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Mike Barkley

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since Mar 01, 2018
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bee cattle chicken homestead
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After a long career electro-geeking for R&D labs in the electronic industry Mike has checked out of the rat race & moved to the woods. Not entirely off grid but trying to achieve that goal. He raises a few animals & enjoys growing healthy food in various gardens. He is a life long nature lover, adventure seeker, & to a certain extent a minimalist. Eventually bears will probably eat him & turn him into compost. He is ok with that.
mountains of Tennessee
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Recent posts by Mike Barkley

I use mulch around elderberries but I want them to make more plants. I think landscape cloth might slow them down but not completely prevent new plants. Once they mature & start making seeds the birds will help spread them around anyway.  
1 week ago
The method that works best for me is to use the "attachments" tab immediately below the text entry area for the post. The choose "upload a file" to select the photo(s) you wish to use in the post.

It depends. Bees are wild creatures & with good conditions don't need humans at all. The modern bee world is far from perfect though. Is there enough food for them year round? Is there strong local bee genetics available to start with? Winter is problematic for bees. What kind of pesticides are used around there? What kind of bee pests are common there? I would suggest taking the class first & encouraging the neighbor who leases the land to take one also.
2 weeks ago
Those look great. Ours are starting to fall from the trees already too. Seems a little early in the season. Be vigilant about picking them up daily or the weevils will ruin the nuts. Good luck for the next 100+ years with that tree!
2 weeks ago
Yes, I noticed that particular article mentioned using plastic. Glass works too. The main thing is it needs to be clear.
2 weeks ago
Good replies so far. I would like to add a few things that haven't been mentioned. One is for people with multiple levels on their house. In the event of a water outage the water in the upper pipes can be drained to a lower level faucet. Put a collection bottle or bucket under a downstairs faucet. Open all the upstairs faucets, then open the downstairs faucet to fill the bottle or bucket. I keep a dozen or so gallons of potable water in bottles at all times plus some larger outdoor containers for rain water collection. I live within walking distance to a river. That would be a huge factor in a long term situation. We also have a cow pond that could be used if absolutely necessary. Eeew that sure wouldn't be fun.

I much prefer the Sawyer Squeeze over the steri pens & lifestraws. No moving parts or batteries & very flexible in how they are used. I have a lifestraw & few other filtration devices but use the Squeezes extensively. They work very well & are almost unbreakable.

SODIS is an excellent technique to know.
2 weeks ago
If you know what products were used you can look up the MSDS online for specific info.
2 weeks ago
I think honey, candles, & wax wraps are excellent gifts for almost every occasion. Never had any complaints.
2 weeks ago
The velvet lining indicates it might be for a musical instrument or scientific equipment.
2 weeks ago
I grow the only variety recommended by the ag department of the state university. TN Red Valencia. For eating. Also as a first crop for developing future garden areas.
3 weeks ago