Mike Dayton

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since Dec 15, 2010
sw pa zone 5
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Recent posts by Mike Dayton

I had a similar problem when the power company clear cut about 60 feet along the road and opened up my back yard to a clear view from the road. I like in SW Pa in a similar Zone to yours. They sprayed Tardon on the stumps so they would not grow back. I am up a bank from the road. I planted decorative grass that I got for free, it grows about 6 feet tall and then has a plum that is about another foot. I planted the grass 3 feet apart and it gets about 3' wide so I expect it to fill in. It dies back in the spring and has to be cut down, so there is a time when it does not protect the view. Behind that a few feet I planted Butterfly Bush. It grows about 6' to 8' high so I have no problem with the power lines. I planted them close enough so that they too should grow together and block the view. The grass was for instant gratification, the butterfly bush is for beauty, wind break, and Butterflies. Behind that[ I am now maybe 10' off the road I planted Almond, and Hazelnuts They are both short, maybe 12 to 15 feet high, like I said, the over head wires are a Big concern at this location. I can fill in around the butterfly bushes with flowers, I have a visual screen, I have no worries about road salt or chemicals, and I have a Beautiful flowering shrub that attracts Butterfies. I am sure there are other plants, and other options you can pick from. I felt this one worked well for me.
5 years ago
I attended a seminar about Biodynamics in Pittsburgh last weekend. I had never heard of this and went to learn with an open mind. It was a very interesting over view and gave the basic principals as well as explaining the herbs and additives that they added to their garden soils and their compost. Much of the process makes sense, several of the plants used in Biodynamics have been promoted on here as repelling pests from plants or promoting plant health in other ways. I did not care for the idea that I had to buy their calendar each and every year. The herbs and other additives could be grown and produced and fermented yourself at home [ assuming you had a cow or some way to acquire cow horn ] but the calendar changes each and every year and you are forced to purchase that item from them. The small number of reviews that I have read on the net about Biodynamics have been very mixed, some claiming better more healthy produce some claiming its results are the same as organic garden produce and some claiming the guy who came up with the idea was a flim flam man. People have used the time of year as shown by the fazes of the moon as a planting guide for centuries. Biodynamics takes this idea to a whole new level . The Lady who gave the seminar in Pittsburgh is having another one when she mixes up her manure tea and other mixes and said she will give everyone who attends a Gallon of the mix. It is an hour drive for me, and I hate to go to the City, but I am debating about attending just to get a Gallon of the mix and see how it works. Her 3rd seminar will be in the fall and let people taste the biodynamic veggies and fruits. At this point I am not convinced that Biodynamics has a Huge impact on garden production, but I fell that it certainly does no Harm. It may help, but I would need to see more proof to become a convert and buy their calendar.
5 years ago
Welcome Mike, Glad to have you with us. Hope you enjoy the conversation.
6 years ago
I drive right through Pumxsutawney on my way to Camp Justin. I think its a lovely town, I know a Preacher there in one of your local churches. The Park in the center of town is lovely, but I miss the Old Hardware store that used to be on the corner where 119 turns off, it had a lot of great stuff in it that you can't get at Wal Mart.
6 years ago
Good Luck Patrick, it sounds as if you are well on your way. I have no clue why some people feel that it is OK to just dump unwanted garbage in the woods. My son bought a 10 acre wood lot with a newer log home on it a few years back. He hauled several pick up truck loads of metal trash out of the woods, broken lawn mowers, old gas grills, metal paint cans, metal junk of every description. Believe it or not it was the prior owner who dumped the trash there himself. Good luck with your plan, keep us posted as you go along.
6 years ago
