What did you do to prepare today?

What did you do to prepare today?
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Elew
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Re: What did you do to prepare today?

#191 Post by Elew » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:19 am

I'm with Andy on the thieves and liars, and I may be small, but woe to those who cross me ;)

If it were me, and they were going to be neighbors...I would go knock on their door and say, hey...If you really need wood and cannot cut your own, then we can trade or something. I don't have time to cut your wood otherwise.

If they were pissy about it, and did it again, I would pointedly set up a target near the wood, and be sure to practice while they were home...(no need for words)

But then I would also do something nice, like when I made jam I would bring them some. People have a harder time stealing from people who are nice to them, but possibly homicidal///mwahaha...keep them slightly afraid, and endeared at the same time and they won't know what to do.

But really, they might have some skill that is super helpful...
Last edited by Elew on Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What did you do to prepare today?

#192 Post by Elew » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:55 am

So I've been stuck in Boulder the last couple days, because the roads home were closed with a foot + of snow. But I am home now :)

I'm happy to report, all of the plants were fine, fed, watered, lights adjusted where needed. Nyai is really getting it now that he's had a few good meals made from them.

Tomorrow is designated bread day, so I think pita and rolls, and mushu pancakes...and maybe pumpkin muffins. Then mushu because we have a cabbage and mushrooms to use, so I will make it and freeze some...and the basil has exploded, so making pesto too. Pesto keeps in the fridge or freezer. Also sunday night is yogurt night now...we start it at about 7, then by 8 it can sleep and it will be ready to drain in the morning...

I think Wed might be pasta and cracker day, because I use the roller for both
Mondays and Thursdays are kindof milk days, I start the nuts soaking the night before.

So I guess this is what I am doing this week...getting myself on a make it all yourself schedule so it becomes a routine that is second nature.

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Re: What did you do to prepare today?

#193 Post by dirtmurphy » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:32 pm

It's great to have you back Elew! Finally the gang's all here :D
I've been taking it fairly easy the past couple of days. I'm reading The Chilling Stars by Svensmark and You Can Farm by Joel Salatin.
I'm also reading about soap making. All of this wood ash needs to be used, so why not make lye soap?

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Re: What did you do to prepare today?

#194 Post by Kink » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:07 pm

Actually found out it's the property owned by a good neighbor couple that are friends. I told her what happened and she thought it was all fenced off lol, now wants to fence it off and was seriously pissed off, would be nice.

Had to macgyver fix the wheelbarrow this morning since the stands rusted off, managed to fell a decent sized tree right as last nights snow storm hit and I was running for my logs that had to be at least 40+lbs each. Also started work on the solar cooker. Drilled out the bolts on the hinges to the glass door and the spring loaded clamps so I could remove the reflective aluminum then reinstalled them both. Plan I have in my head is for the hood and 1/8"" thick tempered glass door to act as a basin, especially since it's already completely sealed w/ gaskets + painted black for heat absorption/retention, and since it has 2, 6" openings on each side, I may be able to drill a hole on the bottom to put poles through on each side for a stand to get it higher off the ground away from snow/weather. Then insulate bottom/sides of the basin and then build a box around it with some plywood.

Only pic I grabbed from yesterday of the tree I felled before the storm, still no idea how to identify trees but I think this is maple.
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I also made an Imgur gallery of my progress so far on the Solar Cooker :D.

Off to chop some firewood, keep it prepping or in Andy's case, keep it relaxed/chill :mrgreen:

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Re: What did you do to prepare today?

#195 Post by Elew » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:31 pm

Kink, that is great news on the neighbor...and Nooooo...not the Maples!! :O they are food trees and take a long time to grow. If you have maples and get set up, you could be making syrup every year, never have to buy sugar again...and bring in some extra money. Syrup is so easy to do. You can get books and things to help you identify plants and trees, and with selective thinning and planting could create a food forest. ;)

Andy...you are good! Nee-aye would be the proper way, but we say Ner-eye more or less.
You like my passive aggressive techniques huh? :) It can be fun sometimes

It's good to be back Dirt, a little closer to our norm. I think the lye drip trough plans and soap making are all in the first Foxfire book too...very detailed. It could be book 4 though, so don't quote me on it. There is so much in those books. I need to get a new set and keep it this time. I've had about 4 sets over the years and then move, or give them to someone.

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Re: What did you do to prepare today?

#196 Post by Kink » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:44 pm

Elew wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:31 pm
Kink, that is great news on the neighbor...and Nooooo...not the Maples!! :O
Thank you for the heads up :o. I'm trying to get a large variety of woods so I can experiment on which burns hotter/the longest. I heard hardwoods are good for that so have been trying to find maple/oak/ash trees. Also I've read that the good thing about hardwoods is that you don't kill them, when you cut them in winter time, it promotes regeneration in the tree itself and come spring will start to produce new shoots :) . But still gonna avoid the maples now, I'd like to try harvesting sap sometime

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Re: What did you do to prepare today?

