Field Trip: Ure’s Toilet Paper “Factory”

Gear up, kiddies.  We’re going on a nature hike.  I’m going to show you how we “grow toilet paper” out here in East Texas.  Your ass should thank us.  Seriously (well, partly, anyway…).

Let’s begin with some reality about economic Depressions.  When  times are good, prices for wood, harvested from small tree farms like ours, is valuable.  As the Depression deepens – and becomes more obvious, then prices will likely drop.

What’s Wood Worth”

Most people don’t have a clue.  Because they run into wood at retail.  When it was still widely available (pre-gouging, that is) our favorite  Cottonelle was going for about $13-bucks for a big package.

Down at the lumber emporium, 2-by-4’s are in the $3-dollar and up range for scruffy Southern Pine with more knots that the Naval Academy.  I go round and round with them on lumber grading.  For the best wood, on important projects I “high grade”” the local Lowes because they somehow seem to manage wood of better quality.  Magic of huge buying power, I suppose.

Thing is, you can buy a piece of project hardwood (we like birch) and as long as money is no object, it’s all good.  Oak is more, or less, depending on the wood shop, lot, or dealer you visit.

Tree Farmers Don’t Get Retail

God, we’d be rich if they did, I swear!

For “scrub wood” – the stuff like gum trees which smell great…kind of like fresh turpentine without the bite – the going rate for chips is only $2-bucks a ton.

The real money is in BIG Southern Pines.  For a typical tree (either sex) you’ll get at least $35-dollars a ton.  If the tree is perfect (females, not big bull pines, and a lot of ours have several years to grow) they will be straight and fetch $37.50 per ton.

What’s a Tree Weigh?”

Slightly more than me.

You get a 90-foot fat pine tree, with about a 30-35 inch diameter down low, and you’ll weigh in between 9 and 12 tons.  Maybe 13 tons, earlier in the spring.  <Many weigh 100 times more than me…which is somewhat reassuring…>

That’s because when the “sap is running” it’s bringing weight up the tree” and making the wood green and flexible.

Next time you see a logging truck going down the road, count the number of trees aboard and if they are clear, 2-foot diameter logs multiply times $400 per tree.  Especially out west.  In East Texas, we figure $300 – $350 per tree for money trees.

We don’t go out and count them one-by-one.  But, I’d reckon we have well into the hundreds of such trees on the property.  Let’s go take a look.

Watch Out for Snakes

One of the reasons I go out on the property on the 4-wheel drive tractor is because as far as I’ve found locally, snakes don’t jump.  Also: Most can’t out-run a 12-gauge, either, I’ve noticed.

(Above) We begin our journey just down from the house.  Our west property line is 300-500 beyond those background trees.  It shouldn’t be too hard to find “Scooter” who’s doing the cutting.  He left us a trail… (below)

Even with my eye issues, I can follow this kind of trail…

Aha!  There’s the dragger.  He’ll cut for a while, then drag things down to the chipper and semi loading area.  Here’s a “mouthful” of gum trees heading for the chipper:

May not look too big, but those tires are damn near as tall as me.  Oh, and look at all the “money trees!”  Grow like weeds down here.

Next Comes Chipping

Makes a lot of noise, sure…

Behind the tree pile on the right sits an old boy named Claude who runs the loader which grapples the wood into the big red machine (the chipper in the middle) and that in turn is blown into Stumpy’s Express – one of the chip hauling tractor trailer rigs on our job.

By the end of the day, we’d sent 30-tons of chips down the road.  Hardly any money at all.  But when the crew gets done with some time off (fishing is more important than logging, understand) then they will take some “money trees.”

This stand northwest of the house is problematic.  Notice them blocking the sun from the garden and the solar panels.  Today, I have to take down antennas in those trees.

The nice thing about the chipper is we not only get a few bucks, but we also had two piles of chip to choose from.  One pile is “regular wood” while the other is “gum tree chips.”

The “regular chips” will go on the rest of the garden, later on today. Over more cardboard.

The gum tree chips were moved up yesterday to under the magnolia tree.  (Which is on the verge of blooming, so stick around for those pix maybe in a week, or so.)

