The reputation question is an interesting one - what does it mean, really, on any site? I feel like on most social media, reputations are almost meaningless. I remember hearing a discussion of how journalists and bloggers need to adapt to the fact that if a post goes viral, their words will stand completely isolated from their “reputation”, meaning that the previous writings that might give context on their point of view would not even be known to most readers. I suppose there are markers of reputation, but social media mostly encourages consideration of only the words in front of you without considering overmuch who wrote it. You can choose to follow people whose utterances make sense to you. But still, it is all based on what they write, not on physical reality. As long as you write and record stuff that is fairly consistent, you can “game the system” and gain reputation regardless of your physical reality.
With permies, the rule are different from most sites, but they can be gamed in their own way. Lots of posts means you know how to post within the parameters of permies. Lots of apples means you are good at writing posts that make sense to the apple givers. This leads to a really fun and neat forum to hang out in, but what does it really say about the individuals? I don’t actually KNOW that any individual is actually doing the things they claim to be. They could just have a really good library of homesteading books, and be able to write posts that are close enough to the truth to make it through. And if some people are doing that, does it matter? If the info they post is reasonably accurate? No matter who posts something, you always have to evaluate for your site, and against your own knowledge.
Regarding the permies as a whole - it is awesome, and I love spending time here. It is also very, very limited. Not only are politics, religion, and current social issues mostly off the table, so are any agricultural topics that might become contentious. I have occasionally been asked to edit posts, mostly for mentioning things like chem fertilizer in a factual context- not because I was nasty or even venturing an opinion, but because the moderators knew somebody else down the thread would be. I fully recognize that the rules and censorship are important in keeping permies awesome, but it does mean that it will always hold a limited place in my life, and that the information I get here is, in my opinion, super slanted. Again, not necessarily a negative, since it is a slant I like, but I have to recognize that it isn’t the whole picture.
Where does the figure for masonary heater wood use come from? I am bot clear on why an rmh, especially a batch box, would be able to extract twice as much heat as a masonary stove. Were these numbers from a side by side test? What style of rmh?
Gray Henon wrote:I’ve always said there is nothing simple about the simple life! I’m a mile wide and a bit more than an inch deep. We garden, raise livestock, hunt, fish, cook, food process, cut timber, vet, engine repair, home renovate (electrical, plumbing, roofing, etc), raise kids, volunteer, the list goes on…
Amen to that! I always want to simplify. The more I do, the thinner I stretch as my chore list (splitting wood, gardening, preserving, washing dishes) becomes longer and longer.
That is why I still have a washing machine and dishwasher. With all the other jobs in and out of the house, I just don’t have the energy.
Large scale use as a food crop runs into two issues. The first is equipment and cultural knowledge, which others have mentioned.
The other is location. While there are places (mostly abandoned farm fields) where kuzu could be harvested on a larger scale, possibly with mechanization, most of what you see is on roadsides, where it was planted to prevent erosion, with some creep into the first wooded layer.
Most people, myself included, are hesitant to harvest food within the road runoff zone. Even if you did, digging up all the roots that are preventing erosion would cause problems.
Where it has enroached on the woods, you still can’t harvest by machine in any way that I can see, so you are digging large deep roots in an area strewn with tree roots, which. In order to be economically viable, the product would have to be quite valuable - like ginseng, or goldenseal. The economics might make sense for medicinal use, but probably not for food, where a wildecrafter doesn’t usually get a lot per pound.
So, definitely issues with a commercial food industry based on wild harvested kudzu. Paper - possibly. Id love to see an analysis of this - how much pulp would an acre of kuzu yield, how many tons/day would a small papermill need to stay in business, how many acres are available in the most overgrown areas of the south, and how much can you harvest without killing the plants?
Michael Cox wrote:I truly don't see any kind of corporate troll behaviour in that reddit thread. Instead I see people talking at cross purposes, who when they have misunderstood what is being discussed have reached erroneous conclusions. And then as is the nature of social media they have voted according to what they perceive. In this case they thought they were dealing with a snake-oil salesman, and voted accordingly.
You don’t think the timing, as described by Paul, seems suspicious? I agree with you in principle that the simple fact of negative comments and downvotes doesn’t have to mean anything. But the fact that it happened within a few minutes, after an hour of mostly positive, seems odd to me. Is there something we don’t understand about reddit? Did it suddenly show it to an audience who hated it? Even then, I would expect it to build over hours, not minutes. What am I missing?
