Biodiesel / Sustainable Ag.

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Snow Ranch

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Jan 24, 2011, 4:20:22 PM1/24/11
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Lonnie,
 
I owe you an email still.   For now, a question:
 
What's the status on TLC's biodiesel plans?   Any idea on production levels and price yet?   How serious is this whole thing?
 
We need to add a haymaking operation into the years ahead in order to keep afloat -- as the price of hay can be expected to rise, price of seeds, and the price of fuel to potentially even $6/ gallon.   Single operator -- tractor, mower-conditioner, or mower and then rake, baling machine (with its own engine or capable of PTO), and haystacker or bale spearing on the field 5 at a time and stacking, then forklift offload ops.   If we add $10k cost and go with the haystacker, that saves labor time and fuel by about 108 gallons of diesel per year.
 
Worst case, we'll need about 11,406 gallons per 14,000 square bales.  With installation of off-the-shelf HHO gear, maybe we can trim that down to a need for only 7,984 gallons/ year.   Not willing to risk 2011 production on 100% water as the only fuel mods yet, but definitely some HHO feed in is needed and well worth the TRANSITION at only 30% gains.  There's that damn "transition" buzzword again! :-)   Hope that gives you an idea of the biodiesel need for the average tractor & hay baling operation running at about 3/4 gallon per hour consumption and less than 40 horsepower.  Once you get into bigger tractors, higher horsepower, and discing/ tilling operations....fuel consumption rises greatly.  
 
We have 2 hay balers open to us -- both in need of repair -- and ample local tractors or rental to call upon if frying their engines, so I think it worth the risk to just get in there and try it....first with bottlefeeding hydrogen from welding tanks with bubbler and backflash protection.  Get a feel for psi and flowrate needs per engine there.  Startups on diesel as usual and then switchover to HHO.   Once we know how much HHO each engine truly wants at partial throttle on the average operation, then conventional electrolysis can be set up for that while high voltage/ pulsed water fracture (partial Stanley Meyer efficiency) can be pursued in subsequent years.  
 
Due to two engines inoperation with the tractor PTO unused with the baler, there's ample horsepower available off the tractor PTO to run high capacity alternators or just an array of junkyard alternators.   That to feed greater electrolysis, and that supply fed to one or both engines in pushing past 30% fuel economy increase.  Maybe closer to 60% to 80% is the idea.  100% water as the fuel would be nice, but any progress there lowers ops costs, increases profit margin, and keeps us independent of fuel prices & supply. 
 
....Tempted to just mount welding shop hydrogen bottles on the tractor, but that's too dangerous.   General Liability insurance wouldn't cover that in a gazillion years at an affordable rate.   I'll definitely do some welding bottle feed-ins in prototype testing on the engines in the shop, but we can't have hired labor on the tractor running around with hydrogen tank mods.  HHO on-demand with good, commercial, off-the-shelf conversion kits and no hydrogen storage....sure...but not by tank.  Too high a risk.   If the price goes up too much on diesel, we'll also be ready to switch over to Propane on all engines. 
 
Curious on your biodiesel supply ambitions and mostly price per gallon target?   The less diesel we buy the better, but we'll always need some.  
 
And how much of what kind of crop do you require to make a gallon of biodiesel?  That's the part that always bewilders me with biodiesel stuff.  It takes oodles of tractor operations in cultivation, harvest, harvest labor using fuel just getting to a jobsite, energy consumed in irrigation and many logistics aspects of harvest.....all to make how many gallons per crop?   Seems to me you do more damage to the environment in planting & harvest operations per gallon of diesel made....unless a huge, efficient operation.
 
I was looking at sunflower oilseed as a crop once for potential bio-diesel.  Nice, "poor man's vineyard".   I like just scattering the seeds, not much till, and watching them come up like weeds above the grass -- even with no irrigation.  Some loss of seeds to the birds, though, but you can time that seeding away from birds.   Anyhow, I forget if it was 50 gallons oil per 1 acre or 50 gallons per 5 acres...or 500 gallons per 1 or 5 acres.....but the oil yield wasn't impressive enough to me to justify the investment and ops cost.   The feed value and recyling of seeds for the next planting is to me, however, but only to limited degree.  
 
People think it nuts, but I also planted 160 wild blackberry trimmings as 4 rows -- stuff most people try to kill off -- mostly because we've never been able to keep a blackberry bush going here for long.   The goats eat it all to the ground and love the stuff, so that's our secret weapon against overgrowth.  Hoping to let the poor man's vineyard come up, trim some vines a bit, gather some berries for harvest, and then unleash the goats to beat the monster bushes back into the ground.  I don't know, however, how well these 160 plants will do from just hokey planting.  In the fall, I spent an hour each evening for a couple days mostly clipping neighboring blackberry vines and sticking the thicker stalks straight into the soil.  No cultivation.   Just found little cracks in the ground from the dried clay soil (like dry lakebed cracks).  Stuck the trimmings in there.   Covered with manure.   Watered each plant for a couple days with good sun and warmth still and then walked away from them.  Planted just after the Full Moon -- hoping the transition to New Moon would foster their root growth and seeking of Earth, not sky and light.   We'll see what comes up...if at all, but local blackberry bushes are definitely the most RESILIENT crops in this county.  Next year, I'd like to get some thornless blackberry bushes going, too.
 
That's pretty much our own ag focus:    Goat meat, some milk, affordable hay, berries & sunflower, and nothing more.  We do have a gardener working on 20 planter boxes (organic, no-till) -- supplied water and land in exchange for 10% of Net, but he's still learning and no profit there yet.  His fancy crap organic soil is too lifeless and needs far more worms and fungi added plus compost tea made from manure.  He needs to remove about half the crap soil from each box, add in local worm castings by bulk, and also a mix of mushroom compost while making tea of our ample goat manure here.  Last year, his test production was messing around with too much of this fancy, costly, scientific farming by the book for newbies b.s. rather than just focus on living soil and planting the right crop by optimum solar and lunar times.  If the soil is dead, crops are dead.   Where soil's alive, crops thrive.  Get the seeds in the ground at the right time and water while not screwing around so much on the fancy crap.  It's that simple. 
 
A lot of this theoretical, no-till crap the "Sustainability" gurus sell in books is basically b.s. for the hobby garden that results in about $8,000/ acre start-up cost and far less return.  I like organic, but farmers have been tilling for decades for good reason.  Wasn't my money, so I allowed it and advised against, but he basically spent that much here per acre setting up with crap soil in hokey boxes that don't yield much.....atop otherwise beautiful, rich, nutritious soil that only needs a little manure addition when tilling and some compost tea mixed into drip irrigation.   Yeah, the boxes protect against gophers, but you're better to be generous to the gophers and have greater yield.   They steal some crops, but they sure do till the soil nicely and our front "lawn" is pasture anyhow.   There's just a lot of idealist / pie-in-the-sky gardener crap out there and then farming business reality....and reality is that food farming sucks thanks to NAFTA but should improve some once you all start starving off.   And $8k/ acre for a handful of f'n bug-ridden carrots and half-assed cucumbers.....no, that doesn't cut it as "sustainable" in any world!  :-(    If it can't be profitable with good margin, it is not "Sustainable" and soil quality is central to everything.  Instead of spending $4k on these damn planter boxes, yes, you till the soil, dump in good compost and till it up -- with even a rental tractor or custom hire -- and then you water it.  And your cost per acre goes way down!   That's sustainable, not this other drivel.  Where the mechanical equipment is ugly to greenies, fine....fix it.  Run alternative fuels, but this slaving away in your garden like some third worlder isn't the way to go about feeding larger numbers of people and being economically viable.  
 
The aquaculture and other methods are great (and also costly startup), but the crap we did out here last year.....that's stupid.   Learn from our mistakes.   Planter boxes are nice, but, if you make them....make them deep....and make sure your soil isn't all this fancy, certified organic, lab grade, dead sawdust muck that looks like a bunch of shredded tree bark mixed with dirt.  I've planted wonderful home gardens before in nothing but straight cow manure and everything thrived!  But, some of this fancy soil they sell by the sack plain sucks.  He's got it all fancy mixed -- Vermiculite and this and that -- but it still sucks.  It's dead soil.  Has all the right science to it, but it's dead stuff.   I could sooner go out into the national forest, clear a pile of leaves, and dig up that soil as the best around.   When it's moist, black, shaded, covered by leaves, has worms and bugs crawling out of it for every clog in your hand....that's what you plant in, not this other junk.  This crap I pick up and hold, and there's not a single bug, worm, or much fungi.....and that's the problem.  You can dump fertilizer in it and it's still just well-fed, dead soil.   Not much more than a sponge, but, oh, it comes highly recommended and Organic certified, etc.   If I can pull my pants down, take a crap in it, and say that's better soil for growing in....then this fancy stuff doesn't amount to crap in my book.  You just can't beat real soil under fallen trea leaves.
 
In a few months, I would like to get a worm bin going here mostly for getting some feed to a small degree of poultry and fish in an aquaculture pond (backhoe dug pond with those surplus billboard tarps at the liner).   A crude greenhouse atop them or even none at all.   Worms to the fish.   Dirty pond water 12VDC / solar pumped into drip irrigation.  Some fish crop for at least family and dogs.  Better growth on tomatoes and things in the planter boxes, etc.  Water trickle down to also the goat manure composting and fertilizing tea there also valved into the irrigation system as needed.   But, I don't want us spread too thin on crops and all this biodynamic stuff.   Primary ag focus is livestock and hay.   I don't believe in diversity of farming other than to a basic point of fairly sustainable living.  Every production effort has its unique timing, attention needs, costs, market factors....and trying to do too many crop varieties only results in doing nothing well -- particularly if you do other work.  It's even a biblical lesson:   The fool plants too many crops.   That's fine for hobby gardeners, but the biggest problem with all this Sustainability and Eco virtue stuff is taking it to actual commercial viability.   If that's not there, no farm is ever truly Sustainable for long....and no Greenie ambitions will ever spread much more than just a dream. 
 
For example, we've been raising goats near 100%, pasture-grazed, organic this whole time.  Zero meds.  Zero vax.  Cleanest meat and milk you'll ever find.  Our gourmet market, however, doesn't pay enough to really justify the increased loss there.  The new, draconian-Nazi SB 510 law soon to impact American farms pretty much shuts down our co-op and best prices in 2011.  And it wasn't worth it anyhow.   If you don't practice more modern methods of husbandry, what results is less production.   Kid mortality on does of good nutrition and periodically de-wormed (by at least natural methods) is 5%-10%.  When you run year-round on pasture and take the grass down lower, the wormload rises.....and kid mortality is a direct function of average wormload.  They all have worms.  The issue is tolerable wormload and its impact upon nutrition and feed conversion. 
 
All-natural goat raising results in 20%-30% kid loss, higher orphan rates (which cost you money in supplies, milk, and labor), higher adult loss rates, and a lower birth rate.  Meanwhile, wet pasture and green grass people think ideal is hell on goats.   Alfalfa and all this fancy bale stuff is too "hot" a feed except for a bit by winter.   The "weedy" hay everyone and all these fussy horse people think is crap -- just that wild brush and grass growing in fields needing fire clearing --- that's very nutritious hay.  TDN, energy, and protien are nicely in range with it.  Everyone saying it's not nutritious....oh, they can't tell you the energy and protein content on it and are full of it.  The foxtail everyone hates....that's wild Barley.  The weeds have high protein & energy content compared to grass because they suck up soil nutrients faster.  The brush -- even dry and outside May to June harvest times -- is still good stuff, but you want to cut it when still alive.  Dry bales are best for our animals.   There is a risk of losing some animals due to noxious weeds, but that's rare with goats and use of the rangeland bales (which most think silly) makes the most sense for our RESILIENCE into the future because it requires no tilling, no planting, and only fire clearing & baling done free for interested landowners.   Pasturing on leased lands makes for better profit margin, but, with the economy and uncertainty, most people aren't interested in long-term leases that banks prefer to see......and so adding the hay baling operations of "junk hay" lends to long-term commercial stability.   The more we produce of affordable hay for livestock, the less we use and can sell instead, and the less diesel we burn....the greater the profit margin.  And we can keep our animals as 100% pasture "grazed" / Organic still, but we need to feed them taller / dryer forage, and maintain lower wormloads while adding more Diamataceous Earth pellet feed.  Can't get them that taller grass while they're continually mowing it down and rotation grazing doesn't do it fast enough.  For every acre of fenced pasture held, we basically need another 1-2 acres to bale from yearly.   Not either/ or style between pasturing or feed-lot, but a hybrid of both is the optimum point. 
 
I've also revised our no vaccine policy to include CDT vax, but not as sub-cutaneous or in higher doses.  We now use old-style Variolation methods -- just a squirt of vax into their noses -- which tickles the nasal passages and GI tract immunity to full capacity while not damaging animal lymphatic system and blood with vaccine toxins.  The trivial degree of vaccine toxin by this nasal spray method goes out in the poop within hours rather than penetrating into tissues and vital organs year after year.   It's actually a better method of vaccine by old Chinese Medicine style against Small Pox, but Big Pharma wants us all to believe that more and more meds and vaccine = health.  That's a load of crap, though.  
 
Vaccines can be very useful in humans and animals, but only where damages are minimal.  In pastured livestock operations -- where kept clean, clean water, good feed, clean shelters, not overcrowded or overgrazed -- the need for vaccine is minimal compared to pens, but, with replacment stock in and out from other ranches or auction on larger operations, CDT and others are a bare minimum business need and still allowed under Organic methods.....but I just don't like heavy use.   It costs more to administer in time, labor, and materials while the efficacy is not as optimum or convenient as just periodic nasal spray.  Far easier to offer goats a treat by hand while squirting them in the nose than it is to catch them and inject them!   300 pound bucks with horns are far easier to squirt in the nose with vax than catch and poke!  :-)   We don't have blood test efficacy done yet on this method versus sub-q but will next year and I don't need the data to tell me what we already know from human vaccine methods and observation.  We just need the lab data to determine how frequently nasal spray results in a good defense and antibody production versus sub-q.  Once a year per head?  Twice?  Once every couple years?  Or just once in a lifetime?  For livestock, analysis of operations has me moving away from extreme anti-vaccine to just tickles with it and minimal use/ maximum gain.  For humans, I'm anti-vaccine to an extreme unless as homeopathic nosode or old Chinese style variolation during severe emergency.   If our business depended on taking people to market for slaughter.....then, sure, vaccinate them. :-) 
 
Truth is:  the majority of our market couldn't care less what you put into livestock and won't pay for luxury treatment, but we do it as common sense and upkeep of the breeding stock's health.  The healthier husbandry approach on pasture and clean conditions with hay supplement or even year-round supply (but not penned, paddock, or overcrowed) yields greater overall health....which means less money spent on medicine, labor in care, and losses to chronic ailments.  In 7 years, none of the goats we raise or sold have ever had observed chronic ailments, though we are always fighting acute woes -- bloat on wet grass, winter nutrition loss with kidding, worm cases/ pregnancy anemia on some does (usually the conventionally medicated ones from earlier ranches) needing extra attention & feed, etc. 
 
The natural goats we've raised for a few generations now are extremely hardy compared to your average pampered goat.  The vaccine and medice-loving ranchers out there can't imagine how we do things, but our animals convert the most spartan of feed to meat with greater digestive efficiency because we don't trash their GI tracts with drugs.   They remain more robust against epidemics and ailments in general because we don't trash the blood and lymph.   They're not as fat and are on the leaner side, but are not skinny and neglected.  A  pampered goat, however, will drop dead in a year to the degree we've pushed our animals in the past.   In genetic Nazi breeding terms, they are like Hitler's dream as "Aryan Supergoats"; All aggressive in eating and digesting EVERYTHING!  Nazi stormtroopers they are on the pasture --- eating everything to a low cut and lower than most goats can take.  :-)  Many say goats cannot thrive on pasture and grass alone, but these do.  They live where others don't and, when you feed them the better grade forage, they thrive.  They thrive because we have focused on keeping their rumens healthy, albeit at greater wormload than the conventionally medicated goats.   Per pound of feed eaten, our goats absorb it while others need more feed to just live.  It's not how much you feed them, but how much nutrition they actually assimilate....and weak rumens way overdosed on medicine don't do that.  You kill off essential probiotics like that.  You make it easier for the bad muck to takeover and cause bloating & Enterotoxemia with the medicines while goats are actually very delicate creatures.
 
The problem we have is that, in expanding the herd to a more sustainable commerce level, we now have to take in weakling, damaged, and chronic illness prone goats conventionally raised.  They are substandard and inferior to our "goat master race" in the works here for years.  :-) It takes 2-3 years to bring those does up to peak production while it takes a couple generations to build a new, larger herd of "Aryan Supergoat" that is equally robust.  Not a single goat in California can we find which meets our standards, though there are some in Texas where raised on open range.   Everyone raises goats of the Regular army, but ours are crack commando goats on pasture.   Hitler would be proud of our work in goat eugenics!  :-|    And they're not GMO goats, but that term is kinda vague because their genes are scrambled with each year -- even more so where inbred.   So, yeah, we alter genetics in the herd like diabolical Nazi scientists of Monsanto all the time.   Sure, we're not doing DNA PCR on them, but it's always in mutation here.  Just naturally so.   Strong goats breed strong goats;  Weaklings breed weak ones.   Weaklings we cull.   It's all sadly very nazi-like, but such is business.  Having a heart will bankrupt an operation.
 
Problem with California ranchers is that they mother and medicate the animals too damn much -- just like farmers who don't practice Organic mother and medicate the soil too damn much.  You need some mothering and less harmful medication, but they do it way too much out of fear of letting nature take its course.   Likewise, to sustain any commercial viability, you do have to break from nature at times.  For example, we cannot allow our bucks to just breed and fornicate with the girls any time they desire on open pasture.  That results in greater production, but also greater loss because kids are born at various times -- usually in the dead of winter.  Your workload in saving orphans goes up, maternal abandonment goes up, kid loss rises on those born in the wee hours even in a warm barn, winter is harder on the does nutrition wise.   Ideally, you breed in winter, kid in the fall, and take to market on November to December peak prices at the optimum kid weight of 55 pounds.   If we don't control nature like that, it's all loss, loss, loss.  But, to keep the bucks happy and not busting down fence in horny fits, we throw them a couple sleazy bar girls in their paddocks for general "entertainment".  :-)  The rest of their virginal blushing brides have to wait for romancing until winter and early spring. 
 
At present, if anyone is looking for great fertilizer....we do have a small degree of goat manure & pine chip / soil mix available free for those with a shovel.   I like to sprinkle it atop the soil when planting or as add on before the rains.  Being barn manure, it's been well urinated and pooped upon.   Very nutrient rich stuff.   The pine chips foster ample fungal growth, too.   In years to come, we'll always have a bit of barn manure available by the scoop or bucket load and, where the level rises too much, we may later sack and sell that as ranch produce, too.  However, our annual manure output is mostly spread around as fertilizing pellets on pasture which the rains break down.  Our shelters in the future being portable don't build up manure or require tractor scraping.  Only places that need cleaning and which generate manure are the orphan kid barn and hospital "wing" (Sutter Goatside Hospital)....which produce about a ton of manure & compost per year that is generally useful to our existing garden, but not presently used fully.  Thus, we're not terribly full of s#%t!  Just a little.  :-)
 
As I was saying, Lonnie, our future expansion is moving away from Boers and more in favor of Alpine/ dairy nannies.  However, we'll have to go with what's available on the market for the expansion.   Either way, we definitely want more milk does out here crossed with our big Boer bucks.  It results in faster weight gains on the kids due to all that milk.  Both are large-framed, meaty animals.   Survival-wise, food-shortage-wise, etc....we can keep people alive on the milk while not having to slaughter the herd for meat.  One goat can keep one man alive per day.  More if milk is not their only nutrition intake and there's plenty of food off the land in Lake County as-is even in the dead of winter.  Everywhere you look out here is food.  People don't have to starve even if there were a food shortage.  They just need to learn how to survive if need be.   The grass alone out here has juice you can live on.  The tule on the lake have scrapable dew.  The foxtails everyone hates....that's wild barley.   Worms, crickets, thousands of annoying black birds in the garden, deer, fish, frogs, fried maggots if I must......I won't starve, but I prefer nice food and not being a hunter-gatherer caveman is all.   
 
We are not a dairy and cannot sell raw or pasturized milk.   The future herd being bank "chattel" and all that paperwork being more crap and distraction than I care for, we cannot do a herd-share for milk thing.  The dairy does, however, are good to keep always milked.  
 
Regular milking, though requiring near double the feed, prevents mastitis and cheesy buildup in the udder while encouraging greater milk production and better taming the herd for handling.   The milk is a commodity we won't be using other than during kidding, so we're fully open to TLC members and the public renting a goat for "brush clearing and garden purposes" -- cash or barter, or even just keep them fed.  Deposit of some form required equivelent to the animal's value, but, as long as the animal is returned at the agreed upon time in good health and weight (and fed only from a list of forage or our own bales), what people do with their rented goat is their business.  Our position is that they rented the animal to do some landscaping in their backyards, but, if people want to milk and make cheese, that's their business and liability.  We suggest some basic and regular blood testing per animal -- especially if drinking raw.  Ensuring no Brucella or Tuberculosis, etc.   If the animal is well kept, fed clean water and forage, and is healthy.... raw milk is the best.  But, we just can't be in a position of selling milk nor doing herd-share/ shared animal ownership.   Liability Release and Disclaimer on any milking at their own risk would be standard.   Raw is the best milk in the world, though.  Red tape, legality, and high dairy costs just make it not commercially viable at this time for us.   
 
But, definitely, I'd be happy to trade out does to people interested in "milking for non-consumption" (as just a hobby or 4H teaching goat, but no drinking) in exchange for just their giving us the cholostrum (first milk during motherhood) and saving us labor there.  Cholostrum out here is like gold!   We pay $20 for a gallon of it if not having any in the freezer.  If you know any who have it, we're always happy to buy it from cattle, goats, horses, sheep.  It's the only milk that saves orphan lives in the first few hours on most animals.  The powdered stuff and milk replacer is crap.  Without the right cholostrum in store, you can have around 30% kid mortality on otherwise healthy kids.  With cholostrum, good maternal nutrition, and others....less than 5% kid mortality is the ideal with 10% about normal....and that's the difference between going bankrupt or not on a larger herd.   Orphans generally run about 10% to 30% potential loss if you don't save them, and cholostrum with real milk -- preferably goat milk -- is the key there.   We'll have a need for potentially about 900 gallons or more of our own goat milk which is really easier to just buy as cow milk (unless prices skyrocket)...but it's always better as mother's milk.....so we'll be happy to have any milking help in exchange for goat "brush clearing rental". 
 
Here, we really only need does on the field for breeding in December to Feb.  Then again around kidding time in the fall and in nursing. The rest of the time they can be offsite with others just fine if people are set up for it.  You mostly just need a rope, clean water, crude shelter, feed, and protection from predators.  Goats are generally quiet and not a bother to neighbors any more so than a lawnmower.   Smell is not bad on girls;  More so on the boys.   Biggest thing is dry, warm shelter, ample shade by summer, ample feed, clean water, and protection from stray dogs or mountain lions.  If you have that, a lone goat on a rope is fine in anyone's backyard.  They'll be happier in two or more, though.   If people are keeping them responsibly, we're fully open to spreading out our "pasture lease" holdings in this manner, too.  Every goat in someone's backyard is one less on our pastures, less feed, and greater attention/ observation per animal while it provides an eco-friendly / fuel-less landscaping means....and "fresh milk for non-human use" (such as weaning puppies, garden fertilizer, or sale to local DVM's as people do at their own risk). 
 
