Tina Nixon wrote:I’m growing yacon - it’s been multiplying nicely for the last 5-6 years; crosnes for the last 3 or so, skirret, and runner beans & dahlias. This year, I added winged beans, which also have edible tubers. We have tons of day lilies around, but I hesitate to eat it in case I am prone to its surprisingly laxative effects. I’ve been a big fan of yacon - the yields are huge, they store through the winter easily as dormant tubers much like dahlias do,and everyone in the family likes the taste.
I was planning on getting skirret this fall to plant. How do they taste? Are they easy to grow?
I use a calcined shale (5 parts) with a water glass mix of sodium silicate(4 parts) that is just on the irritant side of the scale and not corrosive. This mix equals one part that I mix for 5-6 minutes before I add 3 parts sand/gravel mix. It has the consistency of taffy and I need my forms to be sealed well. I use wax or vegetable oil. I cover them for 24hours to a week and then take them out. The stuff is really hard and difficult to pry from un-oiled wood. The problem with these though is the water glass(Potassium works better btw). It has to be small molecule water glass- meaning the silica should be in short chains of one to four silicon atoms per molecule; but if the company makes water glass that is all large molecules, it won't react.
So a water glass mixed with NaOH or KOH to a molar ratio that won't instantly burn you is a good starting point, but you will need to test it with some calcined stuff and see if it reacts. If after 24 hours it looks like stone you are probably good, the real test is to boil in water. The Pantheon was reported to be made with lime mixed with volcanic sands. Freshly dug Ignimbrite is the kind they used above water. I'm sure old volcanic ash like this could be calcined to make it reactive again. A rocket kiln on low would be the ticket there. And that was also 1:3 mix. Opus Signinum was also one part lime to three parts testa. The testa was clay tile that was under fired so calcined. It also has either analcime or phillipsite (zeolites) in the clay which helped react with the lime. This was used to waterproof the cisterns and aqueducts.
If you have access to slag from copper or iron smelters, as long as it is cooled relatively quickly, you can use that as an ingredient. The copper slag stuff makes a really nice black geopolymer.
I haven't tried this but it is supposed to be a good recipe.
20 parts calcined kaolin commonly called MK-750
20 parts blast furnace slag
24 parts potassium silicate water glass with a molar ratio of 1.25 at 50% concentration
then add 56 parts class F fly ash
supposed to reach over 9000 psi in strength
From the stuff I use to the lectures I've seen the basic premise is to take a weathered shale or a clay and heat it to 1200-1450 Fahrenheit for six hours and mix this with water glass and KOH/NaOH and maybe some alkaline minerals like slag ground fine and then mix this for a while before adding sand and gravel or other stones. You might have all the ingredients on your land.
One thing, this stuff will not stick to plastic, oils, etc; as well as cured epoxy, but if the epoxy is fresh it will bind with it. And PVA can be used as reinforcement in these concretes, because the alcohol molecule will react with the silica alumina reactions in these materials.
I hope this helps and is not to rambling and confusing. Sorry, it is late here and I am falling asleep as I type here. Oh and geopolymer.org is a great website with lots of papers and recipes.
paul wheaton wrote:Another idea for a project: making portland cement from ash
Maybe try geopolymer concretes? Many use ash, volcanic ash, slag, calcined shales and clays (except illite). I know the rural Chinese biodigestors were made from bricks. I am more inclined to use geopolymers though, long lifespan. Thousands of years. The Pantheon uses this chemistry, it is two thousand years old. Maybe you don't have the right minerals around you, but worth a look. Good luck!
There are some really fast growing Asinima Triloba (paw paw trees) and they generally wait to sprout until way later than most trees. My trees don't start to leaf and flower out until May. And some of these are bred to produce early. Maybe you could get a small orchard of paw paws to grow out there. Would be great to see.
And you might be able to grow butter nut, black walnut and some types of hickory nut and maybe American chestnut if you source from Canada, probably from New Brunswick or the islands that will have a similar maritime climate as you.
Lana Weldon wrote:
Btw, cashews can't be eaten raw, they are always steamed before being sold (otherwise they would be inedible/poisonous).
The poison in the cashew is actually a coating in the shell. The chemical is like the one in poison oak. So it is hard to crack one and get the seed out without getting the resin on the seed. I did hear of one company that found a way to do it without having to remove the resin first— why they are cooked. As far as I know they have kept the secret and are a monopoly on a true raw cashew. So those cashews can be eaten raw and the only thing poisonous would be the anti nutrients found in other seeds. I knew some raw foodists that would seek those out so they could soak them for 12 hours before making cashew cheese.
