Lon Anders

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since Oct 15, 2018
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Recent posts by Lon Anders

I'm also a big fan of sweet potatoes.  I prefer Beauregard.  I also like to slice them length wise in 1/4" thick slices, nuke them in the microwave until soft then I butter them and put REAL maple syrup on them and eat them like pancakes...simple, fast, and delicious.

I have at least 30 sprouts coming off the 5-6 sweet potatoes that have been on my potato rack in my kitchen for 4-5 months. I leave a few there every year in order to have them sprout and provide me with enough to put in my garden for the next year.  I simply cut them off "flush" with the potato, toss them in the cup of water and let them start throwing off roots.
10 months ago

Robert Ray wrote:Personally recirculating water back into my aquifer worries me a bit. Probably one chance in a million but recirculating something that I don't want in my drinking water or my neighbors would make me procede with caution. With a GAHT they suggest perferated piping to allow for condensation/mold issues. I could easily slide two two inch pipes side by side down my casing for inlet outlet. Solid piping would keep anything out of my well that might get sucked into intake.

You know I just edited my post from a few minutes ago to bring up the idea of contamination. I then looked and you had mentioned it.

I have a lot of water under me, it's potable and it's good stuff. I'd never compromise that for heat. Somebody someday down the road will def be thankful for the resource in a big way.

11 months ago
To those that mentioned to instead circulate the water...

I had considered that, but in the grand scheme of things if I wondered how I'd recirculate the water vs discharging it out into the yard and making a skating rink.

I would have to design it in such a manner that I'd never risk contamination of the well.  I have great water in the well and plenty of it.  The water column starts at 160ft down and extends down to 200 ft (depth of well). I'd hate to think I'd recirculate potentially contaminated water back down into the well if I simply opened it back up to air by letting it discharge back down into the well head.

Let's just hypothetically assume I'd need to recirculate 50 gallons every 4 hours back down into the well. Contamination?

11 months ago
If a person had an 8"diameter column of air 160 ft deep into the earth and there was a greenhouse built over top of it....how much heat do you think they could exchange within a small greenhouse during Middle TN mild winters?

It's a cased well. If I were to stick a fan on top of the well and pull air out of the earth, can it be enough to make a difference inside the greenhouse? It will be a small greenhouse, 12x16, maybe even smaller.


If anyone even cares to chime in at all I am "all ears".

Sure sounds good in my head. A fan that's roughly the same diameter as the well casing - pull air from the earth and increase/decrease temp in greenhouse...with a special emphasis on "heat".  I can live without a greenhouse in the summer and I'm certainly building it with winter in mind.  I'd have an average air temp of around 58.2 degrees in that column of air. Fans/blowers are cheaper than heating elements to run.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Where the well is at is also a really good spot of the greenhouse I want to build.

Side note - The well is currently not being used. Previous owner switched to public and the well had to be unhooked from house. I will be getting the well operable again, put a pressurized tank in the greenhouse, and use well water for our gardens.  I'd probably put in a wood stove for those really cold nights for heat so a pressurized water tank wouldn't freeze solid. I currently burn 6 cords/winter to heat my home so I've already got the wood and am use to tending a fire. I'd expect the need to burn the stove no more than 20-30 days in the winter months.

Think it's possible to keep the inside of the greenhouse from freezing conditions just by moving heat from the air in the well?

11 months ago
Just so you all know that I did not abandon this/a follow up.

I ended up taking my tractor and a grader blade and pushed the majority of the mulch around the perimeter. I then hand sewed rye grass and Ky 31 to around 100 lbs/acre.   ($500 "ish" worth of seed)

I did not lime the area since the weather turned bad/wet. I decided to go ahead and sew it because the chances of getting in to apply lime this year was approaching zero. I did have a soil test performed and it called for 2500 lbs of lime per acre.

Pic was taken by my son this evening from a deer hunting tree stand. It's been about 30 days since I sewed it all.
1 year ago
Three months ago  I purchased the vacant 42 acres of woods that borders my home and 12 acres.  The property use to be a working farm 25-30 years ago. It was not in row crops but instead was about 5 acres of pasture for 1-2 cows, 120+ pigs, and an acre of tobacco.

Last week I had a forestry mulching company come in and mulch up approximately 4-5 acres that was pasture 25 years ago,  cleaned out an old dry pond that I am going to try to get to hold water again, cut some access trails through the woods, and cleaned up around an old hog lot.

My question is:

I'm in Zone 7.  I'm in Middle TN (South of Nashville).  I have anywhere from 3-12" of mulch from the trees/brush they mulched up covering the soil in the spots I want to convert into pasture.  I'd like to either get a cover crop started or if it's not too late in the year to go ahead and seed for pasture grasses/legumes.  I will first be adding lime to the fields.