I also never saw the thread, so I don’t know if the comments were inline with that or not. There was a screenshot that suggested reddit thinks Paul deleted it himself? From his post here, that was not Paul’s experience, right?
paul wheaton wrote:
Suddenly a bunch of trolls showed up doing what trolls do. But the odd thing was:
- the votes for the whole thread went from 250 to something negative. Within a few minutes.
- about a dozen troll comments appeared at about the same time and within minutes they each got more than a hundred upvotes
- each troll comment instantly had dozens of supporting comments, each with dozens of upvotes. I saw one buried comment that was 3 minutes old with something like 35 upvotes.
- all of my comments went from 2 to 12 upvotes to instantly having 25 in the negative.
I tried to stick to answering wholesome questions.
When the thread was three hours old, it was deleted and I was banned from r/Iama.
Very interesting- the question of online censorship has become a topic of conversation for a lot of the social media platforms, but I had not heard anything about reddit. I don’t use it, but I thought it was a free for all, didn’t even know banning was a thing.
So, let me ask - did the troll comments sound human, or like bots? Were most of them coherent? I am just wondering if there are actual humans being paid to watch for certain keywords.
Second, was being banned from the forum based on getting too many downvotes? Or was there a person/software who made the decision based on content?
It is interesting to know the “shape” of the opposition. It is certainly a clever way of controlling online dialog, especially if the comments look human written. If you hadn’t been watching, you would never have realized that the speed of the negative comments and downvotes was too fast to be organic. And even then - you can’t be entirely sure. If it had been anything more controversial than a stove design, you might think it really was a lot of people feeling strongly about the topic.
Remelle Burton wrote: I made a huge batch of green tomato salsa verde and added some tomatillos. I got so intensely sick after taste-testing the first batch (unripe tomatillos are toxic) that I felt like I had drunk draino and would surely die. Thankfully I keep charcoal pills, liver vitamins and gut fixer tinctures and drink a ridiculous amount of water so I lived through it, albeit suffering through horse sized flatulence and yellow poop for 2 weeks. I had no idea that 'full but not split' tomatillos are not ripe. So glad my son did not eat any, as I was out of chips when he visited that first evening. WOWOWOW. I had already canned 8 pints and had to pitch the whole lot, but that was a new one on me.
Wow, what an experience! I will say that either your variety or constitution must be very different then mine. Toxicity in unripe tomatillos has never come up in my reading, and I have been harvesting them at all stages of green for years with no problems for me or my family. I don’t eat them raw, and have always felt fine. Just goes to show how much diversity there is out there!
As for recipes - this one needs fresh, and doesn’t use a ton, but it is unbelievably delicious. I wish I knew how to preserve it with the flavor intact…
Monica Strazz wrote:Hi Kaarina....I have been following Natural Beekeeping with Dr. Leo Sharashkin. This information about him is from his website: Dr. Leo Sharashkin is founder of https://www.horizontalhive.com/index.shtml and editor of Keeping Bees With a Smile, a comprehensive resource on keeping bees naturally in horizontal hives. He contributes to American Bee Journal, Bee Culture, The Beekeepers Quarterly (UK), and many other publications, and speaks internationally on sustainable beekeeping, organic growing, and Earth-friendly living. He holds a PhD in Forestry from the University of Missouri and a Master’s in Natural Resources from Indiana University. Author of world-renowned research in sustainable agriculture, he lives with his wife and four children on a forest homestead in the Ozarks in southern Missouri where they raise bees in a variety of low-maintenance, easy-to-build horizontal hives...
I made and put out 4 of his traps in widely varying locations. Caught 0 swarms. Hopefully better luck next year!
You know what they say, right? Ask 10 different beekeepers a question and you’ll get 11 different answers!
If you want to know more about bees instincts and preferences, I highly recommend Honeybee Democracy, by Thomas Seeley. He has a career of researching feral colonies in New York.
Bees will keep collecting and storing honey as long as they have space. In the wild, this serves them in two ways: first, without a beekeeper feeding sugar, they are always one bad season away from starving. The more they put away in a good year, the better they can weather a really dry or really wet year. Second, a wild colony does not have infinite space. Their instinct is to gather as much as fast as possible, then reproduce (swarm) when the hive is too full. The more stores they have in the fall, the stronger they can swarm in the spring and the better chances of survival all around. A beekeeper coopts this instinct by giving them more and more space and taking extra honey, which reduces their swarming instinct.
