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John F Dean

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since Sep 04, 2017
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goat cat dog chicken composting toilet food preservation bee solar wood heat homestead
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Live on 11 acres. Have Nigerian Dwarf Goats, KuneKune Pigs, bees, and an assortment of chickens. My driveway is the boundary between zones 6a and 6b. Annual rainfall at 46 inches.
southern Illinois.
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Recent posts by John F Dean

This post is inspired by Pearls post about getting a dog to dig.   Anyway, about 3 years ago my wife was thrilled that she had taught our dog to pick up sticks from the yard.  To demonstrate, she told our border collie to bring her a stick. He bounds off any comes back with a seedling I had just planted.
2 hours ago
Hi Paul,

I am with the above poster.  You may want to find out what “rots quickly” means.  Or, for that matter, what “rots” means.  I have found that such terms can be highly subjective.  For a log home to rot quickly in 20 years would be a problem for me. For a chicken coop ... not so much.  I have had rotted logs given to me because they were dark on one side.   Yes, they were soft to about an inch ... but they were a foot in diameter.  I got plenty of use out of them.
4 hours ago
If the jars are sealed, there is little to worry about.  By all means do the sniff test when you open the jars.  Also, as mentioned, boil the contents.  A previous poster said 10 minutes ... I favor a little longer. That said, I have dry canned bacon without problems.
6 hours ago
I suppose my first question is, “Is the lid sealed?”   That is, push down on the lid. If it clicks, it is not sealed. In which case, the contents need to be safely disposed of.

As a side comment, after the jar has cooled, remove the ring.  It makes it easier to open the jar later.
7 hours ago
I give this book 6 out of 10 acorns.

This is a book of ideas. None of those ideas are well developed.  Having said that, this book really needs to be rated on a sliding scale. While it never reaches a 10, its value does increase as the reader’s experience decreases.  For someone new to homesteading, this volume is worth the purchase price as a resource.   It addresses a wide range of topics and claims to have close to 2000 illustrations.  It has numerous designs for bird houses and bird feeders, a section on cat care, dogs, etc. After that it enters into homestead livestock such as rabbits, horses, fowl, etc.  Of course, it also goes into gardening and food perserving as well as other topics. There are some designs for equipment and buildings, but there is not much detail.  As I commented, this volume is much more about ideas. If any of the topics do interest you, you would probably want to invest in a book that goes into more depth.
7 hours ago
When I checked with our electric company, they wanted to install everything ... at a price.  When I crunched the numbers, it wasn’t going to work in my lifetime.  They also raised a fuss about any possibility of me back feeding their system.   I decided to wire my home with a redundant system for electricity I produce.  I have blue outlets for my system.   Of course, my electric bill drops a little each month.  
9 hours ago
I had a coworker tell me I intimidate others, so I glared at her until she apologized.
10 hours ago
I am within a half hour of the 48 hour mark.  This is my final post on my experience.  No problems at all with the 2nd shot. For what it is worth, I seldom have side effects from medication
1 day ago
We have a number of “toys” in the fenced in area.  I notice the babies are quick to go under a bench, spool, etc if so much as a hawk appears. They are safe.  Yes, we also have a Border Collie and an Australian Shepherd.
1 day ago
First, I have no idea how true this story is. It could well be an old urban legend, But,  I overhead it in a back woods cafe during deer hunting season in MN from the table behind me in about 1980.  Grandpa and his son were taking the grandson on his first deer hunt.  They were doing a deer drive.  Grandpa got the first shot in.  When he pulled his knife to dress out the deer, the deer got up and dragged grandpa. Grandpa let go of the deer, and brushed himself off as his grandson ran up to him. As grandpa put his knife away, he commented to his wild eyed grandson, “ That does it. I am just too old.  No more using the knife on these hunts. From now on I use the 30/30 like everyone else.”