Lif Strand wrote:Forgive me for being a dummy about this, but I'm not sure how to use my affiliate number that I've already got set up. I see on the 'permies affiliate management' page that there's a list of products I can get a link for to share with others, but I don't see the Kickstarter greenhouse there. But I see at the top of this page that there is a kickback for it.
So are these two different things? If I can't get a link through my already set up affiliate dashboard, could I get a link here, please?
Yup, you need a whole different link. Here is the link for the kickstarter:
Forgive me for being a dummy about this, but I'm not sure how to use my affiliate number that I've already got set up. I see on the 'permies affiliate management' page that there's a list of products I can get a link for to share with others, but I don't see the Kickstarter greenhouse there. But I see at the top of this page that there is a kickback for it.
So are these two different things? If I can't get a link through my already set up affiliate dashboard, could I get a link here, please?
I wish I could have a walkable meadow here in western NM but what gets walked on tends to die.
In fact, one way I keep certain weeds down is to walk on them specifically to stunt or kill them. Tansy mustard [Descurainia sophia] (a.k.a. flixweed, khaksheer) is one of them -- though walking on them only works when the plant is small. It's a non-native invasive species, toxic to livestock if eaten in quantity. It loves disturbed soil so it grows particularly aggressively around my house and garden areas. While it's very young it does look pretty -- a rare lush green in the arid summer before monsoon rains come in. When it matures though, it's prickly and when it dries out, it is scratchy,the broken bits get everywhere, and worst of all the prickly bits get in your skin and are practically impossible to get out. Unfortunately tansy mustard puts out lots and lots of seeds, so it's an uphill struggle to get rid of it. The seeds are considered medicinal so I suppose I could figure out a way to harvest them.
If anybody has a successful high-altitude semi-desert meadow lawn they can walk on without getting stickers in their bare feet I'd sure love to know what plants to use.
The plants in the foreground of the photo are the tansy mustard. The other stuff that looks like grass is grass.
Nicole Alderman wrote:Lif, I don't think there's any reason why you have to do it close to 2:00pm. It IS exciting watching the numbers go up when the kickstarter goes life, but by no means necessary! You just want to make sure to support during the Early Bird window, which lasts until Thursday at 2:00pm
Thank you! I'll be sure to get in on the Early Bird!
I don't have a south-facing slope I can use, so if/when I build one it'll be on level ground. I am super concerned about the hole flooding, though. Maybe the greywater system will address that?
I'm also concerned about keeping small critters out. It's so dry here in my part of NM during late spring/early summer that small varmints will eat anything that provides moisture, such as seedlings and even older plants. The greenhouse would be a super attraction to them. Then there are snakes that will come in if small critters come in, and I don't love the idea of a rattlesnake choosing my greenhouse to hibernate in the winter. And of course, moles and gophers. So I hope I can figure out how to make a wofati greenhouse I build critter-proof.
paul wheaton wrote:...If you go to the kickstarter page and click on "notify me on launch" (at the top of the page) you will get an email within seconds of the launch. And if you back the kickstarter within the first couple of days, you will get the huge mountain of earlybird stuff!
Thank you for posting that link. I didn't know there was a draft Kickstarter page... and now I have no anxiety about missing the launch!
I want to build a wofati greenhouse on my property so bad now! Can't wait to see this Kickstarter go forward!
I loved the video -- it was well done -- but I was a bit confused by the ending. "Do you want us to try?" I think that gives the wrong message, unless the whole point of the video is to solicit a yes/no vote. But what exactly should the viewer try, anyway?
I thought this was a kickstarter intro video, to get people to sign up for a kickstarter campaign. If so, that's the message the video's got to get across -- and by the way, at the end you don't want a question, you want a firm statement of YES, let's do this! (But be clear on what you want people to do)
I'm in agreement with Mike Haasl about the beginning, too.
In teaching and public speaking (and in almost all writing other than fiction) the The Rule of Three is recommended: tell them what you're going to say, then say it, then tell them what you said. This helps with learning, remembering, and understanding, particularly with speeches or videos when people must rely on short-term memory. It's not like with text where someone can readily study a point. With videos it's a PITA to go back and forth to check out something you missed or didn't understand.
