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William Bronson

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since Nov 27, 2012
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forest garden trees urban
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Montessori kid born and raised in Cincinnati.
Father of two, 14 years apart in age,married to an Appalachian Queen 7 years my junior,trained by an Australian cattle dog/pit rescue.
I am Unitarian who declines official membership, a pro lifer who believes in choice, a socialist, an LGBTQ ally, a Black man, and perhaps most of all an old school paper and pencil gamer.
I make, grow, and serve, not because I am gifted in these areas, rather it is because doing these things is a gift to myself.
Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Recent posts by William Bronson

Check  out the fork in this Edible Acres video:

Not available from Reble Tools at this time.
5 tines,  very broad, almost the width of a broadfork but with a central handle.

These forks push the difference between hay and garden forks  further.

I think I could make a decent no weld fork by cutting, drilling and  bolting together bedframe.
The metal is very tough,  and the L cross section makes it even stronger.

The hardest part would be making a handle that is strong enough but also grippable.
1 day ago
So, what's your floor plan like?
If you have an open floor plan, that lends itself to an RMH.
Heck,  you could do radiant heating with an un-insulated tank in the center of an open floor plan, but without much control.

Are all of your walls insulated/ sealed or only the exterior walls?
Either way, unless there is an aesthetic objection, a lot of work could be avoided by running radiant heat pipe on the surface of the walls.
An old school radiator or a spiral of PEX pipe could offer a lot of comfort.

I like digging, but I find myself avoiding plans that require  a lot of digging,, deep digging,  or any digging involving roots, rocks and other obstacles, so real geothermal is out the question for me.

I like solar, but the space is an issue in my urban yard.
In a place with more space, I could see building huge solar collector.
As things stand, any collector would have to be mounted on the walls of my home,  which is limited amount of square footage and already adsorbing solar, however poorly.
What is your land/yard like?

Maybe a rocket water boiler would serve you best.
A big un-pressurized, insulated vessel full of water heated by rocket stove exhaust.
Run a coil heat exchanger through this water to  preheat your DHW, tap off that same exchanger to  to feed your hydronic loop(s).
If you want to do solar thermal, add a coil for that.
Hydronic heating accepts all kinds of inputs.
One early retirement guru , Mr. Money Mustache, has a hydronic system that uses a conventional water heater.
If you have enough solar PV,  electrical resistance water heater would work as a source for a hydronics system.

If I had a pond, stream or such, I would use it as a heat sink, with a coil heat exchanger being cooled in it.
That I would tie into the forced air system, experience suggesting to  me that a even a room temperature  breeze cools me off better than standing kinda  near something very cold.

1 day ago
The OP mentioned locating the fish tanks in the basement.
That will keep the fish safe,  and keep the tanks from adding to the greenhouse moisture.

Instead of bringing moist hot air into the upper floors,  where the inhabitants and furnishings won't appreciate it,   maybe use  a (bathroom) fan to push that air down to a relatively cool water resistant surface in the basement.

The basement floor might work,  or blow it past copper coils that thermo-siphon from the tanks.
The condensation could be kept or drained away,  most of the heat will have transferred during the process of condensation.

You are still making the house air wetter,  but the fish like it hot and wet( up to 85 f)  and the basement should probably  be fitted out for humidity anyway.

The majority of escaping heat will head upward,  the humidity with it,  so a vapor barrier between the first floor and basement will be needed.

A RMH in the greenhouse might skirt building/fire regulations, and/or insurance requirements.
It will also produce a lot of dry radiant heat from the barrel as it it is actively fired,  and even, long lasting heat from the mass when it has been put out.
That heat might keep moisture in the greenhouse from being a problem at all.
If this is to be a green house and not simply a giant  low mass solar collector ,  we need to retain some heat in the space, to keep it above freezing at night.
Even if we stripped as much heat from the space as possible,  we  could choose to return some of it, assuming we have stored it.

The greenhouse might carry the house during the day,  the house carrying the greenhouse at night

A simple way to move heat into the second floor windows without bringing the humidity with it might be a window  air conditioner with the  heat pump switch.
Or an actual mini-split could be located inside the greenhouse, but that is pricey.

The structure that a greenhouse has lends itself to growing deciduous vines for spring/summer shade, but using shade cloth or even Mylar might be worthwhile.
I like the vines because they potentially deploy and store themselves every year,at seasonally appropriate times.
1 day ago
Love what your doing here and your reporting on it!

Have you considered aluminum screen?
It should be resistant  to heat induced sag.

I see it affixed horizontally at the top with a strip of wood or metal furring,the screen fabric   cut or folded to width,  and affixed at the bottom as in a similar way.
With tension between the top and bottom,  you might not need to affix the sides at all.

I have considered building a collector for my homes south side
With a first story of brick walls,  I would need insulation.
Have you considered lining your collector with foil faced insulation boards?
1 day ago
I have the similar design challenge, and  I see vines vines and trees as solutions that should offer shade when needed and allow sun when that is desirable.
1 day ago
Miyazaki FTW!
I curious about your exhaust fan.
A batch box is tuned to work off of the natural draft created by a proper chimney that matches  system diameter.
If you are using a flue that is sized to match your system,  a powered fan might be cooling your burn by introducing too much combustion air.
An unpowered fan might be slowing down draft,  but that seems unlikely.
2 days ago
Off hand, sugar beets seem like great hog fodder.
On a home scale,  Im tempted to grow them in compost bins,  opening the sides of the bins to harvest beets and compost alike.
2 days ago
I was grinding barley in my blender when I got an idea for an upgrade.
The smallest particles of grain are quite airborne,  while the bigger bits still fall to the bottom of the pitcher.
The tiny finished product still interfered with the process.
I ended up sifting out the finished flour and returning the unfinished bits to the blender.
It was more work, going back a step in the process.
What if I could sort out the finished product as I went?
So,  if I introduced pressurized air through  a nozzle,  could I induce the finest bits of flour to leave via another opening?
I'm thinking a half inch cpvc pipe with an elbow at the end mated to an air mattress inflator.
The air is introduced about half way down into the blender,at the side, with  the elbow directing the air to form a vortex.
The outlet would be at the top of the blender,  with a large barbed fitting directing particle laden air to a food safe container, via a clear hose.

All penetrations would be via the lid, to avoid any issues with drilling glass.
With the blender already inducing a vortex,  it might be better to blow the air strait down into the grains.
The final food safe container probably should have a lid with a filter,  to release air and retain flour.
2 days ago
The 5 minute riser has a lot of fans:

That's the best picture I could find.
2 days ago