Revi Hatfield

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since Apr 15, 2010
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Recent posts by Revi Hatfield

Alders were known as "biscuit wood" in Maine.  They would produce a quick hot fire which was perfect for cooking a batch of biscuits in an wood cookstove. 

I have heard that alder ash was used in the making of gunpowder because it's such a fine ash. 
7 years ago
I have seen the Bigtooth Maple in Mexico and Texas, near Big Bend.  Is it the same as canyon maple?  I know that scarified soil helps with regeneration of sugar maple, so maybe it's the same with the bigtooth. 

Are you the same Ludi on Peak Oil forums? 

7 years ago
I thought I would introduce this topic.  We have a maple sugaring operation that has been attacked over 6 times.  The last time cost us over $2000 to put right. 

I have built a bulletproof box to protect the evaporator, put plate steel on the door, lexan on the windows and installed 2 camera systems. 

This seems to have deterred them for a while. 

We have also suffered from timber trespass and four wheeler damage. 

What can we do to secure our permaculture operations? 

What have you done? 
7 years ago
What about the urban homesteader route?  Maybe there is some blighted corner of BC you can bring back?  Probably not.  The US has lots of places where the land is cheap, but the security situation is grim. 

We could use more people like you here in Maine, for example. 

7 years ago
I heard about the coldest winter scenario.  There is one Russian scientist that is saying that.  I guess it's possible.  We have solar lights and wood from our woodlot, so I think we can survive, but I'm thinking of putting doors and locks on my wood supply if it gets bad.

I don't know how bad it will get in Maine. 

With the dollar tanking the price of oil could be well over $3 a gallon by winter. 

It's going to be a tough winter for a lot of people. 
7 years ago
I have friends who keep the sap to make ice cubes for their drinks in the summer. 

I think you can use the sap as a sweetener in anything,but the reason to boil it down to 66 brix is that it will keep, but it hasn't crystallized into maple sugar. 

I was thinking of using a rocket stove design to finish the syrup off and heat the sugarhouse at the same time.  The evaporator isn't designed to heat the place, just boil off lots of sap.  The person stoking the arch is the only one really warm.  That's why we call it the hot seat. 

Sugaring is really fun.  It's an obsession. 
8 years ago
We have an annual maple breakfast and this year we sold ceramic pancake platters. 

In past years we've made mugs and bowls. 

My students made a lot of them.  We sold them to pay for music at the farmer's market here in Skowhegan, Maine. 

It was fun and the students enjoyed it. 
8 years ago
There are huge inputs in conventional ag, but those guys make more money as well. 

It's a slow but steady kind of thing that we do. 

We sell some wood and maple syrup from our land.  It pays the taxes and allows us to keep doing what we're doing. 

I see it as a sustainable kind of an enterprise. 

It's not a get rich quick scheme though. 
8 years ago
I've been splitting really long logs for our maple syrup evaporator and have come to the conclusion that I need a splitter.  I don't mean a gas powered one.  I mean a teenager who has more energy and a more intact body than mine. 

We used to have one, but he moved out of the house.  Whenever he wanted to go to the movies with his girlfriend all he had to do was a half hour of splitting. 
8 years ago
Honey locust was the fencepost of choice where I grew up.  I am in Maine now and the cedar is what everyone uses.  I see grove of honey locusts here near old farmsteads, so somebody knew what they were for. 
8 years ago