I am looking for feedback and/or experience from anyone with experience with living in a small tiny house community. I am posting here, because I am not really seeking an intentional community or tribe, so much as a building a small place for 4 to 6 people wanting to do the tiny house thing. If you have put together a small property for tiny homes, or have lived in a small community, what worked? What did not? If you are interested in something like this, what would you want in property?
Here is my situation: I am currently trying to talk myself out of buying a little over an acre of ground, zoned R4 multifamily, in a second tier Midwestern city of 500-750K population. It is in a transition zone between dense urban/light industrial/semi suburbian. I could build or host at least 4 trailers with the option of buying a house and lot next door. The house would make a good 'community house', re-modeled with a large kitchen and dining area, entertainment room and institutional bath/showers. The extra lot I think would allow expansion of up to 8 unts and still leave a lot of open space for gardens and animals. If I went down this road, there is also several acres adjacent that may be open to lease for larger crop land/market gardens.
Without too much personal detail, I have other things I am focused on currently; and don't need a place to stay. (Although, I have been drawn to the tiny house lifestyle for the past 15 years.) The issue is this project has been staring me in the face for the past year or two; and I can't seem to completely put it out of my mind. So am seeking input to ground myself on what a community setting would really be like. I am introvert by nature and deal with enough people in my professional day to satisfy any need for socialization. But I know there are others whom welcome small group interaction and would love to be "alone together" on a small acreage. For those whom have had experience, or even those whom desire; what does that look like to you?
Here are the advantages of the project: Close to a major city. Jobs of every pay grade are within a 2 mile radius. Major medical facilities are within a mile or so. Although within a city limits, it is semi rural with permits for animals not hard to obtain (chickens rabbits, maybe a stealth dairy goat.) Electricity and Sewer infrastructure in place. Zone for multi unit housing. Regular neighborhood wildlife include deer, wild turkey, rabbits, etc...
Disadvantages: Urban. no large livestock. Winters are 'Midwestern'. Growing a garden between November to April is a no go. A greenhouse would be required.
So while this is all speculation at this point, I am very seriously considering putting this together. However, I have only loosely followed the tiny house movement in the past few years. I know it went mainstream for a while with media capitalizing on it. Is there really a desire, market, or interest in this sort of thing any longer; or has it run its life for most folks? Is there strong interest out there still for people whom want a place to rent or a TH to rent? Please offer me your thoughts and experiences.
Please tell us more about what you are seeking for a place to use. How much land do you seek? What geographic area? Do you need to be in near a metropolitan area for work or medical care? Are you looking for a place to park or homestead? Are you more interested in a rent or work share in lieu of rent situation? More information would be helpful to match with people whom might be open to an opportunity.
Thomas Black wrote:I know several people who have horses. They clean the stalls regularly and they can’t give it away fast enough. It’s a mixture of straw saw dust and of course horse manure. They only bad thing is if they feed the horses oat in their stalls, then oats will sprout. If you know anyone with horses it’s a good way to fil your bed quickly and free.
Good post. A craigslist search for manure will usually get a few hits for locals offering free horse 'compost' for free.
My brother had this experience with his young daughter. Bottle of apple juice left out on the counter that should have been refrigerated. Young girl kept going back to get a few glasses after a meal. She started acting a little goofy. He sniffs the container and tries a splash. They had accidentally created apple jax by not refrigerating the juice.
Brian Jeffrey wrote: Is there a point where a handle just cant be salvaged, how does one go about making a new wooden handle for an old blade, its got about a 2" tang. I love my sickle, but dont love blood blisters.
Yes, handle can reach a point of no return. Then it is a matter of time before they deteriorate to failure. The key to long handle life is keep them protected and nourished, even dead wood needs to have moisture replaced. Boiled linseed oil applied liberally over several coats on a new handle. A little furniture wax once in a while if you don't want to reseason the wood. Your old handle may still benefit from linseed oil; but it if has longitudnal checking, it may be too far gone to save, (although servicable for a while longer.)
VT has good hardwood lumber, especially hickory. One can purchase a new shovel or axe handle and modify it to the shape/size you wish. Any good hardware store will have hickory replacement handles. A spokeshave is the traditional tool to use to reshape a wooden handle. A draw knife will work as well. As far as the tang, one might have to drill out the hole to the right depth, undersized for the tang; then bring it in with a riffle file or rasp for good fit.
spoke shaves can be straight blade or convace as above. Concaves are nice but rather static to the radius it will cut. A flat blade works fine, just takes more passes to round the handle.
