ffj's early retirement

Where are you and where are you going?
ffj
Posts: 2144
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

It's been beautiful weather here lately so a buddy and myself went for a hike. This is Pilot Knob, outside of Clay City, and is believed to be the spot where Daniel Boone himself surveyed the land before him.

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While we were resting and admiring the view, none other than Daniel Boone himself joined us for a very in depth history lesson on his travels. ;) This is Jordan, and he works for the park service bringing Daniel Boone to life. Very interesting guy that taught us a lot.

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I also gathered a bunch of acorns from various oak trees. Since I have some woodland now, I am going to attempt to germinate them in the Spring and plant them where they are needed. According to Youtube, it's a pretty simple process of placing them in water, throwing out the ones that float, and putting them in the refrigerator for a several months. Around March, I'll put them in some soil and see if they germinate.

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We finished the day with some spooky Mexican food. My kind of day.

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halfmoon
Posts: 713
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:19 pm

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by halfmoon »

It's been so long that I've completely forgotten how to use this site, but...DH has planted about a zillion acorns without doing anything but sticking them in dirt. Many have grown, and a few are full-sized trees now.

I love the "good boy" photo.

Now must go back and read about 2 years of posts. ;)

ffj
Posts: 2144
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

I have to confess that I don't read a whole lot of journals, which is why I appreciate people looking at mine, but I always read yours half-moon.

You have quite the fan base here (for good reason) and I hope you become active again. Welcome back!





I think I will go with a version of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ9GBCHdqi0

I don't want to tie up refrigerator space for several months and I like that Mother Nature will do the work for me. I have been busy collecting various acorns and hickory nuts and I don't think I have the room for several hundred seed nuts.

Riggerjack
Posts: 2893
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Riggerjack »

Awesome news about the land!

The 300 yards of UG utilities was a bit unnerving, though. Have you spoken with your electrical utility engineer, yet?

I had about 450 feet between the pole and my homesite, over land I own. Their plan was to extend primary power 7kv by pole across my driveway, then using a transformer and extending the rest of the way with 220v on poles. I had to get their design books out to come up with a plan I could work with and pay for. I had them put up a pole to cross the street, and trenched for them 150' to a meter I put in. Then I ran my own wire from there in my conduit 300' to my house. They had to use 350 kcmil wire, and I had to buy 250kcmil for my end. All in, I spent about $7k, doing the work myself. Then got hit with a $2700 fee with my first bill. Turns out the state has a utility extension tax I didn't know about...

Extending primary power is $$$$ expensive, and utility engineers are always looking to extend their network on the customer's dime. Just so you know...

Our local phone company (not the one I work for) wanted a 10 foot wide prescriptive easement to get us service, and the engineer was adamant that was the only way it could be done. Until I asked for their tariffs (the rules under which they were granted their monopoly), and he suddenly discovered his creative abilities. End result, I have a a terminal at the street, and I am responsible for the cable in between my house and the street, and no easements on my property.

I hope all goes smoothly for you, and I am looking forward to reading about your adventures.

ffj
Posts: 2144
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

I hope this method works, because I literally put every acorn and hickory nut in the same bucket that I have collected over the last few days.

Pretty simple really. Take a 5 gallon bucket with a lid, drill lots of 1/4 inch holes, and then layer peat moss, acorns, potting soil until the bucket is full. Then you wet down the mixture thoroughly and bury it into the ground. They'll stratify over the winter and be protected from squirrels, chipmunks, and mice. Around February I'll dig it up and start potting them up and see what sprouts.

The other method which I considered involved throwing all of the nuts down on the ground and covering them with a wire screen to protect against the squirrels. Then once they sprout in the Spring dig them up and put them in pots.

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Here is one of the trees I got the hickory nuts from. Not only is the hickory tree valuable for its wood, but animals love the nuts. And humans too.

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ffj
Posts: 2144
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

Thanks Rigger.

It is just shy of 400 feet that I would have to run. I did contact the electrical provider and they said that they provide for free up to 200 feet and then it was approximately $7/foot after.

