Win a Fokin hoe blade this week in the Gear forum!

Michael McKay

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since Nov 30, 2018
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Recent posts by Michael McKay

This topic may have been covered before, so forgive me if I am recycling it.  
We are considering adding a freeze dryer.  But, it is really expensive as everyone knows.  
I can't convince my wife that we are going into a collapse/shtf/wrol scenario, so don't give me any arguments about needing 25 yrs of shelf life.  Those arguments will fall on deaf ears.  Can you give me some ideas if a food freeze dryer is worthwhile as compared to a food dehydrator all things being equal.  Money is an object!
1 month ago
This sounds great!  I am a CTE Teacher at a juvenile correction center and have a greenhouse and garden.  The kids are really invested in the garden.  I am teaching them how to make compost tea and am trying to learn and teach about soil health.  Other than Dr. Elaine Ingham, who do you recommend for researching about increasing soil health?
2 months ago
I have two areas that I will be gardening in this year.  The first area is an old round ring for horse training that has had about 2 yards of manure placed on it several years ago.  It grows weeds really well, and is pretty soft.  This year, we will grow tomatoes there. We just placed about 6 yards of pine mulch on it 2-3 inches deep.  The rest of the garden has had manure/straw placed on it for 3 years but is still very hard (high concentration of clay).  This area has had chickens and fall leaves placed on it since last fall, but the leaves are not broken down yet.  I want to introduce fungi, and will be exclusively using compost tea.  I have access to forest litter from a property we own, but is in a high mountain region and we are in a low semi arid area.  The main garden did not produce well last year, and we hope to produce all of our produce this year from seed.  The main garden used to be a parking lot in the past, so we have a lot of round 2" rock in areas of the garden and is high % of clay.  I want to move toward low/no till.

Any suggestions as to ways to improve our soil health and productivity?

2 months ago
This stove is for sale.  Make offer.  #1 what’s a fair offer?
#2 could I modify this to make a rocket stove?  Alternatively, a batch boxstove? If so, what approach would I use?  Brick burn chamber and use this as a bell?   https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/445840165820640/s
4 months ago
"your question seems to be how long would it take for your wife to not react to some unspecified component of the chicken manure, based on a reaction that is not described. Can you provide any other data?"

She learned that she has inflammatory muscle neuropathy.  Basically think of MS and you'll get an idea of what it is.  Some component in manure, dust of the coop, or whatever, made her lungs really inflamed and reduced her lung capacity severely.  It is already compromised due to her muscle weakness.  Once she stopped being around the chickens, the lung inflammation stopped.  It is some kind of inflammatory reaction which is making her very sick so I am taking care of the chickens now and she just watches them from afar.  
4 months ago
My wife has a condition that is made much worse with chicken manure or any exposure to chicken droppings, bedding, etc.  I've had them rooting in the compost pile since I moved it next to their coop.  She is very worried about using the compost for the garden due to the manure and exposure to the chickens.  Does anyone know how long before chicken manure breaks down so it is not active anymore?  She doesn't want anything to do with the compost which is awesome and rich, but can't be used now.  
4 months ago
Paul,

Although I would love to go and learn tons of information, alas, I will pass on this great offer.  I am a bit older, and frankly, more tired than the youngsters that need to learn from the masters of information!  
Good luck on this great venture.  I wish you well and a very Merry Christmas!
6 months ago
Will Erica or Ernie be there?  I will be 61 and out of shape, but this would be a great way for me to get in shape (hopefully before) and learn some great skills!  
6 months ago
I have a25 X 30 shop.  It has poorly insulated doors and leaks air.  It had a double barrel stove that was dangerous. I put in a air tight stove that is too small.  I want to replace that with a rocket stove but doubt 1 barrel will provide enough heat.  I need fast heat occasionally, so a rocket stove is the best design.
This has probably been done to death, but I haven't seen an answer.  I think a regular rocket design will work, but wonder if I can add a second barrel to the side of the first barrel with the flue going straight out of the second barrel's top so it doesn't cause a reduction/turbulence in the exhaust.
I think this design would work, but want confirmation or a better alternative before trying it out.
Thanks!
6 months ago