As for why beekeepers feed sugar - it sounds like you really do have a bee paradise! Not all of us are so lucky. My honey flow goes from April- May with poplars and locust, some clover in June, and then almost nothing in July and August. Some asters in September, but not enought. Some of that is the loss of hay fields to green lawns, but some of it is that we often get less rain than flowers in our area would like during the summer.
So: last year, I had a hive that came out of winter strong and with plenty of stores. I put some extra boxes on, and left it alone for a few weeks. Next thing I know, there are bees in the tree. When I went in, I found that the one I saw must have been the second or third swarm - and there was less honey in the hive than there had been in March. By the time the new queen got the numbers up, the flow was over. They had no stores.
This year, I had to buy packages, because I tried to go treatment free last year… sigh. The packages arrived in April, and had fully drawn comb. The built up fast, but didn’t end the flow with much honey. I think the build up was just too late. So now I am feeding them sugar to get them through the winter.
Regarding when to take the honey- some people do recommend shrinking the hive so that they have less cold air around them. I don’t know how much that matters, and others will say th opposite.
Not sure exactly where to post this…
I have come across the statement that Monsanto has patented the entire soy genome.
I have been trying to find the patent, or some way to trace back to it, but my web search skills have failed me.
Does anyone have this link? Either to a patent or to a legal argument made by Monsanto/Bayer that any of their GMO patents actually include the entire genome?
So I am not an expert in mushroom cultivation, but I have failed to grow them on several occasions. Based on my failures, I don’t think those chunks have enough bark on them to do well as logs. So you problem may have not been freshness, but too much exposed grain, giving other fungi a chance to colonize after inoculation.
What that suggests to me is that you might have good luck chipping, and inoculating with wine cap (king stropharia) mushrooms in an outdoor bed. Wine caps are vigorous enough to do just fine on unpasteurized wood chips.
For spores: Yes, they will survive anaerobic fermentation. But then, spores survive boiling as well: thats why water bath canned green beans are a no no. So surviving spores are probably not the issue. Likewise for anaerobic fungi, which are mostly found in the gut - maybe if those logs had been rolling around in cow dung you should worry…
The main question I have would be the changes made by the anaerobic fermentation. Without oxygen, the microbes will produce all kinds of fun alcohols and acids. Since you can’t keep it sterile during inoculation, will these extra food sources encourage other microbes to settle down? Or discourage your preferred fungus? I could see this being a problem for lions mane, which is pickier, vs vigorous and versatile oysters. Or maybe that is backwards, and lions mane loves to eat anaerobic leftovers!
If you try it, please post the process and results- I am super curious!
The Rich soil faq is fine. To anyone stumbling on it, it is a random web page that is throwing out numbers that don’t sound believable, with no references to back them up.
Take the answer to the “10 times more efficient” question. Ok, so the 75%+ efficiencies come from optimum lab conditions. But where do the rest of the numbers come from? Who has established that a really good operator who is burning dry wood can only get 35%? How do we know that “most” people use their wood stoves at 3-15% efficiencies? The 1/10th numbers come from “people we know”… who are these people, and what kind of stoves were they using? Did they actually know how to use them? Why should I give any credence to the people some guy on the internet knows?
Finally, these questions keep coming up because the experiences are not universal. There has been mention on this thread of the couple who is using around half the wood they used to. Nice savings, but not even close to 1/10th, and doesn’t heat the far out rooms. So there is a lot of conflicting information (all of which is actually true, depending on the situation) and it all starts to sound like hype.
Lina said- "Your friend’s experience is compelling- it may be that the 1/10 number does come from people not using their stoves properly - it is easier to toss big logs in that will smolder, green or not, and harder to maintain a clean burn."
You can't blame poor efficiency on the stove, if people are using it improperly. That would be like saying X brand cars claim 30 mpg, but only get 14 mpg, but it's really because the drivers are riding the brake pedal.
Oh, I agree!
So maybe, bringing this thread back to the question of “what is keeping people from getting excited about the concept and sharing it with others to make it go viral”:
1) some of the info out there seems to good to be true, and at least some people have found it to be so - an rmh uses half the wood of a properly used super efficient wood stove, not one 10th, at least in some houses.
