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Trace Oswald

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since Sep 20, 2018
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Recent posts by Trace Oswald

Mike Haasl wrote:Good point Trace!  Might the frozen ground be a benefit come spring so that they don't flower too soon?  

One thing I keep thinking about.  Trees in central Illinois probably have bare frozen ground around them in the dead of winter.  Up here they have 1-2' of snow around them and the ground doesn't really freeze under that snow.  So trees that can handle southern IL just fine can also likely handle colder ground than we get up where I live.   That's rattled around in my brain from time to time the last few years...

I've never been really clear on that.  If a tree can survive -10F, but dies at -30F, what actually kills it?  If it's frost depth, ours is much lower than central IL, but it may very well be something different entirely.  I'd like to see some data on the actual ground temperature at the surface.  My gut feeling is that our ground temperature is colder than IL, even with some amount of snow cover, but how much?  I know we lose far more trees in really cold winters without as much snow for insulation, but I don't know where the "sweet spot" would be.  As I said, I've never really heard an explanation, so I don't know what mechanism actually kills trees at a certain temperature.

I'm not certain about flowering either, you be very well be right that it would be an advantage to have the ground stay frozen longer, but I guess that leads back to my earlier question about what actually determines a tree's zone and what kills them in a colder one.  After all, your insulated hoop house has the sole purpose of keeping the tree from getting as cold, so wouldn't that in itself lead to the tree blooming sooner?  I really don't know, but it's a great discussion.
19 hours ago
That stuff used to bother me tremendously.  Now, I do my best to ignore it.  I probably can't have much effect on what other people are doing, especially large farmers.  What I can do, is try very hard to make my piece of the world better, and at a bare minimum, just protect the parts I'm not actively using.  My thoughts are, I can be angry or sad or whatever at others, or I can find joy in the fact that I'm one person working to make my part better.  I have dozens of species of mammals living on my land, untold number of birds and bees and little creepers.  That makes me very happy.  Like Paul says about wasting time being angry at the bad guys...  You can only do what you can do.  Your mindset decides if you find joy in it, or are miserable.
19 hours ago
I think it's an excellent idea.  Maybe consider putting blue board or some kind of insulation out to the sides a couple feet to keep frost from creeping in from the sides and to help retain the ground heat.  A couple feet of wood chips would work as well.
19 hours ago
I'm curious to hear more answers as well.  I love canned green beans from the store, so I know there is a way to do it and have them turn out well.  I've never tried, but I really want to.  I like canned green beans better than frozen.
1 day ago

Isaac Hunter wrote:...tract of private timber land...

My thoughts are, do what you like on your own land, and leave other people's land alone.  You don't even have any business being on the land, let alone planting something on it, unless of course you have the permission of the owner, in which case, it isn't "guerilla gardening".  I don't understand why people think they have the right to go on someone else's land and plant something, because it is "unused".  Maybe it is being used for exactly what the owner wants to use it for, even if that is just leaving it alone.  I have 80 acres, and much of it is "unused".  That's just the way I want it.  If I wanted it to be used, I would use it.  Maybe the owner of that land feels the same.
1 day ago
Maples do well coppiced or pollarded. I've never seen an oak survive it.
3 days ago

William Bronson wrote:

Anymore I look at all my permaculture style activities as what I enjoy,  rather than what is practical.
Practically speaking I should just get a second job and buy long term storage food and a hyper insulated solar powered home with rain water storage.

I couldn't have said it better.  I can buy vegetables cheaper than I can grow them, and with far, far less time.  I can buy eggs for $.99 a dozen, far less than it costs me in time and money to raise chickens, build their coop, feed them.  I do all of this because I want to, because I like having a degree of self-sufficiency, I like learning how to do things, and I like knowing how to do things.  Very few things in my life at this point are decided simply by which is more cost effective.  Hell, I could sell my house and my 80 acres of land, get rid of all my animals, and move into an apartment.  I would have lots more money, lots more free time, lots less responsibility, a lot more safety, far less hard work.  I would also be miserable.
6 days ago

Dan Fish wrote:I dunno man. I feel like having a wood stove is my personal pinnacle of thrift. Here is how I see it:

If seasoned oak is $400 a cord and I burn 4 cords (cause I also have about zip for insulation... for now) then I heat my house all fall, winter and spring for $1600.  Let's say I value my time at home at $20 per hour. It's low but I am spending time out in the sun and getting a good workout so I think it's fair. And to be honest if I am falling trees it's so much fun it's hard to even count that time. Then we have some costs. 2 gallons of saw gas and the oil is about $15, maybe two more for the splitter since I split by hand as much as I have time and energy for. Or when I am in a bad mood, hahaha. Oh and bar oil so lets be crazy and say $80 for expendables ( I added gas for the truck). So now we have $1520. Divided by $20/hr means I have to take 76 hours to break even. No way in hell it takes more than 20 working hours to fall, limb, buck, split and stack 4 cords of wood.

That is how I feel about it too.  That said, I cut wood in the summer when days are much longer, so it's light until 9 at night, instead of until 4:30 like now...  I can spend a few hours a day on a few weekends in the summer and have the wood I need for the entire winter.  If I didn't have even that much time, I guess I would have to pay for fuel.  I understand the dilemma, all my life I have had either time or money.  I never really have both...
6 days ago

Michael Cox wrote:Sadly the fabric of the building cannot be touched. It is a historic listed building, and retrofitting insulation and double glazing would not get past planning. This prevents the obvious steps that I would love to take - RMH, secondary glazing, insulating the walls etc... The windows are absolutely huge and single glazed. Plus we rent, which adds another layer of difficulty.

Sorry, I started my reply and got distracted by something, so I didn't see this until after I replied.
6 days ago