Using wood chips could dramatically extend the time it will take for your compost to mature. Reason is that it will take longer to decompose than other covers. There is something more important to consider though. What i would recommend is determining what soil improvement your particular soil needs, then use that as a cover. Woodchips might very well be the best soil amendment for your situation. However, if woodchips is not something that would improve your soil, I would use something else for a cover. I use peat moss myself as a cover because it is a soil improvement for clay soil - which I have. So using it as a cover means that I am getting 2 uses out of it rather than one use. My soil is on the acid side, so wood chip mulch goes in the opposite direction of what my soil needs.
Daniel Zimmermann wrote:While copper might work better in your area, part of what makes this work in the slums this is designed for is that there's no material in it worth salvaging. Copper and aluminum are sellable for scrap,and it's not uncommon to see A/C units stolen for the metal parts (at least here in California).
Good point. I think if you have the $$$ to do something else, there are better ways to cool. However, if money is scarce, this is an almost free way of getting some relief from the heat. The biggest disadvantage I see is bugs. I am concerned a screen might block much if not all of the wind created by it. It will take me some time to collect enough bottles as I am not a soda drinker, and neither are my friends. However, at the very least I plan to use this in my chicken coop and barn windows.
Devaka Cooray wrote:
Hmm! How about this idea: maybe a bit more efficient version to this would be to have a highly conductive metal neck, attached to a thin copper pipe which carries water. Since copper and water have high levels of thermal conductivity, that would effectively absorb the heat accumulated at the metal neck of the bottle. Since the cooling power is proportional to the rate of heat loss, that would cool it down a bit quicker, I guess....
I cannot speak for Texas, but for Maryland this is what happened in 1999 when I moved here. It was the health department that I had to deal with. The residence had to comply with all modern health codes. That meant septic, etc. The explanation I was given was that they would not give me a residency permit on the property that did not meet code as, at a later date, i might want to use the regular toilet. So a septic and drainage field was installed based on the number of bedrooms and baths.
So basically, I had to comply with all modern code and hook-ups. After it was installed, the health police doesn't patrol my restroom to verify I use it the modern wasteful way.
This website is full of 3rd world compatible designs to solve problems such as pumps, Showers, Hydram, Weaving, and flood control. They use tools and materials commonly used or accessible to 3rd world residents.
Frankly, several of their designs will prove useful to me in America. The weaver seat is brilliant and should solve my sore knee problem when I make rope and a few other chores.
Their water pump design will serve me well for getting water from a well/cistern to my hugelkulture that is going in.
You might talk to your Agricultural Universities near you. I got Rhizobia free in exchange for sending them soil samples collected a specific way bi-monthly. The only variety that nodulated for me was Dragon Milkvetch in 2014 and then only 1 plant in the soil treated by Rhizobia. The same plants in the same soil on either side of it did not nodulate. I planted Huang qi with soil I obtained from a Chinese grocery in St. Louis Missouri but it died of crown rot in 2015 I will try Huanq qi again in 2017.
So my only success, though moderate, was from the inoculate that I obtained from my local University.
Yesterday started the first phase of putting in the hugelkulture for me. I have 2 cattle panels stacked to make an 8' deer proof fense, and the upper fence was taken down yesterday. The dip for the first logs to be put down is being dug, and the area will be re-graded to flow into the hugelkulture. This is the most expensive part as I am paying an excavator to do it.
Altogether, I expect the whole thing to cost me about $800 for 2 4' high - 35' long hugelkultures. I know most go higher, but am short so that seems a better height for me.
The garbage can on the platform was filled with water for a drip irrigation system. It will be moved elsewhere next year.
I use this system to water my plants: http://www.chapinlivingwaters.org/ I purchased 3 units around 2005 for $45 per unit and it is still going strong today. I use 2 setups and use the 3rd setup as spare parts for the two I use.
With it I can use some grey water, such as pee water, and rain water as long as it is liquid only. It only takes a small chunk to clog the drip irrigation. I use 2 Brute garbage cans for the buckets. I fill them by hand in the mornings before the heat sets in. I do not have water pressure so hose filling is out. For Tomato plants, bush type plants, and individual plants such as cabbage, I used the Chapin system exactly how he designed it. Those plants want water less often but more of it. When I fill that bucket, I do so twice in the am and the pm. The second setup I use a soaking hose and have it snake back and forth through a long bed. There I plant beets, potatoes, turnips and root crops which grow close together.
The garbage cans go on top of the platforms once the have water in them. The wind can undo hours of laying out of lines unless they have weight in them.
I plan to install 2 rows of hugelkulture this fall. I will use both methods for the next few years and probably stick with the one that is the least amount of work.
My chickens are free range chickens and had access to the humanure pile. The only problem I had with them having access to it was that they kept laying eggs on it. I suppose to take advantage of the natural warmth coming from the pile. I have since abandoned the humanure pile and use a non-Jenkins system.
Since I sold my eggs, I do not myself eat them, having eggs laid on the humanure pile did not increase their value.
I have always thought if I were to build a root cellar, that I would make it so that it had a 6" or so depression so that water would collect on the roof. That way the roof would be constantly cooled due to evaporation. I would also make sure that it was heavily shaded by trees year round.
I tried giving it to chickens and at first they would eat it only if starving to death. However, chickens raised on it will eat it. It is high in protein and a good quality feed.
My Nubian goats never allowed it to go to seed, and it died off for me after 5 years. It was a great feed for them, but my seed source passed on.
The oil it produces has a strong odor and not particularly good taste when used for cooking. However, to get the oil you grind the seeds in a mortar and pestle then press. Or at least that is how we did it. We used the oil in feed finding it too distasteful on the table. It has a bad odor when heated.
