That is how honeybees work. The bees will work one type of plant until it is exhausted. Other bees in the hive might work other plants but they won't go from one type of plant to another.
Bumblebees and mason bees, on the other hand, will work a variety of plant species. They are actually much more effective pollinators than honeybees for this reason. If you want good pollination, make sure to provide lots of habitat for bumblebees and mason bees.
I agree with Rick and Adam, since burning the wood will cause the lead to go airborne and most that is the most serious risk of lead poisoning. Personally I would hugel it and plant non edible plants on it.
In general, plants do not absorb or accumulate lead. However, in soils testing high in lead, it is possible for some lead to be taken up. Studies have shown that lead does not readily accumulate in the fruiting parts of vegetable and fruit crops (e.g., corn, beans, squash, tomatoes, strawberries, apples). Higher concentrations are more likely to be found in leafy vegetables (e.g., lettuce) and on the surface of root crops (e.g., carrots).
Since plants do not take up large quantities of soil lead, the lead levels in soil considered safe for plants will be much higher than soil lead levels where eating of soil is a concern (pica). Generally, it has been considered safe to use garden produce grown in soils with total lead levels less than 300 ppm. The risk of lead poisoning through the food chain increases as the soil lead level rises above this concentration. Even at soil levels above 300 ppm, most of the risk is from lead contaminated soil or dust deposits on the plants rather than from uptake of lead by the plant.
The soil types might change dramatically, but the geology doesn't...
Based on your earlier description of your holes, it sounds like you are digging in an alluvial fan. What you found is exactly what you would expect to find; Silt and clay in the low spots and sand and rock higher up. You stated that you thought that there would be water running beneath the surface, but that doesn't happen unless you have bedrock near to the surface that the water is flowing upon. It is very unlikely that you will find water at shallow depth in alluvial fan deposits.
I'm interested by your last post, Paul. When you first posted in the Drinking Water thread about dowsers, I thought you were joking until I saw this thread. I kept my mouth shut for fear of saying something disparaging that my offend someone here, but with you posting the Dawkins video, I'm wondering if this is a serious request? Or are you just grasping for straws here?
Personally, I'd think you'd be better off asking if there are any hydrologists in Missoula. I also think my suggestion in the other thread about examining the publicly available geologic maps is a good first step also. I'd be happy to offer up any geologic expertise I can (Geology is my academic background) in the way of subsurface mapping and analysis although there is only so much I could do remotely. I'd also call up the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology and ask if they have any specific data for your area.
I would also ask why strawbales for underground? One of the benefits of underground housing is the thermal mass provided by the earth it self, and that would be nullified by the insulation value of the straw. stawbale walls also provide no lateral strength so you would first need to build a retaining wall and then stack the bales against that. And Stucco is not a good enough vapor barrier against direct contact with earth or stone, so you would need to add that in also.
Basicly, it would require a lot of extra engineering to make underground strawbales work, and I can't see what the added benefit would be for doing so.
Elevated mass gravitational energy storage doesn't work out as well as you might think. The return on energy investment is very low. Here is a page that puts some numbers to it compared to flywheel and other technologies.
The Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology site has all the geologic maps available for download. These should show you what the bedrock at your location is and based on the available strike and dip markings used along with any outcroppings on your land, you should be able to get a pretty good idea of what the subsurface is like. That should give you a pretty good idea of where the water is.
I've got one but it doesn't work nearly as well as my regular cast iron pans that are well seasoned so I almost never use it. The enamel is actually powered glass that is fused onto the metal. It is pretty much chemically inert and I wouldn't worry about any toxic gick unless you were heating it up past 1600ºF which is where the enamel would start to melt again.
Last year my parents decided to go on the Paleo diet in order to lose the weight they gained over the holidays. For the first time ever, my dad started having trouble being able to bike to work. In addition, my mom felt more miserable than ever. I had to explain to them that carbs = energy, and they were bonking (google the term if you don't know what that is), and dad would be much better off if he started eating carbs again and continued to bike to work. Carbs are only bad (i.e. get converted to fat) if you don't ever move your body. If you do work out, carbs get converetd to glycogen, which is the first source of energy your body goes for when it moves. Only after the glycogen levels are full does the body start converting carbs into fat. On top of that, glycogen is stored in muscles, so the more muscles you have, the more glycogen you can store, meaning you can eat more carbs before gaining fat. So, want to eat that pie? Go for it, just get in the habit of working out in addition to eating pie.
I agree that Boiled feet aren't very permaculture, but neither is using borax. In fact, from a permaculture standpoint, I wouldn't even recommend trying to kill the ants unless they were fire ants and posed a threat to people or pets but since these are black ants, personally, I'd just leave them. Most ant colonies die off during the winter and if you want to encourage that, then the best thing to do is find their major food source and remove it or plant sage, pennyroyal, peppermint, rue, mint, bay, lavender, marigolds, pyrethrum, wormwood, yarrow or tansy to encourage them to abscond from their nest.
