To be honest, I'm not sure there is a easy answer here. On the surface, septic systems violate about half of the permaculture design principles, so it seems it would be hard to manage a septic system in a permaculture fashion. The best recommendation I have is reading up on how Earthships deal with their sewage. Essentially, if you can create a "exterior botanical cell" between your house and the septic system, you can grow plants that will harvest the nutrients in the sewage while letting the excess flow through to the existing septic system. In theory, it should entirely remove the need to ever have your tank pumped.
Every fall, I go an gather a truck load of fallen leaves from the local vacant lots, parks, etc. I mix in a bit of the deep litter from my chicken coop. Then I put a 6 inch layer on all my beds. That's it. The worms come up and work all the chop-and-dropped plant remains into the soil along with some of the leaf matter. The leaves act as an insulator for the winter so the worms stay active near the surface and do their magic. By next spring, about half of the leaf matter will have broken down and the remaining acts as a mulch layer that I just have to pull back and plant my new plants into.
Leaves turning yellow are usually due to three things: Lack of water, lack of nutrition/root problems, or lack of sunlight.
Assuming you've already checked the water issue, I'd take a look at the roots of the plants. Are they compacted? Are they healthy looking? What sort of soil are you using or is this a hydroponics system? If the former, add com fertilizer/compost tea. If the later, try adjusting your nutrient solution.
Sean Henry wrote:So after the candles were put out did both rooms cool at the same rate or did the one with the flower pot cool slightly slower?
To be honest, after 30 minutes of having the house that cold, my wife wanted the heater back on. So, I didn't do any further measurements. But I can infer, from the facts on hand, what the answer to your question would have been had I left the rooms to their own accord:
Yes, the rooms would have lost heat at the same rate as they normally do. Since there is a fixed amount of energy stored per unit of wax of the candles, and that the candles release that energy through combustion at the same rate regardless of whether they are burning a pot or not (and I have no reason to believe that this would not be true), then we can say that there was an equal amount of energy released into the rooms in the 30 minute period. The fact that, at a distance, I detected the same temperature rise in both rooms, tells me that the flower pot released as much energy as it absorbed during the period. What I can now infer is that had I let the rooms go any further, that the flower pot would not have had any significant energy to continue heating the room. In fact, I know that it was about 5 minutes after I blew out the candles that I was able to pick the flower pots back up with my hand and take them down to the basement. They were not quite room temperature at that point, but cool enough that It was comfortable for me to touch. And at that point, there is not enough energy left in the mass to heat the room to any degree.
Trying to heat your room with candles, or other small oil burners, will not work. It doesn't matter if you have one of those flower pot heaters or this ceramic heater. Energy is energy.
Now, these sorts of heaters will radiate heat more evenly than burning the candles alone, but they will still heat the room just the same amount. Notice how in the videos how they keep using the infrared thermometers to take the temperature of the heater it self? Just becasue that is getting hot, doesn't mean the room will warm up.
When my wife say these flower pot heaters on youtube, I set up an experiment for her: We let the house cool down to 65ºF. I set up one of the flower pot heaters in the center of one bedroom, just candles in the center of another bedroom (the rooms are approximately the same size). I had thermometers placed on a wall 6 feet away from each set up. After lighting both setups and letting them run for 30 minutes, both rooms were now at 67ºF. If you were withing a 1 to 2 feet of the flower pot heater, you could feel its warmth, but it did not heat the room any more effectively than the candles alone did.
So, they did sightly heat the room, but keep in mind that burning candles inside is not a good idea for your lungs. It looks like these EarthCrafts Heaters can use a more air friendly fuel. And the reservoir can hold "several liters" of fuel that burns via 5 wicks, but how cost effective is that? How much does the fuel cost and how long will it last?
Richard, would you be willing to set up a room heating experiment such as I did where the room temperature is measured and not the temperature on the surface of the heater? I would like to see a video of how well this heater can heat a space and also how much fuel is burned per hour.
It all depends on how much energy you need. Are we just charging cell phones (and are they smartphones or "dumb" phones becasue those have very different energy requirements), charging laptops or tables for a school, or are we trying to provide power for an entire house? How many Watt-Hours do we need?
All of the above systems would essentially come down to the solar panesl, a charge controler, a battery bank, and a inverter if AC power is needed rather than just 12v DC. Solar panels are around $0.60-$1.00 per watt depending on the size of panel you buy and in what quantity. Here are some good links for that.
