I have started seeds and am now growing plants using W.M. T8 lights that are 6500K . I have 4 4ft fence post with 8 3"net pots in each tube. Its a top feed drip system on 50% eb and flood duty cycle. I will add a second level to it soon. I started the seed in rapid root plugs by soaking them overnight in NS. I put the in the net baskets surrounded by Hydroton. I let them sit in a covered tray of NS. For the chili person dont let the room temp go below 65F. I am using general hydroponics bio thrive. The seeds started coming up in just 4 days. Spinach, Kale, Swiss Chard, Basil , Oregano, I am now starting the next seeds right in my system. I will be selling theses systems soon.
Jason Machin wrote:right. sorry. I've been amazingly busy. working from 6am to 9pm most days. but now I've got summer holidays and I suspect I'll be quite bored. which podcast would you like done first?
my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
~it'll be done before may 4th (i need dead lines)
Thanks - that's really helpful. I'm definitely leaning toward optimizers as the way to go, as we will have multiple orientations and possibly a small amount of shading on a portion.
Are there any downsides to optimizers?
Sean Kelley wrote:As far as maintenance if you did ever have to replace an optimizer or micro it usually involves removing a few modules to access the problem child, which is not a big issue as long as you have that detailed in the contract that you sign will your installer.
Can you explain what it would look like to have that detailed in the contract?
For my work laptop, I got rid of my standard second monitor (power draw of about 32W) and switched to a AOC e1659Fwu 16" monitor. It draws power from my USB port and only adds about 6W of draw above the 12W that my laptop already drew.
For my home server, I switched away from my old mini desktop (~60W draw) to a Chromebox M004u which I've installed Linux on to. The draw from that is usually around 15W. I'm not sure on the power consumption from the DSL modem or the router, but I would guess that they are under 10W each. We have a Roku and the TV on a power strip so we can turn them off when not in use, but the combined standby draw of those is around 3W so I don't often bother unless I am going away for an extended time.
We have another laptop that gets used occasionally, but most of our internetting is done from phones or tablets now. More than a few times now I've had to replace cracked screens on these and that saves a lot versus having to buy new devices. My phone is now a 5 year old smart phone that is still ticking. It has been a long time since I really used it as a "smart" device, but for mobile data I can teather my wifi only tablet to it and use that for my on the go computing needs. Not having to upgrade my phone every year is a small part of keeping electronics out of the waste system
To power all this, we have a 3.6kW PV solar system.
We need to get some celebrities into permaculture. Average people listen to celebrities. It would actually sadly help.
I agree about the data Tom is talking about and I think so much of it comes down to money. The Permaculture community needs a serious amount of money to get these projects to be able to compete with bigAg. We need science-based Permaculture "experiments" represented in all regions. Then the results can be used to show, in the way the our country "proves" things (peer reviewed journals, etc.), that Permaculture can increase yields, etc. - all the things we know it can do. We need a serious Permaculture suggar daddy.
I think where the floor is like a series of roosts, raised off the ground so poop can freely fall through. With this setup you can add solid sides to prevent predators entry rather than count on the floor.
Kombucha brewing consists of using a culture of both yeast and bacteria. This process first takes the sugar in the brew and converts it to alcohol with yeast (the same why beer is made), and then the bacteria takes that alcohol and converts it to a vinegar. The process isn't perfect and, depending on your culture, you are left with small amounts of both sugar and alcohol afterwards. In my experience, the minute amounts of alcohol is completely overpowered by the vinegar taste and probably the left over unfermented sugars. But it is the exact same type of alcohol, which is to say ethanol.
I have been trying to find out, how food grade DE is made. So far I know DE is mined, but haven't been able to find if it is mined food grade already or if it need a purification process of some form, and if so, what process is it?
If anyone here have any idea please comment.
Thank you very much in advance!
You are correct that DE is dug out of the ground. Food grade is just crushed rock from the ground. There are 2 other kinds of DE that are heated and then used for filtering stuff. Those 2 are not the food grade type.