It never made it to our table and was only planted as a high protein food crop for the critters.
As far as a free source? Look for companies that reclaim computer components. DMSO is used to dissolve the plastic components. However, most steel 5-gallon buckets are recycled, in that they are returned re-used for more DMSO. Something like the way old Coke bottles were recycled. So you might have to pay the deposit to take one.
In 1995 I had had it with the city. I need solitude and nature to recharge my batteries. The only way to get solitude in the city was indoors. I only got nature with the occasional other person.
I had an accountant at the time and asked her how to purchase rural property in the States. The problem was, the type of property that supplied what I needed generally was known only by locals and not listed online, and not shown by real estate people due to the time it took to show the place.
Here were my specs for the property...
1. So remote that if you called 911, they asked for directions.
I found a way to find the property I wanted. I searched listings whose listing was about to expire. What this meant was that the seller was hungry and the real estate agency dysfunctional. I low-balled the price and got the property for a song. I was able to cash-out the property it was that low.
Remote, secluded properties are not generally popular. They are hard to sell as country people tend to be stable people and live all their lives in one spot. So the people interested in secluded properties are not a dime a dozen. There is a market for SHTF folks, but they often purchase overpriced land due to the difficulty in finding extremely remote properties.
Hope this helps, and I hope you accomplish your dreams.
I would do a test by getting some scrap sheet metal and place it around and observe the results with it facing in different directions. Scrap metal is much easier to move around than a stone wall, and you can know for sure what direction is best prior to putting up the wall.
Our road has completely abolished door knockers. When they knock at the first door, that person says they are not interested and that they are calling their neighbors to warn about their presence. They then, via the computer, text message everyone on the road warning of the door knocker, his description, and whether they are religious or salesmen door knockers. A lot of us wave off the door knocker before they even get out of the car. In my case, I close the gate to my driveway. Those that speak to them limit it to "You are not welcome on this road, please leave".
I haven't had a door knocker in 16 years as a result.
Anne Miller wrote:
#7 When you call the electric company to cancel - don't cancel as they will remove the meter. Instead tell them you will be out of town for 3 more [or something]... maybe they will leave the meter [maybe not]. Or don't call and just pay the minimum.
I hate lying, but maybe say to them property is vacant if they ask? Unfortunately our wiring is underground in our area, at least from the poles to the houses.
But I am thinking I could photograph the meter. Then tape photo behind glass and put it over the meter? It won't fool people close up, but it might from a distance.
With ridiculous stories about Florida forcing people to be on-grid for both electric and water, it occurs to me that the easiest way to be left alone is not to call attention to yourself. I am sure that the only reason my state hasn't forced people to be on-grid is because it never occurred to the legislature that anyone would want to live without electric. As I am very close to going off-grid (saving up for a windmill), I am think that going off-grid should be done quietly. So no one knows your off-grid. Then when they pass the idiot on-grid act in my state, I will fly under the radar.
Friends of mine not far from me were forced to connect to city water and plumbing when the water lines were run past them. So far I am rural enough to escape water/sewer being run on my road. However, I can see it happening and dread the day it does.
Some untested ideas of mine:
1. In our state we indicate on property taxes whether or not we are a resident. Tick the form "Non-Resident" instead of resident. It means I have to pay taxes all at once, but I do that anyway. I am thinking that it will be the property tax records that they look at when they try to find addresses not connected to the electric/water.
2. Register as a farm? I am thinking that farm use would escape notice.
3. Hunters Cabin? Call your home a hunter's cabin instead of a residence might work.
4. Hide your presence? Make your home look like it is part of the landscape. Or not a home but a barn, storage shed, etc. Don't park your vehicles where they are visible. Someone driving by should not think anyone lives there.
5. Have a on-grid compliant home up front next to the street. Rent it for income. Be off-grid in the rear?
I would prefer to be a non-conformist in peace than have to fight to be off-grid later. Would love to know other permie's thoughts on this.
I tried spraying plants I didn't want them to eat with tobacco sauce. No effect.
I noticed they left my gourd leaves alone. I made a strong tea of the gourd leaves and sprayed the plants they were eating. It worked. I head to keep spraying though. As long as the plants they wanted to eat tasted like gourds, they stopped at a few nibbles.
Mice! I found a nest of newborn mice. Letting them live was not an option, killing them personally was distasteful. I put the bowl outside and the ducks/geese made short work of them.
I don't supplement in the summer. They find bugs, grass, creepy crawlies, frogs, spiders, etc. on their own and actually get fat off them. In the winter, they get table scraps, crab apples, fish, goat's milk, whey. If they are sneaky enough, they get some cat food.
What I have found they won't eat, or at least mine won't is lemon/orange rinds & lima beans. They are not over fond of mint anything.
While Rent-A-Nerd was out here for another problem, I had him to come out here to figure out what was going on with why I could not order anything. The problem turned out to be a pop up blocker. He disabled it and suddenly everything works. Hopefully it happens to no one else, but they should uncheck pop up blocker on the internet explorer settings.
I only have IE 11. Will download another browser you recomend though. I am desparate. Excavator says he can start me Thursday to build my hugelkultur instead of next month and i was going to show him your instructions.
I pull up that page, but when i click on the button under digital download that says get more info, i get a message that says i cannot pull up that page. I assume that the next page is Paypal? To give you my money?
My computers are misbehaving for other websites too. I need to find a 13 year-old to fix this. I don't feel comfortable putting in my credit card on someone elses computer or public wifi.