We're not looking to be distracted by pickup and delivery to places around the county, but certainly are available by phone and in-person where there's a problem with an animal's health.  We wouldn't keep a deposit on a health problem or normal loss if feeding was kept up as instructed.  Over-feeding, wrong feeding, too much grain, dirty water, and neglect can easily kill our animals, though.   We don't want to do it with the whole herd, but are open to a fraction of it to see how it goes.  It would be well worth the cholostrum & milk value returned to us alone even with no other rental fee.  
 
Basically: 
 
"Here, have a goat.  Keep it and feed it until we need it back.   Give us some milk and cholostrum in return as the rental fee.  What you do with the rest is your business.  Need the girls back in November to January and again in June to August.  It'll get tricky as they kid because we need them nursing the kids from June to January.  We need that milk fully with the kids, not you, from June to January and need them here on-site to tend to, but not from Jan to June.  Or, if you can't keep the goat at your place and it's all too complicated, you're welcome to milk on-site here as just a hobby interest and for teaching children the farm life and how to make cheese.....but your milking hobby is only for returning to us some milk and cholostrum supply for our animals.  The rest is ranch waste product we ask you to sign right here that you'll be disposing of in your garden as good fertilizer, not ever consuming -- especially not raw."  
 
I'll have to check with some raw milk groups, herd-share raw milk organizations, and a lawyer if that'll cover us there...but, if so, we're certainly willing to share dairy goat use with people....just not officially any milk.  If members of the TLC co-op return to us say 900 gallons over the year, that saves us some $3600/year on the orphans.  The more milk they can return to us at lower cost, the longer we can hold orphans beyond 25 lbs Cabrito and carry to 55 lbs best market weight which is better business at our end.  Helps people with their landscaping and "other interests" in having a dairy goat around the house "as a pet" without actually having to own one year-round.  If they go on vacation and can't get a goat-sitter, just bring it back to our "kennel" free of charge.  :-)  
 
This scheme will generally not work in mountain lion areas of the county, however....unless you have good dogs on-site....but most dogs won't mix with goats without a fight erupting and injury to our goats.   Deposit would be about $250/ head...which is basically what people could just go out and buy a goat for, but the cash stays on account and would be returned when the goat is returned.  Over the years, as that goat produces, we can make each year's deposit less and less.  Just can't have all of Lake County running off with our goats and saying, "Sorry, dude.  Our dog killed it.  We forgot to feed and water it.  Left it out in the hot sun and rain.  Didn't care cuz we didn't have anything of deposit at stake in the deal." 
 
But, yeah, theoretically, if people put a $250 deposit down and borrow a goat for landscaping for a week or two....they can return the goat, get their money back in the same month, and one dairy goat produces anywhere from 1/2 gallon to 2 gallons milk per day for FERTILIZING YOUR GARDEN.   Most GARDENS don't need that much milk daily, so some can be stored or frozen.  They can play at making goat cheese for MOUSE TRAP USE ONLY or for just FARMING LESSONS WITH CHILDREN....just not official CONSUMPTION.  If they want to do a dairy operation with the goats and get certified on it, that's not our business....but we just wash our hands clean of any of that liability stuff is all.   Though raw goat milk (where tested as safe and physician approved) can have tremendous nutrition and probiotic health value for cancer patients and sickly others (particularly in the restoration of GI tract function), at our end, they are strictly rented out as garden goats in exchange for only milk payments as our fee.   :-)   It's better that way anyhow because, if people do milk them secretly, they know how they cared for them, what was put into the animal, and it's fresh....not bottled or rotting.  The animal is right there for them to do a blood draw on and check for no disease, and to isolate from any strains a larger and shuffling herd can introduce.  Puts them closer to nature, too. 
 
We are out of dairy goats at this time, however.   Our Boers are poor milkers with smaller udders -- so they give the milk at about 1 oz per hour instead of large, stored amounts....and all of that is presently required by the kids. 
 
....If any are interested in that, give me an email and inform how many does you might be interested in for your garden, at what times of year, and the location.
 
Thanks,
 
Stan
 
 
 
 
 
 

lonnie caldwell

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Jan 25, 2011, 7:04:41 AM1/25/11
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On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 1:20 PM, Snow Ranch <snow-...@mchsi.com> wrote:
Lonnie,
 
I owe you an email still.   For now, a question:
 
What's the status on TLC's biodiesel plans? so far just talk, the general consensus is that it would be better to focus efforts on the most widely used fuel ( a gasoline substitute), the feelings seem to be leaning towards cellulosic? Ethanol. I know that there is a company in so-cal that builds mobile units that can generate 3600 gallons per mo. cost $28,000.00. I am told there are cheaper units available more like 6 g's. I am thinking we build our own out of recycled or used stuff and get it going let sophistication develop enroute   Any idea on production levels and price yet?   How serious is this whole thing? As a heart attack on a poor boy.
 
We need to add a haymaking operation into the years ahead in order to keep afloat -- as the price of hay can be expected to rise, price of seeds, and the price of fuel to potentially even $6/ gallon.   Single operator -- tractor, mower-conditioner, or mower and then rake, baling machine (with its own engine or capable of PTO), and haystacker or bale spearing on the field 5 at a time and stacking, then forklift offload ops.   If we add $10k cost and go with the haystacker, that saves labor time and fuel by about 108 gallons of diesel per year.
 
Worst case, we'll need about 11,406 gallons per 14,000 square bales.  With installation of off-the-shelf HHO gear, maybe we can trim that down to a need for only 7,984 gallons/ year.   Not willing to risk 2011 production on 100% water as the only fuel mods yet, but definitely some HHO feed in is needed and well worth the TRANSITION (freaking tree huggin commie liberal... heh heh)  at only 30% gains.  There's that damn "transition" buzzword again! :-)   Hope that gives you an idea of the biodiesel need for the average tractor & hay baling operation running at about 3/4 gallon per hour consumption and less than 40 horsepower.  Once you get into bigger tractors, higher horsepower, and discing/ tilling operations....fuel consumption rises greatly.  Cuba went to oxen to get through and very limited tractor usage. Sounds like we need to get you set up with your own unit. Maybe set one in each community of farms? I am assuming you are out near Teale since you called ME Teale in one of your latter emails. LOL. Even if you don't you get the idea one unit in an easy to get to area that the farmers could get their fuel from. The 3600 gal unit fits in a 14 by 8 or so trailer, so we could easily increase that by building redundant or larger capacity units. My question is where we get that much oil?      There is an outfit in Ukiah where they are processing fry oil and such for commercial use, need to go visit them. I would love to make that trip with you in tow if you ever get a day you can spare a few hours for leisure and sight seeing. One of the vids on youtube regarding Bio Diesel is a home made deal in the guys garage using simple drums small pumps and a hot water heater. (Oil again) I can see the fry oil thing playing out quick! Could go to the merchants here and appeal to them to keep the fry oil in Lake Co. But if they are getting paid for it... money money money. By the way I owe you a response on the "Root of all Evil" thing. the actual quote is :For the LOVE of money is the root of all evil. Not money per se but the worshipping of it basically. Hard to argue with that one eh? 1 Tim 6:10

Honestly we need to go true Bio and get away from fry oil, there is only so much of that although you can use any kind of food grade oil and probably some non-food grade as well not sure, need to get into it more. So tallow from the tallow works, Rendered animal fats from kill plants. Fish oil from seafood processing etc. after that I think we are into Oil producing plants such as soya and canola. Honestly I need to knuckle down and do the homework... Problem is like you I am gearing up for the growing season and getting pretty busy so... By the way I am burning copies of "The 20th Century." "A People's History of The United States." Howard Zinn, listened to some of it and what I heard was pretty cool. Available if you are interested in a set. 
 
 
We have 2 hay balers open to us -- both in need of repair -- and ample local tractors or rental to call upon if frying their engines, so I think it worth the risk to just get in there and try it....first with bottlefeeding hydrogen from welding tanks with bubbler and backflash protection.  Get a feel for psi and flowrate needs per engine there.  Startups on diesel as usual and then switchover to HHO.   Once we know how much HHO each engine truly wants at partial throttle on the average operation, then conventional electrolysis can be set up for that while high voltage/ pulsed water fracture (partial Stanley Meyer efficiency) can be pursued in subsequent years.  
 
Due to two engines inoperation with the tractor PTO unused with the baler, there's ample horsepower available off the tractor PTO to run high capacity alternators or just an array of junkyard alternators.   That to feed greater electrolysis, and that supply fed to one or both engines in pushing past 30% fuel economy increase.  Maybe closer to 60% to 80% is the idea.  100% water as the fuel would be nice, but any progress there lowers ops costs, increases profit margin, and keeps us independent of fuel prices & supply. ( man I wish I had the time and such to just start doing the stuff your talking about under your supervision. Gets me excited thinking about it, I want to dig and see how this stuff works...I am hungry!)
 
....Tempted to just mount welding shop hydrogen bottles on the tractor, but that's too dangerous.   General Liability insurance wouldn't cover that in a gazillion years at an affordable rate.   I'll definitely do some welding bottle feed-ins in prototype testing on the engines in the shop, but we can't have hired labor on the tractor running around with hydrogen tank mods.  HHO on-demand with good, commercial, off-the-shelf conversion kits and no hydrogen storage....sure...but not by tank.  Too high a risk.   If the price goes up too much on diesel, we'll also be ready to switch over to Propane on all engines. What about Methane? Build a large stiil that the community throws all their human and animal waste as well as anything biodegradable into a Methane stiil with some anaerobic bacteria. Compress into propane style tanks and use for fuel for motors, heating, cooking etc. What is the horse power potential with Propane/Methane? I have the impression it is good for high torque situations such as tractor work. Fallacy?
 
Curious on your biodiesel supply ambitions and mostly price per gallon target?   The less diesel we buy the better, but we'll always need some.  Completely depends on availability of bio-mass and or oils. We could use the poorer quality olive oil and start processing grape seed oils, walnut oils, what else grows local we could press for oil? Also how many people can we convince to put their resources into community or farm based units? There is money available from private sources in the form of grants and such that we could apply for. I bet the Grange would help if it can. I am just adamantly opposed to any kind of Gov assistance, :The King;s Bread" and all. What I saw on the youtube thing, the price of processing fry oil was somewhere between .40 and .80 cents per gallon depending on what you paid for processing supplies such as lye. Bulk Vs. small packaging. Know any natural sources for lye? Depends on what you are processing and what you have to pay to get it to the state where you can process it to... If we have to buy oil to make diesel then... well you get it.
 
And how much of what kind of crop do you require to make a gallon of biodiesel?  That's the part that always bewilders me with biodiesel stuff.  It takes oodles of tractor operations in cultivation, harvest, harvest labor using fuel just getting to a jobsite, energy consumed in irrigation and many logistics aspects of harvest.....all to make how many gallons per crop?   Seems to me you do more damage to the environment in planting & harvest operations per gallon of diesel made....unless a huge, efficient operation. My concern as well and I plead ignorance once again.
 
I was looking at sunflower oilseed as a crop once for potential bio-diesel.  Nice, "poor man's vineyard".   I like just scattering the seeds, not much till, and watching them come up like weeds above the grass -- even with no irrigation.  Some loss of seeds to the birds, though, but you can time that seeding away from birds.   Anyhow, I forget if it was 50 gallons oil per 1 acre or 50 gallons per 5 acres...or 500 gallons per 1 or 5 acres.....but the oil yield wasn't impressive enough to me to justify the investment and ops cost.   The feed value and recyling of seeds for the next planting is to me, however, but only to limited degree.  If we had folks growing large crops of sunflower or canola or whatever is most cost effective then it gets be more efficient I would think... As you say the trick is to get more out than you put in, so reducing the distance you have to haul the crop to process it is huge. Also those crops have many uses (Damn I sound like those Native American (so am I) Indigenous (So am I) Indian (That too although minuscule amounts) Use everything, waste nothing... Press the seeds for oil, the green goes into the methane still, Compost piles, Cellulosic Ethanol.I want to grow Hemp.... grrrrrr... Multi use crops that are grown in strategic areas so to be as close as possible to the processing facilities. no trucking 80 miles to the other side of the lake. Draft horses and freight wagons? We could stalk the lake with Talipia... they grow dense as your video you sent out mentioned, two problems I see immediately with that, water temp and eco-concerns. will the Talapia cause issues or vice versa? Ha ha issues cause Talapia? YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN! Also how do you get them out Get those Indians gill netting them? (I am thinking food source (Mercury in the lake though) I am thinking fertilizer as well as oils and whatever else we can do with them. Probably more efficient to have tank farms on each farm that is used like in the green house scenario to fertilize crops while producing food and oil etc. right on the farm. Tank farm at the processing plant?
 
People think it nuts, but I also planted 160 wild blackberry trimmings as 4 rows -- stuff most people try to kill off  I have wanted to do that too, allow more access to the center as opposed to letting them go to bush and losing the inside stuff you bleed to reach. Of course they aren;t really wasted, they feed the birds and insects and the rest of the eco-system, but you get my point.-- mostly because we've never been able to keep a blackberry bush going here for long.   The goats eat it all to the ground and love the stuff, so that's our secret weapon against overgrowth.  Hoping to let the poor man's vineyard come up, trim some vines a bit, gather some berries for harvest, and then unleash the goats to beat the monster bushes back into the ground.  I don't know, however, how well these 160 plants will do from just hokey planting.  In the fall, I spent an hour each evening for a couple days mostly clipping neighboring blackberry vines and sticking the thicker stalks straight into the soil.  No cultivation.   Just found little cracks in the ground from the dried clay soil (like dry lakebed cracks).  Stuck the trimmings in there.   Covered with manure.   Watered each plant for a couple days with good sun and warmth still and then walked away from them.  Planted just after the Full Moon -- hoping the transition to New Moon would foster their root growth and seeking of Earth, not sky and light.   We'll see what comes up...if at all, but local blackberry bushes are definitely the most RESILIENT crops in this countyThat's a no shitter, Hemp would do the same thing... I surrrrrrre hope someone doesn't start just throwing handfuls of the Hemp seeds  everywhere they walk through this county... we could be hip deep in the most useful plant known to man and more DEA thugs than we could handle.  Next year, I'd like to get some thornless blackberry bushes going, too. There you go!
 
That's pretty much our own ag focus:    Goat meat, some milk, affordable hay, berries & sunflower, and nothing more.  We do have a gardener working on 20 planter boxes (organic, no-till) -- supplied water and land in exchange for 10% of Net, but he's still learning and no profit there yet.  His fancy crap organic soil is too lifeless and needs far more worms and fungi added plus compost tea made from manure.  He needs to remove about half the crap soil from each box, add in local worm castings by bulk, and also a mix of mushroom compost while making tea of our ample goat manure here. Having your own worm beds would be a good idea too...  Last year, his test production was messing around with too much of this fancy, costly, scientific farming by the book for newbies b.s. rather than just focus on living soil and planting the right crop by optimum solar and lunar times.  If the soil is dead, crops are dead.   Where soil's alive, crops thrive.  Get the seeds in the ground at the right time and water while not screwing around so much on the fancy crap.  It's that simple. 
 
A lot of this theoretical, no-till crap the "Sustainability" gurus sell in books is basically b.s. for the hobby garden that results in about $8,000/ acre start-up cost and far less return.  I like organic, but farmers have been tilling for decades for good reason.  Wasn't my money, so I allowed it and advised against, but he basically spent that much here per acre setting up with crap soil in hokey boxes that don't yield much.....atop otherwise beautiful, rich, nutritious soil that only needs a little manure addition when tilling and some compost tea mixed into drip irrigation.   Yeah, the boxes protect against gophers, but you're better to be generous to the gophers and have greater yield.   They steal some crops, but they sure do till the soil nicely and our front "lawn" is pasture anyhow.   There's just a lot of idealist / pie-in-the-sky gardener crap out there and then farming business reality....and reality is that food farming sucks thanks to NAFTA but should improve some once you all start starving off. Thanks buddy!  And $8k/ acre for a handful of f'n bug-ridden carrots and half-assed cucumbers.....no, that doesn't cut it as "sustainable" in any world!  :-(    If it can't be profitable with good margin, it is not "Sustainable" and soil quality is central to everything.Amen to that  Instead of spending $4k on these damn planter boxes, yes, you till the soil, dump in good compost and till it up -- with even a rental tractor or custom hire -- and then you water it.  And your cost per acre goes way down!   That's sustainable, not this other drivel.  Where the mechanical equipment is ugly to greenies, fine....fix it.  Run alternative fuels, but this slaving away in your garden like some third worlder isn't the way to go about feeding larger numbers of people and being economically viable.  I think the theory is two gardens in every garage and most of the food stuffs get grown within walking distance of the community you are in cooperatively. Mostly grow what you need to take care of what you got and a little more to cover the elderly and disabled folks who can't get out there and hoe da row...We'll put them to tanding the fire or tending the young'uns are something. We could do those green houses every so many miles with complete veggies and fish or whatever we need. The only "cash crops" would be the stuff we process for oils and what have you. That is sold to the  energy co-op for fuel production. etc.
 
The aquaculture and other methods are great (and also costly startup), but the crap we did out here last year.....that's stupid.   Learn from our mistakes.   Planter boxes are nice, but, if you make them....make them deep....and make sure your soil isn't all this fancy, certified organic, lab grade, dead sawdust muck that looks like a bunch of shredded tree bark mixed with dirt.  I've planted wonderful home gardens before in nothing but straight cow manure and everything thrived!  But, some of this fancy soil they sell by the sack plain sucks.  He's got it all fancy mixed -- Vermiculite and this and that -- but it still sucks.  It's dead soil.  Has all the right science to it, but it's dead stuff.   I could sooner go out into the national forest, clear a pile of leaves, and dig up that soil as the best around.   When it's moist, black, shaded, covered by leaves, has worms and bugs crawling out of it for every clog in your hand....that's what you plant in, not this other junk.  This crap I pick up and hold, and there's not a single bug, worm, or much fungi.....and that's the problem.  You can dump fertilizer in it and it's still just well-fed, dead soil.   Not much more than a sponge, but, oh, it comes highly recommended and Organic certified, etc.   If I can pull my pants down, take a crap in it, and say that's better soil for growing in....then this fancy stuff doesn't amount to crap in my book.  You just can't beat real soil under fallen trea leaves. For sure,one of the most successful business men in Idaho today started out taking other dairy's. feedlots etc manure and composting it in huge quantiies has a specially designed machine that straddles the rows and turns them looks like one of those tall truck things they use to move sea-cargo containers with. Everybody laughed at him 12 years ago when he started out. He convinced some of the beet growers to try his stuff and their yields went bazooka. They ain't laughing now, but he is! All the way to the bank.
 
In a few months, I would like to get a worm bin going here (glad your taking my advice! LOL) mostly for getting some feed to a small degree of poultry and fish in an aquaculture pond (backhoe dug pond with those surplus billboard tarps at the liner).   A crude greenhouse atop them or even none at all.   Worms to the fish.   Dirty pond water 12VDC / solar pumped into drip irrigation.  Some fish crop for at least family and dogs.  Better growth on tomatoes and things in the planter boxes, etc.  Water trickle down to also the goat manure composting and fertilizing tea there also valved into the irrigation system as needed.   But, I don't want us spread too thin on crops and all this biodynamic stuff.   Primary ag focus is livestock and hay.   I don't believe in diversity of farming other than to a basic point of fairly sustainable living.  Every production effort has its unique timing, attention needs, costs, market factors....and trying to do too many crop varieties only results in doing nothing well -- particularly if you do other work.  It's even a biblical lesson:   The fool plants too many crops.   That's fine for hobby gardeners, but the biggest problem with all this Sustainability and Eco virtue stuff is taking it to actual commercial viability. ( The idea is to get away from the commercial thing except on small levels. Make enough to cover things you can't trade for or barter or time bank points trade or whatever. I know this is communist thinking but bare with me here. Local farmer's swaps where you take what you produce and put it in the kitty and take whatever you need. No money changes hands. No IRS to beat us down to get their 60% Things we can't get here we get from outlying areas as close to us as possible, I.E. Seafood, salt from the ocean, seaweed, whatever. I know it's crazy, but it is possible to get off the needle when it comes to money.I mean if you think about it if we just pull back and take care of ourselves, quit funding the war effort whether we want to or not quit funding congressional boy banging trips to Thailand or wherever they are going this year etc. It takes the pressure off of us to have to work like crack addicted slaves. Of course this is very premature and not even feasible at this  stage, but if things get as bad as I think they will, it will be quite simple. In fact you won't have much choice.   If that's not there, no farm is ever truly Sustainable for long....and no Greenie ambitions will ever spread much more than just a dream. I think somehow we have to figure out what the difference is between "greenie" thinking and just good old fashioned common sense and stewardship of the land and gratitude for what God gives us. I know there are a bunch of eco-wackos that think "Global Warming" is completely man made and think it's alright to blow shit up or whatever needs be to make a point. I come from a ag background and while we weren't as tight assed as some of the Greenies you mention, we were very frugal. Waste not, want not. That generation still remembered the Great Depression (although I hear it really wasn't all the "GREAT") My grandma would crack your noggin for throwing food in the garbage and nobody knew what the Hell recycling was. It was just something we did. Because we knew there was a limit to the resources. Outside our shop was every ag shop kids dream, a massive scrap pile with all kinds of old motors and metal gears and wire and a lumber pile for small projects or large. we split our own posts and if you threw something away you better be damned sure there wasn't anything else it could be used for...at all....EVER! 
 
 
For example, we've been raising goats near 100%, pasture-grazed, organic this whole time.  Zero meds.  Zero vax. I used to pick up milk from a small dairy in Idaho that milked all guernseys them medicinal herbs in their feed that boosted their immune system and kept them from getting sick to begin with as well as treating them with medicinal foods like garlic and such to fight off bacterial infections etc. Of course allowing the animals to "free-range" cuts out alot of the disease issues, as well as localizing so you avoid cross contamination of herds. having a medicinal herb patch in that harden or yours would be helpful to the Babies and the fam as well.  Cleanest meat and milk you'll ever find.  Our gourmet market, however, doesn't pay enough to really justify the increased loss there.  The new, draconian-Nazi SB 510 law soon to impact American farms pretty much shuts down our co-op and best prices in 2011.  And it wasn't worth it anyhow.   If you don't practice more modern methods of husbandry, what results is less production.   Kid mortality on does of good nutrition and periodically de-wormed (by at least natural methods) is 5%-10%.  When you run year-round on pasture and take the grass down lower, the wormload rises.....and kid mortality is a direct function of average wormload.  They all have worms.  The issue is tolerable wormload and its impact upon nutrition and feed conversion. Gotta be a natural food supplement you could feed that would keep them at bay, also I think Goats should roam the country with little shepherd boys following along to ensure they don't come to harm, eating down the weeds along the roads and anywhere fire is an issue. Free feed, no cost to you for pasture the county gets free weed abatement and everybody wins. Those neurotic bastards need to slow down anyway, do them good to have to wait for flocks to clear the road before they go to town and hang out at the bar or coffee shop whining about how they ain't got no job no more.
 