Just like anything dug out of the ground, different mines have slight, different variations of content. Some veins are more "pure" DE. This DE should have a pure white color and it is super light in weight (perma-guard brand in the usa). Other DE's have a slightly darker color. The DE we sell is mined in a location that contains calcium bentonite and is darker.
Depending on what you are looking for, I welcome the micro-nutrients and the trace minerals as long as the DE is food grade. I think it is good to try all the different types of food grade DE.
I have to agree with Tom's assessment on the types of vegetables. Eucalyptus would need to already be decomposing before it would be a good candidate for a growing mound. As far as will it work, yes it will work.
If you were to excavate some of the terraces the Inca built, you might find evidence of wood or some other vegetative material having been placed at the bottom, then covered with soil to set the level of the terrace.
I know that studies have shown that less water was needed to grow crops on the terraces than crops grown on level ground.
It would be interesting to know if they used what is now called Hugelkultur.
I do know that my ancestors, and Nations towards the east coast, used growing mounds extensively in some places. We have used this method since before the white eyes came to turtle island.
There are some differences in what is now termed Hugelkultur and the methods of building them that are used by us, but they are minor differences and mostly how the mounds are built up. We lay layers as opposed to Hugelkultur's stack wood and cover.
I have noticed no difference in the way these work for water storage and release to root systems.
Got your "Wild Edibles" book for Christmas and just finished reading it. Nicely done. Looking forward to taking it into my woods and tasting some new foods ! I want to try some of those recipes in the book too!
Sprouting makes more nutrients AVAILABLE in a digestible form. Once they are green, they are adding total dry mass as well. Sprouting is a great way to stretch grain and improve nutrition for animals or people. All it takes is water and time.
Keep in mind that old farm house kitchens ran differently. You didn't buy cleaned detopped veggies from the store, you brought them up from the root cellar or clamp with all the dirt and most the tops still on. You had probably half the potatoes go bad, plus peels almost every day. You had apples go bad or need a lot more trimming. They had a lot more to feed the chickens. My grandma probably had at least a gallon of scraps per person she was feeding per day.
Grandpa's idea of feeding sprouts was to cut a strip of sod from somewhere that needed dirt removed and feed it to the chicks locked in the brooder. They tore it up, not a root or worm left.
The clover smoothie definitely tastes green, but not really bitter. You will probably want to start with less clover and just use a bit and then also another green, like spinach or celery, which are milder. I am used to very green smoothie drinks now. Also, you can choose to add some stevia and vanilla which helps. Beth
Hey thats in my neck of the woods! In fact I worked in Dover up until earlier this year. That woodworking place is about all its got left as far as attraction goes. Still some good salt of the earth folks down there though. What an amazing feat of knowledge and skill.
Your outdoor wood boiler is probably your best option at this point. Rocket stoves were not intended to do this type of work, but there are people who have proposed ideas and are working on better solutions, but I have not seen anything ready for prime time yet. If you've got the time to experiment, then I'd say go for it because we need more people working on this. If you really want to use woodchips, you might consider starting with the freely available FEMA Wood Gasifier Plans and seeing how you can use the resulting gas to heat water in a mostly off the shelf water heater. It would take some effort to design an automated feed and starting mechanism for the gasifier, but many of the commercial gasifier systems have this, but I don't think there are any open sourced versions out there.
Roan Poulter wrote:Would you reccomend Gray's Harbor county?
Closer to Olympia = less rain. Closer to Quinault or the coast = more rain. Anywhere in the county = quite a bit of rain. I've lived in Grayland and Elma, and the well water sucked at both locations. I'm not up on the zoning, but I don't think there's a county wide five acre minimum.
I like the "concept" I see in the elevation cross section view shared in your previous post. It has some structural and building challenges that indication that this has not been built yet and is only in a "conceptional phase." I love many of these idea, as I have shared, yet 90% conservatively are just that: "conceptional" and have not be scrutinized by PE and/or Professional Builders to vet the possible short and long term issues.
I would, as a word of encouragement, state that I think you can use the RH the way you plan...whether it is cost effective or the best choice, I can not tell unless a side by side vetting is conducted to determine if this is the most viable for your location or the most cost effective in the long term.