Gum tree chips are about as good as it gets for growing mushrooms.  The plan is to get one of those $20 “grow kits” – of oyster mushrooms in a box, or some such – from Amazon.  Let them grow, but toward harvest time, take the plastic off the box so the spores can float onto the gum chips.  Hoping to get a second crop out of it. We’ll find out how much 600 pounds of gum tree chips will yield, with any luck.

Time in the Trees

Two last pictures from today’s “field trip.”  There is our old “mobile in the woods” with this first one taken in 2006.

Granted it was spring when this was taken and the oak on the right hadn’t leafed out, yet.  But, here’s how it looked yesterday and notice the change in the trees.

Standing in roughly the same place, but with a different camera.  Still, no arguing the fact that trees grow like mad here.

Lessons for the Young?

  • When you buy a property when young, plant your trees right away so you can enjoy them for a lifetime.
  • Don’t pay to have trees cut down.  Find a small logging outfit that works small tracks.
  • Tree farms are marvelous places to live.  They are friendly to the environment.  We personally sequester almost enough carbon tyo balance off Al Gore’s jet travel.  For a few minutes, anyway.
  • You can get a dandy tax break.  And so when the bills come in from Depression 2, you will be sheltered from the tax increases that will hit the non-productive land class of people.  Most states have a 10 – 25 acre minimum, though.

When I get the new solar panels up, we’ll roll with some pictures of them, as well.  Point of all this is?  When we write about and have strong opinions about living in harmony with Earth?  It’s not just some bullshit academic paper written to someone’s agenda or to snag a grant.  Out here, it’s all very real.

Life is all about trying to look ahead and live-ahead.  Frankly, I think we’ve done  that part really pretty well.  Yeah, sometimes we’re pleasantly surprised.

And the toilet paper from our chips? Its in the pulp and paper pipeline right now.  Though we hope it hurries-up and gets onto some store shelves – pronto!

Write when you get rich,

32 thoughts on “Field Trip: Ure’s Toilet Paper “Factory””

  1. I hope you have better luck with the mushrooms than I did. Only got 3 out of my grow kit. But that was years ago so maybe they’ve improved.

  2. Haha! Good mornin hastín, G. (Navajo which means a worthy or respected old man.)

    Speaking of wild wood, i’s a helping a friend yesterday and somehow got a Navajo katsina doll in my rig. Aspen wood. The Yei of Fortune.

    Hahhahah! That is a nice “skidder” ya got thar. That is what we call em up in the PNW. A skidder drags the boom from from the yarder to the pick. The pick is usually a Bullbuck. All bullbucks are salty a f. Hahaha.

    Be careful old man. Back when I was a brush monkey of 14 years old, (I might remind ya that I grew up in Alaska, where every boy and man is a fisherman, a hunter, a logger and a fireman/rescue trained. Because its fricken Alaska.) I stepped in a hole when the yarder went to reset and rolled a limb across my knee and pinned me. Damn near ripped me leg off.

    We were 6 deep from the trucks and the trucks were 13 miles from town. I was grateful that old Bullbuck took his time moving so I could get free. if he reacted, if he moved to quickly in the wrong direction, I’d be Andy the one legged truck driver if I lived to talk the talk let alone walk the walk. Never forget that lesson.

    It came in handy 10 days ago.

    I litterally had an old man who got it his hand stuck under my passenger seat trying to get his dropped phone. He. Reached under the seat to grab it and while reaching move the power seat forward. With his own body weight on it he was stuck. I had to pull over, ignore his screaming and cursing, think about it for a minute then figure the best way to move the seat, if I went the wrong way or two fast? Broke his arm. So I dumped a bunch of astro lube on his arm, prayed and slowly moved it forward while pushing his arm in and to the side, dumped more lube and then fast the the seat backwards and pulled it out quickly.

    I got a new way of saying good bye. As above, so below


    • We had a good laugh about that. He said the same thing I did. Thank you for ignoring my screaming and calling ya an idiot for taking your time. I said well I figured you didnt want a broken arm and I have been in sticky situations too. Lol then I told him about my blogging lesson and how it helped save his arm.