I live south of you in Westmoreland County. I am about an hour east of the Burgh, between New Stanton and Donegal on the pike. I can see the Chestnut ridge from my 35 acre hillside. From what I see from my back yard to Denver Co there isn't anything big enough to be called a Mountain. Its a great place to live. They tell me I am in zone 6a now. I used to always be in zone 5 because of the Ridge. Global warming I guess has changed the zone. My Twp Supervisors are not known to be the most progressive. You might be able to convince them to allow a straw bale house with a strong argument. I don't know if they could rebut an argument like your code guy came up with. Once you have broken the ice it should be a lot easier for everyone else to get it approved. Although an award winning housing plan design was rejected by our supervisors so the property owner built low income housing plan instead. The reason they rejected the plan that won an award for Smart Growth from the state was " Rules is Rules " . So you can see, not very progressive around here.
6 years ago
Welcome Jeremy, Glad to have you aboard, I am pleased to hear about your straw house project. I have been very interested in straw bale buildings for some time now. I live about 3 hours south of Erie, I will be very interested in your progress. Keep us all posted about how you are coming along.
6 years ago
People have lived in Villages, Towns and Citys for a very long time, we are social animals and like to have others of our kind around. Citys are not going to go away any time soon. The main idea of this tread was how does one survive a disaster in a City. Being totally self seficient in the City maybe a pipe dream, but being able to survive a disaster for awhile is very possible. Surviving with comforts is perhaps a bit more difficult but it can be done with some planning. We had alot of warning about Sandy coming, people were told to get out. Some New Yorkers can't get out because they do not own a car. The City runs on a 3 day supply of things. Food, Gas, etc will be totally gone off the shelves in 3 days. If you want to survive longer than that you had to plan ahead and have some food and supplies set aside for you and your family. Some people in NY felt that their back up plan was to just go out and eat at the local Deli, there is one on every corner after all. The fact that they were closed, flooded or had no power sent that plan out the window pretty quickly. City apartments are small, so storage for large amounts of food is difficult. Have at least a 3 day supply of food and water befor the disaster and hope that the Troops will come and save you by the 4th day is 1st on the list. Having a camp stove that does not need electricity is something everyone needs to own as well as an oil lamp with a supply of oil, or some candles. The camp stove that can recharge a cell phone as it burns is a great idea and they are only about $130. Making a Rocket Stove out of a 5 gal can will cost you about $10 and you can burn sticks or even news papers for cooking and heat. Blankets, clothing boots etc are all on the list of things to have handy as well as some meds for 1st aid. Planning ahead is the key. And that planning should not start when you get the warning to get out of town. We tend to learn slowly, Katrena didn't help, maybe Sandy will. Everyone thinks that it can't happen to them. Thats about all I can add, I am sure that others will have more thoughts on this subject. Think, and plan ahead, good luck.
6 years ago
There is a nice Farmers Market in Mt Pleasant Pa every Wed during the summer, there is also one in Ligioner, Norvelt and I think there is one in Greensburg as well. I was surprised that none of these Farmers Markets were listed yet on the site I posted. Like I said, I think it is very new so maybe next year they will get themselve on the list. There is a Farm in Clarion that sells organically grown Beef that I sent the imformation to and there is a Farm here locally in my part of Westmoreland Co that sells beef and bakes their own bread from the recipe the Monks at St Vincent gave them. As the list grows I believe it will become a wonderful resourse for all of us.
6 years ago
I met the guys who started this site at the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs last month. I believe they have just started this site to list Farmers, Farmers Markets, Food Co-ops, Organic Market Stores etc and help put them in contact with potential buyers who want their quality products. The Farmers are rated by what methods they use on their Farms. You can register for free and list what types of produces you are interested in buying including meats, veggies, grains, fruits , berrys, mushrooms, honey etc. The Farmers also list what they grow and have for sale. I just joined the group so I do not have a lot of actual experience with them yet. Since they are new there are a lot of local farms in my area that are not listed yet, but I felt it was a start. It seemed to me that they are trying to provide a very worth while service here to both the farmers as well as the consumers. Let me know what you guys think. Here is the link.


http://www.farmmatch.com/#back
6 years ago