Dave Merkle

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since Jul 08, 2018
Nashville, Tennessee
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Recent posts by Dave Merkle

I have not tried pollarding BL, though I have several saplings started. The relevant info I have heard is that pollarding is a TRAINING technique for young trees. It is not appropriate for branches or trunks with significant heart wood as it is hard for the tree to heal over and form the pollard club head. If you try to pollard a more mature tree, you will leave it open to fungi and infections. Coppicing low is more appropriate for trees over a few inches diameter as the new growth comes at the soil line from a different kind of bud. I'm not sure what effect your winters have had on your BL. The only thing that comes to mind is giving it a round or two of only cutting when dormant to let it get established. Cutting mid season for fodder means the tree is going into winter with fresh growth. This might be much more vulnerable to frosty than a full years woody growth.
1 year ago
As for the "pack it in" protein advice, please dont listen. The body can only process a certain amount of protein and it is usually far less than people think. Excess protein will screw up the kidneys. I assume people would rather not die of renal failure,  heart disease, or cancer (all linked to excess protein) while making beautiful muscle gains. There is a tradeoff between longevity and optimum athletic performance. Look at the lifespans of most pro athletes and consider where on that scale looks ideal.
1 year ago
If gaining weight is hard for you and you have a healthy diet already, no food is going to help you put on lean mass. You need to work for it. Lift heavy. You can do
cardio too, but not within a couple hours of your lifting. There are certain foods like beets that can help enhance your athletic performance, I'll let you do your own research, but there is no food that will solve your problem.  And no, saying "I do lots of lifting at work" doesn't cut it. It might for a different body type, but for an exomorph, if you are lifting enough at work for it to count, your workplace is seriously dangerous and you need to stop.
1 year ago
If its muscle you are trying to add, the ground rules for us skinny guys is to eat 1 gram of protein for every kilo of our goal weight. Also make sure you are getting the calories required at that goal weight. Other than that, focus on all around nutrition so your body can efficiently use that protein. Also you need to start lifting heavy. Short reps and slow lifts. The Exomorph body type (naturally thin) needs brief,  intense exercise to put on muscle. I'm 5'9" and if I do nothing but normal daily activities,  I shrink down to 140lb or less. Working out 3 days a week lifting as heavy as I can, lifting 3 sets of 5 reps to failure (if you can do 7 reps, increase the weight. If you can only do three, reduce the weight) and focusing on a few complex motions like squats and clean&press rather than bicep curls, etc. This got me over 160lb and chiseled like a Greek statue. I wasn't going for excessive bulk, just functional strength and aesthetics. I've lost a lot of it because of life changes, but I know what I can do. If you just want to add some mass to fill you out and don't mind most of it being fat, any combination of carbs and fat together is ideal (not exactly healthy) though extreme exomorphs like me will just sweat it off in our sleep. Good luck.
1 year ago
As a total novice to timber farming (with some carpentry experience) I've been on a bit of a kick about Japanese and Korean style timber frame buildings. There seems to have been many posts about them here over the years so  I figured I would share something I just found. This is a free pdf of an English language book describing the building techniques used in a hanok.  It has lots of great pictures and some great information on materials used and even average costs. Enjoy! https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://auri.re.kr/pdf/20180201/Building%2520Hanok%2520Components%2520%26%2520Techniques.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwidzePN3-_iAhUjiOAKHdSTBHkQFjASegQIBhAB&usg=AOvVaw0axpF3gkhKiWdWWyNOYm2_&cshid=1560748920228
Here is an interesting video about hanok, the traditional Korean house. It has quite a bit of good information in it including ondol.
1 year ago
I've seen people turn and carve with it. Not very rot resistant, it has lots of big pores, and some claim it is prone to splitting. It is a beautiful wood though. I'll be waiting to hear from more knowledgeable people in this space. I have a mimosa on my land and I plan on propagating it. I consider it a beneficial invasive when managed for medicine, mulch, firewood, and fodder.
1 year ago
For hempcrete, it is not the long fibers that are used, but the short woody fibers that are called hemp hurds. Usually these are about the size and shape of wood chips. Not sufficient to reinforce cob. You could use the long fibers that are not long enough for textile use and are combed out during processing,  but I would do that in addition to straw, not instead of it. Straws hollow tube form gives cob unique thermal and hydraulic properties that you dont get from things like hemp. Some cob recipes call for the addition of horse hair or even washed horse manure as added fiber. As for replacing all your walls in a brick shell with hempcrete, I would say you probably want an air gap with the brick as you will get a lot of water coming through. Also I hope you are prepared for all your rooms to shrink. Hempcrete is great as far as cheap and natural, but it has nowhere as close an R value as
Fiberglass. Hempcrete houses are typically built with 12inch thick walls. I'm not sure who these people are that were mentioned to be retrofitting houses with clay-hemp, but they are probably doubling up the exterior wall thickness or using a VERY light airy mix with a bit of magic in it.
Black locust leaves are supposedly deadly toxic to equines so I would avoid that one. Goats will browse on it and apparently it prevents worms, but the high tannins are too much for horses.
She is eating and drinking, but just lays and sits in one spot all day
1 year ago