I'll get some pictures of the older design when I get home. The new burn chamber is too difficult to use. So we are going to shorten it. The old design was 3 1/2 bricks deep and 1 1/2 bricks wide with 4 layers on edge and the port was raised off the floor about 2/3 rd's of a brick height to leave room for the ash build up. The door was below the fourth layer so the smoke would more easily go to the port which was higher than the door. This system was easiest to use, but a volunteer threw in wood too many times and broke the port. Hence the side burn now. I think we will go back to the first version now with some iron cage to protect from volunteer gusto. And yes we get huge flames going into the oven. That is why we load them staggered so the flames can burn better without hitting each other. It is a nice effect, but we get better consistent heat if we let one roar and as it simmers down we load the other and away it goes.
Plastic is crumbling and the cement (?) Under it is also starting to crack. But otherwise seems stable.
It scratches the floor. Otherwise works great. Love this lamp.
You could turn it upside down and put a small flange around it the fill it with fiberglass and resin with black dye making sure the flange is non stick. That aught to make the base solid. One approach.
Or you could carefully remove the concrete and plastic and re pour the concrete and add some nuts in your bottom form that you could screw in some rubber feet after. Grease some bolts to hold the space during the pour. Remove them a day after the pour and put the new ones with rubber on a week after or just set them in there from the start-- they might not adjust as easily that way though.
I'm sure there are easier ways, but, those two should work fine, but might not work for every person.
Good luck, I hope you find a solution that works well for you.
Sorry I didn't get the message there was a new post here.
Here are some pix of the oven.
We still have to add the secondary air feed, so we have to be careful how much wood we put in, but it throws out a lot of heat. The foot pedal is for the guillotine door that helps get the oven really hot.
Sean Henry wrote:Now that it has ended is there a way to change the shipping info. I want just the downloads and not the DVDs ($150 level). I could not find where to change it?
I'm not sure, but I think all the things are locked down. BUT! if you did pay for shipping (instead of the virgin islands trick) then we will have some lovely alternatives for you.
I bumped mine up to 40 but did it on a phone so it stayed at the 20$ reward but had the 40$ pledge. I hope I can get the solar dehydrator plans because I was going to build one for a friend soon and I thought why not kill two birds with one stone? I couldn't find the Virgin Islands thing on my phone during my break. Sorry.
I built a rocket stove pizza oven. And we have rebuilt it to fix some problems.
The basic design is to take a barrel type wood oven and on the back arch you extend the arch to create an opening for the rocket exhausts to go into the oven.
I have two six inch batch burn rocket stoves under the oven, one for each side. The risers extend into the oven and go 2" above the floor to both bring in flame and heat and prevent things from falling from the oven into the riser.
The first change was to create a higher burn chamber and to raise the port at the back so the smoke would go to the riser rather than the door when you load more wood, a pizza oven will take many loads. We made sure the top of the door was at least 2" below the top of the port.
That was done on version one.
On version two we have made the wood burn chamber ridiculously larger. I was worried, but it burned well. It is just over 4' or 1.3m deep. We also made the rockets riser on the side of the burn chamber, both original riser ports were destroyed by enthusiastic helpers throwing wood into the burn chamber with too much vigor. Now with the risers on the side and to the rear of the rockets, there is a bit more resistance. And the secondary air comes from below now, the upper one burned out fast, the rocket pizza oven is kept at a high temperature for 5-7 hours so lower secondary air is easier to replace and less steel is exposed to the high heat.
This oven has been used in a restaurant for over a year now and has performed well. The main thing that was needed to make the rocket part work was the door. The first door was a box kind of door, basically a rectangular piece of chimney with a slit on the oven side as low as possible with the area of a 8"/20cm chimney pipe. That lowers the heat layer to bring the temperature of the bricks up to temp quicker. When that box failed and a normal door was put in the oven did not preform as well as before. A new one is being built and it will open guillotine style now via foot pedal.
I plan on supporting this one too. I just have been very busy lately and look at emails maybe once or twice per week and only glance at them. I'm going to buy to support you, because I appreciate what you do for permaculture, I've built a few rocket ovens now and helped with others to build theirs, so I wasn't too anxious to sign up for this one. I hope this will give me a different design as different points of view are great for expanding horizons and by the way-- the stretch goals are great. Regardless, I want to help so I hope to have the time within the next few days. I apologize for not being able to help earlier.
After Chernobyl, the mushrooms that grew under where the cloud passed were radioactive for quite a while. I think you might have good results if you till in a lot of sawdust and then seed it with mushroom spores, oyster mushrooms seem to do well at accumulating heavy metals. When they fruit you collect all the mushrooms and find ways to get rid of that or process it.
There is a guy who proposes to grow the accumulators and then burn the plants after (I suppose in an electric generation plant?) and use the ash as an ore to sell to places that need these minerals. His name is Rufus Chaney. At least with his approach the toxic stuff is not just getting thrown into a landfill.
Wj Carroll wrote:Does anyone know how to drill/bore a straight hole/channel through the center, end to end, of a 6 ft long closet/curtain rod? Basically, I want to run a piece of 6 ft long metal conduit straight through.
