Maja Gustavsson

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since Jan 14, 2016
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Recent posts by Maja Gustavsson

I've never used it so I don't know exactly how to make them to avoid getting splinters up your butt, but here in Scandinavia, the common thing that the natives used back in the day would've been ass-wiping sticks (aside from the usual moss and leaves and handful of grass). They were cut into suitable sizes, presumably from a type of wood that wouldn't give you horrible splinters up your private parts, and some were immediately thrown away after use while others were washed and re-used (heck, they could even be kept for a couple of generations). They were used from viking times all the way up to the industrial revolution and the rise of tp.

Granted, this was before the industrial revolution, so people back then had a very different diet, and thus very different stools, compared to most modern folk. I have no idea what sort of success you might expect trying to wipe a loose stool from your bottom with a wooden spatula.
2 years ago

Tracy Kuykendall wrote:To many unknowns in that question. What prey species, what predator species, etc.. It will depend on how limited you are by regulations etc.. Check with other animal growers/farmers in your area, also with the government agricultural district to see what kind of information is available.



Yeah, I know. I'm just looking for models on a broad scale at the moment. Even if it won't work in my area, there is always something useful you can learn.
3 years ago
Hey all. I'm a little curious about those of you who keep multiple species on pasture rotation in predator-rich areas. I'm looking around for models that might work here (fox and mink can be hunted and controlled here, but wolves, lynx, bear and birds of prey are all fiercely protected by the law) and any tips on books or other resources for models would be appreciated. Right now I'm just shopping around for info, looking at what worked for other people. Thank you!
3 years ago
I'd say don't cross them. It's just such a gamble - there was an attempt a while back to cross Labradors and German Shepherds to establish a new breed, as both of them were excellent blind dogs. They repeatedly ended up with litters where the puppies were completely unsuitable for the task. You might as well go to a shelter, pick up a random mix breed, and hope for the best. Getting a good dog by crossing can be done, have been done and will be done in the future, but it is a lot of work and don't count on getting a good dog in just one generation.

Why not an Anatolian or something? There are plenty of breeds already specializing on guarding livestock.
3 years ago

ev kuhn wrote:as for you, Maja, you never disclosed your location, for all I know your scandinavian winters can be a zone 7 in Denmark or at the scandinavian west coast
well, there is some zone 6 even in northern GA

now help me understand why you need such extreme cold hardy chestnuts, please



I am in zone 5 or 6 somewhere.

The issue with your map is that it is seriously simplified, and based upon average without taking into account the occurrence of the extreme. It assumes that the climate stays the same every year, but every now and then, we get a good old wolf winter and they will test everything. Take my own area, for example - normally we would rarely get temperatures lower than -15 degrees C, but this year we have spent a lot of time in temps well below -20. The coldest it got was -34, cold enough to permanently damage cars, houses, and asphalt. Nearby areas suffered from -43 for a few days, that could've easily been us.. What makes this winter even WORSE, is that the weather was extremely warm right up until the beginning of January.. so warm, in fact, that spring flowers started to pop up in the lawn and many trees began to bud well out of their season, they've taken a harsh blow from that. And even when our winters are warm, it's not unusual for us to get some very harsh summertime iron nights. So as you can see, a plant in zone 5 or 6 should preferably be very cold-hardy if it is expected to live for many seasons, like a tree would. If we were talking about plants that only lived a season or two, I wouldn't be as careful.

It wouldn't be worth planting a Mediterranean type of tree up here. I bet it would thrive just fine for a few years, but then we'd get another wolf winter and we might as well mark it down for timber.
3 years ago

Akiva Silver wrote:That's really interesting. I don't know very much about European climates. I have read about old chestnut forests in the Italian Alps, and orchards in the UK, but perhaps those are warmer climates than you. It's surprising to me that after all this time, no one in Europe has found chestnuts that do well in cool climates.



There are, but as far as I know it is only horse chestnut... they have great medicinal uses and can be a reliable livestock feed to some species, but they are poisonous to humans and many other animals as well, if eaten.

I am also interested. Let me know if anyone gets a hold of anything that'd survive and produce edible chestnuts despite the Scandinavian winters!
3 years ago

John Elliott wrote:
My recommendation? Collect up all the biomass, dry it out and burn it, and then use the ash as filler in concrete projects. Once your cadmium and copper are encased in concrete, they will be much less of a problem for you.



Now, THIS is actually a really good idea.. plus, it gives me an excellent excuse to do concrete stuff! Thanks a bunch, John, I'll absolutely keep this in mind. I was a bit worried that the best thing to do would involve some fancy expensive equipment (it would be worth it, but more difficult), but this is something I can actually do at home without much of an investment. Perfect.
3 years ago
Hello! I have absolutely no clue where to place this post but, does anyone here have experience with biobsorbtion of heavy metals? (For those unfamiliar with the term, biobsorbtion is the removal of heavy metals from soils and waters by using plants that absorb them.) I wonder if this is something that would be possible to do on a small, homestead scale?

Since I will soon have access to a bit of land near the baltic sea, one of my priorities is going to be supporting the fishing waters there. Lots of seaweed will be planted, as sadly this place is pretty much dead thanks to human activity. One idea I have been toying with is using species of seaweed that will absorb copper and cadmium from the sea bottom, to then be removed for the process to be repeated. (I like to think of it as a buffer against the possibilities of toxin buildup in my soils, since I will be growing food nearby. Plus the facts that I'm going to be fishing there..)

That is, of course, the easy part... the difficult part is knowing what to do with the metal-ridden seaweed! I tried looking up this, but I just want to grow stuff, not get a degree in chemistry, unless I know I can actually do this at home somehow Does anyone have experience with disposing of this kind of biomass? What do I do with it? CAN I do anything with it, that would separate the metals from the biomass, without advanced chemistry knowledge or expensive equipment?
3 years ago
And, here's an article of the possible real-life inspirations for Kingsfoil, since I'm a nerd and don't have the common sense to go to sleep already: http://middleearthnews.com/2014/02/18/is-athelas-based-on-real-life-plant/
3 years ago
One more thing. Consider growing European utility plants for fiber, such as linen, industrial hemp (if you can get the permit for it - the rules are very strict in some areas because it is a lookalike of marijuana, but the hemp plant is an AWESOME fiber plant!) and nettle.
3 years ago