Jason Learned

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since May 28, 2013
Czech Republic; East Bohemia; Latitude 50˚ 12' 34"
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Recent posts by Jason Learned

Tina Nixon wrote:I’m growing yacon - it’s been multiplying nicely for the last 5-6 years; crosnes for the last 3 or so, skirret, and runner beans & dahlias. This year, I added winged beans, which also have edible tubers. We have tons of day lilies around, but I hesitate to eat it in case I am prone to its surprisingly laxative effects. I’ve been a big fan of yacon - the yields are huge, they store through the winter easily as dormant tubers much like dahlias do,and everyone in the family likes the taste.

I was planning on getting skirret this fall to plant. How do they taste? Are they easy to grow?

Thank you.
3 months ago

Do have a favorite recipe suggestion?

I use a calcined shale (5 parts) with a water glass mix of sodium silicate(4 parts) that is just on the irritant side of the scale and not corrosive. This mix equals one part that I mix for 5-6 minutes before I add 3 parts sand/gravel mix. It has the consistency of taffy and I need my forms to be sealed well. I use wax or vegetable oil. I cover them for 24hours to a week and then take them out. The stuff is really hard and difficult to pry from un-oiled wood. The problem with these though is the water glass(Potassium works better btw). It has to be small molecule water glass- meaning the silica should be in short chains of one to four silicon atoms per molecule; but if the company makes water glass that is all large molecules, it won't react.

So a water glass mixed with NaOH or KOH  to a molar ratio that won't instantly burn you is a good starting point, but you will need to test it with some calcined stuff and see if it reacts. If after 24 hours it looks like stone you are probably good, the real test is to boil in water. The Pantheon was reported to be made with lime mixed with volcanic sands. Freshly dug Ignimbrite is the kind they used above water. I'm sure old volcanic ash like this could be calcined to make it reactive again. A rocket kiln on low would be the ticket there. And that was also 1:3 mix. Opus Signinum was also one part lime to three parts testa. The testa was clay tile that was under fired so calcined. It also has either analcime or phillipsite (zeolites) in the clay which helped react with the lime. This was used to waterproof the cisterns and aqueducts.

If you have access to slag from copper or iron smelters, as long as it is cooled relatively quickly, you can use that as an ingredient. The copper slag stuff makes a really nice black geopolymer.

I haven't tried this but it is supposed to be a good recipe.

by weight
20 parts calcined kaolin commonly called MK-750
20 parts blast furnace slag
24 parts potassium silicate water glass with a molar ratio of 1.25 at 50% concentration
then add 56 parts class F fly ash

supposed to reach over 9000 psi in strength

From the stuff I use to the lectures I've seen the basic premise is to take a weathered shale or a clay and heat it to 1200-1450  Fahrenheit for six hours and mix this with water glass and KOH/NaOH and maybe some alkaline minerals like slag ground fine and then mix this for a while before adding sand and gravel or other stones. You might have all the ingredients on your land.
One thing, this stuff will not stick to plastic, oils, etc; as well as cured epoxy, but if the epoxy is fresh it will bind with it. And PVA can be used as reinforcement in these concretes, because the alcohol molecule will react with the silica alumina reactions in these materials.

I hope this helps and is not to rambling and confusing. Sorry, it is late here and I am falling asleep as I type here. Oh and geopolymer.org is a great website with lots of papers and recipes.

good luck,

10 months ago
I'm using chrome 78 on Mac Mojave

There is no green line

There are no color mismatches that I see

There is bird shit

The buttons are off as others have mentioned.

10 months ago

paul wheaton wrote:Another idea for a project:   making portland cement from ash

Maybe try geopolymer concretes? Many use ash, volcanic ash, slag, calcined shales and clays (except illite). I know the rural Chinese biodigestors were made from bricks. I am more inclined to use geopolymers though, long lifespan. Thousands of years. The Pantheon uses this chemistry, it is two thousand years old. Maybe you don't have the right minerals around you, but worth a look. Good luck!

10 months ago

Kim Hill wrote:I have a hand cranked outboard boat motor from my grandfather who passed away 20 years ago at age 103. No idea what year the motor is from but actually used it once.

Can you post a picture or it? I’m curious as to what it looks like.
1 year ago
There are some really fast growing Asinima Triloba (paw paw trees) and they generally wait to sprout until way later than most trees. My trees don't start to leaf and flower out until May. And some of these are bred to produce early. Maybe you could get a small orchard of paw paws to grow out there. Would be great to see.

Maybe one of these will work for you?  https://plantdatabase.earth/pawpaw

And you might be able to grow butter nut, black walnut and some types of hickory nut and maybe American chestnut if you source from Canada, probably from New Brunswick or the islands that will have a similar maritime climate as you.
1 year ago

Lana Weldon wrote:
Btw, cashews can't be eaten raw, they are always steamed before being sold (otherwise they would be inedible/poisonous).

The poison in the cashew is actually a coating in the shell. The chemical is like the one in poison oak. So it is hard to crack one and get the seed out without getting the resin on the seed. I did hear of one company that found a way to do it without having to remove the resin first— why they are cooked. As far as I know they have kept the secret and are a monopoly on a true raw cashew.  So those cashews can be eaten raw and the only thing poisonous would be the anti nutrients found in other seeds. I knew some raw foodists that would seek those out so they could soak them for 12 hours before making cashew cheese.

1 year ago
I'll get some pictures of the older design when I get home. The new burn chamber is too difficult to use. So we are going to shorten it. The old design was 3 1/2 bricks deep and 1 1/2 bricks wide with 4 layers on edge and the port was raised off the floor about 2/3 rd's of a brick height to leave room for the ash build up. The door was below the fourth layer so the smoke would more easily go to the port which was higher than the door. This system was easiest to use, but a volunteer threw in wood too many times and broke the port. Hence the side burn now. I think we will go back to the first version now with some iron cage to protect from volunteer gusto. And yes we get huge flames going into the oven. That is why we load them staggered so the flames can burn better without hitting each other. It is a nice effect, but we get better consistent heat if we let one roar and as it simmers down we load the other and away it goes.
2 years ago

r ranson wrote:How could I fix this lamp base?

Plastic is crumbling and the cement (?) Under it is also starting to crack.  But otherwise seems stable.

It scratches the floor.  Otherwise works great.  Love this lamp.

You could turn it upside down and put a small flange around it the fill it with fiberglass and resin with black dye making sure the flange is non stick. That aught to make the base solid. One approach.
Or you could carefully remove the concrete and plastic and re pour the concrete and add some nuts in your bottom form that you could screw in some rubber feet after. Grease some bolts to hold the space during the pour. Remove them a day after the pour and put the new ones with rubber on a week after or just set them in there from the start-- they might not adjust as easily that way though.
I'm sure there are easier ways, but, those two should work fine, but might not work for every person.

Good luck, I hope you find a solution that works well for you.
2 years ago