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Mike Jay

master steward
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since Mar 24, 2016
Mike likes ...
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
Mike is a homesteader, gardener, engineer, wood worker, blacksmith and most recently a greenhouse designer. He heard about permaculture in 2015 and has been learning ever since.
Northern WI (zone 4)
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Recent posts by Mike Jay

I failed to take non-BB photos today.  But we spent the whole day up at the lab except for Nancy who worked on projects at base camp.  We dropped more trees, cut/moved/stored junkpoles, bucked up logs, split wood, carved spoons, hung out at Cooper Cabin and got sprinkled on.  We had a huge dinner with veggies, butternut squash, flat bread, spaghetti, morel mushrooms and rhubarb crisp.  And we finished it off with the best movie ever, The Man Who Knew Too Little.
15 hours ago
Tonight I started up and ran the batch box RMH in the shop at Wheaton Labs.  I ran it for over two hours during a movie.  I've previously operated the cyclone batch box heater in the Red Cabin for a BB HERE.
15 hours ago
I made a spoon over the past few days.  It's currently kind of ugly so I'll keep whittling on it.
16 hours ago
Here are my junkpoles.  We cut them in one area and transported them to Allerton Abbey for storage/use.  Mine is the pile with the yellow circle around it in the second picture.
16 hours ago
Hello permies!  I'm currently at Wheaton Labs attending the PEP1 event.  It's great to finally see all the wonderful things going on out here.  The amount of work that Fred, Robbie, Paul and Jocelyn are doing is amazing.  With Paul's work managing permies and putting together the Better World Book and Jocelyn's day job, it's a wonder so much gets done.  

There are so many things that could move along so much faster if there was more physical help.  If you have a free month or two this summer, please consider joining the Permaculture Bootcamp program.  Check out that link for more details and this one for more Q&A.  It's basically 40 hours per week of permaculture/homesteading work with good food and nice people.

Robbie is the lonely current boot.  He and Fred are doing most of the work to keep the site running and move things forward.  Here's a lovely diary he's keeping updated with his activities Robbie's Permaculture Bootcamp Experience.  He's a really cool guy and could use more company.

This program leads, pretty quickly, to your own acre to build on.  

Check it out!!!
I'd like to propose adding some options in the place of the deck boards.  Maybe several different things you could do and pick one.  Keep the birdhouse and sign as mandatory and allow the permie to chose one of the following:

lay 10 decking boards
build a rack for equipment or firewood
build a simple bookshelf
build a simple workbench
install 40 square feet of siding on a skiddable structure

I'm thinking these are all projects that require many of the same skills (measuring, cutting, drilling, screwing/nailing, keeping things square, building for strength, etc)
1 day ago
Fun day today.  Trees and clothes and bird houses and bowls and benches were worked on in the morning.  In the afternoon we headed up to the lab to cut dead trees (woodland care badge), make junk poles and forage for morels and greens.  No morels but plenty of greens.  After a wonderful curry dinner there was time spent chatting with Paul and learning the musical scales.
1 day ago
I cut a burnt dead tree on the lab at Wheaton Labs today.  Use a bow saw for the bottom of the notch, Leif's axe for the rest of the wedge and a bow saw for the back cut.  I kind of like chainsaws better but the axe was kind of cool...
1 day ago
I made a 3 log bench today during the 2019 PEP1.  I told myself "before cutting the saddles, be sure to center the log on the support logs".  Well, I forgot, so now it's off center.  It still feels nice to sit on.  Thanks again to Jeremy for loaning me his adz and broad axe!
1 day ago
(note:  this document is still under construction - feel free to comment!)

general

transition from forest to woodland.  Less conifers, more deciduous trees.  

sand badge
drop 6” to 8” dead standing tree with a bow saw
drop 6" to 8" dead standing tree with a chainsaw
drop 6” to 8” live tree with a bow saw
drop 6" to 8" live tree with a chainsaw
limb 4 trees
peel 2 live trees and put up off the ground to dry
split and stack dead standing wood as firewood
prep 10 junkpoles
repair 24 feet or build 12 feet of junkpole fence
cleave 6 shakes with a froe

