Hello! We want to have a permaculture-related reading at our wedding in a few weeks, and I am trying to find one that eloquently summarizes the vision of permaculture. I am currently in rural Alaska and do not have any of my permaculture books with me. What are some of your favorite permaculture readings that would be appropriate for a wedding ceremony? Thanks!
I wish I had some better photos, but we were in such a rush when we built it, I am amazed I managed to snap a few. So, when our chicks arrived at 2 weeks old, they did wonderfully in the brooder, even with a couple of freezing nights. We could heat the mass up in the brooder with a good 30 minutes of burn time, and it would remain warm for several hours. With the heat of 100 little birds in an insulated box, they stayed plenty warm. I am convinced now that if we were to make a hay-box brooder the heat from the animals themselves may have been enough to keep them warm. It doesn't hurt to have the added benefit of warming up a nice mass for them.
To answer a few questions I saw...
We did not have a problem with the chicken scratching. They did scratch, but they didn't do enough damage to even get near to exposing a too-hot spot.
We also regulated temperature by keeping a nice exposed air gap in the lid. So the end with the mass was covered with an insulated lid, while the cool side was not covered and had fresh air. We burned the heater for the first week but once they were 3 weeks old we found we didn't need to burn the heater as often.
We will be getting 100 more chicks this coming friday and will stick them in the brooder from Day 1, so can share more insight in the coming weeks. Hope this helps!
We think that there are many options for a rocket mass brooder. This is just what we came up with, with limited time and finances.
As you can see from photos above, Tony made a 6-inch cardboard form. We did not use any firebrick. From the photos below, you can see that we also managed to build a quick pole shed to protect the brooder from rain.
Ok. I have a few minutes to spare so I will share some photos and a description of our "Rocket Mass Brooder version 0.7" experiment. Tony and I knew we would be moving to Mastodon Valley Farm around May 3, and had a batch of 100 Freedom Ranger chicks arriving on May 8. We also knew we wouldn't have electricity. So we did a little research and learned about "hay-box brooders" or using kerosene lanterns. At first we thought we'd try building a "hay-box" but still wondered where we'd get a heat source. Hot rocks? Hot water bottles? After spending last winter in the rocket mass heater tipi, I began to imagine a Rocket Mass Brooder. In my first imaginings, I thought we could build a structure made entirely of cob, so essentially build a round cob basin that would have ducting in the walls, and would return to the barrel and exhaust from there. But then we thought it would be good to have a cool area as well, instead of encircling the entire enclosure with warmth. We also had limited time, so we decided not to build a 25 square foot cob basin, and instead opted for a quick wooden insulated box. There is a sawmill on the property and plenty of scrap wood so we slapped together a wooden box and attached some purple insulation that was lying around with a R4-R5 insulation value.
At first, we also wanted to build the Rocket Mass Heater core with 4 inch ducting. We though this would make the project quicker, and would provide sufficient heat for the chickens. We even spent a day searching for a smaller steel barrel. But after contacting Erica, we felt we better not waste time tinkering with a less optimal system. But we did go with 6 inches. We felt 8 inches would be too big of a mass.
We then decided we would send the ducting through one end of the box to create a warm mass on one end of the 8 ft by 4 ft box and leave plenty of space for a cool end. We did debate whether or not we should have the ducting return back to the barrel so that the exhaust would be heated up by the barrel, but with trying to keep materials cost down, and wanting the exhaust to be as far away from us as possible, we decided on sending the ducting through the box once, from the core out to the other side and up. This still left a giant mass for the birds. We filled the bottom 4 inches with perlite, then set the ducting on top and surrounded it with another 4-5 inches of thermal cob.
We also decided to build the core entirely out of cob (heavy on perlite for the burn tunnel and heat riser). Unfortunately, we were in such a hurry that the manifold and heat riser collapses on us the night before the chicks were to arrive. But we decided to buy two more pieces of stove-pipe that was filled with perlite-cob to replace our heat riser and after a week or so of burning the heater, it was dry and ready for our chicks!
Hello. I plan to add photos and data soon to share with you our experience with our rocket mass brooder. We will let you know how well it has worked. we are also getting a 2nd batch of 100 chicks 6 days from now. as soon as I have a chance I will update this thread.