The engineer was supposed to meet with me last week but he hasn't called back. I figured if I can keep the cost under $5000 I would be happy.

Interestingly, they said the cost for underground versus overhead was about the same. Overhead is out the question because of the deed restrictions but I asked out of curiosity.

I can dig the trench, set the temporary, assist the provider. Nobody mentioned any hidden fees but I will ask once the engineer gets back with me.

Riggerjack
Posts: 2893
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Riggerjack »

Yeah. When I got the bill, customer service had no idea what it was, or why I got it. It was "just a fee that everyone has to pay." :lol:

Eventually, they chased down what the fee was for, and I paid it, but I was living in the house for a few months before I got the bill, and maybe six months later they figured out what the fee code meant.

But I have heard completely different stories from folks in TVA territory, I hope you have an easy time.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Someone I know planted black walnut trees about 20 years ago by burying walnuts in the ground with no other prep. It worked really well and now the have a little walnut forest instead of brush. I don't know what proportion of the nuts survived. Zone 5 if that helps.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

I’m a little far north in New Hampshire but I was thinking about growing walnut trees myself for special woodworking.

And ginseng. And.....ayahuasca and cannabis 8-)

20 years for the walnut trees
5-10 years for the ginseng and ayahuasca
Cannabis annually

Like a bond ladder, only I would be making real stuff :mrgreen:

ffj
Posts: 2144
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@Gilberto

While hiking the other day I found a bunch of walnut trees in an old fencerow, and man were there a bunch of fallen walnuts. I probably could have filled a pickup truck easily but I am going to take a 5 gallon bucket there soon and pick up at least that. I think I'll try the "throw them on the ground" method with these guys in my garden. I also picked up a bunch more acorns and with those I will try the refrigerator method since there aren't nearly as many.

So three experiments for Spring trees. We'll see what happens.


@MI

I had never heard of ayahuasca until you mentioned it. Seems like it would be much easier to grow psilocybin mushrooms if you are into psychedelic effects. I don't partake in drugs as I don't like the loss of control but there are a bunch of people that swear by the wonders of magic mushrooms, although I suspect a lot of it is cognitive dissonance.

Ginseng is very hard to cultivate and the guys that I have seen that hunt for it are addicted to the thrill of discovery, sort of like of morel mushrooms. Good luck with that one.

Growing dope is easy as well as walnut trees, the time frames are a bit different though as you mentioned. I lived in Nebraska for a bit and wild hemp is everywhere, truly a weed. I think it's a pretty plant, and I would grow it as an ornamental if it weren't illegal. Ironically, there are fields of hemp not too far from my home that are under strict surveillance as a pilot program to reintroduce the crop as an industrial product. Maybe one day I will grow my own cash crop on my mini farm.

daylen
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Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:17 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by daylen »

Ayahuasca is equivalent to DMT mixed with an MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) that prolongs the effect. DMT by itself when smoked last about 10-15 min, but with the MAOI it can last around 8 hours. The combination of plants used to produce such a brew has been around for a while in the depths of the jungle.

https://psychonautwiki.org/wiki/Ayahuasca

The effect is different from psilocybin. I have not done ayahusca, but I have done DMT and it is more mechanistic than shrooms. Psilocybin tends to weigh you down and DMT tends to lock you into a mental roller-coaster ride. LSD is different in kind too; it mixes in a sight boost in energy (something to do with serotonin receptors). DMT can be synthesized with legal products ordered online (or just bought directly off dark web). A changa form (mixed with herbs) allows for an easier time when smoking it (crystal form requires a meth pipe and some skill).

It is one of the more intense mind altering substances. [DMT] Has definitely contributed to my own appreciation for how far the depths of the mind go. If there is a God then it is behind your eyes.