2) The downsides to implementation are - may need to remodel your house to take the weight, you need much thinner pieces of wood to fit in the jtube (more time splitting), and you need to spend several hours constantly feeding it during the burn.
3) There are regulatory barriers, and the fact that there isn’t an obvious path through those makes it seem like a risky and experimental technology- not what you would encourage your neighbor with an old furnace to install.
In sum, if people don’t feel comfortable sharing it because they aren’t sure its real, it will not go viral.
Unfortunately, it will most likely take time. More heaters are getting installed each day, which means more people will see them. Eventually, there will be enough around that pros will feel comfortable building and even recommending them. But I don’t know how to speed that up.
Julie Reed wrote: I realize that some of the heat from a woodstove goes up the pipe. However, my understanding is- that is factored into the efficiency rating. Thus the 50-70% is actual realized heat from the wood burned
Huh - that was not my understanding, but I may be totally off base. Do you have a source with a good description of how they do the tests for stove efficiency?
Your friend’s experience is compelling- it may be that the 1/10 number does come from people not using their stoves properly - it is easier to toss big logs in that will smolder, green or not, and harder to maintain a clean burn.
Lina said, "It is the mass - the large bench, and all the cob surrounding it the barrel- that is so heavy.
Do all RMH use cob?
Well, there is the pebble style, which uses pebbles instead. There are masonary heaters which use rock and brick. Probably some rmh which do so too.
The point is that you need a material dense enough to pull 90% of the heat out of the fire and release it over several days. In order to do that, it has to be heavy. Anything light will insulate the pipes, making them carry heat out of your house instead of storing it.
You can have a rocket heater, without the mass. I use one in a tiny house I built on my parents land. It heats up fast with twigs and scraps and has a nice clean burn. But it gets cold as soon as it goes out, meaning you run it constantly whenever you want heat. It gets frosty in there at night… noy what you want when trying to heat a whole house, and not much better than a modern wood stove.
Julie Reed wrote:
Most woodstoves are at least 50% efficient, so logically the most you could possibly improve on that would be to 100%, or half the wood, not 1/10th. My backyard is many acres, so I suppose I could maybe heat with all my twigs, but overall that's unrealistic for the average homeowner. Heating a house needs a certain number of BTUs regardless of where they come from. In cold areas, the minimum is probably going to be a full cord of wood, depending on many other factors like size of dwelling and weatherization. I recently spoke with a couple who just added an RMH to their fairly new (thus energy efficient) 1200 sf home in 2020, when they had free time due to covid shutdowns. The style is ranch, with a rectangular layout of 30x40. Their RMH is centrally located, and yet even with fans they cannot get adequate heat to the rooms on the ends during '20-30 below' nights (which there are many of, for anyone in northern states...
First off, thanks for sharing your friends experiences! The more solid examples we have the easier it is to get a sense of how they work.
I want to try to take a crack at the 1/10th the wood thing, because I have never heard a clear explanation of it, and it was mindblowing when I thought about it.
A regular stove is 50-80% efficient. You will hear disputes on whether the certification figures reflect the real world usage. They probably don’t, but this is small potatoes. The real question is, what is that number referring to?
The answer is that it is measuring the percentage of energy in the wood that is converted into heat. This is NOT the same as the heat that is dumped into your home, because plenty is carried out with the flue gasses. How much is a number I have trouble finding, but I think that upon exiting the building, flue gasses from a standard stove are something like 300-900 degrees, while the fire should be 500-1100 degrees to avoid warping the iron. So you are losing quite a lot if heat out the chimney: I am not sure how to calculate the percentage of total heat produced without knowing what the airflow is. In comparison, a masonary stove or an rmh are supposed to reach more like 2000 degrees in the firebox, and the flue gas should be less than 200. So 90% of the heat liberated from the wood stays in the mass, to be radiated into your home.
So, 1/10th the wood may not be as far off as it seems at first.
Dc Stewart wrote:Re: comparison of RMH weight to the weight of a loaded freezer
Can you tell me what is inside a metal barrel that weighs so much?
It is not the metal barrel that is heavy.
It is the mass - the large bench, and all the cob surrounding it the barrel- that is so heavy. Those benches in all the pictures are either cob packed around a looping exhaust pipe, or a box filled with rocks. All of that heavy stuff is what holds the heat.
