Episode-1435- Listener Calls 9-26-14 — 43 Comments

  1. Just a heads up Jack something happened with the recording around the 1 hour 40 minute mark. The caller asks about your accent and then it goes right into you answering the question about propane generators. Just wanted to let you know. Keep up the great work!

    • Jack has answered this question many times over the years, he was born in PA. and his family moved to northern Florida when he was a kid, and yes in N. Florida a lot of rednecks live there or used too and he has lived in Texas since he got out of the Army in the mid 90’s, so it’s a mixture….I shouldn’t speak for him, but I have heard him explain it more than once

      • Same thing happens to me. I haven’t lived in Louisiana for decades but when I’ve had a drink or two, or I’m angry, the “y’alls” come out fast and furious. I notice the accent change more often when Jack is ranting/snapping a gasket, so I assume it’s a similar thing. By the way, no offense to the original caller, but if he thinks he detects New Jersey or New York in Jack’s voice, he’s never been to New Jersey or New York.

  2. Quick comment RE: the guy with the neighbor dumping weed & feed – I think Jack was spot on with the berm idea and planting something between the fence line and any edible crops. If it were me, I’d plant willow cuttings on that berm right against the fence line on a 1 or 2-ft spacing, much like Ben Falk does with Black Locust hedgerows. Willow will grow up to 8 feet in a season and can be continually coppiced every year – and it has a tendency to soak up pollutants. This is called Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) – and it is being used with willows to remediate contaminated sites. In fact, studies have been done using willow SRC effectively in bioremediation tests at Cherynobl (I provided some info on this as part of the research for Dave Jacke and Mark Krawcyzk’s forthcoming book on coppice agroforestry). Plant a hedgerow of willow and coppice it on a yearly basis, and dispose of the cut wood as you see fit (many different uses for that) – and any toxins will be disposed of with it. One other thing to think about is the type of crops you want to grow near that area – while I would definitely be concerned about any herbaceous or root crops, woody plants tend to concentrate toxins in their woody tissues rather than in their leaves and fruits. So a bit of fertilizer or herbicide drift on the ground level may not be a huge issue if you’re planning on growing say, apples on the fence line.

  3. For the CPS guy. In my dealings with CPS (DHS in Oregon) if you want to do this “legally”, you need to get you and your wife registered to have custody of children. They will come out and inspect the home, do a background check, interview friends, you will have to take CPR classes, and basically prep your home. You will need a decent first aid kit on hand, fire escape plans, escape ladders, fire extinguishers, contact lists all that stuff. They will have you take parenting classes. Once you are approved because you are a friend, they will most likely put the child with you because you have the relationship.

    Now its the state and here is the crappy thing. The process is long (1 month for you, lots longer if they have to do something with the mother), lots of paper work and is tiring. I also don’t know what happens if you have the child and they come into the home. I also don’t know how they will “remove” the child from the other parent. For us while the children were removed from the home and a court process for about 6 months went on. The court kept trying to give the children back to the mom, except the mom was insane so she refused to do things like get a psych eval.

    In our case with our nieces, the mother was beating the girl and the cops were called. DHS (CPS) took the girls and located them to a home, one of the girls friends. So, the front half is different than you.

    Anyways, my experience if you want to take children in, CPS loves you especially if you are stable. Once they prove that you are really in a negotiating position. We were also family, when it did not work out (mainly the girls did not want to come live with us (we are in different state, teenage girls wanting to party, etc… and I said there was no way I’m taking them unless they did), CPS was trying to get us to take other children they had in the queue.

    Personally, I think the system is incompetent. Most of the people are government workers so extra effort isn’t there. At the same time, they are loaded way too high on case loads. They believe what they are doing is noble and like cops they deal with a lot of crappy people. Then some of them are just flat out evil people. I personally didn’t deal with any of the evil people. The workers we dealt with were over worked and did not respond very well to calls and such.

    Now here is the other thing. If you get custody you are under there rules. If the child is deemed to need meds you have to give them or they will take the child out of your home. That sucks flat out. They will normally give you money and medical care for the child. Here is the good part for the child at least in Oregon. They will get a free scholarship to college room and board. The child can also get room and board when they move out. Yes, college can be a waste of money, but if its free to you and the child wants it, what a deal. Your mileage may vary. What we were looking to do was take the state money and setup a life establishment account in our nieces name. You role $500 bucks a month into that.

    Second experience is our neighbors. We are in WA. Neighbors took the child from the home and put the child down the road from us with a neighbor. This was a bit odd because the home was unsafe. It was a hoarders house owned by the grandparents. The mother and daughter basically moved out to the neighbors house.

    If I can help you in any other way let me know. Not an expert just spent a year going through the motions.

