ted agens

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since Nov 22, 2013
US Army Surveyor 1984-2004, retired SFC

married- 2 adult kids 1 teen

attended Pitt University at Bradford PA graduated 2011. Degrees in Human Relations and Social Sciences. Now permanently disabled but not permanently incapable
Elk County PA
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Recent posts by ted agens

On the fruit trees--some years, particularly when we had early 'warm ups' that generated a too early blooming THEN back to normal and a late april frost equaled NO FRUIT

this yr..all is good. very heavy branches on the asian pears, "standard (i say that because the trees were here when we moved in so i dont know what kind they are)", peaches ad plums. just got to be ready for the potential 'invasion' of bear, deer and others. so far,so good

on the eggs. we used to have near 200 laying hens. Egg production was always awesome about late Feb till late Mid August. Mid August, we would have the same dramatic drop off in egg production. I think, like we did, that many people have come to see the chicken as a 'machine' since we have for too long taken for granted = "go to the store, they always have eggs" type of consumerism that exists because so many of us have been raised to eat/demand seasonal food out of season

and eggs ARE essentially a seasonal food

it does differ by breed-our experience with 'easter eggers' chickens- the Araucana, they would not lay an egg after mid august. others were easily tricked by introducing a light on a timer, in the morning giving them 14r hrs of total light

that is what most hens need-14 hrs

i know i was long winded in reply..sorry for that. didn't want to come off like a jerk!

thanks

2 years ago
We have a mid sized garden--10 raised beds, most anywhere from 8'x4 up to 14'x4' at 6" deep

This year was the first year we were able to fill all of the beds with compost that we made

we made it from grass clippings (no chem used on grass ), shredded leaves, some hemlock and pine needles, veg and fruit leftovers with chopped banana peels and egg shells

all full with thousands of worms

the problem?

we JUST had enough

question, how can we get more coverage? more volume?

looking to add some "neutral" matter to do this

i have been told sand (the stuff with no chem added like for pavers) and i have been told perlite

what do any of you think would be best?

thanks!
4 years ago
Vogelzang boxwoods are awesome and much underated stoves!

We have had 2 at either end of our finished basement for 10 yrs and they are our only heat. Nice warm floors upstairs, plenty warm. Ppl shouldn't underestimate the effectiveness of "cheap".
6 years ago
Any one have some seed pods they would be willing to mail to me? I would send you a postage paid mailer envelope first of course. I am looking to start a grove for future firewood cutting.
thanks
6 years ago
You should really try and get some kind of soil testing done. Old apple trees and often surrounded by old pesticides that contain large amounts of lead and arsenic. That stuff lasts for centuries. So you may put a lot of effort into the job only to get tainted fruit. If the stuff does exist, it will effect anything else you plant there as well.

I hope you do not have it. It is very common this side of the country. A lot of housing developments have been built over old apple and other orchards and the new homeowners are finding large amounts of lead and arsenic in their soil.
6 years ago
Does it matter hard wood versus soft wood ash? Or is it a more general issue, that is "just wood" versus wood type? Obviously some wood is more acidic/produces acidity (like pine and hemlock) and some wood is basically neutral like aspen.

Thanks for all of the answers though, good stuff to know.
6 years ago

John Elliott wrote:I'll second the idea to put the chicken manure on top of the coal ash/cinders.

Coal ash has the annoying property of having lots of available heavy metals that can leach out. When it really piles up (like next to a coal-fired plant), all that ash can do havoc to the groundwater and wells in the area. What needs to happen is that the metals need to be bound up so that they are no longer leachable. This can be done in a few different ways, but chelating them with the urea in chicken manure is quick and easy -- just spread it around and let the rain soak it in.

Another thing to keep in mind is that coal ash is most detrimental when it comes straight from the power plant. If it has "weathered", i.e., sat on the ground for a long time and been rained on a lot, then much of the metal ions have leached out. If this track bed supports a healthy crop of weeds, then most likely the weathering has been effective. However, if nothing grows on it, treating it with manure is really indicated. Then you can follow that up with a high sulfur crop like a brassica, and that will further bind up the offending metals into insoluble sulfides.