      We are good friends now. He gave me a very nice tie yesterday

  3. ” snakes don’t jump.”- Black racers jump, bite, and are a protected species. Fortunately they aren’t particularly venomous. You are also in canebrake rattlesnake territory, a venomous protected species. I have seen cotton mouth moccasins climb into bushes and stand their ground (or shrub). Carry a cotton hoe and get some exercise.

    Moving on to international snakes, we have more revelations about WHO, their CCP masters, and their lab buddies in Wuhan:

    Amazing that snakes in China can jump all the way across the Pacific and fatally bite American grands. How can we continue to allow American companies to ship jobs and technology to that place? The case for deliberate sociopathic genocide grows.

    • @n_________________

      “Amazing that snakes in China can jump all the way across the Pacific and fatally bite American grands.”

      THIS SHOULD BE THE REAL USE FOR ….’SOCIAL DISTANCING’…..but our corrupt politicians and their minions….will not allow their $$$$ to stop flowing to them….as the NEXT wave of (fill in the blank)…hits America and …back to fear mongering and edicts to stay home…this will never end..UNTIL we the people END IT….and that will take …more than a ‘mask’

    • Morning 12, i see ure all revved up like a Duce,

      If ‘n you ever get pinned down in a fox hole by sniper fire, use grenades only as a final option.

      The first option is a mirror. See the best sniper on the planet cant shoot what he doesnt see. A mirror can direct the sun light so bright to blind your opponent and give you the advantage of line of sight. Spot light works good too if you wait till its night. Just have poptart and cool glass of water. The sniper will think you will have to move eventually cause everyone gotta poop. However, what he doesnt know is you have an untra high maga light in ure pocket.

      Even if your diamond back dances Oppa Gangnam Style.  

      ~ All warfare is deception ~ Sun Tzu

      • Uhem 14 I meant 5, I got that five dollar foot long stuck in my brain. A foot is 3 inches. I digress. Hahhaha

      • Yup G. Most would and most do. That is a known veriable.

        I would be counting on that.

        Two daze snipers wear one night vision.

        And I would toss the light 6 feet to the side of me, he be shooting where I’m not and I be shooting where he is.

        I can close 18 feet in under 2 seconds. That gives me a 24 foot advantage. In line of site. At night, after them eyes dilate it takes another 3 seconds to adjust to the dark.

        Giving me an additional 54 feet. That 78 feet change in locality and I can hit a bottle cap at 100′ with a .45 not using my sites.

        But I ain’t giving all my secrets away. Lol

        “All war3far3 is deception” ~ Sun Tzu


      • “The night tactic only works if people are dumber than me. I shoot at lights – and I own the night”

        Police training used to always involve teaching the officers to carry their pistol in their right hand and their flashlight in their left. Then when searching or approaching, carry the light at armslength to the side (this is a rough exercise with one o’ them old 7-cell Kel-Light torches.) Cops in large patrol areas (Toole County, Utah, springs to mind. The County is about the size of West Virginia and usedta sport 3 patrol deputies on night shift) still do this. Citified cops now tend to hold their lights next to their heads, for some stupid reason…

    • “Black racers jump, bite, and are a protected species. ”

      In the wilds, there is no such thing as a “protected species…”

  4. “Ure’s Toilet Paper “Factory”

    Wood chips
    Pot w/water

    Boil your chips to soften the fibers…
    Strain.(save the black liquor). Blend .. then boil and strain..
    Sodium hydroxide water boil ..
    Strain .. sodium hydroxide boil.. strain.. rinse..
    Blend… sodium hypochlorite soak.. blend … sodium hypochlorite soak blend rinse..dry..blend..
    Build a four inch wide deckle .. by however long you want each strip of toilet paper. Mix your fluffed pulp with water.deckle ,separate ,press ,dry ,roll..

    Black liquor.. water … mix ,heat..spit…measure the viscosity either gather wild yeast then ferment.. or add yeast then put in your fermenter keep it about 72-80 when it’s done fermenting distill it .. check the alcohol content..distill again if needed.. use.. ( do not drink wood alcohol)
    You can also get fuel from black liquor by pyrolysis.. during the thirties with gas rationing that is how farmers ran their tractors to plant and harvest..

    • George,

      I am old enough to remember seeing TP advertised as “Not A Splinter In A Roll”.


