Alan Whitaker

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since Mar 17, 2010
Missouri Ozarks
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Recent posts by Alan Whitaker

So here we are nearly 4 years from the full funding of the kickstarter. Does anyone know when the book be available? I remember the build-up to get the kickstarter funded. Now I feel sort of, let down..............
4 years ago
I spend too much time on Reddit. And I'm certain that there are paid professional trolls there. Especially concerning GMO's. There is a group of about 8 people who are supporters of all things GMO that comment in every post about GMO's. Now the last national election when CA had their labeling law before the voters, there was at least 2 new accounts that popped up about 30 days before the election. They had built up a big following and had mucho karma. On the day of the election, the accounts were deleted. The new crop of supporters have a history of just posting links, then about last Feb., they began posting comments in support of GMO's. I find it strange that they all followed the same path. And they all use the very same links to "evidence" in support of their cause. So they are out there. But I don't think we can oust them.


"I once read that "a responsible land steward plants trees from which he/she will never see the fruit."



I must be one heck of a land steward. I've planted apple trees and the grasshoppers have killed them all. So, I'll never see any fruit!
7 years ago
I've always stored my seed in a freezer. I have a 10 Cu.Ft. freezer full of seed right now. But I would like to get away from having to rely on electricity. I'm in NE TX where it is hot and humid during the summer and wet in the winter. I've tried storing seed without the freezer before, but after a couple of years, the seed usually won't germinate. I have onion seed that I've stored in the freezer for 9 years that still has decent germination rates. Anyhow, how would one store garden seed in this climate (hot, humid) without the use of electricity? I want to store for years, not year to year. Sometimes, I just can't get it all planted and I like to grow out different varieties and save seed, so I'm usually just growing one variety of each. So what is the latest and best way to do this?
7 years ago
Don't know how bad it is on the soil, but I use orange oil mixed with water to drench the mounds. Also, a fellow over in Grand Prairie who makes homeopathic Bio-dynamic preps told me once that , I believe it was 501, sprayed on the property had helped his fire ant populations. The guy sell this stuff, but I can't recall his business name. They also claim that just getting the soil microbiology working will help.
7 years ago
A few acres of my place have terraces that have been in place since at least the late 1950's. They need to be rebuilt to divert the water off the field as they have washouts and are holding water in places. The soil is TX Blackland prairie, a.k.a. clay. As I'm not interested in using land as one large field, would it be advisable to convert the terraces to swales? The land area that is terraces is about 12-15 acres and is abandoned cotton land that has been grazed off and on since the 60's. Mix of grasses and cedar, honey locust, and brambles. I've mowed most of it just to get a feel for the lay of the land. But I would like to either build a pond or swales for water. Being TX, I get an average of 50 inches of rain a year, but which year that was I don't know! Actually, the year we bought this place, there was 100 inches. And last year, well, I grew up in the desert of NM and I've never seen it as dry in NM as it was here.
So what I'd like advice on, is on this soil type and rain potential, should I continue to divert the water off the field or put swales in and go full bore permacutlure on this ground (my preference). I' need to decide something soon so I can get my equipment in to work the soil before this fall and the rains start. The ground is slicker-than-snot when wet. If I get a chance, I'll attempt to post pics of the ground.
7 years ago
I bought 50 lbs of Anasazi beans for eating and decided to plant some to see how they would do. Got abut 98% germination rate. When I grow red beans, black beans, black eyed peas and pinto's, I always just buy the dried beans at the grocery store and plant them. Now I'm going to save seed and see if I can acclimate them to my property.
7 years ago
I suppose if my house were climate controlled. But then I wouldn't be reducing my electric usage then. But yes, I would think if you took the humidity out with A/C you could fix that!
7 years ago
I have a similar setup. Nothing digital though. I like it except when it gets humid here, we get a lot of water condensing on the walls and puddling on the bottom. Good thing there is a drain. If you are used to the dryness of modern refrigerators this may take some getting used to. And ours uses so little AC that it is ridicules. I don't remember the numbers on ours from this last summer, but it was impressive. And we have ours sitting in a dark blue cargo trailer here in NE TX. We had highs last summer of 113 F. And it used little electricity and never had trouble.
7 years ago
From my talks with old timers here in the South, when they cured their hams, bacon and shoulders, they used a wooden box with salt in the bottom, a layer of meat, then more salt alternating.  Until all the meat was covered with salt.  The wooden box allowed the liquids to drain as you are looking for a salt-dried meat.  The salt pulls the moisture from the meat and bacteria that is present and keeps it from growing.  After a set number of days (30 or so), the meat is washed and hung to dry and age.
I've not tried this yet, but I have wild hogs and three I've fed out, I going to give it a try this winter. 
7 years ago