My great grandmother farmed low bush blueberries in eastern Maine for many decades. Summers and school vacations would see me helping her work the fields. Low bush and high bush blueberry cultivation require different cultivation techniques.
Burning Low Bush Blueberries
After the leaves have fallen in the autumn in the time to spread a thin layer of straw across the field. The plants are dormant, foot traffic will not cause injury. Straw is preferred over hay because the stalks are hollow. In Maine, oat straw is widely used. The hollow stalks allows better air flow resulting in a faster burn. The fuel is consumed before the heat can penetrate deeply into the ground. The burn is done in the spring, before the blueberries have begun to bud, but many weeds have come out of winter dormancy. A few dry days in April and one without a strong wind is all you need. Add a flame to the downwind side, the flames will walk across the field. A few men with backpack sprayers will be able to contain a flare up.
The burning of the low bush berries has several reasons. Weeds can quickly grow to smother out the low bush plants. Burning the field every other year knocks down the weeds. The low bush plants are able to recover because the burn is quick and above the soil surface. Low bush blueberries can propagate by rhisomes. As long as the soil is not cooked, the plants will jump right back up. The ash keeps the soil acidic. The potash promotes rhizome growth. There are some pests which overwinter in the dead top growth of the field. The deeper this thatch layer, the greater their chance of survival. The burn destroys their habitat. The method is quick and economical.
Low bush berries do not bear fruit the first season. It will be another year until those juicy berries show up. It is common practice to burn a field every other year. A 2nd crop is a gamble. The plants will produce, but the weed growth can interfere with harvest and pests can get out of control. A 3rd crop is likely to be miserable and in an overgrown field.
In a fast burn, not all the stems will be destroyed. Many will recover, but will not bear fruit that season.
High bush plants can be propagated from cuttings. If the soil is depleted, taking basal growth cuttings and relocating the plants would be a way to keep them going.
I think your plan is a fine start. Adding organic matter to soil in good quantity always improves the soil. The coffee grounds will compost along with the cellulose in the leaves. Fungi will finish the job by breaking down the lignin. Complex soil needs complex ingredients. You're on the right path. Your recipe is heavy in woody material. Breakdown will be slow. Nutrients will be low, but there is a massive amount of carbon and minerals. The resulting hummus will hold on to all the nutrients you add, plus a whole lot of moisture. I'm finding that these woody heaps offer an inviting habitat for all kinds of creatures. These creatures, big/small/no-legged/multi-legged/two-legged, bring in nutrients as they go about their business. The pile will improve all by itself. All you have to do is get it started so nature can take over.
With a depth of perhaps a foot, you won't need to mow. The looseness of the material suggest what undesired weeds that do grow will be easy to pull out.
It's a tough decision to take down a productive nut tree.
Left in place, these trees offer a bounty of resources to get your farm going.
Certified Organic and Non-GMO labeling offers a value added product in the nuts.
The leaves are abundant, and can offer a great volume of leaf mold.
Have you considered the repeating revenue of coppicing rather than harvesting the entire tree?
Can the fallen branches be used for mushroom growing?
I've taken down several trees around the power lines and well house. At times, harvesting trees is necessary for safety, liability, and forest management.
Search for local lumber kilns.
There are small kiln operators who process specialty lumber. They may buy whole trunks, slabs, rough lumber. Alternately, you may be able to use their services if you harvest and mill your own lumber. Different parts of the tree have utility.
Trunks for lumber and totems/artistic carvings
Burls for carving and turning
Branch points for smoking, as well as carving and turning
Straight branches for mushroom logs
Fine branches for wood chip mulch, Back To Eden Gardening and hugelkulture
Sawdust for pellet fuel
A bin is not a requirement. Stuff will decompose just fine in a heap. Rather than haul all your material to a bin, then haul the finished compost to the beds, build that heap where you are going to use it and save your back some extra work.
You may find some volunteers sprout from time to time. Tossing in some tomato or cucumber slices offers their seeds a remarkably rich environment for sprouting. I get them now and then. The seeds in the heap let you know if the compost is ready. I'll move them to a more desirable location. I'd leave em be but I wish to spread that compost over a wide area.
The position is available.