I have a 3.5 acre field and a 1/2 acre field.  I'd like to grow out a young steer (maybe 2) yearly. I plan on using the 3.5 acre pasture as the main pasture and then rotating the steer to the 1/2 acre pasture for short periods of time when the larger pasture needs to recover.

I'm not a farmer. I've never tried to establish a pasture in my life.  I do currently keep a traditional garden (3K sq ft), raised beds (1K sq ft), have chickens, rabbits, honey bees, an orchard, and a vineyard that I have established over the past 6-7 years. I do have a compact tractor w/a few implements.

What would you do this late in the year in your attempt to establish a pasture over the next year and having all that mulch on top of the ground?

To note:  I am a big fan of wood chips and mulch. I use around 120 yards/yr that a tree trimming company dumps on my property when they are close...so I know a bit about growing a garden with wood chips piled on 5" deep.
1 year ago
I'm about to have some cedar harvested off of my 56 acres here South of Nashville. I'm going attempt to convert 7-10 acres in one area over to pasture. I will have a forestry mulching company come in behind the loggers and grind everything remaining down to shredded stuff/ chips. I will be liming it and seeding this fall.

If you've never seen a forestry mulcher reclaim land you should search on youtube and watch... Simply amazing.

I was just going to have the forestry mulching co chew up the entire tree(s) but since cedar is so high priced right now I will let the loggers harvest it. I think I will get $6K-$7k for the cedar I will let them harvest over 15 acres (good stuff) and that will cover 1/2 if not 2/3 of my cost for the forestry mulching services.

If you are interested here is the company I will be using.webpage  They are in the Franklin area. I've had several stop by and quote forestry mulching services and Willison's offerings seem the best to me...and I am PICKY!

If you are going to heat with wood then get out the chainsaw, should be a lot of firewood left in the tops unless they took them for pulp.
1 year ago

Josh Garbo wrote:Do you have any ideas for productive crops that would do well next year in fairly marginal soil (leaf crops perhaps)?

Don't sell yourself short on clay soil. Just because it is difficult to work (mud balls then baked like adobe in the heat) does not mean it is a poor soil. Clay traps nutrients and is a great soil. Daikin radishes and clover are good cover crops. You can also plant some winter wheat or even rye grass as a cover crop.

One thing you should not do:  Till those wood chips in. Clay retains moisture and if you till those wood chips in they will also retain moisture and it will never dry out. This promotes root rot and those chips do indeed rob plant roots of nitrogen. Rake back those chips and then plant/till if you need too.

I covered my 3K sq ft garden with wood chips for 6 years. It was a new spot so I did till for the first 6 years.  I would rake back all the remaining chips that didn't break down, till in the stuff that did break down (and added composted manure) then buried it all again in wood chips after planting. It took 6 years before I could go "no till". I still bury my garden in wood chips however I am no till now. It took that long to get my soil where it was "workable" by tilling in broke down wood chips and composted manure.

I'm south of Nashville btw and we have pretty much nothing but clay (red).
1 year ago

Dave de Basque wrote:
Regarding the "girl" thing. If you get a chance, maybe find yourself a particularly sassy woman from the Deep South of the US and watch how they run everyone around them. No one messes with a proper Southern b-b-b-belle. Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind was a wilting flower compared to some of the ones I've come across. No one messes with them. And we all need a little inner Scarlett at times! 😉

Ha ha. We men here in the South know exactly what you are talking about. We learned to say "yes mam" about 40 times a minute when we were boys. The concept really stuck after getting slapped 39 times a minute for not saying it.

Northern men still have a long way to go. Up North if your mother slaps you for not showing respect she goes to jail. Around these parts if someone sees your mother slap you they form a line behind her for their chance to smack you too.
1 year ago
I switched over to Toyotas in 1994. In my driveway there are 5 Toyotas (I have 2 kids that drive). I keep them forever.

1986 4x4 - 400K+ miles. Used as a work truck around my hobby farm.
2001 4Runner limited - 250K mile (purchased new). Now is oldest daughter's
2005 Rav4  
2007 Sequoia Limited - 230K miles. Purchased new. Had 2 kids in car seats and 1 in a booster chair, was either a minivan, yellow bus, or Sequoia.
2017 4Runner 4x4.

Oil, tires, and brakes are about the only things that ever need replaced.

Here's a lovely pic of my ol' 1986 truck by our little guest house. My kids wanted to surprise me with a custom paint job. Yep she's roadworthy and makes into town (80K people) about 3 times a year. It's like being in a parade because everyone stares. I just wave and smile real big..."There goes those dirty hippies".

1 year ago