Kyle Neath

gardener
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since May 07, 2016
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hugelkultur dog trees woodworking
Somewhere in between a software developer and agroforester. Once upon a time I built a lot of software in a very fancy city, but now I can usually be found running around in the mountains.
Leaping Daisy is my main gig. It's an old high country ranch in the Sierra Nevadas. In the summers, I spend my time fixing 100 year old log cabins, improving the forest, and building out infrastructure to host small events. In the winters, I strap on my snowshoes and play in the snow.
In between that, I'm still trying to figure this whole life thing out. I spend a bit of time writing software to pay the bills, a chunk of it caring for my parents, and the rest playing around the mountains near Tahoe.
Sierra Nevadas, CA 6400'
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Recent posts by Kyle Neath

If there is still interest in the rocket sauna, my offer to put up the coin for needed materials still stands. Personally, I'd love to see a project just for the boots, by the boots, for the boots.
2 weeks ago
In my experience, bears don’t care... they are just huge dummies with big claws and powerful jaws wandering around looking for an easy meal. They aren’t particularly a problem, nor are they particularly a solution. They just are. They eat plants. They eat insects. They eat live animals. They eat dead animals. They’ll eat plastic if it smells right. They don’t really seek out any particular food, except the easy food. Food humans grow is usually easy food.

I guess my opinion is that clever solutions aren’t really needed. Bears are big, dumb, and easily repelled. If a food source gets difficult to get to, they look elsewhere. It really doesn’t take much of a fence to stop them. Or a dog, or a donkey, or a goose — pretty much anything that makes a loud noise will make them turn away. Even a bright light is usually enough to get them to turn away. In more wild environments, it only takes a stray sound. They’re masters of calorie maximization. They want to expend as few calories as possible to gain weight. Turn that formula against their favor and they’ll look somewhere else.
1 month ago
One of the struggles with data coming from so far back is that we don't have a lot of context for it. The data may come from NASA, but NASA was founded in 1958. 60 years ago. We only have global weather data from 1880 onward. Only about 150 years. Now — that is not to say we don't have a lot of information for times before that. We can inspect CO2 levels in ice, organic material deposits in fossils, and all sorts of indirect data. Indirect — that's a very key word.

The last time we know weather affected crops in a substantial manner was the Little Ice Age, some time between 1500-1800. Or was it 1300-1800? We're not really sure. People didn't write things down too well back then and they often spoke in riddles. It might have been caused by solar radiation cycles. Well, maybe it was volcanoes. The earth's orbital wobble could have deviated from a comet for a bit. Or maybe it was just the result of a bunch of people dying from the plague. Or maybe it was more people living in northern latitudes. We don't really know. A lot of context was lost.

I listened to about half of that YouTube earlier today and well... who knows? I don't think he provides any evidence compelling enough for me to change my life. At the same time, he could be right. What I do agree with is the need to be resilient to change. Weather is incredibly variable, and changing more and more by the day. We do know that for certain. We do not know which way our climate is headed, but it is for sure changing in dramatic ways. So I kind of look at this way: it doesn't matter if he's right or not. Practicing ways to be more resilient to changing climate is a good way to spend your time.
4 months ago
Sent out my pledge to Orin! And I'd send one to Josiah if I had a paypal address...

BTW — I'd love to remove my Boots pledges from the original BRK thread and just keep the one I have here for simplicity's sake. Also thinking it might be a good idea to remove the Boot's portion of the list in that thread since it's outdated by this one.
4 months ago
The vast majority of land in California is not in a city, and counties often have far more relaxed regulations than cities. Have you been looking into county regulations as well? I believe Siskiyou and Nevada counties allow composting toilets from memory. I will also say from anecdotal evidence that the state is vast, and while you may be required to install septic to get a building permit, there is virtually zero chance anyone is going to stop you from using composting toilets in practice.
4 months ago
One of the coolest things about concrete is that you can make more concrete out of... concrete. A little cement mixed in with crushed concrete will create new concrete. Or you can use it to fill in a new pour somewhere. Maybe you want a new building pad, retaining wall, or walking path. You can smash up the concrete, throw it into the forms, and pour in a lot less concrete to fill it in.
4 months ago
Right on, well my BRK reward is sent off! Wish I could help you on the rest, but I suspect I'd just add more chaos and flakiness at this point in my life. Thanks for keeping track!
5 months ago
I think I owe Jen some money, but... no idea where to send it! I always feel a bit lost at this part of the BRK. Should I be waiting for someone to PM me? Or keeping up with every thread and proactively asking them for their paypal? (That's a joke, there is no way I could ever be that responsible)
5 months ago
Ringing is a pretty standard practice for killing trees — especially ones you wish to cut down later.

But remember this most certainly kills the tree. The roots start to die back and rot underground. The tree loses its hold on the ground. Wind and ice more easily pull it over. The branches die with the tree, and pine branches have evolved to pop right off when they die (as a means of fire protection — cutting the fire ladder short on branches no longer receiving sunlight). All that makes for a very scary tree to be around, and especially scary to fell. Nothing like the vibration of a saw to pop one of those branches off 30ft above your soft, squish-prone body.

Cutting down a healthy tree and debarking it will achieve almost identical results. Without the bark, insects and fungus will not be able to attack the tree. If in addition, it's raised a couple inches off the ground, the results will be identical to leaving it dead-standing. Except it'll be on the forest floor, and not hanging precariously a hundred feet above our fragile heads.
6 months ago

What would you do?



That's a huge plot! I would be curious what the topography is like. If this were me, I'd be thinking about two things:

1) What sized chicken tractor / animal pen do I want to design for? The plot looks prime for rotating animals around in a circle, maybe building a flat road (pasture) for their primary shelter to travel along. Ridgedale Permaculture has some great examples of designing their landscape for animal rotation efficiency. Work from that base and design tree & earthworks projects around that base. Even if there aren't any animals, having a nice wide track for tractors. / wheelbarrows is always nice.

2) How can I cut this fencing project short and build some next year?
7 months ago