Gail Jardin

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since Jan 16, 2019
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Recent posts by Gail Jardin

So the garden is turning out to be a trapezoid shape and is not nearly as big as I had thought I was going to make it be. SO far there is only about 450 square feet cleared with rocks and roots dug up. This would not all be growing area but would be paths as well. I think I need to find another site for a second temporary garden. I would like to have enough space to attempt to grow a fair portion of food for four people. One adult and several kids. I think this area will be easy access kitchen garden and I will need to find a new area to put in a potato patch and a corn patch.
9 months ago
I need to borrow someones brain please! Mine is getting a headache trying to figure out what I want to do. If anyone with earthbag experience is in the Ozarks I would love to borrow you!
How big of a ditch/trench/hole do I need to dig to have enough clay soil to fill my earthbags AND berm three and a half sides of it? Is there like a ratio or something like for every hundred square feet you need one foot of cleared soil for the bags and one foot for the berm?
Would it be cheaper to actually buy dirt than pay an excavator? But wouldn't that kind of defeat the purpose of building with onsite materials? Also the rubble trench is just under the bags, not the entire square footage right? What goes under the actual floor? I was thinking it was gravel then a moisture barrier then a subfloor, but now I'm confused.
I have some supplies on the way but am not sure what my blueprint will look like yet! The more I think the more overwhelmed I become.
We could get buy with 250 or 300 square feet underground then build another 'room' in front of the buttress that would not be a storm shelter. I am actually thinking this is what I want to do to get a small but suitable root cellar/storm shelter in place sooner.
I have ordered 2000 14x26 bags, a tamper (if I can find a person to help build I will get another), two rolls of barbed wire, nails, polynetting bird netting, six inch staples, and .6 mil moisture barrier.  I think I got everything from the supplies list except for spider lathe. On the side I am going to berm, do I not need the spider lathe, is that only for where it will be mortared? What am I missing?
Even if we have to dig each part of the trench by hand and fill the bags by hand my kids are so terrified of tornadoes that we will find a way to get a basic storm shelter up, I just need to make sure I'm doing the right thing and all our effort will result in a safe, dry, secure shelter.
9 months ago

Rufus Laggren wrote:Gail

Sounds like you're pretty familiar with your territory and country practices. I'll be betting on You. <g>

It's hard to tell how much somebody knows when one responds to questions. Until more info is flowing, I error on the side of stodgy nit picking conservative safety blurbs. When something happens it happens instantly and usually without the slightest hint or warning. It can be as simple and ordinary as slipping on a dog's toy while using a power tool or catching the power cord of the saw (if it's a corded type) in a way the throws you hand off. You never know, you never will know, until it's over and sometimes not then. Safety is about doing things in a way that even when "stuff"  happens, you end up all in one piece. It's a life style.

+10 on the locked elbow using a chain saw. That applies to a other power tools as well. The classic circular saw disaster is when the saw catches when cutting ply wood or ripping a long board, jumps the cut and runs back along the work piece toward the user and sometimes right up their leg or into their lap.  A locked elbow can be your friend in a lot of situations where you DON"T want that machine to touch you.

> ladders
Ladders are considered dangerous tools because they put people up where they can fall and if unlucky break something critical. I didn't mean you were on a ladder using a chain saw. Never crossed my mind. _That_ is seriously perilous. Many professionals cut trees while hanging on a limb or a ladder, but they don't do it alone and it's the pinnacle of a wild and woolly trade. And it's only done by people the boss decides, after seeing them work for some time, won't cause him problems by getting hurt, hurting others or damaging equipment. IOW, it's a special place where very few belong.  


Aside form the past four almost five years of being single I've always lived in the country. I've found a neighbor who will help me when cutting the trees! They said they will help cut some and be willing to hang out while I'm cutting trees too. So that way I won't be cutting stuff on my own. Okay I must have read the ladder comment wrong, lol.
9 months ago

leila hamaya wrote:here's some info on Dead Hedges / living hedges-->

Dead Hedge images

food forest dead hedge thread

building a dead hedge; how it'll be magically (naturally) transformed into a hugelultur hedgerow

Thank you for the informative threads. I am hoping one of them will be my solution to fencing our temporary garden area. I may opt to use deer 'netting' wrapped around trees on the perimeter of the garden until I get something better worked out. I really want to put all the brambles and branches I'm cutting to some type of use.
9 months ago

Juniper Zen wrote:Dog person here:
If the dogs are already adept at going over a 4’ fence, a 6’ fence may not hold them. People can inadvertently train their dogs to climb/jump higher and higher fences by only raising it 1-2 feet at a time. To truly be secure, their holding area should have a chain link or solid roof, without any gaps for the dogs to squeeze through between the walls and roof. AND a solid bottom or buried walls to keep them from digging out. You may be able to get away with skipping the roof if you raise the walls to 6’ and then add one of those toppers that leans in toward the dogs, so they can’t get good purchase as they clamber over. Coyote rollers are also effective for some dogs, but no guarantees, and again you risk just reaching them to be more skilled climbers/jumpers.

