Mike Barkley

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since Mar 01, 2018
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bee books cat cattle chicken dog homestead hugelkultur hunting solar foraging
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Disclaimer: That is not me in the bee suit. Found on the internet. Would like to try just for the experience but I have too much respect for bees to subject them to that. Would be shameful to accidentally kill a queen for a stunt. Not going to happen here.
mountains of Tennessee
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Recent posts by Mike Barkley

Boxes of laptop batteries bought in bulk come with a warning paper that includes not eating & not driving nails through them. Both are good advice but does that really require documentation?
17 hours ago
Dug up some battery & bike generator specs online & did some quick calculations. Assuming there is enough wind. Guessing 10 - 20 kph minimum.

It will take 40 hours to charge a typical motorcycle battery & 100 hours to charge a typical car battery. That assumes no losses & perfect generator operation. So figure double that amount of time in the real world.

A fully charged heavy duty marine battery (bigger than the car battery calculated) will cook a thick hamburger on a hot plate before it needs recharging. Or barely boil enough water for 2 servings of rice. That should give some realistic idea of what to expect.

The idea has some merit. Especially in a place with rules & good wind. Would be a fun project but don't expect miracles. As already mentioned ... there are obstacles & quite possibly better alternatives.

20 hours ago
Hi Jack. Welcome to permies.

In theory it will work. That is essentially a vertical axis turbine. Anything that keeps the generator spinning within it's normal operating rpm range will work. YouTube has many examples of bicycle wheel turbines.

There are 6 volt & 12 volt bicycle generators so that needs to be considered when selecting batteries to be charged. I wouldn't expect to be cooking many meals from this system but it could work well for running some low power devices like LED lights or charging AA's & AAA's. Might want to consider adding a small charge controller.
1 day ago
Some suggestions for sand badge consideration.

Replace an outlet, light switch, or light fixture safely. Show some sort of lock out/tag out procedure & verify with a KNOWN GOOD meter that the device is OFF before replacing the device. Show the new device installed & working. This is a skill that almost everyone could use at some time or another.

Wire cutting & wire stripping. Perhaps using several different techniques & tools. It's not difficult but I've seen terribly unsafe examples. Maybe the use of wire nuts or crimped splices or a terminal block along with the fresh stripped wires.

I strongly discourage the use of electrical tape. It has a purpose but it's not the cure all prevent all miracle stuff some people try to use it for. Shrink tubing is generally much safer & easy enough for sand badge.

Securing outdoor wires so they won't chafe the insulation & cause sparks.

Eliminating those cheesy outlet expanders that allow multiple things plugged into one socket. Or too many extension cords. Or cords hidden under rugs. A good surge protector is one thing but no use asking for electrical fires.

Maybe baby proofing all outlets with the plastic cap inserts.

Showing a fire extinguisher rated for electrical fires mounted in the shop or somewhere central.

Demonstrating the use of a simple outlet tester.     https://www.lowes.com/pd/Southwire-Analog-120-Volt-GFCI-Receptacle-Tester/50129726

Maybe a few ugly pix of the consequences of doing it wrong!!!

These tasks (& the battery maintenance) all emphasize the safety aspect. They also seem like logical useful starting points for the average homeowner/builder.

I would almost suggest demonstrating all the basic functions of a multimeter as part of sand badge but that can be bypassed with simpler/alternate meters that folks might already own. So DVM functions might be a better starting point for the next badge.
3 days ago
Have successfully divided them by cutting through with a shovel. Removing one half & leaving the other half in the ground. Maybe not pretty but it works. It does take about a year for them to fully recover. I do divisions shortly after the harvest season to allow them as much time as possible to recover before the next winter. My preference is to to leave any living producing asparagus plant alone & do a happy dance for sketti monster that it's still alive again another year. It can have that spot as long as it likes. My overall technique is double dig & prepare the bed thoroughly the first time. Then weed it once a year, give it thick layer of quality compost, mulch, & simply watch the fronds sway in the wind & attract birds for another year.

Mine get a break from division this year. When some new soil in the hugelhole is ready they will be hacked & spread. Still developing that into a large bed dedicated to asparagus. Been learning, collecting, saving, & moving varieties for quite a few years now. It's almost serious payback time for a lot of hard work & a few setbacks. Expecting a reasonable harvest again this year but the following years should be asparagus aplenty for very little future effort.

Mixing varieties is probably not a good idea for commercial farming or pure seed saving but I mix them at home. Green on one side & purple on another but other that it's a jumbled genetic mixture. Never noticed any problems.

I don't have a machine anymore but still make fresh noodles. Dough is rolled out & then sliced into long strips with a knife. They are slightly thicker & wider than machine made. They do dehydrate & store fairly well but I prefer them fresh.

Going to try buckwheat noodles this year. That sounds excellent. It makes great bread & pancakes.
5 days ago
Another thing to consider. Allergies, especially cedar pollen. It hits many people hard. Often after they have been there seven years. Not sure why but there is something about the seven year mark.

Here's a flood video taken in the San Marcos area a few years ago. At one point it shows a large circular pond with a concrete square visible. That square is normally 35 feet above ground. The circular pond is normally a deep hole. About 100 feet deep.

6 days ago