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By now everyone has heard about using solar energy to generate power.  Sometimes, you heat water and circulate it using a pump.  Other times, you capture electricity and store it in batteries for later, or sell it back to the grid.

My First Kit: Good for camping

Kit consists of:

During a recent rainstorm, we had multiple inches come down over the course of a few hours.  A rush of water coming down from the street caused our perimeter drain to start filling up with dirt, so we added a "keyline" uphill from the drain to divert water away from the problem area before it even got close. 

As a fan of mixed martial arts (MMA), I have watched almost every UFC event.  I didn't start watching until after 2000, so I've even gone back and watched the "original" UFC events with Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock.  Back then, there were no weight classes.  After 12 events, they introduced weight classes. 

I recently watched this video about the upcoming British vote to leave the European Union.  As an American citizen, I found it very enlightening, even though not 100% relevant to me.

I am writing this post as a follow-up to my previous post about stretches and exercises to help manage lower back pain.  I’ve been using these stretches and exercises to manage my lower back pain for over 5 years, but now that I’ve been to a chiropractor, it’s time to share my new perspective and thoughts:

1.  First and foremost, I should have seen a chiropractor FIRST. 

Instead, I went to my family doctor, an orthopedic specialist, a physical therapist, and a spinal (injection) specialist.  Oops!  All of these people I visited offered advice on how to “manage” the pinched nerve and bulged disc.  The chiropractor’s objective is to actually fix the underlying cause of the pain.  My first chiropractic visit lasted almost 2 hours and the initial adjustment took place in the last 5 or 10 minutes of that visit.  

Do not purchase these batteries.  I bought my truck in 2014 and it had EverStart Maxx batteries in it that indicated a 10/2013 purchase date.  I assumed these batteries would be good for quite some time since they come with a 5 year warranty.

It turns out that my batteries were originally purchased in 2010, which is why WalMart was unable (unwilling) to replace them under warranty.  The warranty is only good for the original purchase.  I am fine with this part.  I wound up purchasing new batteries from NAPA, since everything WalMart sells tends to be junk, and they don't stand behind their products.

Wednesday, 02 December 2015 13:36

“Dirt Rich” Community Composting Program

We are working with a handful of neighbors to get a small-scale community composting program started.  The following text is copied from a Word Document that you can download below as an attachment. We encourage everyone to participate in a community program like this, at some level.  Even if you're not gardening at home, you are still producing food scraps! 

Tired of hauling water and stomping ice out of containers?  I have the solution.

Background:
This is our first attempt at raising pigs in the back yard.  We built a basic fence and pig house, got the pigs, and started feeding and watering them.  We were hauling 5 gallon buckets of water for a short time before we realized a better solution was in order.  We have two of these 275-gallon water totes: one under our deck that hooks up to the gutter, and another down by the pigs.  We fill the one using rain water and then use a long hose to fill up the other tank down by the pigs.  No more carrying water!  The hardest part was figuring out how to keep the whole thing from freezing solid during the winter, as it typically hits single digits in January and February here in Northeast PA.

Caution:
Since water and electricity do not mix well, it is important that you install a ground rod next to your tank.  I installed my ground rod about 3 feet away from my tank and ran a long copper wire up the side of the tank and down into it.  If you are not comfortable installing a ground rod yourself, have an electrician come do it for you.  This way, if something goes wrong with one of the electric heaters, it will not shock us or the pigs.  Be sure to check your wires regularly (every few months, at least) and replace things before they wear out. 

We have been fortunate enough to have a neighbor that was willing to let us expand our backyard homestead operation onto their property.  They were concerned about us developing the property and claiming "squatters rights" to it, so they asked that we write up a contract for everyone to sign.  The purpose of sharing this document is so that other folks, who are interested in homesteading and sustainable agriculture, can work together and do the same thing while protecting themselves legally.

Note: The information contained herein is for informational purposes only as a service to the public, and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.

Found this video from my first trip to Paragon Adventure Center when it was in Hazleton, PA.  On this day, the access paths were so icy that we had to use 4wd and drive on the shoulder just to get into the park.  Then we were only able to drive around on the "access paths" because the actual trails were impassible.  This was with my first jeep, a 1990 Cherokee Limited with 3" Rustys Off Road Lift. 

  • "If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand."

    - Mark 3:25