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Donner MacRae

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since Jul 26, 2019
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North Central Idaho - Zone 6B/7A Average Rainfall: 27 inches
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Recent posts by Donner MacRae

Good enough! Thanks for clueing me in, guys =D

(As my next meal literally depends on it, I highly value the input!)

Only one (small) surprise when I changed the tanks - when I realized the inside of the nozzle was reverse-threaded (up til that moment I'd been trying to break torque the wrong way, hah). There's normally a plastic coupler there (which is missing from my gas line, for some reason). I guess if the plastic coupler was where it was supposed to be, one would connect tank-to-gas line by hand-turning the coupler clockwise (righty-tighty). Without a coupler, I ended up using a crescent wrench, and the connection was formed by going in reverse (counterclockwise/LEFTY-tighty).

Performed a leak-check on the new connection & regulator, no bubbles.

For those who might never have seen one, this video shows what a propane leak looks like:

3 days ago
Hi all,

Here's an Energy question which has foiled four consecutive customer support reps (1 from Amana, 1 from Whirlpool, and 2 from AmeriGas) so far this afternoon...cheers if anybody here knows the answer =]

We've recently purchased a new home. The home has a gas range which has been converted to propane. Due to the range being the only thing in the home that uses propane (and possibly also because we're too far out in the Styx to be worth anybody's time), none of the gas companies have been willing to sit a normal propane tank for us. Hence, we currently have an 'off-grid cabin'-type setup with the range being fueled by 20 or 30 lb. grill tanks.

I've seen folks on YT saying you should 'open the lines' in order to clear lingering gas before hooking up a new propane tank to a gas grill. This is done by turning the grill knobs without actually igniting the flame.

Is there an analogous procedure when putting a new grill tank in place for a propane-fueled range (keeping in mind that the range is inside the house, and that any gas so-cleared would be vented into the actual living space)?

Pro'ly over-worrying the matter - just coming at the situation as a newbie who's keen to understand all relevant safety protocols.
3 days ago
First, I just want to say THANK YOU to Wheaton Labs for making the Garden Master Course and associated goodies available - not only Paul Wheaton and Helen Atthowe, but also everyone who works on this extraordinary project (now and in the future) in less visible - but no less important - ways.

One question that I haven't seen addressed elsewhere: are there plans to offer a package deal that includes both the Garden Master Course and, say....the jumbo download from last year's course for offline study?

Tala Chebib wrote:Would love a good recommend for a compact folding knife!

A few that come to mind, based on your parameters:

Kershaw/Emerson CQC-4K
Kershaw Volt SS
Ruike P801

2 weeks ago
Greetings F,

"On a small scale, broad-forking could work, though perhaps using a spade to prise small V-shaped trenches on contour would be more effective – backfilling the trench with compost would further benefit silty/sandy soils."

Apologes for the delay, I've been ruminating on a couple of your suggestions...

The area I will be prepping come spring will probably be too big to use the prising & backfilling technique over all of it. However, you've made me believe it is worth the additional time and effort to do it over the areas that I eventually plan to convert to food trees.

As for the methodology, I think it might be easiest to lay the composted organic stuff down first, then lever the soil open with a broadfork until it (the compost) falls down into the cracks...if I have time, I may even make two passes over these areas to get an extra shot of OM into the soil and working right away.

Heck, now I'm excited. =]  Thanks for this idea!

"I have an urban backyard and a rural property and plan to do small keylines on the urban, keyline AND swales on the rural...haven't been able to do either yet as we're experiencing a severe drought (...) With the on-gong bushfires at least I won't need to use potash because it's falling from the sky!"

Are the fires upwind of your place, then? Yikes, I haven't had time to follow the news... All I can say is stay safe, brother. I know bush fires can move quickly in your kind of country when the wind picks up.
2 years ago
"If I'm guessing correctly, your silty loam would be like fine sand with organic matter holding it somewhat together?"

Texturally, this is a loamy soil with a high silt / low sand / moderate clay content. (It falls out at a ratio of roughly 70% silt - 10% sand - 20% clay.)
Ksat (i.e. speed at which water is able to permeate the soil) is projected by our USDA to be low-moderate (no perc or permeameter testing done yet).
Organic matter is roughly 3% within the top 12", but drops off quickly after that.

I don't think it's a sandy soil, per se - that would imply that it's a faster draining soil, no? From what I can piece together, it's more like a slowly-draining, dense, silty soil that (barely) falls within the parameters of a loam.

Building the organic matter (with as little disruption as possible) and improving drainage are two of my top priorities in the next few years. Down the road a piece, I'm hoping the irrigation guidelines you've posted for establishing & drought-hardening trees will prove applicable within my soil + climate situation.

[Edited for clarity]
2 years ago
Greetings R Scott,

Thanks for replying to this...pro'ly an oddball question.

I just keep thinking to myself that if broadforking frees up moisture to move between wet and dry areas, then (assuming the tine furrows left behind by this type of cultivation become the paths of least resistance) these should follow the Keyline for maximal effect.

The effect could well be too small to notice, of course (and would undoubtedly fade away as soil particles get moved around, etc.).

Anyway, Cheers!
2 years ago
Wow, F Agricola...great post. (And great news, too - for the past ten minutes, I've been wondering how I was gonna supply all those extra liters...)

"It's important to only do deep watering at the drip line of the tree (...) Though, it is dependent on soil type, we mostly have heavy red and grey clays with a very thin overlay of friable soil and leaf litter."

Would this also be the recommendation for silty loams with moderate clay content? (Do you happen to know?)

Many thanks
2 years ago
Did I misuse the term perennials? Oh....shoot. Well, I'm already aware that I don't know a whole lot...  How about my original question?
2 years ago
Hello to all,

First-time poster in the Rainwater Catchment forum - hope this thread is on-topic (or at least, I hope it's less off-topic here than it would be elsewhere).

After reading 'The Keyline Plan' by P. A. Yeomans recently, the impression I have of the Keyline system of water conservation is that it is mainly applicable to large, open tracts of land which are tilled or mechanically cultivated on an annual basis. (I.e., it wouldn't be possible to implement Keyline techniques within, say, polyculture guilds which are mainly composed of perennials.)

Okay, then, here's a question... Would broadforking the soil along Keyline contours in an open meadow-type environment help to equalize soil moisture levels between the wetter and drier areas (at least over the space of a single wet/rainy season)? I'm specifically thinking about silty loams which do not have much organic matter and have low Ksat/saturated hydraulic conductivity.
2 years ago