I bought a roto tiller, and I plan to used it to dig a double dug bed. I loosen the soil on the top 6 inches. Then I move that over to heap to the side, then I roto till again, then I cover that back up with the 6 inches of soil I removed, but before I do that I put in the chop and drop and rotten old logs.
It sure makes digging the beds easier for the first time, but once I have the compost layer on thick I normally don't need to dig more.
Depends on how high you are going. My solution was to buy a shipping container, then buy rail road ties that would extend out over the main metal supports ( the thin metal in center would not support this ) then put the IBC on the rail road ties. I was considering doing this to increase the pressure I had on my water lines.
Thought I would share this as shows the hope of growing in places that most would not.
South Los Angeles. What comes to mind is gangs, drugs, liquor stores, abandoned buildings and vacant lots. The last thing that you would expect to find is a beautiful garden sprouting up through the concrete, coloring the urban landscape. As part of an urban gardening movement taking root in South LA, people are planting to transform their neighborhoods and are changing their own lives in the process. Calling for people to put down their guns and pick up their shovels, these “gangster gardeners” are creating an oasis in the middle of one of the most notoriously dangerous places in America. CAN YOU DIG THIS follows the inspirational journeys of four unlikely gardeners, discovering what happens when they put their hands in the soil. This is not a story of science and economics. This is a story of the human spirit, inspiring people everywhere to pick up their shovels and “plant some shit.”
I have 2 insta pots, I find it useful in one to be making yogurt, in the other cooking a full meal.
It does not replace a stove top, but for what it does it does it perfectly every time.
The best feature for me is the keep warm feature which means I do not have to be there right when the food is done, but means I will have a hot meal when I get to it. Perfect for me working outside, and I come in and the food is perfectly cooked.
I have stopped cooking huge meals in it, the reason being it is so fast in cooking small meals I do not have to deal with left overs for the next week unless I want to ;-)
i have been looking into using a rocket stove to make charcoal, and then with the charcoal charge batteries to run my insta pot on cloudy days, I have it running off solar now.
Barley sprouting looking excellent. Now I can convert this barley into sprouts that I got as "animal food". 2 days in.... This is teaching me that when I plant my barley I need to water it 2x a day for 3 days.
I am going to let this batch go and see what the greens taste like, but in this stage, I like them, May add some hard boiled eggs and onion and cheese.
I want to keep mold down from what I have read a fan on them helps, I may also try a pinch of baking soda.
What I demand of a free energy device is the following:
1) It must be replicated. Having a device that only works in the inventors shop points to a scam.
2) It must be working in a home near me. This wiz bang if it works and is replicated must have some real benefit for my life so if it is producing energy from nothing then someone had better be powering their home with it and they have unhooked from the electric grid.
The devices that approach free energy devices are solar panels, wind generators, and Nuclear energy. They product energy without my input of power. Other devices that could generate energy theoretically could exist, and few do exist but the cost to make them as in keeping super conductors working is cost prohibitive.
More experimenting with this rig. Thanks to another forum member here they mentioned the real power of the rocket stove is to force hot gasses pass something you want to heat. with that in mind, I added an air duct tube 8 inch to the top of this setup to draw more air, I used a 8 inch pipe.
The results Floored me. I was able to boil 2 1/2 gal of water in 18 min.
The extra draw of the chimney effect was very impressive, I want to try this experiment again using multiple chimneys as my setup has room for them....
This is starting to make me want to build my own custom heat exchange... Or, I need to increase the power of the motor that is circulating the water in my tank....
18 min to boil 2 1/2 gal is some serious BTU's being harvested.
I have done this and I can attest that it makes fast work of breaking up the char and make about 1/8th inch biochar, with the water there is no dust to deal with.
I am testing some biochar in my aquaponics grow beds as I am curious as to if there wil be enough nitrogen.
There is much to be examined with biochar, and I don't believe all experiments are the same.
I love Cody's work as he does the experiment, then honestly looks back at the experiment to see what the results were. The experiment needs to be done again as Cody said using consistent water source without killing the bacteria.
I was watching a video of a man who runs his truck on wood "Wayne Keith". And he noticed that where he dumped out the charcoal from his wood gas reactor the grass was much greener than the grass elsewhere. This brings to my mind what if we were to just dump the charcoal at the top of the garden bed and see if there would be results......
There is tons of room for experimentation for biochar.
"Nevertheless, if you were to visit Japan and go to Nara prefecture you could find the Horyuji Temple, the pagoda of which was built using Shou Sugi Ban and which is widely considered as the “oldest wooden building in the world” (7, 8) – dating back to 711 AD."
David Matt wrote:What pump are you using at the end of that hose? As the water begins heating at the pump depth in the barrel, does the pump get to hot and shut down? I would like to do something similar and then pump the warm water into a heat exchanger and then use the transferred heat in a hydronic heating system in my basement floor.
Small 12 volt pump I got off ebay.
Since I was only heating water for a shower I am there watching the process I stopped it before It got too hot for a shower.... about 115 deg F.
Since the pump is in the cold water it never see high temps the high temps come in from the return pipe for that I use radiator hose.
1) Deep Mulch Ruth Stout, Back to Eden, or Jean Pain cover all with thick mulch creating a clean slate. I have done this and took about 18 inches of wood chips to gain the upper hand on what was already growing. I then dug out holes in that and put in compost and grew.
2) Tarps / plastic / sheets of tin. You can solarize the area to kill off what an you don't want there. Tarps are a great way to kill off what you don't want.
3) Till then do the above. Some first till then do steps 1,2. Others Cover with a tarp kill off, then water, allow weeds to grow then kill off again to gain the upper hand. Often on stubborn weeds I have had to dig out the roots to have full control.
Martijn Macaopino wrote:Which scale are you working with and how big are your heating needs?