So a brief overview that gets right to business at the beginning (you might consider the cute written text panels you use later to emphasize your words, but maybe change the motif), then the meat of the video as seen, then the recap statement at the end telling people how to do what you want them to do (support the kickstarter, right?).
One thing Mike says I'm not in agreement with is the mention of Patreon. Don't confuse the issue. People who aren't familiar with creator support get confused about these things.
So to recap [grin] I love the video but I think you could improve it by tacking on an introduction that explains what you want and then a wrap-up at the end that tells people specifically what to do. If I missed the point of the video as shown, well, that just supports my thoughts here, doesn't it?
Kirsten Nelson wrote:I live at 7000ft in the high desert as well, very short growing season, 13” of rain a year, cold nights (all of which as important factors to what grows)
Sounds a lot like how I describe where I live in western NM except I don't call it high desert. Actually, I don't know what to call it. It's where grasslands meets pinon/juniper woodlands, and 13" of rain would be a lovely wet year but we haven't seen that much in a decade. Cold nights & short growing season? You bet. Last night 31°.
I used to be a great gardener, took it for granted. In the last couple of decades I've been taught not to take such things for granted at all.
I'll support the Kickstarter, but I've got a suggestion/request/groveling beg: Please, PLEASE offer printed (or at least text/photo PDF) versions of your videos and other info. PLEASE! I'll support the Kickstarter if you don't, but I'd buy in at a higher level if I didn't have to look at videos to try to learn things. Thanks!
I'm a horsegirl, not a cowgirl, and here's how I make my cold-brew horsegirl coffee:
1. I pour my 2-day soaked coffee grounds (see #2 below) in my stainless steel French press, then top off with cold water if it's summer or just-boiled water if it's winter. I like cold coffee and in particular like how mellow it is while still packing a caffeine punch. Then I place my sieve on my coffee mug and pour. Voila, done.
2. I put about an inch of water in one of my insulated stainless steel cups (meant for camping but oh so stylin' for daily use), then two heaping scoops of coffee grounds. I swirl the grounds around to make sure they're all wet, then cover and store in the fridge. [Note: I used to grind my beans but I got lazy. I need fast coffee so I can get out to feed the horses and scoop poop -- no time for grinding coffee]. Two days later I have instant cold-brew coffee, just add water (see #1 above). When I'm more ambitious I have three days worth brewing, but two days is good enough. Two mugs stacked up fits in my fridge nicely, three days' worth takes up a larger footprint.
I don't have deer problems so much as elk. Think deer but twice as big. Not only can they jump 7' fences, they can push them down. Currently I'm fencing individual trees and clumps of plants and that does help prevent some but not all damage.
I've got a rescue mutt that I've had long enough for her to know where home is but she's not much for being outside unless I'm out there, too, and even then she'd rather just lay on the porch and watch me. She's not into barking, either.
However I've not had any elk munching on fruit trees or berry bushes so far this year [knocking on wood], and generally they do their terrible job of pruning in late winter when they're getting desperate. So maybe just having a dog is doing something for me.
paul wheaton wrote:Simply: I made this site to talk about the stuff I like in a way I like. This seems to work great with thousands of people. If it doesn't work for you, then good luck on your next adventure to find your favorite community.
I'm an Admin for a number of social media accounts (for myself and for clients). I work hard to keep it all civil and keep it within the parameters of the purpose of each site. There's always a troll now and again. I know it's stupid of me, but I take it personally when someone spews nastiness on one of my accounts. I point out what you say -- the site was set up to talk about stuff the owner wants to talk about in a way the owner wants to talk about it. Nobody has to stay at the party if they don't like it. And yet there's always a few who want to just come to the party to be ugly.
PS -- I'm one of those people who the staff here questioned about my name. Yup, my real name. Just like that (except with middle name, too) on my drivers' license, passport and all.
Richard Lemons wrote:I use one similar to the Strongway Garden Cart. Very easy to push, even when loaded.
Oh wow! I used to have one of those and I absolutely loved it! After about 15 years of hard daily use it finally fell apart. I've used a bunch of different cart/wheelbarrows since then but none better for horse manure than the Strongway type. How did I ever forget about it?
