John Young

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since Sep 30, 2020
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Recent posts by John Young

So I repotted the chestnut trees today, as I had predicted the tap roots had already hit the bottom of the yogurt containers. I made my own containers out of sections of Sch40 PVC with removable rubber end caps (Ferncos) to form some 18" tall "pots." That should give the tap roots room to grow until spring. I tried to get the tap root going down as I repotted the plants. I plan to reuse these containers for tree starting in the future, they should last a very very long time.
1 day ago
What are you doing with the land afterwards? Do I understand the trees are 6 to 10 inches tall, or were you referring to feet or trunk diameters?
1 day ago
I have used mistinted paint as a temporary water shedding but vapor permeable coating. But that had a large overhang on it. My concern would be shedding bulk water but allowing any that leaked past to dry back out, which typically means something permeable to water vapor or installed with an airspace/ gaps. If the structure doesn't have a real roof yet, I wouldn't personally put it outside.
2 days ago
The Chestnuts in the windowsill continue to shoot up faster than I anticipated. The tallest shoots are already 6" high. My current plan is to buy some caps that will fit on a 4” pvc pipe to create some extra tall nursery pots, as I am sure the tap root has already hit the bottom of these yogurt containers.

I was able to finish mulching the initial 26 pecans that I planted in the woods yesterday.

I continue to plod along with my cleanup activities in the spot that is to become the pecan “orchard.”
3 days ago
Edit: I completely misread hazelnuts as chestnuts, ignore me.
4 days ago

Beautiful photo, nice place you got there. I am glad you hear you are having less worry, that is always good. Your plans seem very reasonable, one suggestion I would have is to make sure your deep well has a sufficiently sized and functioning bladder tank. Well pumps kicking on and off because the bladder tank is way to small or has failed can cause pumps to fail or break of debris that constantly clogs filters.
4 days ago
I am finishing up some of the clearing work in the location where my pecan “orchard” is going. While most of the site being an old field was clear, there were some trees just above the field, mainly smaller or damaged ones, that had to go which are now cut and drying to be processed into biochar.  Basically, the trees I was not willing to remove define the borders on two sides of the “orchard” with a ditch on the bottom and the property line on the east side.

My current plan is to space the trees 45 foot north to south, which is along a south facing hill. The trees will have 60’ clear east to west, which is from the property line to existing tree canopies. I can fit about 8 pecan trees at this spacing.

The soil in this area needs some work. Like most of my soil, it is mostly clay devoid of any life or nutrients. My strategy is to heavily amend around the trees initially to buy some time, and build up the rest of the soil over time.

My current plan is to:
run the subsoiler on the entire area to the extent possible to bust up compaction,
attempt to pull out the stumps and cut the stubborn ones flush,
re-subsoil and heavily amend the soil in the area directly around the trees (3’-4’) with some better topsoil or amendments prior to planting,
mulch the same area around the trees heavily with wood chips after planting,
plant annual ryegrass and crimson clover on the remaining portion of the orchard with intention of building that soil up over time.

Over time I would plan to chip and drop the cover crops, gradually add amendments to that area, and increase the wood chip perimeter around the trees yearly. This plan is because I don't have enough amendments to amend the entire area yet and if I don't amend at least some of the soil I am fairly confident the trees will not thrive/survive.

4 days ago
As an update the project is not dead, I just shifted gears to getting my process wood ready. Since the feed stock needed to be well dried before processing I have been cutting and stacking wood, as a byproduct of some left over pieces and new clearing for a small pecan orchard I am putting in. I now have about 8 ricks of wood drying under cover, and I have more to go. I plan to split the wood before processing, to reduce the size of the pieces.

I have had some time to reflect on my design, a welcome change from “rushing”. To improve the efficiency of the unit, I now plan to wrap the exhaust around the upper part of the retort charcoal chamber, instead of only heating from the bottom. I still plan to add insulation to the unit, but without the additional heat transfer of a wrapped exhaust I fear the retort would not be able to self-fire once gasification starts.

This will set me back a bit on the project, as I will have to redo the cladding work, but such is life. I moved the unit back close to my garage today to begin working on the exhaust changes.
4 days ago
Is your tree a trifoliate orange by chance?  (Oranges are smaller, very cold hardy, lots of seeds, and fit your taste/juice description.)
6 days ago

I forgot some of your questions when I replied.

Fence chargers don't typically have a internal circuit breaker, except that they are designed to only store a certain amount of power (labeled in Joules) and don't build any more. Some put lightning arrestors on them externally some of which can be thought of like a fuse. If hit by lightning the small size of the internal fence charger parts acts like a fuse in that it goes pop and releases the magic smoke that makes the charger work, this may not protect your house wiring from damage.

---nobody do anything below under any circumstances---

A "ground" is more of a safety concept than a necessity in house wiring, old houses in the USA did not have any grounds. Houses are alternating current, not direct current. You can theoretically remove all your grounds and everything will still work, but this is not considered safe so do not do this. In the USA houses get two legs of a 120v AC circuit that are 180 degrees out of sync, and they have a center neutral. Most people ground the neutral.

Theoretically, you can ground any one point (leg 1, leg 2, neutral) and this still works, unless someone else already grounded a different point (like the utility company or a neighbor on the same transformer) that would be bad. You could also not ground anything. If you ground one of the legs, the neutral will now shock you and the second leg will shock you even harder. Don't do this ever.
1 week ago