough i dont think id whant to encourage jumping with my cows im definately planing on training my latest heifer calf to ride to take me down to the local pub.  Most of my bull calves are destin for grass fed beef so im not too intrested in puting the training in for somthing that will be slautered in 18 months but a cow that will probably be producing for at least 10 years i think is worth the efort in traning
1 year ago
Hi I just started my first attempt at growing mushrooms but i think something has gone wrong a made a mix of Coffey grounds and wood chips and autoclaves it i then inoculated it with wine cap spawn from mushroombox.co.uk the first 2 days looked good with the white threads moving through the jar but now on day 3 the surface has turned blue and the color is moving through the jar as well have i ended up with some sort of infection or is this normal for wine caps i thought all mycelium was white?
1 year ago
Have you read about buble insulated greenhouses it uses a double wall of greenhouse plastick about 2ft apart with a soap buble generator in the top. When the sun is shining you let the bubles clear and the sun heets the greenhouse and when its not it fills with bubles giving excellent insulation ive heard of ppl growing tomatoes in then with no suplimental heat while there is 2ft of snow outside if you built one of these onto the south side of youre house your cistern should be prevented from freezing it would also warm the house a bit
2 years ago
hi just trying to get an idea of what yall thing would be the smallest humane size paddock for rotational grazing my 5 Dexter cows I am not talking about carying capacity but how much room they need to stretch out go for a run ect it you were doing moves 20 times a day and had really great grass a paddock the size of there body would probably work in terms of feed but this would be too cramped to be humane
2 years ago
from my experianve they dont bother the bees and at least here in africa the bees act as added security for the solar pannels with the panels giving shade for the bees win win win
2 years ago