A draw knife is what I would use, since I know how it cuts in my hands. Finish up with some coarse then fine sand paper when you have the shape you want.
A very timely post for me, as I spent most of the night researching ectomycorrhizal propagation and found truffles fall in this class of fungi. Yes, there is a lot of missing and even bad information out there extrapolating arbuscular fungi to all fungi. So this is a good start to a needed conversation for me.
Rev. Ryan Sasha-Shai Van Kush wrote:Ok, so I wanted to start a discussion that seems to be missing from the Internet. So this is about Truffles, but the Technique comes from Magic Mushrooms.
Why couldn't I make Oak Tree chips or Pine chips or buy Hazlenut chips, get a 30 Gallon tote and put the Truffle Inoculate (apparently you just blend it to a paste) in place of the PF Tek jars?
I believe (no expert here) that one needs active growing root for the EcM fungi to colonize. The chips won't work as a host without a root system. In my reading last night, I was informed growing truffles successfully has never occurred indoors. Of course that information came from sites selling inoculated tree seedlings, so take that with a grain of salt.
Thank you for the technique for propagation, I have not seen that before. I have been researching inoculation techniques for EcM, but find most of the information out there is for propagating AM fungi and they are not the same, as EcM fungi spores come from the 'fruit' (truffle or mushroom) and not the hyphae. You have given me new information to research. Thank you.
William Bronson wrote: Is there an edible nitrogen fixer that would work for undersowing this time of year?
Type 2 or 3 soybean would definately work in your area. Mung bean needs about 60 days. Red Ripper cow peas might make maturity. When is your first frost typically? Sunn Hemp will give you a good winter mulch to protect the soil in 60 days, but nothing edible except maybe your animals.
Not a nitrogen fixer, but pumpkin vines will kill off a lot of that undergrowth in corn.
Not wrong at all. I think you are spot on. The soil sounds healthy and tox free. You have living plant roots to sustain the food source for the worms. Nothing wrong with red wigglers, but (my understanding) they excel at breaking down and composting. Earthworms are best at fertilizing the soil with the excreta. Adding them to a healthy environment can only be a positive thing.
You are asking strangers for advise, so here goes...
I think cash will be king for property in the near to mid term. I see the real possiblity of another credit market seizure as worsening economic conditions reduce the number of willing and able borrowers. Banks can do what they have done and just reduce their threshold standards for lending, but that always ends badly. At some point we will reach a 2008 moment again when no one wants to lend to anyone else for fear of capital loss. A credit contraction (or spike in rates to manage risk) will reduce the buyer pool. Reduced pool will leave a lot of property on the market aging. Prices will fall. That is when cash will be your best ally. You will not have to be in the credit market that forces outside of your control set prices. People who need to sell will deal. Cash is always king in a depression scenario. "Free Money" lending has thwarted that correction for a long time. Once that breaks price discovery will become normalized, prices will come down; and those in a cash position are going to find bargains.
If your friend can hold off buying another year or two, I think he will get much more for his money; but only if interest rates rise sharply, or banks quit lending to anyone whom can fog a mirror. The problem is the length of time all this will take to unwind may be a few years and not months. It was very hard for me to be patient, so I can relate.
Introduced worms will work fine. They may migrate in or out depending on how you built the beds. However, as long as they are fed (can feed themselves on a healthy biome) they will thrive. What soil is in the beds? How long has a living root been in that bed soil? Are you using a lot of chemical fertilizer?
Welcome to Permies! Pull up a chair and have a cup. The conversation is good.
The single biggest driver for property prices is interest rate. One might think it is supply and demand. However, the ease of lending in a financialized world is what drives demand. So whether the coming crisis creates deflation through destruction of capital or inflation from 'printing money', the deciding factor will be the cost of borrowing money and what one can qualify for at a given interest rate. So will a recession crater property prices? It hasn't in Japan for the past 20 years because of interest rate stimulus.
I thnk your advisor is right about the recession, but I think he is over simplifying the cause and effect in the market place for lending. Banks must continue lending to keep cash flow high. If they were wise they would quit lending at low rates to questionable buyers. However, that is not what they did running up to or after the 2008 crash. That is a good indicator of what they will try to do (and have been doing since.) The real question is will the taxpayers be forced to bail them out again when the train hits the next wall?