#197 Post by Elew » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:53 pm

Kink wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:44 pm

Thank you for the heads up :o. I'm trying to get a large variety of woods so I can experiment on which burns hotter/the longest. I heard hardwoods are good for that so have been trying to find maple/oak/ash trees. Also I've read that the good thing about hardwoods is that you don't kill them, when you cut them in winter time, it promotes regeneration in the tree itself and come spring will start to produce new shoots :) . But still gonna avoid the maples now, I'd like to try harvesting sap sometime
You are very welcome...Preppernurse has some good videos on tapping and making syrup


When we lived in Montana and only had a wood stove, we learned that Cherry burns the longest and hottest (but it is so pretty I kept taking pieces to carve and make stuff with)...Oak is next best, and then we would mix in some pine because that burns fast and hot so you are not waiting around fussing with it. So start with pine, or another soft wood that is rough split so there are fibers to catch easily...then once you have nice coals, toss in a hard wood.
Also cooking on the wood stove, you can add in wood that burns long and cool, like Hickory, so you have a nice long lasting low flame, Hickory often just burns like coal with barely a flame at all. (and it smells nice)
At night, I would put a hickory in the bottom, then two cherry on top, make sure I saw them catch...then tamp it down for a slow burn. We would be nice and warm all night, and there would still be coals in the morning. Toss in a pine, insta flames...then push it aside to clear the ash, and add whatever wood we needed. you get it I'm sure

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Re: What did you do to prepare today?

#198 Post by dirtmurphy » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:03 am

If I may pile on here, let me tell you my strategy for getting wood here in the city. I listen for chainsaws in the neighborhood, then talk to the tree crew. Most of the time they will deliver the tree to my house for free. The most they've ever asked is $25. I've had an oak and a cherry delivered. What doesn't get used for mushroom production gets used for soil building and firewood.
Here's the thing about trees. A lot of them are valuable food sources. There's the maple of course. Walnut can also be tapped for syrup. Wild cherry can be used as both a food source (I make jelly with it) and a very effective cough medicine. Oak and hickory are good nut trees. They take quite a while to bear food so I try to leave live trees standing whenever possible. If someone else cuts down a live hardwood, I'll gladly use it primarily for food production.
I grew up on 50 acres of woods. We only heated with wood but we never cut down a healthy tree for firewood. We only used deadfalls and storm-damaged trees for that.

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Re: What did you do to prepare today?

#199 Post by Elew » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:05 am

Basics on Cherry trees... https://www.almanac.com/plant/cherries

It takes 2 good sized cherry trees to get through one winter if the wood is burned well. Once planted they fruit within 2 to 4 years...and are ready for wood in 6 to 10 years. So to grow them for fruit and wood...plant at least 2 per year. In 6 years you will have more cherries than you know what to do with, and can harvest to sell. And then in 8 years, you are ready to cut the first 2 for wood. From then on you will have the best wood every winter.

Hickory is another monster. They are centurions as teens, and live forever. It takes them 40 years to mature enough to produce nuts. We Never cut down a hickory tree unless there is no other choice. Instead we prune it and use the wood, chip a small branch to burn green to smoke meats. Collect deadfall branches etc...depending on where one lives, there might be old hickory trees nearby that need attention.

Oak trees are also centurions, so again we try not to cut them down unless they are only grown for wood. The can produce nuts in 20 to 30 years, and reach peak at 50 years. Like the Cherry trees though, if one plants 3 oak trees per year (northern red oak grows the fastest), then in 6 to 10 years they will be big enough to cut for wood, and with 3 oaks, 2-3 cherry and some pine every year, the wood will be sustainable.

Ash, another centurion, take 16 to 60 years to reach maturity. So if grown for wood, it will be a decent size in 10 years. Maybe plant 4 per year so there will be enough to burn through the winter.

Poplar grows Super fast, like over 10-15 ft a year, and once seasoned is a great fast hot burn.

Aspen (if they will grow in the area) will be 15 + feet in a few years. Not the best to burn, but it will make a lower temp fire.

Red Maple, does grow fast...so planting 6 or so per year for wood would be sustainable. They will get to 15 ft or so in 3 years...but will still be fairly skinny. Any older ones should be left to mature, because they need to be at least 40 years old to tap...and they will live for hundreds of years.

So there are some trees...

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Re: What did you do to prepare today?

#200 Post by Kink » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:47 pm

Wow okay I need to be extra cautious from now on then, and like Murphy said to always prefer dead standing trees than live ones when harvesting hardwood. Since I live in a small town, only time I hear chainsaws are typically neighbors but I bet I have a good chance during the summer to hear companies and try to ask them. Will be writing down notes later of what you guys said as it's priceless info.

And yeah good point Andy, I take for granted living so close to woods and having wonderful neighbors. My one neighbor gave me $20 this morning for moving his felled dead pine tree logs for him, and he asked about all the firewood and I explained the GSM to him and he seemed to believe it as his eyes started to bug out of his head when I told him about it being a 400 year solar cycle and the last being in the maunder minimum in the 1600s. Told him this firewood is for us (neighbors) when the time comes.

Could any of you say for sure what type of tree this was? Uploaded some pictures to an album here, can get more when I get home of the branches, etc. I only was guessing maple but it could even be black cherry looking up pictures of that on google, it is definitely hardwood as it was the first wood that gave me any trouble splitting without proper form.

Lesson today was when building a crib against a slanted hill, prop up the front of the blocks/whatever you're sitting the wood on so it doesn't fall over :lol:
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Shoved some thin pieces of would between the side posts so they're steady and leveled out the front with a couple pieces of wood, also split and stacked some more this morning before heading out, still got a few big logs from that tree to split later.
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As far as the solar cooker still sitting on how I want to go about insulating it. I really like this design that I found since it's slanted, and like I said before I could make holes inches apart into the side 6" openings so I can change the angle of it.
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