7Wannabe5
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Owning your own woods could make mild psychedelic use quite a bit more fun. IMO,once every decade or two (major change/shed of life skin) would be enough frequency to obtain and maintain benefit. My old BF who owned his own woods wanted to trip out on shrooms naked on the deck overlooking his property for his 70th birthday, but the batch he had was not very effective. On the up side, at least he still got sex with me in my roaring 40s.
daylen wrote:LSD is different in kind too; it mixes in a sight boost in energy (something to do with serotonin receptors).
It's probably somewhat similar to bi-polar manic psychosis, except less likely to be externalized. Also has some similarities with S&M "sub-space", ecstatic sexual union, greatly magnified version of runner's high, and the spiritual state achieved by those monks who used to starve and scourge themselves. Nothing like an extreme shock to the system to knock you right out of depressive fugue.

ffj
Posts: 2144
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@daylen

Thank you for the class, very informative.

@7

Roaring 40's is spot on, that was one lucky old geezer.




More foraging. This time I collected walnuts near one of my hiking routes. Took all of 5 minutes to fill up a 5 gallon bucket.

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Also located some reishi mushrooms, quite a few actually. I thought about harvesting them but I'm still a little squeamish about the wild varieties.

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ffj
Posts: 2144
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

Well it's official, I own the mini-farm. The first couple of days were a bit overwhelming as there were so many things I felt I needed to do, but with a little work and common sense I've found much better balance with my time.

There are two immediate goals that I want to accomplish this Fall and Winter: work on the barn and get it fit for duty, and start cleaning up the problem areas of the land. I've done some work on the barn already but my main focus has been cutting and chopping.

There is a border fence behind all of this:

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And this:

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It's about 20 feet by 600 feet of land that is just choked with scrub trees, wild rose, brambles, vines, and weeds. It's ugly and a waste of good land AND this is the view once I hack my way to the fence:

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I think it's worth doing the work, as everything will look so much nicer when I am done. I can also plant trees that have value in the open spaces that didn't exist before. There is a lot of osage orange (hedge apple) that is coming out as I don't have any use for that tree. What an awful tree unless you want to create an impenetrable wall. I don't know whether to respect it or hate it. I'm either getting stabbed by its thorns, dropping a chunk of it (it's very heavy wood) on my foot, or rolling an ankle on one of those damn softball size fruits laying everywhere.

The unsung hero besides my chainsaw is this little beauty. I bought it a couple of years ago at a yardsale and the blade is actually created specifically for heavy weeds versus grass. I can cut right through small saplings without much effort and something about swinging this scythe just makes me feel good.

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A days work. I really enjoy this kind of stuff as it's a great beginning to something that is ultimately going to look really good. It's a little rough looking right now but in a year or two it will look great.

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I'll leave you with a picture of this little mutt. She belongs to a lady I was working for and she just wouldn't leave me alone so I had to take her picture. She's so goofy and energetic you can't help but smile.

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halfmoon
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by halfmoon »

ffj, it looks like you have a new challenge/adventure unfolding. Best wishes! This is what keeps us alive.

That pup photo reminds me of our own little rescue (one of two). As far as we can determine, she's a windhund crossed with maybe a spaniel? Super hunting instinct. Kind of an odd photo here, in which she's soaking wet and apparently congratulating herself on ditching our other dog in the swamp. :lol:

:? I've uploaded a cute photo of her about 10 times through imgur, and it still doesn't work. Kind of discouraging.

Jason
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Jason »

That is the cutest rabid dog I have ever seen.

ffj
Posts: 2144
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@halfmoon

Try Flickr. Although apparently you can't leave it dormant for too long as all the pictures disappear. I looked at my rope rescue page recently and all the images are gone, but those images are stored in a separate Flickr account than the one I am using now. I should really redo the the whole thread as I have learned so much since I started it, and I have better pictures and new procedures to boot. I'm curious how one gets a picture uploaded without using a third party platform?

I'm not sure what the dog is but she is incredibly fast and can jump 4 times her height. I roughhouse with her all of the time and she loves it, no foo-foo dog there.

@Jason

She's pretty cute and non-rabid looking when she isn't wet. I was cleaning paint brushes and she loves the water hose, obviously.



I bought a house today. Let me clarify, I bought a lot of the lumber from a house that was torn down and salvaged from a guy on Craigslist. I've been buying new lumber fixing up the new barn and it is expensive. My wake up call came the other day when I bought three boards and I was $40 poorer with not much to show for it. So off to the land of Craigslist.

