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Found one too same exact thing. It is really gross how the ass end squirms in circles. Yuck! Im gonna hatch it and see what happens. Email me at AndrewjAY707@GMAIL.COM IF YOU GOT ANY QUESTIONS.
Comment by andrewjay707 Wed Feb 10 18:03:54 2016
Also check out other zoning which may allow for tax breaks. If you own wooded land there may be tax options - upfront versus deferred, and use limitations which may result in opportunities for decreased taxes. Check out any other 'special use' tax reductions that might be possible.
Comment by Charity Wed Feb 10 17:43:10 2016

NaYan --- Our county does a tax break for retired and/or disabled people as well. Definitely worth looking into for folks who fit either category.

Doc --- Thinking ahead to how your property taxes will change over time is very smart, but I'd say hard to do! I guess if you're relatively close to a big city, you can assume the town will likely swallow you up in your lifetime. Hopefully we'll be spared.... :-)

Comment by anna Wed Feb 10 10:17:47 2016
Nayan --- The soil ebooks I'll be mentioning this year are all parts of the paperback that will come out this summer. You'll have to wait longer for delivery, but The Ultimate Guide to Soil is up for preorder now if you want to read on paper.
Comment by anna Wed Feb 10 10:15:50 2016
I'd love to get a copy of this but it apparently is only available as an e-book. I won't go into a rant on why I dislike e-books and only get them when they're not available in print. Are you planning at any time to have this book printed, or am I delusional? ::grin::
Comment by NaYan Wed Feb 10 09:47:53 2016

As long as there are property taxes, you never really own your land, but are only renting it from the govt. And then there's the eminent domain policy of the current candidate favored by the trailer trash crowd.

You also have to plan ahead: a friend of mine bought a lot in a rural area 90 miles outside of Chicago 20 yrs ago. Thanks to urban sprawl, that area is now a growing suburban community needing to build new schools, etc. He could no longer afford to build & retire there thanks to the burden of increasing taxes.

Comment by doc Wed Feb 10 09:47:04 2016
I just recently learned that in the State of Tennessee, if you are over 65, and your income is below a certain level (I'm still not sure what the level is) you can have your property taxes reduced significantly. You simply apply for a "senior citizen discount." Luckily, I qualify so my property taxes go down from $321/year to about $90/year. Nice! :)
Comment by NaYan Tue Feb 9 09:00:07 2016

Hi Mark and Anna,

I use them too. Apparently only a little drain on lead acid batteries drains them pretty quickly.

I have a 1990 Olds with a cutoff switch. No longer any problems with dead batteries and having to replace them from time to time when they have been left discharged for too long.

Haven't yet tried your onion starting method. It IS on my list of things to do.


Comment by John Tue Feb 9 04:16:40 2016

I just started back at the very beginning. It's like catching an entire show on Netflix from beginning to end. :)

I have always enjoyed keeping up with what you guys are doing.

Comment by Daniel Dessinger Mon Feb 8 23:19:43 2016
I love exploring trails.. something about a path leading off into the woods that just begs to be followed. Once my k ee is better, i will be back out there. Meanwhile, its nice to know others are finding joy in these simple pleasures too.
Comment by Deb Mon Feb 8 10:05:57 2016
I don't think you will regret the heat mats, as soon as the seeds germinate and you can get your flats in rotation the cost of the mat won't sting so much. Getting the mat to last 10 years though, might be a stretch. I don't know what organic produce costs in your area, but if you have to buy food the capital expense of good seed starting supplies starts to look like a bargain. Organic onions here are $2.00 per pound and that's on sale. Using one a day in cooking quickly adds up.
Comment by Nita Sun Feb 7 08:55:46 2016

Well d'uh. :) You can see my 1/4 Polish ancestry coming out! Ha ha.


Comment by NaYan Sat Feb 6 14:29:32 2016
Nayan --- The answer is in the first link in this post.... :-)
Comment by anna Fri Feb 5 17:04:15 2016

I love the combination of reactions --- "horrors" to "but what if our feline overlords want to stand there?" You can guess where I lie on the continuum....

Good idea, Roland! We may do that with our next surface. Now that you mention it, I can visualize surfaces I've seen exactly like that, just didn't know which chemical to use to get there.

Comment by anna Fri Feb 5 17:02:06 2016
Eric --- Gee, I have no clue what you're talking about. :-)
Comment by anna Fri Feb 5 17:00:28 2016
I made a soil blocker many years ago- worked fine, about the same as the expandable peat blocks, but with more effort and less cost. I think yours will do fine.
Comment by Eric in Japan Fri Feb 5 11:12:19 2016

Right.... like the Latin "Capricious" doesn't come from the root for "goat"... I like goats, but I won't ever get any more...

