Skandi Rogers wrote:It's a USDA zone 8 I would guess with a heatzone 1-2 WET and very windy, it probably never did have trees at least not on the west of the island looking at the satellite it's mainly rock on the west coast Not somewhere I would want to try to grow much to be honest, not much seasonal variation and cool cloudy summers coupled with high winds.
Great place for a small wind turbine, it sounds like.
James Landreth wrote:It looks great, but I wonder how it will be affected by rising sea levels
Mostly high coastal cliffs and a peak at over 400 feet above sea level, putting it on par with my home state of Kentucky. So while the current sandy beaches might cease to exist within a century, the vast majority of the island's landmass will be unaffected.
Yes, I noticed my error almost immediately. Apparently the Irish nearly denuded their islands of native forests in the 16th & 17th century in the rush to build ships. The island of Arranmore has roughly the same latitude as Nova Scotia, and since it's right on the ocean in the direct flow of the North Atlantic Circulation, it should have a marginally better winter climate. I'd bet that seeing the sunshine between November and April is pretty rare, however. So a permie that moved there could start their own deciduous forest, and be harvesting fuelwood in about 6 years. This is just about the ideal region for a trained RMH builder. If cut during wintertime, a lot of deciduous species will immediately start to regrow from the stump in spring, and faster than the original seedling because the new sprout will be able to draw upon the reserves in the root that the old tree no longer requires. And this island is not small, so it's probably got some good land available; for a permie's forest, not ag. As the Duke has pointed out many times, land that can support modern mechanized agriculture is always going to be too expensive for permies to do well.
It's a beautiful island in all the photos, which are undoubtedly in summertime. Notably, however, there are no visible trees so this island is very likely inside the Arctic circle. If a trained builder of rocket mass heaters were to move there, and a suitable fuel source is actually available in this region of Ireland, that builder would have access to a large portion of Ireland in order to offer his/her professional services; as the island is only 3 miles from the Irish "mainland", 5 miles from an airport and connected by a daily ferry.
Since it's only 3 miles from shore, why did it take so long for the island to get a broadband internet service?
Glenn Herbert wrote:
I would see a problem with a system that is guaranteed to smoke back and possibly even send flames out the feed if the fan stops working or the power goes out.
Yes, I have considered that issue as well. I'm thinking about putting in a small solar & battery system, just to run my fridge, anyway; and might make the forced exhaust vent a DC unit. That would definitely increase cost, though.
I'm unlikely to ever go to sleep unless the fire is out, however; so back-drafting due to power failure isn't really a great risk so long as I have a well fitting cover that I can drop onto the wood-feed to suffocate the burn if necessary.
I don't think you need to worry about moving the exhaust away from the house, as the exhaust will be well above outside air temperature and rise so it will not be a hazard for coming back into the space. I would locate it away from windows to be safe. I would also locate it at ceiling level to maximize draft. Is the walkout on the usual windward side, or the lee side, of your house? Any time the wind is blowing on that face, you risk reverse flow.
My walkout basement exit faces a huge copse of trees, on my back 10 acres. So when there's wind, it's always on the lee side, because the trees effectively block anything from that direction. That said, I do think that I have a solution to the backblow problem, with using a ground level dryer vent, that was mentioned by Erica on that video. The solution is to pipe another vent to the far side of the house, so that when the wind is on the side of the dryer vent, the wind doesn't produce backpressure through the RMH, but has a path of less resistance to the other side of the house. Worst case, the vent pipe to the other side of the house would have to be full cross sectional area, but one could probably get away with less for that vent pipe. Downside is that adding this additional vent is likely to 'whistle' whenever the wind blows, so it would have to be secured rather well to prevent resonation.
But, again, I'm not allowed to innovate yet, and I have no way of practically testing my theory in the backyard.