I could not find a way to upload the file onto the forum here, so I linked it to a Google Drive address. If you can't see it; or manipulate it PM an email address and I will send it to you.
Notes on the data. 50# bags are the best value so pricing and ratios are based on bag quantity. The second column, are prices based off my local cover crop seed provider for 50# bags. The mix ratio is driven off the number of bags in the fourth column. Cost is simply number of bags x price per bag. Finally the seeding rate at the top is based on 40 acres (all I have cleared at the moment) but the formula in I1 can be changed based on the size of your pasture.
I am not a sheep guy (so far), but I am in zone 8A in north central TX., doing silvopasture. Here is what I have determined will be my fall mix. My priority will be to heal the soil and create enough organic matter to hold all the moisture I get. I don't know if you are in the rain shadow or not. If not, then water retention may not be your issue come summer; but it is certainly mine. There are a few plants in this mix that may not like wet feet. But only one or two. You can easily drop them from the schedule and/or substitute a wet hardy plant. (if I have some time tonight I will look up cool wet tolerant pasture plants.)
Crimson Clover, Persian Clover, Sainfoin, Wolly Pod Vetch, Spring lentils, Austrian Winter Pea. I will include Mung Bean, but am not sure your season length will give it time to mature. I think it needs 60 days. Winter does not kick in for me until Thanksgiving, so not an issue here. Frost may get yours by Halloween.
Grasses: (because they are cheap and good feed for cattle, poultry, and the soil in winter.)
Rye Grass, Winter Wheat, Elbon Rye, Black Oats, and Winter Barley.
Buckwheat, Chicory, Plaintain, Phacelia, (The last may not like the wet, and is technically a warm season plant, so may not work for you.)
Bayou Kale, Forage Collards, Essex Rape. (for your sheep I would add as a substitute for anything you drop Radish, Turnips.)
This gives me a 20 way blend that will feed the biome. What I found when I planted my first run of trees was the soil was in such poor shape, it would not hold water for seedlings to thrive and the soil was compacted and poor; making the seedlings root bound when they grew past the disturbed soil of the hole they were planted. I need to condition the soil before my trees will thrive. Your soil may not be in as bad a shape since you have trees on it already. But keep in mind Alders are a pioneer species. The first to colonize disturbed soil. If your soil has issues you may want to cover crop for a season or two to renew the soil before killing a lot of expensive trees. (been there done that.)
I think you may find Dr. Christine Jones' talk interesting. The whole talk is worth a listen if you get the time, but this is the crux of it.
I have a spread sheet with the bulk prices of seeds, my ratios, etc... it is on a different computer, but can post it later if you are interested. Good luck with your project. I lived up that way for many years and loved it. It sounds like you are in the Burlington/Mt Vernon area. Beautiful country.
The purpose of leveling the bottom of the trench is so the water 'pacifies' and does not flow, creating more erosion problems. If you goal is simply create trenches to catch water and get it away from the house, then no issue with an uneven bottom. Just make sure you don't have trenches that become creeks flowing out the other end and creating erosion or arroyos in your yard. You will have to monitor your 'pocket ponds' as they fill to ensure they don't flow. Creating moving channels of water on your property can create nightmares that are expensive to rehabilitate.
I am pondering a similar project. Large nut orchard in zone 8a. Here are my thoughts that work for me:
It seems fungi are the most beneficial input for trees (even plants.) I am focusing on getting my severely degraded soil back to health before focusing on above ground growth. I will plant a section of the property in a fungal host mix and another in winter mix to include clover, legumes, and brassicas to see which gets the root net stimulated the most. You may not have degraded soil, but your trees will prosper most a soil up approach to a new orchard.
Since you are looking at crops this late in the year, you are probably looking at a winter mix to get planted in the fall. Zone 5 crops may not have time to establish before frost. There are some fast grow quick turn around crops that could be interplanted now and get to maturity before first frost. The nitrogen fixer Sunn Hemp, buckwheat, some annual clovers, You might check you local sources and see if oats and barley would have time to set, as they are frost hardy. Also Rye grain is fairly hardy in the fall.
Here are some seed source with mixes or straight commercial crop seeds. I don't have any preference or association.
Turner Seeds out of Texas.
