John F Dean

master gardener
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since Sep 04, 2017
John F likes ...
goat cat dog chicken composting toilet food preservation bee solar wood heat homestead
Live on 11 acres. Have Nigerian Dwarf Goats, KuneKune Pigs, bees, and an assortment of chickens. My driveway is the boundary between zones 6a and 6b. Annual rainfall at 46 inches.
southern Illinois.
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Recent posts by John F Dean

I use meal worms as a treat.  
7 hours ago
The above post addresses the general needs. I use a mix of equal amounts of oats, cracked corn, and sunflower seeds.  I then toss in some oyster shell.
7 hours ago
Hi Mark,

I have made the same discovery. Any purchase has become a major decision. My wife and I discuss each purchase in advance. Then we wait a week and discuss the list again.  We have successfully reduced our shopping to once a month. And, we buy less on those trips.  If we buy canned food items, we do so by the case.....a years supply at the time.  Our grocery purchases have dropped, over the past year , to about 1/2 from all sources . Our grocery store purchases are about 1/4.   By the same token, our gasoline purchases have collapsed as well. I fill, up the pick up truck maybe every other month or less ( it is a 2012 with 30 000 miles).   Our suv is used a bit more. Total, gasoline purchases are less than 50 a month due to reduced shopping. Though, now shopping trips are an 80 mile drive to the big city where we combine doctor visits, food, feed, hardware etc.  If I drive to the nearest store i get around 6 mpg. If I drive to the big city, I average 35 mpg. So, in spite of the miles, the cost is more like $ 6 for a local trip vs about double that for a trip to the city.  We quickly make up the difference in savings. In the end, all waste is substantially reduced
1 day ago
I once ran into a gentleman who was saving bubble wrap. His goal as to build an insulated high tunnel.  I have no idea if ever was successful.
1 day ago
Sometimes the really important lesson is what not to do.  I worked with an older gentleman who had a 160 acre dairy farm he had owned for decades. It did not make him rich, but it did pay the bills ....along with his side job. One day we were having lunch and a person much younger  than me walked in.  He commented there was no way he could pay the bills. He was filing bankruptcy. The old timer I was with invited him over to our table.  The kid told his story; he was renting 500 acres of farmland. Somehow, he was purchasing,  on credit, a new truck, a new tractor, a new combine, etc.  

When me and the old timer got back inside his 20 year old pickup, he turned to me and said, "Can you believe it?"
1 day ago
I refer to myself as a homesteader.   I seldom use the term permaculture.  This is no knock on permaculture practices.  I just never see myself knowing enough about it ... permaculture, for me, will always be in a state of becoming. I will never be able to say  I have reached it as a destination.
2 days ago
Hi Burra,

A lesson I learned as a CEO was to never act immediately unless it was a crisis that demanded immediate action.  Too often my initial assessment has been wrong or I have received bad information.
2 days ago
They are unthawing.  It was his luck that I found a couple borderline ones ( older) in the freezer. I gave the short form of his actions. Actually, he came home several times .... only to run back into the woods. I was too stupid to listen.  I just got madder each time he ran off. My guess is he saved it from some other animal.
2 days ago
I went out to check the chickens just after dark last night. A hen was missing. ...so was my Border Collie.  Yes, there were feathers in the yard. I called him. He did not come.  Several times I called him without results ... though I could hear him barking in the woods. My wife and I were certain   a gun was going to be the only solution.  At daybreak  I went to look for him.  I found him deep in the woods guarding a pretty healthy chicken.
3 days ago
Because I never went out much in the first place, it will have minimum impact.  I suppose my once a month shopping outing might be expanded to include a junk shop in addition to the feed store and grocery store.
4 days ago