I have a low, wet area of about 3 acres on the farm. It is loaded with tallow trees and I have been trying to decide what to do with them. About two years ago I cut down several to use in a hugle. Last week I passed by there and was surprised to see they had sprouted and the new growth was up to 4 inches in diameter, Perfect for firewood that doesn't need splitting. Not the best firewood but considering how fast it regrows and considering that it doesn't need splitting, and cuts easily, it is well worth the effort to gather it, especially if it were used in a RMH.
I grew up among a community of Romani people. One family had three sons. They cooked and heated with wood and had no electricity. In the back yard there was a small shed under which sat a cast iron 'wash pot'. The youngest son's job was to split firewood and keep the stew simmering in the pot. They did have a wood fired cook stove but only used it in the colder weather. The two older sons were charged with acquiring ingredients for the stew. They hunted rabbits, squirrels, ducks, raccoons, and more. anything that was edible went into the pot. They raided neighborhood gardens at night and foraged during the day. I never knew them to get ill from eating that stew. What I thought was the strangest thing they did was to pick up cigarette buts until they had enough to swipe a biscuit from the kitchen and eat 'tobacco sandwiches'. Yuck!
John Wolfram wrote:My county assessor indicated that property value assessments are going up 18% next year, so property taxes will also be going up that much. When looking for a homestead, give special consideration to ones that have features that aren't taxed heavily. For example, a basement is taxed far less than a main floor, so a 1800 square foot house with a 900 square foot basement and 900 square foot main floor will often be taxed much less than a house with just a 1200sqft main floor. Similarly, ag land in my area is taxed based on how good it would be for producing corn and soy, so something that would be tough on a combine means lower taxes.
Speaking to property taxes, I live in a county in southwest Mississippi. Once you make 65 years of age you pay NO MORE property tax.I am sure that this was instituted to prevent the elderly from loosing their homes to tax sales.
Every day I have these items in my pockets: Keys, Pocket knife (I keep it very sharp), ultrasonic dog whistle (Luna, my APBT chief-of-security, is trained to respond to it in various ways), Bic lighter, cell phone, and a 9mm derringer pistol (Hey, my state has constitutional carry). Some days I have pruning shears in my back pocket.
My best food saving idea...Refrigerator Soup. I keep a gallon ice-cream bucket in the freezer and almost any leftovers go in there. When it is full I make around eight quarts of soup, eat a meal from it and can the rest. I use stock I made from the bones and veggie trimmings that I have saved in another bucket. It always turns out delicious even with some odd items included. any non-suitable items, as well as the solids from the stock making go to my animals. I cook the bones until they can be mashed with a finger and are a treat for dogs or chickens. zero waste!
How about a team 'build a snowman or snow-castle day'. choose teams and give an award for best attempt as voted by everyone. Hot coffee and chocolate for contestants. Time limit and only 'found' materials allowed.
Thinking about getting some Dexters. I have had Beefmasters in the past. My question is how many acres of managed pasture per cow should I have in zone 8a to raise grass fed Dexters? I understand there are a lot of variables but would like an informed guesstimate so as to have a place to start. I have four 10 acre paddocks to rotate the cattle through.
My nest boxes are outside the coop and have a sloped lid that extends 3" past the boxes on all sides. boxes are attached to the coop with 3" blocks 4" down from lid to permit it to be opened. I only get a trace of water inside if there is a hard blowing rain. The boxes are 12" X 12" with a 3" lip and are floored with 1/2" X 1/2" hardware cloth and I use dried grass clippings for bedding. The chickens 'rework' the bedding and I only have to add more as it sifts through the wire. No actual cleaning unless a chicken poops and then it binds with the grass clippings and can be lifted out in one clump. This has only happened about twice a month, so it is quick and easy.
I have an abundance of Sahuaro chilis and am looking for ways to preserve them other than drying or chopping them up and freezing them. They are so tasty fresh that I want to find the best way to possibly retain as much flavor as I can. Any suggestions appreciated.
"Sunlight and micro-organisms break down methoprene rapidly in soil, water, and on plants. In soil, about half of the original amount is gone within 10-14 days. In water, it takes 1-28 days for methoprene residue to break down by half, depending on the availability of sunlight. "
The Methoprene will be spread in the manure.
I would wait up to 1 year, considering you will be consuming the eggs.
I appreciate all the responses to my question.
I avoid putting much in the freezer because I have frequent power outages, some up to two weeks, from tropical storms, hurricanes and just sorry service. Lost a whole side of organic beef one year because I couldn't get gas for the generator.
I have eaten K rations containing a canned cinnamon roll and MREs with cobbler, so I am sure there has to be a way. I just need to find the way those are done. The cobbler in the MRE was pretty good, granted, the pastry part was more like dumplings. The only references to how MREs are made say they are boiled. I don't believe that is all the facts as that would only go to 212 degrees and that definitely isn't sufficient for the items containing meat. Gotta keep looking...
There has to be a way to make fruit cobbler in wide mouth mason jars that is shelf stable. Google is no help. Perhaps an oven recipe? Anyone know of a way to do this? Any help appreciated, I am overrun with blueberries and peaches and was thinking how great it would be to just open a jar for dessert...
I try to figure out the best placement of new plants. I take in account light, drainage, soil type, and water. I try to envision future changes to find the best placements as the plants grow . I plant 10% more plants than I wish to end up with knowing I will loose some and others will not reach full potential because of my not understanding all the factors affecting the plants in the future. I let the plants figure out the final "design" and teach me what my errors are so that I can do better with future additions. I have learned to not be in a hurry to put in new varieties until I have studied the present successes and failures. After all, we need to evaluate the latest additions through all four seasons to be able to understand the possible mistakes we have made and to be able to do better in the future. I try to do a walkabout through the forest every day and just observe how things are growing.