Green Cover Seeds out of Nebraska
Petcher Seeds out of Mississippi
and of course Handcock Seeds has a big online presence.
All that being said, here is some advise. Don't plow. It breaks up the fungal net and the roots it feeds upon. No till whatever you plant, either borrowing a no till seed drill; or lightly disturb the surface and broadcast. Whatever method, make sure you firm the soil after seeding with a roller, cultipacker, weighted drag harrow; or as another member here recommended just a log with a chain on either end behind a tractor. Don't let the soil sit uncovered at anytime during the year. Use annual clover if necessary to keep a living root in the soil between crops and the soil shaded from sun and cushion the rain (prevents erosion and surface compaction.) Use a fungal tea to inoculate the ground, especially near your trees. The trees need this nurse structure to help quickly take up water and nutrients, especially while establishing.
I would be interested to know more about your chestnut varieties and orchard plan. Are you finding American varieties that are blight resistant or asian varieties adapted to zone 5?
I agree that the fungi packets are not the only or even best way to inoculate. However, my question is the value of growing a crop specifically formulated to build a root net for fungi to colonize over say native prairie grass, or legumes. Their mix is 12 or 13 varieties of plants that are known hosts to support the fungi.
Most crop plants and pasture species are symbiotic, but are all root nets created equally. Intuition tells me some hosts do more than others; but I don't know that for a fact. I will inoculate whatever I plant in the pasture to kick start my colony. I am just wondering if it is worth planting target species to encourage growth of a fungal net.
Step 1: Disturb the soil by you choice of methods (Hoe, tiller, broadfork, overseeder, etc.)
Step 2: Broadcast seed by hand. No need to worry about even distribution, since it is a 'chaos' garden
Step 3: Pack the soil by walking on it, driving over, using a roller
Step 4: NO WEEDING!
Step 5: Scavenger hunt for dinner.
Sounds like a lot of fun for very little effort, and good reward.
A seed mix that is designed to plant a field in beneficial plants that are known mycorrhizal support species to help inoculate ground. I have come across a seed company that specializes in no till cover crops. They have a blend that they market as 'Mycorrhizal Mix'. I am debating planting my disturbed soil that has little life in it with this cover crop, inoculating with fungal tea, and letting it be grazed for renewed growth.
My question is has anyone had experience with fungal growth rates with native prairie grass vs a targeted mix?
Two issues here: Hydration and energy. Water is hydration. Milk is energy and hydration. Is he going to water? Does he have good access to water? How about minerals? Break off a small chunk of the mineral block and put it on his tongue. If he is low on salts, he will figure it out quickly. (no salt/minerals means too much water loss.)
Second is energy. Offer him a handful of grain or some alfalfa cubes. He should be old enough to graze just don't over due. If he acts like he is starving give him a few handfuls at a time through the day. Have you seen him on teet? Is she rejecting him? Just things to observe as you keep an eye on him. Don't overdue the grain on a young cow. Grain does have a lot of energy, so a little goes a long way. Whole oats from the feed store will get his energy level up quickly if that is the problem.
Well done video. It does a great job of covering all the topics and tools the permaculture community has developed to re-hydrate the land. It is more of a survey than instructional or a deep look at each technique. It would be great to share with those whom are new to the subject. It is also visually pleasing enough to keep the information fresh for anyone whom has studied this before.
$10 bucks was worth it to me to support this educational effort. If you get a chance, please give it a watch and introduce someone new to the ideas and techniques.
I was fairly non-plused when I first saw this. But having watched the trailer they have the right approach (at least what speaks to me) that there is plenty of rain. It is not what you get, but how much one keeps. Right on.
I am in a dry land situation. I have water rights and ground water at 55'; but cannot possible water enough to maintain a mature orchard. Nature has to do what nature does. I can help however. I have seen a lot of Geoff's videos and have learned from them. I am on a long overnight shift tonight, so ponied up the 10 spot. Will review it tonight and share thoughts.
It sounds like you have success similar to what I would like. As stated, it will be silvopasture; but I am striving for a polyculture and hoping the clover will give a 'carpet to cover the ground' under and around other plantings. I was initially leaning towards a dutch white as it would not shade out everything else; but will have to do more research. The crimson will give me what I need for this season with no downside risk.