  5. Ok gotta chime in. About snake bites. I have mentioned this before but for newbies, if bitten (as your headed to the ER) wet the skin around the bite.

    You can use spit or water. Apply a 9 volt battery around the bite. (Keep one in your first aid kit or borrow from a smoke detector.)

    It should tingle from the electrodes being in contact with the dampness on the skin.

    It’s believe the micro current changes the structure of the foreign protein (toxin).

    My dad heard this from a MD from Arizona but no mention on the length of time applied. But for insect bites/stings probably a minute or so. We reapply on insect/spider stings/bites if still itching. A very good to know if one is allergic to bee stings.

    I first heard about running an electrical charge through a person using a motor boat battery was in an Omni magazine.

    Apparently, having black mamba snakes dropping out of trees can be hazardous to one’s health if bitten. The article implied a bitten person would die if they didn’t have a charge run through them. The boat’s motor was the only thing available to use out in the jungle.

    Also good to know, Copperhead snakes smell like cucumbers. Maybe that’s why cats doesn’t like cucumbers. Cellular memory maybe?

  6. something like that is so good .. totally different topic to tale the mind away .. so good George thanks for showing me around and explaining things .. love the tree weight stuff !!and a very serene healthy looking property you have .. me I got sirens and concrete jungle .. thanks

  7. My first operational assignment was at the now mothballed Loring AFB near Limestone, Maine. Picture the state of Maine – Limestone is at the very top-right tip, 3 miles from Canada. Virtually all of Northern Maine has attachments to paper mills and big paper companies. Rumford, Fraser and Great Northern Mill paper companies all grew and harvested trees in Aroostook County. Dozens of smaller feeder mills still operate in the area. The other major money crop in that region is potatoes. Chances are the fries you get with your fast food order and many of your favorite brands of commercial chips come from Aroostook County, Maine. The last year I was at Loring, we broke the CONUS AFB record for annual snowfall with 220 inches. And on Christmas Eve 1979, the ambient outside air temp was -24F. Lovely place though.

  8. ‘Wish I’d bought a play Friday — Fox just reported that Pence went into isolation…

  9. IMHO – Worth Reading

    Lipinski 2015, Ebola and Selenium:
    How not to catch the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
    April 30, 2020

    Update: Association between regional selenium status and reported outcome of COVID-19 cases in China
    Jinsong Zhang, Ethan Will Taylor, Kate Bennett, Ramy Saad,Margaret P Rayman

    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, nqaa095,
    Published: 28 April 2020

    The only people that can be infected by the 2019-n Coronavirus have less than 98.7 µg/L of Selenium in plasma or serum.

    Those who have enough Selenium are immune to this and all other enveloped viruses. Selenium can be obtained from Brazil nuts, Selenium pills or Astragalus tea.

    This is why only some people get the flu and why others get it infrequently or never at all.

    We only found this out in 2015 when Lipinski @ Harvard figured out why some people were immune to Ebola, a fact well documented in medical archives.

    Two Brazil nuts a day will do it. An Asia astragalus tea is the primary source of selenium.

    2014 NYTimes: Many in West Africa May Be Immune to Ebola Virus

    2000 Gonzales: Ebola and Marburg virus antibody prevalence in selected populations of the Central African Republic

    2010-Becquart: High Prevalence of Both Humoral and Cellular Immunity to Zaire ebolavirus among Rural Populations in Gabon

    2010-IRD: A surprisingly high proportion of the Gabonese population could have immunity against Ebola. Antibodies to the virus were found in 15.3% of rural communities

    2016 Richardson: “The phenomenon of previously undetected, minimally symptomatic EBOV infection was evident around the discovery of the virus in 1976.”

    2015 BBC: “We’ve now seen several cases that don’t have any symptoms at all, asymptomatic cases,”

    “29 Jan 2015 – Liberia: Harvard Scientist Lipinski Claims Selenium Can Treat Ebola”

    2015 Lipinski – Can Selenite Be An Ultimate Inhibitor Of Ebola And Other Viral Infections?

    “It is known that the virulence of Ebola and other RNA enveloped viruses involves in the first step their attachment to host cell membranes. Following this initial step the virus enters the target cell cytoplasm by forming hydrophobic spikes that make holes in the membrane lipid bilayer. Formation of such spikes is catalyzed by the reduced form of viral protein disulfide isomerase (PDIred) thus initiating chain of disulfide exchange reactions. Consequently, hydrophobic protein epitopes become exposed, which in the absence of proper chaperones form hydrophobic ‘spikes’ capable of penetrating the host cell membranes.

