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Michael Helmersson

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since Mar 02, 2013
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hugelkultur forest garden foraging tiny house wood heat
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Geraldton, Ontario -Zone 1b
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Recent posts by Michael Helmersson

Jesse Glessner wrote:

and then advertise to see if there are LOCAL Root Cellars that you might be able to visit for both viewing the root cellar and talking to the people who use it!

Many cities do annual garden tours featuring residents' private gardens. Meh. I'd pay good money to check out a variety of root cellars, though. The older the better. A visit to this town would be fantastic:
3 days ago

Gaurī Rasp wrote: Has anyone here built a root cellar under these conditions???

We built on a high water table. Here's a link to my post:
3 days ago
I'm still not certain I have the exact model, but I believe it is a Blaze King Princess. Here is a link to the manual and an image of the page explaining the catalytic bypass. I'm not saying that is your problem, but you seemed to indicate that you weren't sure what that lever was for. (just a guess that this is near to your model)
5 days ago
Those pics didn't help. It looks like there is info for several models on that chart, presumably one of them is the stove you're dealing with. If you could get just a photo of the front of the stove, that might be enough to figure out what model it is.  
5 days ago
The woodstove looks like one of the Blaze King models. When I search other forums regarding smoke issues, the first question asked was "are you remembering to open the bypass?".

Can you confirm the make and model or post a pic or two showing more of the stove? The install certainly doesn't look to be a problem.
5 days ago
The chimney should be cleaned regardless of the smoke. Gray is right though, getting a draft going can be difficult. There are a lot of details that could help people advise you:

-any elbows in the stovepipe, chimney?
-how high is the top of the chimney from the stove?
-is the chimney on an outside wall or does it go up through the house/roof?
-is the woodstove in a basement?
6 days ago
"The world's falling apart so I bought a *&#!-ton of pectin."

1 month ago

Andrea Locke wrote:

Hi Michael, it makes sense to me that bees would not do as well in an established woodland as in a sunny meadow as there might be limited flowering plants in the shaded understory and what is there might be very seasonal. Cooler temperatures and less daylight might also reduce foraging hours.

My bees did pretty well with about an acre of sunny open ground to forage but I think they could have done better.  I have since moved them to our new place where there is more open space but if I had continued to keep bees at the original location would have added some forage plantings to address a couple of seasonal dearths. I think it is particularly important to pay attention to possible deficiencies when the bees are dependent on such a relatively small area and can’t just buzz over to some other yard with different plantings. That said it sounds like your property has a range of diverse flowering plants, there is probably some food for bees in the surrounding boreal forest especially before the canopy closes in spring. In your situation I would go for it. Maybe take care to situating the bees where they will get early morning sun and can warmed up and out and about early in the day.

Wow. I wasn't really sure if I'd get a reply, considering your post was a couple of years old. Thank you for the quick response and especially for the encouragement.
2 months ago

Andrea Locke wrote:I wish I was confident enough in my bee handling to capture swarms! Oh well, maybe someday.

I kept bees for several years in a forest edge in a previous property and this week have just set up a new hive after a hiatus of about a decade from beekeeping. Here they are in a clearing of about an acre surrounded by forest.

They are busy working the gardens where we have lots of pollinator plants and have let last year's kale and some early greens go to flower. There are also hundreds of naturalized foxgloves and a few giant rugosa rose bushes in sunny edge areas. And although we have eliminated invasive Scotch broom on our place there is lots growing and flowering next door.

The situation you describe here is very similar to what we have on our land. We're on the edge of town, in boreal forest, with only a few neighbouring properties within a half mile radius. We're contemplating bees and wondering if we have the forage to support them, let alone produce a surplus. I had read somewhere a quote saying "Bees in a wood never do good." and it discouraged me. Now I'm wondering what they meant by "wood". We have about 1.5 acres of our land free of big trees and heavily populated by wild and cultivated forage plants, plus fruit bushes, and juvenile fruit trees. I'm hoping you have success to report from your efforts and that you (or someone) can help me comprehend the above quote.
2 months ago