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Gray Charles

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since Mar 04, 2018
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Recent posts by Gray Charles

Netting in woods and brush is not fun. I use premier 1 net worth reasonable success, but I despise having to put it up in these areas... Pasture with this netting is great, but brush and thorns with nets is a horrible experience. I look forward to the day I have a perimeter fence to reduce this frustration.
3 weeks ago
Depending on your sheep setup, they will most certainly take more of your time and money than mowing. If you aren't raising them for meat, then the way I see it is they are a depreciating asset just like the tractor, but without the fossil fuel expenditure. If you decide to get into owning livestock you will eventually have deadstock. You need an end plan/out plan particularly when an animal is approaching it's end of life--drawing out any suffering in the name of love is actually just cruelty in disguise. All animals end of life is a meat source--whether that's humans, wildlife, or soil microbiology.

That said, if you're interested in raising sheep I'd suggest watching Greg Judy's YouTube Chanel. From a permaculture perspective, he does a great job. You'll find few doing better.

With the proper genetics/breed and management, deworming isn't really necessary except in rare circumstances. Management is key, but requires more of your time. All conventional dewormers would kill your soil microbiology and should be a non starter in this forum (this is the permies forum after all) except as a last resort life saving effort with the animal kept on drylot quarantine until the chemical deworming has run it's course--ultimately moving to a genetically superior stock genetic that requires no worming medications.
1 month ago
Switched to lambing in May this year to align with grass growth/natural breeding period of small ruminants for peak fertility. Absolutely loving it. First triplets we've had. All doing well.
1 month ago
Eliot, the bokashi idea is interesting. Curious how much mass would shrink down as water weight since we're talking fish. The end result being something the chickens would like is favorable, still curious if there's a way to "liquify/emulsify" via a natural decomposition process without an abundant carbon source and traditional composting, but I suppose I'm getting into the realm of flesh eating bacteria... And for reasons I'll stop myself right there.
4 months ago
Mart, the flies is an interesting one. I've read about those systems here and there over the years, but I'm hesitant. From what I've read it seems you really have to keep after it--we've got full plates already, so a "KISS" solution is very much desired. Anything that needs to be tended to has a way of slipping through the cracks. Burying the fish under our plants would be great, but on this scale, it's just not feasible and we tend to err on the side of not disturbing soil if we can help it.

After I posted it, I noticed in the "similar threads" section at the bottom a thread about homemade fish fert and they linked here:

I'm leaning in that direction at the moment...cut up with a recip saw, blend with a drill attachment perhaps, and ferment in barrels.
4 months ago
Douglas, I do have pig farmers in the area. I've let my contact know, but they don't seem interested.

Andres, I get them fairly fresh--within a day or two. To dehydrate them I'm guessing we need a rack system to hang them in the sun...any idea how long a 30 pound carp would take to dry like this? Ballpark...are we looking at a few weeks or more like 4 months? I'm located in PA so summers (when we'll be getting most fish) can get toasty.

D Nikolis, unfortunately, we don't have a source for wood chips anywhere near large enough to support a weekly delivery of fish.

Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions!
4 months ago
Not exactly sure where to put this topic but thought I'd start here...

We have the opportunity to accept several hundred pounds of dead, whole invasive carp weekly. Some of the carp are 30+ pounds...3 foot long, a belly the thickness of an average adult thigh. It could prove to be valuable fertilizer for our garden.

The first drop-off coincided with a barn clean out so we took the bedding...a lot of it, added the fish and now we wait. We don't generate anywhere near enough carbon to use this solution long term... If it even works. Our neighbors aren't super close, to us, but they're great neighbors, but stinking fish wouldn't go well.

Our primary concern besides smell is keeping any solution from attracting rodents. We have no control over when or how much shows up, so any expenses would preferably be minimal.

We don't have any means to easily dig trenches and bury them... The thought of shoveling a trench large enough to bury a 55 gallon barrel worth of fish on a weekly basis exhausts me... And I don't shy away from hard work.

We did this on a small scale a couple years ago with our kitchen blender. The blender hasn't been the same since and any emulsion solution I'm aware of would be capital intensive.

Sealed container rot emulsion
With these parameters, the best idea I've been able to come up with is to get a "rain barrel" type container with locking lid (for smell, rodent proof) and let living things do what naturally occurs...rot. does anyone have experience or thoughts on this? Any inputs required? Maybe some soil micro organisms to simulate rot? Cover with water? Add yeast?? The goal would be a liquid slurry that might need minimal agitation to break up large remains, drain/filter, and apply to garden/pasture via spray or pour into a hoe'd-in trench.

If anyone has any tips, suggestions, new ideas all input is appreciated... Would hate to lose such an opportunity and have it go to a landfill or otherwise.
4 months ago
Branches/brush for wood chips or piled up to create critter habitat.

The walnut hulls also have worming effects for livestock if made into a tonic/extract.
1 year ago
My sheep go crazy for maple
1 year ago
We've recently purchased a house with hot water baseboard heating. The heat is provided via propane with the warm steam from the boiler being piped outside. Even though they say propane burns clean we have plans to transition to clean, green energy (solar, wind, and hydro are all options for us). However until that time I can't help but see this warm steam being piped outside as an incredibly wasteful use of energy. I don't want the moisture inside the house but there's gotta be a way to utilize this resource. While writing this I thought of a seed starting greenhouse, any other creative ideas? Thanks!
2 years ago