I plan to no till. I want to experiment using equipment to lightly scratch the surface no deeper than an inch to plant pasture crops. For now, I will stick with small seed that can be incorporated on the surface to a half an inch. In the spring I plan to let the heat terminate the crop. In the fall, I will likely broadcast and cultipack so the residue helps set the next crop.
When you planted peas what depth did you plant. From what I can gather "too deep" seems to be the most common mistake. Since I am not working the ground, that should not be a problem for me. However in the spring I plan to try larger seeds, like Sunn Hemp and Cow Pea. I want to make sure I am not too shallow. Thoughts or experiences?
Thank you for your input. Great idea on the polyculture
Eric Hanson wrote:What are your plans for the future of the ground you plan to seed? Will it be pasture? Are you simply looking for a ground cover to stop erosion? Do you want to put crops on it?
Eric, thank you for the reply. The land will ultimately be silvopasture with the primary species being pecan trees. It will be grazed. It currently has cattle and that will likely continue. The problem lies in poor soil quality. Before the property came to me, someone bulldozed to bear earth. Now it is mesquite trees and weeds. Nature is slowly rebuilding the land, by way of pioneer plants; but they are poor quality feed and sparse. I can still see too much bear earth all through the fields. When I plant trees they struggle. i assume, at least in part, it is due to the biome being decimated and still recovering. As a steward, I am trying to help the process along.
Winter pea is a great idea. I chose the mix I proposed based mostly on seed size. The clover, brassica, and small grain will (I have read) take readily to a no till broadcast planting, with a firming of the surface under a roller.
You make an interesting point on the clover variety. Bill is correct. My first choice would be Crimson Clover, as it seems to do well in the area. The State's Highway department uses it frequently for right of ways in the area. I would like to discuss clover varieties further; but will do more reading and open another thread if necessary.
Who has planted winter cover crops and what means was used (mechanical, manual, techniques...)? I am wanting to get some life back into my soil this winter (Texas zone 8, frost to light freezes over night. Above freezing during the day.) I am thinking mainly clover, rape, rye grain, and with some chicory and rye grass as a small percentage. They can all be broadcast and rolled for soil contact, or so I hope. I will start small this season with a few acres. I have a tractor, box blade, and cultipacker. Soil if mostly weeds and lot of bare earth showing.
I plan to mix the seeds, then soak over night to hydrate; and wait for rain. I will lightly scratch the surface using scarifier and tooth harrow. Broadcast and drag. Then roll to finish before a rain. First time doing something larger than a garden or using ag equipment. Hoping for some insight or experience to gut check this plan.
I have no idea how long one would need to heat the water. Some thoughts on that is to average the mass and temperature. If you are taking 8 pounds of soil at say 70 degrees, and a gallon, or eight pounds of water at say 200, the weighted average would be 135 degrees, theoretically. That will take a lot of water and heat, as soil is dense. Pouring a gallon of water over a pound of soil may not be enough to kill seeds, especially since the mixture is not going to be homogeneous and equally distributed. A steamer over the top of the soil might give you the transfer of energy you need; but to what depth?
I would recommend the a less intensive way or sterilization if you must. I would irradiate it. Spread a few inches of dirt on a large tarp of other surface. Maybe rack it around once a day. Air and UV rays will kill everything in the soil that is designed to grow in a low oxygen low light environment.
I would like to point out that sterilized soil is not soil. It is just dirt. If you hope to use it productively after sterilization, you will need to recharge it with life, bacteria, viruses, microbes, and earthworms. One has to rebuild the biome of life for it recover as usable soil. That may take a season or longer. There are easier ways to deal with a seed bank. Let the weeds grow, cut them before seed; or for rhizome, till frequently. Let the seeds exhaust the bank by letting them sprout, but not live to sexual maturity. Just a thought.
As far as the bark and sawdust, if you are concerned, I think adding it to water in small batches, so the mass does not reduce the temperature below you target point would work.
Charcoal production has been a cottage industry for a very long time. One that went away with the industrial revolution in this country, especially with the rise of chemical fertilizer becoming cheap and abundant. You would likely have to create a market for it locally, as shipping will make it cost prohibitive. But yes, it could work if you have others in an area that are trying 'alternative agriculture', gardening, or permaculture.
Don't forget the filtration market for charcoal filtration of ponds and pools in your marketing.
Graft it. Quickly. Go find a peach tree of a variety you like; or buy one at a nursery, plant it, and take a trimming for the old tree. You will have two then.
