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William Bronson

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since Nov 27, 2012
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William Bronson currently moderates these forums:
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

Wonderful thread!
Pearl,  your idea of a great T day is like mine.
I spent thanksgiving cooking at our church.
We host an thanksgiving dinner for anyone who wants to drop in.
45 people came and went,  with plenty of leftovers/side dishes coming and going as well.

My punkpotato pie did not get made this year,  but it's basically a sweet potatoe/pumpkin pie, inspired by my mixed race/culture family.
It's more an act of love than of deliciousness, but my kids love ask for it  every year.
Fortunately there were many great  homemade pies of both pumpkin and sweet potatoe, so I ate them side by side.

My grandfather made mystery  pie for his guys when he was a cook in ww2.
They has been eating carrot everything for months,  and we're tired to death of them, so he came up with a heavily spiced carrot pie.
Guys who were used to pumpkin pie thought it was that,  guys who who missed sweet potatoe pie thought it was that,  and he said nothing either way!

I have a nice cheesecake recipe that can be heavily modified and still succeed.
Cheesecake is just cream cheese pie as far as I'm concerned.
My favorite variant so far is a sour cream pie, so good!
KeishThis year I plan on using it to make an eggnogg pie with gingersnap crust.

Onion pie and green pea pie are on my list of savory pies to try,  so if anyone has a good recipe,  let me know.

Quiche is another pie by another name,  and a neat way to eat protein.
I like mine green from blending in kale and spinach.
1 week ago
Got any sexy food photos?
Post them here!
1 week ago
While riding in the car with my wife something sexy caught the corner of my eye...
Because I was with her,  I shielded my eyes and loudly  announced that I wasn't even looking, but as I peeked through my fingers  I noticed  a woman next to the sexy  dumpster filled with enticing building materials.
She was looking quizzically at me...

I franticly gestured  to indicate that I wasn't not/oogling her,  but rather I was not/oogling the dumpster....

Since there no universal signals to communicate these rather particular concepts,  I just made things worse.

While my wife roared with laughter, my own laughter was a little more pained...
She knows I have a roving eye for salvage, and she is pretty damned cool about it.

She does get a little annoyed  when I drool and catcall over plants, seeds, and rocket stoves...
2 weeks ago
Being we are here on Permies I feel almost obliged to ask about all this mowing.
No, I get that there all kinds of reasons to mow.
Mowing that isn't about haying or otherwise feeding animals burns my ass.
This thread is reminding me why I don't want to live in more rural place.
I simply don't want to be individually responsible for so much infrastructure.
I have gleaned a lot from the discussions about earth moving.
The accumulated experience here points toward equipment  rental to address my needs.

I knew one guy who bought a Kubota for his do-it-all handyman business.
He was a sub-contractor my boss had found,so I hired him for a fencing job.
I was disappointed with the performance of his post hole digger(and him), it seemed to bog down easily, but it was better than having to man a two man gas auger.

I'm wondering about how tax write offs play into tractor purchases on a homestead scale.
Having an off farm business that owns equipment you use on farm seems like a possible win, since the gains that are made on a farm are not always easily taxable.
Swales for instance, might be hard to tax, as might a pond, though I'm not sure about that.
2 weeks ago
I have very large containers.
22 to 55 gallons, though half of the volume is a water reservoir.
The "soil" started as purchased  peat moss mixed with bagged manure compost.
Very dead.
It gets better with age and growing things in it.
I refresh by top dressing with chicken litter in the off season and  rabbit litter during the growing season.
I also chop and drop, so it's a the soil builds up that way as well.
Lastly, I will add my own urine to the soil, if I think the plants need a boost.
3 weeks ago
Lovely ideas here.
Has anyone tried this with just wood?
I'm thinking bundles of sticks filling  "post holes".
Less for soil building, more for water infiltration.
Might be a good end life for untreated lumber scraps as well.
I use nitrogen rich stuff  near food producing plants as top dressing, but filling a hole  does seem like a good investment.
3 weeks ago
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.
4 weeks 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.

4 weeks 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.
4 weeks 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?
4 weeks ago