The biolite stove is not really a good option for backpackers (but great for car campers). First and foremost, it is really heavy compared to other stoves (wood burning or otherwise). Second, it puts out a max of 400mA to the USB charging port. That is less that half of what your typical low end wall wart charger puts out. And in order to even get that level of output, the stove requires that you are continually feeding it with fuel. A backpacker will typically spend 5-10 minutes boiling water for their meal. Charging your phone for that amount of time is effectively useless. You will have to keep the stove buring for 3x-6x longer than that to get any useful charge for your device, and that is a lot of work to gather and prepare that amount of fuel.
A much better option is to get a 10A-20A external battery (something like this) and just charge your phone when you need it. My battery will fully charge my phone 5 to 6 times before it is out of juice which is perfect for a week long trip (I keep my phone is Airplane Mode and only use it occasionally for the GPS, to listen to some music, or do some ebook reading before bed.)
The solar options that drape over your pack are nearly useless when you are hiking through the woods. The output ~10% of their rated output when partially shaded, which is to say the whole time you are walking through the woods and under the tree canopy. You would need around 30W-50W of solar cells to get any significant charge for your phone.
I've never heard of this method, but it sounds interesting.
Lactic Acid Bacteria, which is what IMO3 (indigenous microorganisms) is, is easy to culture. Cabbage is naturally covered in Lactic Acid Bacteria. Look up how to make sauerkraut. You can use the excess liquid from that to make your starter culture to use in this method.
Any add all grain/seeds are good for chickens and chicks. Chickens can take things up to corn kernel size but chicks need something smaller. Naturally, the mother hen will pick out food the right size for her chicks. If you are not letting the hen feed her chicks, then I'd stick with chick starter feed until they are a bit older. Sprouted grains are much easier to swallow. You could try a sprouting mix such as this if you want but keep in mind that chicks need lots of protein, so I'd be careful about limiting their diet.
I give my chickens all the weeds I pull from my beds. They eat what they want and shred the rest into the coop floor. After a few days old, chicks can eat small greens too, but you have to be careful that they are small enough for them to swallow. They aren't able to shred their own green yet and a long piece of grass could get stuck in them and they could choke. Make sure anything you give them is no more than 1/2 inch long.
As far as feed mixtures, I'd let the birds start foraging as soon as they can. Then all you have to do is worry about macro nutrients (17%-20% protein). But if you really want to, make sure that there is a wide variety of seeds and grains from different families of plants.
Since you probably aren't growing your kitchen garden in the winter, I'm not sure why you would want to store the water over winter unless you use so little water in your laundry that you don't generate enough in the summer. I'd focus on just diverting it away from your driveway to a mulch basin like you said. Or, if you want to create a stockpile for summer, have you considered a small pond? That wouldn't matter if it froze over in the winter and with a small filter and pump, you'd have plenty of water for a kitchen garden.
The only reason people suggest peat, as far as I can tell, is due to it having massive amounts of carbon to absorb nitrogen. Most peat, is not biologically active, so you still need a compost starter of some sort. I personally wouldn't choose to use peat due to the fact that it isn't a renewable resource (although you have a lot of it from what it sounds like). Sawdust or leaf mulch work just as well as a carbon sink, and a cup or two out of a recent compost pile in your yard is more than enough to get things going. If you don't have a compost pile yet, some good old organic material rich soil from your yard will work almost as well.
I think the criticism of the price of their plans is not very helpful. I am sure they are more than aware of the demand for their plans and have priced them in the manner they best see fit. If you disagree, call them up and make an offer and see if they bite.
In case that doesn't work, here are two plans for non-motorized balers:
The first link mentions being able to put out 100 bales a day. That is enough to build a 10' x 10' building. If a person can, given adequate raw materials, churn out enough materials to build a minimal home, in one day, I think that is good enough.
You should be comparing rocket mass heaters to masonry heaters, not rocket stoves. There is a difference!
Rocket mass heaters take the rocket stove concept and harness the fact that the burn hot and fast to their advantage. In a RMH, the exhaust coming out of your chimney should be far lower temperature and with far less smoke than either a traditional wood stove or a masonry heater. That tells you the efficiency of the system right there. I think if you were to compare a RMH to one of those Kimberly or Katydid wood stoves, it wouldn't even be a competition.
I'd go ahead and build a test stove. My main advice is that if this is your first RHM and you are building an untested design or designing it your self, don't get discouraged if it doesn't work out. If you can, it would really help to build a time tested design the first time. It really doesn't take that much more time or materials and your results will be much, much better. Ocne you've got that under your belt, then experiment!