I've attached the sketch you sent me to this post. This looks to me like a fairly conventional wood fired boiler system and not a rocket stove. I would think that you are not going to have very clean burns with this and you will be loosing a large amount of heat out of your chimney. The idea behind a rocket mass heater is to create an initial updraft in the burn barrel so that no blower fan would be needed. This initial updraft pushes the air through the horizontal piping until the final riser where the last bit of heat lifts the exhaust out of the system.
I did a quick MS Paint style sketch as to what I would think a RM Water heater could look like. This system would probably explode unless there were the appropriate relief valve or flap cap like you had indicated to that it doesn't become a sealed system. And it might not work at all due to the fact that the water jacket might suck too much heat at the point of the burn barrel and that would kill the draw of the system causing the burn to be deprived of oxygen and thus start to burn not so clean or not draft at all. I also moved the gravity fed spring water line to the top of the system as piping it in at the bottom would run it through the coldest of the water and that isn't what you want.
I have a general rule in life that I will not purchase anything where the salesperson uses "hard sell" tactics such as what Geoff seems to be using (Buy Now! Limited Availability! We may never offer this kind of a deal again!) The moment I watched his announcement video, I knew I wasn't interested.
They seem to offer it twice a year and it is only $750.
With that said, I'm in no rush to take a PDC because I've read the books and I feel I have a good grasp on the knowledge already. The only reason I would say there is to take a PDC is if you are planning on going into business offering permaculture design and you need the certificate to prove your credentials. I would like to do that someday, but I'm not there yet so I can wait to take my PDC.
I don't think most people have worm invasions like that so it is hard for us to say how it can be prevented!
Where are they coming from? Do you think they are trying to escape a rising water level? If so, you might want to look for ways to divert the water or increase the absorption of the water into the ground.
This depends on your definition of safe. Will it kill you to compost those grass clippings and use them on your veggies? Nope. Is it an ideal situation? Nope. Is using that compost on to grow your own veggies better than what you are going to buy in the store? Absolutely. And every year it will get better. The best way to break down those chemicals is through the fungal process, so compost, compost, compost and it will get better. I've seen data that suggests that composting can reduce many herbicides by 80%. And if you are mixing in leaves and other "browns" into you compost that haven't been treated, you'll be reducing your exposure even more. You are beginning the process of healing the land and in the start, it isn't ideal, but the food you grow will be better than what most people in this world are eating so I wouldn't worry too much about it. And in 3-5 years you'll be approaching only trace amounts of chemicals left and the skills you will have gained by getting started sooner rather than later will be extremely valuable.
We really need more info... Did they all die at the same time? What time of day did they die? Any marks on the bodies or signs of stress? How was their water supply? What happens if you give them more food? Do they have shade during the day? How cold is it getting at night? How hot during the day?
Looking at the Web Archive version of that page, "Australian libraries are allowed to provide clients with electronic copies of copyrighted materials for purposes of study only when it has been first determined that these materials are out of print and cannot be obtained through the usual channels of retail trade." On their Library Catalogue page, they indicate that the publisher stopped printing the book and they they made a reproduction by scanning a copy. I think that this still qualifies as a pirated version because you can still buy a copy directly from the author for £5: http://www.earthhandsandhouses.org/book.htm
I think I remember in some podcast you going on about how you didn't like the project managers from back in your software development days, but what you are worried about could easily be dealt with by making a good project management plan.
Each project should be broken down in to individual tasks and further broken down in to work units (usually 4 or 8 hour blocks). That plan needs to include in it all the management tasks that need to be done to support it. Then each day, you have a 15 minute "stand up meeting" where each person tells what they accomplished yesterday, what road blocks they encountered, and what they are planning on completing today. If it turns out that a task that you thought was going to take 30 work units to complete over the course of 10 days, but you've only completed 4 work units in the first 3 days, you know you are running behind schedule and need to reevaluate your plan. With the daily meetings everyone sees what each other person is doing and knows what tasks are taking up the time.
There is some great opensource software out there that can be used to manage projects. Redmine is my favorite, but others are good also.
Bryan, I didn't take Allen's post to be condescending, but it sounds like you did. If you listen to the podcasts from Paul, Ernie and Erica about these topics, they are much more harsh in their warnings so please don't take what anyone here says as insulting.
With that said, I was not able to infer from what you previously said that your system will not be pressurized in anyway. You have been fairly vague in what you are thinking about for your design. Can you please make some sketches so we can better see what you are thinking about? That will go along way in helping us to see what you are thinking about and possible prevent any further misunderstandings.
Bobby Clark Jr wrote:I like Bamboo for comfort. It feels like silk/cashmere. I used to sell the fiber for hand spinners, also t shirts but my supplier sold out to another company. I am wearing a t shirt right now that is made from 70% bamboo and 30% organic cotton. The bamboo is organic also as there are no chemicals used for growing it.
When you buy "bamboo" fabric, you are actually buying rayon. They call it bamboo because the cellulose used in the process originally came from bamboo, but it could just as well have come from cottonwood and you couldn't tell the difference. The process is basically to dissolve the cellulose first in lye and then carbon disulfide. This turns the cellulose into a slime, and then that is extruded in to thread/yarn/etc.
