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Justin Rhodes 45 minute video tour of wheaton labs basecamp
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Thomas Agresti

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since Jan 12, 2021
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Recent posts by Thomas Agresti

Sun worshippers?
1 week ago
art


     Howdy R. Ranson and everyone else,


                       I have a European scythe and like it quite a bit and as an aside, did you know that lazy, relaxed twisting exercises actually pumps spinal fluid back up into your brain and can put a smile on your face? It's interesting, at least I find it so.  I digress however and since no one mentioned it, your concerns are very probably caused by the tool first, as the length of your snath should be custom fit to your body. Mine is, and I can stand upright letting the scythe hang off my arms connected to my torso which I then twist to make the mowing stroke. Of course, there are other nuances, such as where you begin your cutting stroke, basically at 4 o'clock or perhaps more behind you if your shoulder is at three o'clock. Personally, I recommend The scythe book by Tresemer or any other equally informative book on Scything concomitant with the what has already been stated. That's all good stuff. I would like to add one last comment, most, if not perhaps all of the skills people are learning on this site in bygone days would have been taught to them by their grandparents and parents and they would have seen modeling of those well honed techniques and absorbed in a natural and organic way. Alas, this kind of cultural heritage and wisdom is pretty thin on the ground now and we are left to make as best an effort as possible discovering how to do it. This is a great good thing to do. Best of luck in your endeavors.


    Thomas
1 week ago
Late Spring in the mountains.
2 weeks ago
art


      Howdy Kevin and everyone else,


      This is an interesting conversation and I'd like to add my thoughts because I'm getting ready to create a greenhouse on the land I take care of. However, as an aside and still germane to this prospect I'd like to broach two points. I have always appreciated Mollison's teachings; they are always design experimentation, to see what works and share that, as in were all in this together, here are my results. This is what, as I see it, Permaculture Institutes do. Secondly, since there are many different people and situations we can and should build what we want, what suits our goals, climate, personality, income etc. best. To that end, people being creative, build many different styles of greenhouses, buildings, cultures etc. For me, usually I think this is rather a good thing.
       The greenhouse I will create, with a little help from my friends, no scratch that, a lot of help from my friends, will be 24' by 12' on a hillside slope to the South infilled with strawbales on the sides and back on grade. Then we're going to cover it with 6mil clear plastic. We'll see how much this simple, inexpensive greenhouse will perform. A last point I would like to note is, changing one's climate several zone's, usually means more expense  and complex inputs, however I have seen a basic "heat pump" idea that seems to me on the face of it gets you there, "Nebraska retiree uses earths's heat to grow oranges in snow" on YouTube; It's worth the time. Last point, I like small gravel on the floor of greenhouses. Best of luck with your project.


     Thomas,

      Mitama farm

3 weeks ago


   Hi Ivan,

          What your doing sounds interesting and fun; I'd like to add a few comments. Having brewed a few things beer, gruit, mead and such, my point of view is the primary idea to be successful is something like the following: You have "sugar", any kind of sugar that is, which small things like to eat and then they reproduce. Some of these small things, specific kind of yeasts, are fantastic because when they eat sugar they make ethanol and co2. Okay, when we make alcoholic drinks we put these good yeasts, into our warm sugary liquid which for them is like the perfect place to be. The thing is this the good yeasts must outnumber the bad yeasts so they can colonize the wort. This is why we clean everything and pitch a good amount of active yeast into the wort. In my opinion it really is just about numbers, then.
          I'm curious what you're putting into the gruit? Furthermore and a funny bit of history, adding hops to make beer, to the best of my knowledge, is really a Protestant thing. Hops is a sedative and anaphrodisiac; they really didn't want people to get down and party like they did for centuries prior to the Reinheitsgebot. Imagine that. Anyway, good luck on making Kvass and all other manner of ferments you're trying.


  Thomas,


       Mitama farm
3 weeks ago


   Hi Jen,

     I think you can build soil there; I'm doing it where I am. There are a few considerations and to best understand them I would direct you to information about soil biology which a lot of people have done either in the Academy or out. To make it easy, check out Dr. Elaine Ingram's, "Soil Food Web" site and view the videos. However, cursorily I'd like to add a thing or two. Mollison really does a good job explaining how to ameliorate situations in the desert. Check out his dry land videos on YouTube. Also the designers manual has some more good info. In AZ there is a guy who has done a spectacular job of building soil, Singh farms is his business. They might be a great resource and inspiration.


  cheers and good luck,

    Thomas,

    Mitama Farm
1 month ago


    Howdy Mj Lacey,

    One of the things I appreciate about Mollison is the perspective that he embeds throughout Permaculture design, it's something on the order of, all things are resources and when we see it as pollution or waste or something we have to deal with, all we need to do is shift perspective and then we can see where it fits and harmonizes and creates benefit. To that end, I wish I had two tons of sand, my oh my, what things I could do with that!  
    So, here are some ideas that I hope will help you with your 2 ton conundrum. 1. Put an ad in the local paper and sell some of it for Pounds, or find out who needs sand for their garden and give it to them. Potters also use sand sometimes. 2. Wait a bit, and carry out an experiment to see if it really does turn to concrete and, or see what you need to add to it so it becomes usable and tell us your results on Permies.  Admittedly, I have a jaundiced eye when it comes to Social media, which often isn't social at all, and also "facts"  stated on the internet by a well meaning guy or gal who oftentimes is simply repeating what they read, rather than giving results about what they have actually done. This can stop our growth and experimentation and exploration because we take the truth of their story for granted when it might be different for us. 3. The solution to pollution is dilution. I don't know if you have a smallholding or a cottage or how big you lawn is, however you could spread it around your lawn and landscape everywhere thereby diluting it. You could have a party, a "help spread my sand around party". 4. Do you need a patio? Does a friend? You can also use it to make real concrete  for something. I like what everyone else said too. Anyway, these are some ideas. I hope they are a help. Good luck.

     Thomas Agresti

     Mitama farm

 
1 month ago


       Howdy All,


         Here is some beauty, representatives of the Life principle. A few of these plants are Ashwagandha, which I'm looking forward to bringing to seed and also making tincture from.
2 months ago
art


      Howdy Jon,

    Other than Dan's excellent commentary on availability of tires and the like I'd like to add a few thoughts of my own. I am now of the opinion that it is easier and most appropriate to follow the local vernaculars when building. Of course, if one has to, one can do other things, however this will mostly result in increase expenses and design problems and etc. that will be unforeseen. All people's around the globe have already figured out what works best in their place. Please note Reynolds who builds Earthships did so in Taos and if you consider them for a moment they are the same as adobe. They fulfill the same functions, thermal mass, and the final "brick" is the basically the same for building purposes.
     If I was to build, I wouldn't go down, but build on grade and infill around the Earthship to Earth shelter it. However, and this is the main point, there is no Earth sheltering around Fairbanks. It's Arctic and as I see it one would either have to insulate to an extreme degree or heat to an extreme degree to prevent all that cold from entering your Earthship. Resulting in those design problems I mentioned earlier. Good Luck, whatever you decide to do.

   Thomas

    Mitama Farm
2 months ago


       All of you are posting lovely photos,



            Here at our latitude, we are a little bit behind you and there are no flowers to speak of yet, however I'm enjoying yours. My jade plant in flower from this Winter.
2 months ago
art