I’ll second the above poster to say that you shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking of these dogs as “killer pit bulls.” There are good and bad dogs of every breed. Their current bad reputation is caused by media sensationalism, which causes people who want “intimidating” dogs to get poorly bred pits and not raise them properly, which adds to more media sensationalism, etc. In past decades other breeds suffered from the same stigma - Rottweilers and German Shepherds, for example. Not to downplay your specific situation, because obviously THESE pits are dangerous, but don’t assume that they all are.

I can’t comment much on building a secure goat shelter as my experience is with keeping dogs contained rather than out, except that the same principles would work - chain link or solid fence, secure roof, buried wire. I don’t know about the right spacing for electric wire, but I agree that you would want to make sure that it is a STRONG current. Dogs with serious aggression or predatory instinct will blast right through what is typically used as underground electric fencing in people’s yards.

Numerous neighbors have said they have seen these dogs running loose right before or after finding their livestock killed, so yeah these dogs are killer pitbulls and need to be contained. These specific dogs should be kept somewhere where there are not different types of animals and where they can be kept locked up in a pen that they can not escape. Now I am feeling like instead of trying to help fix their fence I need to focus on making my goats safer. They are registered kinder goats from show lines and I will sue the owners of any dog that harms them. Like there is no way I could afford to replace these goats with as high quality animals in the future after all I'm investing in them. I'm pretty sure I will try to make a very sturdy indoor area for them, maybe even with a floor of some type so nothing can dig in to get them at night (oh yeah and to protect the ducks too). I'm just not sure about what to do for a fenced in pen as I think woven wire is best for goats that climb but welded wire is best for dogs. I suppose I could make a log fence with the logs going vertically so nothing can climb on them then use wire on the bottom, but I'm worried about the impact of walking on wire on their hoofs? Until something is done about the dogs I would like to have a way to let the goats have some 'freedom' and not have to be in a shed with no light and air during the day if I'm off the property.

Trace Oswald wrote:This isn't a great situation to be in.  I can tell you this.  I raised "pitbulls" for many, many years.  Remember, above all else, they are still just dogs.  People that haven't been exposed to them seem to impart almost supernatural abilities to these dogs, mostly due to the media. That isn't to say they can't be dangerous.  Any pack of dogs can be dangerous, and a pack of strong athletic dogs can be very dangerous indeed.  My point is just that you don't need to build Ft Knox to keep them out.  I kept my dogs in a kennel with a 6 foot chain link fence and never had one get out.  As far as your own enclosure goes, a 6 foot fence should be all you need, but some dogs can and do dig.  To be extra sure, you could run a single strand of electric wire a foot or so above the ground.  If it is powered by a horse charger and not one of those cheap pet store ones, one zap is all it will take.  

Another thing I would do, and diligently, is call animal control every single time you see one of their dogs outside their area.  If they have attacked animals before, it's hard to believe nothing has been done about it yet, and if they attacked a person, some action would surely have been taken.  A person that owns a "pitbull" that mauls someone is in very deep water.  They will almost surely be sued and the dog put down.  If that didn't happen, I think someone is exaggerating the stories to you.  People that owns dogs like that are often the type that think "killer dogs" are impressive and love to talk about how "bad" their dogs are.  They give a very bad name to all the responsible APBT dogs and their owners.  As I said, I raised them for more than 30 years and I've never had one bite, or attempt to bite, a person.  Mine weren't even good watch dogs, because they pretty much just loved everyone.  I have had some that were dog aggressive, but I had other breeds that were just as much, or more so.  Lots of dogs simply don't like dogs they don't know.  Regardless of any of that, I would call the local law enforcement agencies any time they were not fully under the control of the owners, and I would talk to all the other neighbors about doing the same.