I would broad fork the soil, and then cover with 2 inches of manure and at least 6 inches of leaf/straw mulch. If, during the broad forking, you don't find significant amounts of worms, purchase compost worms and add around a pound of worms per 100 sqft. Do this in the fall, and your soil will be good for planting by the next spring.
I've never heard of such a law anywhere in the states. I would call back and ask them for the state/county/city code that they are citing. Maybe let them know that you are looking into commercial composting toilet systems (if they think you are buying a commercial system, they will probably be more cooperative) and you need to know which codes are applicable so you can make sure that you are in compliance. If I had to venture a guess, there might be a code that specifies the minimum amount of water needed to flush waste through a septic system, and they might be referring to that. Obviously that doesn't apply to closed system toilets, but that might take some convincing. Once you know the relevant codes, then you can come up with a plan to circumvent.
Angelika Maier wrote:This is around 28 m2 for the metric here. I am all for tiny houses but this is clearly too small.
Angelika, it might be too small for you, but there are lot s of people who are living in houses that size and it works for them.
I would work out if you can drop the movable part. Or I would make two tiny houses or three. One for each of you and
one for kitchen and bathroom, this creates heating problems though.
I found as soon as you garden or farm you will need a bigger house at least the kitchen.
If you have a good uni library near you borrow a book which is called Neufert it is full of measurements.
If the house is smaller it does not cost that much less. You still need plumbing electricity etc.
I would say on double the size you have a really comfortable house for both of you. You might be able to get down to 1 1/2 the size.
Having two or three buildings would not only be problematic, it also defeats the purpose of tiny house living. I have not found that having a decent sized garden requires much more space nor have I had any problems dealing with the harvest in a small kitchen. It might not be ideal for everyone, but I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that it is unworkable. A small portable shed can handle most of the overflow of tools and implements needed for anything larger than a small kitchen garden.
I love the project! I am the moderator over at the reddit foraging subreddit and would love to see more of your content posted over there too. The link to your kickstarter is already up over there so hopefully some of our 5000+ members will come support your project!
My suggestion would be "Supreme Executive Producer with huckleberries, fiddle-heads and dandelions"
Jenna Sanders wrote:We plan to face the coop to the south with some type of window, for passive solar heat...and maybe pile snow around the outside of it for added insulation.
Just putting a window in does not make it a passive solar system. You would need to have some sort of heat storage. Since the chickens are not inside during the day, a sunny window is not much help.
I think people ignore the best heaters in a chicken coop are the chickens themselves. They put out a lot of heat and are fine down to -20ºF. The trick is to not build a coop that is bigger than they need and then they will be able to heat it up when they come in each night. All a full sized chickens needs is about 7"-8" to perch on at night. On really cold nights I give them some extra starchy feed an hour before they go in for the night so they have some extra calories to burn. Keep them dry and out of the direct wind and they will be fine.
300 sqft is huge for a tiny house on a trailer. The largest of the Tumbleweed Homes is 172 + 53 for the loft. With that said, there are plenty of examples of two people living in spaces with less than 200 sqft of space. But it all comes down to whether you can life in that little of a space. You should minimize your lifestyle now, and see if you can manage in a smaller footprint. Can you get rid of 90% of your possessions with out cramping your lifestyle?
The question becomes why do you want to live in a tiny house? And do the benefits to you doing so outweigh the costs to you? Only you can answer those questions.
Bill Erickson wrote:
John, looking at the "dam2.gif" up there, you'll see a size transition before it gets to the "hump" that has a note which says, "pipe size change must occur before peak, this prevents siphoning." The "floaty thing" looks to be 1 inch black ABS (based on pictures of Paul and lesser mortals being side by side) so I'm figuring the size transition is from 1 inch ABS to 1 1/2" ABS, since the dimension is an internal one and 1 inch ABS will fit inside 1 1/2" ABS, in my experience. I'm also interested in how the "floaty thing" is constructed to get the water into it in a "trickly" fashion.
So I do a lot of liquid siphoning when I brew beer. And before I upgraded to a better system, I actually had a system where I had mismatched sized hoses connected together and had the pipe size change "occur before peak". While sometimes I'd loose my siphon due to this mis-match, it in no way prevented it. Now this might be due to the relative difference between the sizes of Paul's hoses and the ones I was using, but I am not convinced that this would be a reliable system.
Rather than trying to buy land, which doesn't sound like it is in your budget, why not lease some land and farm that? Then after a few years of successfully farming there, you should have enough money saved up to buy your own land.
My idea was inspired by posts like yours and others who were attempting to use off the shelf materials to do what we really need a customized product for. Much of what Erica was saying applied to the burn chambers but the main point she made about about the risers was "It's particularly critical that the heat riser have reliable insulation and no leaks before the top."
