James Freyr

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since Mar 06, 2017
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James is in his forties, is an active homesteader who is married, and has no children aside from five cats. He is a graduate of The American Brewers Guild and while he no longer brews beer he does dabble in the fermentations of food and dairy. He resides in the state of Tennessee where he runs a small farm. An avid gardener for more than twenty years, he also raises chickens and cows, has a few fruit trees and hopes to add bee keeping, pigs and goats to the farm. When he has free time he enjoys hikes through the woods and reading books.
West Tennessee
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Recent posts by James Freyr

Erica Colmenares wrote:
I'm wondering if you could describe this a little more. We're at this point in our house build, and I want to talk about it with our contractor (or just do it myself). Are you glad you did it? Maybe it's too soon to know if it was useful.

Hi Erica!

So it's difficult to tell if it's been useful as it's all hidden beneath baseboard and thresholds. Maybe if I removed a piece I might find bug corpses, but I don't need to know that bad ;) . Looking back and thinking about it now, I would have been more generous with the diatomaceous earth and really loaded it up, but I only had less than a quart with me, so I sprinkled it in lightly. I am glad I did it and I will say we don't see hardly any of the crawling kinds of bugs in the house, so I imagine it's having some sort of impact.

3 hours ago

Melonie Corder wrote:

I'd love to utilize the Pine for something as they die off, drop limbs and shed branches.

One beautiful way to utilize what appears to be a dead pine, or any tree, is to leave it standing. A dead tree is far from dead, and is instead teeming with life. It is the second half of a trees life. A tree that appears to be dead to us is providing a host to numerous fungi, is offering habitat for a whole host of insects to live at least a portion of their life, often as larvae just beneath the bark. These larvae, and then later crawling or flying adults, are an important source of food for many species of birds. Dead trees provide habitat for cavity nesting birds to brood and rear their young, and there are myriad secondary cavity nesting birds that don't create their own cavities to nest in but instead rely on abandoned cavities made by other species. There are many species of these birds whose numbers are in decline in part through a lack of nesting habitat. Somewhere in recent history, largely through the tree trimming industry, the idea was sold that a dead tree is dangerous, has no purpose and needs to come down. Often it's not until decades later is it realized that a common practice has unforeseen detrimental effects. If a tree that has lived its living life is of no risk to falling on a structure and possibly causing an injury, I believe it is important to leave them be to live out their second life.

1 day ago

I love to read all the post but just do not have time as I'm most interested in middle and East TN.

Hi Owen! Permies has a wonderful search function that will enable you to narrow down and find topics within any forum you choose. To get to the search function, on the top left of your screen, click the icon to the right of the slice of pie that looks like a piece of paper, and scroll down to the bottom to search. Within the new search window are all sorts of parameters for you to choose from to find the information you seek.

2 days ago

john muckleroy jr wrote:... is there a safe poison ivy killer?

There are a couple ways to go about this that I can think of. One, is using goats as they will eat the leaves and young vines, but goats may not be practical or accessible for some. Another idea that comes to mind is using a 10% vinegar to spray on the leaves. Grocery store vinegar is 5%, and 10%'s can be found at some garden centers or online. This can work very well on many things but I find it is only temporary on grasses, as grasses can be relentless and grow back from the stored energy in the root, but other things usually succumb and don't have the stored energy like grasses do. Vinegar works by stripping the waxy coating from leaf surfaces and the plants dehydrate themselves and die. It works well applied on a hot sunny summer day after any dew has evaporated. Another option is a product out on the market called Weed Slayer. It's made from clove oil, and it is non-selective meaning it will kill anything the spray contacts, and it is systemic so the clove oil compound travels back down the plant and kills the root. All three options are non-toxic and relatively safe. I say relatively as 10% vinegar can burn if it comes into contact with skin, and a billy goat may get fun to him ideas in his little goat brain and charge, knocking a person down.

Anne Miller wrote:

[b]What are your thoughts on wood chippers? What are the pros and cons of wood chippers vs the PTO kind?

While I don't own a wood chipper, I want to have one in the arsenal as I have acreage and with it, trees, and I know it's a matter of time before storms bring limbs and trees down again. A downside, in my opinion, of the smaller chippers with an engine is it's another engine to maintain. Another downside is the lack of power. May I suggest utilizing your tractor's engine and look for a PTO chipper. Your tractors engine will make may more torque and run a nice chipper than will eat bigger limbs faster.

