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Mike Barkley

gardener & hugelmaster
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since Mar 01, 2018
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After a long career electro-geeking for R&D labs in the electronic industry Mike has checked out of the rat race & moved to the woods. Not entirely off grid but trying to achieve that goal. He raises a few animals & enjoys growing healthy food in various gardens. He is a life long nature lover, adventure seeker, & to a certain extent a minimalist. Eventually bears will probably eat him & turn him into compost. He is ok with that.
Gulf of Mexico cajun zone 8
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Recent posts by Mike Barkley

That was an interesting video. As far as I know he's the only person raising bees that way. I searched for more info & everything I found goes back to that one video. Some of the hives he shows would not be legal in most US states because the combs are not removable for close inspection. It's an interesting concept but in my opinion it uses too much plastic & probably epoxy. Putting big screws into trees to secure the hives doesn't seem great either. Seems like a good way to introduce pests & diseases to a tree.
13 hours ago
The same tomato & pepper plants.

Look at the stems of the chili petin plants. Check if they grow zig zaggedy. If so, it's probably chili petin. Never saw anything with stems like that that wasn't.
I prefer to leave as many roots in the ground as possible because it adds organic matter to the soil, loosens the soil, feed the worms & other soil critters, plus helps aerate the soil. Here's some useful links.
I've tried the Ready Wise & Mountain House brands. I prefer the Mountain House by a large margin. Will spare you the gross details. I mostly use freeze dried foods for backpacking but keep a few around for emergencies. They are rather expensive meals but generally taste good & have decent nutrition. I think if one wanted to keep a lot of them it might be worth buying a small freeze drier. Not sure of their current status but they were becoming cheaper & more readily available for home use.

edited to add after thinking about this some more ... I suggest buying a couple of individual meals & try them before buying larger quantities. I prefer the rice dishes over the noodle based ones. The noodle ones aren't bad but their texture seems a little bit off. Not enough to avoid them though. I strongly suggest avoiding anything with sausage. Learned that the hard way:(   Also, allow about a 50% margin of error for the number of meals it claims. It might be fine for a normal meal but after a hard day of work like might be encountered in SHTF one individual serving is not quite enough for a full grown male. Add some snacks or extra portions.  
3 days ago
The zip code tool might be new for this year. Happened to notice it for the first time last night. Very useful.

Rebecca, I grew peppers & tomatoes in your area for many years. I would typically get a moderate harvest in spring. Then when summer arrived they would wimp out but barely stay alive with heavy watering. Then about September they would produce many more. Same with eggplant. Have you discovered any wild chili petins? I can point you to some if you want.
When you plant wildflower seeds where the wild pig trap was because they plowed & fertilized the area. It's also better than having weeds grow back. Close to some bees too!
3 days ago
Everything from Montana to outer space ...

4 days ago

Converting your ATV is a lengthy process for anyone that isn’t already comfortable with automobiles and maintenance in general.

Quote from the article. I would add that solid electrical knowledge will be important along with some machining skills. I think attaching a motor & batteries wouldn't be all that difficult. Safely controlling it in a useful manner in various terrains & weather plus having it be reliable for a long time is an entirely different story.
6 days ago