I've started a dialog with some folks, but communication can be slow at times as people live their lives (job, work in the garden).
If you are interested, send an email or PM.
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
The handles on your example are connected with rivets rather than welded. These will be hard to break.
Double bottom spreads the heat and prevents warping of the bottom
Wire handles on the basket don't look particularly strong, but do look easy to repair.
Looking at the lid, the thickness of the steel may be somewhat light, which is probably reflected in the price.
18/10 stainless is 18% chromium, 10% nickel. It's a better grade than 18/8.
From what I can see the set looks acceptable. I've got a similar set, use it for all sorts of dishes.
I've put years of use into my stainless, it still looks like brand new.
All I use is stainless and cast iron.
I've got several books. I've read them, reread them, can probably recite from them.
New books cost at least a few bucks. Some can get pricey.
Once the information contained in them is assimilated, the books are often relegated to the shelf to collect dust.
Put them back into circulation through a book swap.
Book Swapping has been going on probably since people figured how to read and write. There are plenty of websites that assist in swapping, http://bookmooch.com/ for example. Give up a book in trade for another. Swapping in the mail incurs postage. Swapping in person will find the price is right.
Permies get around. They go to classes, seminars, farmers markets, tour farms, attend lectures and seed swaps-plenty of places to go and things to do. Adding a book swap to an event is easy enough. Just take a couple of books with you, leave a couple in your car. The idea is gaining in popularity in a weak economy.
Promoting a book swap as part of an event would add value to that event and may even fill a couple more seats. As a host, get the word out that a book swap is part of your event by mentioning it in an email or listing it on a flyer. Put a few books in a box under your farmers market table.
I've got several book. I've read them, reread them, can probably recite from them.
You've got books.
The guy in the next town has books.
Putting hem on the shelf when you are done does little more than serve as a tool for gathering dust.
If you go to some event, be it a class, farmers market, seed swap, pick up a CSA box, a seminar, tour a farm, attending a meetup, or sharing a cup of coffee with an acquaintance, take some of those tired old books with you. Keep a couple in your car.
Spread the word if you are hosting an event, that the event will include a book swap.
Walk in with a dozen books, walk out with a dozen books. Books you've not read before.
When you are done with them, swap em for something else.
Kitchen Queen 480 model is larger, worth the 100 bucks extra.
water tank is another $400
About $2500 plus shipping. These are HEAVY, figure 800 for shipping.
Having looked at these up close in operation as well as cold, I am impressed with the quality of material and manufacture.
Fits standard flu hardware.
Cleans with off the shelf tools and cleaners.
Works with off the shelf pots and pans.
Plumbing fits off the shelf parts, should you wish to tweak the water heating system.
Oven will fit a 14" pizza stone or 6 loaves of bread.
The only aspect which may warrant attention is the mineral wool rope used for the door seal on the firebox. I think it may wear and fray over time and need to be replaced. Perhaps a 5 minute job.
The solution to pollution is dilution.
1 sorghum seed produces a plant which produces 100 sorghum seeds. If the chems from the seed go directly into the new seeds, already you are looking at 1% of previous levels. The new seeds will be a fraction of the mass of the plant grown.
Ask around. Perhaps you can get some seeds from one of the locals before they put it into storage with the chems.
What would you add to this list?
These are not Rules. It's only a guide.
