My Uncle made a cutting board for my Cousin whom had suffered a blood clot stroke in her 20's and lost the most the use of one side of her body, and the complete lose of use in her hands. She was single and lived alone. (She was fiercely independent.) He took a wooden cutting block and drove stainless nails through the bottom of the board, exposed about an inch. This allowed her to place a vegetable or even a piece of meat on the cutting board; and have it stay in place while cutting with her one hand. I thought it was an ingenious solution to a very frustrating problem. One that might make a thoughtful gift to someone that is challenged in working one handed.
To clarify your concern, are you concerned about a flood event reaching the house; or about the soil suitability for a foundation close to wet ground?
Van Zant is in the Trinity River basin, I believe. If you have been in Texas long you will understand what that means. The Trinity gets "Big Water" at least every 50 years and leaves its banks. How close are you to a creek or stream? Flood Plains are hard to identify in East Texas, as they can be miles across; and one can be in low water plain without noticing.
The good news is that pond is a cut stock tank, or artificial pond. Unless you are in a low lying flood area, you have little to worry about if the pond has a spillway properly installed. You can download the FEMA flood map for the county here and see where the property is compared to known and projected flood risks.
As far as foundational concerns you can download the County's soil survey here Soil Survey. Look for issues with expansive soil in the area. In areas with expansive soils, the ground will shrink in a drought, and swell in times of high precipitation. This plays hell with a foundation. The pond may actually help keep the soil neutrally hydrated during extreme weather periods.
My biggest concern with a house that close to a pond in East Texas would be mosquitos. Keep that pond stocked with fish and wildlife to combat the bugs. Otherwise they will drive you indoors for large parts of the year.
My google-fu indicates it is a water right claim that was granted or claimed improperly. In States with Prior Appropriation laws, someone makes a claim and it is recognized by the governing body; but later shown to be false.
Also a bit more context might help. From your second posts it appears you are listing Irrigation Water rights and ditches. Both would be false due to the State (and many other western States) policy of prior appropriation. The "I got here first" rule for water use. Irrigation Rights would be false, if you did not have specific rights deeded to the property by people from very long ago. (My great great great Granddaddy used to run cattle all over this range, so he was given water rights in 1850!) The same with ditches. Since water rights do not matter where the water is or flows, the ditch, stream or river that flows through your land would be a false right, because someone downstream (or up) has already a valid claim to it from a prior date.
A not so great way to manage water, but these precedents are still on the books from the foundation of the territories.
r, I don't use Zoom, so am not much direct help; but my company's IT guys did send out an email recently that might help. There are virtual backgrounds available in Zoom. You could put up a stock back ground or use a good photo. He is a clip from the instructions they sent. I hope it helps.
Zoom virtual background is available! This is a great tool to utilize, since many meetings with customers are taking place in a digital format. To use the virtual background, save the attached file locally, and follow the set up instructions below. Please note that this is a widescreen format.
I don't know how much fencing you have, but I really like "pass throughs" in my fence line, so a person can duck through or climb over, without letting livestock out. I believe they call them stiles in Europe. I like mine as fixed H frame pipe inserted in the fence line. No hinges or moving parts. The gap between the middle bars are large enough to duck down and swing a leg over before stepping thourgh. It keeps foot traffic off the fence wire and helps get a good stretch on the wire on longer runs.
Jason Walter wrote:
I know very little about plants and any links that explain the benefits of legume and how/ why it benefits soil that explain the details in a simple manner would be appreciated. Thanks
legume plants have evolved to have a partnership with a bacteria that it hosts on its roots. The bacteria gathers nitrogen from the air and stores it on root nodules to help feed the plant. When the plant dies, these root nodules release any stored nitrogen into the soil for the next plant.
That is all one really needs to know about the process. The bacteria is sometimes in the soil already or one can buy inoculant to add to seeds or existing roots. As far as a list of legumes for FL, I am sure there are many that would grow in your climate. Here is a list of Legumes.
It really varies from one power provider to the other. In one instance I was quoted the first 100 feet was free. It was a $1000/100 feed after that. That covered power lines, poles, and labor to install. Sadly, most power companies have a monopolist control in the area they provide services, but you can call some electricians in the area. They will tell you if they can or cannot; and what to expect to pay.
Cattails are traditionally used in grey water holding ponds. Switchgrass or canebrake is a native (to US) and does well in moist wet soil and is hardy enough to handle the hard to digest material. Willow trees will also soak up an amazing amount of water and then be coppiced. Many bamboo species will do well in wet soil as long as they are not inundated so the rhizome can breath. Bald Cypress would be an option. Cedar trees are heavy drinkers as well.
