Charles Rehoboth

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since Jul 10, 2020
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Recent posts by Charles Rehoboth

Davis Tyler wrote:where are you guys finding ethanol-free gas for $4 a gallon?!

around here they want $23.25 per gallon for ethanol-free gasoline:

I would gladly pay $4 to avoid cleaning carburetors, but $23.25 is absurd

No affiliation, other than that it helped me find a source about half as far from the farm as the one I'd been using.
1 week ago
Thanks, everyone.


The bioassay is not looking encouraging. Eight beans sprouted in the pots with plain dirt, only 2 sprouted in the dirt/manure mix, and one of those two seems to have kinda stalled. Also there are numerous little weeds in the plain dirt, and none in the manure mix.

I went out to the pile in the field, out of curiosity as to whether it would be killing the weeds near it. It hasn't (and in fact, 2 dandelions are growing up through it) but perhaps it hasn't reached the roots yet.

I may end up redoing the bioassay because the pots had sat outside in cold-ish weather for a few weeks before I brought them in -- though clearly that didn't harm the seeds in the plain dirt.

Starting to get a bad feeling I'm going to have to ask the horse stable owner to take the stuff back. Bunch of work to load it back in the truck and drive it back down there, but at least then it's off the farm.
1 week ago
OP has probably dealt with the situation by now, but just to write it down for folks who have this question in the future:

- first and foremost: YES to ethanol-free gas! There are a few search engines to find it. Ethanol gas is like the sworn enemy of 2 stroke engines.

- $10-15 replacement carbs have actually worked decently for me. They won't hold a tune all that well, but you get to a point where you can throw a tune on it in five minutes.
- China engine rebuild kits are of variable quality (inspect the pieces when you get them, 1st cylinder they sent had a huge casting flaw but the 2nd was nice) but the one in my Stihl chainsaw has been going strong for years. Build philosophy is different from ours, it will run like complete garbage for the first tank of gas while the parts bed in. I was at the point of giving up when I realized it was starting to make a LOT more power! That's when the parts figured out how to work as a team, and the primitive cylinder ring wore itself into place. It's been a beast ever since.
- Do expect you'll have to improvise small stuff if you go this route. They sent an 026 pro cylinder for 026, I don't have a top plastic that works with the decomp port that an 026 doesn't need anyway. (026 pro has a decompression port to make it easier to crank over) You do need the plastic, it guides air so the engine won't overheat. What to do? Trimmed an appropriate sized bolt, Teflon tape, cinched down just enough (remember: aluminum block), good to go.
- Ditto on no mounting studs for the plastic. Make studs from bolts: the ghetto way is to double-nut them as though you were taking out a stud, then put one more nut between the double nut and the bolt head. Tighten bottom 2 nuts against each other so you have something to pull against with your wrench, then trim to appropriate length and use the 3rd nut to straighten out the threads enough.
- If you order stuff from China, best plan is to set the equipment aside and try to forget that you ordered it. It will take weeks, if not a month or two, to arrive and that's especially true now that the trade routes are down.

I didn't want to go the China route, but I had already used up some American parts attempting to save the existing cylinder and the budget for repairing that saw was done. The China parts made the difference between throwing it away and having a working saw.
1 week ago

Jack Edmondson wrote: What I found in doing this was I would spend a bunch of money on carb cleaner or other nasty solvents.  Spend an full day cleaning and 'getting it right', so it would not surge or stumble.  Get nasty carcinogens all over me, waste a day, and sometimes have to go back and do it again.  Then I discovered for about the same money I could order a new carb online and slap it on.  Problem solved.

You do have a point about how cheap carbs are these days. Under $15 for most equipment we have. Considering that rebuilding those tiny carbs is something I don't seem to do well with, I'm glad for that.
1 month ago

Janet Reed wrote:Gasoline has a ton of additives now.  They do not hold up in storage.  As stated above Stabil works great.  My husband has drilled this into me.  We empty everything that doesn’t get used; chainsaws, mowers and use Stabil.  Never have a problem.

Yes, the problem is specifically gasohol (gas/ethanol mix) which is commonly sold everywhere. You can get ethanol-free gas, although you have to look for it (can search on the web for ethanol free gas, there are a few sites with listings of gas stations that sell it) ... and have to pay somewhat more per gallon, on the order of $4.xx per gallon. (But how many gallons will you actually put through the chain saw in a year?)

Anything that uses mix (most chainsaws, small mowers, weed wackers etc) will have the oil come out of the mix, basically running the engine on straight gas. Even if you avoid this (by diligently only using freshly mixed fuel) the gasohol is still very hard on the carburetors.
1 month ago

Troy Docimo wrote:I didnt put in any real research and minimal prep work (some had some mulch, or miracle grow etc...).

Not to beat you up, but I think you've identified a pretty big part of the problem.

Researching what plants will grow where you live, and where on your land you want to put them, pays off. Do you have walnuts (etc) that apples, for example, won't tolerate? We have oodles of black walnuts, so cherries go near them instead. Cherries don't mind the juglone the walnuts produce. How much sun does each area get?