I know I'm not supposed to innovate on my first RMH, but I want to put it in my walkout basement as I finish it, and I want it to exhaust out the side of the house about a foot above grade level. I might also be forced to neck the exhaust down to a smaller cross sectional area, and maybe even into the ground for 10 feet and away from the house, so that oxygen depleted air doesn't have the chance to sneek back into the basement via the walkout exit. So with all of those factors, I would like some input/advice from the woodfire experts. Ernie mentioned on one of his videos that he uses 22 pounds of dried wood each day, so since dried wood is pretty consistently 8600 btus per pound regardless of species, that would mean that he is using about 190K btus in a cycle. First off, this means Ernie & Erica live in a pretty small house. But what I don't know is how long it takes to consume this 22 pound charge. If I knew that, I could calculate the power rating of a RMH well enough to know what size of an exhaust fan I would need to replicate the natural draft of a proper RMH. The next question then would be, is the exhaust cool enough across the entire cycle that I can expect that it will not damage a normal exhaust fan, such as found inside a bathroom, or should I forget about that idea and just pay the money for a purpose built powered woodstove draft fan?
Oh, and I'm looking to build the mass bench out of standard red brick & mortar, and perhaps without the barrel at all. I haven't decided if the insulated "riser" portion will still be vertical inside a brick column, or laid down inside the brick mass bench, since I shouldn't need the natural draft that a normal RMH produces. Partly because I don't want any hot metal surfaces on the bench anywhere, and partly because I won't be asking the Department of Making me Sad for their approval.
Nathan Allen Lewis wrote:If you all haven't heard of Living Energy Farm in Virginia (I think they branched off from Twin Oaks a while back)
They run a lot of motors and machinery directly off of 180V solar- no batteries, no inverters, no charge controllers I think.
It looks like they have replaced all the AC motors in their shop tools with 180 volt industrial DC motors. That's a slick system. Particularly the part about halving the solar array to get a nominal 90 volts DC for use with common household universal motors. As an electrician, I can say that the big downside is that DC voltage that high is much more prone to arc-welding the switches closed, and are therefore much more prone to accidents and fires; which is why they are not more common than they are. There should be a "pull-out" disconnect ahead of their 30 amp safety switches, that can be yanked out by someone in the event that the 30 amp switch welds shut. A standard forktruck charging connector with a large loop of wire (as both a handle and current carrying conductor) would work well for this. Also, only use fuses with high voltage DC, as normal breakers cannot be relied upon for DC; and industrial DC breakers cost a fortune.
It seems to me that the really permacultural and cheap solution is a raft or a canoe kind of thing--it's dead simple, really cheap, you replace the stuff as it rots (and it will rot, and quickly, but there's secondary functions that the rotting logs can be put to...you have control over it, you have autonomy.
What you are describing here is building a shanty craft from wood, and would negatively impact her ability to access dock & marina facilities when needed. A real sailboat, so long as it looks like it's been painted in the past decade and the engine (if present) doesn't leave a black cloud behind it, can be a cheap way to live because you don't appear destitute. It's the marine equivilent of living in your van down by the river, except you're on the river. It's a known and accepted lifestyle choice, and doesn't invoke thoughts (from marina residents, particularly) of a 'hard luck' case that might resort to stealing the brass fittings from their yacht to buy a meal. The security that comes from living on a boat, from destitute people in particular, exists primarily from the fact that most destitute people don't have access to a boat; and for this reason, most marinas are high security from the land/hard side, but open access from the sea side. With that in mind, if anyone is seen paddling up from the sea on something that looks like they cobbled it together from trash and found wood, that person is going to be regarded with great suspicion, and her ability to find odd jobs for cash or even make friends at that marina will be impacted. Conversely, if a person comes motoring up in a tiny sailboat that doesn't look like it's about to sink in the next blow; that person is generally assumed to be exactly the kind of person that the OP is looking to be, broke as a lifestyle choice, and therefore not desperate. It's not fair, but life's not fair.
Amanda Launchbury-Rainey wrote:Storing large quantities of good quality dried vegetables in mylar bags with moisture and oxygen excluders will give you the base of nutritious soups and casseroles at any time.
