Tim Skufca

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since Feb 12, 2013
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Recent posts by Tim Skufca

your existing WOFATIS have been working largely by how dry it is all maintained. Not so for a greenhouse that is designed to treat gray-water. Moisture will be a big problem. Consider using gabion baskets to encompass the log posts. Mechanically connect the log to the basket and fill with rocks. This will provide an avenue for moisture to escape, keeping the logs dry.
> I understand the cooling concept, but notice Oehler's design has an exit for hot air at summer peaks. This would be more important if the next point was considered
> the sun infiltration is limited by the wing walls (maybe open to the sun with a 120degree angle?). Consider angling the wing retaining walls to open more to the sun, including solar gain to the east and west - which would then have the difficulty of too much heat in the summer, thus the previous point
> gray-water needs wet-land plants to gobble up all the nutrients that are available. I have a design of 4 bathtubs that drain by gravity into each other. The gray-water is introduced into the top-most 1st tub of wet-land plants (full of pea-gravel) which then flows into the 2nd, and so forth. The end result should be very clean water (which can be safely discarded onto solidly frozen ground outside). The important calculation is to determine how much gray-water needs to be treated, keeping in mind that gray-water turns to stinky black-water in a matter of hours, so you cannot store gray-water - it must be 'immediately' treated.
> If you develop this huge infrastructure and have very little growing space, then the point might get lost. The sketches show a very insignificant growing area.
> I'm super excited about your project because I've had a gray-water treatment greenhouse concepts for over 10 years, but no money. Another consideration is buried barrels of water which can store the heat from the summer. Water is a fabulous material to hold and move heat.
> I'm way late to the design party, and maybe these points have been considered. If so, sorry for the interruption and I'm excited to see progress. I believe I saw a stretch-goal of adding devices to record the data, deep inside the build. I highly encourage this.
6 months ago
Great concept. Count on me to join - $100.
7 months ago
a great tip I got when building a road in muddy (when wet) conditions was to first roll out a layer of carpet, then use about 4 to 6 inches of 2-3"-minus crushed rock. Drive over this for a season or two, then top off with a layer of road base. [the used carpet is easily found in the town I live] - [the crushed rock is important because it has angular surfaces that compact and bind - as opposed to river rock that twists and squishes]. After driving over the first layer for a period of time the rocks get a stability, but not necessarily flat. The road will not be all that comfortable to drive on (drive slowly). After the road base is installed the undulations in the surface are filled in; ideally a roller would be useful, but we didn't spend the money on this. You may need to grade it occasionally, but that is expected from any non-paved road.
We used geo-fabric in one area instead of carpet to compare. The two systems were comparable.
1 year ago
Dan, great recipe! I appreciate its complexity. It's amazing how much a little olive oil will bring out the flavor, as well as all the other ingredients you listed. Even if one has a fraction of what you've included here, the key point is that it will have tons more flavor than just using water. Cooking a vegan meal that doesn't taste vegan is a skill. Your recipe here is a great step toward that.
1 year ago
we have a ground-source heat-pump which heats our hydronic floors from a well in our in-town Missoula well. In-floor heat is very comfortable. In the summer heat we circulate well temperature water through the floors to keep the space comfortable, which is very important if the Missoula air quality gets bad from forest fires. Closing the windows and running 55 degree water through the floors is an effective way to hold off those awful smokey periods.

ALSO: what is not talked about with Rocket Mass Heaters/Stoves is the necessity to be there at all times. There is no way to take off for a few days, or else everything freezes. I have the mind-set of embracing technology and install solar panels that power the electrically sourced hot water.
1 year ago
I'm curious if anyone is aware of earthbag construction to form a dome which would then be covered with dirt (for a root cellar). Does Kelly Hart's book address this (earthbag ceiling)?
2 years ago
thanks to Karen Donnachaidh for her "daily-ish" reminder on aging. As I approach 60! my parents are on their journey to the end of this life as we know it. What I'm experiencing/learning from a dad that has fallen multiple times, attached to an oxygen tether because of heart issues, with my mom in full-swing alzheimers, is that the biggest need/expense is in full-time care. You can attest as strongly as you wish that "NO ONE IS GOING TO CHANGE MY DIAPERS" or help bathe you - but it might really happen. Which family member is going to step up to this challenge? Everyone must put front and center what it will be like to clean a soiled parent. SO: how to connect this to permiculture? I continue to push for communities that are M-A-G-I-C which stands for Multi Ability  -  multi-  Generational  -  Inclusive  -  Communities.  The vision I have is for a community that is farm-centric, with all walks of life living/producing/selling/storing/processing farm products. The difficult element is that this elderly population has high medical needs, which means a close medical center is needed. But where COMMUNITY comes into play, is that a full awareness that each one of us face the threat of needing full-time care. So include this into any intentional community. Some folks are made to plant/pull weeds/harvest; some folks have the ability to change adult diapers - and everything in between is needed. But how better to go through these years of adult diaper neediness than to be surrounded by a productive farm  -  at least you know where your food is coming from. I'm talking about dying with dignity. And if one's productive life helped support others' end-of-life days!   ...that's what it's all about. Our productive lives need to help support those that need full-time support.
2 years ago
I'm interested in buying a core. If these have been built, can you post photos of the actual unit. I'm not sure what part the "manifold" is, so, along with this list of what's included, I'd also appreciate a list of items not included in order to construct a rocket-mass heater (aside from all the ducting and the mass, the roof/wall flashing, and the finish material).
2 years ago