All-natural goat raising results in 20%-30% kid loss, higher orphan rates (which cost you money in supplies, milk, and labor), higher adult loss rates, and a lower birth rate.  Meanwhile, wet pasture and green grass people think ideal is hell on goats.   Alfalfa and all this fancy bale stuff is too "hot" a feed except for a bit by winter.   The "weedy" hay everyone and all these fussy horse people think is crap -- just that wild brush and grass growing in fields needing fire clearing --- that's very nutritious hay.  TDN, energy, and protien are nicely in range with it.  Everyone saying it's not nutritious....oh, they can't tell you the energy and protein content on it and are full of it.  The foxtail everyone hates....that's wild Barley.  The weeds have high protein & energy content compared to grass because they suck up soil nutrients faster.  The brush -- even dry and outside May to June harvest times -- is still good stuff, but you want to cut it when still alive.  Dry bales are best for our animals.   There is a risk of losing some animals due to noxious weeds, but that's rare with goats and use of the rangeland bales (which most think silly) makes the most sense for our RESILIENCE into the future because it requires no tilling, no planting, and only fire clearing & baling done free for interested landowners.I'll get me a corncob pipe and a team of horses and take my grandsons and we'll cut grass along the highways and byways we can always go back to the old haying methods of loose stacking if it becomes to economically difficult to use fuel driven machines.   Pasturing on leased lands makes for better profit margin, but, with the economy and uncertainty, most people aren't interested in long-term leases that banks prefer to see......and so adding the hay baling operations of "junk hay" lends to long-term commercial stability.   The more we produce of affordable hay for livestock, the less we use and can sell instead, and the less diesel we burn....the greater the profit margin.  And we can keep our animals as 100% pasture "grazed" / Organic still, but we need to feed them taller / dryer forage, and maintain lower wormloads while adding more Diamataceous Earth pellet feed. You feed DE to the goats? HUH! Didn't know that. I know it kills bugs because it cuts them to pieces when they traverse it, but what doies it do to the goats innards?  Can't get them that taller grass while they're continually mowing it down and rotation grazing doesn't do it fast enough.  For every acre of fenced pasture held, we basically need another 1-2 acres to bale from yearly.   Not either/ or style between pasturing or feed-lot, but a hybrid of both is the optimum point. 
 
I've also revised our no vaccine policy to include CDT vax, but not as sub-cutaneous or in higher doses.  We now use old-style Variolation methods -- just a squirt of vax into their noses -- which tickles the nasal passages and GI tract immunity to full capacity while not damaging animal lymphatic system and blood with vaccine toxins.  The trivial degree of vaccine toxin by this nasal spray method goes out in the poop within hours rather than penetrating into tissues and vital organs year after year.   It's actually a better method of vaccine by old Chinese Medicine style against Small Pox, but Big Pharma wants us all to believe that more and more meds and vaccine = health.  That's a load of crap, though.  AAAAAAAAAAAAAMEN! I remember when I was kid and we started getting these things called Ral-Gro that you injected into the cows earlobes. It was just steroids. Made a difference in weight so we started using it on all the feeders. Oh if I had only realized where it was all leading! I know there are some diseases like leptosperosis that is crucial to vaccinate against, but I am thinking again we stop transporting stock and a lot of that goes away. As far as birth weights and infant mortality, Of course those are huge factors, but they get much HUGER when you throw that word COMMERCIAL or PROFIT, into the the mix. I do the same thing here so I am guilty of violating the Greenie laws myself. High electrical bills (OMG Look at that carbon Footprint! TSK TSK TSK! But I like yo have to make a living in a CAPITALIST, COMMERCIAL world so I gotta do what I gotta do. But I long for the day that my only concern is getting the work done early so I can take the kids swimming and just hang out picking guitar and enjoying my life instead of being driven like an old mule to produce. I want to work to live not live to wor, I want my life back!
 
Vaccines can be very useful in humans and animals, but only where damages are minimal.  In pastured livestock operations -- where kept clean, clean water, good feed, clean shelters, not overcrowded or overgrazed -- the need for vaccine is minimal compared to pens, but, with replacment stock in and out from other ranches or auction on larger operations, That's what I been telling ya! LOL Great minds I guess...CDT and others are a bare minimum business need and still allowed under Organic methods.....but I just don't like heavy use.   It costs more to administer in time, labor, and materials while the efficacy is not as optimum or convenient as just periodic nasal spray.  Far easier to offer goats a treat by hand while squirting them in the nose than it is to catch them and inject them!   300 pound bucks with horns are far easier to squirt in the nose with vax than catch and poke!  :-)   We don't have blood test efficacy done yet on this method versus sub-q but will next year and I don't need the data to tell me what we already know from human vaccine methods and observation.  We just need the lab data to determine how frequently nasal spray results in a good defense and antibody production versus sub-q.  Once a year per head?  Twice?  Once every couple years?  Or just once in a lifetime?  For livestock, analysis of operations has me moving away from extreme anti-vaccine to just tickles with it and minimal use/ maximum gain.  For humans, I'm anti-vaccine to an extreme unless as homeopathic nosode or old Chinese style variolation during severe emergency.   If our business depended on taking people to market for slaughter....Makes you wonder why they been insisting we take them the last 60-70 years eh?.then, sure, vaccinate them. :-) 
 
Truth is:  the majority of our market couldn't care less what you put into livestock and won't pay for luxury treatment, but we do it as common sense and upkeep of the breeding stock's health.  The healthier husbandry approach on pasture and clean conditions with hay supplement or even year-round supply (but not penned, paddock, or overcrowed) yields greater overall health....which means less money spent on medicine, labor in care, and losses to chronic ailments.  In 7 years, none of the goats we raise or sold have ever had observed chronic ailments, I was wondering if Homeopathy worked on Goats? Is Sublingual the only way to administer H-path stuff?Healthier for human consumption then...correct? The things is more and more people are linking food to cancer and other ailments,so they are beginning to insit on all natural (as you well know) It isn't a yuppy gimmick anymore it is about to blow and the market is turning. Which is why the Farm Bureau Coc-smokers are making it rough on our local organic growers, they are beginning to hurt the corporate growers and they bitch to the legislators who call the labor relations board and the EPA and anybody else they can get to harass guys like Jim and Teale to get them to go away. Wait til they find out the cost of seed is going up 95% starting immediately... hey are going to be squealing bloody murder. though we are always fighting acute woes -- bloat on wet grass, winter nutrition loss with kidding, worm cases/ pregnancy anemia on some does (usually the conventionally medicated ones from earlier ranches) needing extra attention & feed, etc. 
 
The natural goats we've raised for a few generations now are extremely hardy compared to your average pampered goat.  The vaccine and medice-loving ranchers out there can't imagine how we do things, but our animals convert the most spartan of feed to meat with greater digestive efficiency because we don't trash their GI tracts with drugs.   They remain more robust against epidemics and ailments in general because we don't trash the blood and lymph.   They're not as fat and are on the leaner side, but are not skinny and neglected.  A  pampered goat, however, will drop dead in a year to the degree we've pushed our animals in the past.   In genetic Nazi breeding terms, they are like Hitler's dream as "Aryan Supergoats"; All aggressive in eating and digesting EVERYTHING!  Nazi stormtroopers they are on the pasture --- eating everything to a low cut and lower than most goats can take.  :-)  Many say goats cannot thrive on pasture and grass alone, but these do.  They live where others don't and, when you feed them the better grade forage, they thrive.  They thrive because we have focused on keeping their rumens healthy, albeit at greater wormload than the conventionally medicated goats.   Per pound of feed eaten, our goats absorb it while others need more feed to just live.  It's not how much you feed them, but how much nutrition they actually assimilate....and weak rumens way overdosed on medicine don't do that.  You kill off essential probiotics like that.  You make it easier for the bad muck to takeover and cause bloating & Enterotoxemia with the medicines while goats are actually very delicate creatures.
 
The problem we have is that, in expanding the herd to a more sustainable commerce level, we now have to take in weakling, damaged, and chronic illness prone goats conventionally raised.  They are substandard and inferior to our "goat master race" in the works here for years.  :-) It takes 2-3 years to bring those does up to peak production while it takes a couple generations to build a new, larger herd of "Aryan Supergoat" that is equally robust.  Not a single goat in California can we find which meets our standards, though there are some in Texas where raised on open range.   Everyone raises goats of the Regular army, but ours are crack commando goats on pasture.   Hitler would be proud of our work in goat eugenics!  :-|    And they're not GMO goats, but that term is kinda vague because their genes are scrambled with each year -- even more so where inbred.   So, yeah, we alter genetics in the herd like diabolical Nazi scientists of Monsanto all the time.   Sure, we're not doing DNA PCR on them, but it's always in mutation here.  Just naturally so.   Strong goats breed strong goats;  Weaklings breed weak ones.   Weaklings we cull.   It's all sadly very nazi-like, but such is business.  Having a heart will bankrupt an operation.
 
Problem with California ranchers is that they mother and medicate the animals too damn much -- just like farmers who don't practice Organic mother and medicate the soil too damn much.  You need some mothering and less harmful medication, but they do it way too much out of fear of letting nature take its course.   Likewise, to sustain any commercial viability, you do have to break from nature at times.  For example, we cannot allow our bucks to just breed and fornicate with the girls any time they desire on open pasture.  That results in greater production, but also greater loss because kids are born at various times -- usually in the dead of winter.  Your workload in saving orphans goes up, maternal abandonment goes up, kid loss rises on those born in the wee hours even in a warm barn, winter is harder on the does nutrition wise.   Ideally, you breed in winter, kid in the fall, and take to market on November to December peak prices at the optimum kid weight of 55 pounds.   If we don't control nature like that, it's all loss, loss, loss.  But, to keep the bucks happy and not busting down fence in horny fits, we throw them a couple sleazy bar girls in their paddocks for general "entertainment".  :-)  The rest of their virginal blushing brides have to wait for romancing until winter and early spring. Life is a bitch when you are at the bottom of the food chain ain't it! Poor bastards.
 
At present, if anyone is looking for great fertilizer....we do have a small degree of goat manure & pine chip / soil mix available free for those with a shovel. I am gearing up for our outdoor and was wondering about where to get better stuff than that quackenbush  shit they used last year, it was crap and the yield was horrifically off. I would take what you have and Thank you for it!  I like to sprinkle it atop the soil when planting or as add on before the rains.  Being barn manure, it's been well urinated and pooped upon.   Very nutrient rich stuff.   The pine chips foster ample fungal growth, too.   In years to come, we'll always have a bit of barn manure available by the scoop or bucket load and, where the level rises too much, I wonder about it's efficacy with Medicinal Herbage? I know steer manure can be too hot, so is turkey, what is goat like? we may later sack and sell that as ranch produce, too.  However, our annual manure output is mostly spread around as fertilizing pellets on pasture which the rains break down.  Our shelters in the future being portable don't build up manure or require tractor scraping.  Only places that need cleaning and which generate manure are the orphan kid barn and hospital "wing" (Sutter Goatside Hospital)....which produce about a ton of manure & compost per year that is generally useful to our existing garden, but not presently used fully.  Thus, we're not terribly full of s#%t!  Just a little.  :-)
 
As I was saying, Lonnie, our future expansion is moving away from Boers and more in favor of Alpine/ dairy nannies.  However, we'll have to go with what's available on the market for the expansion.   Either way, we definitely want more milk does out here crossed with our big Boer bucks.  It results in faster weight gains on the kids due to all that milk.  Both are large-framed, meaty animals.   Survival-wise, food-shortage-wise, etc....we can keep people alive on the milk while not having to slaughter the herd for meat.  One goat can keep one man alive per day.  More if milk is not their only nutrition intake and there's plenty of food off the land in Lake County as-is even in the dead of winter. Do you know any data specific to lake county that details what is here that is edible? I am thinking that would be a great re-skilling class, I started walking the hills summer before last trying to learn to i.d stuff but there isn't a whole lot available that is specific even to Nor-Cal  Everywhere you look out here is food.  People don't have to starve even if there were a food shortage.  They just need to learn how to survive if need be. I have a book by a Canadian special forces cat that makes his living off such endeavors and he says that no one should starve in North America...ever. Especially in a place like this. He say you can do it easily in the Deserts and Cold country.Surely this is a veritable garden of Eden comparatively.  The grass alone out here has juice you can live on.  The tule on the lake have scrapable dew.  The foxtails everyone hates....that's wild barley.   Worms, crickets, thousands of annoying black birds in the garden, deer, fish, frogs, fried maggots if I must......I won't starve, but I prefer nice food and not being a hunter-gatherer caveman is all.   Acorns, nuts, berries, and of course the Eul Gibbons Hot dog on a stick (Cat Tail) Which when pulled out during tender stages has something called Cossack Asparagus that is unreal.
 
We are not a dairy and cannot sell raw or pasturized milk.   The future herd being bank "chattel" and all that paperwork being more crap and distraction than I care for, we cannot do a herd-share for milk thing.  The dairy does, however, are good to keep always milked.  What if the parlor were left unattended and some sneaky sumbitch came in in the middle of the night and took some milk and left some goodies for you? You could always say Santy Claus done it... Just sayin... I had a thought for the community areas. It would be cool to have a small buckboard type wagon with rubber tires etc that would be pulled by a donkey that would make a loop everyday cept maybe Sunday so we could spend the day at the local hootenanny. You would pick up produce, goat milk cheese, bread, etc from folks who dod those things and take them around a prescribed route as you came to a home the person comes out and gives you what they have to offer and takes what they NEED for the day twice as much on Sat. Cuz we going to that hootenanny ice cream social Thang...on Sun. Kind of a cool way to make your "living" huh? Visiting with folks who are truly happy to see you as you haul groceries and such around the village?
 
Regular milking, though requiring near double the feed, prevents mastitis and cheesy buildup in the udder while encouraging greater milk production and better taming the herd for handling.   The milk is a commodity we won't be using other than during kidding, so we're fully open to TLC members and the public renting a goat for "brush clearing and garden purposes" -- cash or barter, or even just keep them fed.  Deposit of some form required equivelent to the animal's value, but, as long as the animal is returned at the agreed upon time in good health and weight (and fed only from a list of forage or our own bales), what people do with their rented goat is their business. Might need to tighten the stipulation a little bit, There are some lonely bachelor types in the hills of this county...Just sayin. Our position is that thein.y rented the animal to do some landscaping in their backyards, but, if people want to milk and make cheese, that's their business and liability.  We suggest some basic and regular blood testing per animal -- especially if drinking raw.  Ensuring no Brucella or Tuberculosis, etc.   If the animal is well kept, fed clean water and forage, and is healthy.... raw milk is the best.  But, we just can't be in a position of selling milk nor doing herd-share/ shared animal ownership.   Liability Release and Disclaimer on any milking at their own risk would be standard.   Raw is the best milk in the world, though.  Red tape, legality, and high dairy costs just make it not commercially viable at this time for us.   
 
But, definitely, I'd be happy to trade out does to people interested in "milking for non-consumption" (as just a hobby or 4H teaching goat, but no drinking) in exchange for just their giving us the cholostrum (first milk during motherhood) and saving us labor there.  Cholostrum out here is like gold!   We pay $20 for a gallon of it if not having any in the freezer.  If you know any who have it, we're always happy to buy it from cattle, goats, horses, sheep.  It's the only milk that saves orphan lives in the first few hours on most animals. Yeah that is BIG business in the dairy industry  You wanna piss of a Dairyman, take the milk out of the wrong tank to the cheese factory.... not good. Bit of a difference in the profit margin. The powdered stuff and milk replacer is crap.  Without the right cholostrum in store, you can have around 30% kid mortality on otherwise healthy kids.  With cholostrum, good maternal nutrition, and others....less than 5% kid mortality is the ideal with 10% about normal....and that's the difference between going bankrupt or not on a larger herd.   Orphans generally run about 10% to 30% potential loss if you don't save them, and cholostrum with real milk -- preferably goat milk -- is the key there.   We'll have a need for potentially about 900 gallons or more of our own goat milk which is really easier to just buy as cow milk (unless prices skyrocket)...but it's always better as mother's milk.....so we'll be happy to have any milking help in exchange for goat "brush clearing rental". I am tucking that away for future reference.
 
Here, we really only need does on the field for breeding in December to Feb.  Then again around kidding time in the fall and in nursing. The rest of the time they can be offsite with others just fine if people are set up for it.  You mostly just need a rope, clean water, crude shelter, feed, and protection from predators.  Goats are generally quiet and not a bother to neighbors any more so than a lawnmower.   Smell is not bad on girls;  More so on the boys.   Biggest thing is dry, warm shelter, ample shade by summer, ample feed, clean water, and protection from stray dogs or mountain lions.  If you have that, a lone goat on a rope is fine in anyone's backyard.  They'll be happier in two or more, though.   If people are keeping them responsibly, we're fully open to spreading out our "pasture lease" holdings in this manner, too.  Every goat in someone's backyard is one less on our pastures, less feed, and greater attention/ observation per animal while it provides an eco-friendly / fuel-less landscaping means....and "fresh milk for non-human use" (such as weaning puppies, garden fertilizer, or sale to local DVM's Veteranarians? as people do at their own risk). 
 
We're not looking to be distracted by pickup and delivery to places around the county, but certainly are available by phone and in-person where there's a problem with an animal's health.  We wouldn't keep a deposit on a health problem or normal loss if feeding was kept up as instructed.  Over-feeding, wrong feeding, too much grain, dirty water, and neglect can easily kill our animals, though.   We don't want to do it with the whole herd, but are open to a fraction of it to see how it goes.  It would be well worth the cholostrum & milk value returned to us alone even with no other rental fee.  
 
Basically: 
 
"Here, have a goat.  Keep it and feed it until we need it back.   Give us some milk and cholostrum in return as the rental fee.  What you do with the rest is your business.  Need the girls back in November to January and again in June to August.  It'll get tricky as they kid because we need them nursing the kids from June to January.  We need that milk fully with the kids, not you, from June to January and need them here on-site to tend to, but not from Jan to June.  Or, if you can't keep the goat at your place and it's all too complicated, you're welcome to milk on-site here as just a hobby interest and for teaching children the farm life and how to make cheese.....but your milking hobby is only for returning to us some milk and cholostrum supply for our animals.  The rest is ranch waste product we ask you to sign right here that you'll be disposing of in your garden as good fertilizer, not ever consuming -- especially not raw."  I have started using strained or fat free milk to keep powdery mildew at bay and it is a great foliar as well.
 
I'll have to check with some raw milk groups, herd-share raw milk organizations, and a lawyer if that'll cover us there...but, if so, we're certainly willing to share dairy goat use with people....just not officially any milk.  If members of the TLC co-op return to us say 900 gallons over the year, that saves us some $3600/year on the orphans.  The more milk they can return to us at lower cost, the longer we can hold orphans beyond 25 lbs Cabrito and carry to 55 lbs best market weight which is better business at our end.  Helps people with their landscaping and "other interests" in having a dairy goat around the house "as a pet" without actually having to own one year-round.  If they go on vacation and can't get a goat-sitter, just bring it back to our "kennel" free of charge.  :-)  
 
This scheme will generally not work in mountain lion areas of the county, however....unless you have good dogs on-site....but most dogs won't mix with goats without a fight erupting and injury to our goats.   Deposit would be about $250/ head...which is basically what people could just go out and buy a goat for, but the cash stays on account and would be returned when the goat is returned.  Over the years, as that goat produces, we can make each year's deposit less and less.  Just can't have all of Lake County running off with our goats and saying, "Sorry, dude.  Our dog killed it.  We forgot to feed and water it.  Left it out in the hot sun and rain.  Didn't care cuz we didn't have anything of deposit at stake in the deal." Yeah the concept sounds good, but we bot know that dealing with individuals without some sort of accountability is a recipe for disaster.
 
But, yeah, theoretically, if people put a $250 deposit down and borrow a goat for landscaping for a week or two....they can return the goat, get their money back in the same month, and one dairy goat produces anywhere from 1/2 gallon to 2 gallons milk per day for FERTILIZING YOUR GARDEN.   Most GARDENS don't need that much milk daily, so some can be stored or frozen.  They can play at making goat cheese for MOUSE TRAP USE ONLY or for just FARMING LESSONS WITH CHILDREN....just not official CONSUMPTION.  If they want to do a dairy operation with the goats and get certified on it, that's not our business....but we just wash our hands clean of any of that liability stuff is all.   Though raw goat milk (where tested as safe and physician approved) can have tremendous nutrition and probiotic health value for cancer patients and sickly others (particularly in the restoration of GI tract function), at our end, they are strictly rented out as garden goats in exchange for only milk payments as our fee.   :-)   It's better that way anyhow because, if people do milk them secretly, they know how they cared for them, what was put into the animal, and it's fresh....not bottled or rotting.  The animal is right there for them to do a blood draw on and check for no disease, and to isolate from any strains a larger and shuffling herd can introduce.  Puts them closer to nature, too. 
 
We are out of dairy goats at this time, however.   Our Boers are poor milkers with smaller udders -- so they give the milk at about 1 oz per hour instead of large, stored amounts....and all of that is presently required by the kids. 
 
....If any are interested in that, give me an email and inform how many does you might be interested in for your garden, at what times of year, and the location.
 
I am going to confer with David Goolsbee, he is our Community garden Coordinator and see what he thinks about all of this and if there is any immediate need, my sense is its still too premature for it, but we'll see what develops. By the way Nils says Hi and we would like to come visit you sometime soon when it is convenient for you. He is in the Bay for some R&R so it'll be a week or longer before he could come, so no stress, just want to put a face to the emails and shake your hand.  Thanks for the education on Goats. By the way David has some pretty cool ideas for heating water and such with your compost pile and holding the compost in a "tank" type contraption with a screen underneath that would allow you to shake the fully digested stuff out underneath, once they break down the worm casting level. I am excited for the future!

Thanks,
 
Stan
 
 
 
 
 
 



--
Lonnie  




Love is not what you want, it is what you are. It is very important to not get these two confused. If you think that love is what you want, you will go searching for it all over the place. If you think love is what you are, you will go sharing it all over the place. The second approach will cause you to find what the searching will never reveal. Yet you cannot give love in order to get it. Doing that is as much as saying you do not now have it. And that statement will, of course, be your reality. No, you must give love because you have it to give. In this will you experience your own possession of it. 
 
 
 

Snow Ranch

unread,
Jan 25, 2011, 9:16:54 PM1/25/11
to transition...@googlegroups.com
Hi Lonnie,
 
Replies in your text below.....in clean & GREEN.....since you're all turning me into such a greenie commie.  :-P
 
Have a great week!
 
Stan
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 4:04 AM
Subject: Re: [tlc] Biodiesel / Sustainable Ag.