Destiny Hagest wrote:I stumbled across this product while doing a bit of research the other day though, and I’m anxious to download it and give it a try.
Anybody have a link to easy DIY solar water heater plans? I'm looking for something that doesn't require advanced mechanical/construction skills. I can't use the link provided by Destiny Hagest because my malware program blocks it due to tracking bots attached to the site. Thanks
But wait! Maybe they're miner bees (a.k.a. ground bees, digger bees, dirt bees, mud bees, chimney bees, and of course mining or miner bees). Turns out 70% of the bee species on this planet nest in the ground. Lucky you if you've got happy miner bees in the embankment -- they're great pollinators! Anthophora abrupta aren't aggressive and aren't defensive of their nests. They don't sting unless really provoked (like you're pulling their wings off or squishing them).
Amy Gardener wrote:Hey I love that composting in place suggestion from Redhawk. So much easier on the back!
...To narrow down my broad zone 7, I also looked at latitude and altitude. In my case, there are only two places on the globe with the same altitude and latitude: one in Afghanistan and one in China. Amy
Hey Amy -- I live southwest of you and 2000' higher altitude. I like your idea about finding matching latitude/altitude places around the globe to see what they successfully grow there. How did you go about finding those places? Thanks!
Ellendra Nauriel wrote:...if you can find a sturdy ice cream churn, I've found they do a surprisingly good job at kneading bread dough. I have these little hand-cranked ones that are meant for making a single serving of ice cream, I think they were 50 cents each at a garage sale. But they're just the right size for a 1-2 person loaf. And they hold the dough well enough I can crank it while doing other things around the house. I just take my dough with me.
What a fantastic idea! I will look for one. Thank you!
Added: What make/model works for you? I have never seen a small hand-crank ice cream churn at a garage/yard sale, but I admit I don't go to too many. However, I found one online with a one pint capacity made by Norpro. I bet I could find one on eBay.
Kimbo Baugh wrote:Experimentation is the best way to go. A good starting point is a 1:2:3 loaf - 1 part leaven/starter, 2 parts water, 3 parts flour (by weight). For salt, use 1% of the entire dough weight, or 2% of the weight of the flour.
I've captured my own yeast/starter from raisins using a method from Twitter. The guy I got the method from is @shoelaces3, a biologist that Seamus Blackley follows. Shoelaces3 is now experimenting with lentil flower and fig yeast starter!
I am not into kneading (not only hurts my wrists, but it's boring) so I've been making no-knead bread for about a year using store-bought yeast. The bread is okay, but it's not sour -- and sourdough is my holy grail.
My home-made starter works very well, and the dough I'll bake shortly is smelling quite tangy -- but I've learned that dough smell doesn't necessarily mean sour bread.
So many challenges: making a good starter and keeping it going; making decent no-knead loaves with starter instead of store-bought yeast; making tangy sourdough no-knead loaves using home-made starter.
Hallelujah! After four attempts I finally got the file to download. Not a problem from permies' end, but because of my sluggish satellite internet (compounded by COVID stay-at-home higher demand for the bandwidth).
I'm excited about implementing this project -- I've been wanting to replace my old PV system for some time because it's old and limping along. I've also been in a quandary as to where to put the upgrade, because part of the problem has been that everything but the solar panels are inside my tiny house. I have no room to expand, plus having the batteries in my house... well, let's just say that when we put together the initial setup 22 years ago we meant for it to be only temporarily in the house.
This is the perfect solution for me. Thank you permies.com, and thank you Ben Peterson!
Roy Long wrote:I was looking for a new gardening project for week after next maybe this is my new project. As luck would have it I have a 10 year old slash pile literally right next to where I want to do this and I have piles of topsoil out in my hay field from the building of the five ponds on my place 30 years ago, so no shortage of soil to work with.
Not only should you do it, but please share reports and photos with us!
paul wheaton wrote:Got the following in my e-mail [14 years ago] and he said I could post it here:
... I tell my students that every unit of carbon incorporated into soils can
hold 4 units of water....