    In this communication evidence is discussed showing that the chain of disulfide exchange events can be inhibited by a small redox molecule – sodium selenite.

    It is suggested that this inexpensive and readily available food supplement can be an ultimate inhibitor of Ebola and other enveloped viral infections.”

    “other enveloped viral infections” – that’s pretty much all of them.

    2015 Stoffenell: “98.7 µg/L of Se in plasma or serum are required to optimize GPx activity”

    2008 Thomson: Brazil nuts: an effective way to improve selenium status

    Dr. Damien Downing, former editor of the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, writes: “Swine flu, bird flu, and SARS, all developed in selenium-deficient China. When patients were given selenium, viral mutation rates dropped and immunity improved.”

    • ” significant role in fighting the virus pandemic. In TCM, dandelion is a commonly used ingredient in many therapeutic remedies, either alone or in conjunction with other natural substances. Evidence suggests that dandelion is associated with a variety of pharmacological activities.The antiviral activity of dandelion extracts indicates that a component or components of these extracts possess anti-influenza virus properties. by dandelion involve inhibition on virus replication.”

      Interesting enough I had read someplace a while ago about SARS and how there were studies done on dandelion tea and eating the greens used in the treatment of viral infections and cancer along with astrogalus tea marijuana extracts etc…… Not to mention the properties of the Marijuana plant in the treatment of viruses and cancers that affect the lungs.. a lot of research has been done on how it fights cancers..
      make sure you eat the young dandelion leaves if you choose to eat them.. the older they get the more bitter they become.. when young they have a sort of nutty flavor.. Rabbits love them..

      Thanks for sharing that information.. I will be busy reading the studies today that you came up with.. I love a good mystery.. I am constantly amazed at how we take certain plants and think of them as weeds or baines on our landscape only to discover that they are blessings instead..

      • Dandelion Blossom Cake
        Recipe from Make a frosting or simply dust with powdered sugar to serve. If the top starts to brown too quickly, cover with foil until center tests done.
        2 cups self-rising flour
        2 teaspoons baking powder
        11/2 teaspoons baking soda
        1 teaspoon cinnamon
        1 teaspoon salt
        1 cup sugar
        1 cup Dandelion Blossom Syrup (see recipe) or substitute natural honey
        1 1/2 cups oil
        4 eggs
        2 cups dandelion blossom petals
        One 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
        1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
        1/2 cup sweetened coconut
        Sift together dry ingredients. In separate bowl, beat sugar, dandelion syrup, oil and eggs together until creamy.
        Add pineapple, walnuts, coconut, and dandelion petals and mix well.
        Stir dry ingredients into the mixture until well blended. Pour batter into a greased, 9-by-13 cake pan and bake at 350° for about 40 minutes. Serves 12.
        1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
        1 cup powdered sugar
        1 or 2 tablespoons milk
        Mix the ingredients together and apply to the cake after it has cooled.
        Dandelion Syrup
        Easy to make, this syrup can be used as a substitute for honey in any recipe.
        1 quart dandelion flowers (just the yellow flowers; the green cover is bitter!)
        1 quart (4 cups) water
        4 cups sugar
        1/2 lemon or orange chopped, peel and all. (The citrus is optional; it will give the syrup an orangey or lemony flavor.)
        Put blossoms and water in a pot. Bring just to a boil, turn off heat, cover, and let sit overnight.
        The next day, strain and press liquid out of spent flowers. Add sugar and sliced citrus and heat slowly, stirring occasionally, for several hours or until reduced to thick, honey-like syrup. Can in half-pint or 1-pint jars.