I don’t know what makes something go viral. I just know what I feel comfortable sharing with my friends. And I am not going to tell them that they can build a heater for 100 bucks when the reality is very different.
Lina Joana wrote:Weight. I believe the fisher price house needed extra support put in. Most standard houses do not have a floor that can take the mass without reinforcement.
I feel that is just an excuse to justify that someone is too lazy to build one or just too tight to spend the money.
The only excuse that I might accept is that their insurance company will not approve and wants to exclude coverage.
If the floor of a manufactured home can have extra support added so can a standard home. Look at the heavy freezers full of food that can be justified. I bet those weigh more than an RMH
Regarding the weight, I believe someone else answered that, but - my understanding is that yes, the mass of an rmh is a LOT heavier than a full chest freezer, unless you are storing cob or rocks in said freezer. I am sure someone on this thread could tell you the pounds per square foot number you need your floor to withstand.
Regarding the ability to make renovations- sure, on most houses it is possible. In some, it might involve getting giant beams into a crawl space or basement. In others, it might involve ripping out drywall ceilings, possibly walls if the stringers were at their weight limits. It is probably easier to do it on manufactured house, since their supports are usually accessible from the outside.
The bulk of the population would want to hire a structural engineer to make those calculations for their house, after finding a reliable number for the pounds per square inch load of a rocket mass heater at its heaviest (i.e with wet cob). Once they knew what had to be done, they would probably hire a contractor to make the modifications. In my neck of the woods, all of that would probably cost around $6000-10,000. Before even beginning the build.
I suppose you can call an unwillingness to embark on that journey as being too lazy to build one and too tight to spend the money. I certainly was, much as I wanted one. And, I am reluctant to talk it up to my friends and acquaintances as a real option, because I know that if they live in a standard house, installing one will probably not be “cheap” - not in the hundreds of dollar range that the build itself would cost, anyhow.
paul wheaton wrote:Maybe we need a massive rmh misinformation/excuse FAQ - so that all the little bits that block people from learning about rmh can be resolved.
Sure, you can try. But I still think it comes down to credibility. Personally, I find you credible, even though we’ve never met, and I am not aware that you have formal training in engineering or other fields that teach you how yo design a stove. I believe that you have experimented and built enough that your info is good.
But if I want to share it, how do I communicate that? “There is this guy on the internet that says…” will my friends agree? Or will I lose credibility with them for promoting this crazy guy on the net who claims you can heat your whole house with junk mail?
I truly think this is a barrier to having things go viral. At this point, everyone knows you can’t trust everything you read on the internet. How is the rocket mass heater stuff credible to people who have only ever seen them online? And let me say - in general, I consider open forums less credible than an official looking informational page. Permies is an exception for me, but not my non permie friends. So threads will likely not be used as credible info.
I suggest that using the markers most people consider credible, such as engineer stamps, code guides, and warranties by professional installers, would be one way of making it seem like a serious, doable technology. There may be others. I have thought in the past that a “rocket mass heater builders association”, similar to the masonary stove association, might make them seem more “official”. Another possibility: get a description and build at a suburban home published in a credible periodical. I know Mother Earth News, Taproot, Grit - all of them will pay for well written and photographed articles. Mother earth, in an open search, has a single article about them, an FAQ. Grit has one article, Countryside has none. I don’t know what the readership of these are, but I think people assume that articles that appear there are vetted a bit more than an open forum or random web page.
Just my two sense. And speaking as someone who has yet to see a rocket mass heater heat a home in person.
How are nuclear reactors talked about? As a source of cheap electricity that will be built by a team with lots of credentials, who will make certain it is 100%, cross our hearts will-never-poison-you safe. No trouble for the citizens, just don’t be a nimby and enjoy the cheap electrons. Articles about them are very professional and academic, giving the average Joe reassurance that these people can deliver on their guarantees. (Note: this is NOT a statement on how trustworthy these assurances are, just a comment on how it is marketed as a serious option).
How are Rocket Mass heaters marketed? With fun hand drawn graphics, by a bunch of diyers who clearly state they have no credentials in the field of civil engineering or fire safety, and make no legal guarantees that what you build with their plans will be safe. No engineer stamped plans, no warranties, just the information - and lots of videos of both working rmhs and catastrophic failures by random youtubers. (Again, NOT an opinion on the safety of rmh or on the expertise of those presenting it. Just a statement on how the information looks).
