denise ra wrote:I went to the specs and I am in Zone B on Panasonic's map for the WhisperSonic ERV. Zone B: Unit can perform optimally March through November. I called Panasonic and they say it will run on Defrost Mode in winter. This exhausts moisture out but does not bring in fresh air.
Thanks for this info. We're building a "small home" not tiny but at 24' x 24' with a loft, it's small enough that most appliances are way overkill. Only comment about this is that March through November I can open a window. In the northeast, once we burn wood for heat, moisture isn't a problem anymore but some additional fresh air would be welcome.
We permitted the building as a residence which means in our State we have to have it pass the "blower door test". So we were planning on putting as few holes as possible through the walls and roof until we passed all our inspections. Then we'd add a vent for the kitchen stove and one for the bathroom. We're also putting in a "cool cupboard" in the kitchen. We have the big culvert pipe into the slab done which will eventually connect and open into a root cellar for the cool air intake, but have the end buried for now and won't vent that out until later too.
Nichole Rock wrote:
How did you attach them to the bottom/each other? My first thought is soldering.
Nope, I just place them on the bottom. I found that a combo of wide mouth rings and a couple of regular size rings allow the entire bottom of the pot to be covered snugly but not so tight as to push them up anywhere. I place the jars to be canned in such a way as to not have them stay nice and upright and not fall over sideways a bit into the center of the rings.
The tip on putting them together with some wire is brilliant! May try that. Just picked another 10 gallons of tomatoes yesterday so I'll be at this a while and want to make this as easy as possible.
Phil Swindler wrote:I use the machine my mom got in 1949 as a high school graduation present.
I used to sew a lot. I'm almost 6' tall and when I was younger there was literally no place for me to buy clothing that fit. I learned on my mother's Singer machine that was about from the same time-frame as your mom's machine. Had that machine forever but eventually it got to the point of being unrepairable. Sad when it went, but surprisingly the modest price replacement I got about 15 years ago works fine. Big 'however' is I no longer sew nearly as much as I used to. And almost never make coats, jeans, and other really heavy hard to sew fabrics like I used to on the old Singer.
Joshua LeDuc wrote:Purchase or fashion a grate that you can put at the bottom of the pot that will keep a little separation between the jars and the bottom of the pot.
I got a wonderful huge aluminum pot that looks commercial grade on Freecycle that I use for water-bath canning. I wouldn't use aluminum for cooking but for processing the jars, it's no worries. I bought a lid for it at a restaurant supply store but to rig up a grate for the bottom, I use some extra rings from the mason jars on the pot's bottom. Works great (pun intended) and provides good use for some of the rustier, nastier old rings while keeping the jars off the bottom.
Carla Burke wrote:I'll not say what he said about people who didn't bother to even check on how much the recommended amount was, because it falls into the 'very not nice' category.
Thanks for the clarification. I've always said that although I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, my superpower is that I read and follow directions. So I've never understood the aversion to doing so.
Carla Burke wrote:A washing machine repairman once told me to only use 1/3 - 1/2 the amount of laundry soap recommended, too. He said more than that is not only unnecessary, but speeds deterioration of the washer and your clothes, by about the same difference.
That's because most people never bother checking to see what the recommended amount of detergent is in the first place. Whatever "measuring cap" comes with it gets filled, and often then some, for each wash.
Usually that's triple the recommended amount. When I was in college back in the 80's, my lab instructor for organic chemistry was a former chemist for Proctor and Gamble. Nice guy and we were often chit-chatting. This was one of his pet peeves. He assured us that using extra detergent not only didn't get clothes cleaner but made them dirtier from residue. His professional advice was that it's better to use less detergent and more time. Time spent soaking is the far more efficient way to get clothes clean. According to him, they actually worked out optimal amounts to use but "made their money on the people who thought that more equalled cleaner."
Owen Wormser wrote:An area the size of Washington State is mowed turf in the US and the adverse impact of all that lawn is enormous.
I'm most amazed when owners of a larger suburban property will have what looks like 2 acres of lawn. My thought has always been "if I'm spending that much time and money on land, it better feed me or at least provide some beautiful flowers for my house!"
Douglas Campbell wrote:
Also concerned about water table issues.