In my personal experience the best way to make high quality biochar indoors is with TLUD stoves that use syove pellets as the fuel. If you have a good sawdust supply you could consider your own pelletizer to make stove pellets.
A good alternative would be an outdoor retort system where the smoke is condensed, the heat that is extracted during this condensing of the smoke used to feed into a hot water system for the house and then the remaining non condensable gasses are fed into your generator. Then you end up with hot water, biochar and electricity.
If you are not in need of biochar then a traditional wood gasifier such as for example a FEMA gasifier or the designs from the likes of Mr Teslonian or Randominium on youtube will suit your needs when it comes to energy production.
P.s. it's not really biochar if you intend to burn the material down to ashes again ;)
Thanks for your input. I have built a TLUD stove, and it has it's place. For my type of biomass, branches etc the cone method of making biochar is the easiest and the fastest for my needs.
I have built a charcoal gasifier, and it is useful for running my generator.
The idea is to make the rocket batch box into a retort. So yes you burn some wood around the Hotel Pan, and you end up with both the rocket stove heating, and the Hotel Pan with charcoal.
Solomon Parker wrote:I don't think that's quite the next step. What I'm suggesting is not people building their own printers or CNC machines, I'm just talking about printing molds on standard off the shelf printers that are already all over the market.
This is certainly an option, especially if someone is using EPS or XPS foam. But I think building a CNC machine is going to be a bit daunting for most people interested in casting their own core.
All options are on the table, if it works use it.
Yes, not everyone has these machines or the desire to build them.
I have been thinking of how one could do this using super wool inserts....
What if instead of squares we made it circular so super wool could be put inside....
I was thinking taking aluminum sheeting and make the form to hold the superwool in place we could print this form and have the high heat protection with the wool in place....... or... how about chicken wire with spikes that pierce the superwool to hold it in place....
I was thinking if we had superwool thread one could sew the chamber together. to a chicken wire exterior frame...
My solution to this was to put a pot of water on top of the bell, then I made a coil small enough to fit inside the pan, I then filled the pan with water with the coil in it ( this gives great heat transfer to the pipe because it is surrounded by hot water.
Then I insulated the pan and coil. My mistake was using 1/2 inch line I should use larger line then insulated it ......
Anyhow my next plan is to put this outside my bathroom window and then heat the water in my bath tub via a pump back to the tub, then I will add cold water to make the water just right for a bath, or a shower using the pump to pump the water from the tub the shower...
I have done this with my Batch Box several times now this winter using the same technique in the video and it worked out quite well.
Since my biochar needs are minimal however, I have decided to stop this process and instead just wait until ash cleanout time and filter out the charcoal with a screen.
My batch naturally leaves enough charcoal behind to suit my needs which saves me from having to fill and empty the retort all the time.
Good luck with your experiments.
Thanks for the confirmation.
I have run my generator off of charcoal, and having a means to extract the energy from the making of the charcoal sounds like a wonderful thing to do... I am thinking I could I could use wood chips that have been dried in such a pan to heat water as a thermal mass, then use the charcoal to charge my battery via my generator.....
I really like the idea of getting a large load of sawdust and then making biochar, from that sawdust and powering a rocket stove at the same time.....
Suzanne Shaddix wrote:Thanks for your help, Gerry. This is the candle cooker I mentioned in my earlier post. The pot it's sitting in is a Kuhn Rikon double walled insulated pot that I can even hold in my lap while cooking. Nice that I can safely move it around with the fire going if necessary. A bonus... The Kelly Kettle base also fits this insulated pot. 😊
[quote=Vase Angjeleski]Hey everyone, I need an opinion, I want to try to make biochar using the following method: branches and small twigs wrapped in alu-foil and then loaded in a barrel full with other branches that I will lite a fire. The alu-foil wont let any air in and the wood should turn to biochar, right? Any opinions? I cant find any other metal boxes, hence the alu-foil.[/quote]
Better off with a steel can, Alum foil will melt at high enough temp. Steel can with holes in bottom for gas to escape.
Better yet, dig a hole, burn your fire over the hole till it is all coals then cover with dirt. Look up cone method of charcoal on youtube.
You can then take the coals from the char pit then put in a metal 55 gal barrel put the lid on and walk away. ( provided it is air tight ).
Then if you want high quality char you put this into a retort, only it is already mostly burnt down so you can get far more in, and then process in less time if that is your goal.
I also have started piling up branches. I have stacked up Bolivian sunflower stems about 10 feet high. I have discovered they burn much like cardboard fast and hot in my rocket oven takes about 20 15 foot poles to get my oven up to 350 deg.
I used to cut them down with a machete, but now I have found that it is faster to dig out the roots a bit, then pull them out of the ground with the leverage a 15 foot pole gives, then I toss the whole thing on the pile.
Ellendra Nauriel wrote:Sometimes rebranding a task helps with motivation.
As an example, I hatehatehate pulling weeds!! But harvesting is fun. I started taking 2 buckets along, one for weeds that the chickens can eat, one for the burn pile. Suddenly, it's not "weeding", I'm just harvesting free chicken treats! And somehow, it doesn't seem as hard anymore.
This also gives me a clear cut-off point. I have a chronic pain disorder than kicks in when I overdo something, but when I'm wrapped up in a task I fall into the trap of "just a little more" and wind up paying for it. If I stop when the bucket is full, I'm less likely to overdo it, which means I can do more the next day instead of needing to lay still all day and recover.
Even if all you do is pull one handful of weeds, that's a handful of weeds done. Sometimes that's all you can do. But it is still something!
In one of the books I read a parent came up with the idea of changing the word "Chores" for the home to "Contributing to the household". so instead of a punishment it was giving to what the home needs.
A change of perspective sure can make a difference.