  4. Jack: I work for a big named power company here and it wasn’t long ago that a co-worker of mine cut off the the power of a police officers house for non-payment, he didn’t make it to the end of the street before the cop came flying down the street sirens blaring lights on and cut him off in the middle of the street demanding that he come back and turn his power back on, saying I’m a cop damn it and you have no right to turn my power off, my friend said sir, you were turned off for not paying your bill and I’m just doing my job, the cop threatened him and my friend had to cal 911 as procedure requires, another cop showed up escorted the cop back to his house put him in his place and my friend went back to work, the crazy part is, now that cops house is a CODE BLUE in our computer, so even the meter reader can’t go onto his property without a police escort for his own protection, yes there are police officers who think they are not only above the law but they don’t have to pay their bills because they are cops, it’s not as uncommon as one would think

  5. My Rhode Island Red hen is very noisy. More than any of my other hens. I don’t know the other breeds that I have. One is pure white and one is a tiny feather footed brown and black. They are both quiet.

  6. Actually im a little interested I. The content often missing segment. The edit monster got it. But am also a little curious. I emailed Jack and redownloaded the show and same error. Haven’t heard from Jack which he is really good about with these issues and I don’t see any responses from him on here which is really u usual. Hope all is well with him.

  7. And wow about the cop and the meter guy. That’s crazy. Sad thing is that I know people who in that situation would have reacted the same way the cop did or worse. Actuall just shared the story with a leo i work with and he thought t was silly too.

  8. I can not help it. I am laughing uncontrollably at your chicken noises. We have Buff Orphingtons and they make little to no noise. We have 2.5 acres of land with 25 chickens with little noise. We also have bee hives and have our own honey production.

  9. I loved the question about a timber lot as a retirement vehicle, what a neat idea!

    Has anyone ever had a timber company take some of their trees? Does anyone have any idea what an acre of fully mature black walnut might sell for? I assume we are talking very major money, but the only time I have ever heard of someone selling trees, the company cherry picked about 15 trees from 6 acres, did all the work, and paid about $5k per tree, which paid for over half the land! (before taxes of course, so it was probably like 1/4 :/ ) But I would love to know what trees sell for if you have someone else do all the work of harvesting.

    • My experience with timber companies is to hire a third party consultant. They charge 7-10% of the sale, but they pay for themselves. A good forest consultant will invite no less than 12 companies to bid on your timber and get you top dollar. Normally, you’ll come out ahead by hiring one of them even after they take their cut. They also keep your land from getting raped of only the best trees. Trees are no different than anything else: You need good genetics for good offspring! Many loggers will screw you to the wall if you don’t know what you are doing. A good manager will help make sure that some 2nd tier trees and junk trees get taken out as well to help really manage your forest, leaving good trees for the next generation. They also make sure nothing gets taken that wasn’t a part of the sale.

      • I was also fascinated with this idea when I heard about it, and would love to hear a whole show dedicated to the topic

      • Thanks a bunch Darby! Have you any idea what some ballpark figures for timber would be? Are we talking $10k for an acre of managed black walnut like Jack mentioned, or $100k? Or am I totally off base, and it’s $1k? 🙂

        Also Jack, if you are still reading these. Like Derekmal mentioned, one idea for a show could be “passive income through property.” You talked about the idea of leasing a silvopasture system to someone, but I bet you could come up with a bunch of neat ideas for almost totally hands-off ways of making money using the land like that.

        • Eric it depends as always. There have been SINGLE Black Walnut trees that have commanded 20,000 for one tree, these are the exceptional ones.

          A mature stand of purpose planted black walnut at 30-35 years of age today will likely bring and I shit you not about 80-100K in revenue. This is however true managed for timber quality trees. In some climates you may need 40 years to get the same size.

          The key though is, if you plant these trees today their value today isn’t that important, their value in 30 years is!

          There are three honest ways this can go.

          1. Sky high because inflation is a bitch and you can’t just make more timber on demand.

          2. Moderately up because people are figuring this out and planting Black Walnut in particular for this use. This could result in a glut of high quality timber in 30-50 years.

          3. Flat to down, I think the price would be higher by may be not relative to inflation! How? New building materials and methods and a greater movement to “green technologies”.

          3 is why I like Black Walnut the best honestly. It can be part of a true sustainable plan, with selective harvests and replanting and growing other useful species and nothing is as beautiful in my view. Finely milled and crafted black walnut is something so beautiful and long lasting that I think there will always be a market for it.

        • @Jack
          I should also add in the fact that as the stand develops its just more and more an asset. Just like stocks and other valuables its not like you NECESSARILY have to sell the individual trees yourself. Sure if you want to siphon off of it for a residual income, but there is no reason you can’t get the value of the land up, and if you wanted to wash your hands clean of it, sell it for quite some good money.

          It’s like purchasing a fully operational orchard or farm land, isn’t exactly cheap stuff. Around here I would venture to say that you could sell a medium to high quality stand of black walnut for premium top dollar. There is nothing here just pines, even though the native species is OAKS.

        • Thanks a bunch for the reply! That is such a neat idea of “growing your retirement.” I will definitely be thinking of how I could use this in any land operation I do in the future. It seems so easy to just plop a few dozen black maples near a road, do less than an hour of work a year on them, then 30-40 years later have some real money in those.