We're in the wet northeast and have water table issues too. If we build this we'll be building at ground level and using fill to cover. Fortunately we're planning to build several ponds. So there's our source of dirt to cover. If my understanding is correct, none of Paul's earth-sheltered buildings are "underground" in the sense of below grade level. I believe they're all built into the slope using dirt from the excavation to cover. So none of this should become a giant swimming pool.
So I had my non-permie husband watch the video and critique it. I thought it would be better to get input from someone who wasn't already "in the loop". My thought is that you'll need to walk the line between appealing to the choir, and converting non-believers.
His comments are that he's not really sure of the problem you're trying to solve. Is it greywater? What's the problem with greywater in Montana? Then you go on to talk about the greenhouse but don't explain how the greenhouse is going to fix the greywater problem. He thinks you need to tie it all together at the end.
I showed him the point in the video where you go into that (0.34) but it was still meaningless to him because you didn't explain how greywater systems work so the bulletpoints weren't helpful.
Jennifer Richardson wrote:Paul and I spent a long time yesterday working on the rewards list to try to make it really awesome. Here is what we've come up with so far:
What do you think?
Sounds very generous and I think the rewards will tempt a lot of people. I had figured I'd be able to do $100 level, but the extra $50 would get me the rocket stuff so I'll probably do that. See .... it's working already!
Jennifer Richardson wrote:
Devious experiments for a truly passive greenhouse! (Movie)
Above is my favorite. I also like the suggestion to add the Montana location - WAY more impressive then something in the Carolinas.
BTW, we're planning to build a root cellar this year or early next year and will probably use the 2 umbrella idea you use in the WOFATI. Due to a seasonal ground level water table, we have to build up and berm, not dig into the ground. Got lots of local examples but none use the second umbrella as far as I know. Foresee a future passive greenhouse build that can use greywater when the ground is frozen in winter, and would definitely be interested in your experiment.
Mary Wildfire wrote:
Incidentally, what our grandparents did--what we all did when I was a kid and I'm only 64--was refill bottles.We had milk delivered to our porch weekly, by the milkman, at dawn, and returned the bottles. Coke came in glass bottles on which people paid a deposit...some littered it, but that's how I made my first money as a kid, collecting them from roadsides (along with aluminum cans for recycling). We need to get back to this model--selling things in plastic to be thrown out after a quick use is illegitimate.
I'm 63 and I remember the milkman delivering our milk, butter and eggs. Our local supermarket now sells milk in reusable half gallons. There's a $2 deposit on the bottles so a real incentive to return them when empty.
I started making cat food for our 2 young cats. Found batch cooking and freezing in pint mason jars best. The wide straight sided type has a fill line indication for freezing and I've found those don't break. Would way rather use something recycled but haven't come up with anything else in glass that consistently doesn't break with freezing. It came out to almost a dollar a jar but I consider it an investment. And my cost breakdown shows that I'm saving enough money on the food to make up the cost of jars. Not to mention I know what's going into the food. BTW, since it's cooked, I do supplement with Taurine.
So after all the rambling, does anyone have other suggestions for something recycled that would work? I'd use the jars I bought for actual canning.
I imagine all that yarn was no longer worth anything because it was on spindles that worked with the old machinery but couldn't be sold off to work in the newer machines. Pretty emblematic of the kind of thinking that turns a resource into a waste.
Great list! I'm planning on growing Black Cumin this year. I thought it was only Nigella seeds but now found it's also Bunium bulbocastanum. Thus the problem with common names. Anyone know which one is the medicinal one? Any tips about growing either?
I bought a "Nova" elderberry plant spring of 2018, planted it near the alleyway behind our urban house and it has been not so secretly plotting to take over said alleyway ever since. Clearly this was not the best choice of location although the plant seems very happy. This past year I harvested and dried a lot of berries and found it a great way to store them. They dry down to nothing and are stored in small glass jars.
I also started propagating them this fall with the plan of planting them on our rural land. So I've got a bunch of small shoots rooting in water on my windowsill. So far, so good.
Ryan Hobbs wrote:
2. Learn Japanese knife skills.
I use 2 knives in my kitchen: a boning knife and a nakiribocho. The nakiribocho is the perfect knife for all things vegetal. Learn to use it and you can make anything.
I can hardly believe it myself, but I've been cooking for 50 years. And I'm the friend who always held the dinner parties, love to try new things, considered a good home cook. Several years ago I took the macrobiotic cooking classes at the now closed Kushi Institute. Surprisingly, I'd done a pretty good job of self-teaching most of the recipes but my biggest take-away was new knife skills.
