Hugo Morvan wrote:Piss is my friend. I don't like the idea of dumping it on my lettuce though. I woudn't eat at somebody who does that.
I have lots of spreading comfrey(not a seeding kind!!!) growing which uses a lot of it. I use the comfrey to mulch and feed the bees and the soil etc. I feed on drip lines more or less, or just throw it diluted on the grass.
In summer when the compost pile is drying, i shade it by plant waste material, dumping urine on top of that woody debris makes it is eaten quicker by fungi i noticed. Spreading it all over makes it that i can say i think i never give toooo much, and it keeps the cats of neighborhood on their toes in my garden.
Leigh Tate wrote:Sounds like an interesting topic for some serious research and experimentation.
What growing zone are you in, Josh? Southern magnolias are evergreen and have deep tap roots, but I don't believe they grow much above zone 6 or so.
Abe Connally wrote:I live in an "earthship type" house. No, it wasn't made by tires, I went with a less expensive route - ferrocement and CEBs. My average cost was $10/sf. We do have a greywater garden and a number of the earthship features built into the house (the house is buried into a south-facing hillside). We started small, with one room, and slowly expanded as we lived in completed portions of the house.
The house does not get hot in the summer, in fact, I've rarely seen it above 75F inside the house. We set up our eaves so that there is no direct sunlight into the house from May through August. It's regularly over 100F outside in the summer. This week, every single day has been 105F or more, yet the house is never above 75F We don't have AC, but our neighbors do. We save a lot of money on those cooling costs.
The house does not get cold in the winter, even after cloudy days. The lowest I've ever seen the house is 60F, and that was after a week of cold (0F), cloudy, and wet weather. We have a rocket mass heater that we fire up in those times, and it easily keeps the house at 70F. Typically, the lowest the house gets is 65F, even after many days of cloudy weather. The point about passive solar is to have thermal mass inside the house that heats up during the sunny days and releases the heat slowly during the cloudy days. I use considerably less fuel than any of my neighbors to heat our house.
The famous umbrella house is a passive solar design in Montana. http://www.norishouse.com/PAHS/UmbrellaHouse.html It doesn't have a problem keeping the house comfortable, even without supplemental heating.
The reusing of greywater for plants greatly reduces our water use considerably. We use composting toilets, so the only wastewater we have is greywater. We typically grow herbs (rosemary, parsley, oregano, mint, etc) and tomatoes in the greywater garden. No root crops. And it's not enough to feed us or anything, but it does give us year-round tomatoes (our current plant is a few years old). http://velacreations.com/blog/419-monster-tomato.html Rainwater is our only source of water, so making the most of every drop is extremely important.
So, while some of the article's criticisms may be applicable in some climates and conditions, it does not mean that the earthship concept (buried, thermal mass, passive solar design with indoor garden) is inherently flawed. It means that adjustments must be made to fit your local conditions and situation. Finding a situation where eathships may not perform perfectly does not mean they can't perform well in other situations.
Some alternatives to pounding tires: earthbags, ferrocement, reinforced concrete, surface bonded blocks, rapidobe, Oehler's psp, wofati, etc.