Is this statement still true today? If so, I'd like to find out more.
Our Forest Service is hell bent on burning slash piles, and here in the Southwest USA between the on-purpose burning and the wildfires there is hardly a day that goes by from early spring through early winter when the air isn't smoky. I'd like to put forth a proposal to the USFS for a test site where volunteers use hugelkultur for the piles to show that hugelkultur is better for the soil and eventually the flora and fauna, for air quality, and ultimately the whole planet, than burning slash piles.
Any resources that could provide hard data on anything at all supporting a hugelkultur treatment of slash piles on public land would be appreciated!
Phillip Stuckemeyer wrote:I am considering a foil backed, insulating blanket. By closing the shutters on the blanket it should stop the airflow for all 5 vents. I am also considering a temperature actuated damper in the bottom of the box activated by a thermo-bulb mounted in the riser duct. However, all these options seem like a waste of effort until I reduce the volume of air in the heating chamber. Week after next I will cut the box down to size and post an update with pictures of the inner workings. Traveling on business this week.
Putting a block over the vents for a hour in the morning seems to me a small effort compared to cutting the box down!
As to cutting the box down: the more volume of air there is to heat, the better I think. Maybe this isn't an accurate way of describing what I'm talking about, but the incoming cold air coming through your heating chamber will cool down the volume of air at the same time that the sun is heating it. You have to balance the amount of flow against the volume to be heated. In the morning when the air in the box is cool, then the sun's got to warm it up plus warm up the air that will come in soon as the box air starts warming up. That's what blocking the vent fixes.
If you block the air flow, then the box air gets hot. You open the vent at that point and air comes out the vents, incoming cold air comes in the bottom of the box. But since there's already hot air in the box, the amount that the incoming cold air can cool the volume already in the box is less. I think that makes sense, but maybe not! I don't know the math/engineering language to describe what I'm saying but experience has told me this is the way it works.
Phillip Stuckemeyer wrote: I can feel air entering the lower 2 vents, and cool air rising in through the three upper vents, but it seems like it take over an hour for the air to feel warm.
Can you close the vents? Maybe there should be no airflow for a while until the whole thing is properly warm. Venting cool air into the house for an hour when you want warm doesn't seem like a wonderful thing.
Travis Johnson wrote:I have always heard that getting a copy editor is the best thing you can do; for you, and your book. You can find freelancers pretty easily online; about $750 for a decent sized book...
Well yeah, but when it comes to writing for yourself (be it fiction or non-fiction) a copy editor doesn't actually make the changes to your manuscript -- that's still up to the author to do. That's the case anytime when the author holds the rights to the work. It's a different story if the writer is being paid by someone to write for that person -- then an editor (e.g. for a newspaper) can make direct changes.
The reason for this is pretty clear: Only the author knows knows what the writing is supposed to be. What might appear to be a typo to a copy editor might be a deliberate misspelling or an unusual use of punctuation or grammar for a reason. A copy editor could mess things up by making changes directly without first consulting the author. It's a different thing with writing-for-hire, of course. In that case the "author" is the person you're writing for, and then that person can make any changes he/she wants to the work.
Hiring a copy editor should be in addition to your own editing, not a substitute for it!
John Skaggs wrote:I'm finding editing a book-length manuscript far more challenging than writing it.
Oh, for sure. Editing is a whole other huge challenge for so many reasons. The proofreading has its own challenges of tedium and frustration. And then the consistency issue when your main character's name is Jane but you discover that in a couple scenes you're calling her Phyllis, or he's the brother of a biologist in one part of the book but later on the brother is an accountant. And then when somewhere in the middle of the book you realize your hero can't be about to stride through the door of the castle right then because you forgot you wrote that his leg was broken earlier on and he's got to still be on crutches, or that you have absolutely no way for the wife to kill her husband because you've left her in Antarctica absorbed in a scientific experiment and he's drinking margaritas on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. Or when you realize that a scene you especially love just has to go and it's tearing your heart out to delete it... and then fix everything else that led up to it and the consequences of it, after.
It goes on and on. Editing is never over - you just have to call it done at some point and then put it out of your mind.
