Walt Chase

pollinator
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since Dec 12, 2016
ALASKA
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Recent posts by Walt Chase

When I lived in N GA, I would cover my whole garden with fresh out of the next door neighbors barn horse manure. It was mixed with shavings.  I'd put that and my fall leaves from the yard on and till it all in.  By spring it was all composted on it's own and ready to plant in.  Beware that red clay will eat all the organic matter you can feed it and come back for more.
5 days ago
I only have one, rather two, words when it comes to recommending a pressure canner:  All American.  We have two of them now, the oldest being nearly 30 years old now.  They both see a lot of use each year with never a problem.
1 month ago
My two cents also vote for the hot water pipes in the ground. The water can be heated via woodstove, Gas tank type or on demand hot water heaters.  I know a man that lives here in AK that grows competition pumpkins (ie way over 1000 pounds) His green house that he grows the pumpkins in is not just a raised bed, but a raised GH.  Whole thing is close to 2 feet higher than the surrounding ground.  He uses a natural gas water heater and pumps the water through PEX tubing.  This allows him to start the GH in March and is growing pumpkins by April in a controlled climate that is at least 3 or 4 climate zones further south than we live.  Now, you don't have to go to those lengths, but burying Pex tubing about a foot deep and heating the water with either a woodstove or gas water heater and pumping it through the tubing will probably do more good than trying to heat the soil with the electric cables.  If you use raised beds in the GH then you would only need to run the tubing in the beds where you will be planting.
1 month ago
You're going to need a quite large chainsaw to run a chainsaw mill.  I have owned and used Stihl chainsaws (and other of their equipment) for many years and would suggest that brand to you without reservation.  A good resource for all things milling is The Forestry Forum.  You don't have to be a member to read.  A suggestion I would make is to look into an entry level bandsaw mill such as a woodmizer LT15.  Much faster, much less back breaking work and less waste.  I have an LT28 with a 20 horse motor and have sawed a lot of lumber on it from trees that otherwise would have wound up as firewood or rotting in the forest.  I only saw for myself and not for hire.  I've got a couple more projects to saw out and then the mill will have paid for itself.  Good luck!
1 month ago
The only thing I can add about building with RR ties is the fact that they eat up chainsaw chains or the blades on anything you try to cut them with.
2 months ago
You mentioned cedar allergies.  Yes, it can become a thing.  My dad was a carpenter for 50+ years.  During that time a lot of houses were sided with cedar lap siding.  He never had a problem with it until he did.  It really started giving him trouble after a long time (decades) of cutting it.  He would have what seemed to be spring time allergies any time he cut a lot of it.  Congestion, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, stopped up nose etc.  A dust mask pretty much solved the problem with the exception of occasional bouts of sneezing and some sniffles.  He finally stopped working with it though.
2 months ago
Like Mike, I too think the wood that is up off the ground should be ok for firewood.  Some of the wood on the ground may have decent heartwood.  Cut into some and see.
2 months ago
Guess I'm set in my ways, but I cook my bacon in the oven on a sheet pan.  It goes in first while I finish the other breakfast items on the stove or in the oven at the same time.  Takes about 20 mins to cook bacon to my preferred crispness.  I cooked in a commercial kitchen for 14 years cooking up to 15 pounds of bacon at a time and in the oven is the only way to go, at least for me.  I cook it this way at home too.  Usually cook enough at once for several mornings.  I certainly agree with saving your bacon grease.  Wonderful stuff.
3 months ago
In our area there is quite a bit of mail and package theft from druggies and other lowlifes if you have a mailbox on the street and not at the P.O.  We've had a post office box ever since we moved to AK.  UPS and FedX will deliver to the P.O.  If you order something and know beforehand that it will be coming via UPS or FedX I just use the street address of the P.O. and my box number.  Example:  John Doe, 1234 main St #234 any town, AK 99999.  This has worked great and I don't have to worry about lazy mail carriers, package theft etc.  I go to town about twice a week and by the P.O. while I'm out.
3 months ago
Send me a PM and I can direct you someone who should be able to help you.  Are you by chance on Facebook?  If you are go to Alaska Home gardeners and do a search in that group for sola wrap.
3 months ago