On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 1:20 PM, Snow Ranch <snow-...@mchsi.com> wrote:
Lonnie,
 
I owe you an email still.   For now, a question:
 
What's the status on TLC's biodiesel plans? so far just talk, the general consensus is that it would be better to focus efforts on the most widely used fuel ( a gasoline substitute), the feelings seem to be leaning towards cellulosic? Ethanol. I know that there is a company in so-cal that builds mobile units that can generate 3600 gallons per mo. cost $28,000.00. I am told there are cheaper units available more like 6 g's. I am thinking we build our own out of recycled or used stuff and get it going let sophistication develop enroute   
 
....Hmmm....Well, teach me about it and show me what kind of parts and processes are involved when we meet, and maybe I can come up with some ideas on local parts & stuff we can scrounge up locally and at junkyards to make it.   I had some fairly new friends who were big into biodiesel -- even started up something in their garage -- but we're not talking anymore because I couldn't stand their Marxist / Ultra-Lefty Christian drivel and told them to go screw off.  :-|   For the good of Lake County, though, I suppose I could hook you up with them through mutual friends retained, but you keep them away from me!   They'd be good for you to know.  Into the same kind of things on biodiesel.  Actually did their homework on it, were doing some production in the garage (of unknown scale to me), and I think they would be completely stoked on your ideas and that of TLC.   Great people.  Nice people.  Good family Very easy to know if your politics/ philosophies/ agendas are eye to eye.....but they're crusading for their own kinda TRANSITION of the country, and that really pisses me off along with other things.   It's less useful than all this TLC stuff where I can hold my nose and keep the good baby of it all while staying apart from all the greenie-commie bathwater! :-P    Once things are too political, enemies form.  When you can work along shared interests, friends and associates are easier to keep is all.   Anyhow, you know me:  I'm Archie Bunker Conservative but not fanatically so.
 
Any idea on production levels and price yet?   How serious is this whole thing? As a heart attack on a poor boy.
 
....Actually, BTW, the poor of the world have less cases of Diabetes, Cancer, and Heart issues than we do.  Mexicans, for example, go a long life with not so much of this except where eating American junk food.   All that Cayenne pepper.    As a homeopathic guru once told me, all the diseases of the Old World and Third World can be chalked up to filth.  The great plagues are still alive and well out there, and potentially mutating.  The diseases of the First World can be chalked up to decadence and a loss of heart.   Not to be contrary, but poor boys generally live longer, work harder, and have healthier hearts.  :-)   Spoiled, rich, little brats fed Pepsi Cola corn syrup like fattened cows and a double Big Mack.....thicker blood and artery clogging, mostly as an allergic reaction.   Allergy = more homocysteine production.   Hardening & cracking of the arteries.  You see it oodles in Hispanics, American Indians, and Pacific Islanders eating the "white man" foods too much.   In the eyes, always white clouding around the iris.....heavier the clouding, the more prevalent the arterosclerosis.  My cousin's family -- mostly from the inlaw side -- have that problem.  Multiple stents at young ages.  Cardiac & artery issues.   If you want to see what healthy eyes look like, go find an old Anglo farmer or old WW2 pilot......with the classic blue eyes of a wolf.   Clean eyes.  Then, look at an old veteran like that who has been drugged up oodles by the VA......and you'll see ample red (medicine staining) around the pupil.   In the African and Asian races with darker eyes, these are harder to read and Hitler's "blue eyed master race" physicians were confused by that.  
 
Which is best?  The perfect blue eye or perfect black and brown?  Hard to say.   You see both races living long lives.   The old farmer and old fighter pilot with perfect blue eyes arrives that way in old age mostly from natural selection.  Farming is hard work and keeps you healthy, so the rest drop dead along the way and those not cut out for it never started.....while aspects of farm life (raw milk), exposure to germs, ample sweating and exercise....prolong life.  As for the old WW2 pilot, in the olden days, if you didn't have perfect eyes and health.....you didn't fly despite WW2 needs.  It wasn't all about your self-esteem back then.  The temperament is also a deeply meaner yet calm and confident one which lends to long life.....just like a Japanese fisherman with black eyes.   Anyhow, in those eyes, regardless of race, you will rarely find much white clouding around the iris.   Go to any Indian reservation where their same Islander blood (shared with the Eskimo and Pacific Islanders) is eating all this crap white man junk food....and their insides are all inflammed.   Around age 50 or so, you can see it in the eyes.  These races can't handle all the muck the Caucasian has had in his diet for centuries of evolution in decadent Europe.  Sugar, especially, kills us faster than it does "Whitey".    A VC general once told Senator McCain on a return to Vietnam something like: "You know, if you really wanted to win the war, all you had to do was bomb us with more Pepsi Cola, McDonald's, and Hershey bars."   I would add:  and provide them with great, government medical care, free vaccine courtsey of Bill Gates, TV, potato chips, Nintendo for kids, indoor life, Internet....civilization in general!    Cuz poor kids don't have heart attacks, really.  Only the civilized.  :-) 
 
 
We need to add a haymaking operation into the years ahead in order to keep afloat -- as the price of hay can be expected to rise, price of seeds, and the price of fuel to potentially even $6/ gallon.   Single operator -- tractor, mower-conditioner, or mower and then rake, baling machine (with its own engine or capable of PTO), and haystacker or bale spearing on the field 5 at a time and stacking, then forklift offload ops.   If we add $10k cost and go with the haystacker, that saves labor time and fuel by about 108 gallons of diesel per year.
 
Worst case, we'll need about 11,406 gallons per 14,000 square bales.  With installation of off-the-shelf HHO gear, maybe we can trim that down to a need for only 7,984 gallons/ year.   Not willing to risk 2011 production on 100% water as the only fuel mods yet, but definitely some HHO feed in is needed and well worth the TRANSITION (freaking tree huggin commie liberal... heh heh) 
 
....Damn.  It's catchy like the flu, huh?  You know why I really hate all this buzzword stuff, Lonnie?   The word itself doesn't bother me....nor the political idea and agenda at transforming to Resilience even.  It's just the whole MANTRA of it all in the creation of mindless zombies marching in SS goose step.  You see, I know where it originates.  All such mantras in American culture do trace their origins to Marxist and also Nazi tactics.....Fascism in general.....but it received a huge push in American politics, mass media, advertising, sloganeering, all this grooming they do of the politicians, etc.....from that generation of hippies who went through Est!  It's all signature of Werner's old KGB cell....which was more like a diabolical Austin Powers shag and Pot fest.  :-)  Today, former Defense Intelligence Agency headquarters....it's now Presidio Trust and basically owned by Vancouver KGB/ GRU....all thanks to that generation and its work.   Oh, they meant well for the world but in came CAPITALIST Monsanto and others.....which really aren't even capitalist at the core.   You're just all Useless Eaters to be fattened up, culled where unproductive, and eventually taken to market.  Has nothing to do with communism vs. capitalism, really.   Was always a shell game.  Left and Right mere pawns.  Anyhow, that's how I see it.  
 
...I just have to slap Estoid zombies around now and then to wake them up is all.  :-P   Has nothing to do with hate, really.   Shall we go through the mantra list echoing in the public mind some?
 
"For the children!"
"It takes a village!"
"Sustainability!"
(Bush) "Make no mistake about it.",  "Make no mistake about it.", "Make no mistake about it."
"I'm a uniter, not a divider."...."A uniter, not a divider."
"Infrastructure"
"Collateral damage"
"Asymmetric warfare"
"Nation building"
"Humanity" (not mankind or man.  Man bad.  Ugg.)
"Social Security lock box"....."lock box"
"Global Warming"....Oh, whoops....bad science.....let's fudge and make it now "Climate Change".
"Change!!!  Change!!!  Woo hoo hoo....sing along now.....We want CHANGE!"
"Change we can believe in!"   "Change!  Change!  Change!"   Specifically, what does that mean, eh? :-|
 
....Cleverly crafted words which sound very sophisticated making echo in the public mind while actually meaning nothing, or veiling a deeper agenda, and mostly just being catchy advertising / voodoo chant.....this is crypto-nazi Est taught to a 1960's generation of stoned out hippies -- some of whom went on to very powerful positions in American media and politics.    And they sold you all out, man.   F'n capitalist piggies them all!  :-P   Servants of "The Man" they became. 
 
...As for me, I just don't get along too well with zombies of the Nazi state, but I get along very well with true hippies and non-sellouts.  Generally, I get along best with the healer hippies.   Somewhere along they way, they were never into or got tired of politics and just became very sharp physicians of a less Capitalist Medicine streak.   Best pals and quack medical mentors I have.....yup, all hippies.   Often greenie commies.  Tree huggers!   What's a guy to do?  :-|
 
 at only 30% gains.  There's that damn "transition" buzzword again! :-)   Hope that gives you an idea of the biodiesel need for the average tractor & hay baling operation running at about 3/4 gallon per hour consumption and less than 40 horsepower.  Once you get into bigger tractors, higher horsepower, and discing/ tilling operations....fuel consumption rises greatly.  Cuba went to oxen to get through and very limited tractor usage.
 
....Cuba, by the way, actually has some very impressive Integrative Medicine among all that embargo.  Their homeopathic M.D.'s are among the finest in the world.  They learned to get by and serve the people with less once cut off from American imports.  In many ways, Castro did the culture a lot of good.  He's been a thorn in our side for decades, but it's hard not to admire an enemy like that and I'm not with the crowd that paints him as all Boogie Man.   Like most of our worst enemies today, he once loved America.   It was our policies and business in the region that built him.  A scholar at the Hoover Institute once hit the nail on the head:   In nations where America has strong government alliances, the people hate us (Saudi Arabia, for example).  In nations where America has weak government alliances, the people love us and invite us to attack (Iran).   What's that tell you?   They hate us because we broke from the dream of Republic and pushed upon them a sneaky empire instead which does, yes, care more about spreading McDonald's and weapons sales than actually delivering on the dream of Freedom we often yap about like deranged evangelicals at a bible fest. And, if I sound almost leftist (kinda like Ron Paul does), that's because a true Conservative isn't big on all that Global Policeman / Nationbuilding crap, either.   They'll never like us.  I say nuke it all!  :-)   I raise goats.  They raise goats.  My goat-herding competition must be eradicated, and that's all I need to know as the Good Capitalist Pig.  :-P
 
 
Sounds like we need to get you set up with your own unit.
 
...Maybe.  I prefer HHO is all.  Water is an easy source to acquire.  Oil stock takes far more energy (and tax on the environment if I were a greenie) to gather is all.   Water I can pull up from our well or pump in from the lake easy.  Biodiesel muck we have to farm or hunt down.  I think it a good thing to be pursued, though.  Don't get me wrong.   What works best and is most available cheapest is where things always flow is all.  Like water or electricity (or Sun Tsu doctrine with armies), everything effective follows the path of least resistance.
 
Maybe set one in each community of farms? I am assuming you are out near Teale since you called ME Teale in one of your latter emails. LOL.
 
....Sorry about that.  Yeah, I sent him an email the same time as you and called you Teale.  Great guy.  I'm going to visit him later this week.   Been getting his advice on hay baling, operations costs, tractor gph, optimum ways of doing things, etc.  We swap goat and tractor/ farming notes.   Like the rest of us, I'm sure we all differ politically but the parts we have in common are much more fun.   Lots of common interests, same as the group shares.
 
 
Even if you don't you get the idea one unit in an easy to get to area that the farmers could get their fuel from. The 3600 gal unit fits in a 14 by 8 or so trailer, so we could easily increase that by building redundant or larger capacity units. My question is where we get that much oil?      There is an outfit in Ukiah where they are processing fry oil and such for commercial use, need to go visit them. I would love to make that trip with you in tow if you ever get a day you can spare a few hours for leisure and sight seeing. One of the vids on youtube regarding Bio Diesel is a home made deal in the guys garage using simple drums small pumps and a hot water heater. (Oil again) I can see the fry oil thing playing out quick! Could go to the merchants here and appeal to them to keep the fry oil in Lake Co. But if they are getting paid for it... money money money. By the way I owe you a response on the "Root of all Evil" thing. the actual quote is :For the LOVE (Exactly.  First Commandment broken there; A false god.)  of money is the root of all evil. Not money per se but the worshipping of it basically. Hard to argue with that one eh? 1 Tim 6:10
 
Have you considered or can you work with old motor oil?  I imagine that would be your best, steady supply more efficient than farming it....though farming the ideal crop should be pursued.  When you're ready to look at farming biodiesel crops, myself....or Teale...can give you accurate data on costs per planting and harvest.  I have a powerful spreadsheet set up now where I plug in the annual number of bales and many other inputs...and see the bottom line vs. that with livestock.   Tractor hours.  Fuel burn on each.  Stuff like that.  Fuel is huge.  People don't realize it.   Every hour spent running a tractor is time and labor....and ox cart or horse is time and labor, too.   Best bang for the buck is an alternative fuel in existing mechanical equipment.  Equipment can always be repaired, modified, and kept alive on junkyard scrap....but you need oodles of horses to do what the modern tractor and equipment can do.   Imagine all the human energy it takes to make just 1000 hay bales at 110 pounds each.   Machinery does that with less people, less back-breaking labor, in faster time.....and at lower dollar cost per ton than any human operation can do. 
 
Flipside is that every car and boat shop in the county always has ample waste oil.   Anyone doing oil changes has waste oil.  You'd have to filter out the metal, but that's not a big deal.  As for carbon filtration, that's possible.  Used motor oil can be renewed and even run through engines as fresh again if you're really desperate....which is why I always keep 5 gallons.  May not be good on the viscosity anymore, but anything is better than metal to metal.    It'll burn in a turbine engine, too.   Mix it half and half or less and it'll run many two stroke engines.  In WW2, tanks often had to run on vegetable oil which is why better brake fluids were developed.  Sometimes heat from brakes would catch the oil on fire.  Made a mess of things like in your frying pan.   Modern and synthetic oils are really nicely engineered for machinery.   Slick 50, for example.  But, that'll certainly impact your biodiesel conversion for better or worse, too.  I dunno much about it all.
 
If you can work with local waste motor oil....then, you'd have a steady supply.   Very easy to acquire all the gallons you need.   Just hit the oil change shops. 
 
 

Honestly we need to go true Bio and get away from fry oil, there is only so much of that although you can use any kind of food grade oil and probably some non-food grade as well not sure, need to get into it more. So tallow from the tallow works, Rendered animal fats from kill plants.
 
...Closest slaughterhouse is in Dixon (Superior Farms).  I imagine they sell the stuff.
 
 
Fish oil from seafood processing etc. after that I think we are into Oil producing plants such as soya and canola. Honestly I need to knuckle down and do the homework... Problem is like you I am gearing up for the growing season and getting pretty busy so... By the way I am burning copies of "The 20th Century." "A People's History of The United States." Howard Zinn, listened to some of it and what I heard was pretty cool. Available if you are interested in a set. 
 
....Not familiar with it.   Sounds rather commie with all that "People" talk.  :-)  Is it any good?   Thanks, Lonnie.  I have to pass for now.  Too much else going on for awhile.
 
 
We have 2 hay balers open to us -- both in need of repair -- and ample local tractors or rental to call upon if frying their engines, so I think it worth the risk to just get in there and try it....first with bottlefeeding hydrogen from welding tanks with bubbler and backflash protection.  Get a feel for psi and flowrate needs per engine there.  Startups on diesel as usual and then switchover to HHO.   Once we know how much HHO each engine truly wants at partial throttle on the average operation, then conventional electrolysis can be set up for that while high voltage/ pulsed water fracture (partial Stanley Meyer efficiency) can be pursued in subsequent years.  
 
Due to two engines inoperation with the tractor PTO unused with the baler, there's ample horsepower available off the tractor PTO to run high capacity alternators or just an array of junkyard alternators.   That to feed greater electrolysis, and that supply fed to one or both engines in pushing past 30% fuel economy increase.  Maybe closer to 60% to 80% is the idea.  100% water as the fuel would be nice, but any progress there lowers ops costs, increases profit margin, and keeps us independent of fuel prices & supply. ( man I wish I had the time and such to just start doing the stuff your talking about under your supervision. Gets me excited thinking about it, I want to dig and see how this stuff works...I am hungry!)
 
....No supervise.  That's a bit too nazi control freak for me.  When you're ready or anyone else, I can show you where to start and explore.  Just be careful and do things gently at first.   We know how to do HHO, so that's not a big deal.  Putting on these $500 kits on farm equipment is what I plan on for keeping it simple. They're nicely made.   That'll be awhile down the road.  What I do need to get going, but don't have enough clones of me around....is building up of the Stan Meyer circuit for testing to see if we can't get at least somewhat more efficient electrolysis done.   If anyone wants to try making a 700-1000 Watt car alternator into a pulsed magnetic/ self-running motor from scrap parts...I can show you how.  The Meyer circuits are more exploratory and take some research effort outside what most people are looking to do, but I say just get on the PMM alternators, grab some scrap, and start making at least some hydrogen.  Even if by solar panel.   Once you have that hydrogen production....at the smallest scale.....just a perpetually made candle power in your garage running a torch.....then, you'll start to see the utilities for water heating (outside the house, preferably).  Heating in general.  Off-grid cooking.  Many things besides just locomotion.  Or, you can use that flame to build that Organic Rankine Cycle generator I sent earlier.  Many things.   First step I see as key to survival is converting solar (or Etheric) energy into combustion gas for other systems.   That's the key technology bridge to taking a Free Energy supply more useful in our daily lives.
 
....Tempted to just mount welding shop hydrogen bottles on the tractor, but that's too dangerous.   General Liability insurance wouldn't cover that in a gazillion years at an affordable rate.   I'll definitely do some welding bottle feed-ins in prototype testing on the engines in the shop, but we can't have hired labor on the tractor running around with hydrogen tank mods.  HHO on-demand with good, commercial, off-the-shelf conversion kits and no hydrogen storage....sure...but not by tank.  Too high a risk.   If the price goes up too much on diesel, we'll also be ready to switch over to Propane on all engines. What about Methane? Build a large stiil that the community throws all their human and animal waste as well as anything biodegradable into a Methane stiil with some anaerobic bacteria. Compress into propane style tanks and use for fuel for motors, heating, cooking etc. What is the horse power potential with Propane/Methane? I have the impression it is good for high torque situations such as tractor work. Fallacy?
 
I don't really know these specs off the top of my head.  I can tell you later, though.   Methane I don't know much about its use in engines, but I imagine it'll burn alright.  The burn rates and BTU available per fuel will be different and engines may need adjustment, but, if you can get it to burn....it's usable stuff for at least Organic Rankine Cycle applications, water heating, etc.  If you can heat water and gather some junkyard heater cores....you can start to heat a house, a greenhouse, etc.  
 
Propane in engines definitely works well.  In fact, my old Toyota 4x4 (farm truck here) was originally built around a forklift engine.   That's why the old 22R's are so rugged.  Japan made them to burn propane and last industrially.  Then, they put them in trucks.   Very bullet proof motors until you put all this emissions garbage upon them.  My tach fried out years ago somewhere around 225,000 miles.   She's getting close to about 300k by now, I'd estimate.  Still going strong, but badly overdue for a tune-up and choke adjustment. 
 
HHO input requires setting engine timing closer to 0 degrees TDC.   I don't know the specs on Propane or Methane conversion, but certainly timing will need adjustment per fuel type to gain peak performance.  In some cases, maybe even a camshaft conversion kit would dramatically change everything, as a cam is the heart and soul of engines....and in those cases....an overhead cam engine is really nice.   Short of costly custom or re-engineered camshafts for peak performance, adjustment of distributor timing is the easiest.
Each fuel will vary in its ability to push on pistons with force, but you just take up the throttle and RPM to compensate for the lack of horsepower....though that raises your fuel consumption....but, if you have a good supply of cheaper fuel....no biggie.  
 
As for hydrogen, it adds power....a bit like Nitrous Oxide does.
 
I imagine that Propane or any flammable gas ported into the intake will add power to the engine sufficient to give useful power.   Just like old Woodgas.   Engines aren't too picky.   Gas is really so much nicer than liqui fuel.   Gasoline gunks up.   If you want a reliable engine -- such as a hospital generator -- you go with a diesel rig or natural gas.   Natural gas preferably because you don't have all this hard-starting issue.  If the gas line is not leaking, you push the starter button and have ignition....no matter how long the engine has been sitting.  In diesel or gasoline motors.....leave that engine sitting just a few weeks without operation....and try starting it at a time when you most need it.  It sucks!   Fuel systems suck!   Gas-powered in any form is great stuff.  I'd go Propane on all engines in a minute if it weren't so hard to get on road trips.....and if HHO wasn't more interesting.   You don't have to buy or scrounge up HHO.  That's the key!  :-)
 
Curious on your biodiesel supply ambitions and mostly price per gallon target?   The less diesel we buy the better, but we'll always need some.  Completely depends on availability of bio-mass and or oils. We could use the poorer quality olive oil and start processing grape seed oils, walnut oils, what else grows local we could press for oil?
 
Goat milk?!  :-)    If you can find me a number on how much of each type of crop it takes to make a gallon of oil....I can help you figure how much it'll cost to grow that crop.   Sunflower seems to me one of the most efficient planting and oilseed pressers.  Walnuts take forever to grow.  Sunflower you can get 2-3 harvests off in a year under irrigation.  One / year with no-till and just sprinkling seeds while letting the rain do it.   Heads and stems you can snip off, dry, and just sell as fuel for wood stoves.   Prior to that, seeds can be pressed in just a crude piston rig and welded up floor jack....or better yet a pneumatic or hydraulic press.  Easy stuff there.   Seed muck leftover makes good animal feed by the sack.   Oil return is not much. I forget how much.  Was like less than 50% on oilseed.   Less on confectionary.  There's a lot of plant oil in the stalks, too.  I imagine you could mow, somehow rake, and then bale the sunflower crop....with minimal seed loss.  But what to do with a 50 pound bale of sunflower "hay"?   Goats would eat it all, certainly.  I hear cattle like the silage.  If you could press that bale tight, some oil there....but it would be best to get the seeds out first.  They do make expensive machines for that.  Takes forever to get seeds out by hand.   Makes your time worth something like less than 5 cents/ hour if doing it by hand!  :-(
 
Another thing to consider is that the grape and pear industries -- and ag in general -- are hurting out here.  The county does need some form of great crop (other than Pot!) to grow while planting & capital required in TRANSITION needs to kept minimal.  Farmers are just as broke as the average Joe...if not worse these days.   The vineyards are in glut and hurting.   Pears gone to hell.   I have one friend starting a vineyard and one with 8 acres of vines.  Depending on the year, the 8 acre friend was selling to wineries.  Other times, the wineries weren't buying.  Wine is a luxury food anyhow.    Can you press the grape prunings but not the seeds?   There's some oil in the vines? 
 
 
Also how many people can we convince to put their resources into community or farm based units? There is money available from private sources in the form of grants and such that we could apply for. I bet the Grange would help if it can. I am just adamantly opposed to any kind of Gov assistance, :The King;s Bread" and all.
 
Well, you all do speak the govt. "Sustainability" language and they piss away money to far less deserving causes, so I say grab it while you can and feast from the King's Table.   But, yeah, anything govt. is red tape and generally more hassle than it's worth.  You'll have to grovel before them as your lords of the manor.
 
 
What I saw on the youtube thing, the price of processing fry oil was somewhere between .40 and .80 cents per gallon depending on what you paid for processing supplies such as lye. Bulk Vs. small packaging. Know any natural sources for lye? Depends on what you are processing and what you have to pay to get it to the state where you can process it to... If we have to buy oil to make diesel then... well you get it.
 
