William Clark

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since Jan 23, 2016
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trees books food preservation
Central NY, Eastern Edge of Oneida Co. ,Town of Trenton
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Recent posts by William Clark

Thank you for all of the responses, they have given me some good ideas on how to deal with all of this hay. It turn out that i miss remembered how many bales there were, it's more like 20-25. looks like I will have plenty of chances to test different ideas.
I'm interested in the wood chips, I can get free chips from the town only 3 miles away. I'm guessing that they will be completely full of mold inside, maybe damp in the center. Hmm maybe I can inject some inoculant with a pipe if they are too rotten to move.
1 year ago
  I've got about 6 old round hay bales full of bind weed that I would like to get rid of and I'm not sure of how to actually pull these apart and build a pile (short of breaking my self with a pitchfork). They will have been sitting there for at least 3 years by spring, when I will be able to build the pile so I'm not sure I will be able to just unroll them like I want to.
  I have access to a tractor with a front end loader equipped with a set of fork lift forks, as well as a welder. I've got a few vague ideas of my own... but I've never tried to move a round bale let alone unroll one and chop it up in to little pieces, so anyone's advice and/or ideas would be well appreciated.

  Thanks, Will
1 year ago
For storage the magic number for moisture content is 15%, which unless you have a really expensive machine or a lot of time (and a scale and oven) is really useless information if you want to know if you can harvest now. Rule of thumb version is when you bite it and it crushes instead of squishes it is good to store(for a while).
As far as drying it goes, if you're going to be planting 100 acres you might want to look into renting/borrowing a large dryer or getting one of those steel silos.
However I've read about something called an aerator lance that is used for smaller amounts(hmmm and apparently really really large amounts too). Basically is a short piece of perforated pipe with an auger at the end, around 4-5ft of solid pipe and a squirrel cage fan on the end sucking air through the pipe.

Hope it all works out
I would like to add that if the ground is still cold/frozen that mulching it will push back the spring warm up by a week or two. It isn't necessarily a bad thing but something to remember.
Also the beds that you mulched last fall will do the same thing if it was a really thick mulch layer.

So it really depends on what it is you're going for; for really early spring planting it would be better to pull most of the mulch back from the beds until they warm up, for maximum winter water retention it would be better to pile the mulch on and plan for a (little bit) later planting.
2 years ago
Speaking from experience they are comparable in noise to having a 2 lane divided highway about a half mile away. Noticable if you listen for it but it will quickly fade into background noise. They are easier to ignore than a highway because they are consistent too. Best bet if you are really interested in the property is to go for a drive and talk to the neighbors, ask things like how the well water is or how good of a plowing job the town/county does. If the windmills are an issue for them they'll let you know before you can even ask.
Best of luck with your land search
2 years ago
mine won't die and I've been trying to kill it for years.
sadly it also won't make decent sized roots due to my soil conditions.

I would recommend planting it in a dedicated raised bed AWAY from your garden, lots of manure and sand and you will never have to buy it again. Any small piece of root that is left in the soil will regrow but the top growth will generally not spread it around. So long as you keep it(and any scraps) away from the compost pile the rest of your garden should be safe.
2 years ago
Its all winter outside and around now I'm really itching to see some green things. Does anyone have some pretty flowers they would like to share to keep away the winter gloom?
2 years ago
A site analysis is all about the records, if you're going to have a serious generation setup (which is a serious investment) you will need some seriously detailed/lengthy records so that you can plan everything out. Bare minimum you would want a year but it would be great for three to five years. Tracking the water flow in the streams is a bit of a challenge, I'll have to dig out my old Home Power magazines to give details on that. For wind and solar one of the easiest options is to use a weather station that tracks the insolation for the solar panels and the wind speed/direction at the height that you will be installing the turbine. The Best of luck with your energy generation adventures
2 years ago
You could try some Lye, as in Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH). Not sure if it will help though.
Definitely NOT an acid of equivalent strength(muriatic) though, that would eat through your pipes and maybe form a large amount of Hydrogen gas if they are indeed galvanized steel.

like all strong chemicals make sure to protect your eyes and skin, don't breath the fumes.

Best of luck!
2 years ago
I would recommend grabbing a plate of cookies and chatting them up. Most of the farmers I've spoken with are happy to talk about what their doing if someone is actually interested and they have even a moment of spare time. If you hit it off you might be able to ride along when they till/plant in the spring(it can be a super high stress time if the weather isn't cooperating and your three weeks late planting).

I'd also try to avoid going into the relationship trying to change what their doing (this sounds like dating advice ) first learn what it is they are actually doing and why; if they are highly educated then they are probably managing that field in a specific way for some specific reasons, not all of which are immediately obvious. After some time you'll have gotten enough background to be able to look at the field from the farmer's point of view as well as the landowner's. If you get to know them before hand there is a good chance that you could pay them to plant/harvest the crops, perhaps they could even help you sell them.

Hmm, maybe avoid talking about putting trees in the middle of their corn field at first.... personally I did not get a happy response to that one ( it only takes 1 machine to kill 1/4 million trees/it only takes 1 tree to kill a $1/4 million machine)
Maybe instead talk about planting sugar maples on the field edges

Conservation agriculture is a middle ground between Conventional Ag and Permaculture, there is a chance that he or another neighbour already does some of these things. Cornell University also has a very extensive agriculture out reach program, much of it applicable to your growing area.
2 years ago