This is the core premise of the cookbook Dinner is in the Jar, so you don't even need the mylar bags. Also, the primary reason that butter crocks work to keep butter from going rancid in ordinary temps is by excluding light and oxygen; you could do the same thing with a well sealed Tupperware container with oxygen absorbents and kept in a dark place.
If you do have a small refrigerator with a freezer on your boat, you will be able to keep milk cold by buying a quality thermos paired with a set of re-freezable ice cubes (such as these https://www.amazon.com/HOFA-Reusable-Frosted-Plastic-Cubes/dp/B06Y62VYZZ/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=plastic+ice&qid=1557478430&s=gateway&sr=8-5). When you buy your milk (or open another pack of ultra-pasteurized) you pour your milk into your thermos with a few of those plastic cased ice cubes. Each day you add a few more, as you consume the milk. When it's empty, you wash it out, wash the ice cubes, and put them back into your freezer for the next cycle. This allows you to adjust your refrigerated volume, and makes for a more cost effective way to make use of a small fridge.
This year I have tried a three-sisters plot, that I planted in a spiral. I took a 2" piece of PVC pipe, wrapped a 10' piece of string around it, tied a pencil to the other end, shoved the pipe halfway into the dirt, then proceeded to unwind the string as I placed one corn seed every foot or so around the spiral. I didn't get to a full 10' foot radius before I ran out of corn seeds. The method that I'm using says that I don't plant the beans until the corn is 5" high. It's not 5" high, and I'm worried that most of my corn seeds aren't even going to sprout.
What you want is a coastal cruiser, 22 to 30 feet long. If you're living alone, aim for shorter. Not only will it be easier to handle alone, it will be cheaper to maintain as well as cheaper to dock, as both costs increase by length of waterline or length overall. A short enough sailboat can be effectively moved with a yuloh, when in a crowded marina or when the wind refuses to blow, so a shorter boat could also allow you to skip the backup outboard motor altogether. No deeper than a 4 foot draft, so that you can travel in any US waterway; there's as much to see along the freshwater coasts as there's to see along the saltwater coasts. This is the boat that I'm dreaming of building... http://quidnon.blogspot.com/... but it's a bit beyond your budget right now, and it doesn't yet exist. The Pocketship might be ideal, but is really tiny... https://www.clcboats.com/modules/catalog/boat.php?category_qn=wooden-sailboat-kits&subcat_qn=pocketship&code=pocketship-sailing-pocket-cruiser-kit
In the interests of cheap living, the longer that you can stay on the boat before you return to a dock in order to re-provision, the cheaper that you can live. The key here is learning how to eat food that doesn't necessarily need to be refrigerated, because refrigeration on a boat is very expensive. There are books on this exact topic. Water will be your greatest problem; where to store water that you can drink, how to store it so it won't go 'sour', and how to keep the rest of it on the outside of your hull. A raincatcher tarp and a food-grade water hose would be great things to have. The raincatcher tarp is exactly what it sounds like, basicly a 6' by 8' sailcloth tarp with a hose bib near the center. You hang it like a bimini, for shade, and when it rains you use the food-grade hose to direct rainwater into your storage tank(s). If you can stay away from a marina dock for two weeks, then spend one day at the transient dock to make a run to the grocery store, get more water, ice and propane; you can live pretty cheap on the "hook".
It would be good for you to learn how to fish and cook your catch, too. Learn about canned meats, canned butter, and ultra-pasteurized milk; if you're opposed to canned foods or pasteurized milk, you're going to have a hard time eating well on a boat. Condiments don't need to be refrigerated, but use squeeze bottles where available, the clean knife rule is a must here; and butter can be kept in a butter crock for many days so long as it doesn't get above 75 degrees F. Farm fresh eggs can be kept outside of the refrigerator for a few days, but store bought ones cannot because they have been washed of the bloom. If you don't have any kind of refrigerator, but still want to have refrigerated items, I know a method of getting a set of coolers (that can fit inside each other) to keep ice for about 10 days, using a system of declining space as you consume your food until eventually all three coolers are nested inside each other. Get to know and appreciate seed sprout salads, and buy a Sproutman bag. You'll end up down to no ice and just canned goods & sprouts before your two weeks is up, but the 'eat well, then eat to live' cycle is well known to live-aboards without powered refrigeration. Learning how to make homemade yogurt would be a useful skill as well. Have you ever seen those mixed bags of beans for "11 bean soup'? That little bag makes for a huge bean sprout salad.
