Matt Todd

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since Apr 25, 2019
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Always a backyard gardener, now expanding into permaculture!
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Northwest Missouri
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Recent posts by Matt Todd

You will never (sorry) be able to fight cedar apple rust out of your local cedar trees to the point of having any positive effect on apple trees. If you want apples then they have to be varieties with rust resistance.
I say this because even if you get rid of all the cedar on your property, they're still going to be around on neighboring properties. And if yours had cedar apple rust, those likely do too.
1 month ago
Not sure what your overall setup is like (how the passive solar relates to the rest of the house) but I find that a 90 degree roof is ideal in my passive solar porch
Any more admission of light would get too hot in the spring and fall. The axial tilt of the earth regulates mine simply by putting the sun higher in the sky when it's too hot out to want that direct light into the system.
1 month ago

David Harrold wrote:  I have never been so disappointed with a berry bush as I was with sea buckthorn.

And here I was holding off on digging them up until they produced! Doesn't sound like they'll be any better if/when they finally do give me berries. Not that I'm certain I'll even be able to dig them up with ALLLLLL the runners they've put out.   I did a post about it last summer:
3 months ago
I built a semi-finished room in my basement. The floor starts with a "air gap underlayment" that comes in rolls and looks almost like lego board. This allows you to put vinyl tile on top but keeps it slightly elevated off the floor to prevent both moisture and heat conduction. Here's an example:

Chose this stuff because we do get occasional seepage after hard rains.
3 months ago

thomas rubino wrote:Ok, Matt;
Were you going to bolt this down or let it free-float?

Free floating, corralled by masonry so it can't shift around. Like maybe cut a notch out of a course of bricks to sit over the flange so it's held down in a way that it can still expand a bit.  
4 months ago

thomas rubino wrote:Hi Matt;
You are hoping to use a metal box as the roof of a DSR3?  Is that correct?

Negative, it's the roof of the whole bell. The core is far below, pictured as the black rectangle(s). Granted, it's still a goodly amount of heat spewing upwards out of the core. I figured it would be fine just like the classic use of a drum over a standard batch box heat riser but with even more clearance between core exhaust and bell top.
4 months ago
Still contemplating an RMH design since I missed the boat on building this year. My latest idea is to build the core, likely DSR3 style, into a brick base and top it with a heavy gauge steel box. The box would be flanged around the open bottom with even thicker angle iron, sitting on top of the brick, free to expand and contract on a superwool gasket. The flue would rise from the brick bottom of the heater so no holes in the steel box. Essentially the same design as any RMH that uses a metal drum.

Pros over steel drum:
-Longer life via heavier gauge steel than drum.
-Appearance-  A drum would look horrid in our dining room and stacking bricks around it even worse.
-Ease of build- setting a square box on a square base is simpler than building a brick base to support a round drum.
- more cost up front.

Pros over all-brick bell:
-Responsiveness- It would look better and allow me to “tune” the mass much more effectively by adding bricks along the sides of the metal box until I have just the right balance of heat release and retention. I want some quick head and ability to easily “tune” because the passive solar porch can change temps rapidly and seasonally.  
- Ease of build- Avoids the double skin and refractory materials necessary in the top of a brick bell.
-Metal won’t last forever even of a thicker gauge and may warp.

Am I on to something workable here, or would a heavy gauge box warp too badly even well above the batchbox exhaust?
What gauge would be sufficient for the box?
4 months ago
By no means do I have any experience with grafting, but I did happen to look into these crosses this week and can point you here:

Hit the little pulldown menu on the different crosses and they show what rootstock they're on. Looks like "citation" and "St. Julian" are the two they use. I'd be growing some if I cared for plums enough to grow them to pollinate the hybrids, which I'm almost surprised are not self fertile.
4 months ago
I switched to horse stall pellets years ago and will never go back. You need a sifting litter box, and you essentially use it backwards from clay. When the pellets get wet, they disintegrate. So you shake down the boxes every few days to let the spent litter fall through to the collection tray. Turds dry up and desiccate much better than in clay litter. Easy to remove with some dedicated tongs at the same time that the spent litter needs removed from the collection tray, once a week or so.

The pine pellets are great a neutralizing smell naturally with no added fragrance and the waste can be composted or simply broadcast into the woods to decompose.  
4 months ago
My lights are on lightweight paracord. The cord loops up over a nail or S-hook and I clip it to itself with a binder clip (the black ones with the chrome handle used in office supplies.) To adjust I just squeeze the clip "handles" to loosen, adjust the height, and release the handle.  
5 months ago