Also, in my mind, it is a two pronged approach to soil filtration. Keep the excess water absorbed by thirsty plant species to keep the soil damp but not saturated, so the earth worms can eat all that wonderful carbon matter that the plants can't process. Vermiculture is the best way to deal with that waste; and they will, so long as they can breathe.
I would be as well, Hans. I no longer live in Western WA, but researched the idea at the time. Learned it was a non starter, due to the number of "heat days". For those interested pecans need so much time above a certain temp, 85 degrees I believe, to set nuts, much like fruit trees need chill hours below 45. I believe most varieties of Pecan need 1000+ hours to set fruit. Walnuts on the other hand can be quite productive west of the Cascades.
My last post missed the mark a bit. The point to it all was if you can get cleared to dredge it up, (Eliot makes great points) you can't at least clean up the muck, so one does not come out of the swimming hole smelling like they swam in a septic tank.
I was researching aeration for my ponds, when I found this. Very interesting. The concept is "nano bubbles" are small enough that the water pressure keeps them from expanding and rising to the surface. So they stay in suspension and even sink to the bottom. Like soil biomoe, much of the life in the pond is at the bottom, in the muck; but it does not get enough oxygen and turns anaerobic. Nano bubbles puts the air on the bottom where it benefits the entire food chain, as well as keeping it from bubbling off. A Japanese company made the discovery that carbon ceramic in front of a flow will make nano bubbles.
Here is what I am considering: Ceramic filter cartridges are readily avaialbe for a cheap price. (I have found them as low as 3/$20 on a clearance.) A water pump (I already have a sump pump without a purpose) with the output flowing past a ceramic filter at the end of a tube leading to the surface. The venturi effect of the water past the filter will draw the needed air. The question I am sorting out is how long a horizontal run the pump will tolerate; or if I need to do solar at the pond. The video shows a case study with good results. I don't know Canadian law (my assumption); but I don't think they can regulate a pond pump to aerate the water.
I am thinking of placing a filter like this: ceramic filter , as a venturi valve similar to this system only on the output side instead of the input.
Daniel Benjamins wrote:We moved into a rural area this year and I had to buy some machines that run on gas. First time I bought and used such things.
I’m not sure if I am able to empty out the gas and oil tanks of my lawn equipment. I have a gas trimmer, riding mower and a plate compactor.
What’s the best approach?
Okay, I am going to speak heresy. For lawn equipment I don't winterize. I grew up in warm climates and we did not winterize, because the lawn equipment seldom sat idle for more than two months. When I moved to the cold climate it was not a habit of discipline I had developed, so it got over looked the first few seasons. What I found was a carburetor in good shape would go two or three seasons without becoming a problem. When it did, I would pull it off and clean it in the spring if it would not start. What I found in doing this was I would spend a bunch of money on carb cleaner or other nasty solvents. Spend an full day cleaning and 'getting it right', so it would not surge or stumble. Get nasty carcinogens all over me, waste a day, and sometimes have to go back and do it again. Then I discovered for about the same money I could order a new carb online and slap it on. Problem solved.
So now, I run the tank empty in the fall. In the spring if it does not start, I order a new carb and replace. Then I am done.
There is always a fuel line at the bottom of the tank. Pull of this line at the tank or the carb and catch the gas. Or just run the tank dry. If you have a gas can, add stabllizer or just use it all before the end of the season. Otherwise replace the oil every spring if heavy in use. Otherwise every other year. Run as needed. Small engines are remarkably durable these days.
Granted this does not fall under "food" for medicine, but my Grandfather, whom grew up on Gulf Coast island, swore a teaspoon of sulfur taken orally would keep the mosquitos off a person. Now he was a depression era child. I have no idea where one would find edible sulfur today (maybe at the Chemist on the corner); or if it safe, frankly. But that is how they survived the squadrons of mosquitos before products like "OFF!"
Where are you finding seedlings for 4 bits? I would be curious. Native pecans taste better but don't have economic value due to their low 'meat' content compared to hybrids. Native pecan saplings are used as graft stock, however.
It has been a while since I have read the book. My recollection is the author went to great lengths to ensure safety and hygiene in an already foreign concept to most people. And he did an excellent job.