The average Joe is not going to feel equipped to read the information and decide for himself whether it will burn his house down or make his floor collapse, or whether it is as safe as advertised. He is not going to trust that what he reads and sees in videos is the whole story. And so, he is probably not going to share it with his friends - because he isn’t sure if its real.
Others have also said that the focus should be creating a path for professional builders and contractors to pull permits, run the numbers on engineer stamped plans, and feel comfortable putting their names and reputations behind installing a rocket mass heater in the average home. Will the result be better than what an intelligent diyer who follows the instructions already out there can do? Probably not. But most people aren’t intelligent diyers who can follow all the directions. They need a “professional “, licensed bonded an insured person working on their home to feel comfortable with it.
Without that, I don’t see a magic bullet to deliver the info to more people. It would require a sea change in pur attitudes - to a willingness to spend a lot of time educating ourselves and trusting our own judgement and abilities - and the willingness of building inspectors and insurers to believe in us too.
Ok thanks - I hadn’t remembered using “trust the government” in my post, and certainly hadn’t meant to convey that. Good to know for the future.
Thanks for the pie. It will be nice to be able to respond to a topic there if it comes up.
Today I replied to a thread about preparing for global crop failures. It was not a stand alone post, and while it mentioned government, there was nothing inherently political in it. I got a notification that it was blocked and I would have to pay to start a new thread in the cider press.
I have edited the post, but have no idea if it will be allowed through, because it wasn’t clear to me what was wrong in the first place. Is there some kind of automatic trigger if the word “government” is mentioned? I assumed that my opinion that “having food stores is something a government should do” was the problem, and took it out.
I am not opposed to there being limits on what can be said, and I realize that “my house, my rules” applies. But I would like some clarification on what the rules actually are, because I haven’t been able to figure out how I have run afoul of them both today and in the past - I have seen other posts with the same key words left up, and haven’t been able to find a pattern.
I realize I could bypass this by paying, but I don’t think my thoughts are so fabulous that I need to pay to share them
Makes me think of “The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind”, which includes a description of living through a year of famine in Malawi.
It is worth noting that according to this account, while drought caused the crop failure, people assumed the famine would be averted by the government grain stores - which had been sold off. A few year later, there was another crop destroying drought - but that time the government did have stores, and released them. So a famine didn’t really happen.
I don’t know how various countries stack up in having enough staples to feed their citizens for a year or 2. It certainly never hurts to have your own stores if you have space, but that won’t be possible for everyone.
I wonder about the idea of “prepper co-op” for people in cities? Where you buy in to a warehouse space where grain and beans are stored? Might be an alternative if you don’t trust the government to have the reserves in troubled times.
Marco Banks wrote:
But my concern is with folks who think that a mortgage is somehow evil debt. That (in my tremendously humble opinion) is so short sighted. Why SHORT sighted? Because when you are renting, you are not only paying with money, but also with years. Every year you rent, you will never get back. You only get 75 or 80 years, and every year you waste, you miss the opportunity to build wealth.
Our mortgage principle drops by about $1800 a month. That's money into my pocket. While you speak of putting $5 bills in a jar, I know that our equity is appreciating about $60 a day just from that payment. If the greater housing market goes up by even 1% a year, my home appreciates by $10,000 or more. So with just a 1% market increase, that's another $28 bucks a day into my pocket. Last year, homes in Los Angeles county appreciated by about 7%. You do the math --- that's about $190 a day, without lifting a finger. That appreciation would happen if I owed 100% on the home, or only owe 22% (which is where we are at now).
So, putting $5 or $10 a day into a jar is good. I'm not pissing on that at all. But silently putting $250 a day into my long-term capital wealth is a whole lot better. Paying for your kids' college tuition with a credit card and getting a half-dozen free trips out of it over the years? That's pretty cool as well. (Few colleges let you do that anymore, but our kids' schools did.)
If I were renting, my out of pocket monthly expense would be at least 50% higher for the home we live in, and none of that equity would be mine -- not a single penny. Assuming debt to purchase land isn't risk free, but for the vast majority of people who pay a reasonable price and have a clear strategy how they'll pay it off over the next 30 years, it's an almost fool-proof means of accumulating wealth.