1 week ago

Janet Reed wrote:

I can no longer hide in fear. ... I can no longer let my life be ruled by the fear of it.

I’m returning to normal.

Janet, I applaud you and your sovereign choice, to take back your mind, and to recognize fear for what it is - a thought form.

I send you an internet high-five, and I also hope that at least one other person who reads this thread will be inspired to think, to think critically, to look around with an open mind and question information, and form their own conclusion to make their own choice for how they want to live.

1 week ago

Martin Bernal wrote: Is there a rule for taking them off the light in regards to how old they are? .

There are no rules my friend! If the space they have is large enough that the light is in one area, and the rest is unheated, they will self regulate, going to the heat when they're chilly and moving away when they get too warm. You'll know when to turn it off when you see them avoiding it and nobody spending any time under the heat.

1 week ago

Gerry Parent wrote: Curious though, if you forget to push the button again back to auto-darkening mode, when you begin to weld you would be seeing spots for an hour afterwards?

In my experience, yes something like that, but your mileage may vary. I have a budget auto-darkening helmet, and a MIG welder. I believe that the setting was not set right as it has dials to turn both inside the helmet on the viewing lens and also a knob on the side of the helmet. I started a bead and it didn't auto darken, and I had a blue-green spot in my vision for a little while. The saving grace, I believe, is the viewing lens has a coating on it and while I don't know the details about the coating it does block/reflect UV rays, which is why I think I got away lucky with seeing a spot and not flashing my retina with painful eye damage.

1 week ago
That's great Paul! I know you've been wanting to drill a well for years, and I can imagine the satisfaction of finally getting that done.

Trace Oswald wrote:I'm always confused by using mushrooms to remove contaminants from soil, or in this case, bales.  If you use mushrooms to remove toxins, common consensus seems to be that the mushrooms should not be eaten.  To me, that means they are bringing the toxins into themselves. .....  Or maybe I just don't understand how it works and the mushrooms actually transform the toxins into something else.

Tonya Hunte wrote: I believe because mushrooms are composters that they can really break down the chemical structure of things.

Fungi have the ability to cleave chemical compounds into either lesser innocuous compounds and/or individual atomic elements. It is also best to err on the side of caution and not eat fruiting mushroom bodies that are being used to remediate, though my suspicion is this may vary depending on the kind of remediation being done. For example, if there are heavy metals, those most of us know are already elements and cannot be broken down further and it may be possible for heavy metals to end up in mushroom fruiting bodies, but I'm not 100% sure, I'm not a mycologist. If the remediation is being done on these straw bales for example, where the culprit is likely some sort of herbicide or pesticide as examples, then I personally would just compost the mushrooms, and if for some reason there are traces of a toxic compound, the fungal and bacterial activity in a healthy, active compost pile will take care of that.

Here are a few posts written by permies resident soil biologist Bryant Redhawk discussing this subject:

I am working, with another fellow, on a remediation study which uses fungi to break down herbicides in soil and wood, at this point in the study we have eliminated some species and found other species that work quickly to start breaking the compounds into harmless components.
Oyster is one of the best species for this and should be included in any remediation of herbicide treatment.

from: Raised garden hugelkulture - https://permies.com/t/85398/Raised-garden-Hugelkulter#704498

....  so we get a nice, hot compost heap.
When that heat is through working its magic on the heap you are ready to use it in your gardens. The nasty chemicals will be broken down and harmless to your plants.
The compost will also be chock full of good microorganisms and fungi hyphae, a huge win for your garden soil.  

from: Composting food or plants with pesticides - https://permies.com/t/89293/Composting-food-plants-pesticides#742048

..... fear not, there is hope and you can remediate those chemicals so your foods are not contaminated.
You can purchase fungi either in spore or spawn forms these days and that is what will break down those nasty chemicals as well as getting your soil food web kick started for recovery.
You can also go wild foraging for mushrooms and use a blender and water to create mushroom slurries which you pour into the soil to do the same thing.

from Plant vegetables in Herbicided lawn - https://permies.com/t/86624/Plant-vegetables-Herbicided-lawn#712727

Hope this helps!

1 week ago