Yes, it was cutworms! Two nights ago we went out with headlamps and found a couple of them. So we surrounded the tomatoes with diatomaceous earth and have not had any more deaths in the last 2 nights. Horray!
I have about 270 tomato and tomatillo plants. Over the last week I have found 1-3 of my seedlings completely beheaded. At first I thought: mice, then possibly rabbits, but now possibly cutworm? I am just curious to find out if this has happened to others and what you have done about it? Thanks! Help me troubleshoot!
We will have 100 broilers and 100 laying hens by the end of the week and are wanting to sprout grains for them. We are new to raising chickens, so would love to find out if there are recommending feed mixes from sprouting. Thanks!
I have a lot of concerns in that space: one is the idea of having six contestants get to sep 10, 2016 and all six seem pretty weak - so the idea of giving away even one deep roots package seems painful.
Perhaps a way to protect yourself would be to say that it would be possible that none of the contestants would win a deep roots acre to prevent it from going to someone you think is weak. And still possibly be open to the idea of there being more than 1 deep roots winner if there are some awesome contestants (or this could be for future contests if it goes over well). If it is awarded to one person, and there are others who are closely behind maybe you can extend the contest, awarding another acre in another year or two. But instead of awarding it to the "best" person, there would be a certain standard to achieve before any person is eligible for deep roots. That way it won't go to anyone you deem weak.
paul wheaton wrote:
The next is being disrespectful to the people that are paying for deep roots.
I suppose having a discussion with each one of them and finding out what they think is fair would be good. (You have probably already done this)
paul wheaton wrote:
The next is the idea of how I get to continue to pay taxes for the land and pay for infrastructure and pay for gappers and pay, pay, pay, pay while others benefit from all this payment without making further contribution.
Maybe the winner of deep roots would need to pay 1/200th of the taxes.
I do think that this could be a wonderful opportunity for some people, and also beneficial for you to have a thriving, working community on the lab. It will all depend on finding the right applicants. Having them listen to at least 300 podcasts seems necessary. And perhaps a 2-day check-out like Joel Salatin does. This seems to be a very effective method. Maybe even a mandatory 1-week check-out. You will want to trust them, and they will want to like being under your guidance. This is something you already know, but there are higher stakes in this scenario. Good luck!
I have been thinking about this and foresee a few potential problems...
Whoever signs up will most likely be interested in and motivated by the offer to stay on as deep roots. With only one winner, that leaves at least 5-11 people or groups of people who will be very disappointed at the end, when all of their labor and energy will have gone into something that they won't be able to keep and continue to invest their time into.
With that, I think it will be very critical to make it very clear what the standards are and will be when judgment day comes. Within each category, it would be good to give more specifics.
I also wonder if some people will foresee that they will not be the one/s chosen and will call it quits before the end. It would be sad for the 1 person left if they put tons of energy into their project and would have won the challenge, but won't because everyone else has left.
What if there could be multiple winners? Perhaps if the participants know that if they reach certain standards (they would be high standards) in all categories, then they would be eligible to stay on as deep roots. The ideal would be that the ant villagers develop camaraderie and put as much energy into their acre as possible, and would be motivated to do it. Motivation may dwindle if, when the end date is approaching, they don't think they will be the chosen one. I would think that if you could get a handful of people who do an excellent job with their acre AND like their ant neighbors AND want to stay permanently, that it would be good to keep those people and convert as many of those acres into deep roots as deserve to be. It would be sad if the winner were left all alone. It will be sad for the people who have to leave. I think the more remarkable thing will be to keep as many awesome, deserving people as possible.
It seems the approach might need to be that people can pay $800 and play with an acre for over a year and you will probably get some cool things built and started out of it. OR you could really motivate the participants by offering more than one deep roots prize and REALLY get some awesome things happening. It is difficult to fully invest oneself into something one cannot keep in the end.
I am trying to come up with a plan for raising broilers this coming summer. Following Salatin's broiler pen style seems like a good place to start. However, I would be attempting this on some gentle hilly and undulating terrain. It seems that his model would only work on perfectly flat ground. Has anyone come up with a broiler pen model that works on uneven terrain, or have ideas for alternative systems? Thanks much!