I learned how different knives should be held differently (I was doing it wrong for my favorite general purpose chef knife). And that different knives are designed to cut on different strokes, either a chop or a glide, some in one direction, etc. How to make shredded or matchstick cuts quickly. It was enlightening and I highly recommend learning this for even well experienced home cooks.
Oh and definitely learn how to properly sharpen and steel your knives.
Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:I do live in a rented apartment. but this is a ground-floor apartment. So it's an apartment with front and back yard. I can garden here (and I am a volunteer in the community garden in the park too).
What a lovely garden! Unfortunately, Americans are not nearly as garden friendly as the culture in Europe. My German relatives always commented when they visited here how strange it is that Americans have big yards with no fruit trees, strawberries, no flowers for cutting or even a few herbs.
Skandi Rogers wrote:
I think that foraging is one of the easiest to do if you live in an apartment. I've spent most of my life in cities (British) and often without a car, there's always somewhere you can forage and it's not that hard to get out of a city and find things either.
I lived in New York City or a close suburb my entire life. Lived in small apartments much of that time. There's TONS of free food to forage. Where I lived in Brooklyn, there are huge mature mulberry trees in the park along the Belt Parkway. I would see the local Arab women picking them so I asked them about it. Long before I knew anything about permaculture (probably 1980) I was hip to mulberries. If there's an immigrant community near you, they probably know what's around and what to do with it.
There's lots of other goodies too. "Wildman" Steve Brill wrote books about urban foraging and still leads tours, having done so for almost 50 years.
Greg Martin wrote:...the arcade they show in their picture is similar to the north wall of my dream greenhouse/walled garden. :) (A big thermal mass/radiator...not sure I can build it, but heck, it's a dream!)
It doesn't hurt that they have extremely wealthy patrons, professional gardeners, and volunteers!
I see you are in Texas... He is in Maine!
He cannot grow things ginger, turmeric, gotu kola!
You can and I can and I have them...
Actually, we can! They can be grown as annuals. I've grown Gotu Kola in my square-foot garden beds. Foolishly also tried lemongrass which took over so badly I was relieved for the winter kill. I've bought organic fresh ginger and turmeric roots that were huge, cheap, and plentiful from a local CSA. So if you can give them a passive greenhouse you'll get even more production.
If you're near New York City, or visiting sometime, check out the Cloisters. The website doesn't have much about their gardens, but they are really lovely and done in the style of a Medieval apothecary garden.
Jay Angler wrote:... since the local Dept. of Making us Sad doesn't approve of your excellent options. Hmmm... maybe I'll win a copy of your book and convince the mayor to read it!
Jay - at the end of Joe's book he offers to send a free copy to any Dept. of Making us Sad, at your request, just to provide them with the data! Fortunately, the young woman who just became the Construction Officer in our town built her own tiny house which is parked on her family's farm, and she has a compost toilet! She has a commercial one so I might ask for her to receive a copy just so she doesn't freak out when she sees our low-tech "Jenkins". We've been using it in our camper exactly as outlined in the book with no problems. Now that we're building a cabin we see no reason to change even though we're almost done installing a coded septic system. We've got quite DIY friendly officials around here so we are installing the septic ourselves using engineering from the local N.Y. Dept. of Health. Total pain in the ass to do considering the use it will get, but we'll use it for graywater during winter when our ground is frozen solid.
Joe - thanks for the information you've been providing for decades! I read your book cover-to-cover and highly recommend it. So since I've got my own copy to lend out, I'll pass on being in the drawing to win another copy.
Tereza Okava wrote:And hello Allentown! My mother moved to Easton a few years ago and I spend a few weeks there visiting every year. I'm still exploring the area, but the hiking has been fabulous! In July I went to Jacobsburg a few times and then Ricketts Glen, a bit farther away. For years my family lived in the Water Gap on the NJ side and we never looked at the PA game reserves, just did our hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Now I'm having a great time exploring these parks that are "new" to me.
Lots of good hiking around here. If you visit in fall during the migration time, go to Hawk Mountain. We've also got lots of good farmers markets and if it's your jam, you can visit the Rodale Institute either when they have events or for a self guided tour. Not exactly permaculture, but certainly one of the shoulders we all stand on.
