Trace Oswald

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since Sep 20, 2018
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Recent posts by Trace Oswald

I would expect that Sam's is the most likely outcome.  It may be possible for a flock of geese to chase a fox off. As far as the geese doing damage to the fox,  Im not sure how they could catch it to hurt it in the first place.  Maybe if the fox somehow trapped itself in a corner,  but since foxes often elude dogs,  it doesn't seem likely.  Personally, I think the goose breaking a man's arm story is probably a myth.  

I'm not really against the idea of trying geese as guard animals, I just dislike the idea that they may get killed as well as losing more chickens to predators.
16 hours ago

Greg Martin wrote:

Trace Oswald wrote:I use the method as outlined by Paul, and I find that it works great. I didn't think anything was misrepresented in the film.



My apologies Trace.  I pulled my comment out about that.  I went back to look and realized it was his garden tour that I partially watched.  He was referring to how the experts say you can't do this because of nitrogen loss, but all the experts I know have only warned against rototilling woodchips into the soil to avoid stunting the  growth that year.  I can't imagine anyone saying that laying woodchips on the soil surface is a problem since it is very common practice and has been for a very long time.  I've been doing it for 30 years and thought it was common practice back when I started.



Greg,  no need to apologize, I just didn't understand what you meant.
19 hours ago
I don't really understand how a bird, however large and aggressive, could protect chickens from a real predator.  I have heard people make the statement that a goose is better protection than a dog.  I can only tell you that against fox,wolves, coyotes, even bears, live stock guard dogs have been protecting animals for hundreds, if not thousands of years.  A good dog would make short work of a goose, so it would be no surprise to me that a coyote or wolf could do the same.  In my mind, the only thing that goose might do is fill the predator up so he was too full to eat the chickens.
1 day ago
Very cool idea Phil, and good results.  I really like this.
1 day ago
I use a Merkur safety razor and I'm very happy with it.  I also use the Cremo that Greg mentioned.  The combination is pretty darned inexpensive.
1 day ago

Phil Stevens wrote:@Chris - If i mix char with feed, I'll use finely ground material. I expect, however, that a gizzard would be one if the best ways of grinding chunks to powder. Since I'm about to start producing larger quantities of char for some pilot testing in waterways, I'm looking for a grinding and grading method, and I'd love to have a giant chicken gizzard. Last weekend I tried a makeshift ball mill with a concrete mixer and a few steel balls and large river rocks. They just rolled around on the char and rounded off all the edges after a while. I'll start a new thread with volcano photos.

@Kola Redhawk - I'd definitely start with small amounts in an effort to keep internal biomes functioning. As to the naming, I appreciate the distinction. In an effort to evangelise biochar to the rest of the world, and especially the farming community in NZ, I have been using the term "biochar" to refer to well-pyrolised biomass from a variety of feedstocks. I distinguish the raw material from the inoculated stuff simply by describing it as inoculated or soil ready. This is kind of a tough one to figure out, because I know why you and others (including myself not too many months ago) are careful with terminology. I am currently working, via a number of avenues, to get biochar into the mainstream by proposing its application in several settings in my region as a water quality improvement tool. This means direct application of raw char in sediment traps and bunds, where its sorption attributes can reduce dissolved pollutants (especially nitrates) and then eventually be either retrieved and incorporated in soil, or left to serve as durable carbon in a wetland environment. There's a bit of buzz here associated with the word "biochar" now and since one of the things I'm promoting is the ability of farmers to use feedstocks that they grow, I've chosen to make raw vs inoculated the distinguishing factor.

@Trace - The material I put in the coop  was still damp from the quench process about a week prior. But when I got into a bag of the material that I made in the wood fire last winter I was reminded that a respirator really is a good idea.



Hey Phil, I don't know what quantities you are dealing with, so this may not be useful, but I crush pretty large amounts of charcoal by putting it in a heavy duty bag and running over it a few times.  You can make a very strong, re-usable bag by folding a canvas tarp in half and sewing it shut on two sides.  I turn it inside out, and fold the open end under after I put charcoal in and it works pretty well.
1 day ago
I use the method as outlined by Paul, and I find that it works great. I didn't think anything was misrepresented in the film.  He also didn't make any money from the film, or from the produce from his garden and gives it to people quite freely, so I'm not sure why people think naming it is somehow for profit.  

Paul goes into some detail with regards to adding organic matter the first years until the chips breakdown, or you will get some nitrogen tie-up.  People say you don't, but that hasn't been my experience.  Paul adds soil that has been composted by his chickens to his gardens, but as he says, you don't need to, it will just take longer if you don't.  That has been my experience as well.  Paul used 18 inches of wood chips alone in his orchard area.  The results seem to speak for themselves.  I personally had never heard of gardening with wood chip mulch before the film was made about Paul, so I'm grateful.  If I had an unending supply of wood chips as some people do, I would use them on many acres of my land.  I don't, so I use wood chips where I can, and cover crops, compost, other mulches when I run out.
1 day ago
This is my favorite tree.  I has to been seen to be fully appreciated.

On my own land, I couldn't possibly choose a favorite.  I have Dawn Redwoods that are amazing, white pines that I love for the privacy and the way it's nearly silent when you are in a group of them, autumn olive for so many reasons, the list goes on and on.
2 days ago
I had problems with dust when I used charcoal in my coop to the point I stopped using it.  Now I use it in the litter when I am composting it.
2 days ago