Jerry McIntire

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since Jan 15, 2013
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Temperate coniferous forest (Washington) - zone 9a, 22" rain/yr
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Recent posts by Jerry McIntire

I've done lots of canoe trips with my family. Make your first trips easy-- connected lakes and rivers without a portage. The beauty of canoe camping is that you can carry plenty of good food and comfortable/less expensive equipment because you have plenty of room. Yes, at least a 17' canoe for a week long trip.

The advice to go in the fall is wise. Avoiding bothersome bugs is high on my list, and the water has warmed all summer. Warm enough to swim in the Boundary Waters (border of Minnesota and Canada). Warm enough in Algonquin (Ontario) and Verendrye (Quebec) parks in Canada. If the border is iffy, paddling in the Adirondacks is great. Sounds like you live in the mid-South?

The most reasonably priced ultra-light canoes I've found are from Slipstream Watercraft in upstate New York. We just bought two after doing a lot of looking.

Water filters are some of the lightest and easiest systems for water purification. I like the Sawyers.

Have a great time!
3 weeks ago

Kathy Vargo wrote:Rockwood board is very hard to obtain in my area, NE US.

There are at least 17 retailers that sell Rockwool products in New Hampshire: Dealer locator
Rigid foam board can be used of course, styrofoam being the least effective. Closed cell, rigid polyurethane foam is the most effective per inch and it is available now without blowing agents that harm the atmosphere. Of course, it is still a synthetic foam.
3 weeks ago
Kathy, I believe PK posted quite a while ago. Breathable mortars are usually lime based, or they could be clay. Portland cement mortars are not breathable, nor are synthetic or mortars with polymers.
3 weeks ago
As Jason said, adding insulation on the exterior of the walls is an excellent way to make the house warmer in winter, and to take advantage of the thermal mass of the masonry walls both for cooling and heating. There are several ways to add insulation, rock wool or cork panels are both available to you I think? Then you must place a new waterproof finish wall outside the insulation.

The most important insulation is in the ceiling. A dropped ceiling will not insulate really, it will only reduce the cubic meters you must heat. But there is plenty of room above a lowered ceiling to add insulation, which can be inexpensive recycled cellulose or a similar loose fill.

Air sealing is at least as important as more insulation, and is less expensive.

Inside, a lime plaster will help with humidity. Is humidity a problem mostly in the winter or in the summer?

Yes, you can definitely use the existing chimney on the ground floor for a masonry heater or rocket stove. Both are more efficient than the alternatives, and both can have cooking surfaces as well as an oven.

In Alicante you have plenty of sun, and solar panels are less expensive now. I would move away from gas cooking as soon as you can with an electric cooktop for summer, and the rocket stove in the winter as well as an outdoor wood burning stove for summer (if there is not one already on the patio).

Collect all of the rainwater you can from the roofs! You can add to your system as the years go on, collect it from the main house also, and finally you will not need the municipal water except as a reserve system.
3 weeks ago
Congratulations on your land purchase and getting started, Coydon. We have friends not too far from you, on the Bayfield peninsula, who have a great permaculture nursery and a well-established homestead. If you get to visit, they might tell you their stories of starting out the first winter in a tent with fire for heat...
You can find them at: The Draw Nursery
1 month ago
Hi Jesse, how is it going there? Do you have a house or somewhere to stay, and are you living there full-time now? What have your first projects been?

I like the area, have been to Malheur Wildlife Refuge several times. Have you met some Basque folks in the area? How is your grazing going? Look forward to hearing more.

1 month ago
Thank you Abraham. My local stores do not have whole wheels of cheese, only smaller pieces wrapped in plastic. I will ask if I can order an entire wheel at our food co-op.
3 months ago
Composting and recycling are the most obvious changes we made, years ago. Chipping tree waste was next. The biggest challenge that remains is packaging waste, especially plastic.
We shop at thrift stores for nearly all our clothing, so no waste there, but most things come in plastic of some sort and the recycling of plastic is being curtailed.
I have noticed that the smaller the business and the more progressive its owners, the less waste comes with a new product. I look forward to buying running shoes (which I do at least once a year) made with foam that is produced from algae. A friend works with the company that makes it and it is a net carbon sink, not to mention the algae harvesting cleans water and makes it healthier for aquatic animals.
We tried buying no food in plastic for a month. Very difficult, but it moved us another notch toward less waste. Cheese is very difficult to find without plastic packaging. I don't mind buying milk in plastic jugs because that is the most valuable and easily recycled plastic, HDPE. But our next step is to find a local source and buy on farm in glass bottles again, as we did a few years ago in Wisconsin.
The hidden waste is the transportation of products to me, so I try to only buy things made in this country, or state, or town.
3 months ago
We like Lara bars, try not to buy them except for camping trips and back-up food in the car. Thank you for the recipe! Another reduction in waste made possible!
3 months ago
Yes, blankets to cover windows when the sun is coming in helps but, just like your door showed, covering/shading window and doors on the outside is best. I stapled painting drop cloths over our east and west windows and doors, the biggest heat gains during summer because the sun is so high overhead it barely shines in the south windows. Permanent awnings that shade those windows would be a big help.
5 months ago