Sounds good..the cinders have been there for as long as 100 yrs and as recent as when ever they stopped using coal fired engines (1950's?). Our well water tests negative for anything harmful now and 30 yrs ago, so at least there is that.

Now I just need to wait for these things to get pulled up.
6 years ago
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Ok, not sure how this will turn out since it is my first time on this forum. I posted this on another forum, no issues and I could always go back and edit of I had too )

So, my house in on the North side of the highway (US 219)-there is a lot with a "pole barn" structure to the right (west) and further down the east, there is an empty clearing. My property is from the pole barn property to the east along the highway to near the empty lot and then a turn straight down to the river (to the middle of it actually).

You will see the tracks going through my property (there a tracks across the river as well). This is about 4 yrs old or so.

So, not quite enough space to do some of the things suggested and the plan is to plant fruit trees and fruit bushes (strawberry, blueberry)

That is, how to "convert" the coal ash cinders into usable "soil"?[/i]I appreciate all the ideas but I guess my question is more of how to rehabilitate the actual ground. That is, how to "convert" the coal ash cinders into usable "soil"?

All the stuff the cinders will mainly grow now are weeds, sumac and blackberry and the occasional aspen tree.
6 years ago
Going through my property (and it is my property) is a railroad track that has not been used. The company applied to the Federal Government to have it "abandoned (versus "banked")" so they have about 5 yrs to get the rails and ties and gravel out.

Under all of this is a bed of coal ash-cinders, that was used to originally build up the rail bed. They will not be required to remove this this they only have to return the area to "original grade/slope" and are not required to do any type of rehabilitation to it.

With these cinders, what are some ideas to rehabilitate this area? That is, what do you think would be a good way to make this strip of property usable for me then the growing of weeds?

more---

Let's see, where to start...

I own all of the property on both sides, in fact, I live on a unusual stretch of RR line. It was 'condemned' (the right of way) for RR use only by a court before it was built over 100 yrs ago. There was a small town here and they didn't want RR land grabs and such-like what was going on "out west" at the time. A judge agreed to allow the line but only allow it for RR use only. For us today, that mainly means that the RR can not transfer the right of way to anyone, like a rails to trails tyoe of thing.

By deed, I own continuously all the way through down to the middle of a river. My deed does not "stop" to reflect the presence of the right of way, only says that one is there. Me and others on this 5 mile stretch seem to be the only property owners in this area with this kind of RR relationship.

They stopped maintaining it about 8 yrs ago and stopped using it 2 yrs ago. It is disconnected in town and bypassed over to a line across the river. For nearly 15 yrs, I have been the only one spraying any herbicides. I submitted a request to the RR claiming that I had livestock (chickens) and food for human consumption growing and that I wanted to know what was being applied and the only way was for them to stop spraying. So I had to sign an agreement saying I would maintain the right of way.

My property is a big rectangle with "simple sides" boxed in by a road on one side and the river on the other. The RR follows the river and the road parallels the RR. So the tracks on my property run in a straight shot.

They will bid out the demolition and the contractor will be required to remove the ties and rails, plates, spikes and gravel. The gravel is like a number 1 large gravel-too big for anything I need. They will take it anyhow no matter if I wanted it or not. There is currently a market for gravel for building the Natural gas pads with all the fracking going on.

I plan on using the space to plant more fruit trees / bushes. I am thinking that well cured chicken manure would be a first step in 'reclaiming' the cinders. And then adding in regular soil later for more mass.

Another issue is that people illegally use the right of way to ride 4 wheelers. Everyone knows it is illegal but no one enforces it. If any of us try to stop them by putting a tree in the way or something, people just move it. They feel it their god given right to ride where they like.

