Daniel Richardson

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since Feb 10, 2018
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Recent posts by Daniel Richardson

I created a topic that sorta compliments this one, let me know what you think.
The Belt Ranking System of Energy Independence
2 months ago
About a year ago I started a topic to discuss and gauge how prepared you guys were in the event of a long term power outage.
"The power goes out. What next?"

From that topic I discovered that there was a very wide spectrum of folks and preparedness levels. Some people were very prepared, while others just accepted their fate as inevitable. Only a few had ever tested their systems in real life during outages longer than a week.

With the goal of helping everyone(myself included) become better prepared in the event of an energy shortage -electrical or otherwise- I wanted to create a system to categorize and establish goals for individuals/families.
Even though I'm not into martial arts, it made sense to me to use something like the Karate Belt System with intermediate stripes for achievements. Why reinvent the wheel?
I'm looking for feedback, and if there is already something better than this let me know. Obviously the difficulty to reach different levels will vary wildly depending on needs and wants, or whether we're talking about an individual or a family. The goal is to help people figure out where they really are by testing in a non-emergency and finding ways to improve. I think we should include vehicle fuel in this assessment.

2 months ago
I'm navigating this area myself and learning all I can. One chart that surprised me was the cycle life vs. depth of discharge. With battery technology progressing so fast, I'm really left scratching my head on what type to use for my house. Lead-acid can last a really long time(a lifetime) if you have enough of them to keep the depth of discharge very low. With the amount of researching happening though, I'm guessing some miracle battery technology will present itself in 10 years or so that will blow the rest out of the water.

Goodenough Glass Battery for Hydro-Power

6 months ago
Yes, those look exactly like some I've seem growing in Aspen. The wife loves their fragrance!
6 months ago
Anything can be done with enough muscle power. Usually for these things we use an attachment for a skid and those can go most places. Screw-piles work great in a lot of soils if you install them correctly. What kind of site/soil do you have?
6 months ago
Finish the semester strong. Do not attend next semester unless the virus panic has subsided. You are not getting what you paid for with just online classes. You are right, agriculture is not something to be learned remotely. Find something else that fits your strengths, something that can make you actual money. Something practical, maybe not your dream, and get good at it. Bonus if it does align with permaculture in some way. If you have to switch paths in school to accomplish this, do it. Study business, not necessarily at school. I've seen a lot of brilliant people fail because they just don't understand business. Live with your parents or others if you can and save money. Unless you inherited a big farm, it is going to be hard making a living with a degree in sustainable agriculture. Your desire to have a homestead is admirable, but it will be the school of hard knocks that will waste many of your most critical years. Besides, most everyone needs outside income to make it work. Put it on the shelf for 10 years. 10 years is nothing and it will fly by. Do what most people do, but do it better. Get a normalish job and be disciplined about your money. If you put half the energy into building your profession as you would waste in your first year of messing around in permaculture, you will do amazing. Find permaculture things to get experience with on the weekends and plant a small garden this spring. Make it your hobby. Hold off on having kids until you're at least 25 and don't let bad relationships drag you down. Find someone who brings something to the table if you don't want to be single and don't ignore red flags. You can do everything right and lose all of your hard work to a divorce, trust me, I know. Make friends who share the same dreams and encourage each other.
6 months ago
As you know, cob doesn't insulate very well, but can store heat like a champ, I second the RMH idea. Placement on the site is important. A lot of the old cottages in windy/snowy areas are partially built into hillsides and are low to the ground. The aerodynamics and shape of the house can be a huge advantage. If you're against modern materials like rigid foam-board etc, I would try some kind of a cord-wood cob hybrid. You know who has been living in your neck of the woods for 1000's of years? The humble beaver. Note the shape of their den and that it is an earth-composite structure. If it ain't broke don't fix it! I have always wondered why people have endlessly cut wood to burn instead of cutting it once and using it for insulation.
11 months ago
I messed around with some calcs a couple years ago for cob/earth composite structures. These have earth for the roof and everything. I made a quick gif of the process for any interested. I ended up not building this because I wanted to pick my battles with the HOA. Spans can very, as well as the thickness of wall. Exterior foam-board is basically a must for various reasons. Would yield a stout structure for a low price with the right soil. The model is for a 10'x10'x12' shed, a common size to avoid permits.
11 months ago