Dale Hodgins

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since Jul 28, 2011
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Recent posts by Dale Hodgins

I think it depends on the setting. I have only known one person who seems to dress like a pirate. It was my daughters drama teacher. She was over the top in many ways, and we were accustomed to it. If I got on a jumbo jet and the pilot showed up in a pirate suit, this might give me pause.

I've had many situations where people showed up for work, in clothing that didn't make sense for safety reasons.
2 hours ago
Noticing the hollow nature of sunflower stalks, my brother thought this would be an ideal way to make a cigar. He stuffed it with various flammable dried things and smoked it until it burned his mouth. He was about 11.
2 hours ago
I hadn't heard of that organization before. I  intend to visit many well run farms, some belonging to charitable organizations. But I doubt if I would ever partner with anyone.  

There are organic farms,  large and small, some that I don't consider organic or sustainable. We will visit several.

I will check out those plants. My wife is keen to produce cut flowers for the market.  Many perennial bushes and trees that produce continuously will line our roadway. I think flowers will produce more income per unit of labor, than food crops.

How much azolla were you harvesting? Did it make up a substantial percentage of the rabbits diet?
This scrawny little arrangement was 50 cents at the market. A worker could assemble hundreds of those in a day.
19 hours ago
Cannibalism. I didn't think it would come to that.😐...  Oh, you mean eat the horses.  Yes, they are much bigger.

Carla's place gives her family what they need,  without taking productive land out of service.

This is a big criteria for me in the Philippines. There are 105 million people in a small, mountainous country.  I'm not shopping for top quality bottom land, that already feeds 50 people and provides several jobs. I want some of the millions of acres of scrubland,  that used to provide food,  before the owners gave up and  headed to the city, in pursuit of other dreams. My presence,  will increase the food supply and increase employment locally.

I won't buy land that contains a squatter family, unless we can find a way to accommodate them, with a higher standard of living than they were managing on their own.  
20 hours ago
I've invented a new word. Horse desert. During my first month or so, on permies in 2011, I suggested that we need to get rid of farm status for horses unless they are draft animals used in the production of food. I was almost tared  and feathered by our own members.

I still contend that they are recreational devices. When they are driven around in air-conditioned trailers by huge behemoths, and their feed is imported from Alberta, these animals used much more fuel than would be used by a four-wheeler quad, which I believe is a recreational device.

I like horses. I don't understand why one person needs to have eight of them, if they aren't running a Riding Academy or other such business. I don't like what they do to farmland or runoff water when stocked at alarming rates.

But the main thing I don't like is that it's completely ruins the economics for buying land near many cities, because the amount people are willing to pay for horse land, is not reflected in how much money a person could make off that land growing anything useful. It's a huge driver of inflation. One time, me and my dad did a calculation concerning the value of some land where horses were very prevalent, and how much money could be earned running cattle on that land. We figured that you could pay for the land in somewhere between 800 and 1000 years, running cattle. I don't know if we figured in taxes. This was dry scrubland not suitable to any crop that I know of, but close enough to Vancouver, for prices to be horse driven.

If I had unlimited wealth, and a tendency towards masochism, I would find a girlfriend who wants to have lots and lots of horses, but who has no money of her own. I know one fellow who has done this.😨

Why do you have that bucket of tar on the fire?
1 day ago
We ate several types of squash, but there's no way for me to know how it was grown. They are very good and the entire rind is edible.

With most crops, I will try to market them as human food first, and feed pigs all of the substandard stuff and the vines. Squash is typically about $0.40 a pound. I saw it growing at one house, and there appeared to be about 15 on one plant.

Large amounts of bagasse, rice hulls, peanut hulls and other waste are available in certain places.
1 day ago
I think it's important to specify what it is you are trying to create. I have shown in my Dale's  3 Day Garden thread, that I can produce enough vegetables for 20 people on a quarter acre of land.

I want my new venture to be a commercial plantation with a dozen employees, surrounded by regenerating tropical forest. That takes a little more land.

Single family homestead or hobby farm, is really open to interpretation. I think lots of people could do it successfully on an acre of good land.

I prefer to see these smaller plots for most people who decide they want a hobby farm. That's because most parcels that I see between 1 to 5 acres, are pretty much taken out of food production, in favour of being more like a larger version of suburbia, with a horse and a couple goats. Some people just want space and a buffer from the outside world. Those are the ones I'd like to see build on scrubland. The Saanich Peninsula near Victoria has some of the best farmland in Canada. Much of it has been split into a little parcels that aren't farmed much. I think ideally, more people moving to the country, should mean more food production on the land they choose.
1 day ago
That's the important bit. Not becoming a financial slave to the property.

I used to have landlords who were always at odds, because the man wanted to build more and more and more, while his wife knew that they had more than enough space.

She said, "I think a person's property should serve them, but I feel like I'm serving this big house."

She served that big house until the day she died. 5600 square feet for two retired people who eventually both reached the physical point where they couldn't use the stairway that looked like it was meant for Scarlett O'Hara.
1 day ago
The hot tub with the roof cover is just a few steps away from this cabin which is also made from recycled material. The only major components that were purchased new, are the drywall, asphalt roofing and wood siding.

Every window, door, beam and all other framing materials were salvaged from demolished buildings.
1 day ago