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Eric Hanson

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since May 03, 2017
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Recent posts by Eric Hanson


I am afraid I cannot help you with rose hips.  But an idea I like (and if you can get away with it) is a mixed hedge.  This could be one that provides privacy, wood, food, habitat for animals and possibly more.  My hedge provides all of these except food (though there were some wild blackberries that provided the most wonderful, sweet fruit).

I really love my hedge.  It was barely a hedge (1’ wide by about 3’ tall) when I moved in.  15 years later it is 10-20 feet wide by 30’ tall and is a highway for deer.

8 hours ago
Hi Shai,

I have a living hedge that I trim up every year or two in order to make woodchips.  I own about 3 acres of woodland and 6 acres open, but I just cannot bring myself to haul much in the way of wood out of my woods.  But my hedgerow is actually invasive and needs trimming to prevent it from taking over my grass lands.

I guess I am thinking that your bamboo is more multi functional than you might think.

You could plant sweetshoot bamboo and eat the early shoots while you control the growth.

Another hedge that comes to mind are blueberry bushes.  They grow about 6’ tall, look beautiful and give you plenty of berries.

These are just a couple of thoughts,

17 hours ago

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it sounds like you have a bad seal on one of your hydraulic circuits.  I don’t know if this is something that you feel comfortable doing on your own.

Please let us know how this works out,

18 hours ago
Mike is correct about the optimal working heat.

The 100 watt TEG I priced likes a hot side temperature of over 700 degrees F.  This might work on the barrel of a RMH, but not the bench.  I am afraid that for these to work the temperature differential needs to be quite high.

I just checked Tegmart and their best product, a 100 watt water cooled unit runs $717.99 and is currently out of stock.


This is one of those great “is it worth it” questions.  Certainly you can configure TEG’s into a RMH, and TEG’s reliably generate electricity, but their efficiency is mediocre, meaning they don’t generate much electricity even under optimal circumstances and they don’t come cheap.  I looked into this strictly out of curiosity, and the best setup I found could produce 100 watts of electricity by using high temperatures and water cooling and the module was not cheap.

This is not to say that you can’t do it.  If you are really interested, or want a robust, reliable power supply when power is out, this might be for you.  You might consider  They have a pretty comprehensive list of modules and equipment, but again, they do not come cheap—just fair warning.  If memory serves, we are talking about hundreds of dollars for a 100 watt module.  

This would be a very interesting project, and if you decide to do it, please keep us updated, I think it would be VERY interesting to see how things work out.

Good Luck,


I am guessing that you and I are in a similar situation, what with the cool winter.  I bought my seed potatoes from Rural King back when they first came out which is earlier than I have purchased in the past.  I am sure that you are feeling the cool start to spring—which typically I love as our summer heat and humidity I find oppressive.  

Thanks for the feedback,


Actually I did plant potatoes in chips last year but the chips were only about 6” deep.  This year I plopped potatoes on top of well composted chips and then piled on 8”-12” of fresh chips on top.  I can believe that it takes a while to grow through a bunch of chips, but I know others have grown through more.

The more I think about it, I think I planted a bit earlier than in the past.  To boot, the cool weather has probably slowed things down a bit.

The reds and gold potatoes have already grown through the thickest part of the chips and I do have just a couple plants from the white potatoes just starting to break through the surface of the chips.

Thanks for helping to keep my sanity in check,

Thanks Trace,

I have never really noticed this before, but I have two variables at work.  First I planted completely in woodchips for the first time.  Secondly, this is the coolest spring I can remember since living here.  I can definitely believe that the excessive cool weather would delay the white potatoes a bit.

Thanks again,

Hi everyone,

So I experimented this year with planting potatoes into woodchips.  I have heard this is a great way to get a good harvest of very clean potatoes.

I went out and bought roughly equal volumes of red, yellow, and white potatoes about 6 weeks ago and placed them directly into woodchips.  The red and yellows have pushed up new plants but I have almost no growth from the white potatoes.  Do white potatoes take longer to push up than reds or yellows?  I actually got a bit discouraged so I planted a second bed (also in woodchips) and once again the reds and yellows are showing top growth, but the white potatoes are mostly still in the ground.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Thanks in advance,