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

I found a spruce tree this winter with fur caught in its bark about 5 feet up from the ground. Today I lucked out and caught a bear using it to scratch it's back and/or leave its mark.

1 week ago
I had a neighbour that used a paintball gun with success in deterring dogs, skunks and even bears. Perhaps there's a degree of humiliation involved for the critter in having to explain the coloration to family and friends. Much less harmful than a pellet to the bum.
1 week ago

thomas rubino wrote:Full cords
4' x 4' x 8'

Wow. That's a lot of work.
3 weeks ago

thomas rubino wrote:With five wood burners, three of them being in uninsulated buildings, depending on the severity of winter we burn 10-14 cords a year.
Liz's uninsulated art studio is heated all winter, it uses 5 cords all on its own.

Are these bush cords or face cords? We burn about 6 bush cords per year between our sauna/shower-house and yurt.
3 weeks ago
That's a nice looking woodshed. How much wood do you need for a full season?  
3 weeks ago
This topic crosses my mind every winter, lately. I realized that 90% of the energy I expend in winter is for the purpose of surviving winter. I shovel snow for access to firewood stashes, I shovel paths for access to town (to get food to fuel my work). and I acquire more firewood for the following winter. It occurred to me that it would make more sense for us to have a tiny earth-bermed winter home with minimal heating requirements and to say goodnight to the outside world for a few months. Without serious physical activity, we'd need far fewer calories, which could be had from stored/preserved food that we harvest. We could disassemble our yurt in the fall and have everything stowed away safely until we emerge in the spring.  

I think a lot of my inspiration for this line of thinking is this guy's video:

1 month ago
I just found out about styrocrete recently. This guy has a lot of videos showing his techniques and results:

2 months ago
Apple trees grown from seed have the advantage of potentially having resistance to some or all of the common diseases. And if the seeds come from the same region where they are being planted, they can be better adapted to the soil and climate there. It just seems like such a big advantage, but it comes with uncertainty about the fruit quality. I wish we could set aside our impatience and unwillingness to take chances, so that we can let apple trees regain their true nature. What if our fixation on growing the best grafted varieties is keeping us from discovering far better ones?
3 months ago

Anthony Powell wrote:
I like to toss my spare seeds and cores where they stand a chance of developing into a wayside tree, for passing foragers. I've come across many such trees in my travels, some really good.

I really like this idea. I also like the idea of spreading seeds further from civilization for the wildlife. Where I am, bears come to town for food, risking their lives. Apple trees in the outlying area might lessen that problem, plus be a source of snack food for people out hiking.
3 months ago

Barbara Simoes wrote:I deliberately created my initial permaculture garden out front, butting right up on the sidewalk where lots of people walk by every day.  

That's a great story. The best part is that your impact is going to be compounded by each of the people that you inspired (and emboldened), as they start getting similar reactions from yet more people.
3 months ago