As for the R factor, I find many of these web sites are very "liberal" when conducting cross lateral comparatives in their statistics..R3 may be possible...yet like Brian I would have to see the testing moralities used. I suspect that it is more like 1.8 to 2.5 tops in a real world average.
I do believe a hybrid of timber framing, mass wall, and rice haul would create a wonderful home in your region.
I am working on a tiny house for extended stays on the property.
Ann, I am southern Colorado Zone 5a , I love the idea of getting some tree's going.
If anyone has suggestions on some good species for this zone......
The humanure compost is another great idea that had not occurred to me.
The hunting idea is very clever, and I know we can hunt on our piece, I am just concerned with how my neighbors would perceive such activity.
Wish I had a time lapse video of an entire season on the property, I always think "observation" when I'm there, but always feel like-- nothing is happening in the moment I'm on the property that would give me any insight.
Talk to the inspector. I looked on line for septic specs and then talked to the inspector and she said the website was wrong and a bigger system was needed.
We have some fun rules like you can legally have an outhouse, as long as it has a holding tank and lateral lines...so an outhouse with a septic system. Really? I can do a composting toilet but have to have septic for any other water used, including if I bring in rain water.
Strange stuff but know it before they make you rip it out.
I have a sine wave too but they are 3-4x the cost. I am looking to keep the cost low for a working system.
I do have a well working installation with the PowerBright 24V, 900W. The problem is that all newly bought models (4 units) are failing after some days of operation. The next model up is 1500W - it looks as if that is the only option.
Rusty : All pocket rockets should be used outdoors only, a pocket rocket made from a 55 gal drum with the one end removable is a good way to burn the paint
off of the Inside and Outside of the drum! A pocket rocket can be a very good thing to have around, and by protecting the ground under the base you can even
use it for a patio heater and extend your outdoor season a little. If you have neighbors who will freak out when the paint burns off - - - well really you're on your
own. Not much help here Good luck any way! Big AL !
So I deffinatly agree with simon that lack of planning seems to be one of the major issues people face when trying to build them selfs an earthship or any structure for that matter. I would say keep doing your research there is a lot of info out there. I would also suggest build a small space earthship to really get the hang of things and see what issues come up. It can really help you plan out your final build. I would also suggest thinking about building a smaĺl section of the house that you can get closed in and be living in while you build the rest. Its a lot less daunting if you dont have to build a 1800sqft house in one go just something to think about
Resistivity testing is a tried and true method for helping to find groundwater, but this device will not reliably locate water more than a meter or two down unfortunately. And even if you had higher powered unit with enough sensitivity to get readings at more than 20+ feet, it actually takes quite a bit of training to interpret the results as the data can be effected by various factors which, if not accounted for, would give you a lot of false positives.
I have been wondering about this too. It seems so counter productive to have to pump the tank, just to bring it to the treatment plant where everyone elses waste goes. While it would be ideal for "permaculture" to keep those nutrients on site, at least the treatment plant in this area cleans water to a very high standard (some becomes reclaimed water which is used to flush toilets and irrigate some parks), and the biosolids produced there get used for non-food crop application. The methane produced is also used to generate electricity that powers some of the plant and the museum next door. Since you're using a system that is already in place you are re-using, rather than building something new so that coinsides with permaculture principles. Maybe you could make your plans for humanure and have that ready to go if/when your septic system has reached its lifespan. With the way you will be using it, it should last a long time and probably will rarely need to be pumped. (Maybe once in 15 yrs?). One of the most important things is to be careful about what chemical products you send down there. Things like bleach can kill the microbes that are working in there.
I hope to see more replies on this! It's an interesting topic, with lots of room for improvement.
Matt, those 6 principles I posted in the first post were actually copied and pasted directly from the Earthship Biotecture site. They are not mine, but are actually what Michael Reynolds defines an earthship as. It is true that most earthsips have earthberms as a way to store solar energy, as per the first design principle, but there is no requirement for it. The point is to have a home that is as self sufficient as possible, and in my climate, there just is not enough days of sunshine to justify a earthberm wall. Instead I've opted to go with the superior insulation of strawbale.