straw badge
drop at least 12 trees 8” to 14” in diameter:
      o at least one 14” tree
      o at least one with a bow saw (action pic)
      o all with the timber tool
      o take pics to prove proper tree harvest selection
      o one cord of firewood: cut and stacked properly under a roof (completion pic)
      o lumber
            - a dozen 2x4s eight feet long
            - a dozen 1x5s eight feet long
            - a dozen ⅜ inch by 4 inch eight feet long
            - properly stickered and covered for air drying
            - completion pic(s)
      o set aside at least three logs
            - full tree length
            - peeled
            - up off the ground for proper air drying
                   o does not need to be under a roof
            - completion pic
      o all dropped trees are properly cared for
            - each tree is used in some way or is preserved for future use
            - no trees are left on the ground to rot
      o document proper tree selection
twig construction
      o jute lashing, no metal
      o one five foot tall tomato cage (completion pic)
      o one eight foot tall pole bean trellis (completion pic)
36 feet of junkpole fence plus one mediocre gate with a mediocre latch
      o 12 foot long segments, so 3 to 4 posts for the fence (completion pic)
      o gate will be 3 feet wide or wider and will require an additional post
            - pic of gate
            - pic of latch
            - pic of other side of latch
      o pic of proper tree harvest selection
plant the tree seeds for 100 feet of living fence
      o verify a 30% (or better) germination rate
      o quick video moving over the row
plant black locust tree seeds
      o 40 with scarification
      o 40 with another type of scarification
      o 40 without scarification
      o all seeds are planted in a row, each seed is planted two feet apart, quick video over each row showing germination
plant 100 cleavers
      o plant in a row, twelve inches apart
      o quick video over row showing that at least 20 have germinated
plant 100 nettles - show that 20 have sprouted
      o plant in a row, twelve inches apart
      o quick video over row showing that at least 20 have germinated
plant 20 willows - show that 10 have grown
      o plant in a row, 2 feet apart
      o quick video over row showing freshly planted
      o quick video over row showing that at least half have grown
innoculate two four foot logs with mushroom spawn and harvest at least a half pound of mushrooms (completion of logs pic and action shot of harvest)
cleave 40 shakes with a fro

wood badge
put up three cords of firewood (completion pics)
lumber
      o 8 dozen 2x4s eight feet long
      o 8 dozen 1x4s eight feet long
      o 8 dozen ⅜ inch by 4 inch eight feet long
      o completion pic(s)
build six rock jacks out of split logs (completion pics)
120 feet of junkpole fence with one good gate and a good latch (completion pics)
plant 300 black locust seeds with 50% germination
plant 300 cleavers  with 50% germination
plant 300 nettles  with 50% germination
plant 60 willows with 50% growth
plant 40 sweet sap silver maples
plant 10 cedar trees
twig construction
      o jute lashing, no metal
      o six five foot tall tomato cages
      o three eight foot tall pole bean trellises
plant the tree seeds for 800 feet of living fence
lay 50 feet of living fence (aka laying a hedge)
berm shed
      o 8x8x8
      o five foot eave
gin pole
      o lift a 10 foot long, 12 inch diameter log 15 feet off the ground and place it on a structure
outdoor mushrooms
      o produce at least one pound of each
            - oyster mushrooms
            - shitake mushrooms
indoor mushrooms
      o produce at least one pound of each
            - enokitake mushrooms
            - oyster mushrooms
            - shitake mushrooms
mycelium
      o enhance garden beds with mycelium
            - photo evidence that it helped in 3 scenarios
skiddable firewood shed
      o holds one cord
cleave 200 shakes with a fro
validate the sand badge of six others

iron badge
put up six cords of firewood (completion pics)
lumber
      o 200 2x4s eight feet long
      o 200 1x4s eight feet long
      o 200 ⅜ inch by 4 inch eight feet long
      o completion pic(s)
build 24 rock jacks out of split logs (completion pics)
plant the tree seeds for 2000 feet of living fence
“lay the hedge” for 200 feet of living fence
humus well
      o pics of many stages of construction
junkpole fence around one acre (total of at least 836 feet) with four good gates and good latches (completion pics)
plant the seeds to restore a creek bed from a dry gully
      o 100 feet wide and 800 feet long
      o seeds are planted in diagonal rows, 3 feet apart (each planting row will then be 141 feet long - 47 seeds, 267 rows. 12,500 seeds)
      o each row is 3 feet apart
      o apple, walnut, oak, peach, chestnut, butternut, rhubarb, alfalfa, hickory, pecan (others?)
      o pics of the plot and the row markers when planting
      o video of growth verification at a foot tall (or more, average) for each row
      o take out all conifers
berm shed
      o each cell is 12x12x12
      o 3 cells
      o 5 foot eave
build two skiddable structures
gin pole
      o lift a 20 foot long, 18 inch diameter log 20 feet off the ground and place it on a structure
produce at least ten pounds of each
      o oyster mushrooms
      o shitake mushrooms
validate the straw badge of six others
1 day ago