  • Wiki notes:
 
  • Sodium hydroxide is industrially produced as a 50 % solution by variations of the electrolytic chloralkali process. Chlorine gas is also produced in this process. Solid sodium hydroxide is obtained from this solution by the evaporation of water. Solid sodium hydroxide is most commonly sold as flakes, prills, and cast blocks

Metathesis is a molecular process involving the exchange of bonds between the two reacting chemical species, which results in the creation of products with similar or identical bonding affiliations.[1] This is represented by the general reaction scheme:

AX + BY → BX + AY

These chemical species can either be ionic or covalent. When referring to precipitation reactions between solutions of ions in inorganic chemistry, these were formerly referred to as double displacement or double replacement reactions, though these terms are still encouraged.

....Don't know much about it.  I'd first start along lines of acquiring it cheaply from ag suppliers.  If too costly an input to your production, maybe consider manufacturing.  Definitely avoid chlorine gas.  That's lethal.  A WW1 poison gas.   You'd be dealing with some serious stuff, OSHA, and red tape on industrial operations like that.   But, the lime/ soda ash reaction in Metathesis might be a safer, cleaner, and less energy intensive means of making lye.
 
 
And how much of what kind of crop do you require to make a gallon of biodiesel?  That's the part that always bewilders me with biodiesel stuff.  It takes oodles of tractor operations in cultivation, harvest, harvest labor using fuel just getting to a jobsite, energy consumed in irrigation and many logistics aspects of harvest.....all to make how many gallons per crop?   Seems to me you do more damage to the environment in planting & harvest operations per gallon of diesel made....unless a huge, efficient operation. My concern as well and I plead ignorance once again.
 
...I know not much on it, either.  HHO appeals to me.   So much simpler.
 
I was looking at sunflower oilseed as a crop once for potential bio-diesel.  Nice, "poor man's vineyard".   I like just scattering the seeds, not much till, and watching them come up like weeds above the grass -- even with no irrigation.  Some loss of seeds to the birds, though, but you can time that seeding away from birds.   Anyhow, I forget if it was 50 gallons oil per 1 acre or 50 gallons per 5 acres...or 500 gallons per 1 or 5 acres.....but the oil yield wasn't impressive enough to me to justify the investment and ops cost.   The feed value and recyling of seeds for the next planting is to me, however, but only to limited degree.  If we had folks growing large crops of sunflower or canola or whatever is most cost effective then it gets be more efficient I would think... As you say the trick is to get more out than you put in, so reducing the distance you have to haul the crop to process it is huge. Also those crops have many uses (Damn I sound like those Native American (so am I) Indigenous (So am I) Indian (That too although minuscule amounts) Use everything, waste nothing... Press the seeds for oil, the green goes into the methane still, Compost piles, Cellulosic Ethanol.I want to grow Hemp.... grrrrrr... Multi use crops that are grown in strategic areas so to be as close as possible to the processing facilities. no trucking 80 miles to the other side of the lake. Draft horses and freight wagons?
 
....I love draft horses.  Pretty cool.  I'm not looking to keep them, though.  Nice to pet on someone else's farm! :-)  For pedal power, there's always a bike.  Dogs can be taught to pull carts.  I just don't want to live like this is all.  I want my HHO! 
 
We could stalk the lake with Talipia... they grow dense as your video you sent out mentioned, two problems I see immediately with that, water temp and eco-concerns. will the Talapia cause issues or vice versa? Ha ha issues cause Talapia? YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!
 
I think it would.  Stocking the lake with fish has to be somebody's jurisdiction.  I've seen the food chain.  U.S. Davis biologists often visit here -- as we are one of 20 sites around the lake where the Osprey are protected. They actually enjoy an easement in an old windmill on the property.  DFG just asks that we notify them before tearing it down, but I like it all and the birds are welcome here.  If we were a vineyard, the Osprey are great scarecrows for the little birds stealing your grapes.  They keep the mice population away, etc.  Just nice to look at.  They bomb the place with fish scraps.  I collect their feathers.   U.C. Davis grad students come out to get feathers yearly to spectroscopy them for Mercury content.   Above something like 15 micrograms/Liter Mercury....population dies off (and that's about on par with what people get in cumulative vaccines).  Below that, population returns.   A year or two ago, I gave them a while Osprey!   It's in the Davis museum.  Looked out my office window and thought they were mating, but apparently one killed the other over nesting rights or fighting over a babe.  I dunno.   Pretty cool to actually pet even a dead one up close.  Beautiful birds.  Stuffed it in the RV freezer for a couple days until giving to the animal shelter's freezer, and then Davis came and fetched it.   I was hoping they'd taxidermy it into some great display specimen -- perched, spread wings, and all for their museum.....but, apparently it is part of their shelved taxidermy archives now.  Probably in some drawer after students gutted it for food studies, etc.
 
Anyhow, as you probably know, the old mine in Clear Lake contaminated the sediment.  Bottom feeders pick up the Mercury.  Larger fish and birds pick up the Mercury there.  Toxic waste fades as a function of distance from Clear Lake city, as we all know out here!    :-)   Fish are generally okay to eat in limited number and especially where fat is removed in baking....especially far from the SE lake;  Especially in surrounding cleaner lakes. 
 
As for Tilapia, they're an algae eating fish and do best in warm water.  Not sure they'd even survive this cold lake and winters here without greenhousing.   And, if they did, chances are that would alter the other fish populations....which could impact various birds.....and then it's all somebody's jurisdiction.  
 
See, I'm more eco-friendly than you!  :-)    If you're going to put something in the lake, don't be a pussy, I say!   Dump in sharks and rescued pet alligators!!!   Or mutant fish and sharks with laser beams!  :-)
 
 
Also how do you get them out Get those Indians gill netting them? (I am thinking food source (Mercury in the lake though) I am thinking fertilizer as well as oils and whatever else we can do with them. Probably more efficient to have tank farms on each farm that is used like in the green house scenario to fertilize crops while producing food and oil etc. right on the farm. Tank farm at the processing plant?
 
Well, I was just looking at a little pond sometime when I next have a backhoe here.  Dig little hole.  Lay down a cheap, surplus billboard vinyl tarp.  Fill with water.  Dump in a little gravel for fish entertainment.  Some undersea toys for them.  Maybe 3' deep x 10'x10' "tank"......far cheaper than a tank.  More insulated by the soil.  Not deep enough to be an issue of groundwater contamination or an EH concern.   Not deep enough to be anything other than landscaping and no permits required, I'd think...since not a pool.  Though depth might need to be more shallow to get away from fencing requirements.  We're fenced here anyhow, but pools have to have fences by code.  Shouldn't be much fuss -- especially as an ag pond and we're Ag zoned.
 
I don't eat that much fish yearly but my dog should eat more and raw.  Not a whole lot of oil per fish, though.  Think you'd be better to harvest an oil crop or collect oil.  Only about 1-2 ounces of guts per small fish.  Maybe a bit more where filleted.   I've killed and gutted oodles of fish in my time, and you do get an ample gut bucket of stuff that'd press nicely into goo and oil....but, oh, maybe a quart per 50 edible fish of 1 pound or so.  I figure you'd need about 200 butchered fish to make a gallon of gut goo....and that's about the production limit of a small tank....done every few months.   Maybe a gallon of oil per 6 months to a year, per pond.  On an acre with several ponds going, you could do maybe 70- 100 ponds....or 70 to 100 gallons/ season + about 14,000 to 20,000 fish produced.....of the top of my head.   Energy costs would be trivial on the 12VDC water pumping.  But, you'd have to feed those fish. Some capital involved.  Worms, beetle, maggot production are key there.   Maggots I think best, but are just so stinky....and that's some extractable gas, too.   Harvesting maggots is, however, a no brainer compared to worms.  Throw a slab of meat in the right cage and you'll get your flies.  There are people who make these maggot feeders that drip maggots into a bucket for use with their fish tanks. 
 
Cost, labor, time, and returns versus just wiring up a solar panel to the smallest of electrolysis devices, pumping in water, and making your own hydrogen are far more. 
 
 
 
 
People think it nuts, but I also planted 160 wild blackberry trimmings as 4 rows -- stuff most people try to kill off  I have wanted to do that too, allow more access to the center as opposed to letting them go to bush and losing the inside stuff you bleed to reach. Of course they aren;t really wasted, they feed the birds and insects and the rest of the eco-system, but you get my point.-- mostly because we've never been able to keep a blackberry bush going here for long.   The goats eat it all to the ground and love the stuff, so that's our secret weapon against overgrowth.  Hoping to let the poor man's vineyard come up, trim some vines a bit, gather some berries for harvest, and then unleash the goats to beat the monster bushes back into the ground.  I don't know, however, how well these 160 plants will do from just hokey planting.  In the fall, I spent an hour each evening for a couple days mostly clipping neighboring blackberry vines and sticking the thicker stalks straight into the soil.  No cultivation.   Just found little cracks in the ground from the dried clay soil (like dry lakebed cracks).  Stuck the trimmings in there.   Covered with manure.   Watered each plant for a couple days with good sun and warmth still and then walked away from them.  Planted just after the Full Moon -- hoping the transition to New Moon would foster their root growth and seeking of Earth, not sky and light.   We'll see what comes up...if at all, but local blackberry bushes are definitely the most RESILIENT crops in this countyThat's a no shitter, Hemp would do the same thing... I surrrrrrre hope someone doesn't start just throwing handfuls of the Hemp seeds  everywhere they walk through this county... we could be hip deep in the most useful plant known to man and more DEA thugs than we could handle.  Next year, I'd like to get some thornless blackberry bushes going, too. There you go!
 
Pot seeds everywhere?!  Hah!  I love it!   Sufficiently anarchistic mayhem....like sharks with laser beams or alligators in the lake!  :-)   I've always wanted to build my own little submarine sometime and toot it around out here....or ultralight floatplane on the lake.  Even in kayaking on the lake, sometimes I wonder of alligators about from people who think the same as me.  :-)  At Lake Chabot in the Bay Area, we found an alligator once. ...so always on my mind!   You could set them up around the lake to guard your hemp grows.  :-)
 
 
That's pretty much our own ag focus:    Goat meat, some milk, affordable hay, berries & sunflower, and nothing more.  We do have a gardener working on 20 planter boxes (organic, no-till) -- supplied water and land in exchange for 10% of Net, but he's still learning and no profit there yet.  His fancy crap organic soil is too lifeless and needs far more worms and fungi added plus compost tea made from manure.  He needs to remove about half the crap soil from each box, add in local worm castings by bulk, and also a mix of mushroom compost while making tea of our ample goat manure here. Having your own worm beds would be a good idea too...  Last year, his test production was messing around with too much of this fancy, costly, scientific farming by the book for newbies b.s. rather than just focus on living soil and planting the right crop by optimum solar and lunar times.  If the soil is dead, crops are dead.   Where soil's alive, crops thrive.  Get the seeds in the ground at the right time and water while not screwing around so much on the fancy crap.  It's that simple. 
 
A lot of this theoretical, no-till crap the "Sustainability" gurus sell in books is basically b.s. for the hobby garden that results in about $8,000/ acre start-up cost and far less return.  I like organic, but farmers have been tilling for decades for good reason.  Wasn't my money, so I allowed it and advised against, but he basically spent that much here per acre setting up with crap soil in hokey boxes that don't yield much.....atop otherwise beautiful, rich, nutritious soil that only needs a little manure addition when tilling and some compost tea mixed into drip irrigation.   Yeah, the boxes protect against gophers, but you're better to be generous to the gophers and have greater yield.   They steal some crops, but they sure do till the soil nicely and our front "lawn" is pasture anyhow.   There's just a lot of idealist / pie-in-the-sky gardener crap out there and then farming business reality....and reality is that food farming sucks thanks to NAFTA but should improve some once you all start starving off. Thanks buddy! 
 
....Yer welcome, serf and Useless Eater!  :-)
 
 And $8k/ acre for a handful of f'n bug-ridden carrots and half-assed cucumbers.....no, that doesn't cut it as "sustainable" in any world!  :-(    If it can't be profitable with good margin, it is not "Sustainable" and soil quality is central to everything.Amen to that  Instead of spending $4k on these damn planter boxes, yes, you till the soil, dump in good compost and till it up -- with even a rental tractor or custom hire -- and then you water it.  And your cost per acre goes way down!   That's sustainable, not this other drivel.  Where the mechanical equipment is ugly to greenies, fine....fix it.  Run alternative fuels, but this slaving away in your garden like some third worlder isn't the way to go about feeding larger numbers of people and being economically viable.  I think the theory is two gardens in every garage and most of the food stuffs get grown within walking distance of the community you are in cooperatively. Mostly grow what you need to take care of what you got and a little more to cover the elderly and disabled folks who can't get out there and hoe da row...We'll put them to tanding the fire or tending the young'uns are something. We could do those green houses every so many miles with complete veggies and fish or whatever we need. The only "cash crops" would be the stuff we process for oils and what have you. That is sold to the  energy co-op for fuel production. etc.
 
....If it works, it works.  Ain't working here now, but just needs some modification in the future.
 
 
The aquaculture and other methods are great (and also costly startup), but the crap we did out here last year.....that's stupid.   Learn from our mistakes.   Planter boxes are nice, but, if you make them....make them deep....and make sure your soil isn't all this fancy, certified organic, lab grade, dead sawdust muck that looks like a bunch of shredded tree bark mixed with dirt.  I've planted wonderful home gardens before in nothing but straight cow manure and everything thrived!  But, some of this fancy soil they sell by the sack plain sucks.  He's got it all fancy mixed -- Vermiculite and this and that -- but it still sucks.  It's dead soil.  Has all the right science to it, but it's dead stuff.   I could sooner go out into the national forest, clear a pile of leaves, and dig up that soil as the best around.   When it's moist, black, shaded, covered by leaves, has worms and bugs crawling out of it for every clog in your hand....that's what you plant in, not this other junk.  This crap I pick up and hold, and there's not a single bug, worm, or much fungi.....and that's the problem.  You can dump fertilizer in it and it's still just well-fed, dead soil.   Not much more than a sponge, but, oh, it comes highly recommended and Organic certified, etc.   If I can pull my pants down, take a crap in it, and say that's better soil for growing in....then this fancy stuff doesn't amount to crap in my book.  You just can't beat real soil under fallen trea leaves. For sure,one of the most successful business men in Idaho today started out taking other dairy's. feedlots etc manure and composting it in huge quantiies has a specially designed machine that straddles the rows and turns them looks like one of those tall truck things they use to move sea-cargo containers with. Everybody laughed at him 12 years ago when he started out. He convinced some of the beet growers to try his stuff and their yields went bazooka. They ain't laughing now, but he is! All the way to the bank.
 
.....The poor kook they call insane.  The rich kook they call "eccentric".
 
In a few months, I would like to get a worm bin going here (glad your taking my advice! LOL) mostly for getting some feed to a small degree of poultry and fish in an aquaculture pond (backhoe dug pond with those surplus billboard tarps at the liner).   A crude greenhouse atop them or even none at all.   Worms to the fish.   Dirty pond water 12VDC / solar pumped into drip irrigation.  Some fish crop for at least family and dogs.  Better growth on tomatoes and things in the planter boxes, etc.  Water trickle down to also the goat manure composting and fertilizing tea there also valved into the irrigation system as needed.   But, I don't want us spread too thin on crops and all this biodynamic stuff.   Primary ag focus is livestock and hay.   I don't believe in diversity of farming other than to a basic point of fairly sustainable living.  Every production effort has its unique timing, attention needs, costs, market factors....and trying to do too many crop varieties only results in doing nothing well -- particularly if you do other work.  It's even a biblical lesson:   The fool plants too many crops.   That's fine for hobby gardeners, but the biggest problem with all this Sustainability and Eco virtue stuff is taking it to actual commercial viability. ( The idea is to get away from the commercial thing except on small levels. Make enough to cover things you can't trade for or barter or time bank points trade or whatever. I know this is communist thinking but bare with me here. ....Uggghh :-(  Commie stuff.....Holding me nose as best I can.  :-P
 
Local farmer's swaps where you take what you produce and put it in the kitty and take whatever you need. No money changes hands. No IRS to beat us down to get their 60% Things we can't get here we get from outlying areas as close to us as possible, I.E. Seafood, salt from the ocean, seaweed, whatever. I know it's crazy, but it is possible to get off the needle when it comes to money.
 
....No, I like it.  I really do.   I think it'll have to be a.....a.....TRANSITION....gently is all.    We do that all the time as farmers and neighbors anyhow.  You don't keep count much between friends.   In little groups of friends, that could work.  Grange stuff.  Community groups like TLC.  Small stuff in pockets...and the larger pockets linked up.  But, in a large co-op....things get more trickly.  Lots of freeloader minsets in this county and anywhere.  Maybe not much in TLC, but with the public at-large.   People looking for charity but not really needing it, and not really looking to do a fair trade.  That'll break any organization and the morale of contributors real fast.   That's really the only part where I'm leery.   Been there, done that.  Seen it plenty in these parts.    Farmers, though....you can trust them.  Most produce more than can be sold or given away and prefer not to let it go to waste if someone can use it.   For example, like hell we give away goats free.  Takes a lot of work to bring up just one and each is accounted for dollar.  But, if we expand with more dairy does, there's usable milk there not being used.  Costs us money, time, labor, etc....to harvest that fully.   Harvesting the milk puts a tax on the girls, but keeps the udder flowing and has benefits.   I weigh the minority fraction of milk returned and cholostrum for orphans a greater savings than tax, and so we don't have to charge anything in "rental" for it to be a gain for us and for someone else.  As long as not a loss or great distraction, it's all gain and win-win for both parties.   Survival is the game in these times, and you always do better playing as team than as individuals.  I'm just not a "community" communist is all. :-)
 
I mean if you think about it if we just pull back and take care of ourselves, quit funding the war effort whether we want to or not quit funding congressional boy banging trips to Thailand or wherever they are going this year etc.
 
....Yes, it never hit me until some years ago why old men take trips to Thailand.   My dad was stationed there at times with SAC for bombing runs into Vietnam, but it's not really a place you go visit as top on your list of tourist destinations....unless up to no good.  :-| 
 
It takes the pressure off of us to have to work like crack addicted slaves. Of course this is very premature and not even feasible at this  stage, but if things get as bad as I think they will, it will be quite simple. In fact you won't have much choice.   
 
...I agree.  It goes on even now, though.  At least with farmers, Ag is hurting.  We have to team up.   Co-ops.  Marketing co-ops.  Shared resources.  I'm actually going over to Teale's later this week mostly to spend more time chatting.  We only just met at the farmer's market awhile back, swap notes, and info, etc.   He's taught me lots about tractor ops.  I'm passing him some data on things learned in goating.  Learn from each other's mistakes, etc.   Just little things like 55 pounds being optimum market weight;  December the best market month.  Operations style improvements.  Wormload decrease.  Pasture versus feeding model differences and optimum points on the spreadsheet.   If I have equipment that breaks down, he can be called upon.  If his equipment breaks, mine would be here, etc.   If not more teamed up as a county, we're easier to break.   We each have other farm and rancher friends who do the same.   You have to.   We're not big Ag ops operated by ADM.  And that whole small town farming atmosphere combined with the lake is really the only thing keeping me here.
 
 
If that's not there, no farm is ever truly Sustainable for long....and no Greenie ambitions will ever spread much more than just a dream. I think somehow we have to figure out what the difference is between "greenie" thinking and just good old fashioned common sense and stewardship of the land and gratitude for what God gives us.
 
....I know.  I know.  I'm just burnt and hostile to them.  Prejudice against the Green-commie race, indeed.  :-)
 
I know there are a bunch of eco-wackos that think "Global Warming" is completely man made and think it's alright to blow shit up or whatever needs be to make a point.
 
...Oh, I'm okay with the anarchists!  :-)  Okay with pollution regs and all that, too.  Some is just too extreme.  It crushes commerce in America.  Rules and red tape here are why jobs go offshore.   I know some people who are investing in China, Mexico, India, and everywhere else....startups and many things....money and jobs they'd normally keep in America, but don't want to anymore.   Why?   Largely from excess regulation.  EPA, OSHA, high worker wages, regs, and everything that amounts to way too much company overhead with slim profit margin.  Go overseas and you have far less overhead and far greater returns, albeit more risky...but the stable nations are actually COMMERCE FRIENDLY.  Big difference.  It's not even about greed.   When you're planning your business operations and studying options....and have investors or employees under you who have to be carried...the ship has to be navigated along a safe path to take care of your existing crew.  If you can't sail and do business well in America....or California....or Lake County....you take that business elsewhere.   And that's all been part of the agenda -- well above mere Greenies -- at breaking us down into a Third World nation.  Whomever we want to blame, survival is key.  No point crying over spilled milk. 
 
I come from a ag background and while we weren't as tight assed as some of the Greenies you mention, we were very frugal. Waste not, want not. That generation still remembered the Great Depression (although I hear it really wasn't all the "GREAT") My grandma would crack your noggin for throwing food in the garbage and nobody knew what the Hell recycling was. It was just something we did. Because we knew there was a limit to the resources. Outside our shop was every ag shop kids dream, a massive scrap pile with all kinds of old motors and metal gears and wire and a lumber pile for small projects or large. we split our own posts and if you threw something away you better be damned sure there wasn't anything else it could be used for...at all....EVER! 
 
...That's not how my Baby Boomer parents taught me, nor how my more citified grandparents did it, but my finest grandpa was a Canadian farm boy who grew up during the Depression era.  Same story.  Never saw it as all that "great".  Mostly propaganda.   My Snow granny was a first generation Czech immigrant and her family farmed in Montana where it's hard to farm!   My uncle (grandpa's war buddy) was the Canadian. He was a Candian infantry / ski trooper before signing on with the U.K. navy as a sea cadet.   Awared his ship's flag as senior cadet after doing well when torpedoed off the NE coast of Scotland.  Later climbed to XO on Q-ships assigned to bait alone and attack at the wolfpacks.  Later sent in by U.K. SOE to Army/OSS and the transport service as a skipper.  Sailed everywhere the cargo ships went.  Sunk twice again in the Atlantic and off the coast of Florida by U boats.   He was a real soldier's soldier and the kind of skipper all sailors love.  Wound up in Guam bars and mixed up with Pacific Rim ONI and our family pre-war.  Lots of intrigue out there pre-war.  Japanese and Nazis roosted on islands to the north; Spying on our American naval govt. family, planning invasion, etc.  These old men were spy hunting and sounding alarms on invasion long before Pearl Harbor, but none listened.   Family out there ran the govt, the law, and all cops back then.  Place went seedy when handed over to civilian govt.   That resistance circle even had a Saipanese housegirl nestled among the family of a general in Yamamoto's staff.   Trained three prostitutes prior to the invasion strictly for the purposes of bedding Japanese officers and feeding intel back to allies.   All before Pearl.  :-)  
 
So, yeah, we had a real James Bond married into the family.  Was my POW grandpa's pre-war friend.  Set up a ranch on island, but was mostly away at sea.  His ship carried my grandpa and POW pals home.   An uncle in there was famous for having two spies locked up before the war and threatening him....but nobody knows where they are today.  :-)   Our fishing buddy lost is father in my grandpa's prison camp, and he was a hot-headed German/ native sort, so he captured and executed some 117 Japanese soldiers very ugly in a day.   Later took a govt. loan and became one of the largest hay farmers in California.  :-)   As for gramp's prison, they had the highest survival rate of all Allied camps (less than 1% fatality compared to over 30%), largely due to medics and how everyone teamed up.  Gramps was a corpsman.   They were all farmers and ranchers back then -- even mom's Spanish aristocratic, rich grandpa.   Our fishing buddy/ legendary executioner?   A rifleman and bat hunter with the skipper (Bats a delicacy out there).  Mom's family was hidden on the farm of a close family friend when the Japanese took my great grandfather's mansion and resistance headquarters met there at the poker table....just like TLC groups do. 
 