Excess moisture is a problem with leaching into the soil and potentially contaminating ground water. Plenty of bedding at the bottom of the hole prevents this. The more absorbent the better. If you are not near a water table or contamination is not likely, and you are not effecting others around your property, the soil does a great job of filtering that excess water on its own. That is what a leech field in a septic system does. More than half the world and (probably a third of the US) uses leach fields to safely filter leach water.
Having said all that. Yes, you can use the brambles. They are not ideal. I would use a thicker (by maybe a factor of three or four) to compensate for the lack of absorbency. Mixing them with other material would be good as well. If your water table is high then know the risk of illness goes up. What is the percolation rate of the soil? How close is it to other's property?
The one thing I loved about the author's writing was the take away of ownership of one's self and life. To think outside the norm. Know the science behind the issue. Make responsible choices for yourself and family; and don't blindly follow customs, myths, and cultural norms. With that ownership is the responsibility to not get yourself or others sick. Use what you have but do it safely. Take the steps and precautions necessary to ensure everyone's safety. If using a marginal material, build in a buffer by either amending it, or using more of it. But at the end of the day, it is your life, health, and happiness. Enjoy.
I personally would not use brambles solely. They don't seem to compost well in normal piles. I certainly would not have any reservation adding them to the composting material; but I think you will not get the results you desire for buffer absorbency.
Never tried it, so won't pretend to know, but will toss a few thoughts out for consideration. Concrete is fairly permeable. I believe more so than cob. Water passing through should not be a problem. concrete may also wick water out of the cob next to it, so potential over drying of the two surfaces. Concrete has a different expansion rate than cob. bonding the two might create problems.
You have got me thinking of some ideas, however. I never considered a dry stack concrete block (CMU)wall with think cob plaster on either side. Might be worth some consideration. A lot of buildings in Texas made of CMU (formerly known as cinder blocks) and they stay cool in the summer, and are easy to heat in the mild winters. Easy to build, since no masonry is required. Cost effective. thanks for the idea to ponder.
Whatever you decide, please vet your renters thoroughly. I rented to someone whom posted to here. It was an disaster. Regardless of their interest in permaculture; know whom you are renting your property. It sounds like you have experience and a good property manager. Good call. Wish I had done the same.
Rob Lineberger wrote: It's been many years but to this day I cannot work out how exactly I'm still alive.
I whole heartedly believe there are times and places where the laws of physics do not apply. There is only Devine intervention.
I was hunting with my older brother, as young adults. My turn came for the first shot at anything over the decoys. Birds came in. Gun jammed. I called no joy and took a knee, so my brother to my left could fire. I cleared the jam and without thinking stood up to get a follow up shot. just as I reached full height and was about to shoulder the gun, my legs gave out on me. Very gently, but against all my efforts I fell to the ground. I was confused for about a split second when the sound of my brother's shot rang my ears and the flash of a 12 gauge raced overhead.
I am a lefty shooter. He is a righty. When I went down that was a step forward. When I stood up, that was another step forward. He was leading the shot from left to right, I was in his blind spot and he was in mine. I stood up in his line of fire. I have no doubt my Guardian Angel kept my brother from having to explain how he shot me in the back of the head at point blank range and had no idea how.
John F Dean wrote:So, what are you willing to confess to?
I have a similar confession to your, John. I bought a brand new off the showroom floor Italian motorcycle at one point in my life. Rode it about a week. Walked out to go to work and it would not start. Missed a full weekend of riding. Loaded it on a trailer Monday morning and hauled it several towns over to the dealer. I was not in the best of moods. Talked to the Service Manager, whom is a really nice guy. Managed to keep my composure and not go into the "brand new bike, and it won't even start" diatribe. Told him my problem. He smiled and said: "Did you put the kick stand up? These bikes have an interlock on them."
Apparently, I was not his first (or last) customer to make that mistake. I was really glad I had held my tongue.
Not an electrician, nor have I stayed at a holiday inn... Hopefully someone will be by to answer your question.
This sounds like a detached structure. Does it have its own panel in the garage? Does that panel (electrical box) have a grounding rod wired to it? Has the connector at the top of the rod been knock off/loose by a line trimmer cutting the grass at the foundation of the garage? Is the ground bus in the panel actually hooked up properly? That ground loop has nowhere to go. The panel bus and the ground rod would be easy quick checks, and a common failure point for ground.