Don't skimp on the marine band radio, the life-vest or series drogue.
Joe chiarelli wrote:What format is the eBook? PDF or Mobi? I tend to read on my Kindle Mobi format.
We have not yet decided.
all of the above I hope.
I can't get a pdf to work on any of my gadgets and it does not convert well to my kindle by any software I can access.
Have you tried sending it to your @kindle.com email address with "convert" as the subject line? I've done this a bunch with PDF's I want to read on my kindle.
I haven't tried it in the last few months. The results were pretty poor for me.
There seems to be two types of PDF. One type sees the text as text. These translate okay, but I still find a lot of errors and it difficult to scroll through. The other type of PDF sees the text as another picture. These don't translate so well.
But it might be better now. I'll give it a try.
Still... people will pay more money for an ebook that is already in the correct format than one they have to fiddle with.
PDF's don't translate well to Kindle format. I've tried it a number of different ways, and it just doesn't work out well. Technically, a Kindle can render a PDF directly, but in order to look at it without having to scroll left and right to read the text, you have to have the really big Kindle.
Okay, now I need to finally ask this question. What is a gapper anyway? I suspect that it's some kind of working apprenticeship at Wheaton Labs, but I don't know the details, and the details might matter to my adult children. I'm never going to be any kind of gapper myself...
Pfaffke van Oilsjt wrote:Just a quick thought;
Isn't there something like an organization for the blind in the USA/UK.
They might be really into an audio book... And they probably have loads of members?
Readers for the Blind, I believe. The US branch is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. I've been there, and it's in a terrible neighborhood called 'Over The Rhine'.
David Huang wrote:
For example, one on-line community uses a conceptual framework they call the 3 E's. These are the Economy, Energy, and Environment. So rather than just saying "Here's this book about permaculture I think you all might like." I present it as " Here is an exciting new book coming out that is focused on the 3 E's, looking at them primarily through the lens of the environment." Another group is people in the FIRE community (Financial Independence Retire Early). For them I'll point out the Early Retirement Extreme part and how this book is about saving money while improving our quality of life.
It seems that we listen to some of the same 'influencers'.
Nevermind about the card issue, I figured out what I was doing wrong. Does this notice above mean that I have to figure out how to get Mike Judd's E-book within two days from now, or two days from May 10th?
Last year I ordered a brick of Permaculture Playing Cards as generic Christmas gifts. Some people were like, "What the...? A deck of cards, whatever dude!" and others were like, "Dude! That's so cool! Can I have another for my (random relationship)?" So I was looking at the rewards for the support levels, and that delivery was expected by October and I thought, "Self, I could use these as my next round of Christmas gifts for those who didn't think the Permi cards were weird!". So I chose the $150 level, but every time I try, Kickstarter rejects my card info. I don't know what's going on. Does Kickstarter not like debit cards?
Davin Hoyt wrote:Paul talks about a wall capable of housing bees for heating living space inside a wofati.
That's an interesting use of the space, that would otherwise need to be filled with insulation, but what kind of heating would you expect from such a thing? I'd suspect that it'd be more ascetic than practical.
I'd love to hear about the solutions needed for underground tanks to "keep the water fresh"
In the 'olden days', a silver coin was sacrificed each year by dropping it into a rainwater cistern. If the water was clean when it went in, silver oxide from the corrosion of the coin would keep almost any single celled creature from growing inside of the cistern. If you have access to salt-water, then the tiny clorinators developed by Water-Step (from a donated license & private data of General Electric's original patents on clorinators from the early 1900's) would be ideal for you. At least, if you'd be okay with chlorinated water.
