Alden Banniettis

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since Aug 08, 2019
Retired to northern Maine from NYC. Raising meat sheep.
Linneus, Me.
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Recent posts by Alden Banniettis

Thomas, so humidity can get through wax and the heavy plastic used in vacuum packing?  I will try the vacuum packaging on wheels that have rinded up for a few weeks.  I am new at cheesemaking and I make a very simple cheese using just raw milk, ripened with yogurt, cultured with rennet, sometimes with a mesophilic supplement, and salt.  I am in northern Maine and my cheese is aged in the cellar which tends to stay at 37-42 deg.f. in the winter and 55-65 deg.f. in the summer, with very high humidity down there in the summer.  Sometimes I see condensed water all over the ductwork. (I just bought a dehumidifier in preparation for next summer.)  
3 months ago
Question: Why is it that we wax cheese for aging and have to have air circulation for said waxed cheese while aging?  Does air go through the three or four layers of wax that is applied to the cheese?  I know that wax meant for cheese is said to be better than common parafin wax, but I still do not see how air movement can have any impact on the aging cheese once the cheese is waxed.  Thank you.
3 months ago
Douglas, thank you.  Aside from epoxy, would there be any other way to make the tank sanitary enough for wash water?  I mean, is it the case that once propane gets into the pore of the steel there is no removing it?  And yes, I know these things have some cash value used- but don't ask me how I know, lol.  I also like the idea of a wood burner if there be no possibility for wash water.
3 months ago
Hello to all.  I have come into a 100-gallon propane tank that is like new but used.  Trying to figure out how I might use it on my sheep farm.  Any ideas?  Is there any way to sanitize these tanks and use them for water- even non-drinking water?
3 months ago
Can someone recommend a honey extractor?  I am shopping for a manual stainless steel honey extractor and I cannot decide which one is good enough without having to spend major bucks.  I find them online at prices that range from about $140 with free shipping all the way up to one that is $695 plus shipping.  I would like to keep the expense below $350-400.  I will be using a horizontal hive with Layens frames that are 13" x 16".  Thank you.
3 months ago
So I have a question about using the ashes that accumulate from using a woodstove every day and nearly all day.  I live in a very old small farm house that sits on a foundation of large rocks.  It is like something between a crawl space and a cellar, that is, it has about five feet height.  The 'floor' is just packed dirt.  I am putting in a woodstove above this 'basement' and I want to have an ash drop down into the basement.  My question is: can I just spread the ashes out on the floor and let them get worn into the dirt over time?  I think we generate about three metal trash cans' worth of ashes over the winter.  Maybe four.  It is not any big deal to haul them up and out in the spring, but if I can do without an extra task, then I would want to.
4 months ago
Steve, I know the following idea for a soft-sided dwelling is likely not what you are looking for, but for what it's worth- my idea for such places with building codes that are so against yurts, etc., is to build them on a trailer.  With some imagination and the usual common sense, I do not see why a rectangular tent-like structure cannot be built upon a long bed trailer.  Just a thought...
5 months ago
(Edit: SOLD)  Property in Linneus.  $34.5k. Twenty-six acres of mature, mixed, hardwood and softwood with a nice stream (South Branch Meduxnekaeg River) cutting across the lot.  The water is ice-cold and delicious!  The fishing is good, the hunting is very good.  Moose, deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, etc., abound.  Five hundred feet of road frontage (Town Line Road South).  Lot #42.  Metal stakes in ground (at corners).  Power pole about five hundred feet down the road.  Ideal for an off-grid cabin/cottage- there is plenty of mature cedar with which to build your dream home with your own timber.  If you harvest the timber here, at today's prices, you will likely recoup your purchase price.  And if you bring some Katahdin sheep, they will graze and browse the lush forest.  Or, set down your RV.   Secluded and private, with packed gravel/dirt road.  Plowed by town up to about five hundred feet from the property, then plowed by others living down the road.  Cellular/GPS service is fine.  ///  Owner financing available and there is a possibility for bartering partial payment. (E.g., I need a heavy-duty dual axle 32'/40'/48' trailer, steel I-beams/C-channel).  Taxes $300/year.  If you are a vet, please mention that verifiable fact to me if you need owner financing.  Note: I cannot offer owner financing to a buyer who intends on cutting the property as a timber harvest.  Also, if you have children, there is a school not too far away, and I have seen a school bus in the area.  But please check for that information on your own.  Note: there is a very good grocery store about ten minutes away that also has the best pizza in the county!  In the summer, there is an ice-cream place, also about ten minutes away, where you can get great ice-cream at silly low prices.  You have a gas station about fifteen minutes away.  And it is about thirty minutes to the town of Houlton, where you should be able to obtain all of your shopping needs, including building supplies.  I was going to build my retirement cabin on this property, but my sheep farm is keeping me too busy, and the years sort of got by me. By the way, do you think you cannot raise sheep in a forest?  Think again.  Katahdin sheep are hair sheep -no wool to shear- and they were bred for browsing Maine's forests.  Feel free to ask me about providing you a seed flock of pure-bred Katahdins.  Katahdin meat is arguably the tastiest, most succulent lamb you can find on the market.  Finally, you can find this property on Google Earth.  Enter 'Lot 42, Linneus, Maine' and look for the river meandering like a backward '3'.  It is easily spotted.  The lot is immediately above it. The river cuts across the property about 2/3 of the way in from the road.
Nathan, one can do almost any style with logs; it is just a matter of the hardware.  Have you seen the price of hardware these days?  Sometimes the bare fact that something can be done does not mean that it ought to be done.  I have built various structures, all round timber.  For me, personally, I discovered that I become unhappy with a project when I begin to pour time and money into aspects of it that really do not do much except for the structural integrity of it.  It all depends on how badly you want something out of the ordinary.  Throw enough money at something and you can probably pull it off.  Earthquake zones can be expensive enough to build in using the old tried and true methods topped with earthquake features.  So price out what you want and take it from there.
Martin, last year I transported a load of windows in the bed of my pickup truck.  About fifty miles.  No cushioning or wrapping of the windows at all. I live on a farm and the roads sometimes look like the moon.  They were bumped around plenty.  None broke.  
6 months ago