Comment by Eric in Japan Fri Feb 5 11:03:57 2016
I'm assuming that these "hazel" bushes are the ones that produce hazelnuts, right? If so, from the time you planted them to the time you began harvesting nuts, how many years was that? I'm seriously thinking of planing hazel bushes and almonds, but wondering how long it's going to be before I can start harvesting the nuts. I know the description in the catalogues say 3-4 years, but sometimes that is just an average. I know pecan trees take 30 years before you can have a harvest and if I planted them now, I'd probably be dead before I was able to get any nuts, the same with trees like walnuts, hickories.
Comment by NaYan Fri Feb 5 10:11:11 2016
WE have five cats in the house and trying to keep them off of anything and everything in the house is impossible. If the cats walk in their litter box and then on the counter top so be it. I figure if it doesn't kill us, it will just make a stronger.
Comment by Zimmy Wed Feb 3 19:27:52 2016
Use a polyurethane or epoxy clearcoat on the top surfaces. A couple of layers of polyurethane or one layer of epoxy resin will result in a clear coating that is very easy to clean.
Comment by Roland_Smith Wed Feb 3 17:17:44 2016
Ugh! It makes me nuts when the cats get on the kitchen counters in particular. Ours are indoor cats, which means they walk in their litter box (and what happens to be in it, potentially). I can't get beyond the idea of toilet-paws in the kitchen. Clean it up or cover it up! Sounds good to me!
Comment by jennifer Wed Feb 3 13:12:18 2016
if it bothers you, tape some bubble wrap, or double sided tape to the area the cat jumps up on, something unappealing for paws to land on that the cat can't move out of the way. within a couple days that habit will be broken and you can remove it. it's worked so far for my MIL's 4 stubborn cats.
Comment by mizztanya Wed Feb 3 10:44:55 2016

Jake --- Thank you for your shared excitement!

You'd probably get two different answers if you asked Mark and asked me. I'm 100% happy in the trailer (with the caveat that I still plan to finish our insulated skirting and may want to add yet more insulation later). Mark dreams of an underground building, perhaps more like a studio for creative pursuits than a main house. Although, actually, on the studio front, I keep tossing around the idea of making a little loft in the barn for summer writing away from the hustle and bustle of the trailer. So we might end up building more some day, but it's definitely not an imperative --- can't hold a candle to the immediate urges of seed starting and goat wrangling. :-)

Comment by anna Wed Feb 3 08:41:29 2016

Yay! Congrats--it always makes me smile when you have a new (or updated) book come out.

When I read through the original ebook version, I remember thinking it sounded like a great way to get on the land quickly, but wondering if it was a stepping stone or if you planned to trailerstead forever.

Now that you've been there for nigh on a decade and made lots of improvements to the trailer, are you planning on staying in it for the long haul, or will you eventually work toward another kind of debt-free, DIY type of housing?

Comment by Jake Tue Feb 2 23:54:01 2016
I keep bees, too. Right now would be a great time to make up a candy board and put that on your hives. The queens will begin laying now - and that means many many new mouths to feed in a few short weeks. I mix pollen substitute into my candy batch and they seem to thrive on it.
Comment by Tim Inman Sun Jan 31 09:44:41 2016

I forgot an important use for pears in general especially the hard ones. Use them as a as a kind of sweet starchy vegetable in savory meat dishes. I've sliced them up in wedges and cooked them up in a pork and rice dish with lots of herbs and onions. Also cut them up like you would a potato or turnip rood and throw them in with your pork roast. When diced up raw, they can add a crunchy element to a chicken salad. This year I plan to try them in a Chinese style stir fry.

Pick them while they are slightly green so they store a long time in the refrigerator and treat them like a vegetable. They add flavor and a lot of healthy fiber to many savory dishes. God bless.


Comment by Marcus Toole Sat Jan 30 21:33:23 2016

I live in SE Georgia and have numerous varieties good for the south. Some have already born some. The funny thing about your article which I saw for the first time today, I added an orient pear to a marginal spot in my yard today. it was a choice between Orient and Keefer, and I chose orient because the tree looked a little healthier than the keefers. I may regret the decision because I was looking for a pear to make pickles with. Orient may not be quite hard enough for the best pickles.

And that leads me to my comment. If you haven't tried pickled pears, you are missing out. Keefers make wonderful crunchy pickled pears. Pineapple pears which are very, very hard as well also make great pickles.

Good fresh eating melting varieties for the deep south are Southern Bartlett (different from Bartlett), Tennessee (best pear I've ever tasted) Golden Boy, Purdue, Scarlett, Leona, Acres Home, Southern Queen and Ayer. Good fresh eating crunchy types for deep south are LeConte, Southern King, Tennosui. Note Tennosui and Southern King are crosses between Tennessee and Hosoui (Japanese type). Tennosui takes after the Asian pear more while Southern King looks like a European pear. For both the texture is like a good Asian pear but the flavor is more European. However both varieties are winning top marks in flavor at fruit growers conventions. My trees are still babies, but the pears produced by my Tennessee pear, their mother variety, are spectacularly flavorful although a bit small.

Comment by Marcus Toole Sat Jan 30 21:05:56 2016

Hi Anna and Mark,

Your soup looks yummy.

I make a big pot of just the veggies. Freeze most of it in 2 cup deli containers.

When I thaw it [warm water on the bottom and it just drops into the pan], I add some fresh veggies and other stuff.

Today's other stuff was chicken and deer liver.

That together with some soaked flour freshly ground whole wheat toast with sour kraut makes a yummy end of day meal for me :).