It turns out another neighbor has a pit bull too. I must have walked by it over a dozen times and never noticed because it was always inside or in a pen. Yesterday it was running loose and ran up to my kids and boy did I overreact! I thought it was one of the ones that has supposedly attacked people and livestock etc. Luckily it's owner came running after it and I realized it wasn't one of the bad dogs. Later on I came back and apologized to the owner for yelling at their dog and pulling a gun on it (I don't think the guy even realized I was ready to shoot his dog if it tried biting my kid). The dog came right up to me and let me scratch it's face and pet it and stuff. I'm glad I now know that if I see that particular pit bull running loose it's not a vicious dog and who to bring it back to. Both the dog and the owner have completely different personalities than the pack of pitbulls the neighbors have been warning me about.
I think your comment about the dog that supposedly bit someone must be an exaggeration either that or the owners took their dog from the city and are hiding out at this place so their dog wouldn't get put to sleep and they wouldn't get sued etc. When I first stopped to talk to the guy with all the dogs in the pen, two of them let me pet them. That was before he warned me how vicious they were, I reached forward to the dogs who were sticking their heads through the fence. They seemed to not mind my reaching out to pet them but then the guy started yelling at them and saying how vicious they were. As if he were punishing the dogs for being friendly towards me at first.
My Anatolian mix does not like other dogs. He is very territorial and protective of my kids. He is a small Anatolian only about 110 lbs. I am worried that if the pack of six to eight dogs came at him he would get hurt. I'm sure he could fight off and maul two or even three of them like they were coyotes. But that big of a pack of vicious dogs is another story and I don't want our house pets to get hurt by trying to protect us.
I will talk to some of the neighbors about calling animal control on the dogs whenever they see them loose. I talked to three different neighbors yesterday and I think the general consensus is to triple 's' as soon as any of them are sighted running loose again.  

John Clayton wrote: Hi, my name is John and I live in Timberlake, NC. I'm looking to relocate soon, maybe early summer. I am a 45 year old single male with a very handsome, well mannered dog named Jack. I grew up on a 32 acre farm here in North Carolina. We raised Black Angus cattle, horses (Quarter and Tennessee Walkers), sheep, goats, etc... so I have plenty of experience with livestock. We also did a lot of growing so I know my way around tractors, plows, bush hogs, gardens and so on. I am a Army veteran. I served from 1992 to 2000 and again from 2004 to 2006. Right now I work for myself as a carpenter and am the care taker of an old farm for an elderly couple. However, I am ready to move on. There are a lot of reasons why I want to relocate, it's a very long, sad story and I won't bore you with it. I don't drink alcohol but I'm not against it in any way nor am I into drugs. I can give references to people who can back up my character if needed. Well, I'm not very good at this sort of thing so I hope I came across clear enough. Thanks.

Feel free to purple moosage me!
9 months ago

Mike Barkley wrote:Well, it's sure hard to grow vegetables in rocks. Three degrees isn't too steep so I think a small pump &/or kid power will work fine. I have an IBC that fills from a roof. It is below one part of my garden. The water in the IBC provides enough pressure to run about half of the tank of water uphill if needed. If you use a pump (or a roof) to keep the IBC full a garden hose can be attached & if the garden is reasonably close my guess is most of your tank could be used via a garden hose. That's more than a ton of weight per full tank.  

Yup, these Ozark hills are great at growing rocks! From the intense root systems of dew berries I am finding I am thinking the soil has some potential! I had not thought about the simplicity you discovered using the water pressure to make water flow! I am now thinking I need to devise a way to catch rainwater from the earthbag storm shelter I am planning!
9 months ago

Pearl Sutton wrote:My guess, based on the Berkey I run, is 99% odds you'd be ok filtering with it. If you can get the filtered water tested (ask local health dept who can do it) (or mail it someplace if you don't want locals knowing what you are doing) it would be MUCH safer. Odds are high, but not 100%. Testing might save you some serious misery. Be sure to put your toilet area well away from your water, failing that will kill you fast.


I am thinking of doing a composting toilet and having the compost pile on the opposite side of the pond and down hill from the pond so that any run off would not get into the pond. I wish I knew the history of how the pond got there and if it were man made or not. My bus also has grey and black water tanks, I am hoping to train my human kids to not use the black water tank/regular toilet but if it comes down to it I will be emptying that into a proper dump station or devising a way to carry the waste to the compost but that sounds almost too gross, even for me lol.
9 months ago

John Indaburgh wrote:Rather than counting on electric you might consider whether you can utilize a spring above your garden. You'd need a pipe driven in the ground that flows into a tank. This needs to be above the garden, if that's possible. You'll get two pounds of water pressure for each foot the tank is above the garden. That's called the head. There's a fitting that screws onto the end of steel pipe called a well point. The one time I tried this I got nothing. I wanted water for cattle that didn't need me hauling water and a supply for them that didn't freeze. I didn't use an expert or even an amateur effort with "divining rods". I drove the pipe in about 5 foot and couldn't get it farther in.

I have been praying I'd find a spring since buying this property, please feel free to join me in prayer. Any advice on finding a spring or shallow water table/vein?
9 months ago