Are you aware of https://www.lhba.com/ and their method of building log homes out of green logs "nailed" together with rebar spikes?
You can quickly build a structure 20x20 or 30x30 etc from your available timber. These homes sell for good money so you can make a living building them.
You would need to pay for their (now online) course but from all accounts it is worth the money many times over if you end up building this way.
I know you said you didn't want to make big design changes but I wanted to at least make you aware of the Log Home Builders Association https://www.lhba.com/ and their butt and pass method of building with whole trees/logs pinned together with 1/2 inch rebar spikes driven vertically into the logs.
They have a lot of experience with all aspects of this design and if you pay for their 2 day course (not sure if they are available now with Covid) you would have access to their collective online wisdom.
There are also several blogs online that go through whole builds. They recommend new builders build a small 20x20 or so structure first to learn the system before embarking on a 30x30 or 40x40 building.
I am not sure green building is their priority but they strike me as fairly green.
Sometime when you have a few minutes, can any of you describe "pleasant temperature" a little more fully? would an elderly person with poor circulation feel comfortable? Are you staying bundled up much of the time? are there certain pockets of time when you're cold until you've gotten the fire going? Thanks!
I can provide a data point/opinion here as I am "over 65" and have been experimenting with the thermostat setting in the house I moved into recently.
At 62F I feel cold normally dressed and need two fleece jackets to feel comfortable. At 68F I am comfortable with one jacket which is my normal winter wear.
I'm not sure how far below 62F I could go and still feel comfortable by adding more clothing layers (long johns etc.).
One scheme for thermal mass water that I have not seen discussed on Permies is the Skytherm roof designed and built in the 1970s.
Idea is to have a roofpond that is covered/uncovered as appropriate to gain/lose heat depending on season.
Supposedly this maintains the otherwise normal house in the 70s year round in a hot summer/cool winter location in Atascadero CA.
Practically this means having some kind of water container from bottles or gallon milk jugs to larger ones like commercial bladders for liquid foodstuffs in/on your roofspace.
The roof is glazed with a transparent cover such as polycarbonate corrugated panels.
To gain heat in the winter you uncover the water containers during the day and cover at night with insulation to block radiating heat away.
To lose heat during the summer you do the reverse, cover during the day to prevent thermal gain, and uncover at night to allow heat to radiate away.
Just came across this thread now that I am 2 days post-op and minus one gall bladder. I see this is posted under medicinal herbs, but I thought I would post my experience with surgery.
Same day laparoscopic/keyhole surgery went well at Kaiser HMO - 4 small incisions near breastbone, belly button, and two more on the right side of my belly.
I am overweight and live a sedentary lifestyle and while I generally try to eat mostly vegetables I had had several cases of "bad indigestion" over the years, but then a streak of several over a two-week span brought on I think by an ice cream binge on vacation.
Ultrasound showed sludge and maybe stones in the gall bladder and my doctor never really gave me an alternative to removal.
Pain meds are working well and I just feel a bit sore/sensitive here and there. Just cost a $50 copay which is a very pleasant way of getting care.
A previous 2011 lung surgery on a different PPO plan, admittedly a more complex job with 8 days in the hospital was a $200k two-inch thick file of paperwork and I paid for about 1/3 of an inch of it.
Since the ice cream binge I have been eating more carefully and that helps, but I will have to see how things turn out over the long haul.
So far so good.
All the one-container designs I've seen seem quite cramped although a 40x8 container is really a double or triple-length tiny house.
The best simple design I've seen is two 40 ft containers spaced about 6 or 8 ft apart (like your 30x40 concept I guess) and offset by about 8 feet lengthways - see the following pin:
This is really open and airy. Note the cutout section of steel from the side of one of the containers could be used for the slanting shed roof.
Another problem with containers is insulation - most people seem to end up building a studwall with insulation inside the container wall which really defeats the purpose.
One cheap option might be to bolt pallets to the outside of the container and then fill them either with insulation and cover with siding, or (my favorite) fill with soil and plant a vertical garden:
If you need more insulation put some sheet insulation between the pallet and the steel container wall.
The container roof can be insulated by putting a layer of straw bales on top and covering the whole with a pitched roof.
Another idea for hot summer - mild winter areas would be a roof pond or swimming pool (!) that would moderate the daily temperature swings.
Temptation is to use the pond to grow tilapia or catfish and filter the pond water through a grow bed on another part of the roof.
Not sure if the J-shaped corrugated iron/steel sections are available anywhere these days but you could build a very livable house out of several of these grouped around a central courtyard, either open to the air or enclosed as a solarium for solar gain.
The covering for the shelter could be dirt or hugelkultur - check out the first photo in the essay of the woman watering her plants!
Well I tried this myself with a pedestal fan, various bottlenecks/constrictions and a couple of different thermometers and I saw no change other than my face is now a bit redder with embarassment.
There's a good video experiment at
that shows there is no measurable cooling effect. The original video at the top of the thread that shows a shot of before and after thermometers is fishy because it shows a difference of 10 deg C which is much larger than the claimed ~5C/10F cooling.
Now if instead they filled the coke bottles with water and stacked enough of them inside their tin shack, they might get some moderation of daily temperature swings, but the daily range between min and max temp in Bangladesh is only about 10 deg C in summer.
"To test this, hold your hand up to your mouth then open your mouth wide and breathe out. The air is warm, right? Now do the same thing but with your mouth closed to typical a blowing position. The air leaving your body is cold, right?"
The underlying physics is the Venturi effect which has an amazing number of practical applications according to that wikipedia page.
I wonder if you could use two or three bottlenecks in series, i.e. a stack, to get an even bigger temperature reduction. It would need more wind pressure which you could arrange with a large scoop.
For years we have opened our garage door as a wind scoop to funnel air through a screen door between the garage and our kitchen/dining area. I am going to have to experiment with adding a bottleneck layer to the screen door.
Other ideas are to cut the opening in the bottom of the bottle as a rectangle on the bottle side so as to make the bottle scoop air from wind parallel to the window plane, and by twisting the bottles make it slightly tunable to wind direction.
I have also seen bottles filled with water used in roofs to provide solar lighting - in this case the bottle neck points upward and the bottle body is down below the roof emitting light.
You could make a lighting/cooling window by combining a rectangular array of intact bottles full of water with necks pointing out with an equal number of chopped bottlenecks pointing in placed so the necks align in the gaps between the full bottles.
You might not even need the outer chopped bottles as the normal ones already provide a constriction in the spaces between them.
At last something useful to do with all the empty two buck chuck bottles
If you haven't already seen it Bealtaine Cottage is a hugely inspiring example of what's possible starting with a marshy, boggy plot of land over a decade or so.
The west of Ireland is quite a bit milder climate, but that will just let you rest a bit more during the winter in between the growth spurts
I have tried growing runner beans from the UK in the mediterranean climate in San Jose, CA and they don't do well.
I have had better success with "Romano Pole Beans" a flat podded variety, the well known Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans,
and lately some "Spanish Musica Pole Beans".
Our family has a Thanksgiving morning tradition of pumpkin "cloudcakes" made with pumpkin, regular flour and yogurt.
We got the recipe originally from the Chicago Tribune - see the clipping on my blog http://1500cal.com/?p=478 It probably works well with just about any shredded/pureed fruit or vegetable that will cook soft in place of the pumpkin.
Now I will have an excuse to try it with leftover squash
They seem to have been going father and son for nearly 50 years and have quite a following. Their homes are unique in that they use whole green logs, stripped of bark stacked and pinned together with rebar hammered through holes drilled in the logs.
There are quite a few photos in the open section of their forum