I have a better understanding of your question now. Based on what you have posted, I would say option 2. Cytisus scoparius or Scot's broom as we call it here; is an invasive species that grows readily. It will need to be out of the pod, but will not require scarification of the seed for it to plant. Option 3 is also good if your soil is dry or planting in a dry season. 24 hours of soaking should not damage the seed.
I would definitely not do seedlings as that is a lot of work and requires time and room, plus the shock of transplant/root disturbance negates a lot of the benefit of starting seeds in pots. Like Mark's technique, I would put out seed packed densely, more densely than intended for the final form and let the plants sort it out as to whom survives, with no intervention. Once you decide on the other plants/trees you want in your forest, you can pull weak broom plants out and replace with a seed of choice.
Depending on the size of the swales and amount of disturbed soil, you may want to throw a cover crop seed on the exposed and bare ground to stabilize and re-start the soil life. Clover would be a good option, but there are many others. Good luck on your project. Looking forward to hearing how it goes.
Mark says in several of his videos that he originally called it sheer total utter neglect; but his wife later observed that there was some intervention in the process, although minimal. Because of this he later modified the acronym to "Strategic" to not mislead.
I made my decision to move back to TX from the Pacific Northwest for three reasons that I think everyone should factor into a decision. The first was the ability to grow fresh food for most of the year. The second was a support network. Finally, available affordable land.
Texas has a year round growing season across most of the state. I can grow winter crops even in the coldest part of the year.
I had family and friends still here; although I had been away for almost two decades. People are important. Survival without loved ones, is hardly survival at all. Who is important in your life and where are they?
Finally, the West Coast has priced itself out of many peoples ability to purchase or finance (without a 'city' job.) Much of the East Coast is the same.
There are other factors, such as Medical facilities, job market, quality of life activities, etc... I feel most of these are second tier factors that help hone in on an area rather than drive a search.
Here is a company in the UK that sells all flavors of 12V and solar powered pumps. I would go 12V as you can run a simple battery charged by a small solar panel and save on the expense of wiring. (but you already know that.)
A Smithy, actually. My Grandfather and my oldest Brother are both Master Machinist. I was not old enough to apprentice with him before he passed; but I spent my summers running around his machine shop. Metal work has always been close to my heart, but life keeps us busy. My goal is teach myself the lathe and the mill before the buzzer sounds on this ride.
My advise would be this. Pick a high profile section of the easement (one easily showcased) and intensively gorilla garden it for a season. Having a show case to 'enlighten' folks on the possibilities is a much easier sell than words or a brochure. Target the city as well as any other stack holders, in addition to the general public through groups and organizations. Then do a little geometric progression.
Start an acre. Show off the results and benefits. Have a group take an acre on either side next season. As you expand, so does your acreage in either direction. If one can become three and three can become five... Soon it will take a life of its own.
To get started (I believer your area has snow), frost seed your spring plants. Broadcast before the snow or after but early enough that a few freezes and thaws will work the seeds into the ground as it expands and contracts. Use a diverse mixture of legumes, broad leaf, grass, and a few brasicas. Throw in some wildflowers and maybe some native grasses. Don't go for uniformity of plant height or plant structure. Diversity is key. Soon you will have a showcase pasture with lots of beneficial plants and insects. Perhaps you could get some university students or grad students in the field of biology, soil science or ecology to speak with you to stake holders of the benefits this test plot offers the community and nature. You might even find a student willing to write a grant or make it a thesis.
If you decide to go this route, perhaps you can do a kick starter and ask Permies to help fund the seed capital to get started. I am good for $50 bucks if you keep us posted and socialize your efforts. An acre of seed mix will cost you less than $200 for seed. A hand broadcaster will run you about $30. Some labor and you are off to the races.
Permies has an electrical forum. You may want to post this question there. That is a fairly long run. Without checking codes (where are you located) as a guideline; I think 8 gauge would be sufficient for the extra resistance due to distance; but you will need to put that underground which is another ball of wax. You will need to use appropriate conduit and rated wire. I am not an electrician however. If you have to do a trench, conduit, wire, etc... check to see what a second meter and pole would cost to install. It will be more, but maybe not that much more.
That is a lovely canopy you have there! I am glad you provide the shade for your stock. I see so many pastures full of black cows baking under Texas heat that is makes me wonder if people understand anything about stock. Stressed stock does not put on or retain weight nearly as well as one's provided a bit of shade to cool in the heat of the day. Just boggles my mind.
May I ask what made you chose that species of bamboo? I have a couple of stock tanks that I would like to shade to stem evaporative loss. That looks like great bunching variety to try.