I've used specialty drill bits for electrical. They are for going down walls. You would have to set up a jig to keep it straight and go in and out of the hole numerous times to clear the shavings, but it would bore the rod.
I like to use bones with plenty of marrow. And I cook it for three days. I made a really nice one where I first lightly fried chopped beef heart in a skillet with clarified butter and olive oil then added that to the bones and simmered at least 10 hours a day and then let it cool overnight on the stove and heat it up again in the morning topping off water until the last day. In the end I added onion and carrot and celery with some chili peppers and salt until is was luscious.
Another great one I made in a huge pot hanging on a tripod with the pot to the side of the fire. I kept the fire hot all day and into the eve for two days then I stripped the bones the next morning and everything fell off easy. I then added some veggies and some organic veggie salt and it was perfect.
If you want to go crazy, save all your onion peels; tomato and carrot ends; hearts and ends of celery; any other waste bit of veggie and keep it in the freezer until you can fill a huge pot. Then boil it to half for three times then strain combine this with the bone stock that you did the same with. My uncle does this and wins any sauce or soup contest he has entered. mmmm yummy!
Maybe you could look into using an umbrella system like John Hait uses in his Passive annual heat storage buildings (PAHS). The umbrella would keep your structure dry and help increase your thermal mass.
Marishka Noyb wrote:Would Hemp work for thatching?
From what I've read, they had to paint the hemp ropes because they would rot from the inside out if wet. I'm not sure if the stalks would rot in the same way because it was the fibers that made the rotting rope. This rotting is why they switched to jute.
Could be an interesting experiment to see if the whole plant has better rot properties than when made into rope. Maybe on a shed?
I remember the smell of burning peat on the beach at our bonfire made from peat near Glen Head. There is plenty of smoke from peat, so I would think it would work in a RMH just fine. You can always dry stack some bricks in a rocket pattern and test fire it and you should see if it will work, but I'm thinking it will work fine. I think I would go with a batch burn though, because you get those great coals from peat and they could build up and stay for quite some time; they could clog up the burn tunnel in a J tube or the feed tube in a L tube, maybe they won't but I think having chamber for them to sit in is good insurance. I like to make my burn chambers bigger to accommodate ash and to keep the smoke in the chamber when I open the door. But I'm sure you can find something that will work well for you. Either way I hope you post pix of what you come up with.
Years ago I saw a tunnel like arbor made entirely out of fused pear trees. The trees were 8' on center and arched up to about 11' high where they curved over and were grafted to the tree on the opposite side and the branches were trained laterally and grafted together. The tunnel was filled with pears and cooler than outside the structure.
I was wondering if you could improve the drying time by adding a feature in some of the solar dehydrators.
What if you put an air inlet into the shed up high that gets it air from a ceramic pipe laid into the ground so the air would be cooler going in, so less moisture, and then had the air going out come from the bottom of the room and then pipe it to the chimney and have this pipe surround the chimney and exit up and out of the building with the warm exhaust. The top of the chimney would look like a donut and the lower inlet pipe could act as an air lock. My theory is that like the solar ones the warm moist air will flow easily down because of the weight and then the double chimney will create the suction to pull it out of the building like the black pipe does on the downdraft solar dehydrator. Just a thought.
Joshua Segatto wrote:I found the plans to basically create a condenser out of aluminum pipe by running the pipe under ground, then back up and coiled in a 55 gallon drum in order to serve multiple purposes... 1) Draw humidity out of the air and collect the water 2) cool the air to run to a green house 3) cool down the water in the aquaponics system
However I haven't been able to find a ton of information on using aluminum in an aquaponics system other than that it can corrode? Does anyone have any warnings or information on why I shouldn't add about 40 feet of aluminum piping that water would circulate through??
They have a heating pipe system that is a layer of plastic layer of aluminum and another layer of plastic. Called aluminum PEX, I believe, but I used a generic version. I used this in a commercial aquaponics system and had no troubles with it. The metal never contacts the fish water. But I had it full of heating water and the outside was in the fish water, you might have to seal the ends in a way that covers the slight aluminum edge or just use the pipes as a heat exchanger like I did and have the water in the pipes not mix with the water of the system with a small circ pump moving the heat out. The way the fittings are you probably could just put a small amount of silicone on the edge and then crimp it and the fishwater would never get there, however, if you are using the fish water directly you could have clogging issues-- so I'd just keep the water separate, but there are many ways to skin a cat so I'm sure you could if you want to save having another pump.
Richard Gorny wrote:Here is my current design, I'm not sure if it will work as intended, but I'm optymistic
My friends had a system hooked up like this and the lower tanks would bulge. We fixed this by putting an anti-backflow valve in between the upper and lower connections. The upper tanks fill first then overflow into the lower and the take off side has the valve right before the T connection. This allows water to be drained from both banks. The higher pressure means the uppers drain first but it works.
