Julie Reed

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since Jun 23, 2019
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Recent posts by Julie Reed

Melissa Bee wrote:
I would try dumpster-diving behind the nearest nurseries, home centers, or anywhere else that sells plants. Granted, this isn't going to help you right now, but as the year progresses lots of 4" starter edibles and ornamentals that don't survive will get tossed out. I've acquired so many 4" pots that way, I had to Freecycle a big stack of them last year.

If you live in an area that has any large commercial properties, like a hospital, office complex or senior home, as examples, they usually have professional landscaping done. If you can determine the day flowers are planted in the spring, the nursery people doing the work often toss all the containers. Very few big nurseries actually grow anything, they just maintain the plants they buy wholesale. So, they will never re-use those pots. I once got hundreds in one weekend, and still have quite a few of those after many years of use.
5 days ago
(I, too, googled the word ‘elderly’ and came across this, which I found amusing. Feel free to remove if it’s inappropriate!)

A man was working in his yard when he was startled by a late model car that came crashing through his hedge right into his front yard. He rushed to help an elderly lady driver out of the car and sat her down on a lawn chair.

He said with excitement, "You appear quite elderly to be driving."

"Well, yes, I am," she replied proudly. "I'll be 97 next month, and I am now old enough that I don't even need a driver's license anymore."

"You don't... need a driver's license anymore?!?"

"That's right...  The last time I went to my doctor, he examined me and asked if I had a driver's license.  I told him 'yes,' and handed it to him.  He took scissors out of the drawer, cut the license into pieces, and threw them in the waste basket, saying, 'You won't need this anymore.'
So I thanked him and left!”
1 week ago
I don’t quite remember the age my parents were when they began to seem like ‘old people’; probably their late 60s. But I do remember a period of a couple years, when they approached their late 70’s, that I began to see them as being elderly, because they were suddenly unable to do many of the common daily things they had previously done- lawn mowing, laundry, meal preparation, house cleaning. They hired 2 people, a young man to do the lawn and random maintenance chores around the property, and a woman to come in twice a week to do laundry and clean. They still made meals, but it was a lot more prepared foods and more eating out. Very little cooking from scratch. They both had health problems at that point- things like cancer and a heart bypass as well as the typical things like arthritis and vision loss. Happily neither ever developed senility or suffered long before dying, but at that period in time they definitely fit the description of ‘elderly’.
1 week ago
I can’t bring myself to buy anything plastic if at all possible, but will re-use plastic already in the system. For round containers I like the 24 oz yoghurt tubs that are about 4” diameter and 4” tall. For square, I use cardboard milk cartons- quart size is about 3” square and half gallon about 4”. What’s great about them is they are still nearly 8” tall with the top cut off, which allows for a deeper root system to develop. I don’t buy yoghurt or milk in containers, but know people who do, and can be persuaded to save them for me in exchange for plants or veggies later on. All of these get holes drilled into the side about 1/2” off the bottom, which assures water is always available in the base, which gets a layer of gravel. The yoghurt cups last several years, the milk cartons tend to get soggy and rot after 1 use. I have a short season so everything gets transplanted to a larger container at least once. I still have some root crowding, but it’s not as bad as what you’d get from a nursery. Tomatoes like to be transplanted deeper to develop more roots along the stem, so this is never a problem with them anyway.
I have experimented with soil blocking, which nicely eliminates root bound seedlings, but can be labor intensive because you have to be very aware of how quickly the soil at the perimeter dries out. I’ve also never seen a tool to make 4” blocks, though I’m sure one could be found or custom made.
1 week ago
My thought on this would be to make the garden a ‘land moat’, so you have the chickens in the very center, fenced in to keep them out of the garden. The ring of plants around the chickens acts as a buffer to keep the nitrogen from the chicken poop from leaching into the moat. Veggie scraps go into the middle to feed the birds, and waste comes out to fertilize the garden. If you had wood chip bedding and rotate the yard, the manure would cool off enough that it wouldn’t need to be composted. I’d still be inclined to fence the moat or the island, because water won’t keep predators out. You also have hawks to consider. Maybe a couple guard geese? As others have mentioned, solar floating pumps could water the garden if needed, though that may not be a problem if the moat raises the soil moisture. But if you have fish in the moat that water will contain nutrients.
Definitely sounds like a fun project to consider!
1 week ago
Ben Law have his general rule of thumb for his wood. He says that round timber is 50% stronger then the square milled wood you could get from it.

I have heard this before from other sources, but never any data to confirm it. Does he mention a source for that claim, or is it merely his opinion based on experience? 50% is a lot. It may be true, but I think it depends a lot on the species of wood, as well as how it is prepared and in what position it is used in the construction. As a quick example, I could mill a 4x4 from a straight 5.5” log. Was the 5.5” log 50% stronger? How does one determine that? Is the use vertical, sloped or horizontal? The end use matters the most.
It’s also not typical to use much square milled wood, other than vertical posts. Most construction is done with lumber that has a rectangular profile (2x4, 2x6, 3x12, etc). Horizontal members such as a header or joist bear the most loads at right angles to the fibers of the wood. So in a position where you may want, say, a 4x8 support beam, the 10” log it would take to mill that beam will easily be twice as strong, but that’s also because you could get 2 of those beams from that log (nominal lumber sizes. To get full 8” would need a 12” log for 2 beams). So it’s overkill for sure, but also a lot of extra resources and weight. On the other hand, it’s simpler to peel logs than to mill them.
I think you’ll be fine with round wood, especially with a 12/12 roof pitch.
Once again I find myself startled and pleased by the diversity of threads on permies! And reminded that I still need to affix his starchiness to my vehicle.
4 months ago
Glad you didn’t lose the house! Smoke damage sucks though, hard to remediate. You could probably find that manual online as a pdf? I know the gehl manual said bypass was only allowed 3 times before it would run the cycle regardless. I didn’t mind the idea of higher rpm, but it was the thought of it kicking in during a delicate operation that concerned me. When you’re extended 50’ in the air with a pallet weighing over a ton, and trying to move that load an inch at a time, a steady rpm, regardless of what that rpm is, makes things easier! I’m guessing sooner or later they will all go to def like vehicles have.
4 months ago
Eric, does your re-gen have a bypass button? I ran a gehl all terrain forklift about 5 years ago to help out someone who had rented it but wasn’t comfortable operating, and it had the re-gen but you could bypass with a switch. That was nice, because when you’re trying to feather hydraulics or crawl a few inches in gear, you don’t want an rpm surge! I’m not sure how long the bypass would delay purging, but it was at least handy in the moment, so you could complete an immediate task and then park it and let it cook off later.
4 months ago