I wanted to share these photos with the folks at Wheaton Labs after all the time I spent peeling logs there last year. Perhaps you could employ goats to peel all of the future wofati logs?
The other day we felled a tree here in southern oregon to be used as a beam for a goat slaughter. It was toward the end of the day and we were debating whether or not we should peel the log. Then we thought... let's just put it in with the goats, and they went to town right away.
(Of course, in reality it would take the goats quite some time to actually peel this already dead-ish tree, but I thought it was a lovely sight, and a wonderful thought that potentially goats could be employed to peel our logs. =)
Hi Adam... I am very much looking forward to reading your book. Recently I have been learning about the differences between A1 and A2 beta casein in cow's milk. It now seems important to me start a herd with guaranteed A2 cows and wonder what your thoughts are on the topic. It has also made me wonder what other factors should be weighed and considered when looking for my first dairy cows. I imagine it can be difficult to find a good source when first starting out. Where would you suggest someone begin to look and what would be the most important considerations when choosing a breed? Thanks!
Happy to see that the tipi is being used and loved!
I noticed at the end of the video that the fire was not performing well. This is a message for Jesse and Sam: make sure that you don't overload that particular rocket mass heater. There were flames and a little smoke coming up the wood feed, which is not good. The RMH in the tipi needs to be primed well before use in order for that to be avoided. And a lot of times if you over load the wood feed it will begin to smoke back and burn back. So: prime it well and don't put too much wood in at a time. If it begins to flame back, try a new method the next time you light it. =)
Tony and I have been getting prepared for our departure this week. We are currently "on call" for wildland fire so may need to pick up and go at any point but in the meantime we are trying to complete some of the things we started here before we depart, and prepare the tipi for its next occupants. We have been getting a little sentimental about leaving the tipi so I took a few photos yesterday and wanted to share them here.
Hello! I am looking for a permaculture farm to spend a few months on this coming winter. I am part of a team of 4: myself and my partner Tony along with my sister and her 1 1/2 year-old daughter.
Tony and I have had years of experience wwoofing and working on organic and permaculture farms in several countries. We will be leaving Paul's project this fall and are hoping to find a place good for children. My sister does not have any wwoofing experience so we are hoping to find a place where we can organize and share our work load and also take shifts taking care of my niece.
My sister is wanting to learn about sustainable farming and expose her daughter to farm life. We are hoping that if we go as a team we can offer a fair exchange. Tony and I are interested in all things permaculture and all of us would like to learn more about animal care and would like to find a place with lots of animal systems. And possibly a place with other young children.
We are available for a few months this winter so would like to find a place that would need enough help in the winter months. Please let me know if you would be interested in our group or know of a good fit. We have access to the WWOOF USA database but it can sometimes be difficult to find a good permaculture place.
Greetings from the Tipi! Tony and I have been enjoying the finished cob bench after moving back into the tipi this last week. There were a few cold days so we fired up the heater and stayed nice and cozy. Our sunscoop berm is full of life and the new colony of bees in our bee hut are enjoying the warm days.
Tony and I have decided not to live in the Tipi this next winter. We have other tasks and goals that will take us away from Wheaton Labs in September. We will certainly miss the Tipi. It brought us a great deal of peace, solace, and warmth through the cold winter months. We do not want the tipi to be empty this winter! We have put a great deal of work into making that space cozy and productive and would love to pass it on to another caretaker.
We have a small list of recommendations to improve the comfort even more this coming winter. And we would hope that a new couple would be up to the challenge! The hardest parts have already been done, but more improvements can always be made. We suggest a couple because although it is very comfortable, it is still a tipi in the winter in montana. It is nice to have 2 people sharing chores like chopping wood, starting/maintaining the rocket mass heater, sharing the cold journeys off of the lab on cold winter mornings.
So, if there are any couples out there (or a competent individual) make it known! And please ask any questions if you have them.