More importantly, as is relevant to your new book, the best argument for people to get it and start doing things is to improve their own lives. The "lower carbon footprint" argument will always fail, because even among those who actually care what their own carbon footprint might be, their motivation is fleeting. Very few humans are swayed by scientific arguments, and those who are swayed by emotional arguments are fickle. I estimate I changed zero minds with my previous post, humans don't learn or think like that. We're emotional animals, not rational ones. We feel first, then rationalize the decisions that result from our feelings.
Both the Wofati & rocket mass heater should win, in the long run, because they save their owner/builder real world resources, and the labor to acquire those resources. Propane is expensive, you have to work many hours at a job to stay warm in winter. Cutting firewood isn't free either, you have to spend many hours cutting, bucking, splitting & stacking wood to avoid spending money on propane; or you're paying the local woodcutter to do it all for you. Using a RMH doesn't just mean one-tenth the wood, it means one-tenth the work. Less, if you're just walking in the woods picking up deadfall, and don't need to cut or split it. Likewise, a Wofati just doesn't mean that I have a home/shelter that might not need any fuel for winter comfort (although I find this point unlikely, a 55 degree soil heat sink is great as far as that goes, but I don't consider 55 degrees comfortable, at a minimum a "heat bubble" would be necessary), but that I'm using much less of my personal resources to get it built. That point you made about the energy and labor time necessary to create even a little bit of Portland cement? For most of us, those resources of time & energy are directly related to costs; by eliminating cement and getting the vast majority of our building materials from our immediate environment (not shipping them across vast countryside to get them to our construction site) we are also significantly reducing our costs. Even the cost (and carbon footprint) of the diesel fuel for the backhoe is a drop in the bucket compared to the fuel used just to get milled construction grade timber to our site from the closest timber mill, whether or not the sequestration of carbon into the structure (via timber as a building material) is considered or not. So I'm not at all surprised that you couldn't get any traction while discussing sponsorship for your new book from environmentalist groups, your book doesn't forward their core goals. For some of them, it would actually impede their core goals, because such personal independence and action from their target audiences would undermine their political objectives; political action is not necessary if there's a non-political solution. You might have more luck getting one of those 'prepper' groups to sponsor your new book, as it would be more in line with their objectives.
Mark Brunnr wrote:
As far as level grade, I found one of the pictures from Mike Oehler's book hosted on another site, this is an example of one way to place a house on totally flat land:
If you level those patio areas so they slope away from the house a bit, and also put a waterproof barrier under say 6 inches of soil so light ground cover can establish while still getting that rain at least 5-6 feet away from your posts to drain it away, then that could work well. Just so long as you don't have a high water table and to be sure you aren't in a flood area.
That looks cool, but would never work in my area. I live in Kentucky, and the annual rainfall is way too high for something like that. Without a 10" drain from each of those patios, eventually there's be a spring storm cell that would put the house into 6 inches of water. We have artificial features all over this city that look like that without the house, and their purpose is to accept the storm surge, then drain it off into the city's storm culverts over the next 3 days.
I was listening to this podcast, and I had to stop. I was getting frustrated, not just because of your complaints that a national documentary's best response to offer was "get active", but also because you guys were actingas if that's not the point of the modern environmental movement!. But of course it is. I started off my political life as a card carrying member of the Green Party. My father, a long-time (but not his whole life) member of the Republican Party, found this immensely amusing. I would make all the arguments to my father, and he would patiently listen, and when I was done (assuming he wasn't in the mood to just mock me and laugh) he would then quite deftly poke holes in all my arguments using logic and science. He was, quite literally, never wrong; even though I thought I had the science on my side. My father would point out that, facts are facts, but facts taken individually (or out of context) is not science. He would also often mention that, "politics is it's own thing and has it's own motivations, you will figure it out eventually Son."
Again, my father was never wrong. I mean never.
Eventually, about age 22 or so, I started to catch on. The Greens would be better called "The Watermelon Party", because they were only green about skin deep, but every solution that they could offer was all Red. Did you know that one of the founding members of Greenpeace, who was an actual climate scientist, was expelled from the institution that he helped to start because of his lukewarm support for improved nuclear power technologies? They then tried to "memory hole" his founder status, until he sued them over it. This is just as true with every other politically active environmental organization that can be found, because organizations that actually do environmental work don't do political actions.
