Episode-1539- Listener Calls 3-20-15 — 14 Comments

  1. To the lady wondering if she should buy the 40 acres:

    Apply for a “greenbelt” status for the land. I dropped $300 off $1000 tax bill and am considered a “timber” farm. My county forester walked my place for a half day and drew up a free “forest plan” as a bonus. The zoning people will approve your status no questions asked. Mine did in East Tennessee. My plan is good for ten years then I have to reapply.

  2. If you are raising ducks as GMO free and neighborhood kids feed them bread are they no longer GMO free? 😉

    • While that would be true if I was sitting on a 600 acre lake and that happened from time to time, I would not worry much about it. And MOSTLY they still would be, there is as of yet no approved GMO wheat. For now anyway one of the few items that isn’t always “sweetened” with corn goop is bread. Also most bread has no soy.

      Yep with a few rare exceptions (corn syrup added) most bread is GMO and Soy free.

  3. Thank you Jack and HomegrownGal. I have been researching the Extension Service website of Michigan State University today and found something similar to what you’ve described. (Jack, you’re right. I do live in a yuppified area outside of East Lansing.) Your suggestions gave me lots to ponder. Between the tax breaks and the various income producing ideas, I am now seeing the land as a revenue generator. Many thanks.

    • I am curious how a piece of property available for “next to nothing” can have a high tax. Wouldn’t the assessed value have to be higher than “next to nothing” to generate a high tax bill? And if the land sells for less than the assessed value, can’t you get an abatement (reassessment) thus reducing the tax?

      • The piece has road frontage on the street that runs perpendicular to mine. The current owner can sell a building site there on only a small piece of land, and the purchaser has no interest in the “back 40” that abuts both our properties. By splitting off that buildable site with road frontage, the current owner is left with 40 acres with no road access. This is not allowable in our township. Thus, he is willing to sell it to me at very reduced price. I would then attach it to my property and the resulting 60 acres has road access. But this increases the value of that land in the eye of the township. I am setting up a consultation with a forester to see about reduced taxes and an income stream from it. Thanks to everyone for your helpful comments.

  4. Regarding the clover in lawns…
    Does the Dutch white clover work well in warmer areas as well? Or is there something else that you’d recommend? I live in zone 10b and I noticed you qualified your answer for the caller living in New Jersey.

    • I needs some shade during the day and a good deal of moisture in hotter climates but if you have that it can handle warm climates just fine.

  5. Hi Jack,
    You mentioned your pulled pork and having to break it up. Have you seen the meat claws for doing this. Not only do they work well, but hey, who doesn’t want to play Wolverine while processing all that meat!
    I’ve done it by hand and scorched some fingers. I’ve used large forks, but the hand position isn’t comfortable after awhile. The meat claws work well and are easy to clean especially if you are dealing with 2 or more shoulders.
    Anyway, there are quite a few different brands on Amazon in the $12-$15 range.

  6. Regarding Steven Harris’s comments on a fuse inline with your battery bank and inverter:
    I would agree with a couple exceptions. If you are using lighter cable than the max the inverter is rated at, you would want an inline fuse. In my case, using 10awg wire for a 12 volt/1500watt inverter. (If you want to do the math, you’ll see that this is too light of cable for a 1500 watt inverter) . Someone might rightly point out that this isn’t ideal practice, but i chose to anyway since i had plenty of 10awg wire with all the fancy connections on it to make a tidy setup. There are also other reasons for this. My system powers a circuit in the house that does all the lights plus a couple outlets. This works perfectly for the LED lights and light kitchen appliance like blenders, food processors, etc. with their very little current draw. However the odd time something with a heavy draw may inadvertently be plugged into this circuit like a coffee maker (think 1200+ watts). The power inverter would handle this load, but i don’t necessarily want it to. If left on for hours (it happens), it would quickly waste my precious amp hours. Fusing it makes sure that only the lighter loads are ever used on my system.
    And while i’m on it, I applied these similar principles for my 400 watt wind turbine. The 150 feet of heavy cable recommended would have been horribly expensive. Fusing this allowed me the go with a cheaper, lighter cable, and not have to worry about pushing too much current and creating a fire hazard.
    something to consider….

  7. Would you get quail? I am wondering if I should get quail for eggs and meat. Thanks:)

  8. For the pasture question, jack answered it with the micro swales I can confirm it will work with logs and hay bales on contour to help slow the water down. The first time I put in a micro swale with old pieces of fire wood on contour as a proof on concept and within a couple of weeks I had grass growing on a slope that wouldn’t grow grass before. I currently am using old hay bales as micro swales in the front yard to help slow water down but not to trap a lot of water in my front yard, the grass is also growing well there and I plan on planting those swales with an edible landscape this year.