Anna, did you read the soaked flour letter to the editor in the Winter 2012 issue of Wise Traditions? Pretty thought provoking. I have been soaking my flour since then. The Wise Traditions journal is on line at

warm regards, John

Comment by John Sat Jan 30 16:19:18 2016
I want to know what can you give them to help them start laying eggs again its been 6 months since we've got a Edge from them there are a year old
Comment by chuck Sat Jan 30 12:05:56 2016

Johnny's Cabbage--Storage #4, Johnny's Carmen Peppers. Tomatoes--I wish I could get seed for Early Cascade. a really great tomato. Fedco Seeds Have lots of good germinating open pollinated seeds, I think the best overall seed co out there.

A lot of disease resistance has to do with soil. Be sure to get enough Calcium in. read steve solomons the intelligent gardener. Pay attention to Cu and Zn. Ca and P help produce protein. K and N produce carbohydrates. Plant further apart if you have the room.

If you are not organic, use Growers Mineral Solutions, I use it and don't have to spray for potato bugs and I have loamy sand which doesn't hold much water or nutrients. The Growers solution has all the nutrients a plant needs.

That's what I know from 40 miles south of the canadian the adirondacks. We garden big time and use 5 tractors-- fords 8N, 3000, 4000; Case 311, Farmall Super A. Have a root cellar and corn crib.

Dave Rogers

Comment by David Rogers Sat Jan 30 06:13:05 2016
Our 99 club car is also making one click and won't move. After reading the recommendations of a pro to look at it we are having it picked up . I will try to update with the cause/repair.
Comment by Judy Fri Jan 29 19:46:37 2016

Stiffness depends on two factors; shape and material.

The resistance against bending of a solid board increases with the third power of the board thickness. So a 1 inch board resists bending 8 times better than a 1/2 inch board. The deflection of a board supported at the ends scales linearly with the size of the load and with the third power of the length of the span. These are fundamental properties of the geometry and true for all materials.

Wood being a natural material varies a lot in its properties. Both between species but also from tree to tree.

If a solid board is too heavy, two relatively thin sheets of plywood with a frame and some braces bonded or screwed between them can be almost as stiff as a solid board.

Comment by Roland_Smith Fri Jan 29 18:15:28 2016
Half the seeds from hybrids will again be hybrids. The other half will revert to the original parents. Those parent genotypes are not necessarily "bad," just "not as good" as the hybrids. Unless you're producing commercially and need to maximize yields, who cares? There's always more than we can use ourselves at harvest time.
Comment by doc Fri Jan 29 08:25:29 2016
Sweet red bell peppers... my hybrids last year way out performed the heritage... i will plant them again.
Comment by Drb Thu Jan 28 17:35:38 2016

I'm still getting my feet under me with a lot of the crops in the new homestead. This will really only be my third real gardening year here. And last year was an anomaly of drought/heat.

I don't bother with seeds for tomatoes. I buy cheap 6 packs late February and pot them up successively in my greenhouse, until they go outside. It limits my selection, but I go with an early mainstream hybrid for my main tomato and then whatever cherry tomato looks good/is available.

I go hybrid with as much as I can, because until I'm ready to really be serious about seed saving, I only save a few (and mostly I've chosen to save the veg that already existed here as volunteers from the previous owner - a siberian kale, some type of bread seed poppies, calendula, red broadleaf mustard, borage. In particular my seasons are cool nights, all summer long. So I want short-season hybrid cucumber, both summer and winter squashes, and I might even try a short-season hybrid melon this year. Until I figure out broccoli with hybrids, I don't want to try OPVs. Hybrid vigor and all. It also helps me learn about my climate.

I want to have a more successful garden before I start adding any significant seed saving. One thing at a time. So I will actually search out hybrids, if the description looks climate correct and has the right 'flavor' notations. I favor Territorial Seed, Kitazawa Seed, and Nichol's Seed; all from here on the West Coast.

Comment by Charity Thu Jan 28 10:23:03 2016

Hi Anna and Mark,

I wonder if 'real' soil tests have any place in making sure crops do well? i.e.- Adding trace minerals known to be deficient to the compost heap? Then remeasuring a year or so later.

Some folks say yes for certain. I still wonder.

That said, granite dust and sea water have done very well for me.


Comment by John Thu Jan 28 10:00:33 2016

so thankful for info comment by stewart gangwer — Fri Apr 17 01:37:43:15 I have been struggling with my new solar setup and his setup is almost exactly like mine. Thanks for the help!!!

Comment by russ Wed Jan 27 12:57:16 2016
These are some of the things that you could do with really cool garden stakes. I like it when everything kind of flows together, so you can use decoration in really productive ways. I was looking on to see some ideas for how I could best incorporate stakes into my garden, and I'm really excited to get some and see how they turn out.
Comment by McCall Hazelton Tue Jan 26 18:07:51 2016
We live in a small mobile home and I'd love to know more about how you will be handling the drain line and supply lines for your folding bathtub.
Comment by jackie Tue Jan 26 09:40:50 2016


Where can I buy a spud buddy?


Comment by Peter Mon Jan 25 22:40:26 2016