Larry Bock wrote:Anyone here write or more specifically? Anyone feel a need to write? .... The last 18 months, I've chosen to eliminate TV from my life. Slowly, I started writing again. Now, I go nowhere without a composition book and a pen....
I've always been addicted to the written word. I blame it on my father's mother, who read to me soon as I was old enough to appreciate it. She sat me on her lap and followed the words with her finger, and that's how I learned to read (for a very brief while I could read some Swedish, too). I'm not sure when I started writing, but it wasn't more than a decade later that I submitted my first story to be published in my school's creative writing publications. That was a long, long time ago, but I never stopped either reading or writing. I'm not sure I could do so and stay sane, because TV and movies just don't make it for me. I haven't lived with a TV in my house since 1993 and I don't stream the shows either.
I've got stacks of manuscripts, volumes of journals, and boxes of scribbles taking up space in storage along with, oh, maybe a few thousand books. It wasn't till the turn of the last decade, not long after 9/11, that I turned pro, and that was only because I couldn't stand one more day of being a substitute teacher (sorry, but I just do not like kids). I have no idea why I got hired, but suddenly I was a news reporter and feature story writer for a weekly regional paper here in western New Mexico. My beat was the county I live in -- all 7000 square miles of it. I attended every meeting I could get to, showed up at every accident that I found out about, covered every oddball incident I could discover -- but best of all, I interviewed a lot of fascinating people, including permies Dan and Karen Howell.
Fast forward to spending about a decade writing for a natural resource research and analysis institute in southern New Mexico, and then a few years after that of working as a contract writer for my county (and several others). The politics of it -- OMG. It was worse than being around kids all day. So I ditched the good income and decided to write novels.
Note that breaking into the field of fiction writing is not something I recommend for anyone who plans on supporting themselves or their family. I could do it because I was by this time a senior citizen and receiving Social Security. I've yet to find a publisher for either of the two novels I've completed but I've self-published a few things, and I've sold two (2) short stories in the past year. I might have done better than that if I had put real effort into it, but it's way more fun writing than it is marketing the writing.
Writing, you see, is not what I do, it's who I am. I, too, have a tiny field notes composition book with me almost all the time though I seem to end up scribbling ideas on the backs of envelopes and on used napkins. I've found that dictating my thoughts to my phone as I hike works best for me. When I can't see the words right then I'm not tempted to edit as I go. Believe me, the constant editing as I write is guaranteed to choke my best ideas to death. Back home I put the phone's speaker next to my laptop's mic, open Google Docs to a new document, click on Tools/Voice Typing, and let Google do the transcribing. Oh yes, the transcription is ugly -- Google is a riot with its interpretations of what I've said, not to mention all the oh sh*ts and such -- but from that manure often rises beautiful blossoms.
Julie Reed wrote:Interesting about bats being killed by windmills- it’s not primarily the blades that kill them, it’s the air pressure differential. Far more birds get killed by cats and cell towers than windmills, but it’s the bats that are truly threatened.
In urban/suburban areas cats and cell towers might kill lots of birds, but where wind turbine complexes are there generally are few cats. Plus the birds that are being killed are not generally birds that cats kill but rather the raptors and night-flying predators like owls and nightjars that dive after prey into the path of the blades.
Nicole Alderman wrote:What does Appropriate Technology mean to you?
Nowadays most definitions of Appropriate Technology reflect the need for clean technology and sustainable/renewable technology, but more importantly they reflect the interests of those who are doing the defining.
Let's look at the technology of, say, wind turbines for the grid. They are appropriate technology, but only in comparison to other technologies and uses. "Clean" (or green) technology would be tech that doesn't trash the environment. Wind turbines are only relatively clean when they are in place and generating electricity compared to coal or nuclear generated power.
Turbines are made of non-green materials, including rare earth metals, and are manufactured using fossil fuels. The bases of the steel towers are anchored by hundreds of tons of concrete and steel rebar each, at 30 to 50 feet across and anywhere from 6 to 30 feet deep.
