Martijn Macaopino

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since Jul 17, 2018
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duck forest garden tiny house bike wood heat homestead greening the desert
Biochar enthusiast/stove developer and project manager at the Permaculture Playground
Algarve, Portugal
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Recent posts by Martijn Macaopino

I only use soap on rare occasions, other than that its water and a good scrub with a homegrown loofah
6 months ago
Interesting stuff this, I haven't been active on the forum herr since I find it a bit awkward to use comoared to other forums I frewuent but am willing to give it another try as Im starting to get really fed up with facebook groups where the endless influx of people new to topics keep telling the actual experts thst they are doing it wrong. This PEP thing seems like the perfect tjing to prevent that from happening here
If your soil is acidic anyway then a bit of ash is nothing to worry about, I wish I had that luxury.
1 year ago
Hi Neil, did you end up building this?

i have been thinking long and hard about ways to combine making biochar with rocket stove technology and came to the conclusion that this would be needlessly complicated, not only to design and build but more importantly in the day to day use.

Loading of the biomass to be charred and especially unloading of the finished biochar needs to be possible without making a mess and I haven't yet found a solution to this.

For this reason I have been focusing my efforts on the TLUD methodology and have taken this inside by adding a bell and flue to contain the flames and gasses and take them outside.
1 year ago
Hi David,
Have you considered using a small retort inside your woodstove?



I've done this myself using a small (about a quart or so) stainless steel can with a few tiny holes punched around the edge of the lid and then placing it upside down onto a bed of embers inside my dads tiny Jotul 602n stove. This works great and gives you 100% ash free char. The char being ash free is quite important to me since the soil here is already leaning towards the alkaline side so I rather not add any ashes to it on purpose.

Retorts are especially nice to pop into your stove at the end of the evening because you don't have to worry about the stuff inside them to smolder down to ash if you leave the retort in your stove overnight.
1 year ago
Quick little update, I am currently working on a brick version that uses the 20 liter fuel cylinder of my first stove and will have the same steel plate up top as well.

The all steel stove was putting out way too much direct heat and soon after the stove was out the heat would be gone as well. The first stove had too much mass around it and was poorly insulated from the walls so it took too long to properly heat up and radiate that heat out into the space.

The new stove is made with 5 cm thick bricks standing upright and has a dimension of roughly 50x70x170cm with a proper bell and depending on the initial exhaust temperature might even get a stratification bench as well.
1 year ago
I transplanted some vetiver slips last weekend, hopefully they take. I'll break up another plant or two soon as well and will post a picture then.
2 years ago
I guess I'll just go with vetiver indeed.
2 years ago
So what about lime wash instead of latex? It is all natural and can breath as well so you are not suffocating the tree.

I did go ahead and put this on some sunburned loquat trunks but wonder if it doesn't have negative consequences.
2 years ago
So I want to plant something in between my swale and what will be my greenhouse this winter to help prevent the side of the swale from eroding because of the runoff from the greenhouse.
The obvious choice here would be vetiver but I'm a bit disappointed that livestock can't eat it so I'd rather plant something that does the same yet can be eaten by either ducks or guinea pigs.

One alternative that comes to mind is Phalaris arundinacea but I have two worries:
1 doesn't it get way too hot for that here in the South of Portugal (up to 47C in summer)
2 I read that it can be quite invasive but wonder if it isn't too dry for that here anyway


The swale does get flood irrigated once in a while and has about a dozen guava seedlings planted on the berm itself (in between all the sage), some nitrogen fixing trees as well and then a couple more guava's and pomegranates directly below the berm.

Any ideas or other alternatives are welcome.
2 years ago