Matt McSpadden

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since Feb 24, 2021
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homeschooling kids trees chicken woodworking
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Central Maine (Zone 5a/4b)
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Recent posts by Matt McSpadden

Hi Don,
I am not a corn pollination expert, but I believe five acres apart should be enough. A five acre plot, however, could have parts that are more narrow. How big is each planting? (Did you plant a small garden size or plant a whole acre?) If there are trees and things in between, you might be able to get away with less. The Internet seems to say somewhere between 250ft and a mile is the distance. So real specific :)
Hi Josh,
You have had some excellent replies here. I just want to call out something that several people have said, but was somewhat buried. Heat.

When I was starting my own plants, a heat mat made all the difference when I started tomatoes and peppers. They are a heat loving plant. Eliot Coleman said in one of his videos that tomatoes are one of the only plants that he bothered to use heat for. It just gives better and faster germination.
I have done it several times, and to be honest, I have not had any more trouble with those than I did with the "fresher" ones that were sold earlier in the year. I think it has a lot to do with how things are stored.
Hi Suzanne,
If it is IL (internal laying), then it has nothing to do with anything you have done, and seems to just be a genetic problem that some chickens have. A vet might be able to make the chicken more comfortable, but my research says that there is no cure for IL. I'm so sorry. It is difficult when something you raised, is sick or dying.

While it is difficult, please don't let this dissuade you from raising chickens. Any time you bring a living being onto your property, you will need to be ready to face death. I think the best thing is to make its life as good as possible. Let that chicken be the best chicken it can be while it is alive.
2 days ago
Hi R,
I have a fairly smart kid who was 9 at the time. He took a cheap digital camera and made a lego stop motion video himself. It took him several hours for like a 30 second clip, but it came out pretty good. When you say animation, I don't know if you mean, pictures that are drawn and redrawn? or inanimate objects being move around? Or clay figures? Regardless, I imagine it would be time consuming, but not too difficult. Really its just take a picture, move something, take another picture, and repeat a whole lot of times :)
3 days ago
Hi Cameron,
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by a permies solution to venting. I think venting in and of itself would align with permaculture values, depending on the materials used.

One thing you might consider researching is the difference between a "hot roof" and a "cold roof" as pertaining to insulation and design. Those terms will bring up lots of good information. Personally I think ventilation is a really good thing for getting rid of moisture problems, so I tend toward the cold roof idea.

One design I saw used soffit vents and roof vents, but allowed the use of the attic space. They achieved this by not filling the insulation cavities completely. If the roof was using 2x6, then they would use insulation meant for 2x4. If the roof was 2x8, then they would use insulation for 2x6. Keeping the insulation towards the inside leaves a 2" (approx) gap between the insulation and the roof. This allows air to move into the soffits and exit the roof vent and keeping things cooler and dryer. Depending on the insluation used, some people would build or buy a spacer between the supports so the insulation would not get into this air gap. This method gives you ventilation, insulation, and a usable attic space. On the other hand it is somewhat a hybrid between a "hot roof" and a "cold roof", and hybrids don't always work as well as one or the other.

Just my two cents.
Hi Michael,
That is a cool engine. I only watched a couple of the videos. Are they sharing what makes it to so safe and so efficient yet? That is what I want to hear. They say it is more efficient and safe than historic steam engines, but they don't say how they accomplish this.
3 days ago
Hi Shari,
I am not a bear expert, and we do not have nearly the bear pressure than you would in your area. Still... I've got to think, that while the bears would probably enjoy some sunflowers, that if you are only planting a handful, that it will not attract them as much as other things that are more potent and have more than a mouthful. I would think garbage would be more likely to attract them for instance than sunflowers.
4 days ago
"Convicted hitman, Jimmy "Two Shoes" McClardy, confessed today that he was once hired to beat a cow to death in a rice field, using only two small porcelain figures... police admit this may be the first known case of a 'nick knack paddy whack'." - Collin Mochrie
4 days ago
Put this on your calendars!

Currently we have

12 Yes
2 probably yes(?)
4 can't make it
5 days ago