Get a leaf branch that is approximatly the same diameter as the young 'trunk' left in the ground. Do a four way split or banana splice and tape it on with grafting tape or electrical tape. Don't lose those established roots! Graft something on to them. By the end of the season you will have almost recovered the growth.
Sounds like they had a "pressure event". May not be much, but it should be more quiet soon. Once they are done with the downhole work, the rig will leave and the maintenance will be minimal. Just hope the "piece they took away" was not an expensive piece of the rig; or it may get real quiet now, and start up again later. Sounds like the crew is having trouble with this bore. Fishing broken bit, small blow outs, and damaged drill rig, hopefully they will get the pump set soon. Peace and Patience.
Sounds like a really odd situation, but most everything in the state of California is odd to me.
My initial response was to offer local area livestock owners free pasture. Who pays people in drought conditions to give the free pasture? I have neighbors with livestock blowing up my phone anytime things get dry. Oh well.
My next thought is to call your county or regional fire service. Tell them you have 10 acres that you would be happy to let them burn for a fire training drill (and to reduce the risk to county.) A controlled burn they can use as a training exercise, might be most welcome. I know my little volunteer fire department was always happy to have a controlled situation to use as training.
Last resort would be to mow it and mulch it, even if you have to do it by hand. The financial liability is greater than the cost of hiring out labor. The recent events with PP&G would have me worried as a property owner.
There is a containerized garden method known as air pruning using cloth or bags. the idea is that the roots will grow to the edge of the porous container and stop then they reach air exposure. So you can grow in soil that has exposure to air; and the plants will grow to the point conditions are favorable.
Short answer is yes, you can holes in your bucket and it will not negatively effect the roots. Insects attack the above ground portion of plants. There are 'insects' that attack roots, but they live in the soil anyway/already. having a hole in a bucket will not influence their behavior.
Often times pots are given holes in the side to utilize the sides to plant into, allowing more surface area/plant density in the same container. Think of a strawberry barrel, where plants are inserted into the sides as well as the top.
If made from primarily clear (poly or glass panels) one will have many more CUBIC feet of grow space for the same footprint. This allows for more creative use of space. But the primary structural advantage is the cost of material per square foot of space; and the rigidity to the elements with minimal construction cost.
As far as their growing ability I don't know of anything special about geodesic over a traditional structure. There are some good web resources that will help you calculate cubic foot capacities of domes to compare to other structures.
First, I have never made my own file. In fact I don't normally use it in my Gumbo. Traditional cajun kitchens put a jar on the table to allow each to add their own to their preference. I like a broth type roux for my gumbo so quit using it myself. Instead, I use the whole leaf as a seasoning while simmering and fusing the flavor to the roux. (Please remove the whole leaf, as is is not good to eat; or so I am told.) As far as other recipes, I use whole leaves in a lot of other stocks where I need an earthy undertone. Also it is a key ingredient in seafood prep. (boiled crab, shrimp, crawfish, etc...), even spaghetti sauce.
I can't remember or source where I know this from; but as I recall the best file is fresh made from late spring leaves, dried and ground, stored in sealed mason jars. I think it has to do with the ratio of sap to fiber in the new growth; but I am stretching here. I don't think most of us could tell the difference between file made from one leaf or another. Some old timers might; or people with very sophisticated palettes. Experiment. The journey is the reward. My suggestion would be leaves that are one to two months old from budding time. Air dry, meaning room temp, exposed to air circulation but not direct sunlight. Shake, stir or fluff daily to prevent any moisture issues or mold. when brittle grind into a fine powder.
Yes, the leaves are reported to be medicinal in poultice. This from Native American remedies, as a pain and inflammation treatment.
Don't be afraid to try a gumbo or roux! It is actually very easy and no different from you grandmother's flour gravy. It just is cooked longer and to a higher temp. I had to teach myself how to make a roux and was intimidated at first at the mystery surrounding it. It really was not that difficult. Just keep the paste moving and don't let it stick to the pan. For your first try start with your stove on a medium heat, so it does not 'get away from you', as you practice. It takes longer but will yield success with less fuss. As you get more accustom to the way it progresses, you can add more heat to cut the cook time. Also, many 'new cooks' are advocating doing a 'dry roux' which is just toasting the flour in the oven, so there is no stirring. However, that technique takes a long time, but is fairly fool proof. I have not tried it myself.