During the construction process any animals that den in the ground are buried alive and die from suffocation or are crushed by heavy equipment. Once installed, wind turbines may not pollute the air or the soil but they kill massive numbers of birds, bats, and insects. A 1.5 MW turbine's vanes cover about an acre as they spin, with larger turbines covering an area the size of a US football field or more. The tips of their vanes travel at 180 MPH. Multiply that times the number of turbines in a complex and critters that fly don't have a chance.
Turbine complexes also destroy the native beauty of the square miles they occupy -- forever. Roads must be created. Trees must be removed. Substations must be built and underground transmission lines from each turbine must be buried to the substations. Ground disturbance is permanent: At the end of the useful life-span of a complex the the cement and the underground cables are left there. Turbines may not even be removed but rather abandoned in place, because what can be done with them? Most of their component parts cannot be recycled so their parts fill up landfills. All this damage for an effective production life-span of 25-35 years.
So are wind turbine industrial complexes appropriate technology? According to the mega-conglomerate energy companies that install them and profit from the generation of electricity, you bet. Realistically they are in their own way as bad as any other grid-based electrical generation and therefore inappropriate technology for a sustainably healthy planet. The best that can be said for them is that they are good investments for stockholders.
However, the appropriateness of small-scale, localized electrical generation from the wind is a whole other thing from a permie point of view. Wind turbines can be made from recyclable materials. Because homestead wind turbines do not have huge vanes and are not so tall they kill fewer flying critters. Any economic benefit from one or two homestead installations is going directly to the owner/user. The aesthetic, environmental, and economic impacts are on a more appropriate scale, which to my mind makes them a much more appropriate technology. .
Ask someone in the federal government, though, and they'll come up with arguments to counter all my points.
PS I know about the negative impacts of wind turbine complexes because I've studied the Environmental Impact Statements for their installations on public lands.
paul wheaton wrote:... now would be a good time to build a body of evidence to support this strategy...
I'm not sure any info I can provide would be helpful because I haven't had an electric bill since 1993 and that was for a completely new situation for us: we went from a two story house with attached studio and an outrageous PG&E bill in CA to no electric bill at all literally overnight. Not Armageddon, just relocation.
When we found the perfect property for us in NM one of the issues was that the nearest electric pole was a mile away. The electric coop quoted us a price of $23,000 to bring power to our building site.
Bwahahaha! We had mortgaged our CA house up the wazoo so when we sold it we had just enough money to pay cash for the NM land -- no way would we mortgage ourselves to an electric company.
But it was okay, actually. After living with PG&E's constantly climbing electric bills in CA, along with the constant outages, we were eager to be off the grid. The kind of life I now know as permaculture was something I had always wanted all my life (I can't say my husband did, but he was okay with the idea because, frankly, it was better than admitting we were too poor to do otherwise).
We started out living in a travel trailer. We set up a small PV system (one panel + the trailer's deep cycle battery + a tiny inverter) with a generator back-up. The trailer's fridge & water heater were propane. Our entertainment was reading at night till the battery grew dim. My "office" was the trailer's closet and yes, I ran a desktop computer + modem off our system. Most of what we did we had been doing for 15 years or so as avid horse campers (we bred Arabian horses and were at endurance races with them almost any weekend of the year), so it wasn't really a huge challenge for us.
We lived happily for a few years this way till we built our straw bale cabin. Then we expanded our PV system with used equipment that cost us under $3000. We used wood heat, propane fridge, and on-demand propane hot water heater in the summer and heating hot water on the wood stove in the winter.
The system has been upgraded twice with used inverters, plus added-on panels and replacement batteries. The equipment from the old systems that was still useful is now installed in the barn.
A quarter of a century with no electric bill. The cost to us averages out to about $350/year for enough power for electric lights (our monthly PG&E bill at the end was around $350), internet, computer and peripherals, a small music system, and a sewing machine. The fridge is still propane, though in the winter it's turned off and the porch works fine for keeping food cold. Water is heated the same way.
And there's still no mortgage.
Note that I never heard of permaculture till around 2003 when I interviewed a permie here in my county for a feature in a local newspaper. I don't consider myself a permie, not hardly. But I sure like living the way I do.
[Edited to add:] Until November 2019 the well was pumped using a generator, but now it, too, is solar.