Guamanians of that generation -- or ones like the skipper -- make horrible neighbors for city slickers because they KEEP EVERYTHING.  I do the same.   You never know when you'll need it.  People mock my junk, but I always have something on the ranch to repair something if needed.  Don't usually have to go into town or spend money unless a rare thing or convenient, and we can get by somewhat if not.   Yeah....scrap lumber, wire, parts, everything.  Just "hoarded".   Why?  What for?   Well, you can always dump it later, but, in the meantime, it's a bank reservoir to always draw upon and check first if you need something.   That's just how you do things.  The most valuable commodity in any mechanic shop is not the guy's Snap On Tool box on mortgage, nor all the fancy tooling.....but that "Miscellaneous Nut & Bolt & Stuff Bin".....the "Magic Box"!!  That box you of stuff, unsorted hardware, screws, nuts, bolts, nails and stuff you can always dig through and find that right screw when you lost or dropped one.   We had a huge bin like that in a shop once.  Guys from other shops would come to our hangar just to explore it when losing a specialty screw.  When the shop closed down, we all drew straw over it.  It was that beloved.  :-)
 
So anyhow, junk is gold!   Teaming up, not wasting, and trading help and junk, food, etc....that's how you survive.
 
 
For example, we've been raising goats near 100%, pasture-grazed, organic this whole time.  Zero meds.  Zero vax. I used to pick up milk from a small dairy in Idaho that milked all guernseys them medicinal herbs in their feed that boosted their immune system and kept them from getting sick to begin with as well as treating them with medicinal foods like garlic and such to fight off bacterial infections etc. Of course allowing the animals to "free-range" cuts out alot of the disease issues, as well as localizing so you avoid cross contamination of herds. having a medicinal herb patch in that harden or yours would be helpful to the Babies and the fam as well. 
 
...I have been tempted to gather some pals and make a sneaky commando run into a certain Canadian goat farm where they have been doing GMO goats in the manufacture of BioSteel.  Some 20 times stronger than steel and 5 times stronger than Kevlar.   Imagine the warfare possibilities we could do for the world, Lonnie!  :-P   Their milk has fibers in it that are woven into the fabric.   Like that, we could conquer the world!  Muhaaa haaa!!!    I could start an international incident over heisted goats and milk, perhaps?
 
Hmmm....What of hemp?  Perhaps I could lease goats to the DEA for Pot field eradication and then turn around to sell hippies that THC-loaded goat milk all the same to help them get stoned?!  A new form of Pot brownie?  Goat milk cookies, brownies, and all.  Both worlds served and plundered like a merry devil!!!  :-)
 
 
 
 Cleanest meat and milk you'll ever find.  Our gourmet market, however, doesn't pay enough to really justify the increased loss there.  The new, draconian-Nazi SB 510 law soon to impact American farms pretty much shuts down our co-op and best prices in 2011.  And it wasn't worth it anyhow.   If you don't practice more modern methods of husbandry, what results is less production.   Kid mortality on does of good nutrition and periodically de-wormed (by at least natural methods) is 5%-10%.  When you run year-round on pasture and take the grass down lower, the wormload rises.....and kid mortality is a direct function of average wormload.  They all have worms.  The issue is tolerable wormload and its impact upon nutrition and feed conversion. Gotta be a natural food supplement you could feed that would keep them at bay, also I think Goats should roam the country with little shepherd boys following along to ensure they don't come to harm, eating down the weeds along the roads and anywhere fire is an issue. Free feed, no cost to you for pasture the county gets free weed abatement and everybody wins. Those neurotic bastards need to slow down anyway, do them good to have to wait for flocks to clear the road before they go to town and hang out at the bar or coffee shop whining about how they ain't got no job no more.
 
...Ah, a world of little shepherd children wandering around with goats on a rope rather than in home with X-box.  You dream a nice Utopia, indeed.  :-P
 
All-natural goat raising results in 20%-30% kid loss, higher orphan rates (which cost you money in supplies, milk, and labor), higher adult loss rates, and a lower birth rate.  Meanwhile, wet pasture and green grass people think ideal is hell on goats.   Alfalfa and all this fancy bale stuff is too "hot" a feed except for a bit by winter.   The "weedy" hay everyone and all these fussy horse people think is crap -- just that wild brush and grass growing in fields needing fire clearing --- that's very nutritious hay.  TDN, energy, and protien are nicely in range with it.  Everyone saying it's not nutritious....oh, they can't tell you the energy and protein content on it and are full of it.  The foxtail everyone hates....that's wild Barley.  The weeds have high protein & energy content compared to grass because they suck up soil nutrients faster.  The brush -- even dry and outside May to June harvest times -- is still good stuff, but you want to cut it when still alive.  Dry bales are best for our animals.   There is a risk of losing some animals due to noxious weeds, but that's rare with goats and use of the rangeland bales (which most think silly) makes the most sense for our RESILIENCE into the future because it requires no tilling, no planting, and only fire clearing & baling done free for interested landowners.I'll get me a corncob pipe and a team of horses and take my grandsons and we'll cut grass along the highways and byways we can always go back to the old haying methods of loose stacking if it becomes to economically difficult to use fuel driven machines.  
 
....Well, the only hitch in that scheme is that, in talking with Teale and others, they probably wouldn't buy such hay even at $3/ bale.  I can keep or baling costs low and hold bale prices about $3-$4 per bale.  $5 to $6 per 110 lb. bale....but, to be enticing to ranchers, it has to be good quality hay.  Making a hay field requires tilling and cost that equates to about the same as what you can charge for a bale....so people have left the business lately.  I can't find anyone willing to bale hay for us on our land because either too busy at harvest time or it's not worth their time.   What we'll probably do is pay some land use fee on existing nice pastures instead and then bale up the good grass there, not much natural rangeland bale.  Then, we have a commodity crop which people want.....and, with fuel economy improvements, that'll allow us to pay a better wage to the tractor operator while keeping it commercially viable at small scale and for our own needs.  The more we can offset diesel consumption, the more profitable it becomes. 
 
 
Pasturing on leased lands makes for better profit margin, but, with the economy and uncertainty, most people aren't interested in long-term leases that banks prefer to see......and so adding the hay baling operations of "junk hay" lends to long-term commercial stability.   The more we produce of affordable hay for livestock, the less we use and can sell instead, and the less diesel we burn....the greater the profit margin.  And we can keep our animals as 100% pasture "grazed" / Organic still, but we need to feed them taller / dryer forage, and maintain lower wormloads while adding more Diamataceous Earth pellet feed. You feed DE to the goats? HUH! Didn't know that. I know it kills bugs because it cuts them to pieces when they traverse it, but what doies it do to the goats innards?  
 
...Rainbow Ag sells a nice mix of de-wormer that is DE based with minerals and stuff.  Not their chemical stuff, but the nicer one.   I find it works nicely alongside homeopathic Arsenicum album 30C and an equal part mix of Molasses/ Karo syrup/ Corn oil for anti-anemia in cases of Bottle Jaw from barber pole worms.  Generally deadly to goats, I usually start to reverse a severe case of worms in about 23-36 hours with the homeopathy, and then about a week until anemia symptoms are gone.  About 1 month until meat is put back on them and normal.  Had one girl really taxed by pregnancy and winter last year, but didn't see it until after they kid when the womb cavity is vacant.  They can fool you and look "fat", albeit malnourished, with a full belly.   Takes about 30 days total recovery.   I honestly can't tell you how effective or not the DE is against worms.   I hear it is.   The homeopathy definitely reversed anemia/ swelling of the face in hours.   In trying to save an animal (my best girl), you're not really trying to be scientific about analysis. You throw out a couple things you know work, and they do....so I can't really credit the cure to DE exactly other than to tell you a company wouldn't really take all that investment time to put a product on the shelf with DE if it wasn't liked by ranchers.
 
As far as impact on goat innards?   Who knows.  Been over a year and she's on the field now doing fine.  Gained her weight back.  Had kids this season again.  Eating just fine.  No problems, though an older girl.  Maybe it had some detrimental impact on the intestinal lining which heals over time, but she'd be dead otherwise if you let that go.
 
 
Can't get them that taller grass while they're continually mowing it down and rotation grazing doesn't do it fast enough.  For every acre of fenced pasture held, we basically need another 1-2 acres to bale from yearly.   Not either/ or style between pasturing or feed-lot, but a hybrid of both is the optimum point. 
 
I've also revised our no vaccine policy to include CDT vax, but not as sub-cutaneous or in higher doses.  We now use old-style Variolation methods -- just a squirt of vax into their noses -- which tickles the nasal passages and GI tract immunity to full capacity while not damaging animal lymphatic system and blood with vaccine toxins.  The trivial degree of vaccine toxin by this nasal spray method goes out in the poop within hours rather than penetrating into tissues and vital organs year after year.   It's actually a better method of vaccine by old Chinese Medicine style against Small Pox, but Big Pharma wants us all to believe that more and more meds and vaccine = health.  That's a load of crap, though.  AAAAAAAAAAAAAMEN! I remember when I was kid and we started getting these things called Ral-Gro that you injected into the cows earlobes. It was just steroids. Made a difference in weight so we started using it on all the feeders. Oh if I had only realized where it was all leading! I know there are some diseases like leptosperosis that is crucial to vaccinate against, but I am thinking again we stop transporting stock and a lot of that goes away. As far as birth weights and infant mortality, Of course those are huge factors, but they get much HUGER when you throw that word COMMERCIAL or PROFIT, into the the mix. I do the same thing here so I am guilty of violating the Greenie laws myself. High electrical bills (OMG Look at that carbon Footprint! TSK TSK TSK! But I like yo have to make a living in a CAPITALIST, COMMERCIAL world so I gotta do what I gotta do. But I long for the day that my only concern is getting the work done early so I can take the kids swimming and just hang out picking guitar and enjoying my life instead of being driven like an old mule to produce. I want to work to live not live to wor, I want my life back!
 
...Useless Eater!  You are exhaling too much carbon footprint and must, therefore, be culled.
 
Vaccines can be very useful in humans and animals, but only where damages are minimal.  In pastured livestock operations -- where kept clean, clean water, good feed, clean shelters, not overcrowded or overgrazed -- the need for vaccine is minimal compared to pens, but, with replacment stock in and out from other ranches or auction on larger operations, That's what I been telling ya! LOL Great minds I guess..:-) .CDT and others are a bare minimum business need and still allowed under Organic methods.....but I just don't like heavy use.   It costs more to administer in time, labor, and materials while the efficacy is not as optimum or convenient as just periodic nasal spray.  Far easier to offer goats a treat by hand while squirting them in the nose than it is to catch them and inject them!   300 pound bucks with horns are far easier to squirt in the nose with vax than catch and poke!  :-)   We don't have blood test efficacy done yet on this method versus sub-q but will next year and I don't need the data to tell me what we already know from human vaccine methods and observation.  We just need the lab data to determine how frequently nasal spray results in a good defense and antibody production versus sub-q.  Once a year per head?  Twice?  Once every couple years?  Or just once in a lifetime?  For livestock, analysis of operations has me moving away from extreme anti-vaccine to just tickles with it and minimal use/ maximum gain.  For humans, I'm anti-vaccine to an extreme unless as homeopathic nosode or old Chinese style variolation during severe emergency.   If our business depended on taking people to market for slaughter....Makes you wonder why they been insisting we take them the last 60-70 years eh?.then, sure, vaccinate them. :-) 
 
We are lab rats and also their livestock.   Animal Farm plain and simple.  However, we are also their consumers and foundation of empire, so wise rulers do not eradicate all the slave base.  Just some.  And that presumes wisdom and sanity at the top.  Not the case with power and its diabolical influence upon the souls and minds of men.
 
Truth is:  the majority of our market couldn't care less what you put into livestock and won't pay for luxury treatment, but we do it as common sense and upkeep of the breeding stock's health.  The healthier husbandry approach on pasture and clean conditions with hay supplement or even year-round supply (but not penned, paddock, or overcrowed) yields greater overall health....which means less money spent on medicine, labor in care, and losses to chronic ailments.  In 7 years, none of the goats we raise or sold have ever had observed chronic ailments, I was wondering if Homeopathy worked on Goats? Is Sublingual the only way to administer H-path stuff?Healthier for human consumption then...correct? The things is more and more people are linking food to cancer and other ailments,so they are beginning to insit on all natural (as you well know) It isn't a yuppy gimmick anymore it is about to blow and the market is turning.
 
Yes, homeopathy works on goats, dogs, horses, etc.  It's the primary and often only medicine here.   Use it all the time with the herd and dog.   With family and friends.   Remedies you see in the store are sublingual but have no measurable drug impact -- as propaganda says, merely water laced sugar pellets.  However, I have research physician friends out in India working for their big universities (out there, it's respected) and they are pioneering ways of measuring homeopathic remedies in the human body (or need for them) through diagnostic instruments.   Specifically, in the temperature gradient of patients before, after, and while on a remedy.  The remedies act very differently and are not a detectable "substance" in the body any more than the impact made on you by an accupuncture needle or martial arts poke in the nose shows up as a chemical.   It's one of the most stealthy means of healing (or killing) on earth, and based in lots of old witchcraft and alchemy understanding of poisons, chemicals, and their actions.   Very similar to LSD and chemical weapons -- or the venom of spiders -- in action where a little bit does a lot.   Resonant issues of physics and the water, nanobubbles, Cold Fusion, energy influx from the Ether through the nanobubbles in succussion....all playing a part in making it more than just "water".   Department of Defense has studied it for a long, long time in biological warfare defense, chemical warfare applications, etc...but chicken shit changed the name to Ultra-Low Dose/ Toxicology R&D.   Civilian research is too dominated by Big Pharma to admit it, but America is being left behind while other nations (India, Mid East, China, Japan, Iraq, Latin America, etc) advance in these sciences....partly also from their interest in chem weapons.
 
The action of these damn wolf spiders or the tarantula has a homeopathic effect, though largely an enzyme action.  I captured one and decided to keep as a pet rather than squash some years back.  Fed him some frogs. Took the opportunity to study the spider's predatory nature and impact on the frog-- since I'd heard of the venom in homeopathy.  Sure enough, little spidey did his bullfighter dance with the frog.  Just a couple quick stabs -- at our scale, it would be like being injected with a little syringe just once.  Frog gets incapacitated.  You can even see the changes in the frog's iris evident of massive internal problems starting first in the GI tract.  Solar Radii emerging straight from the pupil outward, as if the intestines are somehow perforated by GI tract imbalance; Systemic imbalance.  Either GI tract or respiration.  Not sure how to chart a frog's eyes, but definitely internal inflammation and bleeding somewhere vital, and gut/ respiration related...all concurrent to enzyme cascade and turning into a slurpy for the spider. 
 
...Anyhow, the enzyme cascade and all those things are physical effects.  The homeopathic action is in regard to a wee little drop of venom having such immediate impact on the total system starting first on contact with the nervous system.
 
Homeopathy is not herbal medicine, but really nothing more than a vast collection of understandings to the old poisons and their medicinal traits.  All medicine is poison in excess; All poison can be a stimulant to the body's healing where given as just a gentle tickle.
 
We do have olfactory methods of delivering remedy.  Sublingual.  Consumed in liquid doesn't matter much.  Other means.  Even just by applied music and frequency are homeopathic effects found because the action of similars -- the Law of Similars -- is found in nature and waveforms, too.   All physical things vibrate among multi-spectral patterns not just electromagnetic.   All matter is also made of many waves and really is not solid at all.  The solid pellet and the solid tongue it touches....are really just two images of light entering into constructive or destructive interference.   When we break away from thinking about medicine in terms of particles and more from an energy against energy perspective....the stranger ways of medicine are easier to understand.
 
A quack guru of mine once tended to a mobster miserable with skin problems.   He told the story as a lesson to me in considering "Peculiar, Queer, Rare, and Striking" anomalies in a patient's environment which call to a remedy (sort of a mystical side of Kentian prescribing).  On arrival, he observed a huge bush of Stinging Nettles.  On seeing the patient, he could not help but see how all the symptoms called for Stinging Nettles as a homeopathic remedy, and so he gave it and the patient improved.  Now, was that from perhaps too much Stinging Nettle pollen in the air giving the patient misery?  Perhaps. That is what the reasonable, modern, scientific mind theorizes.  But, there is another observational anomaly much more interesting!   The mobster called the doctor fuming mad a few days later:   "Who told you to kill my nettle bushes?!!!  I have checked with the servants and none did it.  Why did you do that?!!"  Doctor explained he did not.  Law of Similars is all around us.  The man and the Peculiar, Queer, Rare, and Striking anomaly went hand in hand.  As his symptoms died, so did the plant.    And these relationships in nature are all around for viewing....for those who take the time to look and appreciate it.  For those who do not, they will never appreciate such things or the core of true healing ways.
 
Same for many of the old Alchemy philosophies and pre-Chemistry processes and understandings which bore a mystical and often diabolical (or sometimes very Christian) perspective.   Great truths of nature and life are often twisted by bad people, but that doesn't mean they have no truths relevant in science or life.  Calcination, Distillation.....materials and men go through such processes in life.  A deeper understanding of materials science and chemistry is really only possible first through a study of alchemy 
 
Anyhow, a great many of the things we often dismiss to "witchcraft" are really not that at all.  Many of the old ways and sciences -- vast archives and treasures of science -- have been locked away as quackery and scandalous "voodoo" drivel for centuries.   Scientists and others only talk of these things in secret for fear of ridicule at the very least.  In times past, you'd be burnt at the stake.   Medical arts, Mathematics, Geometry, a true understanding of the Ether, the Quintaessentia (or Chi, or homeopathic Vital Force, the Prana, the Ka, one's "mojo" and vitality)....all forgotten ways from forgotten times. 
 
So, anyhow....homeopathy is a weird way.  I am actually engaged in experiments right now where we medicate patients half a world away from just ...well...we don't talk about it much....but just like a witch yet no witchcraft!  And where we try to destroy or stimulate crop growth from afar, too.  :-)   It's been a mysterious and taboo subject among us.  Mocked a long time, but I see it as Quantum Teleportation related somehow.  It's a very powerful tool to keep in the quack bag.   Makes one's enemies at least think twice about pestering you for building scandalous, greenie perpetual motion machines but I have not yet fully learned these ways from our Yoda.    Quacks Who Stare At Goats kinda stuff in the world!  :-)
 
 
Which is why the Farm Bureau Coc-smokers are making it rough on our local organic growers, they are beginning to hurt the corporate growers and they bitch to the legislators who call the labor relations board and the EPA and anybody else they can get to harass guys like Jim and Teale to get them to go away. Wait til they find out the cost of seed is going up 95% starting immediately... hey are going to be squealing bloody murder. 
 
Tell me in private, but I'd like to hear more about this Farm Bureau problem.  Who? What?  When? Where? How?  Why?
 
Who knows with Lake County, but I think a large part of resistance to Organic, Biodynamic, and all this hippy-commie-greenie stuff is due to that hippy-commie-greenie aura (and agenda) it all comes with.  This is a Good ol' Boy town.  Farmers and ranchers are generally Conservative and not into a lot of these TLC objectives out here....not without further look at it. Just as there are "knee-jerk Liberals", there are knee-jerk conservatives.   We hear that damn buzzword, "Sustainability", or "Eco", or "Green".....and poof!!!!  Damn you to hell, you treasonous, Marxist bastards!!!!!  You f'n, pot-smokin', peacenik, save the world, tree-hugging, pagan, red diaper babies!!!!!!!  :-)
 
....Sometimes resistance to what you're into isn't really so much corruption and evil to them, but just scent of the whole Lefty aura and retraction & instant hatred of it.   I know people of that world.  Some corrupt.  Some more like me, but too busy in their own worlds to listen.   Gets harder as they age.  I have the luxury of being a younger Conservative.  I didn't grow up in that Vietnam generation hating everything they represent nor do I trust Conservatives to become anything more than KKK-like crazies if there were no laws.   Ron Paul is my party these days, not Republicans or Dems, Left or Right.  I resent being told I have to wear somebody's label.  Lots, though, do that Animal Farm thing:   "Uh, yeah,  Republicans good.  Democrats bad."   Sustainability?!   "Commies!!!"   Eco?!  "Commies!!!!"   Biodiversity?!   "The hell you say!!!"
 
But, we all in live around the same pond.  None of us like litter bugs or people just shitting freely in the lake we swim in.  We all like clean air up here.   Most people just want to be left alone in their homes and on their ranches; To grow as they please.  To just live and let be.   Conservatives are largely threatened by all this TRANSFORMATION and "Change" talk; for it is the action of a group wanting to do, influence, or get power in some form and have their desires made real...or mandated.  That may not be the way of some or all to the TLC group, but, with the larger movement as a whole and with the Left....we know the smell of Facism all too well...as fascists ourselves.  :-)
 
Best I can say is keep doing what you do with the People, not these F-head politicians.  All politicians are, by nature, cowards at heart.  They depend on our votes and are nobody without them.  They feed on the public love.  They want to be loved, not hated.   They want to pose, and baby kiss, and socialize and be respectable members of the community, not make hard decisions or troublesome stands.  That's what corrupts them at least in a social way first.  Money and shared criminality at times, too.  But, none want trouble.  None want to fight.   People want to work together, not be perpetually fighting....but you have to find common ground, not spin your wheels perpetually fighting.  And that's the hard part.
 
 
 
though we are always fighting acute woes -- bloat on wet grass, winter nutrition loss with kidding, worm cases/ pregnancy anemia on some does (usually the conventionally medicated ones from earlier ranches) needing extra attention & feed, etc. 
 
The natural goats we've raised for a few generations now are extremely hardy compared to your average pampered goat.  The vaccine and medice-loving ranchers out there can't imagine how we do things, but our animals convert the most spartan of feed to meat with greater digestive efficiency because we don't trash their GI tracts with drugs.   They remain more robust against epidemics and ailments in general because we don't trash the blood and lymph.   They're not as fat and are on the leaner side, but are not skinny and neglected.  A  pampered goat, however, will drop dead in a year to the degree we've pushed our animals in the past.   In genetic Nazi breeding terms, they are like Hitler's dream as "Aryan Supergoats"; All aggressive in eating and digesting EVERYTHING!  Nazi stormtroopers they are on the pasture --- eating everything to a low cut and lower than most goats can take.  :-)  Many say goats cannot thrive on pasture and grass alone, but these do.  They live where others don't and, when you feed them the better grade forage, they thrive.  They thrive because we have focused on keeping their rumens healthy, albeit at greater wormload than the conventionally medicated goats.   Per pound of feed eaten, our goats absorb it while others need more feed to just live.  It's not how much you feed them, but how much nutrition they actually assimilate....and weak rumens way overdosed on medicine don't do that.  You kill off essential probiotics like that.  You make it easier for the bad muck to takeover and cause bloating & Enterotoxemia with the medicines while goats are actually very delicate creatures.
 
