Sherwood Botsford

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since Oct 23, 2011
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Recent posts by Sherwood Botsford

A better way to do this:

* You want a reservoir of cold.    This can be blocks of ice.  Or pop bottles of frozen salt water.

* You want various size storage rooms, well insulated from both the world, and from the cold room.

* You want to connect the cold room to each storage room with a duct and a fan with a spring or weight loaded louvers.

* You want a bunch of thermostats.

In operation each room has a thermostat.  When that room gets to warm, the thermostat runs a fan pulling air from the cold room, and returning it to the cold room.  You may need  a secondary fan for mixing the air in the room.  Perhaps a  double thermostat.  Initially it turns on the mixing fan, then if that isn't sufficient calls for cold air.

You will get a slight increase in efficiency if the air ducts are cascaded;  Each room pulls air from the room only slightly colder that it is.

You will get a big increase in efficiency if you normally enter each room from above.  Cold air is heavy, and so will flow out  an normal door.  You can sometimes see this when you open an upright freezer door on a humid summer day.  That said, having  wheelbarrow access during cleanup times is a big win.  If you can't to this, set up a derrick above the entrance to make it easier to raise and lower quantities of stuff.
Doorsnakes have to be heavy enough to press down and sideways.  I don't think that bubble wrap or packing peanuts are heavy enough.

If you use kitty litter, use non-clumping kitty litter or it becomes a petrified door snake.

A better thing to do, however is to fix the door.   Get a sweep type from Home Depot for $Can12.98
1 year ago
Replying to a bunch:

Chestnuts are at best zone 4b.  While the original north american chestnut grew to zone 3, the  chinese chestnut broughtin for blight resistance also made it much more tender.

The tree form european hazelnut isn't hardy here.  

We have native beaked hazelnut, with a nut, including shell about the size of pencil eraser.  I'm experimenting with a north american bush form.

Interseted tht bison graze differently.  I will check this out.

***

I'm looking for NON-NICHE products Think in terms of "What if 10,000 farmers in this state/province did what I'm doing."  
3 years ago
That's one thing.

Bison + pasture isn't really different from cattle+pasture.

How much am I looking to farm?  say a section.  Let's have a goal of being able to make a living, even if meagre, off a section.

We'll use a smaller tractor, and a smaller combine to reduce machinery costs.

We want a diverse operation so to not be dependent on any one market, to get a decent rotation, and to get some of the benefits of guilds.

We want to minimize input chemicals, and minimize soil disturbance.

We want enough edges to provide habitat for beneficial bugs and bird.
3 years ago

Right now a farmer can make a reasonable living using a few thousand acres of land and a couple million dollars worth of equipment.

Problems abound with this:

* Erosion tilling
* Pesticide/herbicide use
* Monoculture.

Does anyone know of a permaculture system or something at least more permie than present practices that are productive enough to make a living ocmmercially in main-stream markets?

This rules out systems:

* Where one person working at it full time can create enough calories to feed their immediate family.
* Where a homestead produces a niche crop -- e.g. chocolate covered cherries, or christmas trees.


Shepherd's "Restoration Agriculture" is a step in this direction, although I question the ecomomics.  And it's not transplantable to Zone 3 northern Alberta.

3 years ago
I too build trails.

I have a tough as nails ZTR mower (grasshopper) and so blithely cut 5 foot wide trails in my bush.

This helps in removing firewood once snow is on the ground.

Having trails means I spend more time in my bush.  A win for both me, and athe bush.

3 years ago
Yes, this is an ancient thread.  But for the next guy searching...

Beaver made a bunch of different saws before being bought out by Rockwell, who then merged with delta.

Things to look for:

1.  Cast iron top.  Sheet metal tops bend, flex, dent, and are a PITA.  Tolerable for construction sites where 1/8" is good enough.

2.  extension wings on either side.  Allows you to handle wider work -- and to have a bigger table to accumlated junk.

3.  Body:  Heavy gauge sheet metal at least.  Some have a partial cast body.  

4.  Drive train:  Check for play in the whole saw support mechanism.  Bearings in the blade shaft are easy to replace.  Check the rack (tilt and rise) castings for cracks.  Those are show stoppers as very hard to replace.

5.  Fence.  Move easily?  Ok.  Slide it over to to one of the mitre slots.  Clamp it.  Is it perfectly parallel to the slot.  Try clamping while putting a bit of sideways pressure on the far end.  An inconsistent fence isn't a show stopper, but it will either require work or replacement.  Usually it's designed in so you need a replacement.

***

So, what is it worth:  Easiest way to find out the value is to look at ebay and search for closed listings.  This will tell you what others like it sold for.

Here, in Edmonton good beavers go for 100 to 200 bucks.
3 years ago

Michael Young wrote:Thanks for asking Jeremy.


I sometimes have a little problem with draft. When I'm first lighting it, and sometimes when I open the front to add more wood, I'll get some smoke inside the house. I was expecting, with good draw, there would be suction to pull smoke up and out. So not sure why I'm having the problem.

.



Remember that your whole house has a 'stack effect'  In our house, the wood stove is in the 1 story part.  If someone has a window cracked open in 2 story part, that draft wins. Try cracking a window open near the stove while you are starting it up.  
4 years ago
I've had and used several stoves over the last 30 years.  Serious use, too.  3-5 cords a year.  Two came with firebrick.  I removed it to get larger chunks of wood in.  While I can see the argument for firebrick on the floor where hot coals are in contact with the steel, most of the time there is a thick layer of ash in the bottom of the stove.  I noticed no difference in performance on any of them.

Sheet metal stoves -- the kind you use to heat a wall tent hunting -- often had a sacrificial liner pan you used in the stove.  Every couple of years you replaced it.  But generally these were fired up without ashes in them a lot more often than a stove that is permanently in place.

I had a barrel stove made from a kit.  They cautioned that you should keep a couple inches of ash in it for longer barrel life.
4 years ago

Eat Alberta Lamb.  10,000 coyotes can't be wrong.

I would have to fence the tree farm off from the rest of the land; I don't know sheep at all, and am concerned they would eat my seedlings, step on my seedlings, leave sheep crap where my customers would step in it.

OTOH it would give something for my dog to do.
4 years ago