Sabin Howard

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since Apr 18, 2011
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Recent posts by Sabin Howard

Eat Wild KY would be a good place to start. I unfortunately don't know producers in that area personally.
5 years ago
I found a resource that seems credible and promising.

Excerpt for the TLDR crowd.

Walnut leaves can be composted because the toxin breaks down when exposed to air, water and bacteria. The toxic effect can be degraded in two to four weeks. In soil, breakdown may take up to two months. Black walnut leaves may be composted separately, and the finished compost tested for toxicity by planting tomato seedlings in it. Sawdust mulch, fresh sawdust or chips from street tree prunings from black walnut are not suggested for plants sensitive to juglone, such as blueberry or other plants that are sensitive to juglone. However, composting of bark for a minimum of six months provides a safe mulch even for plants sensitive to juglon

Plant a few tomato seeds in it and see if they grow. If so, it is probably fine.
6 years ago
I already have experience raising rabbits in cages and in a few versions of colonies, so I understand the possible challenges. Just sounds like a fun project. I will try to snap pics as I build it.
6 years ago

kadence blevins wrote:please don't take my reply as disheartening, I mean this only to help.

a) rabbits dig and if you want them to stay in you will need to put down fencing on the ground and around the entire area with spacing at least 1x2inch and preferably 1x1 around the bottom edge of the perimeter fence. to keep the rabbits in and predators out.
*the most amazing pen in the world is no good if the rabbits get out and no rabbits in it*

Definitely planned on digging and placing wire around the exterior.

b) really depends on your area what all you will need to do to make the area predator proof. I know for my area I would need solid walls around the bottom perimeter and chicken wire above that, 1x1 wire on the ground, and bird netting over the top held up good.

Predator pressure is pretty lite. Owls are the only real problem so I will probably have to use some avian netting.

c) how many rabbits are you planning on? rabbits can and will quickly turn a lush area into dirt and/or mud if they aren't rotated somehow or they have a seriously huge area to eat from. which of course if the area is huge that makes it hard for you to gather up the fryers.

My thought is maybe 6 breeders in a 1000 sq/ft area. Cut and carry forage will also be provided.

d) 55gal drums sound good but you need to make sure they will have adequate ventilation. the animals breathing when they are in it will make condensation on the inside of the drum and drip to the bottom. so need holes drilled in it to make sure any moisture can get out. if it cant then it could make mold grow inside which could kill the rabbits.
you also want some drainage because the kits do pee and if adult rabbits decided to potty in it.

Definitely needs holes drilled or possibly just a half barrel with a dirt floor. good call The backs will be designed to be used as cleanouts.

e) definitely make sure if you built it that you can somehow open it up and clean the drums periodically. as I said before reasons as well as you will want to check nests to pull out any dead kits.

6 years ago
Just had an interesting idea. I will try to setup a pen with some hugel mounds inside. Inside the mounds I will bury some 55gal (200 litre) drums connected to some 6 inch (150 mm) sewer pipe. With some playing around this may be able to provide a shelter and feed. Management of newly planted mounds would be the tricky part. The rabbits may also prefer to dig their own holes but if enough are provided this may not be a problem. Tell me what you think.

simple pic for explanation
6 years ago
You could try a simple Greek crane. Fairly easy to setup with the proper rigging and knowledge. If you try this do a lot of research into rigging safety.

This is a crappy paint image, but anyone has my permission to redistribute or edit the image in any way they want.

Good video about block and tackle raising
6 years ago
Trees have both perennial roots that under normal circumstances don't die. They also have an annual root system that dies every year and regrows. The annual root system can extend out many times farther than the crown of the tree.

Here is a good article from NCSU that explains tree anatomy.
Tree Anatomy
8 years ago
The trees are quite close together and as a result are very straight but fairly small.  It is a mixed forest of high tannin oak and some hickory.  The largest portion of the 6 acre area is a steep valley, so the only real answer I see is a forest of some kind.  The work will be done in stages.  Probably opening clearings around on contour to dig a swale if at all possible.  Of course if I do this, the trees will be used in hugelkultur beds around the cleared areas of the property.

Thank you all for your feedback.
8 years ago
I am going through a bit of a conundrum while planning my property.  Most of the property is a 30-40 year hardwood regrowth.  I want to turn most of the current forest into a food forest. but I'm really questioning whether it is OK to take out a 30 year old tree to replace with a year old tree. 

Is it better to remove an existing forest to produce more of your own food, thus reducing your footprint, or leave already mature trees in place?
8 years ago
I should have been more specific.  It may take up to ten trips out to the mound with the bucket to completely get rid of the mound.  Not the most efficient way of dealing with things, but it seemed that the OP was looking for a purely mechanical way of dealing with fire ants.
8 years ago