The problem we have is that, in expanding the herd to a more sustainable commerce level, we now have to take in weakling, damaged, and chronic illness prone goats conventionally raised.  They are substandard and inferior to our "goat master race" in the works here for years.  :-) It takes 2-3 years to bring those does up to peak production while it takes a couple generations to build a new, larger herd of "Aryan Supergoat" that is equally robust.  Not a single goat in California can we find which meets our standards, though there are some in Texas where raised on open range.   Everyone raises goats of the Regular army, but ours are crack commando goats on pasture.   Hitler would be proud of our work in goat eugenics!  :-|    And they're not GMO goats, but that term is kinda vague because their genes are scrambled with each year -- even more so where inbred.   So, yeah, we alter genetics in the herd like diabolical Nazi scientists of Monsanto all the time.   Sure, we're not doing DNA PCR on them, but it's always in mutation here.  Just naturally so.   Strong goats breed strong goats;  Weaklings breed weak ones.   Weaklings we cull.   It's all sadly very nazi-like, but such is business.  Having a heart will bankrupt an operation.
 
Problem with California ranchers is that they mother and medicate the animals too damn much -- just like farmers who don't practice Organic mother and medicate the soil too damn much.  You need some mothering and less harmful medication, but they do it way too much out of fear of letting nature take its course.   Likewise, to sustain any commercial viability, you do have to break from nature at times.  For example, we cannot allow our bucks to just breed and fornicate with the girls any time they desire on open pasture.  That results in greater production, but also greater loss because kids are born at various times -- usually in the dead of winter.  Your workload in saving orphans goes up, maternal abandonment goes up, kid loss rises on those born in the wee hours even in a warm barn, winter is harder on the does nutrition wise.   Ideally, you breed in winter, kid in the fall, and take to market on November to December peak prices at the optimum kid weight of 55 pounds.   If we don't control nature like that, it's all loss, loss, loss.  But, to keep the bucks happy and not busting down fence in horny fits, we throw them a couple sleazy bar girls in their paddocks for general "entertainment".  :-)  The rest of their virginal blushing brides have to wait for romancing until winter and early spring. Life is a bitch when you are at the bottom of the food chain ain't it! Poor bastards.
 
...Yep.
 
At present, if anyone is looking for great fertilizer....we do have a small degree of goat manure & pine chip / soil mix available free for those with a shovel. I am gearing up for our outdoor and was wondering about where to get better stuff than that quackenbush  shit they used last year, it was crap and the yield was horrifically off. I would take what you have and Thank you for it!  
 
....Well, I'm eager to no longer be full of shit and to pass you a load of shit then.  :-)
 
 
I like to sprinkle it atop the soil when planting or as add on before the rains.  Being barn manure, it's been well urinated and pooped upon.   Very nutrient rich stuff.   The pine chips foster ample fungal growth, too.   In years to come, we'll always have a bit of barn manure available by the scoop or bucket load and, where the level rises too much, I wonder about it's efficacy with Medicinal Herbage? I know steer manure can be too hot, so is turkey, what is goat like?
 
....I dunno.   No medicinal herbage here.  :-)   It is about an equal mix of pine chips, decayed manure matter, and goat berries.  I'd say 75% manure/ 25% wood fiber.  Urine soaked fibers that have been dried.
 
 
 we may later sack and sell that as ranch produce, too.  However, our annual manure output is mostly spread around as fertilizing pellets on pasture which the rains break down.  Our shelters in the future being portable don't build up manure or require tractor scraping.  Only places that need cleaning and which generate manure are the orphan kid barn and hospital "wing" (Sutter Goatside Hospital)....which produce about a ton of manure & compost per year that is generally useful to our existing garden, but not presently used fully.  Thus, we're not terribly full of s#%t!  Just a little.  :-)
 
As I was saying, Lonnie, our future expansion is moving away from Boers and more in favor of Alpine/ dairy nannies.  However, we'll have to go with what's available on the market for the expansion.   Either way, we definitely want more milk does out here crossed with our big Boer bucks.  It results in faster weight gains on the kids due to all that milk.  Both are large-framed, meaty animals.   Survival-wise, food-shortage-wise, etc....we can keep people alive on the milk while not having to slaughter the herd for meat.  One goat can keep one man alive per day.  More if milk is not their only nutrition intake and there's plenty of food off the land in Lake County as-is even in the dead of winter. Do you know any data specific to lake county that details what is here that is edible? I am thinking that would be a great re-skilling class, I started walking the hills summer before last trying to learn to i.d stuff but there isn't a whole lot available that is specific even to Nor-Cal 
 
I have a great book called Earth Medicine/ Earth Foods by that screaming Conservative, Michael Weiner (a homeopath, BTW).  He wrote some really great non-political books.   I don't know of any data regarding edibility of things out here.  Probably even most the Pomos have forgotten that they used to live off his land for thousands of years....without much industrial agriculture.  
 
Food is all around to just see.   Do you still have your old army surival manual?   USAF survival guides are good, too.   Generally, potable water is your first priority anywhere and that requires fire long-term.  Pills are bad on the kidneys but suitable for cold camps.   Second is clean camping and sewage.....for general sanitation, safety from bears, wolves, or if being hunted, etc.  Low environmental impact with a tracker or predator's perception in mind.   Very important in lion and bear country...or just wild hogs with tusks that can easily open a leg artery if raiding your camp.  Scent of things on your trail you destroy in habit unless actually trying to draw an animal to your site for food, etc. 
 
Water being clean of bacteria and parasites is critical.  It'll kill you fast if not.   But, all you need are three twigs, some cloth, campire charcoal, sand, gravel, and grass to filter it with gravity.   Then take to a rolling boil -- preferably with some river rocks in the pot for mineral and salt replacement.  For that, you need flame, sacrifice of your clothes, and a knife.   Dyssentery will give you malnutrition fast.  
 
Food-wise, any plant in the world that is green is generally edible, though there are some exceptions.   So, you have to test for allergy and toxic reactions lightly first.   You do this before getting too hungry and weak.  Most green grass is a superfood and can sustain one man per day at about 12-24 ounces of its juice alone.  So, you can always just gather grass and suck on it all day long....or press.   Just like with goats, the lower you take that grass....the more prone you are to worms.   Better to wash and clean all veggies. 
 
A variety is best.   Leaves and questionable plants you test.  Thistle things, weeds, flowers avoid.   Tree leaves are usually okay.   What you do is rub some on the underside of your arm and check for allergic reaction within the hour.  Then, nibble some and await effects.  If none, then consume in small quantity for awhile.  If okay, then eat.  All food being a medicine that becomes detrimental in time if too much, you need variety.   And so, you go about testing, sampling, and lightly consuming other plants until okay.  
 
Mushrooms avoid unless experienced with them.  Most tree bark is okay.   Out here, the tule grass has dew in the mornings which actually insect waste, but a very sweet sugar (like shellac) and good for you.  The Pomos used to use it in breads and cakes.   Foxtail everywhere is just wild barley -- excellent source of carbs and protein.   Blackberries.  
 
Fish -- raw -- is loaded with vitamins; Eat the eyeballs and everything.  Same for organs and everything on any animals hunted.  Never waste.   Especially on hunted animals, keep the adrenal glands and dry them.  Very powerful medicine when sick is adrenal support with a natural glandular.   Liver, kidney.    The old saying is that most animals have "enough brains to tan their hide".   Brain matter is excellent in tanning skins if you need clothes.  Animal eyes and organs.....things people don't normally eat, you have to think about when starving and are excellent vitamin, mineral, and polysaccharide sources.   Crickets look scary just like some people are afraid of shrimp, but you can always crush them up for food flavoring as a powder or jam.  Same for other non-venemous insects.   Frog legs and meat.   Earthworms.   Even maggots where well washed and having consumed only clean meat you set out as bait.   Bees and their honey.  
 
There is a mustard grass which grows in Lake County that you want to avoid.   It gives many people bad hayfever.  Grows wild in the fields with yellow flowers.   May taste good, but it ulcerates the intestines in some people.  Lesser so in the non-allergic.  Just depends what people are sensitive to.  One man's food and spice is another's poison.
 
Juniper bushes are good for asthma.  Alfalfa.  Chamomile.  Clover.   The list of medicinal plants all around is extensive, though I am no expert without my library.   Some of the local tribes have medicine men well versed in these local plants, but they keep that as largely their own.   I have bark from a plant here -- forget the name; got it written down somewhere -- which is very good for hayfever cough and asthma.  
 
Tobacco itself is a very healthy medicine, contrary to propaganda.....where not used in excess.  It is good for digestion problems, nausea.  It has anti-cancer and anti-arteriosclerosis properties when in light, infrequent use or homeopathic form...but TRANSITIONS to pro-cancer / pro-arteriosclerosis in excess.    All plants and materials have that medicinal to poison or poison to medicine transition, and their use is specific to the case symptoms and signature at the time. 
 
A lot of the old "witchcraft" Doctrine of Signatures wisdom holds true.  Kidney beans are good for your kidney.  Ginseng does provide sexual energy and stamina and is shaped like a sexy doll.   Things that are bile colored often help flow bile;   Yellows and browns for the liver.  
 
Campfire charcoal is your first, most critical medicine and industrial material in water filtration.  When sick or food poisoned.....charcoal down the stomach absorbs the toxins nicely. 
 
Very important is the boiling of foods mostly as soup......and to blend in good river rocks with the bowl.  General Washington's army was very sick at Valley Forge from malnutrition until some French or Injun scouts taught their cooks to use river rocks for mineral replacement (See the story, Stone Soup, we learned as kids.).
 
 
 
Everywhere you look out here is food.  People don't have to starve even if there were a food shortage.  They just need to learn how to survive if need be. I have a book by a Canadian special forces cat that makes his living off such endeavors and he says that no one should starve in North America...ever. Especially in a place like this. He say you can do it easily in the Deserts and Cold country.Surely this is a veritable garden of Eden comparatively.  
 
It is!  This place is luxury to survive in.  Don't even sweat it.  You will if you have to.   Snow country and desert is much harder.   Being in the wild and away from our tools and support systems....that's harder.    We're  much more modern "tribe" in Lake County.  In the worst of times, people can live out here.  Just takes some scrouging up food daily or work as a team.   Send the women out to gather, etc.   As for us, we'll just go duck hunting.  :-)   
 
Heck, I could sit here with a BB gun daily and gather enough blackbirds to keep alive for months without ever leaving home.
 
 
 
The grass alone out here has juice you can live on.  The tule on the lake have scrapable dew.  The foxtails everyone hates....that's wild barley.   Worms, crickets, thousands of annoying black birds in the garden, deer, fish, frogs, fried maggots if I must......I won't starve, but I prefer nice food and not being a hunter-gatherer caveman is all.   Acorns, nuts, berries, and of course the Eul Gibbons Hot dog on a stick (Cat Tail) Which when pulled out during tender stages has something called Cossack Asparagus that is unreal.
 
....Poor kitty. :-(  The mountains get plenty of rattle snake.  Those are really good on the grill.  Crawdads, too.   There's deer everywhere out here. 
 
We are not a dairy and cannot sell raw or pasturized milk.   The future herd being bank "chattel" and all that paperwork being more crap and distraction than I care for, we cannot do a herd-share for milk thing.  The dairy does, however, are good to keep always milked.  What if the parlor were left unattended and some sneaky sumbitch came in in the middle of the night and took some milk and left some goodies for you? :-) You could always say Santy Claus done it... Just sayin... I had a thought for the community areas. It would be cool to have a small buckboard type wagon with rubber tires etc that would be pulled by a donkey that would make a loop everyday cept maybe Sunday so we could spend the day at the local hootenanny. You would pick up produce, goat milk cheese, bread, etc from folks who dod those things and take them around a prescribed route as you came to a home the person comes out and gives you what they have to offer and takes what they NEED for the day twice as much on Sat. Cuz we going to that hootenanny ice cream social Thang...on Sun. Kind of a cool way to make your "living" huh? Visiting with folks who are truly happy to see you as you haul groceries and such around the village?
 
....Well, that's the problem with farming.   I'm trying to do other things while setting up an operation for a good manager to manage and to keep that person cozy while having a profit.  That's hard to do as a small farmer!  Takes time to set up.   I prefer to maintain the equipment and make sure the herd is doing okay while handling orphans, medical, and key things.  Eventually, giving at least a good and fun part-time job on the goats to a local and definitely contract tractoring by summers (as the hayfever out there tears me up too much).  Tractoring and being outdoors in winter, early spring, anytime past around June to winter...no problem, but May is usually my worst month....and also the best time to make hay.   I can wear a respirator, but it doesn't cover the eyes and feeling miserable is no way to be running a tractor.  I'm just no good for much out here by May, so I prefer to spend time enjoying the lake instead around then.
 
Regular milking, though requiring near double the feed, prevents mastitis and cheesy buildup in the udder while encouraging greater milk production and better taming the herd for handling.   The milk is a commodity we won't be using other than during kidding, so we're fully open to TLC members and the public renting a goat for "brush clearing and garden purposes" -- cash or barter, or even just keep them fed.  Deposit of some form required equivelent to the animal's value, but, as long as the animal is returned at the agreed upon time in good health and weight (and fed only from a list of forage or our own bales), what people do with their rented goat is their business. Might need to tighten the stipulation a little bit, There are some lonely bachelor types in the hills of this county...Just sayin. 
 
....Yer right.  Makes a new marketing angle, indeed.  Thanks!  We can always pimp out my girls!   "Got a doe here named Juicy Lucy just for you, sir.   What goes on in Goat Town, stays in Goat Town."   That's bbbbaaaaaaaahd, though.  :-)
 
 
Our position is that thein.y rented the animal to do some landscaping in their backyards, but, if people want to milk and make cheese, that's their business and liability.  We suggest some basic and regular blood testing per animal -- especially if drinking raw.  Ensuring no Brucella or Tuberculosis, etc.   If the animal is well kept, fed clean water and forage, and is healthy.... raw milk is the best.  But, we just can't be in a position of selling milk nor doing herd-share/ shared animal ownership.   Liability Release and Disclaimer on any milking at their own risk would be standard.   Raw is the best milk in the world, though.  Red tape, legality, and high dairy costs just make it not commercially viable at this time for us.   
 
But, definitely, I'd be happy to trade out does to people interested in "milking for non-consumption" (as just a hobby or 4H teaching goat, but no drinking) in exchange for just their giving us the cholostrum (first milk during motherhood) and saving us labor there.  Cholostrum out here is like gold!   We pay $20 for a gallon of it if not having any in the freezer.  If you know any who have it, we're always happy to buy it from cattle, goats, horses, sheep.  It's the only milk that saves orphan lives in the first few hours on most animals. Yeah that is BIG business in the dairy industry  You wanna piss of a Dairyman, take the milk out of the wrong tank to the cheese factory.... not good. Bit of a difference in the profit margin. The powdered stuff and milk replacer is crap.  Without the right cholostrum in store, you can have around 30% kid mortality on otherwise healthy kids.  With cholostrum, good maternal nutrition, and others....less than 5% kid mortality is the ideal with 10% about normal....and that's the difference between going bankrupt or not on a larger herd.   Orphans generally run about 10% to 30% potential loss if you don't save them, and cholostrum with real milk -- preferably goat milk -- is the key there.   We'll have a need for potentially about 900 gallons or more of our own goat milk which is really easier to just buy as cow milk (unless prices skyrocket)...but it's always better as mother's milk.....so we'll be happy to have any milking help in exchange for goat "brush clearing rental". I am tucking that away for future reference.
 
...Yeah, whenever.  Just a thought.  Always willing.
 
Here, we really only need does on the field for breeding in December to Feb.  Then again around kidding time in the fall and in nursing. The rest of the time they can be offsite with others just fine if people are set up for it.  You mostly just need a rope, clean water, crude shelter, feed, and protection from predators.  Goats are generally quiet and not a bother to neighbors any more so than a lawnmower.   Smell is not bad on girls;  More so on the boys.   Biggest thing is dry, warm shelter, ample shade by summer, ample feed, clean water, and protection from stray dogs or mountain lions.  If you have that, a lone goat on a rope is fine in anyone's backyard.  They'll be happier in two or more, though.   If people are keeping them responsibly, we're fully open to spreading out our "pasture lease" holdings in this manner, too.  Every goat in someone's backyard is one less on our pastures, less feed, and greater attention/ observation per animal while it provides an eco-friendly / fuel-less landscaping means....and "fresh milk for non-human use" (such as weaning puppies, garden fertilizer, or sale to local DVM's Veteranarians? as people do at their own risk). 
 
.....Docs of Vet Med....yup. 
 
We're not looking to be distracted by pickup and delivery to places around the county, but certainly are available by phone and in-person where there's a problem with an animal's health.  We wouldn't keep a deposit on a health problem or normal loss if feeding was kept up as instructed.  Over-feeding, wrong feeding, too much grain, dirty water, and neglect can easily kill our animals, though.   We don't want to do it with the whole herd, but are open to a fraction of it to see how it goes.  It would be well worth the cholostrum & milk value returned to us alone even with no other rental fee.  
 
Basically: 
 
"Here, have a goat.  Keep it and feed it until we need it back.   Give us some milk and cholostrum in return as the rental fee.  What you do with the rest is your business.  Need the girls back in November to January and again in June to August.  It'll get tricky as they kid because we need them nursing the kids from June to January.  We need that milk fully with the kids, not you, from June to January and need them here on-site to tend to, but not from Jan to June.  Or, if you can't keep the goat at your place and it's all too complicated, you're welcome to milk on-site here as just a hobby interest and for teaching children the farm life and how to make cheese.....but your milking hobby is only for returning to us some milk and cholostrum supply for our animals.  The rest is ranch waste product we ask you to sign right here that you'll be disposing of in your garden as good fertilizer, not ever consuming -- especially not raw."  I have started using strained or fat free milk to keep powdery mildew at bay and it is a great foliar as well.
 
....There you go!
 
I'll have to check with some raw milk groups, herd-share raw milk organizations, and a lawyer if that'll cover us there...but, if so, we're certainly willing to share dairy goat use with people....just not officially any milk.  If members of the TLC co-op return to us say 900 gallons over the year, that saves us some $3600/year on the orphans.  The more milk they can return to us at lower cost, the longer we can hold orphans beyond 25 lbs Cabrito and carry to 55 lbs best market weight which is better business at our end.  Helps people with their landscaping and "other interests" in having a dairy goat around the house "as a pet" without actually having to own one year-round.  If they go on vacation and can't get a goat-sitter, just bring it back to our "kennel" free of charge.  :-)  
 
This scheme will generally not work in mountain lion areas of the county, however....unless you have good dogs on-site....but most dogs won't mix with goats without a fight erupting and injury to our goats.   Deposit would be about $250/ head...which is basically what people could just go out and buy a goat for, but the cash stays on account and would be returned when the goat is returned.  Over the years, as that goat produces, we can make each year's deposit less and less.  Just can't have all of Lake County running off with our goats and saying, "Sorry, dude.  Our dog killed it.  We forgot to feed and water it.  Left it out in the hot sun and rain.  Didn't care cuz we didn't have anything of deposit at stake in the deal." Yeah the concept sounds good, but we bot know that dealing with individuals without some sort of accountability is a recipe for disaster.
 
Plenty of that around.  :-(
 
But, yeah, theoretically, if people put a $250 deposit down and borrow a goat for landscaping for a week or two....they can return the goat, get their money back in the same month, and one dairy goat produces anywhere from 1/2 gallon to 2 gallons milk per day for FERTILIZING YOUR GARDEN.   Most GARDENS don't need that much milk daily, so some can be stored or frozen.  They can play at making goat cheese for MOUSE TRAP USE ONLY or for just FARMING LESSONS WITH CHILDREN....just not official CONSUMPTION.  If they want to do a dairy operation with the goats and get certified on it, that's not our business....but we just wash our hands clean of any of that liability stuff is all.   Though raw goat milk (where tested as safe and physician approved) can have tremendous nutrition and probiotic health value for cancer patients and sickly others (particularly in the restoration of GI tract function), at our end, they are strictly rented out as garden goats in exchange for only milk payments as our fee.   :-)   It's better that way anyhow because, if people do milk them secretly, they know how they cared for them, what was put into the animal, and it's fresh....not bottled or rotting.  The animal is right there for them to do a blood draw on and check for no disease, and to isolate from any strains a larger and shuffling herd can introduce.  Puts them closer to nature, too. 
 
We are out of dairy goats at this time, however.   Our Boers are poor milkers with smaller udders -- so they give the milk at about 1 oz per hour instead of large, stored amounts....and all of that is presently required by the kids. 
 
....If any are interested in that, give me an email and inform how many does you might be interested in for your garden, at what times of year, and the location.
 
I am going to confer with David Goolsbee, he is our Community garden Coordinator and see what he thinks about all of this and if there is any immediate need, my sense is its still too premature for it, but we'll see what develops.
 
....Whatever.  Whenever.  No sweat.
 
 
By the way Nils says Hi and we would like to come visit you sometime soon when it is convenient for you. He is in the Bay for some R&R so it'll be a week or longer before he could come, so no stress, just want to put a face to the emails and shake your hand.  
 
...Yeah, that'll be fun.  Good to see you and Nils again.  Maybe we've met already?   I 'm bad with names, but always remember a face.
 
 
Thanks for the education on Goats. By the way David has some pretty cool ideas for heating water and such with your compost pile and holding the compost in a "tank" type contraption with a screen underneath that would allow you to shake the fully digested stuff out underneath, once they break down the worm casting level. I am excited for the future!
 
....Wow!  That's sounds really innovative.  Reminds me of seeing my uncle's chickencoup for the first time which he proudly built with an angled floor to roll the eggs right out into a tray.   Compost makes really nice heat.  I used to play in bare feet atop cow manure piles as a kid.   Not as warm as beach sand in the summer, but cozy definitely.  Manure in barns you generally cover up with topping and leave as heat for the animals.   This year, we're experimenting with pallets and close together slats as the barn floor.  Goats are pretty sure-footed, so no problems there.  It's not the most comfortable flooring, but keeps them above ground.  Barn is well closed up and warm, so cold isn't a problem.   Definitely easier to keep clean so germs aren't a problem and they spend more time outside longer since not as cozy a barn -- coming in only during the rains.   It's really a lot better on the animals and us because, when rainy, they track in so much mud and turn the barn into a quagmire to the point that, if you're not topping off the barn daily with thick (and costly) levels of pine chips or straw.....you'll start to lose animals to disease.  Even when you do top off the barn, the in and out with wet hooves gets it all mucky and miserable.  Elevated wood floor is kinda nasty with slippery manure, but you just pressure wash it now and then.  At least half the poop and urine goes down beneath slats.  The rest gets spread around like a mud coating that dries until you rinse it off.  Not the most comfortable floor, but far more sanitary conditions.   Bamboo shoots or wood dowels closely spaced also make good animal elevated flooring.  Same for rubberized metal grating.  It really shouldn't be too comfortable, as pastured animals belong out on the field.   Goats tolerate cold well, but not rain.  You really on need them in the barn when too hot or too wet outside.
 
