Meagan Poisson

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since May 08, 2012
Alberta, Canada
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Recent posts by Meagan Poisson

I would like ideas for how to attract local people to my opportunity...
I bought my 150acres west of Edmonton in 2001 with my mother. We were both very excited about homesteading and self sufficiency. We built a round cordwood house. We purposefully didnt install Power or running water. We have an outhouse. Its a pioneering place, that runs on hard work. We got building permits/ approvals originally but wouldnt get them to upgrade. So we are stuck with caveman-style off the grid. However what we never expected was for her to grow old. 70 years is too old to bring in firewood and pump water all alone, while I work in the city to support us and help out on weekends. I bought her a house nearby in a village but this summer when she moves out...what happens to the farm? I am 41 year old female, I have built 30 outbuildings and collected wondrous amounts of hand tools, useful items, bought a whack more lumber, fencing materials, planted perrenials, have maintained huge gardens, have a chickenhouse. Want to raise rabbits.
I want to attract like minded people, perhaps a young family, or just a motley group of misfits for potentially long term life. I have the whole set up. All paid for. And I have an income. I can support us. I just need people to JOIN ME. Be my tribe. Come homestead here, live in the house, take care of the place. With ideas and who want to embark on new projects. Not like employees but like partners who are willing to work hard. Kids would be fab too!
My question is: How do I go about finding Quality People to join me?
**central/north Alberta is a seriously cold & hard climate From October to April we are snowbound in a deep freeze. For example, it's April 15th, we have 3' of snow still. Spring is a long way off.

