Cameron Carter

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since Apr 15, 2017
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Recent posts by Cameron Carter

Thanks for the responses. Im definaitely going to keep rye in the mix.  As for the actual seeding, since I dont have any sort of machinery, should I trim down the existing grasses, spread the seed and then rake in?  Think only doing an acre max this year to experiment on since that is a lot of raking!
1 month ago
About a month or so ago, my family and I purchased a new home with 2.5 acres. I am so stoked to get going on this terrain and make it an abundant paradise!  

I'm located in the Texas Hill Country (8a) with very rocky soil that tends to be very alkaline.  Most folks around here, if they plant anything, start hay/grasses in January and then maybe very rarely do cover crops in late August.  While I don't have my goals totally concrete as of yet, I know soil heath and fertility are going to be the foundation that everything will be built on. I know I need to build a lot of soil mass on top of all this rock and get it full of organic material to help get through the hot dry and long summers.  

I talked with a local feed store about cover crops and was informed those are far past date.  However, grass mixes will come available in January. One mix has Kleingrass, Sideoats Grama, Wilman Lovegrass, Spar Bluestem, Annual Ryegrass, Green Sprangletop, Canada Wildrye, Teff Grass, and Tall Wheatgrass.  Eventually, I'm hoping at some point this year to start tractoring chickens but that will still be a ways off as budget allows.  Eventually, years ahead, I would love to perhaps even have a small dairy cow, but I understand that may not be feasible on such small acreage.  

My question is: Looking at getting something in the ground early 2021 and not having to wait for a whole year, would it be better to shoot for a grass mix or a soil building cover crop mix?  I also want to get some compost tea going to charge up the soil life, but it will probably be later like March before I could have that ready. I am also looking at adding wild flowers into the mix later on at the appropriate time next year but I'm curious what is going to come up as it is naturally.  

My first thought is to try perhaps mixing a bit of the two and seeding an acre or a much as budget will allow with that. Then perhaps some smaller sections I can do with pollinator mixes.  I just don't know if the cover crop mixes (ie clover, vetch, rye, barley, etc) will be strangled out by the grasses.  

Last bit of info, the ground has not been tended for a while and has a lot of natural grass, some smaller broadleaf species in spots and lots of young cactus.  A smattering of oaks (many dead or dying with oak wilt, future hugels or bbq) are scattered about.  There is only a small fenced in backyard and the rest is open to grazing by the local deer hoards.  I haven't done a soil test yet either so no additional info on that account.    

Thanks for any and all advice.  
1 month ago
I am in the process of purchasing a home. Long amd short of it is that it has a rather old septic system that has me concerned. I want to reduce the load to the system as much as possible to extend its life and also get some watering benefits onto to some future trees.  

My wife is a cake maker and is always working with and frostings and thanks to her business we are abke to make ends meet. We end up washing a LOT of dishes as a result and while we try to remove a lot of cream and frosting before washing but I know a lot of grease still makes it down the drain.  I honestly don't know what our average gpd since we are on a well currently.  

My general question is what is the best path forward in terms of grey water design?  

My first initial thoughts are:
1. Start with laundry to landscape to lower the septic load as this looks to be the easier of the two systems to operate.

2. With the kitchen system, is a grease trap in order or is the grey water sitting in the trap more of a danger than anything else? Would an initial small wood chip filter with worms or BSFL be the best initial option before going to either a reed bed or straight to a mulch pit?  

Hopefully I will be able to do a drawing of the existing conditions by sometime next week to get a better idea of the actual feasible options...

Finally, the codes for my area require a tank for grey water storage which as I understand it is a big no no.

Thanks for any and all suggestions as I have no experience with grey water.  
6 months ago
I admit that I haven't personally dug deep into the actual science and raw data. I've been okay to take the summaries of the summaries at face value. At de the same time, I find no reason to doubt climate change nor the urgency for action.  I do see many reasons to doubt the doubters however as their position seems to be blatantly politcally motivated along partisan belief lines.  

As many have said, action is the best way forward. If you happen to be a persuasive person that through debate, speech or writing can inspire others to act, then please have at it with the deniers.  For every one else, perhaps the best use of time and resources is what you can do individually and corporately in your community. And finally, encouraging people who want to act engage in truly effective changes will make the biggest positive impact.  In these days, words abound but actions are few.  

1 year ago
Green wood Spoon,

Started off with part of a recently trimmed oak branch.  Hatcheted in half and hatcheted down to basic shape.  Whittled down with a knife and then realized my leatherman sucked as trying to get the bowl of the spoon carved out.  By the time I got the curved knife it had dried out a bit, but still got it done.  
1 year ago

That doesn't look like green wood - so i suspect it took about ten times longer! I certify that this BB is complete!  

No it wasn't green.  I got a lot of dead trees and wood laying around and figured I would use that.  Last time I make that mistake!  I kept saying to myself, seven minutes?!!, there's no way!  But I can see after doing the other mallet head in green that it would be possible with some practice.
1 year ago
Compound Mallet

Green wood is of oak cut off of a branch which was found over a bedroom with a metal roof and sleepless inhabitants.  Handle is also oak and dry.  Everything cut via chisel and the previously made mallet (which I must admit I liked better than a rubber head mallet).  

1 year ago
Youtube sharpening tutorial video dump for adding to BB instructions:

Knife Sharpening Video (although he strops as well)

Chisel Sharpening Video (short)  -this guy is generally very good resource for dimensional wood working with hand tools in general.

Chisel Sharpening Video (long)

[youtube]   [youtube][/youtube][/youtube]
Basic saw sharpening Video

1 year ago

paul wheaton wrote:

Site Design

That is what a PDC is for.

Water.  Water Capture, Acuaculture, Acuaponics . . . maybe, pond building, dam building, swale construction, etc.  

PEP won't contain aquaponics.  Maybe PEC will?  (Permaculture Experience according to Cameron?)

A lot of water stuff will be in plumbing.  Pond stuff will be in earthworks.  Aquaculture will be in animal care.

Sounds good. I hadn't seen that plumbing part.  Would that also include rainwater catchment?
2 years ago