This barn, however, will become the orphan kid barn and have a good pine chip bedding instead.  Future barns are to be portable and moved to fresh ground every few days.  The pallet slats were great for this winter, but are no good for kids.  Going back to compost and fresh layers of pine chips is best for keeping infants warm at night.  As they get older, they can have the pallet floor again.  Maybe half the barn in pallet floor;  Half warm compost and straw.
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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lonnie caldwell

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Jan 26, 2011, 4:31:36 AM1/26/11
to transition...@googlegroups.com
On Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 6:16 PM, Snow Ranch <snow-...@mchsi.com> wrote:
Hi Lonnie,
 
Replies in your text below.....in clean & GREEN.....since you're all turning me into such a greenie commie.  :-P
 
Have a great week!
 
Stan
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 4:04 AM
Subject: Re: [tlc] Biodiesel / Sustainable Ag.



On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 1:20 PM, Snow Ranch <snow-...@mchsi.com> wrote:
Lonnie,
 
I owe you an email still.   For now, a question:
 
What's the status on TLC's biodiesel plans? so far just talk, the general consensus is that it would be better to focus efforts on the most widely used fuel ( a gasoline substitute), the feelings seem to be leaning towards cellulosic? Ethanol. I know that there is a company in so-cal that builds mobile units that can generate 3600 gallons per mo. cost $28,000.00. I am told there are cheaper units available more like 6 g's. I am thinking we build our own out of recycled or used stuff and get it going let sophistication develop enroute   
 
....Hmmm....Well, teach me about it and show me what kind of parts and processes are involved when we meet, and maybe I can come up with some ideas on local parts & stuff we can scrounge up locally and at junkyards to make it.Can't wait...   I had some fairly new friends who were big into biodiesel -- even started up something in their garage -- but we're not talking anymore because I couldn't stand their Marxist / Ultra-Lefty Christian drivel and told them to go screw off.  :-|   For the good of Lake County, though, I suppose I could hook you up with them through mutual friends retained, but you keep them away from me!   They'd be good for you to know.  Into the same kind of things on biodiesel.  Actually did their homework on it, were doing some production in the garage (of unknown scale to me), and I think they would be completely stoked on your ideas and that of TLC.   Great people.  Nice people.  Good family Very easy to know if your politics/ philosophies/ agendas are eye to eye.....but they're crusading for their own kinda TRANSITION of the country, and that really pisses me off along with other things.   It's less useful than all this TLC stuff where I can hold my nose and keep the good baby of it all while staying apart from all the greenie-commie bathwater! :-P    Once things are too political, enemies form.  When you can work along shared interests, friends and associates are easier to keep is all.   Anyhow, you know me:  I'm Archie Bunker Conservative but not fanatically so.
 
Any idea on production levels and price yet?   How serious is this whole thing? As a heart attack on a poor boy.
 
....Actually, Those 3 dots were the warning I guess? LOL. Of course you do realize that is an expression and it probably is meant from the angle of not having any insurance to pay the Bill when it comes due so he hasn't got much hope. Although he is the only poor boy in all of the world who had a heart attack! ... BTW, the poor of the world have less cases of Diabetes, Cancer, and Heart issues than we do.  Mexicans, for example, go a long life with not so much of this except where eating American junk food.   All that Cayenne pepper They also have a more laid-back "Manana" attitude about life and thus less stress. Proverbs says that a "merry heart doeth goooooood Like a medicine but a broken spirit dryeth the bones." Scientifically provable I understand. As a homeopathic guru once told me, all the diseases of the Old World and Third World can be chalked up to filth.  The great plagues are still alive and well out there, and potentially mutating.  The diseases of the First World can be chalked up to decadence and a loss of heart.   Not to be contrary, but poor boys generally live longer, work harder, and have healthier hearts.  :-)   Spoiled, rich, little brats fed Pepsi Cola corn syrup like fattened cows and a double Big Mack.....thicker blood and artery clogging, mostly as an allergic reaction.   Allergy = more homocysteine production.   Hardening & cracking of the arteries.  You see it oodles in Hispanics, American Indians, and Pacific Islanders eating the "white man" foods too much.   In the eyes, always white clouding around the iris.....heavier the clouding, the more prevalent the arterosclerosis.  My cousin's family -- mostly from the inlaw side -- have that problem.  Multiple stents at young ages.  Cardiac & artery issues.   If you want to see what healthy eyes look like, go find an old Anglo farmer or old WW2 pilot......with the classic blue eyes of a wolf.   Clean eyes.  Then, look at an old veteran like that who has been drugged up oodles by the VA......and you'll see ample red (medicine staining) around the pupil.   In the African and Asian races with darker eyes, these are harder to read and Hitler's "blue eyed master race" physicians were confused by that.  
 
Which is best?  The perfect blue eye or perfect black and brown?  Hard to say.   You see both races living long lives.   The old farmer and old fighter pilot with perfect blue eyes arrives that way in old age mostly from natural selection.  Farming is hard work and keeps you healthy, so the rest drop dead along the way and those not cut out for it never started.....while aspects of farm life (raw milk), exposure to germs, ample sweating and exercise....prolong life.  As for the old WW2 pilot, in the olden days, if you didn't have perfect eyes and health.....you didn't fly despite WW2 needs.  It wasn't all about your self-esteem back then.  The temperament is also a deeply meaner yet calm and confident one which lends to long life.....just like a Japanese fisherman with black eyes.   Anyhow, in those eyes, regardless of race, you will rarely find much white clouding around the iris.   Go to any Indian reservation where their same Islander blood (shared with the Eskimo and Pacific Islanders) is eating all this crap white man junk food....and their insides are all inflammed.   Around age 50 or so, you can see it in the eyes.  These races can't handle all the muck the Caucasian has had in his diet for centuries of evolution in decadent Europe.  Sugar, especially, kills us faster than it does "Whitey".    A VC general once told Senator McCain on a return to Vietnam something like: "You know, if you really wanted to win the war, all you had to do was bomb us with more Pepsi Cola, McDonald's, and Hershey bars."   I would add:  and provide them with great, government medical care, free vaccine courtsey of Bill Gates That Bill is quite a guy ain't he?, TV, potato chips, Nintendo for kids, indoor life, Internet....civilization in general!    Cuz poor kids don't have heart attacks, really.  Only the civilized.  :-) 
 
 
We need to add a haymaking operation into the years ahead in order to keep afloat -- as the price of hay can be expected to rise, price of seeds, and the price of fuel to potentially even $6/ gallon.   Single operator -- tractor, mower-conditioner, or mower and then rake, baling machine (with its own engine or capable of PTO), and haystacker or bale spearing on the field 5 at a time and stacking, then forklift offload ops.   If we add $10k cost and go with the haystacker, that saves labor time and fuel by about 108 gallons of diesel per year.
 
Worst case, we'll need about 11,406 gallons per 14,000 square bales.  With installation of off-the-shelf HHO gear, maybe we can trim that down to a need for only 7,984 gallons/ year.   Not willing to risk 2011 production on 100% water as the only fuel mods yet, but definitely some HHO feed in is needed and well worth the TRANSITION (freaking tree huggin commie liberal... heh heh) 
 
....Damn.  It's catchy like the flu, huh?  You know why I really hate all this buzzword stuff, Lonnie?   The word itself doesn't bother me....nor the political idea and agenda at transforming to Resilience even.  It's just the whole MANTRA of it all in the creation of mindless zombies marching in SS goose step.  You see, I know where it originates.  All such mantras in American culture do trace their origins to Marxist and also Nazi tactics.....Fascism in general.....but it received a huge push in American politics, mass media, advertising, sloganeering, all this grooming they do of the politicians, etc.....from that generation of hippies who went through Est!  It's all signature of Werner's old KGB cell....which was more like a diabolical Austin Powers shag and Pot fest.  :-)  Today, former Defense Intelligence Agency headquarters....it's now Presidio Trust and basically owned by Vancouver KGB/ GRU....all thanks to that generation and its work.   Oh, they meant well for the world but in came CAPITALIST Monsanto and others.....which really aren't even capitalist at the core.   You're just all Useless Eaters to be fattened up, culled where unproductive, and eventually taken to market.  Has nothing to do with communism vs. capitalism, really.   Was always a shell game.  Left and Right mere pawns.  Anyhow, that's how I see it.  I've always had a disdain for what the kids today call "posers" you can tell they aren't the real deal, they just found a drum to bang on and they will til the next shiny noisy thing happens along and they will follow it. There are some of those around TLC no doubt. But for the most part, just folks who want to make a future we can tolerate. Stop killing each other over stupid shit like money. Stop trying to kill us and let us live our lives. Let us raise our children without you butting in and telling us how we have to do that. Get in rhythm with the universe and the rest of creation and stop trying to make the world turn according to their agenda. We joke about the "Useless Eater" thing but it really isn't very funny. Not when you begin to realize they ain't playing. I think when that fully hits home with the populace in general....hmm hmm hmm
 
...I just have to slap Estoid zombies around now and then to wake them up is all.  :-P   Has nothing to do with hate, really.   Shall we go through the mantra list echoing in the public mind some?
 
"For the children!"
"It takes a village!"
"Sustainability!"
(Bush) "Make no mistake about it.",  "Make no mistake about it.", "Make no mistake about it."
"I'm a uniter, not a divider."...."A uniter, not a divider."
"Infrastructure"
"Collateral damage"
"Asymmetric warfare"
"Nation building"
"Humanity" (not mankind or man.  Man bad.  Ugg.)
"Social Security lock box"....."lock box"
"Global Warming"....Oh, whoops....bad science.....let's fudge and make it now "Climate Change".
"Change!!!  Change!!!  Woo hoo hoo....sing along now.....We want CHANGE!"
"Change we can believe in!"   "Change!  Change!  Change!"   Specifically, what does that mean, eh? :-|
 
....Cleverly crafted words which sound very sophisticated making echo in the public mind while actually meaning nothing, or veiling a deeper agenda, and mostly just being catchy advertising / voodoo chant.....this is crypto-nazi Est taught to a 1960's generation of stoned out hippies -- some of whom went on to very powerful positions in American media and politics.    And they sold you all out, man.   F'n capitalist piggies them all!  :-P   Servants of "The Man" they became. 
 
...As for me, I just don't get along too well with zombies of the Nazi state, but I get along very well with true hippies and non-sellouts.THANK YOU!  Generally, I get along best with the healer hippies.   Somewhere along they way, they were never into or got tired of politics and just became very sharp physicians of a less Capitalist Medicine streak.   Best pals and quack medical mentors I have.....yup, all hippies.   Often greenie commies.  Tree huggers!   What's a guy to do?  :-|
 
 at only 30% gains.  There's that damn "transition" buzzword again! :-)   Hope that gives you an idea of the biodiesel need for the average tractor & hay baling operation running at about 3/4 gallon per hour consumption and less than 40 horsepower.  Once you get into bigger tractors, higher horsepower, and discing/ tilling operations....fuel consumption rises greatly.  Cuba went to oxen to get through and very limited tractor usage.
 
....Cuba, by the way, actually has some very impressive Integrative Medicine among all that embargo.  Their homeopathic M.D.'s are among the finest in the world.  They learned to get by and serve the people with less once cut off from American imports.  In many ways, Castro did the culture a lot of good.  He's been a thorn in our side for decades, but it's hard not to admire an enemy like that and I'm not with the crowd that paints him as all Boogie Man.   Like most of our worst enemies today, he once loved America.   It was our policies and business in the region that built him.  A scholar at the Hoover Institute once hit the nail on the head:   In nations where America has strong government alliances, the people hate us (Saudi Arabia, for example).  In nations where America has weak government alliances, the people love us and invite us to attack (Iran).   What's that tell you?   They hate us because we broke from the dream of Republic and pushed upon them a sneaky empire instead which does, yes, care more about spreading McDonald's and weapons sales than actually delivering on the dream of Freedom we often yap about like deranged evangelicals at a bible fest. And, if I sound almost leftist (kinda like Ron Paul does), that's because a true Conservative isn't big on all that Global Policeman / Nationbuilding crap, either.   They'll never like us.  I say nuke it all!  :-)   I raise goats.  They raise goats.  My goat-herding competition must be eradicated, and that's all I need to know as the Good Capitalist Pig.  :-P
 
 
Sounds like we need to get you set up with your own unit.
 
...Maybe.  I prefer HHO is all.  Water is an easy source to acquire.  Oil stock takes far more energy (and tax on the environment if I were a greenie) to gather is all. Not to mention costs incurred in processing bio-mass to a usable state   Water I can pull up from our well or pump in from the lake easy.  Biodiesel muck we have to farm or hunt down.  I think it a good thing to be pursued, though.  Don't get me wrong.   What works best and is most available cheapest is where things always flow is all.  Like water or electricity (or Sun Tsu doctrine with armies), everything effective follows the path of least resistance.
 
Maybe set one in each community of farms? I am assuming you are out near Teale since you called ME Teale in one of your latter emails. LOL.
 
....Sorry about that.  Yeah, I sent him an email the same time as you and called you Teale.  Great guy.  I'm going to visit him later this week.   Been getting his advice on hay baling, operations costs, tractor gph, optimum ways of doing things, etc.  We swap goat and tractor/ farming notes.   Like the rest of us, I'm sure we all differ politically but the parts we have in common are much more fun.   Lots of common interests, same as the group shares.
 
 
Even if you don't you get the idea one unit in an easy to get to area that the farmers could get their fuel from. The 3600 gal unit fits in a 14 by 8 or so trailer, so we could easily increase that by building redundant or larger capacity units. My question is where we get that much oil?      There is an outfit in Ukiah where they are processing fry oil and such for commercial use, need to go visit them. I would love to make that trip with you in tow if you ever get a day you can spare a few hours for leisure and sight seeing. One of the vids on youtube regarding Bio Diesel is a home made deal in the guys garage using simple drums small pumps and a hot water heater. (Oil again) I can see the fry oil thing playing out quick! Could go to the merchants here and appeal to them to keep the fry oil in Lake Co. But if they are getting paid for it... money money money. By the way I owe you a response on the "Root of all Evil" thing. the actual quote is :For the LOVE (Exactly.  First Commandment broken there; A false god.)  of money is the root of all evil. Not money per se but the worshipping of it basically. Hard to argue with that one eh? 1 Tim 6:10
 
Have you considered or can you work with old motor oil?  I imagine that would be your best, steady supply more efficient than farming it....That would set the Greenies barking for sure, it's like setting off a stink bomb just talking about Bio Diesel, They want us completely away from anything that burns and releases Co2. I keep telling them, :There is what you want and then there is what we can do with what we have.: We have to be flexible and do what it takes to get to where we need to go. Most of them want to go straight to electric cars and they won't hear that we may not be able to do that in the time we have to pull it together. I personally am stoked about the over-unity concept and HHO if you can compress it or whatever you have to do to make it viable for long distance and horsepower. I would love to wake up in a world where the sky is blue without that carbon monoxide haze on the skyline. But everything is a process and the wheels turn slow in this society. though farming the ideal crop should be pursued.HEMP!         When you're ready to look at farming biodiesel crops, myself....or Teale...can give you accurate data on costs per planting and harvest.  I have a powerful spreadsheet set up now where I plug in the annual number of bales and many other inputs...and see the bottom line vs. that with livestock.   Tractor hours.  Fuel burn on each.  Stuff like that.  Fuel is huge.  People don't realize it.   Every hour spent running a tractor is time and labor....and ox cart or horse is time and labor, too.   Best bang for the buck is an alternative fuel in existing mechanical equipment.  Equipment can always be repaired, modified, and kept alive on junkyard scrap....but you need oodles of horses to do what the modern tractor and equipment can do.   Imagine all the human energy it takes to make just 1000 hay bales at 110 pounds each.   Machinery does that with less people, less back-breaking labor, in faster time.....and at lower dollar cost per ton than any human operation can do. 
 
Flipside is that every car and boat shop in the county always has ample waste oil.   Anyone doing oil changes has waste oil.  You'd have to filter out the metal, but that's not a big deal.  As for carbon filtration, that's possible.  Used motor oil can be renewed and even run through engines as fresh again if you're really desperate....which is why I always keep 5 gallons.  May not be good on the viscosity anymore, but anything is better than metal to metal.    It'll burn in a turbine engine, too.   Mix it half and half or less and it'll run many two stroke engines.  In WW2, tanks often had to run on vegetable oil which is why better brake fluids were developed.  Sometimes heat from brakes would catch the oil on fire.  Made a mess of things like in your frying pan.   Modern and synthetic oils are really nicely engineered for machinery.   Slick 50, for example.  But, that'll certainly impact your biodiesel conversion for better or worse, too.  I dunno much about it all.
 
If you can work with local waste motor oil....then, you'd have a steady supply.   Very easy to acquire all the gallons you need.   Just hit the oil change shops. 

Honestly we need to go true Bio and get away from fry oil, there is only so much of that although you can use any kind of food grade oil and probably some non-food grade as well not sure, need to get into it more. So tallow from the tallow works, Rendered animal fats from kill plants.
 
...Closest slaughterhouse is in Dixon (Superior Farms).  I imagine they sell the stuff.
 
 
Fish oil from seafood processing etc. after that I think we are into Oil producing plants such as soya and canola. Honestly I need to knuckle down and do the homework... Problem is like you I am gearing up for the growing season and getting pretty busy so... By the way I am burning copies of "The 20th Century." "A People's History of The United States." Howard Zinn, listened to some of it and what I heard was pretty cool. Available if you are interested in a set. 
 
....Not familiar with it.   Sounds rather commie with all that "People" talk.  :-)  Is it any good?   Thanks, Lonnie.  I have to pass for now.  Too much else going on for awhile. I have thought a lot about that, the revolutions we have been exposed to through our propagandist media over the past few decades all those "buzz-words" like "The People" and "The State" and "They" that are starting to really pop up in folks vocabulary. You see I use folks a lot and it's  because I am trying to avoid the "people" word because it is becoming so redundant and sounding like Stalin era communist/socialist speak (Which I want to distance myself from like the plague) . But Damnit! What are we if not "The People"? What do we use for words when the words we use fit the situation but dredge up images of those "Commies" who were fighting the control freaks and monarchs that had a strangle hold on them. Yeah some of it was Bullshit, the usual wack-jobs showed up after the wheels were moving to "Lead" the revolution and then became 1000's times worse than the system they were fighting. I haven't listened to it yet either but I have heard Howard Zinn and it sounded pretty damned accurate to me. Ten years ago I would have been up front of the crowd who wanted to run him out of town on a rail. Today I can "Hear" him, because I am waking up to the fact that our govt. has sold us down the river and the dream that was America is dead and gone. I am not a communist or a leftist or any such thing, I simply see this world through the eyes of Christ, and it is fucked up what is happening today (Hell for our whole history). They are after God's folks in a big way and He tells me it is my job to feed His sheep. Especially those who haven't figured out they are His sheep. I don't give a tinker's damn about politics or revolutions or any such thing, I just want us all to stop the dumb-shit and talk. Listen to what the other guy is saying and quit telling everybody else they are wrong, or stupid, or evil, or a Terrorist. Because they don't agree with what the powers that be want to ram down their throats. You mentioned Cuba and Castro, the image I had of him growing up, as a leftist, communist, Dictator, who was holding Cuba hostage and destroying the country is much different than the one I have today after watching films from people who went to Cuba and interviewed people in the streets and they all think Castro is a hero. That isn't a valid image either, but it has some truth to it, at least for the people who are there and want to be there. I can't get around  the refugee thing, I mean you don't "flee" from a country that you're having a good time in so things weren't all wine and roses for sure, but the guy wasn't Beelzebub either. I am trying to make sense of it all and keep some kind of orientation I can hold onto and retain what little sanity I have left. Imagine suddenly waking up and finding out that everything and everyone you ever knew was all pure illusion and nothing was at all what it seemed. Having your entire belief system challenged and in some cases ripped out from under you in a most impolite way. Jesus said. If you abide in me, and my word abides in you, then you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." I asked for that truth and this is what I got. I can't help it, I can't explain it. I can't make it go away. I am just on this wild-ass roller coaster the New Agers call the Awakening. And yes there is some whacked out stuff going on out there. Stuff that makes the weirdest thing you can think of sound pretty sane. I was told not to judge any of it. Don't try and figure out if it is good or bad or right or wrong, good or evil, or necessarily what any of it means. Just witness it. Stick it on a shelf until you can look at it, or until you find another piece of evidence that gives you a better idea of what you're looking at. I have done that and I find myself explaining myself to you... 10 years ago we would have co-created the nuke to drop on those "damned ragheads" today I want to meet those people and hear what they have to say. What the hell is really going on over there? What are they really doing to your people? I am tired of the lies and the cover-ups and them using the money I send for taxes to perpetrate horror on little bitty kids who didn't do a damned thing to deserve what they are witnessing. The sons-of-bitches have gone totally insane and the only way to stop it is to stop supporting it. Stop working and putting money in their hands. I have to do this or I can't stand in front of the mirror and like what I see anymore. I can't look God in the "eye" and expect to hear "Well done my good and faithful servant" not if I turn my back and ignore His sheep, no matter what shade or creed or belief or political affiliation they might profess. Jeremiah said "Lord, i have to speak! Your words are likened to a fire in my bones!" That is how I feel. Stan, righteously indignant. I don't prescribe to any particular religious or political affiliations, I don't want to be "classified"or"labeled" I just want to do the right thing. Be honest and dependable, loyal, having integrity and compassion. Tell the truth no matter the consequences. Provide for the sick and the lowly,protect infants, widows, and orphans. If that makes me a commie. Then I am going to be the best damned Commie you ever met. I know you weren't putting anything on me, this little tirade has a lot to do with the hell I have gone through to get here and the fear that my own people (YOU) are going to reject me or shun me because I have "jumped" sides. I have no "SIDE" I am on "the people's" side. And despite your mostly feigned vehemence, I know you and I are going to fight this battle arm and arm and that there is no difference in us. You just chose the path of the egg-head, and I chose the path of the mystic. Those paths are diverging for some reason, and I don't believe in accidents.
 
We have 2 hay balers open to us -- both in need of repair -- and ample local tractors or rental to call upon if frying their engines, so I think it worth the risk to just get in there and try it....first with bottlefeeding hydrogen from welding tanks with bubbler and backflash protection.  Get a feel for psi and flowrate needs per engine there.  Startups on diesel as usual and then switchover to HHO.   Once we know how much HHO each engine truly wants at partial throttle on the average operation, then conventional electrolysis can be set up for that while high voltage/ pulsed water fracture (partial Stanley Meyer efficiency) can be pursued in subsequent years.  
 
Due to two engines inoperation with the tractor PTO unused with the baler, there's ample horsepower available off the tractor PTO to run high capacity alternators or just an array of junkyard alternators.   That to feed greater electrolysis, and that supply fed to one or both engines in pushing past 30% fuel economy increase.  Maybe closer to 60% to 80% is the idea.  100% water as the fuel would be nice, but any progress there lowers ops costs, increases profit margin, and keeps us independent of fuel prices & supply. ( man I wish I had the time and such to just start doing the stuff your talking about under your supervision. Gets me excited thinking about it, I want to dig and see