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Thread: choosing to build a house on plot of land, Ruza, west of Moscow.

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsimpson View Post
    it cuts grass but not a lawn mower. It cuts overgrowth.
    Ah those things. You know, I have one, but tend to do that with a scythe. Old school. But I'm only using it for the parts I can't mow, i.e. not a big territory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armoured View Post
    Ah those things. You know, I have one, but tend to do that with a scythe. Old school. But I'm only using it for the parts I can't mow, i.e. not a big territory.
    I love lawns. So I will use a lawn mower once it's all cut down. I hope it keeps through Russian winters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armoured View Post
    tend to do that with a scythe. Old school.
    Comrade, be careful, this way spies fall through...

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    I only mentioned a strimmer as it was in the barn already. And a scythe does look more efficient If I compare those strimmer cutters that cut the grass in our estate. They are most certainly not as efficient as those scythe cutters in the video. I will give it a try, but I'm not sure I will be as good as those in the video who make it look easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsimpson View Post
    I only mentioned a strimmer as it was in the barn already. And a scythe does look more efficient If I compare those strimmer cutters that cut the grass in our estate. They are most certainly not as efficient as those scythe cutters in the video. I will give it a try, but I'm not sure I will be as good as those in the video who make it look easy.
    I find lawnmower more efficient but not once the stuff gets too long.

    I like the scythe 'cause it allows me to quietly hunt down the stinging nettles and other stuff all over without a long cable and get around obstacles. But I asked because I didn't know the name strimmer.

    I'm sure I wouldn't be efficient at using it for proper haying at all. Nowhere near the technique.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsimpson View Post
    I'm not sure I will be as good as those in the video who make it look easy.
    It's not easy if never did it before and had no regular practice. Many years ago, yet in USSR, I read some book on physiology, and there was the table with energy consumption during different types of physical activities. Scythe "ops" had the max. figures. This is understandable though - you get rather big dynamical load on arms, shoulders, all the vertebra (spinal cord) muscle carcassus, lower back, @$$, hips, and more statical load on hands, feet and thighs. Plus both types on all the joints.

    So, consider it as an option tightly depending on your age and physical state, and don't hesitate to consult a doctor BEFORE the activity (surgeon/neurologist/osteologist - хирург, невролог, остеолог).

    And drink enough slightly salted water in the process - sweat goes as a river
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsimpson View Post
    In regards to wood it is best to use what is locally available and whatever is in supply, using for example the birch bark to start off the fire and quarter split the logs.[/video]
    Whoever says just use whatever is in local supply is a liar or just happens to have good firewood like birch (which, granted, is much of Russia).

    It's certainly not anyone who has a lot of bloody aspen (осина) which is pretty crap burning wood, absorbs water like a sponge and a pain to split when even slightly damp, and has a tendency esp the bark to rot superquick when in touch with the ground and possibly best used for compost. Go ahead, ask me how I know.

    I think poplar may be just about as useless but not much personal experience.

    Like any wood, it'll burn if you get it dry and keep it there, but you'll need twice as much of it as birch to get real heat. I guarantee if it's plentiful locally and it's all you have that you'll soon be looking for your local birchmonger to make a delivery.

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    You are so right, as I have experienced my first five day visit to the dacha. In our adjoining barn I am well stocked up by the previous owner what is probably aspen, plenty of knots and the axe bounced off some of my first attempts. Finally a neighbourly babushka popped in to see How were doing with our oven, she arrived with a few quartered logs of her own birch wood, while chatting away she stripped off the bark and split the wood into smaller pieces as starter wood and a fire was burning what seemed to have taken seconds.

    We now know of a local supplier who supplies birch wood ready quartered and we will definitely be using their service.

    Even though it was cloudy, and often rained in our first five days we can't wait to get back again. We left on a sunny day, most frustrating. We hope to return before beginning of September. I manage to cut down the 15 sotka 'jungle of two metre weeds. The adjoining log barn is sinking so we need to decide whether to have it raised or demolished.

    A good tip, get a local newspaper.

