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Mark Deichmann

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since Feb 16, 2018
Mark likes ...
kids forest garden fish trees food preservation pig wood heat woodworking homestead
Stone , wood and water.
Northern living. The two countries: summer and winter .
Maritimes , Eastern Canada
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Recent posts by Mark Deichmann

Nice job !

We got a good winter to test things out on this year !

Lots of frost in the ground,  able to reach areas in the woodlot usually too soft to drive on but this year is great for that.

Nice to see you using the spruce slabs. I also use them for different projects.

Cheers !
2 years ago
Indeed beans make people happy !

Nice to see the results of so much loving labour.  

Thanks for posting photos of different fields around your area.  It was such a good plan that you put in the drip irrigation , that will give a huge payback in the coming weeks, hopefully mother nature will also provide some rain !

Good point about the native greens. There are so many such plants in most countries. In our area we have several but the most tasty is the Evening Primrose, the leaves are excellent even uncooked in a salad.

THe young man with the stand will surely be a good partner for you . Strengthening the local economy .

You are such an inspiration Rufaro !
2 years ago
Thanks for sharing the photos , the health of those plants tells all !.  

I was thinking to myself, fences are probably not much of a challenge to a monkey anyway. Hopefully you don't have elephants coming through, I was watching a program on TV about them totally destroying some fields where people are moving into their traditional grounds.

Natasha is right about charging something for consulting. No matter what all people try to get info for free. That is afterall what the internet is based on , but we have to watch out for being left with next to nothing for all our efforts.

How to match that with what sounds like spiralling inflation  in your country now.

The government may hope for foreign investment but they might want to start with themselves and not burden the economy with bad economic decisions .

The prices you talk about for eggs and produce are actually higher than here in Canada where the average salary is much higher but we do have a high level of competition at the retail level and industrial style production of food which is probably not that great in other ways..

Very serious matter this business of prices going through the roof and incomes not keeping up. We all deserve stable , safe conditions to live under , hopefully things will improve soon !

2 years ago

Great to hear of positive developments !  

Hopefully the monkeys will move on .  I thought for some reason your plot was fenced, but maybe not all the way around?

It seems you are setting a good example if neighbours are also composting now too. Hopefully this will not impact  your own access to composting material.

Interesting with your new methods with the greens, but the photos are not attached.  Failed upload maybe?

Propagation of plants is a great " enabler "  .

Hope you have good production and sales !
2 years ago
Frustrating to suffer losses and set backs due to the dishonesty of others.

This is an issue all over the world.

It is wise to have sales done away from the plot , and not be handled by the field workers.

Customers are always looking for a better deal right from the source.

Another hard lesson is not to pay anyone in advance for anything. If they are serious they will bring the item and then get paid .

We have to watch our investments but also remember the problem is with the attitude of others that they feel "entitled" to get something from someone who has more than them, but they are overlooking the fact that the other person has worked hard for those things !

I hope this situation gets under control so that you can reap the rewards of all your hard work without it being carried away.

Its a shame , as you point out, that one needs to spend energy on safeguarding things/products but that's just reality.

I deal in stone. Most people think stone has no value . For that reason they think they can just help themselves to my stone piles.  I have had to keep them out of sight as the stone is my livelihood and others would quickly take it all if given the chance.

Human nature.

Good fences make good neighbours !
2 years ago
Winter brings 3 main challenges :   Cold, snow and ice.

Snow is what I call "free insulation" and as soon as we have some dry snow I shovel it around the house against the foundation as high as possible. This is repeated every snowfall.  Saves tons of heat.

Most people in cold windy areas have probably noticed how once the snow lays in around the buildings they are much less drafty.

The cold , especially when the ground is bare, is the real "killer", especially with high winds  .  Taps must be kept dripping at night. Let both the hot and cold taps drip just a little but make sure it keeps dripping like a thin stream. Much better than waking up to no water.

This year has been a big year for Ice in our area. This is a real advantage in the woodlot but around the houses and driveways has been dangerous.  Walk using a ski pole and strap on ice grips on boots .

I have modified an older pair of forestry rubber boots with short sheet metal screws in the soles , easily done and they don't make them leak.

Winter requires patience and caution.

Its an expensive and challenging season.

I always say winter and summer are two different countries !

Cheers to winter !

2 years ago
What I built a number of years ago and still get great service from,

is a masonry stove with four vaulted chambers above the firebox which has a vaulted ceiling and the smoke goes up to the first chamber at the back.

The firebox is four feet deep by two wide and three high .

I have a 10 foot ceiling so the whole thing is about 8 feet high including a one foot high base that extends like a hearth in front of the stove.

I am a mason so I was able to pull it off ok.

What I wanted to say was the whole core is of 2 inch firebrick. I combined refractory and masonry cement which slows down the mortar and doesn't degrade.

ONce the core was built in firebrick the outside was cladded with natural stone  to a height of 4 feet and the rest was parged .

THis thing requires a great deal of fuel but after 3 firings of about  2 garbage cans of wood the heat radiation and storage is unparalelled.

I burn mostly long wood and mostly softwood as that is what I have quantities of and it also gives the most heat.

My best advice to everyone is to use masonry as much as possible and shield any combustible matierials with mineral wool / drywall . Avoid metal.

If you are using a system with a steel pipe it it use stainless and set it up and screw it together and build around it with brick and mortar or stone that way if there are any voids they will have little impact.

Insured or not we don't want to burn the place down  for the sake of heating the house.

My big masonry stove is a big job to feed but it gives intense long lasting heat and near complete combustion. You can hear the thing roaring as gasses burn up through the chambers.

There is about 15 feet of combustion chamber before the gasses hit the chimney so what comes out is very white, like steam.

Long story short , stacked chambers are ideal , especially when built of firebrick vaults.

The outside can be customized and there must be a second layer outside the firebrick , which will get dangerously hot.  

Four inches is adequate outer skin but more can be added , 6 would be good too . The thicker that outer skin the longer it will take to heat up but the longer it will hold and re-radiate the heat.

Burning wood wide open !
2 years ago
Well done Rufaro and Co. !

Very tense with the drought threatening your project and saved by the new drip system and rains !

I  have to say that it is very impressive how you set goals and work and work and then achieve them !  Your crops look great and you are a great example to people everywhere who have the ideas but don't seem able to make them happen. Also how you are setting things up so that your family and others will learn and prosper from your project.

What really sets you and your project apart is that you go right to it and DO IT !  

This is even more impressive when taken into consideration that you are operating in a very challenging economic and political climate as well !

Many of us in the first world can learn a great deal from you and your example !  

Hats off , and thank you for sharing and teaching !

2 years ago
Well done Rufaro !! That's many meals secured ! Just rewards for good planning , implementation and completion.
3 years ago
The color and shape resemble flourite/salt. Taste one best way to test , otherwise quartz but my bet is salt.
3 years ago