I'm curious to hear how much ends up being skimmed off the top by Kickstarter.
Do they take a smaller percentage for the "Quickstarter" type campaigns?
Back in the day, you'd have to find a deep pocketed individual or organization, like a bank, to front the money you needed to pursue your dream, and those folks would certainly take a substantial cut of any profits, so it's not like Kickstarter is bad. They are performing a huge service. I'm just curious how much they take.
The heat riser was built of half bricks and then wrapped with the fire blanket stuff (which was then wired and wrapped in chicken wire). You can see it in his first post - dry stacked. The pictures of building it with clay slip mortar are about halfway down the first page, on my desktop.
Did you insulate your heat riser? What did you use? (It's possible the original metal is gone but your "insulation" has hard-fired to the point it has structural strength on its own, if you used something like perlite in clay for the insulation.)
The instructions are to heat water to 200 degrees (or let it cool a bit after coming to a boil) then pour a little water over the ground coffee in the filter to "bloom" it, wait half a minute, then pour the rest of the water over in a circular motion. People say the coffee thus brewed is delicious, and it goes right into your mug (or you could fill a thermos or a pot, as it can make more than one cup).
Pour-over coffee is all the rage in Portland these days.
Personally, I'm using a manual espresso machine, where I'm literally pulling a shot with a heavy lever. That too, is all made of stainless steel, but we had to look hard to find a good used one on Ebay that didn't break the bank.
I think the ram's horn just shows you how heated gases are moving, and good movement increases combustion. If your fuel is less than dry, you're not going to get good combustion because a significant amount of the energy is going towards vaporizing the water content.
I was sent an electronic version of this book to review, which is a little unfortunate because this is more of a tool than a simple book. That said, I give this book 9 out of 10 acorns as a super useful tool.
I have a similar tool put out by Lee Valley Garden Supply, which is, I think, a bit larger, more regimented and less artistic. I've found it to be a marvelous tool for getting to know the piece of land you are occupying. I love it so much I gave it twice to the same person by mistake! So I can speak from experience that keeping this sort of log is a great idea.
This is a place to record natural phenomena, like first frost and first ripe fig. (Although you can use it to record many other things.) It gains value over the years, as you compare one year to the next. It moves your observations into the fourth dimension: time. This particular log book has the whole year set out on nearly blank pages, two dates to each page, and lovely illustrations every so often. The essays at the beginning are lovely, emphasizing the importance of observation as a permaculture principle and noting how the act of keeping track of natural phenomena is good for more than just our gardens.
Thinking about this makes me wonder about a crowd sourced version online. It would have to be sorted geographically, but I imagine that observations from other people in Portland Oregon could be useful for me. Sadly, I'm not a programmer, so the dream of an interactive map/calendar/log will be put out into the universe for someone else to complete if we are lucky. If you plan or hope to stay in the same place for years I highly recommend keeping a biotime log, and this lovely version may be just the thing!
It's encouraging to hear that the number of people following Gabe Brown's advice is doubling yearly. These aren't necessarily organic farmers - he presents his way as being a way to make more money by decreasing expenditures on inputs.
There's still a lot more to do. I need to find all the tiles that fell off in the moving process and re-attach them. I need to grout the piece, and then it would be smart to waterproof it in some way. I want to tile the other three sides of this box. The whole thing needs to be trimmed, and the roof needs to be shingled and trimmed. The bottom part needs to be wrapped in chicken wire and cobbed.
Also, right now the door bumps into the first row of tile when you open it. I'm going to have to chip away at or remove a couple of tiles so that the door can open past flat, for easy access inside.
This is out at the farm, and I don't get to go there when I'm on call for a week at a time, but this past weekend I went out there to see, and take my own pictures. Here you can see our Beauceron, Tilly, and one of the steers in the background. We have 7 Dexter cattle: a young bull, a heifer, an experienced cow and her calf, and finally three steers from a different farm that was dissolving their herd.
You might want to add "about $12,300" in parentheses after the number CA$16,000 on the main Kickstarter page.
People from the United States are dreadfully U.S.A.-centric, and won't be doing that math in their heads.
When I go to the Kickstarter page, there's this weird thing where I first see the total in Canadian dollars, then U.S.A. dollars are substituted in. So just now, I glimpsed $11,042, and then it blinked over to $8,512.
When I look at the stretch goal being $16,000, when the current total is around $8,000, it seems very far away, and that's kind of discouraging. If I were better at math, I'd know the stretch goal is more like $12,000.
Allan recently spoke about this same topic, and here's the video. Having just watched the video, and reading through my notes above, I can see a lot of overlap, which makes sense. The problem is still reductionist thinking, and the solutions are still holistic.
Sadly, he has no slides with this. On the bright side, that means you could listen to it while doing something with your hands, like a podcast.
I'm not an expert, but my understanding is that seedballs are most often made in the winter or spring for spring dispersal. I would advise exposing your seeds needing stratification to cold temps prior to incorporating them into the seedballs.
I think you're right - seedballs distributed in the fall or early winter (in a moist cool climate) will have so much rain hit them that the clay will spread out too much to help. The compost or manure/clay mixture will help and I'm sure much depends on local conditions.
To me, the defining characteristic of a rocket stove is the insulated heat riser which contains a "domesticated chimney fire," where it gets so hot that the smoke and wood gases burn up. So, that's definitely not happening here, the goal is slow and low combustion.
The shape is reminiscent of a rocket stove, so I can see how you could call it a smothered rocket stove. You wouldn't want to build an actual rocket stove from concrete blocks, because they couldn't take the heat. For this application it's just fine.
Can you share a bit about fermenting apples? How did you do that? I usually think about salt brines for fruit or veggie fermentation, but I'm thinking you don't want your pigs eating a lot of salt. . .
Walter Jeffries uses fruit trees in his permaculture inspired hog farm in the mountains of Vermont. He uses double fence lines so the trees themselves are protected. Here, check out his description from his excellent website:
We have a lot of apple trees out in the pastures, primarily wild. Both pigs and chickens enjoy the drops.
One of my long term goals is to plant thousands more apple and pear trees in double fence lines between the paddocks. The fences arranged such that they keep the larger animals off the fruit tree root zones but smaller animals can creep in to eat up the fallen fruit. As the trees grow they’ll extend outward over the paddocks dropping fruit for the larger animals too.
These reserve areas are also good places to plant forages that spread their seed into the pastures to automatically reseed the paddocks annually.