If you've never read Rich Dad/Poor Dad, you may wish to pick up a copy. You'll find used copies at Goodwill for a buck or two. Pay cash for it, if you so desire, or better yet, check it out from the library.
I had to laugh at this. I am mostly through “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, and he spent a good deal of time explaining why living in a house with a mortgage is a liability, not an asset.
However- aside from the stock market and flipping foreclosed homes, much of his wealth seems to be in real estate. A lot of those buildings he rents out, and he is clear that borrowing money is not a bad thing for him. So he, along with many other landlords, can pay off mortgages, hire property managers, and STILL make money off of renters. So, I am not convinced that renting is better than buying… which to be fair, the author never exactly said it was.
To me, the main issue is how big your mortgage is, relative to your income and savings. Our mortgage is small enough that we overpay every month, add to our savings, are slowly but surely improving the house and permaculturing the land, and have 3-5 months of living expenses in the bank. We did not buy in a bubble.
All this means that, if one of us lost our job, we could go on living more or less as we do, just adding less yo savings. If we both lose our jobs, we would have a few months to either get new ones, or to sell the house and find a cheaper alternative. Barring a truly devastating housing crash, we would walk away with at least a little money in pocket, after the mortgage was paid off.
Will we ever make money from this house by selling it? Probably not, given all the interest - prices would have to go up a LOT, or we would have to sell soon, which aren’t planning on. But, we won’t lose money, and we are having a blast permacuturing, watching chicken tv, and all the rest of it. Waiting 10 years to buy our property with cash would not have left us better off. Neither would waiting to make improvements and shorting our retirement funds and savings to pay down the mortgage faster than we are.
Emotionally, I still don’t like being in debt, even though we are in good shape financially. But logically, I know we are better off with the path we are taking.
I think I could justly use it on the guy who swindled me on Craigslist. Am I an asshole for thinking that he is one? A gullible chump, certainly. But not automatically an asshole.
If, on the other hand, I used it on someone who politely expressed a different political view than mine… perhaps I would not be so credible.
As with almost any other insult - jerk, idiot, sleazebag - anyone can say the word about anyone. So, you have to know the person saying it, and calibrate to that. If the person saying it is known to you as a nice, tolerant person, you would think something pretty bad happened to justify the insult coming out of their mouth. If you know them as someone who regularly uses the term for people you know are perfectly ok, it probably says more about them than the person so called.
I know that MeWe - the social networking Facebook alternative- does not have the bans on selling livestock that Facebook does. The American Nigora goat breeders association, has a page there for folks to list their goats for sale. HOWEVER, I don’t know if the membership is large enough to actually sell many. Might depend on your area.
Gina Capri wrote:So, also not at all Ball Blue Book approved, but I reuse the metal lids as is, without anything extra. You just have to roll them on your countertop to make sure there aren’t any divots around the edges, and they work more than 95% of the time on the reuse. Of course you check all your jars for seals after canning, and if one comes off, store it in the fridge and use first. But it does work - my mom even does this now.
My mom did this for years too! But the. Some wore out and she had to get some new ones - and those, for whatever reason, had a high failure rate on reuse. Don’t know if it was the batch, or if all new ones have issues.
So this isn’t officially approved, try at your own risk….
Last year, my mother tried the reusable tattler lids. She had a high failure rates, as mentioned here.
So she took used metal lids, the single use kind, and reused them with the rubber gaskets that came with the reusable plastic lids. Very few failures.
I tried it this year with the same result. My theory is that the thickness of the plastic lids makes it hard to screw the bands on loosely enough without the shaking loose in the canner.
Also just discovered, while looking at elderberry jam recipes, that the us and canada are the only places where water-bath canning of jams is insisted on. Blew my mind…
That is awesome!
There are hand operated balers you can make. However, when making leaf hay, you typically aren’t using fallen leaves: you cut branches and let the green leaves dry. unless you had a way of stripping them, I think the baler would have issues with the branches.
I will say though, that the goats will eat almost nothing from the ground - except fallen leaves. They love those. So maybe there is more nutrients in the leaf fall than I realize.
Update: I got a moosage from someone in the area and as a result went through the list of bbs to see what would be possible on our land at this point. Again, this is near Annapolis, MD, USA.
I am not a big fan of excavators, so there isn’t much earthworks on here. If I want to garden on a steep slope, I will move to West Virginia, so no 7 foot hugels. I have also left of things like textiles, which can easily be done in any home.