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    What would you do with a massive stock of apples and yellow plums? I'm planning to make cider (scrumpy) with the apples. A neighbour has made wine with her stock.

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    I just split a bunch of aspen. While it was relatively fresh, it was okay. If yours are in the round and dry and knotty, they'll be a nightmare.

    Even with that, it worked a lot better to use either a wedge or a maul - main thing is heavy angle on the head to do the splitting work. And a mallet to whack it down, and patience to let the splitting pressure to take its time. A regular thin-headed cutting axe is a hell of a lot less effective for the big knotty ones. And sawing the rounds into shorter logs (chainsaw needed) makes the splitting a lot easier.

    But frankly, I don't know if it's even worth it in the near term, just split and use it over time. Get a full load or two of birch in quick, that'll be time better spent. Since you have the space, stacking it outside with exposure to wind and sun will actually dry it quicker than stacking it inside your shed or against a wall. Just top-cover it with whatever - sheet metal or part of a tarp - the goal isn't to keep it perfectly dry, just keep heavy rain from getting in there (or put differently, the air and sun more important for drying than getting a bit damp on the sides). If you're lucky it should be dry enough to use by the cold weather.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsimpson View Post
    What would you do with a massive stock of apples and yellow plums? I'm planning to make cider (scrumpy) with the apples. A neighbour has made wine with her stock.
    Strange question, comrade...
    Jam in jars from better fruits and brew samogon of course of worse ones.
    https://alcofan.com/samogon-iz-yablo...usloviyax.html - apples
    https://dom-vinokura.ru/samogon/rets...-iz-slivy.html - plums
    https://samogonov.com/auxpage_samovyvoz/ - rectifying devices
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsimpson View Post
    What would you do with a massive stock of apples and yellow plums? I'm planning to make cider (scrumpy) with the apples. A neighbour has made wine with her stock.
    I won't have any good suggestions on that, but if it's a heavy apple year, have you picked a spot for garden?

    You're going to have spoiled and windfall and apple pressings. Dig up an area, a foot and a half or two deep. Dump whatever's spoiled, pressings, kitchen scraps, whatever - just not your weedy yard waste. Cover with soil. Mulch on top if you have anything you can mulch with. Should make a good spot for a veggie or herb garden (not root veggies in first year). Voila, naturally fertilized garden.

    And pick a spot for a compost pile. Or better, two - one to fill up, then leave it while you fill up pile number two. Plain cardboard can go in there (and helps). Makes a big difference in how much garbage you have to haul out. Also helps to have a separate pile for dry leaves or yard waste if you want. Ideally mix something dryish and 'brown' with your kitchen wastes from time to time, also to cover kitchen wastes in layers (keeps smell down and better compost). But it all rots in time.

    Is it a real heavy year for apples, old apple trees? It's pretty common for them to have heavy years followed by light years.

    Also a good time of year to trim dead branches. A proper pruning saw makes a big difference - I got mine for about 400 rubles. Google for videos on how to lop off branches with less damage. Don't go crazy removing branches in first year. Can't seem to put a picture but google for pruning saw - curved blade, pretty big teeth.

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  21. #73
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    Cider is popular in UK sold nationally with brand names such Bulmers woodpecker, served draught in pubs, punters commonly order a pint of snakebite, a mix of half cider, half lager. It is traditionally brewed in Cornwall, Southeast coast of England, and known locally as Scrumpy. I'm not sure how close it be to apple wine.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsg0da-XOMk&t=74s
    https://www.lovebrewing.co.uk/guides...y#.XUwWKaaEbDc

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    Most definitely a heavy apple year, exceptional year as the branches are falling towards the ground with the weight of them. And yes there are some old trees and a lot of dead wood to cut back and I have already begun doing that (already bought the saws you describe) to gain access while cutting back the 'jungle'. Thanks for the tip of digging a hole for apple waste etc, and we already had plans for compost heap as there is a lot of cut weeds hopefully dried with the sun when we get back soon.

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    while chatting away she stripped off the bark
    Save the bark for starting the fire, the oils in the bark make the best firestarters.

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