Mike Homest

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since Feb 04, 2019
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Recent posts by Mike Homest

Daniel Richardson wrote:I've always had a fascination with the idea of trying to grow all of a person's food in a lab under very controlled and optimized conditions.

Iirc it needs about 1000 m² to feed one person, without meat. With meat much more. You can hardly control/optimize every condition, since many are not known completely.

As for seeds, I go on par with another reply. The best is to make your own seeds, as your plants adopt to your situation pretty fast. You just need to supply them with good humus, irrigation as needed, keep predators out and so on. Nature will do the rest for you. Planted a few onions today and it was great to see dozens of earthworms. Picked them up with matured cow manure, we used to get a better soil. Our soil is pretty acid and loamy. ;-( Now the soil seems to get slowly better.

Philippe Elskens wrote:

Many thanks for explaining!!!
I have no idea yet what my Head and Flow are exactly. Our part of the river is 150-200 meters long, but the height difference between begin and end point is minimal. I'll try to get an estimate for Flow using the float method, since there are no waterfalls and it will take some time before I could construct a dam for a more accurate bucket method. I've only seen the river once and it was 2 meters across, 1 meter deep, but I have no idea how much less this will be in the dryer months of the year. Also, there's the fact that it's located 2 meters below the land, which makes it more difficult to use gravity-powered methods of pumping water. But electricity production is definitely on the table!!

You can measure the head using a (digital) cheap barometer usually quite well (many allow to calibrate if you have a known landmark ore are at sea level), GPS is not really accurate enough. 2 meter wide, 1 meter depth? So you have quite some flow. Iirc there are even units that just sort of swim on such a stream to make electricity. But I have never looked deeper, as I have little flow but quite some head.
2 months ago
I just grabbed one more of this packs, they are cheap (1€ - 125g or so) but I had never much if any luck with them. It seems our soil is far to acid for them. I'll retry this year mixing some compost with sand in the soil to see if this works better? In any case I got red onions, which are (biological) grown seldom and expensive.

Skandi Rogers wrote:We have a collie Lab cross (22kg) and a pug (8kg) the collie has been on raw food since she was 11 weeks and the pug since age 1. They get chicken legs/thighs for breakfast and then slaughterhouse waste for dinner. We buy the pluck from a local slaughterhouse, so liver, heart, lungs, kidneys, tongue and if it is pork normally the trachea and other tubing as well. It is important to balance it with ours receiving around 10% bone 80% meat (includes lung and heart) and 10% organs (includes Liver, kidney, spleen etc).

The cats are not so lucky they get cheap kibble (free fed) and as many mice/voles/rats as they want. I want my cats to go catch their own, I do not want to feed them all the food they desire they have free access to all the dried food they could possibly eat but it is one type. one flavour and never changed, mice taste much better apparently and that is the whole idea.

Yep, our dogs like chicken legs/thighs pretty much, I feed this first if I grab a fresh load, as it tends to deteriorate first.

Unsure about "kibble", being not a native speaker. It might be industrial dry food, made with the most important/beloved machine the pet-food industry has. From my experience, the sound if a cat breaks those "kibbles" is a hell lot like as if a neck of a mice breaks! Sure this is not by chance! I also think cats do much better if they hunt for their own food. Though ours also eat from the dogs and gentle as they are, they let them eat first.

Interesting that you get (cheap?) liver. In Europe it is mostly sold not so cheap in a butchery, sure it tastes horrible but contains shitloads of vitamins, minerals and so on, almost anything, a real super-food!
3 months ago

Amanda Launchbury-Rainey wrote:This is how we feed our dogs and cat at the moment and how we will develop this as we grow more of our own food.


All hail the canner!

My last batch contained lungs that I got from the butcher.  As I progress I will up the amount of beans and veg to the cans.  When we butcher our own pigs I'll include brains, hear and lungs, ears and feet, all pressure cooked first for  sanitary reasons but also to release the goodies.  

Hope this helps


this sounds like a full time job just to provide some food for cats/dogs? ;-) The closest relative to a dogs are wolves and despite what is more or less predigested in the stomach of their victims their food is 100% meat/bones. Wolves will just left over bones to big for them to handle. Before you ask where I know this from, from wolves. They donated me once a big boar bone, which seemed their way of saying t h x, because I gave one of their small ones who got somehow lost for a time some food to survive.

As a hint, our dogs do not like pig meat much if at all, YMMV.
3 months ago

Bryan C Aldeghi wrote:Hi Bob,

Is yours a normal fridge, or a special one designed for solar? I dont know much about the solar ones, but do know they exist.

We have a large fridge that is just a year or two old. It is listed as running at 230 watts. When the compressor kicks on it definately takes more power. But less than the old fridge. The old fridge would make the lights flicker. The new one doesnt. All that being said that the exact model and such are going to run totally different. The best thing you can probably do when planning any alt power system is to get a kill-a-watt sensor off of amazon. Plug the fridge into the sensor and it will give you a constant readout of the used wattage. I believe it does amperage also.

$20 on amazon -
P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00009MDBU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_99UCCbVWWZQJM

Yep, those meters are very helpful with finding what really eats your power. Before even thinking about some expensive PV system one should checkout what really sucks and replace it with something better, perhaps not electrical powered. Thus one might get away with a smaller (cheaper) PV system.

Thought I am not sure how well those meter can record/visualize the pretty short fraction of a second some motor begins turning and draws lots of power. I'd drop the manufacture of inverter* and fridge a note and ask.

*Some decent inverter should have some huge electrolytic capacitor inside to handle such situations.
3 months ago
Hi Rufaro,

thanks so much for your posts, I might have read all of them in this thread. It is very vital to get real informations beside the lies MSM (main stream media) is telling us. In addition foreign investors are not good for you nor for your country. They just come to fill their pockets, destroy nature and so on. Just as you can develop your farm, your whole country can develop on its own. Maybe you should be the next Zimbabwe president, you sound much more intelligent then most (western) politicians!

Now your monkey problem seems to call for guardian dogs, LGD dogs. Sure you need to calculate how much at least 2 of those dogs would cost you in terms of buying* them and monthly feeding costs. I feed ours from scraps I get for free at local butcheries. Though dunno if this would work out for you, to minimize the costs?

But I guess some monkeys wouldn't have much fun getting closer here and we do not have much if any fences. Dunno how close to neighbours you are, as those dogs tend to bark especially at night, never without a reason, they can sense predators on quite some distance. There primary goal is to drive them away by simply barking. There are very rare cases, once every few years were mostly due to being wounded or so a predator doesn't get away..

Anyway, there is some South African known not so large LGD (Rhodesian whatsoever?) which might be useful, perhaps someone here in the forum from the region could help out? But perhaps you can get some decent guardian dogs local easier?

*In reality one can not buy or sell a real good dog, you can just become it donated or donate it to someone.

As for the help to others/charging. What about they come to your farm, do some work and pick up some skills while working (for free), this way you might save some worker for one or another day and they can learn(ing) by doing?
3 months ago