Marco Benito

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since Sep 25, 2020
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Recent posts by Marco Benito

Jan White wrote:I just got a broadfork and really like it, too. Mine's an all metal one from lee valley. The only thing I don't like about it is when you attach the handles when you first get it, they slide down inside the upturned ends of the U-shaped part that the tines are on. If you leave it outside in a heavy rain, you're going to get water down inside the U-shaped part. Seems like a poor design to me.

Get that fork of yours welded where it attaches.  End of story.

1 year ago
If you live in warm humid country then preserving is not as necessary as it is, say, in Minnesota.  Because of the longer growing season the need to preserve is greatly reduced; so, if you live in the deep south maybe this type of food preservation is a moot point anyway.  Warmer longer growing season = less food preservation.
1 year ago
Most folks aren't real when it comes to prepping or surviving.  Prepping is practice.  Just like shooting or setting snares. You have to practice.  Here are some examples:
1)  Go to your main breaker and kill the electric power to your house for 24 hours, (simulating grid down.)  Now, what do you do?
Get out your paper and pencil, not your stupid phone, and write down the problems you encounter and what you would do about them.  What about the food in your fridge or freezer?

2)  Go out to the street and turn off the water for 24 hours.  Same drill here, get out the pencil and paper and begin writing down the problems you encounter and your solutions.  Are you ready to not flush your toilets?  What about water for cooking and personal hygiene?  Do you have adequate water stored up?  With regard to 1) above, what if you have an electric pump on your well?  What then?  Hmm....

3)  Park your cars miles from your house then get a ride home.  What are you going to do now?  (simulating no gas for the car)
Break out that pencil and paper and begin writing it all down.

I'm sure there are many out there that can think of a ton more
1 year ago
Hola Patrick from Santa Fe, NM!
1 year ago
Leave them on the stalk as long as possible.  Keep an eye on them because in the humid south they will probably mold if you try this.  You can also cut them with enough stalk to tie several heads together then hang them in the barn out of the weather and let them dry that way.  However you choose to dry them, remember that mold is not your friend at this point.  Once dry put on some leather gloves then begin rubbing the seeds off the head.  I do this into a wheelbarrow.  Then I set up a fan blow away the chaff.  You WILL definitely have to defend against the thieves, both the winged and four-footed.
1 year ago

Erika Bailey wrote:@Marco
I figured I'd see if 2 were too much work, and if I had to do 5 times as much work to get any--definitely not worth it.  I have 3 huge hazelnut bushes and have not gotten any hazelnuts since the first year they produced--about 7 years ago.  I think the desire to eat of the small wildlife on my in-town plot grows with the increase in food production.  They don't stop at sharing levels!


This is true!  They operate on instinct and their instinct tells them to work, work, work,...and get ready for the winter and spring mating season.  They are like my chickens in this regard, they do not have an off switch; it's go, go, go or eat, eat, eat all the time.  

Maybe you can grow mushrooms inside a coop-like structure essentially fencing the critters out.  That would take some doing and you would have to have room for that. Anything worth doing is worth doing right.
1 year ago

Erika Bailey wrote:I have tried shitake mushroom logs in my backyard (started with just two to try it out) only to find that I grow really complicated and expensive squirrel food.  The freakin' grey squirrels in my yard eat all my mushrooms.  It seemed to produce fairly quickly if I soaked the logs...but just to watch them be whisked off by the squirrels up a tree.  They sometimes will go only partway up to have me watch them as they eat my mushrooms.  I may be a bit bitter.  Of course, I might be in a better mood about it if they didn't all eat every last hazelnut too!

Two logs?!?!?!?!
You didn't grow enough.  The Hopi Indians have a saying when planting corn.  "Plant two for the rabbit, two for the rat, two for the crow, two for the deer, and two for you."  What is that, ten logs.  We always had too much when we were growing up; too much corn, apples, tomatoes, peas, chilies, strawberries, gooseberries, get the drift, and we are 11 siblings.  Really what we had too much of was too much work.  It takes a lot of work to produce that much food.  Speaking of work, those squirrels will out-work  you every day of the week, so work smarter.  Grow some mushrooms for them too.  Here in New Mexico 6a/6b we water the rodents all the time.  Its because if we don't, they find and chew through the drip irrigation lines looking for a water.  Co-incidentally, the snakes take advantage of this water too and do quite a good job at controlling the rodents.  
1 year ago
Timothy hay is good.  We grow it in the mountain meadows of New Mexico between 8500 and 9000 feet.  It has all sorts of other goodies in it like clover, forbs, other grasses, legumes, etc...  Alfalfa is good too.  If you can, avoid the pellets, like you said toooooo expensive.  Making them into pellets is value added by the manufacturers for convenience sake.  Besides all that its more of a gimmick than anything else  Rabbits also browse in the winter. Here is an excerpt from Iowa State: "In the home landscape, rabbits feed on herbaceous plants (annuals, perennials, vegetables, and grasses) during the growing season.  Trees and shrubs become food sources in late fall and winter (December through March).  Damage to trees and shrubs is most severe in winters with extended periods of snow cover."  I would conclude that if you have trees and shrubs around that need pruning, then prune them and feed the bunnies.  I would give them everything except walnut.  For sure, give them the trimmings from your fruit trees.  I would imagine up to 1 inch in diameter because they are after the bark.  Any bigger would probably be a little rough for them.  In the late spring and early summer there are tons of clover along the black top highways free for the taking.  Cut and dry this stuff for the winter and feed it to them fresh too.
1 year ago