paul homestead

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since May 29, 2010
Ava, Mo, USA, Earth
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Recent posts by paul homestead

The way building codes work is everything is illegal unless it meets one of two criteria: All of the building is built according to standard designs (i.e. 2x4's at 16" centers, the right sheeting, floors and rafters all according to preaproved designs etc) or and engineer or architect signs that the design is at least as strong/safe as a standard building. If you could get a architect to sign the papers, you could build one almost anywhere. In other words, it's not that they don't meet code, it's that the code does not apply and nobody who is building this type of house will want to pay to have an engineer sign off on it.

Zoning laws are a different thing and might still be a problem is underground houses are banned or minimum size requirements need to be met.
6 years ago
As somebody said, in many states they are a game bird so that means permits and only harvesting in hunting season, even if you bought them. Somebody told me not long ago that any white quail is considered a domestic bird and the permits and other regulations don't apply.

Also though, it sounds like you are wanting them to free range. If you ever turn them loose, you will never see them again. They are notoriously hard to stalk for hunters, unless you intend to cover a very large area.

There are other types of quail that are generally considered better for eggs or meat, but again you have to keep them caged. One of the universities in Texas bred some coturnix quail that grow at a remarkable rate and are supposed to be very good layers.
6 years ago

I don't recognize the species, but I'd be willing to bet the Genus is Elaeagnus. There are some that fruit in winter or early spring.

None of the hollys I know have juicy berries, but the Elaeagnus do.

Some Elaeagnus spp, are edible, some taste horrid, but as far as I know none are toxic, but don't try one until you're sure.
6 years ago

Abe Connally wrote:
Looking over that link, it is very interesting. Still, they need 1750 F, which seems like a lot of energy. It seems like they actually melt the glass to achieve the glazing, so you really have a glass tile with a bit of clay in it.

Not nearly as much energy as cement. I can get sawdust and woodchips for not much more than the price to have them hauled and either should work fine for firing a simple kiln.

It's not the glass that makes them self-glazing, it's the sodium carbonate that is sprayed on them.

And it's not just glass with a bit of clay. They interact chemically and the tile fires at a lower temperature than either the clay or the glass would fuse alone.

6 years ago

I'm planning on making my own floor tiles. I don't know if these would work for roof tiles or not, but here is a page about self-glazing wood-fired tiles:

There are other sites with similar methods, but that's the one I bookmarked. By making the tiles from 75% powdered glass and only 25% clay, firing time/temperatures are greatly reduced. Also, the tiles dry and are ready to fire sooner and the quality of the clay is less important--less clay and less water mean less shrinking and cracking.

6 years ago
Will you be changing jobs when you move, or are you looking to buy close to where you are now?

I'm usually a big advocate for being debt-free, but there are times when debt makes sense. Never borrow money to finance a lifestyle you can't otherwise afford, but if the dividend on an investment will pay more than the cost of borrowing, it makes sense to borrow. If you're staying in the same area, it might make sense to borrow and buy as soon as you can, even if you live where you are for now, buying the land and moving to it after it is paid for has a number of advantages. One, you can use the time to clear land, build soil and get the perennials started and grow some of your own food. Two, frequent visits will let you get to know the land better. This will yield a better design. Three, it gives you a chance to see what you're getting into and how realistic your plans are before it gets too hard to back out of.

I know number three above is a double-edged sword and may let you give up sooner than you would if your food depended on your working more, but it's something to consider.

If you are only a couple of years away from buying land, you probably have enough of a downpayment that you should qualify for a decent interest rate and have a low payment.

When I took my PDC, I was forced to pay attention to things I had overlooked because I thought I didn't need them. Some of those things are what made things click to where I could see the bigger picture and not just a lot of pieces. To take a PDC, you have to do a design. My understanding is if you do a 2-week intensive, you do a design for where the class is. Most or all of the DIY courses expect you to do a design for where you are. If you do an on-line class and don't have access to a place to work with, I'm not sure what you'd do. Make sure you ask the teacher before you start. Other than that, I think you're be able to judge land better after taking th class, but that depends on how thoroughly you've studied on your own.
6 years ago
I think people may be talking about two different things here. As I understand it, the only original requirement to teach a PDC was to have taken a PDC. However, somewhere along the line Bill changed the rules and said all teachers had to be registered with a Permaculture Institute that his organization had blessed. There are only a relative few people in the USA that ever bothered to do that.

I did a PDC mainly so that I could teach PC with some legitimacy, however it forced me to look at some parts of permaculture that I didn't think _I_ needed and had therefore not looked into ver much. If a person has not been through a legitimate PDC, they may or may not know as much as they think they do. However, I wouldn't require more than that from them.

6 years ago

I didn't look to see if lupins are one of the plants this is suppose to inoculate, but it contains a variety of fungi and bacteria, including a mix of the N-fixing ones for a variety of legumes.

I haven't tried this stuff yet, but will be ordering some soon.

MycoGrow™ Soluble at :

6 years ago
I've never had a problem with bringing seeds in with hay, but I keep an eye on things and pull anything that sprouts. I do have a friend that claimed that was how Johnson grass got started in her garden, but she admits it went to seed before she noticed it. Considering how long it would take to go to seed, I don't blame the hay.

Potatoes under mulch and not hilled will yield less per square foot of garden and less per pound of seed, but more per hour of labor. Take your pick on how you measure efficiency. I prefer to save labor.

6 years ago
I'm in zone 6, southern Missouri Ozarks. I've grown potatoes (nearly) no-dig as a perennial and had the same patch last 5 or 6 years before it died of neglect after I moved. The ground had been plowed and tilled and then I dug out where I wanted paths and piled up where I wanted beds. I covered the dirt with cardboard and/or news paper and poked holes where I wanted to plant. I laid the potatoes over the holes and barely tucked them into the dirt. The whole area was then covered in a foot or so of old hay.

There were lots of weeds that sprouted in the hay, but if pulled before they get roots into the dirt, the aren't a problem.

Come harvest time, I pulled the mulch back and the potatoes were either on top of the soil, or within easy finger-digging range. I did not use a shovel at all. I then pulled the old mulch over the bed and left it for the winter. Before I could do anything with it the next spring, potatoes were volunteering throughout the patch. After I harvested that fall, I added a layer of fresh mulch. Ditto the next year. Then I moved to a different place a few miles away, but still own that garden. I harvested but did not remulch for several years before the weeds finally choked out the last of the spuds.

One tip I do have: don't cut your seed potatoes. Just use the small ones. Cutting lets bad fungi and bacteria in. Since all potatoes from the same plant have the same genetics, there is no need to worry about selecting for smaller spuds.

Hopefully I'll be back on my land next summer and get to start it all over again.

7 years ago