Rex Reeves

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since Aug 09, 2018
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kids hugelkultur forest garden plumbing urban building
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I'm a proud owner of a 0.2 acre lot in a small town. I'm working on building hugelkultur and hoping to put in a natural swimming pool. Currently I am a full time wage slave and a part time single parent, if you know what I mean. My long term goal is to go early retirement extreme style and pay off all my debt and buy a bigger piece of land or move onto an existing permie parcel and add my groove. I've been researching permaculture for years but just recently have gained the freedom to start and loving every minute of it.
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Saskatchewan, Canada
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Recent posts by Rex Reeves

 We like goats. A lot. They are wonderful multipurpose animals and are very intelligent and adaptable. There are so many reasons to have goats that I could not count them using rational numbers. Some of those innumerable reasons are the hides. But the hides are only one reason you say? Au contraire, the hides are as versatile as the goats themselves are. Leather can be utilized in so many ways and the furskins are soft and warm. But enough maundering and on to the fun!

  We butchered several goats and kept two of the hides with the intention of making furskins. By "we" I mean I stood there and tried to keep my breakfast down while someone else (Leora and professional instructors) did the work. One of the hides was from our buck and the other was given to us. We folded the hides fur side out, bagged and then froze them for a few weeks until we had time to process them.

  Processing is still ongoing but here's what we are doing. After both of us researching the different tanning methods we agreed to egg tan them. First the hides were thawed and scraped. Being the first time we have done this we tried a variety of knives and other tools on hand to scrape the flesh off. Turned out that some scrap pieces of J-channel worked the best. The buck hide was significantly more difficult than the wether hide and it took us most of the day to scrape both. Leora has an old pressure tank we stuck on a couple sawhorses and that worked really well as a surface to scrape against.

  Once scraping was done we spread the hides out and poured salt over them to pickle for a few days. The sources we looked at varied a lot in pickle method and timelines. We chose to salt directly and fold and roll the hides then bag them for a few days. After about three or four days we pulled them out and checked them. The wether hide was much softer and we scraped it again to remove as much of the remaining fleshy bits as we could. The buck hide was pickled longer and stayed tougher.

  The wether hide, once scraped clean, was rinsed to remove the excess salt, secured to a sheet of plywood to prevent shrinking and allowed to dry for several days. Once dry but not hard the tanning solution was applied and rubbed in. Leora mixed up egg yolks and olive oil as the tanning solution. The hide had to be misted with water and rubbed to get the egg to soak in as it had dried a bit too much. In the future adding water to the tanning mix would probably help as well. After the solution soaked in and the hide dried again it was removed from the board and stretched. The bottom edge of the old pressure tank worked well to stretch the hide. It was stretched several times until soft and dry.

  The buck hide was not egg tanned, instead we are trying the method of stretching as it dries to see if we like that method better. It is still an ongoing project and we look forward to posting more as we continue the project.
1 year ago
I haven't posted my challenges on here as a single dad but I have them. As do many other fathers. A group I follow is trying to develop an app to assist fathers in navigating the legal system and finding legal support. I hope they succeed as an app of this nature would have been a game changer for me years ago.
1 year ago
Depending on wood type and quality, and if it's sized right, they can melt iron. I'd suggest a refractory chimney and graphite crucible just to be safe. Building it out of metal will draw the heat away rather than insulate it. Just my two cents.
1 year ago
My one best is when I saved a 24' extension ladder that was "unsellable" because it had a damaged rung. Fixed the rung and it's better than new.

On going finds are any metal objects that can be melted. I am always pulling copper, brass, aluminium etc out of dumpsters to melt into ingots for future projects.

"Broken" tools are another. So many need something simple like motor brushes or bearings. Trash to treasure for sure. And if they end up being unfixable, into the crucible!
2 years ago

Emily Elizabeth wrote:I am jealous of the book situation you speak of, lol. It's one of the only things I can empathize with where hoarders are concerned. If someone hoards figurines or fancy shoes, I no comprendo. Books that they can't quite part with, I get it.

I hoard books, but I also hoard hand tools and garden implements. Once I'm off grid or if the grid goes down I'll have spares for me or things to barter. Craft supplies might also take up a portion of the basement.
2 years ago

Saralee Couchoud wrote:And when the grid goes down those with physical copies of books will still have access to their treasure trove of knowledge

Exactly! I have long term plans of going off grid again, when I'm not tied to a school district for the kids. Being able to read and reference books without draining the limited power system will be a boon.
2 years ago
Hi Matt!
Rabbits are the only acceptable meat animal I am allowed where I live. Darn bylaws! I have a double lot and I intend on dedicating a good portion to grazing area for them. I plan to have a skiddable warren and moveable fences so I can paddock shift them. The warren will have dark tunnels made from unglazed clay tubes and pots so they can't be dug through but can still breathe on the lower level. There will be food, water and litter box on the upper level as well as windows or screens depending on the season. The food, water and a portion of the "burrow" will be heated in the winter so they can choose where to hang out. In my research I read that rabbits are less likely to dig out of a run if they can't see through the fence so my fences will be solid or at least covered to bunny height. I'm not sure how many I will have but a couple does and a buck at least.
2 years ago

John C Daley wrote:I am amazed at the lack of reading in so many people of any age!

I have tons of them and love them.

I remember in highschool (early 2000s) there were classmates that couldn't read but were still being moved up each year. I was appalled and it is still going on. Not my kids though. They read or are read to every day.
2 years ago

L. Johnson wrote:I love that you have a romance book in your maintenance section. That truly speaks to me.

Relationship maintenance is so important and should be worked on by all parties.

L. Johnson wrote:I have a wonderful conflict between keeping and minimalizing that makes sure my library is present, useful and relevant to me. I'm a big fan of unloading books we don't use and picking up books we might.

I am going through that myself now too. Having moved recently and now sorting boxes of things I haven't used in ten years but my kids might.

L. Johnson wrote:The longest it has taken me to get a book read from the time I received it was about 20 years, it was an armchair treasure hunt called Quest, I regret having that in the back of my mind for so long, it wasn't worth keeping for me. Usually if I'm interested I read them in about a month or so. Otherwise I let them go. Even reference books occupy an interesting space between... do I need this now? do I need this in an emergency? do I want to have this on my bookshelf to encourage my kids interest... and should I just look this up on the internet?

I'm not sure what my time frame is but I have books of a certain genera that were gifts but I have no interest in reading. A conundrum for sure. A lot of my books I intend on keeping for my kids and eventually grandkids. Some reference books are outdated and they will go but most of the trades based ones will always be useful as well as the novels for entertainment. There will always be room for the classics like  William Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, and Jack London etc.

L. Johnson wrote:My lovely wife thinks we have too many books. I think we have too few bookshelves... and maybe the wrong books in some cases, but too many? not yet.

I don't currently have a wife so I can build as many bookshelves as I want. 😉 One can never have too many books or stationary supplies.
2 years ago