But my greatest objection to the whole "Climate Change" fight, is that nothing that any of us can do, politically or personally, will have any kind of measurable affect on the long term trend. Even if you are able to reduce your personal carbon footprint to a net negative amount, even ifeveryone could, it won't stop the climate from changing. Here are some more climate facts for you to consider...
1) The atmospheric concentration of CO2 has been both higher and lower than it is today. The baseline level of CO2 of about 200 parts per million, as recorded a little bit before the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, is not only the lowest in geological history, it's the level at which most (type 3 photosynthesis) plants that exist today begin to die for lack of CO2. The geological record has CO2 as high as 5-7% of the atmosphere, and plants doing great. This is the top level that greenhouses will "dope" their closed environments with CO2, for human safety reasons, but research suggests that concentrations up to 12% are okay for plants before other consequences really begin to matter. Keep in mind that before those fossil fuels were in the ground, all that CO2 was in the atmosphere. Yes, at the same time. We could burn fossil fuels until we kill ourselves off, the plant kingdom won't care, and the Earth won't become Mars or Venus either.
2) The level of the oceans have been both higher and lower than they are today. The current #1 hypothesis for the location of Atlantis, if it existed, is the "Eye of the Africa", officially known as the Richat Structure. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richat_Structure) If you look into that theory, you'll find that it's rather compelling on the matching data; except for one key point. It's hundreds of feet above sea level, and miles inland from the current coast.
3) While CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the method by which greenhouse gases work is worth understanding as well. All greenhouse gases are refractive in the long-infra-red spectrum of light, but not in the short-infra-red spectrum of light. What this means is that very hot objects, such as the sun, produce an IR wavelength that passes though the gas without impedance, but cooler objects, such as the surface of the Earth at any latitude, will bend that light (if it's coming in at the correct angles). Said another way, IR radiating from the surface of the Earth at night that goes straight up will pass right through, but at an angle, some percentage will be "bent" back down towards the Earth, to strike somewhere else. The practical effect of this is that greenhouse warming is not even across latitudes, but is much stronger towards the poles. The reason for this is, while some of the refracted IR will return to the Equator, the vast majority either leaves for space or returns away from the Equator; with a net migration of radiant heat moving towards the poles. So while the Equator might warm up by another half of Centigrade, the extreme latitudes might warm up by closer to 7-8 degrees Centigrade. Half a degree would hardly make any difference at the Equator, but 7 degrees in the Northern Territories of Canada and the Siberian region of Russia would make a huge difference. It might even make those vast territories livable.
4) The greatest contributor to the climate of the Earth is, of course, the output level of the Sun. Which is not constant. It has several overlaying cycles of increasing and decreasing activity across the electromagnetic spectrum. There's the well known short cycle of about 11 years, and another closer to 300 years, and longer cycles that remain theoretical for many reasons. In addition to that variable, the relative position of the Sun to the Earth varies over hundreds of years; because (contrary to popular belief) the Sun is NOT the center of the solar system. Both the Sun and the Earth actually orbit a point in space called the "barycenter", which is usually inside the space of the Sun, but it's never close to the center of the Sun. Because the Sun is so large, this means that as the Earth "precesses" around it's orbit, the distance from the Lumiere surface of the Sun and the Earth can vary by millions of miles. Radiation (which light is) is reduced by a cube of distance in open space, so that difference of millions of miles doesn't vary the amount of sunlight that hits Earth as a straight percentage of the overall distance, but as a percentage of that distance to the third power. Said another way, there's a huge exponential effect. BTW, we are currently in a long term low of solar output, which completely explains the "pause" of warming recorded since about 2000. I'm a ham radio operator as well, and tracking "space weather" is something we do, because it gives us a predictive element to how far we can get our radio signals to bounce around the Earth. The Sun's been sunspot free for weeks as I write this, and the all time record for a sunspot free Sun was just last year, and is months long. Sunspots are a sign of higher solar output (and solar wind) activity. No sunspots for long periods of time imply that the Sun is in a down cycle.