In short, I don't think bamboo fabric qualifies as natural clothing in any way.
To determine the energy in the system, we need to measure the forces in the system. Diameter reduction does not increase the forces. It does increase the pressure but it reduces the volume so you will still have constant force and therefore the energy output is the same. The only force behind that water is that due to gravity.
These are quick and easy to make and a great experiment to get started with before trying a bigger system. You can generate a few milliamps with them; enough to eventually recharge a pair of AA batteries after a few hours. Once you get this done, scaling up to a larger vertical axis turbine is easy!
You can not get more energy out of a system than you put into it. And due to the losses from friction, and conversion from mechanical energy to electrical energy, you would get significantly less out of the system than you put in. The amount of energy required to pump the water up, is going to be greater than the energy you receive on it's way back down. Every first year physics student ever has run through this thought experiment, and every single one of us has come up against the law of conservation of energy. This just doesn't work.
If you are just getting started growing your own food, don't worry about making a hugelkulture, straw bale gardening, or even raised beds. Just tear up some lawn, mix in some compost, plant, and mulch. Don't make it more complicated than you need to your first season. The hardest part of growing food is not building the beds, but learning what plants do well in your climate and leaning to understand your micro-climates.
Once you've got things going this season, then build some hugel beds this summer. That will give the fungi a chance to do their thing over the fall and winter and they will actually work for you next spring then. Build some plain raised beds too so you can see what works best for you.
Small home distilleries are your best option. For a few hundred dollars, you can build a pretty decent still that will churn out 1-5 gallons of ethanol per week. But doing any more would require bringing in enormous amounts of raw materials to convert to alcohol.
The facts as they are, trying to sustain our modes of transport is just not realistic without petroleum. And trying to produce enough biofuels on your own land is even more unrealistic. I would think about producing small amounts for running small engines on my property, or maybe a small moped for running around town. But I'd never think that I could realistically drive my car on fuels I produce. Right now, there are a few people that manage to do it, but if any large number of us decided to try and do the same, we'd quickly deplete the supply of input materials.
And as far as plant oils go, they are not made from the cellulose of the plants, but the fatty acids and glycerol. Cellulose can be broken down into simple sugars for alcohol conversion but that requires specialized enzymes and equipment that is not easily scaled down for the backyard bio-fuel producer.
is a slightly more sophisticated debris hut but built using the same ideas. Cody Lundin (of Dual Survivor fame) lived in a wickiup during his college days because he was broke. A sibngle person can build on in an day or a pair of people can do it in an afternoon.
So a feature that I see on other boards that is extremely helpful is a link that takes you to the first post in a thread that I have not read.
Here is the situation:
I haven't been to the forums in a few days and when I click on the Recent Topics link, I see someone has posted a new post to the Hugelkulture thread. There is a link that will take me to the last post in the thread, but it seems that the new activity actually started two days ago and I now have to scroll back through a page or two to find out where the new discussion has started.
Other sites often have a link in the Recent Topics search results that takes me to the last post I read in the thread plus one: That is the newest post that I have not yet read.
Can we get this feature on this site? It would make reading post a whole lot easier!
They were just cleaning out the hive. Bees that don't make it during the winter often climb to the back of the hive and die. The next spring, the remaining bees will haul the dead ones out and dump them on the ground in front of the hives. If you have got activity going on in the hive then you are probably fine.
"Ingmar log splitter
This log splitter is driven by hand and a used bilfjäder. The great thing is that you can stand a whole day and cleave without tiring the arm. The principle is that the power of the heavy ax in motion is difficult to stop suddenly. If one has a sufficiently heavy and rigid surface is split firewood while ax retarded.
Log splitter is almost entirely built of scrap and is an experimental model with adjustable positioning of the spring to get it in exactly the right place. The spring is probably a front spring from a Volvo 240. It is quite ideal characteristics for the splitter. Here sits yxeggen 130 cm from the joint and the spring sits 20 cm from the joint. This gives a frequency of about two seconds per shot, which is a moderately slow pace .... it is effort saving to let the ax set the pace. If you choose a harder spring should sit closer to the stand to get the corresponding oscillation frequency and so on.
In the sketch, and even in Youtube movie sits ax in an inappropriate angle to the "stem". All of the long ax is made of thick solid iron to weigh about 30 kg and ideally should probably iron bent to every part of the ax have the same distance to the trail. Then use the kinetic energy when the ax retarded. As it is, may be part of a movement larger radius than yxeggen sheep and snatches all stand out / up when the ax braked suddenly. Now it's laborious to bend the iron but you can start by letting the ax as a whole follow swing radius which it does if you attach the straight shaft of the ax of gravity and also at right angles. Yet something better will probably if you cut the angles and the ax in half so that it more accurately follows the turning radius.
The Permaculture Voices conference is cool, but I don't think anything groundbreaking is going to happen there. There might be announcements that happen there, but anything that is announced, will quickly be disseminated down to the rest of the community. Yes, it would be awesome to get to listen to those folks, but for those of us with shovels in the ground, it is of little importance.
Don't worry about it. You and your boyfriend sound like you are on the right path and I would stay on that path if I were you.