    • It depends on a large number of factors. Lots of things affect the value of a tree. A perspective consultant will walk your property with you, take some basic measurements, discuss with you what it is you want to leave/take and can give you a ballpark estimate on what a sale might bring. But do realize working like this is a crap shoot. However, you can set a minimum bid amount too.

      • Agreed! I would add though a good consultant should also show you things like. Hey don’t sell this tree yet, it is going to be worth a fortune in 10 years due to xyz. Or hey this tree, this tree doesn’t go to the clear cut company, this tree is exceptional for abc reason, we need an individual buyer for this tree. Now it is possible, even probable that you have 20 acres and no such trees but it is also possible and even probable that you do.

        A friend of mine told me a story about an old lady his family was friends with and an oak tree on her small property. She was a nervous type and even tough this tree had been there for a hundred years all of the sudden scared old lady syndrome kicked in and she was afraid the tree would fall on her house. She starts looking for someone to cut it down, this was a massive oak with a huge burl on it. This guy hears about it and gets there just in time. “A nice man” is going to cut it down and even pay her 500 dollars for the wood. My buddy stepped in, she got 7500 for the tree, he said the burl alone was likely worth 12K, it was that fantastic and the guy damn well knew it.

        There is lot of work and energy to make a tree into lumber and it is easy for an owner to want to much due to not understanding. Same way some people bitch about a 20 dollar chicken a farmer has 14 bucks minimum into and they want to pay 5 dollars like “at the store”. It is also very easy to make big expensive mistakes if all trees are treated the same.

  10. CPS and the 16 yr old girl. Could she get emancipated from her parents? She will have to prove that she can take care of herself but it may be a simpler option.

    • I did this at 16 it was hard, something tells me today it is a LOT harder. The key is you have to prove income sufficient to your needs. There are many other things too but that is hurtle one, without it, you ain’t going no where.

      • I’ll also point out it depends on where you live how all of this works. I can assure you here in Louisiana the laws are toooooootalllly different. But Louisiana kinda has its own thing going on….

  11. Regarding Steven Harris’ example of Jack setting up a bug-out location which would not be visited very often: He stated that the Iron Edison batteries could be set up so they would still be at a full charge when “Jack” came back to them a long time later, but don’t these batteries need someone there to top them off with distilled water every month?

    • I was confused on that point myself. I will mention right before he said this, he mentioned an auto-watering system but he didn’t get into it.

  12. Regarding buying bulk trees. MANY, if not MOST states have a Department of Forestry that sells bulk tree seedlings, for the most ridiculous prices. Last year I purchased crab apples and bald cypresses (mostly because what I wanted wasn’t available so late).

    But they often have black walnuts, pecans, (if you live down here), mulberries, etc, etc. So long as it is native. We’re talking things like a 1000 trees for 100-200 bucks.

    • I bought some sand plums, 25 for $50. Will see what they are like next year when shipped. There were pecans offered but they didn’t specify what variety they were. Mostly were trees that were more for wildlife and not for people.

      • Well it works both ways. At least for Louisiana they offer sweet pecans. I was thinking about planting the hell out of some sweet pecans for a few acres, and eventually finding the good ones.

        They also had Hickory, Black Walnut, Pines (you could plant some pines for a quick/small interment yield), Red Maples, and I think thats it for the premium wood trees….

        They also had persimmons, plums and mayhaw. Another possibility is looking at what a local bordering state has as well. It could be worth the drive for price differences / per unit. Also if your state has it you can have an ag exemption on the part of your property that is managed as a wood lot. In Louisiana it reduces that part of the property’s property taxes down to dollars per acre.

        • I forgot to mention that you can plant crab apples, top them, then graft to them. That’s what I did/doing. Although I’ve found enough crab apples around the property (keep on finding them), that I’ll be starting a lot more of these local ones from seed, then topping/grafting.

    • Be careful with ag exemptions and know your state! In Indiana for example, any forest you want to classify will reduce your property taxes down to an assessed rate of .01/acre/year. However, you are not allowed to graze ANY livestock on it and if you ever take it out of this program, you have to pay all of the back taxes!

      • That’s a good point. Really its just a good point to look into fine prints and deciding if you’re ok with government “benies”. If the caller is looking for very hands off, he should highly consider it. Most people around here I’ll note hay fields to get the ag exemption. In fact probably most of the hay just rots out in the field. It’s there for tax deductions….

        Looking into the exemption now here, and I’m not seeing any limitations of use of the land other than it being used primarily for that purpose. It is not uncommon whatsoever around here for people to set aside an acre of their land or more for a small pine plantation that they thin out. It just makes sense.

  13. Regarding the timber for retirement segment: What kind of insurance would be necessary to protect that investment for 30-40 years? What kind of costs are we talking about?

  14. I was curious about the diameter of the circle of trees around the two inside trees in the station and then spacing between the stations… thanks