When I do get the ground back I plan on creating a "living barrier" of apple or pear trees. Not necessarily blocking the road but making it very difficult to come through. I also plan on busting up the clay culvert pipe that is under a section where a small stream passes through-creating a bridge. Of course I will have to put up a "bridge out" sign so I do not get sued if someone gets hurt trespassing on my property (the whole issue is ridiculous, the RR will come through and make sure that the right of way is "safe" for 4 wheelers to ride through even though it is illegal. They would rather have people break the law then get sued if someone s hurt)

I think that mulching would be a good idea as well to get a good layer of some top of "soil" going.

Ideas?

thanks
6 years ago

james beam wrote:How to use an old RXR bed might make a great new thread topic, especially if you included a satellite pix, or a property boundary diagram showing the RXR bed, current buildings and surrounding grades. I've never tried reclaiming something like that. I guess the use- depends on how the roadbed lays & where it is, and how it actually surveys out...do you own both sides of the roadbed?...for example.

Might make a good flat 'working or building area', you will probably know much better how to use it once you see it, once it is made available to you. Might be a bunch of dandy big stones under the roadbed worth getting out... or not, that scrap gravel might become useful as it should be about as inexpensive as you can get, considering 'the company' probably wouldn't have to haul it far. You might be thinking now about starting some trees or shrubs from seed...intending on using them in the roadbed about 5 years in the future. If the roadbed was purposed to grow food stuff, I might have the 'cleaned up' roadbed dirt tested for various herbicides or whatever... of which I think the RXR companies are well known for using. I would consider hugelkulture or sheet mulching on top of the roadbed. Might make for a huge animal paddock.

james beam;)



Let's see, where to start...

I own all of the property on both sides, in fact, I live on a unusual stretch of RR line. It was 'condemned' (the right of way) for RR use only by a court before it was built over 100 yrs ago. There was a small town here and they didn't want RR land grabs and such-like what was going on "out west" at the time. A judge agreed to allow the line but only allow it for RR use only. For us today, that mainly means that the RR can not transfer the right of way to anyone, like a rails to trails tyoe of thing.

By deed, I own continuously all the way through down to the middle of a river. My deed does not "stop" to reflect the presence of the right of way, only says that one is there. Me and others on this 5 mile stretch seem to be the only property owners in this area with this kind of RR relationship.

They stopped maintaining it about 8 yrs ago and stopped using it 2 yrs ago. It is disconnected in town and bypassed over to a line across the river. For nearly 15 yrs, I have been the only one spraying any herbicides. I submitted a request to the RR claiming that I had livestock (chickens) and food for human consumption growing and that I wanted to know what was being applied and the only way was for them to stop spraying. So I had to sign an agreement saying I would maintain the right of way.

My property is a big rectangle with "simple sides" boxed in by a road on one side and the river on the other. The RR follows the river and the road parallels the RR. So the tracks on my property run in a straight shot.

They will bid out the demolition and the contractor will be required to remove the ties and rails, plates, spikes and gravel. The gravel is like a number 1 large gravel-too big for anything I need. They will take it anyhow no matter if I wanted it or not. There is currently a market for gravel for building the Natural gas pads with all the fracking going on.

I plan on using the space to plant more fruit trees / bushes. I am thinking that well cured chicken manure would be a first step in 'reclaiming' the cinders. And then adding in regular soil later for more mass.

Another issue is that people illegally use the right of way to ride 4 wheelers. Everyone knows it is illegal but no one enforces it. If any of us try to stop them by putting a tree in the way or something, people just move it. They feel it their god given right to ride where they like.

When I do get the ground back I plan on creating a "living barrier" of apple or pear trees. Not necessarily blocking the road by making ot very difficult to come through. I also plan on busting up the clay culvert pipe that is under a section where a small stream passes through-creating a bridge. Of course I will have to put up a "bridge out" sign so I do not get sued if someone gets hurt trespassing on my property (the whole issue is ridiculous, the RR will come through and make sure that the right of way is "safe" for 4 wheelers to ride through even though it is illegal. They would rather have people break the law then get sued if someone s hurt)

I think that mulching would be a good idea as well to get a good layer of some top of "soil" going.

I'll make a thread (if I can figure out how)

thanks
6 years ago