John Brown wrote:Jason, this is a powerful topic - a worm hole that is worth going deep into! I will not let a dead fly go under utilized. They will go into the worm bed! And I will be setting out fly traps to catch as many as possible. Mosquitoes too! We will be testing the extract on grasshoppers and are looking at them for lice and other insects on cows as well as ticks. This is very exciting information!
Let me know how it goes. I was warned not to add too many insects as it crashed his system. Maybe you can find a better recipe!
I saw these things called washing holes in Dalmatia once, if I ever have a river or stream I'm going to try them.
If you are ever in Dalmatia in Croatia there is the river Krka. You can take a boat up the river and upriver from the island monastery there is a little mill town called "Skradinski buk" taking advantage of the falling water. Where the water exits some of the mills they have it flow through round holes in the ground. These washing holes are stone lined in a cylinder shape, like a shallow well. The water flows through these washing holes in a fast whirlpool fashion. The locals have these wicker baskets that fit into these whirlpools and they told me that you put your dirty laundry in them for five minutes and you pull out clean laundry with no soap needed. It was the coolest washing machine I have ever seen. No moving parts, they've been in use for over two hundred years and they clean like the dickens!
Satamax Antone wrote:Temps after 2 hours burn, are a bit on the low side for my liking. I have done pizzas in the past, professionally.
But it seems nice after 5 hours!
Somewhere between 2 and 5 it happens. We are still fine tuning it. I think once we start using only black locust and oak or other very hard woods our time will improve. Combined with insulation I hope to have it there in 2.
Satamax Antone wrote: Nice. What kind of temps do you get? After how long?
It heats up to pizza temp in 1-2 hours depending on the type of wood used. The back third of the oven is over 300 C or 572 F on the floor. It can go to 400 C or 752 F after 5 hours. And the front third is 200 C or 392 F on the floor.
It really flows well on long nights. I think it will perform even better when the insulation is competed on the top. The owner wants to integrate a lounge seat so it is taking time.
Here is a short video of my new double rocket stove pizza oven.
I adjusted the burn chambers of this batch box system. I made the burn chamber higher and deeper as well as lifted the port above the floor. This keeps ash out of the riser and allows for longer burn times. This is in a restaurant so they cook pizzas for hours and hours. It was built with a lot of recycled material, and yes those are galvanized ventilation pipes, but the temperatures never get hot enough to cause them to off gas or burn.
We had to modify one riser already, since it is loaded quite frequently and not always carefully the port can break out and damage the riser's CSA. It is now reinforced with the second coming soon. The old oven drew well because the heat bench chimney was closer to the riser. When riser two gets rebuilt the pipe will be closer to the riser to get the draft going. We may also have to add a guillotine valve to stop the system from taking out all the heat. This is a stratified heat bench so it may not do that, the old system did and if not closed up would suck all the heat out of the system.
The two rockets are positioned just outside the footprint of the oven floor and the back arch of bricks is extended to curve over the risers. This allows the flames to shoot into the oven from either side. We load the system one side at a time so the flames take turns reaching the apex of the oven. It has less chance of smoke this way.
Pizzas cook in 90 seconds to 5 minutes depending on where you place them and how fast you want them to cook when both rockets are lit. For normal baking one is sufficient.
Aaron McKinley wrote:
-thin cement cinder blocks as base for the firebrick
I'd personally shy away from having any cinderblock from having contact with the flames directly. Portland cement will pop and crack and deteriorate really quick at around 600F. The ash buildup may help slow it down.
Have you looked at using a batch burner? That way you would not need a cage. I'm on my fourth now and I've been making changes. First I make the burn chamber longer and taller now so I can put in longer wood and so I can raise the port where the smoke mixes with secondary air and enters the riser. This gives me room for the bed of coals and ash without blocking the port. And it gives me room for the door to be lower than the port to make sure when I open to load it that the smoke keeps going to the port which is higher than the door.
Thanks to all I've learned from you guys I've now built my second rocket mass pizza oven. Well we've reached the test fire stage, we still have to build the mass and doors and the second rocket. But it fires well and clean.
I think this is one of the coolest ideas I've ever heard! Really cool Paul! I hope you get a great group over there. I'm a little far away, but I'm routing for you. It seems that this is a great way to develop a strong community with people having a similar mindset. Eighteen months of separating the wheat from the chaff and a reward at the end. With a growing community of self sufficient people. Just brilliant!
15 cm is equivalent to 6 inches and 20 cm is equivalent to 8. So from your picture if you have a tall chimney it seems like you are within the length that Erica and Ernie set forth for a 6" system. You start with 11-12 meters and subtract 1.5 meters for every 90˚ elbow but add 3 meters for a tall chimney. Seems like you are right there.