Many vineyards will install purple martin houses. These are of a very specific design to keep out predators. The purple martins are very territorial. They will chase other birds from the area. They eat bugs, not fruit or seeds.
Wood ear is called that because it grows on wood, not soil. So, definitely not that. Some random cup fungi. It doesn't have anything that makes it particularly distinct. It's not a bright color, and you haven't mentioned that it smells like anything special. Lacking those, I'd be wary of eating anything that was ID'd over the internet. If you do a spore print and consult a few guide books, or may be able to find out what it is.
By extracting more heat from the exhaust, it is less eager to go up the chimney. We didn't change the chimney at all, except for putting the second barrel and all of that resistance in the way. So, more heat was going out of the building = less efficient.
Your drawing addresses some of the problem with the dirt slumping off the back side, but my main concern is the eave edge. I don't quite see how your idea would work with the facade. The problem happening with this method at the Abbey is that the facade is a uniform height, but the dirt behind it isn't. At the lower edge the dirt ends up higher than the eave edge and the water wants to move towards it.
The material coming out of a Jenkins system will not have any harmful pathogens, so is perfect for the food garden. Using it on your food garden will close the nutrient cycle, instead of always taking nutrients out of the soil. I used a Jenkins humanure system for a couple of years in Minnesota. When I saw the amazing compost that came out, I would have been crazy to not use it on the food garden.
Joseph Jenkins has used it for exactly that purpose for decades on his home garden.
I would not put the back diagonal log at that steep of an angle. If I understand this right, it would make a much smaller attic. The main problem I see is that it would create a roof like the gable of the Abbey. The angle is so steep, it is hard to get the water to move away from the eave instead of along it.
i would like to make the following suggestions for changes to this BB:
the chopping block should not be tall. it should actually be much shorter than usual, so that the blade of the cracker is about the height of your normal chopping block. that way the top of the kindling-to-be will be at the normal height and you will not have a leverage disadvantage from trying to chop wood at shoulder height.
following from that, the cracker should not be offset on your chopping block. if you still need a chopping block for using a maul, axe, or hatchet, that is best done on a block that is a different height than that of the cracker (about the height of the blade). Also, if you have many inexperienced choppers (like we do at wheaton labs), then there is a chance that someone will miss the wood (or it will kick to the side) and the maul will hit the metal of the cracker.
i understand that paul wants all objects to be made for use by giants, but chopping blocks are safer and easier to use if they are the appropriate height for the most common user.
Besides storage of the items Philip mentioned, paul also hopes to someday use the space as "hippy storage". When the bermshed is complete and expanded we plan to put a lot of those materials in that relatively dry spot. The mezzanine could then be used as a sort of bunk room for students or boots.
Mike, I don't think Chris made perfect cuts, and that's ok. That's part of learning. During and after the cuts, we talked about how it could be better the next time. People join the bootcamp to learn by working, not because we're world renowned experts on everything. Sometimes we're learning together.
More gapper love has arrived, and we are super grateful!
Another assortment of reflective tape. Looks like this batch was shipped farther and took longer to arrive.
When i first arrived as a gapper three years ago, there were several awesome knives for gappers to use. I liked them so much, i bought my own. All of the ones here previously wandered off when people "forgot" to leave them behind. Or maybe they are hiding in the bushes somewhere. But...someone generously sent six more knives for the bootcamp!
That same person sent a ton of really interesting looking books! I've got to make more time to read.
In 2018, near Missoula, Montana, Wheaton Labs will be hosting a new Permaculture Design course! The course is designed for hands-on learning for people low on funds but with plenty of time. We are calling it the Peasant Permaculture Design Course.
Tuesday, May 22 through Thursday, June 21, 2018.
View the official Peasant Permaculture Design Course page HERE.
Each day of this course involves four hours in the classroom and another four hours of hands-on project work at Wheaton Labs, an experimental permaculture space in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
The Peasant PDC will have a strong focus on projects and building hands-on experience at Wheaton Labs. The course will be taught by Erica Wisner, with assistant Lily Elison, alongside numerous guest instructors from around the region. You will learn a plethora of different skills such as the identification of useful plants, making of healing salves, and how to apply Permaculture to everyday life. You will also become adept in numerous subjects such as soils, water, community living, forestry, building, and appropriate technologies.
A PDC is a life changing event for both students and instructors. It can be one of the most intense learning and networking experience of your life. Surrounded by like-minded people, you will learn the framework to thrive in a rapidly changing world. You will also develop the skills to heal damaged landscapes while providing for your own needs.
The Peasant PDC will be roughly 300 hours of total immersion into permaculture and communal living over the course of 33 days.
In this course you are designing from the get go. Every new piece of information, every new concept, is delivered in sequence so that it is immediately relevant and applicable. Your design unfolds in step with the day's subjects. This helps the learning to really take root in your mind.
The Peasant PDC is a training ground for new PDC instructors, and for those who want an in-depth, hands-on experience. Days will be full. Plan for 10 to 12 hour days, split between Class time, Project site work, and Self-care activities at the individual and group level.