1 Limit debt to a mortgage.
2 Take on no other debt.
3 If you are in debt, pay it off.
4 Until you have at least 3 months of bills saved up, in cash, no superfluous spending.
5 Pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, eggs, or a bowl of Cream of Wheat is a fine meal.
6 If you have nothing, it's better than having things and debt.
7 If you have the space to store it and it has some use, don't throw it away.
8 It's OK to pick up a penny, especially when you have debt or nothing or not much.
9 One light bulb on at a time is all you need.
10 Vanity is expensive and not worth the investment
11 Even if you are saving every penny you can, splurge on an awesome meal once a month.
12 If it will rot, compost it.
13 Free shit is cool
14 If you must drink, once a month is the limit. More than that is a problem.
15 If you enjoy drugs, you are wasting your time with this list.
16 If you can quit the tobacco, go for it.
17 Shampoo is the most you need for your hair.
18 Walmart T-shirts are 4 for 10 bucks.
19 Dickies last.
20 Socks are so cheap they can be considered disposable.
21 A comfortable bed is a fine investment.
22 Get some food in the house. Buy extra, you'll use it.
23 Stocking up on food and supplies saves money.
24 Cooking from scratch is cheap, easy, and delicious.
25 Growing food is money in the bank.
26 There is nothing on TV worth watching.
27 Getting roommates is the fastest way to save money, but they have to be the right roommates.
28 Being broke is a situation. Being poor is a state of mind. Making the change from poor to broke is a choice.
29 Being rich has nothing to do with money.
30 Bread is cheap. Learning to make a decent loaf of bread is cheaper.
31 A dumpy old house that is cheap and livable is a better investment than an apartment.
32 Be at least a month ahead on the mortgage at all times.
33 Have at least enough food in the house to get you by for 3 months.
34 Keep your paperwork neat, tidy, and organized at all times.
35 An awful job is better than going hungry.
36 Develop an income source that is independent from your job.
37 Do what you have to do when you have to do it so you can do what you want to do the rest of the time.
38 Learn to cook beans from scratch.
39 Learn to make pasta from scratch.
40 As soon as you can, get some chickens.
41 Dependable transportation
42 Don't buy cheap crap unless it needs to be disposable.
43 If you don't need it to survive, don't buy it.
44 Buy used but in good condition.
45 If you can't buy it outright then you can't afford it.
46 Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses
47 My grandmother NEVER went on vacation.
Another contamination problem to consider:
Railroads apply herbicides along the tracks liberally to keep down weed growth. If the contractors have scraped up the soil near the tracks in their clean up efforts, and piled that soil on your land, it will contain herbicide residue. Ge sure to gather samples of the piled up soil, the soil near the tracks, and uncontaminated soil on your property for testing if needed. Once the cleanup is complete, it's likely the railroad will spray the area again to suppress weeds, so your problems may continue.
56 pounds per bushel
3,225,600 pounds of corn
Can you keep the corn?
Time is of the essence here.
The corn has no agricultural value at this point. If you could claim the corn, screen it, bag it, and sell it as fuel, 64500 sacks of corn at $2 net/bag, $129000 could be realized. This plan also includes a huge amount of work and some investment in equipment so it may not be feasible. However, it may be an option to consider in mitigating your loss. Just pull a market for corn fuel out of a magic hat.
It may be in your interest to gather some of the corn for fuel for your own home. A few tons, properly stored, could offer heating fuel for several years. Again, some investment in equipment (stove, storage containers) would be needed.
Are their any moonshiners in your area? Get the word out, that stuff will be gone in a day.
Are their farmers in the area? Not everyone has the same apprehension as you regarding the dangers of GM corn, and may already be feeding the stuff to their livestock. Plenty of farmers out there who would leap at the chance to scoop up truckloads of that feed for the right price.
If the stuff were to rot down, you'd be looking at something in the neighborhood of 3000 cuyds of compost. At $25/cuyd, this would have a value of $75000. Being only corn, you would do well to add in some amount of brown materials (leaves, sawdust, spent hay) which would increase the volume.
Perhaps this event is an opportunity to start a humus farm.
I'm thinking cucumber mosaic virus. Aphids are a known vector, as are weeds (probably as an aphid host). Proximity to curcurbits and the presence of other infected plants would be an indicator. Not quite enough info here to make a diagnosis.
If it is a virus, removal and destruction by fire would be my advice. Mosaic resistant cultivars would be an avenue to pursue.
Hay or leaves were pulled back, potato dropped on the ground, hay or leaves thrown back to cover em up.
They hay and the leaves had been decomposing for some time, still clearly identifiable as leaves and hay, albeit kinda black and molded. The wood chips held a great volume of water. The top few inches dried out, but deep down where the roots were, there was ample moisture. I've had difficulty growing in the soil here in Florida. It is 99% sand. No clay, no silt, next to nothing for organic matter, no water holding ability, no nutrients, just sand. The rotting material provides a continual supply of nutrients. Moisture retention is what makes it all possible.
Chicken a la King
Chop Suey/Chili Mac
Chili and Chips
Hummus and Chips
Creole Rice & Red Beans