In this design it is important that the greenhouse is attached because I will be circulating the warm air from the greenhouse into the main house. I could do this with insulated vents and such, but that significantly increases the complexity, and probably makes passive air circulation much less of a reality. This would be a problem if the air in the greenhouse was very moist and I pushed that air into the house. But, and maybe I just use greenhouses differently than other people, but in my current, stick-built detached passive solar greenhouse, I do not have moisture problems. I do plan on putting a vapor barrier up between where the greenhouse attaches to the strawbale wall which will prevent issues there.
For me though, the last 5 points are far more important than the Thermal/Solar Heating & Cooling, and those self contained systems are what differentiates any other home from and earthship. And yes, I was thinking I would go with post and beam rather than load bearing strawbale. I've heard both your view that load bearing is much harder and the opposing view, but in the earthquake prone PNW, I think post and beam is a much more resilient structure. Plus, I want to get the roof up ASAP so I don't have to worry about a surprise rain storm that soaks my bales as I'm putting them up.
we have a simular (much smaller setup), we collect compostables from 3 resturaunts and allow 30 chickens to help process teh compost. we also add all the waste generated from the vegi garden. we have the coop loctated below the compost area connected by a small corridor (chicken moat), that way we can keep the birds out if we want. they do a great job spreading the material out, so we cover the finished product with plastic. we turn every 2 weeks and get a finished product in 6 weeks (+ 2 weeks under the tarps).
we bring fresh materail 3 days a week. the days that they did not get fresh garbage, we feed them a couple cups of cracked corn.
Creating the "draw effect" can be accomplished (as Thomas has demonstrated) by other means than just the "metal barrel." I love RMH, yet must point out once again that this is just another form of masonry heater and all of them run on very similar principles...many of which can be overlapped with each other in design.
A squirrel cage fan attached to a deep cell 12 volt battery and solar panel can also be a very effective "cure" for a design that is not achieve good draw...especially when first started. Not my first choice, yet I do place these fans in many of my past designs just to augment combustion and draw should I need it.
It looks like in Thomas's case, he has achieve good draw by exposing only the required amount of mental and having a taller chimney.
My issue is ADD - no H for sure! I actually am going to have to change something at my homestead because I have way too much going on right now:
Pigs that I may breed
Chickens hiding eggs resulting in too many roosters
Tilapia in the living room
Lots of new trees planted
whoops - bees, I forgot to add the bees!
And a temporary seasonal job 3-11:30 for 2/3 days a week. It's kind of a relief to not think about the homestead for 8 hours and I do appreciate it more on non-working days.
Miles : thank you for finding this and posting this, in the 1st video the Unit that is described as a Rocket Stove is a Hybrid Rocket Mass Heater,
"Russian'' Masonry stove with a quick bypass that I would love to see ! The second Video was short and left questions Difficult to parse out!
again thanks for finding this, good hunting for the 3rd one !
Dan : Miles posted this as I was writing my 1st answer. Note that the Yurts Owner/Builder proclaims this to be a 2nd or 3rd Yurt/Ger and has lost
count of the number of RMHs he has built to have created this one.
I also noted his conversation about the cords and cords of wood used o heat a traditional house in Wisconsin, and how this total package works
"More Better'' for him !
Ventilation, and Insulation are important parts of every build, and critical in a yurt ! No one wants to live in a zip lock baggie, For theCrafts! BIG AL
Brent, my guess is your soil is probably mostly fine as is. Chalky soil, or limestone soil as it is more commonly called, might be a little more alkaline than you want. You can get a soil pH kit at most garden store and test yours to see if it is alkaline. If it is, you will want to apply some sulfur to bring it back towards neutral pH. Two feet of soil is more then enough for just about anything you are going to want to grow. But you can never have too much mulch in my opinion. 2-3 inches of composted manure followed by 4-6 inches of mulch will give you great results.