Jen Fulkerson wrote:I want to try to make a sourdough starter, I confess it's my aunts amazing sourdough cinnamon rolls I'm hungry for. But she always uses yeast from the store, and I would like to start it the more natural way shall we say. I was wondering if it will even work, because we have an old drafty house and its cold a lot of the time even in the kitchen. Our power bill is always so high, we tend to bundle up. Maybe if I set it on top of my refrigerator? I was wondering if it is worth trying now, or should I just wait till spring?
There seems to be many, many ways to go about this. One of the things I find confusing is the first week some say everyday remove 1/2 the starter and feed. Some say remove 3/4 of the starter, and feed, and still others just feed. It seems very wasteful to keep removing and throwing 1/2 or more of the starter out, but so many do I wounder if it is needed for some reason. No one actually tells why they do this one way or the other.
The cool thing about it is, it's flour and water, so if it's a complete fail, at least I'm not out much. I'm looking forward to some sourdough wisdom. Thanks.
I find the starter doesn't ferment nearly as quickly in the cold weather. In summer the starter can be fully fermenting in an hour or two. In cold weather it can take all day. Not sure how easily you'll get a new starter going unless you find a way to keep the temperature a little warmer. There's quite a difference between the time it takes to refresh an existing starter and the time it takes to get a new one going. I think the top of refrigerator may work, and like you said, it's only a little flour and water so not a big investment.
When I refresh a starter I use equal parts starter, water, and flour - 1/3 each by weight. If I remember correctly, I got my current starter going by removing about 1/2 each day and replacing it with just enough flour and water to end up with the same total amount I began with. I think the purpose of doing this is to always have fresh food for the wild yeast and beneficial bacteria. My guess is that you want to create conditions that favor those rather than molds and bacteria more associated with spoilage - but this is all my supposition. I have occasionally left starter unused in the fridge for a bit long and it began to get spoiled looking on top. In that case I've scraped off the bad looking part and used the fresher part to start a new batch. I then revive it for several days, each day replacing some with fresh water and flour, just to get things balanced again.
Even though it seems a bit wasteful at first, there's inevitably going to be times you have to ditch some starter even when you bake or cook with sourdough consistently.
So I thought I bought using the correct link but the only item in the stack I can't access now is the Rocket Mass Heater video. That is labelled "available Sept. 18th". Is everyone having that issue? I've successfully downloaded a bunch of the other stuff.
Also, just a head's up in case you didn't notice, but all the items in the stack "unless otherwise stated" must be redeemed by Sept. 17th. So don't just leave the goodies sitting there!
Dawna Janda wrote:I caught my sourdough starter about 11 years ago and I've kept it since then. If I remember correctly I used equal amounts of unbleached wheat all purpose flour and filtered water, and a smidgen of local raw honey.
This is exactly what I do except I didn't even bother with the honey. I used to use other less processed flours but find the unbleached all-purpose flour gives the best results. It makes for a much less sour, more yeasty sourdough. I use a different starter for rye bread to get more of the sour tang, but for regular breads, muffins, pizza dough, where you want a more neutral taste, this is much better IMHO.
Clicked the link to buy this. Had a great experience at the ATC and want to support Wheaton Labs so it can continue the good work. Before I click the "buy" button I want to make sure I don't need to enter a "coupon code" for you to get credit to the purchase. Looks like a good stuff!
We brew our kombucha in the basement and keep the sourdough in the kitchen. I've read it's best to keep different ferments separated but can't say from personal experience. I was having trouble getting a new starter going after my fridge died last summer and the old starter got moldy beyond reviving. Was using a good local whole wheat which I thought should work by having natural wild yeasts but didn't. Switched to a non-bleached and non-bromated store-bought white flour and within a week had a very active starter going.
Thanks for the very informative posts! Mother Nature is starting to build a pond on our property. The last 2 years have been unusually wet and a seasonal stream has shown up that still isn't dry. It's fed by a large tract of swampy forest above us. There's a depression along this stream that's forming a DII (do-it-itself) pond. When this dries out enough to work, we'd love to dig it out further and build a pond. Might start some digging out near but not connecting to the wet spot where we'd like the eventual pond to end up. But probably have enough other projects for now.
Didn't know about the "if you hit gravel STOP!" This advice may come in really handy.