"The materials that have been shown by experience to give adequate insulation around the heat riser include ... Cast-refractory heat risers using perlite aggregate, or other methods to create insulation value, various thickness (1" to 2" have been successful in short-term prototypes but long-term data not available)."
My idea is to create a custom solution for that last suggestion. The problems that people have with firebrick risers, as Erica pointed out, is that they are "leaky" and not insulative. Cast-refractory/perlite can solve this, especially if the bricks are designed to fit together in the right shape for a heat riser.
I do not think a kiln would be necessary since most heat risers are build wet, and dried in place. This brick version wouldn't be much different except that much of the drying can be done before the assembly, in a slower fashion, which should reduce cracking and damage.
I just posted my idea for cast-able riser bricks. I won't be in the position to test out this idea anytime soon, but if you are experimenting with possibilities, I'd love to see how this might work in the real world.
Has anyone tried casting riser bricks using refractory?
Standard off-the-shelf rectangular bricks seem to make OK, but not great, risers. The preference seems to be to sculpt a whole riser in place, which makes a very good end product, but is much more difficult to make. I was thinking that by using a standardized mold to make bricks, one could create a very good riser that isn't very difficult to build.
Below are three variations on this. The measurements are all for an 8" system and have about a 50 in^2 CSA but could easily be scaled down for a 6" system. I imagine that one could take fiberglass fabric and wrap the outsides of the risers and then coat with final layer of refractory mud to create a unified riser that has both compressive and tensile strength.
Bitcoin is not a currency for a collapse script scenario, but neither is cash in your bank account nor anyone's credit cards. But the chance of a grid down situation is extremely small and a long term grid down situation is almost zero. Bitcoin is a currency for every other situation except that very small possibility.
Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:The difference is climate, climate, climate! What is appropriate for one climate might be abysmal for another. You live in a HUMID climate - therefore swales might not be the best technology to employ. On the other hand hugelkultur would be awesome there.
Using aboveground hugelkultur in the hot desert (dryland) is a bad idea (more surface exposure to EXTREME evaporation, sheds limited water, and so forth). Swales, infiltration basins,- are FANTASTIC for drylands. Another example of a horrible permaculture application in hot, dry deserts are herb spirals - they are the "spirals of death" in Phoenix.
Right, but Carmela was specifically asking about the Pacific NW. In Longview, she gets nearly the exact same marine layer that I get in Seattle, gets the same amount of rain, and about the same temperature range. Longview is not a dryland. So I thought my experiences were actually quite appropriate.
I live in Seattle and I've never felt that swales would be useful for me. The reason being that I never have any water runoff, even in the heaviest winter rains, so there is no need to try and restrict the flow of water. It all soaks into the soil already. During the dry months, I only need to dig 2 or three feet down to find moist soil, so once trees are established, they should not need any water. Instead of swales, I use hugelkulture mounds to make sure that shallow rooted annuals have access to moist soil year round. I do employ rain barrels for watering new trees and my vegetable beds. I let them drain out each fall (to avoid the possibility of freezing damage) and only fill them back up starting in March/April once the chance of hard frosts are gone. For my urban garden, I only need about 250 gallons to get through the dry summer months.
With a limited view of your situation, this is what I'd do:
Build a pond as high up on your property as you can with a few water harvesting input swales to take advantage of the 10"-12" of rain that you will get before summer hits. Starting with the area around the pond, and expanding out as you can, thin out/remove the pine trees and then mulch, mulch, mulch with what ever organic material you can get. 6"-8" thick. Plant as many fast growing deciduous/nitrogen fixing trees as you can interspersed with whatever fruit trees you want. Make sure that the pond overflows into the new tree plantings. Then each year, expand this outward from where you left of the year before. If you have the ability to make more ponds, do so, and repeat this pattern across your land.
That Shrem was arrested really means nothing as to the viability of the currency. It basically comes down to the fact that other people used his business to acquire bitcoins to use on a bitcoin black market. And then he also bought some mail order drugs. Most people had already stopped using BitInstant long before they shut down do to horrible customer service.
The persistent herbicides that don't break down in compost all negatively effect either legumes, nightshades, or both, so it is pretty easy to test to see if your materials are contaminated buy planting peas and tomatoes in buckets full of the stuff. And, yes, worms will love the rotted wood.