Pearl Sutton wrote:Hi Bob Waur!
Fixed! And you know it's not a button, it's a line in your profile settings, right? If you don't know this, read back earlier in this thread, there are pictures...
Have a great day!
WOW! I was just out in a corner of the upper 40 and saw that I had a MASSIVE invasion of Sickle pod (Senna Obtusifolia) that must be dealt with before going to seed. Then I see a chance to win one of your hand weeding sickles...the PERFECT tool for the job. Please drop my name in the hat.
Bob said The hard part was finding the correct wicking material. I tried about eight different materials and came up with this
I find this idea fascinating. The title sort of threw me since I don't know what an Evapotranspiration Monitor is.
Googling this was no help.
I have all the materials to make this. Dog bowl, terra cotta pot.
Here is what I don't understand: What is the wicking material? Sand, dirt, potting soil?
Do I fill both pots with soil and then fill with water? How much soil and how much water?
I find sticking my finger in the soil useless to monitor when I need to water as it is always dry except when I flood the garden bed.
The terracotta pot is the wicking material. It wicks the water up where it is exposed to wind and sun and mimics the transpiration of water by plants.
Do not put anything in the bowl or pot. Wait for it to rain and then check each day to see when the bowl and pot are empty... then it is time to water until the next rain recharges the ET monitor. As long as there is water in the bowl your soil moisture is good. Remember, the sizes of the bowl and pot are critical.
One very useful 'weed' to add to your list is Senna obtusifolia, aka coffee weed, sicklepod, a legume that is considered a serious weed in monoculture row crops. It produces a serious amount of biomass and is easily controlled by pulling it up and dropping it before it sets seed. It uproots easily even though it has a substantial taproot which aids in soil aeration and nutrient accumulation. Seeds can be dried and ground to use as a coffee substitute. The green leaves of the plant are fermented to produce a high-protein food product called "kawal" which is eaten by many people in Sudan as a meat substitute. Do not confuse this plant with Crotalaria which is toxic. The difference is obvious when viewing the leaves.
Bob Waur wrote: I use the vinegar and throw in a piece of the dill so it 'looks' like dill pickles too.
That goes part way to answering the question that I have. I was wondering if you use the "green matter" from your infused vinegar jars or just the vinegar. I'm also wondering how tightly you back the herb in the jars. Is it a matter of cramming in as much as will fit, or loosely filling the jar, or... ?
I pack it in pretty tightly to half way full and then pour in the vinegar. This gives a good dill flavor and there is a reasonable amount of flavored vinegar to use.
Skandi Rogers wrote:So you're making a strongly flavored dill vinegar? That's an excellent idea! my dill is never ready at the same time as the cucumbers, dill is ready now, cucumbers are only a few inches high.
Yes. My cucumbers are rarely ready when the dill is. That is what prompted me to try this. I use the vinegar and throw in a piece of the dill so it 'looks' like dill pickles too.
I don't know if anyone has mentioned this way to store dill for next years pickles. I always have lots of dill still growing after I have finished this years pickles and hate to just throw it on the compost heap. I have tried freezing and dehydrating but it never seems to have the punch that fresh dill has. Now I put it in pint jars and cover with pure vinegar. A six minute waterbath and It is shelf stable for several years. I only use one tablespoon per quart of pickles as it is very strongly flavored. It cannot be detected that you did not use fresh dill. A little when fermenting pickles give them an extra zing, too. I also use it in some salad dressings and when making a stew with wild game.
I mostly mulch with grass clippings, about 3 inches deep. I don't pull back the mulch to plant. That encourages weed seeds to germinate as fast as the vegetable seeds. What I do is drop the seeds on top of the mulch and cover them with sifted compost to the depth they need to be covered. Then I give them a good soaking with a spray nozzle and place cardboard over them with a few small stones on it and wet that down too. This insures a consistent amount of moisture and the mulch on the bottom insures that the seeds don't drown. I check and remove the cardboard when they begin to sprout through the compost. I add more mulch around the plants as they grow.
Want to know when it is time to water your garden without sticking your finger in the dirt every day?
Well, I did. So I set up some experiments using items I had lying around the place. It took me a few months the tune it up and finally came up with this. It takes into account evaporation due to wind, sun, and humidity. It also mimics the transpiration of plants and "reloads" automatically when there is rain, When it is empty it is time to water until the next rain. The hard part was finding the correct wicking material. I tried about eight different materials and came up with this. As often happens, simpler is better. Basically a catchment basin of non-porous material plus a "wick" of a material that will not corrode nor decay. (I am in zone 8B so don't have to worry about hard freezes cracking the terracotta.) Getting the ratio of the surface area of the basin to the exposed surface of the "wick" correct was the most difficult. The color value of the basin and the surrounding two foot radius surface also has minor effects on the rate of evaporation. The dog dish is 7 1/2 inches in diameter and 3 inches in depth. The terracotta pot is 4 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall. Granted, this limits the accuracy to three inches of rain. But then I am only concerned with "dry" spells. A deeper basin would also change the working aspects of basin to wick ratios. . I have found it to be very accurate and I have only begun to notice minor wilting of plants in the middle of the second day after the basin goes dry.
Commercial ET Monitors cost $400 to $1200, Mine cost $0.00!