Prep work: we dug much larger holes than the root system itself needed, broke up the soil, added some pine bark and rock phosphate, mixed it around, planted the bare root tree and watered it in very well (gave it a big drink after planting). Then about 1" per week of water. I would have added compost if I'd had access to any when we did it.

Keep an eye on what's eating your trees. Does Bambi see them as a tasty treat? Build a tree guard around them. Are ants endlessly climbing up and down them, showing that you have an aphid problem? Use sticky stuff on a piece of impermeable material (not directly on the bark) wrapped around the trunk. Aphids won't live without the ants and the ants can't get to them. Etc, etc.

Is there anything "Generally" i can do to limit/deter or protect from disease, fungus and/or insects....either to the soil before i plant? or after the trees have been planted?

Healthy soil and appropriate amounts of water help the trees to be healthy, which reduces their susceptibility in general. Beyond that, paying close attention to them and figuring out what's going after a given tree at a given time is very helpful.
1 month ago
Hey, quick question.

The truckload of horse manure I picked up this morning was not as aged as it was advertised to be. (It was, however, as free as it was advertised to be. =) How big a chance am I taking by just tilling it into the field where I want to do garlic and shallots? Should I bioassay first to make sure it's free of herbicides, or does that danger get overhyped?

Thanks in advance!
1 month ago
We ordered 15 bare-root fruit trees from Fedco this spring and were happy with all of them. Not all of them made it, but every last one broke dormancy and I blame myself for the few that failed. We put in 7 apple, 3 pear, 3 cherry and 2 peach. Also ordered 3 elderberry, which I regret because they're apparently unbelievably easy to propagate and a local park has no end of elderberry plants. I should have just propagated elderberries from those, but it's not Fedco's fault that I ordered them.

Been happy with the customer service both from Fedco and from One Green World. We bought currants from OGW and they did fine. Both Fedco and OGW were quick to remedy when there had been any issue and didn't give me a hard time about it, which I appreciate.

Other berry plants came from Indiana Berry and Nourse Farms, and likewise I've been happy with both experiences.
1 month ago

Mike Haasl wrote:I think it depends upon your goals.  I don't think you could grow much there from mid fall through mid spring due to shade.  Unless you remove a lot of trees.  Or have lots of grow lights.  The shade also cuts down on the passive solar element so it won't collect as much heat as it could.

Arg. Well, I'd rather hear it honestly than build it and find that it doesn't work.

Just to be clear, when you mention removing a lot of trees, you don't just mean the closer-in ones, right? I'd be fine with removing them if that would help -- but getting a clear line to the horizon isn't feasible there.

There is enough clear land here that if grow lights would be needed there, it's just not the right location.

Kenneth Elwell wrote:Charles, If your place is truly a farm (an agricultural business) there may be exemptions carved out vis-a-vis land use, animals, construction of agricultural structures. Having a hobby farm in a residential setting you run into residential zoning/permitting rules.
It's also too bad that the old barn is completely gone. Often having a structure to "repair" or "remodel" is looked at differently than "new construction". Not sure if just a foundation counts.

You could also take a step North, and put the greenhouse above the wall (mostly) and have the space below the wall be the cold sink. Maybe with a solid roof (or like a berm shed) it cold double as a root cellar?
The wall would be in the center of the structure, sort of a split-level thing, with a narrow opening over the top of the wall joining the two spaces.

The goal is for it to be a true farm, not necessarily the only source of income for the family but a place where we would grow more food than we can eat, so that we can sell crops. We are not there yet, of course, but that is the goal. Being a farm does get us certain privileges in the process, you're right, although the main thing it would probably gain us with this specific question is a friendlier response if asking for a variance. It helps that all of the places I'm considering for the greenhouse are far from the property line, and it seems like much of what the zoning board deals with involves people debating exactly how close things should be to their own property. Here, it's 100+ feet away and the adjoining things in that area aren't houses anyway.

Having two technically separate buildings is a very interesting idea and one that might actually help with zoning, though. Maximum height was going to be a problem, because of how it defines height (basically from highest point to lowest point above ground). I think that part is a little silly (since it would essentially also define the farmhouse's basement as its first floor), but they didn't ask me =)

... And using the cold sink as a root cellar, that's a neat idea.

John C Daley wrote:Will the stone wall remnants constitute as enough parts of the barn to repair it?

The zoning folks are actually more flexible than I'd feared they would be, but no, I don't think enough is left that they'd call it a repair.
3 months ago
And this one is with my back to the foundation, looking to the right.

So there's plenty of smaller stuff that should probably be cleared, and I'm fine with that. I'd like not to clear out too much of the larger stuff in the forest, though. Apart from being a really beautiful part of the ecosystem, it's the hunting perch for the hawks and owls that prevent the bunnies and rodents from completely overrunning the place.
3 months ago