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Denise Cares

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since Oct 12, 2018
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USDA Zone 7a
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Recent posts by Denise Cares

Rachel Royce wrote:This is my first permie post so I’m not sure how to include pictures yet. I use bamboo to make espalier trellis for a Belgian fence of 15 heirloom apples I put in to shield the view of the driveway. I use bamboo as high support poles for my tomatoes  , with a string hanging down from the support pole for each tomato to twist around. My sons use long bamboo poles to rescue various toys that have gotten stuck in trees or on the roof, lol.

Rachel, I'm looking forward to seeing a picture of your trellis fence.  I'd like to copy the same idea to make a privacy fence or visual screen for my side yard.  It' would have to be about 30 ft long and about 6 ft high.
1 day ago
There's some very ingenious methods being used to crush biochar! Another question I have that I didn't see mentioned before is whether it's good to use softwood for making charcoal - pine and cedar?  It seems that those woods don't leave behind much solid material for crushing when burned in my woodstove.  Maybe hardwood is considered essential?
2 days ago
How finely does everyone recommend crushing the chunks of char?  How do you find is the easiest and neatest/ cleanest way of doing this without producing a fine dust cloud of it and inhaling it?  
5 days ago
I think the curved design is great - both for strength and to allow more light inside.  Also for shedding snow.  If you would please darken the handwritten lettering in your diagram it would make it so much easier to read your drawing.  
1 week ago
Wondering what type of hand pump Roberta put in?  Is your cistern made of cement?  I don't know too much about cisterns as in this area people set up poly holding tanks above ground, but I'd sure like to avoid the petro-products for drinking water.  What is the name of the windmill company that was mentioned in Texas?  

Dan Boone wrote:

paul wheaton wrote:This might be our 30th attempt for a reliable water source.  

Here is the first try.  We thought that in this spot, the water would be about 8 or 10 feet deep.  So we dug a 16 foot deep hole.





OMG that is one dry-ass lookin' hole.  I suppose it's OK to laugh, now that you've got a well I guess.  But that had to suck.

I think the thread I saw was the one where you had the excavator down on a bench in a huge hole, going deeper.  



Well, this dry hole a good head start for a big cistern!!  :)

paul wheaton wrote:The well is near the clay pit



When we made a flat spot for the well drilling equipment, that was the first time we ever found bedrock.  So there is a patch of bedrock right next to the clay pit.  Weird.  

Josiah and I talked about it and we think the best strategy is a big cistern and a link from solar to the pump.  So when the sun shines, the well pumps.  The cistern will simply gravity feed anything below it.  And if the cistern is full, the extra water goes to the clay pit (which will be reshaped into a pond).

I talked to one of the well guys a couple of days ago, and it sounds like there will be a lot more conversations over the next week.  The big question now is about the pump v "2 to 3 gallons per minute":

  - a small pump that will continuously pump 12 hours on a sunny day, but probably just pump a gallon and a half per minute.  So maybe 1000 gallons per day

  - a larger pump that will pump more like 5 gallons per minute, but shut off when all the water has been pumped, wait for some more water, and then pump more.  Maybe 1500 gallons per day

Another idea would be to add batteries and a full controller to the system so there can be pumping 24 hours a day, plus pumping for cloudy days.  So maybe something closer to 2500 gallons per day.

My 2 bits as a home owner with 2 wells... (learning the hard way and paying for the privilege).  I have been told that its not good to "oversize" a pump to the well.  Why? Several reasons: Starting the electric pump is what draws more power, so it's more efficient $ wise to keep the pump running once started. If you own stock in the power company, well ok, run up the power bill :).  Also every time the pump starts up it creates torque of the pipe (which is why they put in torque arresters every few feet down the pipe). This torquing puts a strain on the pipe, pump and everything else.  Remember there is also electrical wire running down the pipe and taped/fastened to the pipeline, so the more torquing the more chances things can cut loose and start to rub and cause friction and wear out/short out, etc, you get the idea.   Also, because of more frequent stops and starts (when the pump saver shuts off the pump because of low water), it can wear out the pump faster - creating the expense of pulling/replacement of the system.  So the 'moral' of the pump story is...slow and steady as she goes (gpm pumped = or < the recovery rate) will take you further in the long run.  An electric pump can run during the night and in inclement weather, and the solar pump can take over during sunny days.  If your casing is 6 in you may be able to put in both solar and electric pumps side by side with one pump set slightly above the other. As funds allow, the solar pump can be added later.  Discuss this with your well guys and plan ahead to avoid later difficulties.  Putting in as many cisterns as you can manage would be a good long range plan to give you the extra back-up capacity you need and want for possible future demands.  If these can be situated to allow for "gravity feed" all the better.