James Freyr

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since Mar 06, 2017
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books building cat chicken food preservation homestead cooking purity trees
James is in his forties, is an active homesteader who is married, and has no children aside from six 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 has been in the skilled trades since 2004 but as of lately only installing hardwood floor and tile and is trying to hang up that hat to homestead full-time. An avid gardener for more than twenty years, he is preparing to add animal husbandry to his lifestyle. 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

Jim Fry wrote:I am always surprised at how little Spiritual talk there is amongst the folks of this group. It sometimes almost seems that Spirit does not exist. I've often wondered why that is, but I suppose for some people that's just the way it is (isn't). And maybe others therefore just feel less inclined to talk of such, not wanting to disturb any others.  

I think it's a touchy subject, and I want to share briefly, my thoughts, hopefully in a way that isn't clumsy or offensive and may offer a glimpse into what makes me tick and why I'm a sort of misfit. I was raised in a cult, and left when I was fourteen years old, nearly thirty years ago. I used to be angry about being taught hypothesis, half-truths and downright lies as facts and truth, completely being misguided, but eventually realized I just need to move on and make choices for myself and not be angry. It left a sour taste in my mouth and I choose not to have anything to do with any religion. Gardening is spiritual for me. Being in nature is where I am at peace and feel a connection to something more than my five senses tell me. I love having my hands in the soil, planting a seed, and nurturing life into existence which will in turn nurture my body, mind and spirit. There's something about the experience of having the sun shining on me, birds singing, breeze blowing, planting seeds in the soil crawling with bugs and worms moving about that just makes me happy. Walking in the woods and being still, observing creatures just living their life for today with no concern for yesterday or tomorrow makes me smile. How I wish I could be so simple.

For me, adding your body to your garden is most important.

I want to be buried on my farm when I expire, no coffin, in contact with the soil, so all the atoms that make up my body can return to the earth and feed the soil food web, grasses and surrounding trees.
Agreed, it's really nice to hear examples of people in business doing what's right for people on a human level.
1 week ago
Hi Janet, welcome to Permies! I think northern highbush blueberries are certainly something to consider for the acidic soil and your climate zone.
2 weeks ago

Eric Hanson wrote:  However, I do have a goal for my beds and that goal is eventually needing no external sources of fertility.  I would like for all of my fertility to be both free and originate from my own land.  

Me too man! I am bringing in some fertility down the driveway to get started and kinda give my garden a kick in the pants to get going, and I don't mind doing that. After all, I do all of this for food production. My chickens have been a good source of fertility over the years, and I'm looking forward to getting cows one day. I wish I had multiple aged compost piles the size of automobiles and one of those diesel chipper/shredders that the tree service guys use would be a dream, but it'll take me years to get to that point, but all in due time I guess.
2 weeks ago
Thank you for sharing the story Kathleen. I enjoyed it
2 weeks ago

Eric Hanson wrote: But the “chips” are so dark and crumbly that they look more like coffee grounds than woodchips.  They smell and feel like a good potting mix.

Your description indicates to me that what you have is absolutely teeming with healthy microbial and fungal activity. Well done!

Thanks much for the input James, I think what I am doing dovetails nicely with your project of making the perfect garden soil.

You're welcome :) It's neat to read about what others are doing and their techniques used. I'm starting over again, but I'm looking forward to watching the changes in the soil as the years go by. One thing I've come to realize, at least for my garden, is there's no finish line. I'll never get to a perfect soil and stop nurturing it and then continually plant and harvest food from it. I'll always be mulching and adding fertility back to the soil as long as I live.
2 weeks ago
Gosh I have no idea if this would be normal. It was merely a guess as to a possibility of where that nitrogen may be coming from. It sounds like whatever it is you got going on in your raised beds is healthy and balanced.
2 weeks ago

Travis Johnson wrote:but I get the same results from spending a few hours on a tractor and bushogging my field.

I have my doubts that your tractor poops fertility as it's out in the fields

All humor aside, one thing I've learned from talking to farmers in the area and good people on premies is everyone does what they do differently, and does what works for them. I know very little about mob grazing or traditional grazing of sheep and have only been focusing my learning on cows. I imagine both the amount of poop and the biological profile is different from a 200 or 300 lb sheep compared to a 1500lb cow or an even larger bull. I know both are ruminants and have four stomachs, but there's really no other comparison since they are two different species. Both are in the in the classification family of Bovidae but the similarities end there and are each in different subfamilies, genus and species. I do know that cows graze by tearing the grasses and other forages with their tongue and sheep bite using their teeth. It seems sheep graze closer to the soil, leaving less grass behind to capture sunlight and recover where as cows are somewhat limited to how close to the soil they can graze, leaving taller grass behind after grazing to capture more sunlight and recover a little quicker.

2 weeks ago
My wife wants to go see the new Godzilla movie. I love Godzilla, but the real Godzilla is a guy in a rubber suit, made by Toho studios in Japan, not this computer generated Hollywood dinosaur crap masquerading as Godzilla. Can't fool me.

Oh yeah, I'm dreading going to the theater.

That's my opinionated rant. I feel better now getting that out.
2 weeks ago
I think it's possible that conditions could be such that free living nitrogen fixing bacteria such as azospirilium or azotobacter could be thriving, happily fixing atmospheric nitrogen.
2 weeks ago