Erica is a science and art educator, curriculum developer, writer, illustrator, researcher, and rocket mass heater innovator. She loves making things from scratch - anything from blueberry scones to the oven itself. Erica is a skilled educator and project coordinator, with over 20 years of experience building teamwork and leading hands-on learning. Her and Ernie have taught numerous workshops on natural building and rocket mass heaters. Erica has written multiple books on rocket mass heaters, fire making, and survival shelters. She is featured in many videos, documentaries, and podcasts on rocket mass heaters.
Fred Tyler - 2018 PPDC Project Instructor
Fred Tyler is the land manager at Wheaton Labs. Originally from New Mexico, Fred has moved around the country many times, settling the longest in Minnesota (15 years). Fred still has ties to New Mexico and returns there every winter for a business he has in the pecan harvest. Fred has been at the Labs learning permaculture through hard work since May of 2015. He runs the Permaculture Bootcamp, where people can gain the skills and experiences needed for homesteading in exchange for workshops or land. He completed a worktrade with Paul for two acres of land on which he is excited for the chance to build a house and express his vision in seed and soil.
Paul Wheaton - 2018 PPDC Guest Instructor
Paul Wheaton, the bad boy of Permaculture, was proclaimed by Geoff Lawton in 2012 the Duke of Permaculture. He is the creator of two on-line communities. One is about Permaculture, permies.com, and one is about software engineering, CodeRanch.com.
He is a powerful advocate of Sepp Holzer’s techniques, which a recent study showed to have the ability to feed 21 billion people without the use of petroleum or irrigation. He also promotes the use of hugelkultur, which sequesters carbon and eliminates the need for irrigation, and polycultures, which reduces the need for pest control and improves the health of plants. He wrote several articles about lawn care, raising chickens, cast iron, and diatomaceous earth. Paul regularly uploads permaculture videos and permaculture podcasts.
Ernie Wisner - Guest Instructor
Ernie is a botanist, educator, writer, researcher, rocket mass heater innovator, natural builder, and boat aficionado. He served in the merchant marine, Navy, and fisheries, and has tremendous experience with hydraulic and hot water systems. His family's sea time stretches back "since Noah was a babe," all over the 2/3 of our planet from which quitters can't walk home. Ernie is semi-retired due to a disabling injury, but still makes time for the occasional workshop or fascinating prototype project. He co-authored multiple books with his wife, Erica, and he is featured in many videos, documentaries and podcasts. Ernie is a wealth of knowledge; there are not many topics on which he does not have an opinion.
Is there a reason you say to cook the elderberries in only half of the apple juice?
I'm wondering if it would be bad to make it like you say, but not dilute it to half strength, and use it more like the syrup. I'm thinking that when i am canning apple cider in the fall, it would be convenient to make this with some of the less exciting batches.
Here in Montana, our red elderberries look rather black (but sill have the red stems and form).
Tuesday didn't mean that the cushions 'should' be 74". We had thought of storing them on the couches under the dust covers, so they maximum length is what would fit on the couch. When we were estimating how many people could fit on the bench, we gave everyone 22 inches. That was before there were some balcony posts in the way, so there might be slightly more room for few people now. A 21" wide cushion would be great. As Jocelyn points out, any of the single person cushions could also be used on the folding chairs.
I guess i'll do like Kai and post some of the old photos mixed in with the more recent stuff. Have you seen Kai's thread? He is creating poetry.
There still plenty of snow of the ground, but that isn't stopping a few hardy plants. Here are a couple of shots of some garlic (Allium sativum) on my plot. These were poking up under some douglas fir trees whose thick branches reduced the amount of snow hitting the ground. It has probably snowed another foot since these photos were taken, so the garlic's growth may have slowed a bit.
The last picture is of some "mountain spinach" orach (Atriplex hortensis) sprouts. They couldn't wait for spring. They couldn't even wait to hit the ground. They were sprouting on the stalk in their little paper husks at basecamp.
For my plot, I ordered Early NY, Crystal White, Clear Dawn, and Dakota Tears. Any of which might be saved for seed the following year. For basecamp I ordered Red Bull, Talon, and Patterson, all hybrids we will not be saving for seed.
We are hedging our bets with 100 transplants as well.
I've ordered several varieties that i plan to direct seed here at Wheaton Labs. Most of the seed catalogs i looked at had directions for either transplanting or direct seeding of onions. Our climate is something similar to what you describe. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Here are three photos of a bluebell. I never knew there were so many kinds of bluebells. I think these are Long-flower Bluebells (Mertensia longiflora). Though these seem a bit hairier that most of the photos i saw. The descriptions i found said they could have a varying amount of hair.
The flowers and leaves are edible raw or cooked. Though, the leaves are said to be better cooked because of hairiness. Some parts of the other bluebells were used medicinally to treat measles, and smallpox, or to increase milk flow after childbirth.