    Total cases: 632 (1 newly reported)
    Hawai’i County: 75
    Honolulu County: 408
    Kaua’i County: 21
    Maui County: 117†
    Pending: 0
    Residents diagnosed outside of Hawai‘i: 11
    Required Hospitalization: 81‡
    Hawaii deaths: 17
    Released from Isolation: 561§
    Cumulative totals as of 12:00pm, May 10, 2020

    One new case in Honolulu.

  11. Dear Mr. Ure,

    Thanks for telling it like it is on the homestead. You’re a chip off the old block.

    Apologies to Mark if I am stealing his thunder, but the April edition of “Town & Country” had a multi-page pictorial report on a sale of San Diego County’s now most expensive property at $43 million with an original listing price of $48 million. The world’s second richest person will be able to settle into a perfect life oceanfront-situated compound in the enclave of Del Mar. One trusts that sea levels will not rise now that CO2 levels are gored.

    Yesterday, in this world as the temperature warmed, a dishevelled panhandler took up station at the local traffic light intersection. He was armed with a sign which said “Anything Helps”. His marketing plan was firing blanks, and he wasn’t reaching his audience.

    Orange alert as one now segues to the already out lead-in single to this Friday’s album release:

  12. Nice posts folks, good info. , nice fence line, George, takes some “skillage” as my son’s would say. For those insect bites I use plantain(no, not a banana) a bit of chewing and salvation , takes the itch, pain and swelling away. Everybody treats them like a weed( the most used medicinal plant globally) ,all over my place(around disturbed soil) along side my giant dandelions, both edible. Thanks to the midnight sun. No snakes up here, but the 2 leggeds.

    • MM .. Did I ever mention how much I admire the Dandelion … One of the few plants that is not only totally edible but useful.. for thousands of years it was considered a medicinal plant.. today we kill it.. amazing.. ( I Personally won’t kill one though..I respect the plant way to much.. the kids keep telling me it is my rose and when I am gone they are going to bring boquets of them.. LOL.. do I have news for them.. I pre planned and there aint going to be a gathering LOL… just a note saying I went on vacation… if they want they can get a keg give the kids quarters to play the video machines and have some chicken and pizza… no funeral meat for this ole boy.. enjoy life..have a laugh read a book and love one another..)
      It doesn’t have anywhere near the usefull properties that the Marijuana plant does ( there are so many that that plant has you can’t even count them all in a day).. but dam it has a ton of uses…. they have been doing studies on it for cancer cures as well.. got a cut.. dab the white milky sap onto the cut.. what I find hilarious is .. it was the gold backed toilet paper.. ( the side story I love to adopt.. ) as to why the plant is considered an illegal substance.. LOL… before that you could buy it at any pharmacy.. or store.. LOL.. I wonder just how many billions is spent a year to keep it illegal.. and how many alcohol and drug cartels are hiring lobbyists to keep the idi ( ) Oops I mean wonderful memebers of congress to keep it that way..


    Good Grief Ure I thought you more cosmopolitan than that.

    Look up Bidet sprayer. You can buy one for as little as $15 online (mine is a fancy under the seat type with a knob on the side of the bowl where you turn the spray on/off.)
    You will be cleaner. Your wife will love it ( if she is in any way a typical female) and your toilet paper use will fall to that amount necessary to dab your hiney dry.

    This is a serious topic that has drawn presidential comment (he knows what is going on in HIS industry) and ignorant press scoffing.

    The model building codes are only just beginning to address the fact that newer, low flow toilets do not provide sufficient flow to carry solids with the proscribed amount of fall in the pipes. Gravity sanitary sewers will be a thing of the past if flow is reduced further. Much research is being devoted to Vacuum sewer systems and force mains to compensate. Septic tanks? HA!

    This is already happening. I won an award for the re-plumbing of a government agency building where the toilet flush valves had been “updated” and didn’t leave sufficient flow to clear the bowls. Not only did this leave the toilets stinky, but the accumulation of fecal matter in the main drain line ‘perked” and released enough hydrogen sulfide gas to eat a 2″ gap in the top of the 40’ long main drain (located in the basement ceiling -imagine the effect on indoor air quality), and corrode most of the building vent system plugged, necessitating the complete replacement of the 6 story building sewer and vent system – while occupied!

    You are on a septic system as I recall. The operation of this system will be enhanced by the reduction of paper and the extra amount of water use is trivial

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