Jotham Bessey

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since Jun 07, 2016
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solar woodworking
Newfoundland, Canada
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Recent posts by Jotham Bessey

When you are planning a building, consider the possible weather extremes much more important than cost.
A trail home in tornado alley is down right stupid!!
I would think that, by now, we would have figured out a building design that would withstand a tornado. Yet people keep building flimsy structures.
I've seen news where buildings were blown apart in 80km/hr winds. I think "Seriously, WTF!" Where I live, building are made to withstand 120- 140 km/hr wind.

A new resident to the province once asked if she should buy a greenhouse kit rated for 100km/hr wind. We all said "DON'T BUY IT!"
Someone said "if you do, make sure it's bolted to a solid foundation". Then another person said "I tried that, the only thing that stayed put were the pieces bolted directly to the concrete!"
6 months ago
I'm a little late on replying to the original post. I might have replied before. But here goes....

"I seem to fall into a poverty mindset". And there is the problem.

I have a piece of land to grow food,
I have a warm place to sleep and cook said food,
I have clothes to protect me from the elements
I tell everybody that I'm not poor, I just don't have much money!

The poverty mindset drives one to "keep up with the jones'"
Analyze your NEEDS not your WANTS. (Another one of my quotes "My needs are few but my wants are many")
Don't compare your possessions with what everyone around you has. The only question is, does your possessions/income meet your NEEDS? For people reading this, most likely, the answer is YES!
6 months ago
wheel barrows are one of those bulky things more likely to be left in the rain. I usually tip mine on its side, when not in use, so it doesn't fill with water an rust more.
7 months ago

Lisa Brunette wrote:Great topic! Glad to see this thorough discussion. Some thoughts, observations, and a few ideas that haven't been mentioned:

1. I'll echo the sentiment that Etsy is fab. I've compared prices on a few items, such as magazine boxes, shea butter, and beeswax, and the prices on Etsy for all of those were either better or the same, and on Etsy I'm ordering from an independent retailer. If I have a question or issue, a real human being messages me, usually right away. Full disclosure: I'm an Etsy affiliate over at Brunette Gardens.

2. I was also surprised to see the short shrift given to farmer's markets. I've relied on them all of my adult life, and in several different locales. We purchase meat in bulk quantities at a discount directly from farmers we met at farmer's markets. I also learn what produce grows well in my area by checking out what the pros have on their tables.

3. Glad someone mentioned local Chambers of Commerce. As small business owners, we're members of ours, and that grants us a discount at local retailers. We always buy our raw cat food from a small, local business. They give us a great deal with a discount for bulk quantity and another discount for being members of the Chamber.

4. Growing your own food should always be preferable to purchasing it from others, whether organic or conventional.

5. Surprised no one's mentioned bulk trash pickup day. Our entire outdoor furniture collection came from curbside discards, which we've upcycled with paint, natural tung oil, etc. People toss stuff that's still perfectly good, and sometimes that means vintage items that are far better made than anything you can purchase new today.

6. We were invited to join the co-op Frontier, and it's been a great source for many items, especially bulk organic stuff like cocoa that is hard to produce yourself, or hygiene items like dental floss.

7. Artist and craft fairs - also surprised no one's mentioned this. Great way to meet the artist or craftsperson one on one, and you can often haggle on the prices, too.

8. In a thread on alt Halloween candy here on Permies, someone posted about the Vermont Country Store. Buying from there has been part of my shift toward fewer items of higher quality, and I've been thrilled with the clothing and bedding I've found there (flannel sheets...).

Thanks again for the thread. I've made a note of Freecycle, Lehman's, and Misfits (though I'm skeptical of that one). Cheers!

Just wanted to make comments on this post:
1. Guess I'll have to do some surfing around the etsy site
2. Wish we had a farmers market! It would even be nice if said farmers would advertise at the craft fair
4. before someone objects WRT price. I've been tracking cost and benefits of growing your own food. If growing your own food is costing more than store purchasing it, you are doing it wrong!!!
5. One persons trash is another persons treasure. I see so much useful stuff put out for bulk trash pickup. Even in the most rural areas. Many times it's just that the person with the discarded material can't use it.
6. Yes, bulk buying to split among group members. Doesn't need to be a co-op. Could be just among 2+ friends.
7. Not only for direct buy but to find local sole proprietor business.
8. After growing your own food, you need to learn to cook from scratch. Might as well learn to make candy while you are at it!
7 months ago

Coydon Wallham wrote:
I am seeing a rough hierarchy of choices:

1 Make it from your property/work with neighbors
2 small, local, independent stores
3.4 smallish, trustworthy (co-op?) chain brick and mortar
3.6 independent online services
4 Amazon
5 Big Box/chain stores

Lots of crossover with the 3s and some with 4/5. Just my opinion, going with the numberphilia at

There's crossover with 3/5 as well. If your local chain store doesn't have it in stock, you can often order it on the chain store website for in store pickup. That way you don't get charged delivery!
7 months ago
One Competition for Amazon is
7 months ago
Here is a company that sales nut and fruit tree seeds.

As was said, some research on the type of tree may be helpful. Ex. PawPaw grows in southern Ontario but may grow without producing fruit in my zone 5b with cool summers.
2 years ago

Skandi Rogers wrote:

S Bengi wrote:I would plant a full acre of fruit+nuts, which is about 100trees.
25 Nitrogen Fixers (Adler, etc)
30 Nuts
45 Fruits

Why so much nut, because wildlife will get alot, but you can also make oil and nut flour for baked goods.
4 plants from each species gives about 11 different type of fruit trees. (44=4*11).

I don't think that 11 or 12 different types of fruit is a ridiculous amount of diversity, it seems just about right.

I have to say I hate alders, we have them here and they do not help anything growing under them at all, we have red currents growing in a long hedge, part of which comes in under the drip line of a large alder, the redcurrants under the tree produce noticeably less and later than the ones away from it. Annual veg show the same pattern, and even the grass on the other side grows poorly the closer to the tree it gets. They also sucker everywhere and drop twigs like they are going out of fashion! I think you could be right on the nuts, after all while a mature walnut will give all the nuts I need that won't happen for 50 years so maybe 4 of them instead of 2.

Alders are a weed here. Nice thing about alders is, if you have a chipper shredder, you can use them as chop, chip and drop! The young shoots can be used for wattle fencing. The leaves for leaf mold.
Make the problem, the solution.
2 years ago

Kyrt Ryder wrote:Speaking of Fiskars, I get I a lot of mileage out of their brush axe. It's got just about the right length- in conjunction with a handy concave hook at the end of the blade- for casual one-handed use without stooping.

I've been eyeing those brush axes. Someday I will buy one.
2 years ago
I just got to the point of chop and drop last year. I have a Sickle that I am finding really nice to use.
2 years ago