I’ve included up to straw badge in each category: if you want to do something in the same vein from higher on the list, moosage me, and we can likely make it happen.
There are also and endless supply if tasks that would fit in the oddball homesteading category, like installing gutters and setting up rain barrels and planting and…and…
chop and drop
ruth stout composting
encourage wild plants
create adobe bricks
make white wash and use it on a 4X8 area
create rock foundation
find and assess clay subsoil
build a tiny shed on skids
hang a door with handmade wooden hinges
build a gate from found or harvested materials
create adobe bench
cut tree with a bow saw - we have to discuss safety
limb 4 trees - with safety discussion
peel 2 live logs
split and stack dead standing wood as firewood
prep 10 junkpoles
cleave 6 shakes with a froe - don't have a froe, but am willing to buy one.
build 12 feet of junkpole fence
stack 1 cord of firewood
twig construction tomato cage and pole bean
Plant living fence
inoculate mushroom logs
cleave 40 shakes
Any of the sand badge
any of the straw badge
Pole lathe would be awesome
Any of the sand badge except bicycle maintenance
Any in the straw badge except tractor care, and I can probably hook you up with someone who needs that.
seal a tiny pond
any in the sand badge
any in the straw badge except the deck
Spread ash on a garden
build a Dakota stove
Build a j-tube rocket mass heater - not ready yet, but planning on it at some point
Food prep - most any, but you don't have to come here for that.
not all, but enough to get the badges
Forage - tea or dish, probably hard to get the volumes from our property
make a basket
the rest don't have to be done here.
Natural medicine - any: I have a lot of herbal knowledge and can help you.
check septic tank status
remove unwanted fence
Salvage building materials from a small building (possibly, with safety discussion)
scythe - possibly, my scythe is made for a 5'11'' persion
set up a hidden boneyard
This may not be possible, and may belong on the “tinkering “ forum, but -
As I am trying to go through all the badges, and see what the requirements are for each, the order of the threads is making it time consuming.
In the pep forum, there are a number of non- badge threads mixed in, so that I cannot simply see the list of badges unless I go back to the forums page, and scroll down to the pep link. With that workaround, it isn’t so bad.
The one I haven’t found a workaround for is within the forum for each badge. Because the forum sorts according to date of the last post, the thread that summarizes the requirements is often buried under a stack of individual BB threads.
It might help people navigate more quickly if the “PEP Badge:xxx” thread was locked to the top of that badge’s forum, so that a newbie can see what it is all about.
Just thought I would share a video of the second generation. I planted a few seeds this year, but also used bedding from the chicken run in making a new raised bed. Since I had tossed a lot of squash guts to the chickens, I ended up with volunteers. After this harvest, I would be happy mail them forward.
Ok, fair enough! No skin off my nose.
Mike, I did see the 100,000 calories badge. It just seemed like a leap without some kind of previous growing bb. Unless I am misunderstanding the hugel bb, all that is required is that you sow the seeds, and stick some tubers/ roots in the ground. No requirement that they sprout, or that you identify what grows.
Opalyn, I hadn’t seen the PEA, but since I am developing 5 acres, it isn’t really relevant to PEPers who would want to earn their badges on my land. My comment was less about regional differences and more that the gardening sand badge seems to build so few skills compared to the other subject sand badges. But like I said, it’s not a big deal to me, just thought I would check.
Just wondering: are there any plans to update this badge with more bits, so that there are more routes to a sand badge, with more gardening skills developed?
looking at the other badges, it seems like the sand badge gets you the basic skills you need to advance to the next badge. As in, once you have completed a woodworking badge, you know how to hold a knife, and do the basic skills to do the bigger projects.
With this one, completing the sand badge does not give you what I would call gardening skills. The three BBs are cool, but none of them teach you how and when to plant, how and when to nurture, how and when to harvest.
I feel like to be in line with the rest of the program, the sand badge might benefit from developing some of these foundational skills. Something along the lines of planting and harvesting specific crops, so that at the end, you would know what a pea plant looks like, and would have gotten something to actually grow.
Just thinking about it because I had put my name on the list of people who could have some pep badges done on their land, and was contacted by someone interested in doing some pep work. I was going over which BBs made sense in my context, and was surprised by how few BBs there actually were in this one. It felt out of step with the spirit of the other sand badges.