Joe Banks

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since Mar 07, 2021
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Recent posts by Joe Banks

John, I work too much to maintain a herd of goats for the property. The good deal is, the volunteer bittersweets will take longer to climb to the top of the canopies than it could possibly take me to nip them in the bud. I'm just going to have to keep doing it. As for herbicide, the cheap alternative I've heard is simply vinegar with some dish soap sprayed on the cut end, although I'm not getting that fancy... YET. They've killed many trees, and the ones not too rotten will be firewood for me, but the sad bit is that they killed four very old cedar trees at the front, and the biggest I've ever seen. Luckily, 3 of the 4 are still standing, and I know that their hearts are still good, so if I ever get around to owning a piece of heavy equipment, I'll be able to harvest the longest lasting wood in the country. (I believe only teak is tougher).
1 month ago
Fernando, your proposal will probably work, but I wouldn't say the fruit tree will benefit. They may only tolerate it. Fig, for example, wants all of the sun it can get. In a shady spot in the forest, it might be a fifty percent chance that it does enough photosynthesis to survive through the next winter. I've never done what your plan is before. I planted in full sun, and had to baby the plant for the first year (give it plenty of water). Your plan might encourage your fruit trees to grow spindly, in an effort to reach the sun. This could be good or bad, depending on whether you want a bush or a tree. And that's all I got :D.
1 month ago

Carl Nystrom wrote:

Joe BanksI'd need to pipe the water from the spring direct to the creek to dry out the area, [/quote wrote:

I have also tried this - but it did not work (at least when you area dealing with a spring in clay and fractured rock). The fact is, water seeps VERY well, and it will drive you crazy to try and stop it from doing its thing. Maybe if you had water gushing out of a crack in some granite, you could make it pour out of a pipe into a nice neat and tidy little basin, but in my experience, if there is soil, there will also be mud. What I ended up with was a compromise. I sealed up my spring, including a little brick wall with a pipe in it. My flow is only about 1.5gpm, so I have a little basin behind my brick wall that is about a cubic foot. I dug out all the muck behind the dam and replaced it with clean sand, gravel, and rocks. The pipe carries most of the water down to a concrete tank that I have my well pump in, and a little water dribbles over my brick wall into the mud. This also leaves the original stream more or less intact. I really dont use that much of the water, so I am really just borrowing most of it. I think fighting nature is a fools errand, as we are all part of nature. I have yet to meet another species that asks to use any of my stuff, though, so by all means, take what you need. I think its just when we get greedy that problems start to arise. And speaking of problems, if you have a spring on your property, it might end up being easier to fight gravity than stubborn neighbors. If you have even a few feet of head and a gpm or two, a ram pump might be just the thing.

The night I devoured all of the spring videos on youtube, I got the chance to hear a ram pump working. If it was a typical example, I'd rather haul buckets of water for eternity than listen to it! :D
I think me and the crawdaddies made a good compromise for the time being. They dug into the base of the rock/clay dam, but the dam is still there, and because I dug out all of that clay, I have about a 1 ft x 1 ft x 1 ft hole of clear water behind it. Water is seeping to the right of it, but what's coming from the spring I targeted is already more water than I could use. Fighting nature is certainly asking water to defy gravity! I'm a bit of a deededee, and have a lot of things I want to do on the lot, but working six days a week sure makes it difficult/impossible. Your implementation of a concrete tank with well pump down from the spring sounds perfect. If I already had electricity there it would be the answer. Only, my concrete tank with pump would have to be watertight, since this creek floods over the level of the spring regularly. Now I've moved on to rocks. While I wait for my vine destroying light saber to come in the mail, I've been reading Ked Kerns' book on stone masonry as well as forums. Reason is, lumber is expensive, I don't have the tools to mill my own wood, and stones are everywhere on the property. Beginning of the book has a good quote (paraphrased): God gave us earth for food, wood for making furniture, and stone for building houses.
1 month ago
Thankyou Paul, reminding about salt. Keeps forever, dirt cheap, senseless not to have a large stock of it. Also, fat. Rabbit starvation is a real phenomenon. A person can have all this meat and still die, for lack of fat. It's kind of like, all the things which the talking heads tell us are bad for us, are in fact vital to our survival. Food for thought.
1 month ago
I would cut 'em down. The other posters are right; a grown tree will be very sickly trying to regrow its feeder roots if you try to move it someplace else. If you heated with wood, that would be a solution. If you feel badly taking out biomass, make the root holes your new composting sites. Amazing everything thrown away which properly belongs to the soil. The trees themselves you could keep (if you have the room) and make spoons, make soil, make mulch, whatever you want!
1 month ago
Just obey common sense. In the winter, prune crossing branches and prune suckers from the roots. You want to open the base of the tree to the sun. You want maximum sun for your fruiting branches. Simple, simple.
1 month ago
I'm not that guy, but Tom Brown Jr. and Grandfather would say that all the food you need is there, no worries. Setting traps would be #1. Another poster mentioned wild edibles and that is incredibly valuable. Our society is so twisted that food is considered weeds and non/food is reckoned as beautiful frontage. My buddy Thomas Sheridan mentioned hard tack biscuits as something worth making, as it lasts forever. But again, that's worrying about tomorrow: you're more prone to do that if you have dependents. I think if you have personal experience with dearth, and you are unencumbered, and you also have the knowledge I'm mentioning, you would always survive regardless. Water would be a greater concern. I suppose if I was marooned on my new lot, I would live on crawdaddies and wild onions. After a few weeks of that, I imagine that I would be fearsome to anyone who encountered me, but hey, I'd also still be alive.
1 month ago