Micky Ewing wrote:One thing I'm wondering as I look at these photos is how liveable the space is. I've no doubt you have a cozy bed but that bench takes up a lot of floor space. Where do you cook? Where do you put pots, dishes, clothes etc.? Where do you prepare food and wash dishes?
Do you think in-floor heating might be a better option, with the bed at floor level?
Good questions. So, first off: we ate most of our meals down in the kitchen at base camp this winter. But we did spend a number of weekends in the tipi and would cook our meals. The barrell on the RMH works wonderfully for cooking. We were able to cook anything from eggs, pancakes, rice, beans, sweet potatoes etc. You can regulate the intensity of the fire to accommodate how much heat you need. We hung our cast iron pans and stainless steel pots above the barrel. We also had a small camp stove and 2-burner coleman stove that we never needed to use. I imagine in the summertime we will not be lighting the RMH very often, so using our camp stove would be the best option. In the winter, we kept two bins of food behind the bench but now tht is is summer we do not keep ANY food inside for bear safety. If we wanted to, we could set up a large bear box to store food outside.
There is not a lot of storage in this tipi, with the size and the bench. Before we added more height to the back wall of the bench we were able to store quite a lot of things, and access them reasonably well. But now that the back wall is built up about two feet high, our access behind the bench as been eliminated. With a larger tipi, I would think that building a circular platform on the inside back edge so that you could place bins on top and easily access them over the back of the bench, this would give you a sgnificant amount of storage. In addition, we can hang quite a lot of things from the poles inside the tipi. We also have made useo of our skiddable wood shed for wood, tools, and a few bins of clothes. There is more storage than you would think, but I also know that if you are choosing to live in a tipi, you are also choosing to greatly minimize your belongings unless you've got storage elsewhere.
We also have thought about building a mass that is at the level of the floor so that the floor is heated and we have a larger space. It would certainly be worth trying!
Tony and I have been very grateful to have the Natural Building Workshop participants here all this last week. For the last half of the workshop we were able to complete the cob bench in the tipi with the first plaster layer. We are thinking of adding one more final plaster layer, but it is looking pretty sharp!
We would like to offer a free 7-day natural building workshop here at the Laboratory May 25-31.
You will have the opportunity to:
1. Help prepare materials for the wofati. This will include learning various ways of peeling and preparing logs from a woodlot. Learn to use a drawknife, spud, log arch, and timber carrying tools.
2. Learn to maintain, sharpen and use gasless tools in forestry practices. You will learn to maintain sharp 2-person crosscut saws, axes, electric chainsaws and other hand tools used in felling and preparing logs for building projects. You may also have the opportunity to fell a tree with a two-person crosscut saw.
You may have the opportunity to:
3. Learn to operate a portable sawmill.
4. Help with completing the RMH cob bench in the tipi. There will be some structural and finish cob to complete, using materials found on the land.
5. Possibly help construct some hugelkultur beds and plant seeds.
The majority of the time will be spent preparing materials for the wofati, but we should be able to cover most other topics as well.
We ask that everyone arrive in the afternoon/evening of Sunday, May 25 and stay the full week, through Saturday May 31.
You will be offered meals, and camping options will be available.
There will be a cap of 24 participants.
In addition, if some people are interested in working through the month of June, you will have the opportunity to exchange Wofati preparation work for participation in the Wofati workshop in July.
Great timing to have Christy out! I just attended my first beekeeping class 2 days ago with Jacob Wustner, which was awesome. There are 4 new bee boxes here at Paul's and I want to try and catch a swarm or two. We want to build a bee hut or two first, then set out two boxes in two places. We have been given some frames with already drawn natural honeycomb, given to us by Jacob. We have also learned about using essential oil of lemongrass in addition to the honeycomb to attract a wild swarm. We are also planning to use frames with no foundation drawn but are thinking of adding beeswax to the tops and bottoms of the frames. So, my first question is: do you have any more suggestions for attracting a swarm?
Secondly, we do not want to use paint for the outside of the boxes but would like to protect them from weather (although our bee huts should help with that). Would any natural finish like a 1:1 ratio of beeswax and olive oil be an acceptible replacement?
Thank you for your time! I checked out a few beekeeping books from the library yesterday and am excited to learn.