6 months ago
Yes I agree that many people have implemented and used vent pipes such as this...I hadn't thought of them as the same as the stove pipes! Thanks for affirming my idea! Its a great idea to paint it black...I shall have to look into why stove pipes are sparkly metal colored. My summer idea has to meld with my winter necessity of stove pipes.
Hmmm...If I didn't have a whirlybird, I'd need to leave the stove pipe cap on to keep out the rain. And I'd have to screen the top, or the bugs would get in. The whirlybird would at least ensure nothing would come down the pipe
3 years ago
I just had an amazing idea and I cannot believe no one has thought of it before...so maybe I am missing a major flaw in my thinking..
When it is cold - Wood stove chimney pipe AND When it gets warm - passive vent stack. interchangeable!
I have a great big wood cook stove in the house, complete with fancy double walled pipe leading up from my ceiling through my attic and 6' above my ridgeline. I have a standard cap on this pipe, that I remove every summer to clean the chimney. The stove isn't used between May and September...as it is too hot. What if I modified a whirlybird ventilation twirly to connect to the top wood stove pipe in the same way as the wood stove cap. Then, in June, when it starts to get hot, I disconnect the inner stove pipes (stove isn't used anyways), perhaps add a screen at ceiling level, maybe cover the stove itself and switch the cap for the whirlybird. Voila. One pipe, two uses. It would suck all the hot air out of my house and vent it out the chimney... Would this not be tickity boo?? Why don't I find anything on google?
I don't think condensation would be an issue if it was only used in the hot months, it would go back to being a smokestack as soon as it got cool...
What are your thoughts??
Thankyou
Meagan
3 years ago
Thankyou Terry,
I enjoy your responses. They take about six readings for me to understand what you say (your vast knowledge is hard for me to grasp) but I think I got it
5 years ago
Please forgive me if I was supposed to start a new topic rather than adding to this one, but it's on the exact same idea. I am finally ready to complete my walls. Sometime in the interim, I did put some OSB board on the outside, covering the stud wall.
I know the OSB may not have been necessary but it is on there now. I want to build a very basic outside frame, with a layer of screen and some nice rigid poly mesh to hold it while I fill the inside with my loose perlite fill. I plan to use earthen plaster, either with lath or maybe the screen and mesh would be enough....
I relish all your comments, but my only actual question is: Should I smear a layer of wet clay on the outside of the OSB to "protect" it from possible moisture wicking up through my volume of perlite. I am starting with 4-6" of gravel, and a slightly sloping ground surface so I am not sure wicking will be an issue. I have read enough of your wonderful posts (especially yours, Terry) to rethink the vapour barrier issue and I'm not planning on sticking a layer of poly anywhere, Earthen plaster inside and earthen plaster with lime finish coat for the outside...I just wonder if maybe a thin clay layer...maybe a thin clay/lime layer would be advisable on the OSB?
What do you think?
5 years ago
I have been reading about earthbag retaining walls and I think perhaps I will build some earthbags (native fill) at the same time as backfilling...If I offset each layer of earthbags 1.5" towards the dirt pile, I should be able to stop the dirt from wanting to push my building over. Of course this solution is high on the labour, time consuming and arduous, so it should fit in with the rest of my building projects....
5 years ago
"As long as the inside of the building stayed warmer than the soil"
So it would be okay as long as someone was living there but what if the building was left unheated (while building - if it took more than one year to move in)
During winter...is an empty building warmer or colder than the earth?
5 years ago
I totally get that earth-berming two opposing walls would somewhat cancel out the pushing forces...but I have cut into a hill (dirt pile) on the North and the East, and only want a berm on those sides. Currently, I have 2' of working space between the building and the 4' high dirt (That slopes nicely away from my building). I am planning on doing PAHS, digging the top 2' off the dirt hill, poly, insulation, poly and replacing the dirt. I was planning on backfilling the space beside the building at the same time. The building is built on concreted posts but if I backfill 4' of dirt on one side, the whole thing is going to lean! I cannot berm the opposing side. There is no space for it on that side...and I don't want it there. I have thought of adding temporary braces on the non bermed side and of using high tensile wire to tie the top of the building walls to an L shaped brace placed so that dirt will go on top of it...thinking that the weight of the soil pushing down on the brace will stop the building from leaning (See picture).
Questions: If I brace the non bermed side...say with 2x4s braced on the ground and the wall, can I take them off in a week or two or do I need to build them in permanently? And, what do you think of my high tensile wire idea or is their a better way to brace walls for earth berms that do not have berms on the opposing sides.
Thankyou very much for your opinions.
5 years ago
Holy Crap that is a good idea!!
Location: Alberta Canada, Climate: Fridgid (It was -30C again this morning), I built it sturdy to be an underground shelter, before I remembered that I am just a girl with hand tools and covering it in dirt was beyond my means, Yes it is meant to be liveable. The posts are dug down and concreted in, a post every 4' the horizontal 2x8 you see in the picture is only added after the posts were complete. I have lots of OSB and 5000 poly bags but I don't NEED to use them now...one never knows what might want to build in the future The Perlite (600cu ft of it) kinda does need to be used because the huge poly bags it came in are disintegrating in the sun. The Perlite pieces are about 1/8th" round. The earthbags I mixed half and half reject sand and perlite (for another project) did compress a fair bit. I have a couple truck loads of reject sand that I could use and my soil is complete clay (I could make pots out of the stuff a foot under the surface.)

Now that I look at it, I am sad that at R2.7/in, even an 8" wall of perlite will only get me an R21 wall...however, I would get no more R's if it was mixed half and half with clay 16". And filling a mesh form would be infinitely faster than bagging it. plus the not having to dig up clay...
I repeat again...Great Idea!!
I will have to research/ponder it a bit more before I have questions about it...

OMG!! - I just checked out velacreations. I think I am going to have SO MUCH FUN with this rapidobe!!
5 years ago
So I built a building. It has concreted-in posts and framed walls with lots of cross-pieces. The roof is on and complete. I have changed my mind a dozen times on how to finish the building and now I want to do a perlite/clay filled earthbag wall. I did a small earthbag project with perlite and clay and I think it would work out well. I bought a ridiculous amount of perlite and want to use it, The earthbag wall would be completely non-structural and would require some additional roof overhang.
My question is: Do I put OSB sheathing on the walls before beginning the earthbag walls? Do I put OSB on and then 6 mil poly to protect the timber framing from the earthbags? Or is that just a recipe for disaster? Do I put the earthbags right up against my 2x4 framing and put the poly on the outside of the whole wall system or do I forget the vapour barrier and just make more roof overhang?
5 years ago