Kelly Smith wrote:can anyone tell me the hash used in the bitcoin encryption algorithm?
as i understand the bitcoin is encrypted with a SHA-2 (SHA-256), which was developed by the NSA,(reference) thus leading my to not trust the bitcoin block change. [i assume there is a backdoor in anything NSA developed]
SHA-256 is only used for the Proof-of-work aspect in the mining process. Wallet encryption uses a combination of AES-256-CBC, SHA512, and OpenSSL's EVP_BytesToKey. It is quite secure, even if someone manages to get quantum computing working.
who created bitcoin? why isnt he available to answer questions about its structure?
as you can see, i am skeptical by nature. i dont trust money that springs up from essentially nowhere. i do not see the value in it.
Yes, the initial developer, Satoshi Nakamoto, was a pseudonym and we don't really know who he/she is, but that doesn't really matter since the protocol is open source. Actually, pretty much the entire base client code has been entirely re-written by subsequent dev teams, and you can go see all of their code changes since then, and follow all of the discussion threads on the dev mailing list. And if you still don't trust your code, you can write your own code based on the protocol established in the white paper and implement that (and in fact many people have done this with alternative clients such as Electrum and Armory.
bitcoin can be anonymous, but isnt so by default. if you know what you are doing you can transact anonymous, but for the most part, the transactions are traceable. (as i understand it)
i fear if we move to a digital currency what we will get is a system that can track [thus tax] every transaction.
Buy your bitcoins in cash from localbitcoinscom and load them into a wallet that has no other transactions. It is actually really simple!
i will stick to gold/silver/energy/necessities as things of value. at a minimum they are things that cant be printed/created out of air.
Gold and silver also good stores of wealth but they are horrible currencies due to the difficulty of transport and lack of divisibility.
The best plants most effective in removing: Formaldehyde, Benzene, and Carbon Monoxide from the air were as follows:
Bamboo Palm – Chamaedorea Seifritzii
Chinese Evergreen - Aglaonema Modestum
English Ivy Hedera Helix
Gerbera Daisy Gerbera Jamesonii
Janet Craig - Dracaena “Janet Craig”
Marginata - Dracaena Marginata
Mass cane/Corn Plant - Dracaena Massangeana
Mother-in-Law’s Tongue Sansevieria Laurentii
Pot Mum – Chrysantheium morifolium
Peace Lily - Spathiphyllum
Warneckii - Dracaena
A lot of small conventional farmers seem to recoil at the thought of permaculture because they can't see a way to grow their traditional row crops in polycultures. Is it possible to do row crops while still following the three ethics and twelve design principles? If so, can you talk about some examples you've seen?
Unless you need the income, I wouldn't let the farmer grow corn. I'd find some local kid that would be willing to raise chickens or pigs in a Joel Salatin-style set-up and start healing the land. Skip the one acre vegetable patch as that will take up all your weekends all summer long and you won't have time for anything else. Start with 100-500 sqft if you really want vegetables this year. The first thing you want to do is any earthworks that need to be done, ponds (build at least one as high up on the property as you can) and swales, and then I'd focus mainly on getting orchards going.
I just took a look at your post from yesterday and it sounds like you are using steel for your feed tube, is that right? If so, a lot of people have had issues with smoke-back trying to do that. This is why all the books and plans suggest using brick or clay/cob for your feed tube. A horizontal feed will help by reducing the competing chimney effect due to the absorbed heat in the steel, but you have to constantly monitor the burn since it becomes much more likely that the fire will burn up the sticks and spread the fire outside of the feed tube. The point of the J Tube is to make sure that the fire always stays contained and a horizonatla feed removed that safety feature. I'm glad it works for you, but it should not be recommended, IMO. Have you tried using bricks for your feed tube?
Very Cool! Since it sounds like it is a little more complex than a standard RMH, do you have any cut away style diagrams that you could post to show how this works? Did you use actual cob with straw or just clay? If cob, are you concerned with the straw burning out over time?
Data is something I wanted to see for a while. What I would really like to see, and what I would find most useful is case studies that show inputs vs outputs. A permaculture farm is never going to be able to create data that can be put side by side with bushels of corn per acre, but something like a graph of annual dollars spent on inputs vs calorie outputs would be awesome. Another one I would love to see is labor hours per calorie (or million calories might be a better scale).
With those two data sets you could much more easily make the case that permaculture can scale up to actually feed the world, which is the usual criticisms I get. I don't actually think having control groups is that necessary unless you are trying to prove that, say, biodynamic compost tea is more effective than normal compost tea. These case studies would be enough to convince legislatures and grant providers to approve and support more permaculture farms and bring about public awareness that the global food production and distribution problem can be solved in way other than what the modern Industrial Ag groups are telling the public.