I really like it. It is very aromatic and I cannot identify the spice(s). If any of you masters-of-barbecue are familiar with the blend and can identify the top-notes, I will be forever in your debt.
Pallets vs barrels
A plastic barrel will hold approximately 60 gallons or about 8 cubic feet.
A crib fabricated of 42", square pallets will hold between 33 and 43 cubic feet depending on construction details.
Pallets can be had in many places for the asking. Barrels start at $10 each.
Mrs ERJ gave me permission to fabricate a crib to hold black walnuts.
Bottlenecks and limiting factors
A big part of "engineering" is to "normalize" problems. That is, to divide variables-of-interest by constants to create more meaningful, more intuitive variables.
An example from canning involves BTU/hour of various burners. Not very useful until you can turn them into "time" to bring a full kettle "to heat".
In vehicles, the size of the gas tank is of less interest than the number of miles you might comfortably squeeze out of a full tank. That would involve multiplying the nominal tank capacity by the miles/gallon.
Looking at production and throughput constraints, the two most common limiting factors in the post-Apocalypse homestead will be minutes of management attention and square-feet of land intercepting sunlight and/or rainfall.
|Data from 1917. Before you yell at me, consider that newbies might be hard-pressed to match these yields. Also, I am going to look at relative differences rather than absolute values.|
Corn (maize) trounces every other crop for Calories/acre.
Soybeans beat every other crop for protein/acre.
The comparisons of meat/dairy are interesting. "Milk" produces about four times as much protein/acre as beef and five-and-a-half times as many Calories/acre.
Poultry produce almost twice as much protein in the form of eggs as they do when managed for meat.
Mixed animal husbandry
It is my informed-but-amateur opinion that the production level for beef/milk per acre can be increased by about a factor-of-three (compared to continuous grazing) through the use of Management Intensive Grazing techniques and by managing the pasture to provide an optimal ratio of improved grasses and clover/alfalfa.
Additionally, if the homesteader puts most of his poker-chips on dairy, he can still produce veal, old-cow stewmeat/hamburger. He can follow the dairy cow(s) with sheep in the rotation. Furthermore, he can follow both with chickens that will tear apart the cow-flops and eat the fly larvae.
In much of the humid East, a combination of cattle and sheep is better than sheep alone. Sheep are vulnerable to internal parasites and cattle help break the cycle. Cattle do not benefit from the arrangement as much as the sheep do.
Sheep are much harder to manage with electric fences because of their wool. While there are "hair sheep" that do not have wool, one must wonder what advantage they offer over beef. This is a no-brainer decision if the distaff side of the household enjoys fiber-arts.
Hogs rip the snot out of pastures. On the plus side they can be fattened on skim milk and cheese-making waste as well as other crop and kitchen waste. That makes them more of an ancillary enterprise like a garbage disposal rather than a money-maker.
Confinement dairy is management, labor and equipment intensive compared to rotational grazing.