So while humans are affecting the climate (of course we are, we're humans; altering our living conditions is what we do, all life does that), it's neither apparent that such warming will even be a net negative result (for humanity) overall, much less some kind of environmental catastrophe. And as for the rising sea levels, that's predicted to be (at worst) about 100 feet of sea level rise over the next couple hundred years. Sad for those tiny island nations in the South Pacific, but definitely not Waterworld, and everyone else could get up and walk away.
So the current trend is hotter overall, and even ceasing all carbon based energy use, and sequestering as much as we possibly could; is not likely to prevent or delay that warming trend in any meaningful way. And even if it could, there's not much evidence that we need to bother; since the vast majority of the warming will be to the benefit of humanity in the extreme latitudes, with minor to moderate negative consequences realized at the equator and coastal cities. Those who live in coastal cities will have to move, or figure out other strategies like Venice. Montana's growing season will grow longer, as will Canada's; their winters may be milder. If that frightens you (more ticks?) then the Northern Territories of Canada are calling. Of course, that won't happen in any of our lifetimes, or even those of our grandchildren, but it's something to keep in mind for our grandchildren's grandchildren, assuming that TEOTWAWKI hasn't wiped out half of humanity by then. I participate in Permies in order to improve my own living conditions, and those of my family; not because I think I owe Gaia some kind of tribute.
BTW, Paul. You mentioned in passing on your WOFATI podcast(s) that you were surprised that preppers didn't do WOFATI (or permatculture generally). Let me be the first to mention that I found Permies (and you) because I was already a prepper. More permies are preppers than I think that you are likely to ever know.
I'm also considering making the "front" or uphill entrance way a small greenhouse, and the doors out of a reclaimed 6' wooden reel, formerly used to hold a *lot* of telephone cable. This wouldn't be a home, but more of an outbuilding attached to the northern exposure of the greenhouse. I would probably end up using it mostly for storage, with wooden pallets of gear sitting directly on the pea gravel "floor" to garantee that the gear stays above any water line. Bonus, my floor is a permeable drain across it's entire surface! I'm dreaming of a Hobbit-house kind of feel.
Listened to the latest podcasts, parts 1 & 2; and it brought up two questions for me....
First, how much grade is enough? I do live on forested land with a gentle grade, but is it too gentle? How would I know?
And second, what about cutting standing timber off at about 10 feet from grade, and using the standing stumps as all or part of your internal support posts? If I were to lay down a few inches of pea gravel as a "floor" over the root systems could I just leave it like this? Or is there some reason that a deliberately set post must be several feet into the ground?
Phil Stevens wrote:There were two, and if my memory serves they were 15 cm diameter. I could ask if they'd let them go for $100 for the pair. Could even ship one to you, but getting it across the Pacific won't be cheap.
<sigh> Yeah, I didn't notice your city tag until just now. That's probably not going to work out. Unless I can convince my wife on a New Zealand trip! (hmmm)
I wonder if a basic clay pot could handle the heat. If I had one clay pot that could fit pretty snug into another clay pot, the larger could be embedded in the top of the burn tunnel with it's bottom cut out. The slanted sides might permit the smaller pot to work as a plug, filled with sand or fire-mortar, to be lifted out for a photograph or a quick look at the state of the burn. Alternatively, the smaller pot could be filled with small chunks of wood to be turned into charcoal, and itself capped to force the smoke down through the small drain hole in the bottom and into the flow.
I've been considering building an outdoor Rocket mass water heater, that I can use as an "outdoor" hydronic heating loop source. I was thinking about embedding some clear glass jars, bottom side in, as an observation window for the interior of the heat bell portion. I think that if I do this, with the original jar top accessible on the outside, I can use a small webcam to record video of the interior from every angle that I install such a jar. I have a lot of jars...
But my question is not about that part. My question is, if I were to put one or two of these on the top of the horizontal burn tunnel, would it survive? Or should I expect it to not survive very long?