I figure I saved at least $2000 today with the deal that I struck. It should be enough to frame an entire shop sized 30 X 50 feet including rafters and all of the sheeting with wood left over. My plan is to build the shop first so I have a base of operations and the tooling on site to build the house and this salvaged lumber is a perfect start. Everything is straight, de-nailed and sized 2 x 6 and up and will make a fine building. And the wood is better than what you can buy today.

The guy had the wood stored in a tobacco barn and for those of you who have never seen curing tobacco this is what it looks like:

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halfmoon
Posts: 713
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by halfmoon »

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I finally got it to link! This is a soaking wet Jade, and she's not normally so rabid (yo, Jason) in appearance. I just love her evil wink in this photo, though.

The salvaged wood is a find. I'm wondering if it has any special bug-repelling properties, since tobacco is a natural insecticide. I completely agree about salvaged wood being better than you can buy today...the lumber at HD or Lowe's is real crap. We have a big pile of lumber salvaged from a demolished airplane hangar (been sitting under tarps for a few years), including about 40 8"x8"x24' treated timbers. Since we've had to scale our empire-building fantasies back immeasurably, I'm now advocating for turning them into "logs" to build a blockhouse woodshed. Probably sacrilege, but more potentially achievable.

Jason
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Jason »

I'd have to go with FFJ's entry in the "looks rabid but is really only wet" cute dog contest. But I understand its a Ginger vs. MaryAnne thing.

ffj
Posts: 2144
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@halfmoon

Jades a beauty. I've always loved dogs for their companionship and loyalty. I'm partial to hounds, as I have always had a beagle or a hound mix since I was a kid. The problem is that they are hunters, and especially beagles will disappear running after rabbits or deer, but they're worth it.


@Jason

Ginger vs MaryAnne has always been a false choice. How about both? ;)



Work continues on the new place, with my current emphasis getting the barn ready for the storage of lumber that I recently agreed to buy. Since I have no electrical power, I am reduced to using a battery with an inverter to power my corded tools. Still better than hand sawing all of the wood I am adding for structural support but it limits the amount I can get done each day. And although my lithium 20 volt drills work great, they also have a set amount they can run. So I work until all my power dies, then I pick up a chainsaw and start cutting brush. It's become a pretty simple lifestyle which I am greatly enjoying.

Here is one of the problems I am attempting to fix. Basically this one post supports the roof assembly and keeps the walls from blowing out from the outward thrust of the rafters. I am actually amazed that it has worked for so long as whoever built this just threw these boards together. My solution is to replace this with a post directly underneath the ridge beam and to tie the walls together much more securely. I am also adding bracing and collar ties to the rafters. You can also see that I've started to tie the front and back walls together.


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I dug a two foot hole and added 160 pounds of concrete for a footing and then added this central support beam after tying all four walls together. Now the roof has a direct support down to the ground directly in line.

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My next step is to screw down the cladding as it represents structural integrity too. The builder used minimal lumber and nails. Many of the exterior boards have only one nail at the top and bottom. Whoever built this just took every shortcut possible.



The other day I hosted a horticulturist on the farm to help me identify my trees and beneficial plants. With her help I have identified these trees:

poplar
walnut
buckeye
hickory
oak
maple
dogwood
locust
osage orange
ash
cedar
sycamore
hackberry
cherry
pawpaw
mulberry
elm
sassafras

Not a bad variety so far, and it doesn't include various shrubs scattered throughout. One of the shrubs unfortunately is very invasive and is coming out. I really thought the honeysuckle was fairly mild until she started pointing out all of the small ones which are everywhere. This is the culprit:

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And this is how they spread so easily. The birds love these berries and poop them out everywhere.

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I've already cut down and poisoned the large bushes but there are thousands more of small, single strand honeysuckle that has to be pulled from the ground, which is easy but there is a lot. At the least I have stopped the berry production. This plant is a huge problem here in Kentucky and some places have huge thickets of this stuff that has killed off every other plant, as they can get quite large. It seems I have gotten to the farm just before it really exploded.

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