Even with supervision, BOOM, stuff happens. You turn your back for one second, and if the the older one isn't doing something, its the younger one. Sometimes they are being difficult on purpose I think, but most of the time they are just curious and either exploring their environment or testing their environment (and our patience). For example, I'm using part of my barn as a wood-working workshop. Yesterday, my younger son took a bunch of nice pine boards (that were going to be used to make something), and as part of 'tidying up', threw them into the bottom of the barn. All that lumber needs to come back up, etc.
We have a fenced in area 'play' area in front of the house, the idea being that they would have a safe play area in which to contain them while we got work done. That lasted until the older son figured out how to open the gates.
David Graber wrote:The hot water from my RMH firebox loop, and the water from my solar collector loop
Do you have photos of your setup? Where did you put the RMH firebox loop, to pull the most heat from it, without affecting the RMH's operation (and risking a steam rupture)? I understand that the loops are open to the air in the tanks, so I gather that if the water is kept circulating, you don't have to worry about steam forming in the piping in the actual RMH?
I'd like to see an answer to this question as well.
I know with a normal electric hot water heater, you're not supposed to turn it down below a certain temperature because of the risk of legionella. (I have mine turned down as much as is safe, to make sure that my kids (~3.5yo and ~5yo) don't accidently scald themselves, not because I'm trying to save money.)
Dk Carver wrote:We've decided to lay it all on the table, tell a bit about ourselves and what we're looking for...
It would be helpful if you mentioned your current country/state/province.
Do you have family members or a circle of friends which you want to continue seeing?
In other words, how far from your current location are you willing to relocate?
Something to consider, is the embodied energy versus lifespan of the building materials that you are going to use.
Also, if you are in a hurry to get a built structure then you need to think about the higher labour costs of 'natural' building methods versus lower labour costs (but higher material costs) of less 'natural' building methods.
I built my pump house using metal SIPs (walls and roof, rated R24), on a reinforced concrete slab on grade. It should last many hundreds of years with little to no maintenance, and it went up fast, and I put it up by myself. (Aside from 15 minutes of a neighbours time to get the first corner up.) Mind you, metal SIPs are not cheap, but when you take into account labour costs... they cost less the labour costs of putting metal siding on a similarily sized building. (I know this because I had a similarily sized garden shed built for my wife, using normal ballon stick frame construction, and that building ended up costing me almost 3 times as much as my pump house, with 2/3rds of the cost being labour.)
My preference is metal SIPs versus wood because (if they are like the SIPs that I used) then you can immediately start using the building, and finish it off later (drywall/etc) at your convenience. Wood SIPs need to be protected (siding/roofing) right away.
Gary Stuart wrote:If the land deal we're pursuing doesn't go through, our next option is to look for someone who owns land, shares our vision, and would appreciate having us around, exchanging work for rent, etc. Easier said than found up here in the Great White North, however.
I'm advertising my farm on that website (http://www.farmlink.net/farmland.html?id=41) but we aren't a good fit for most people because of the housing issue (my wife and I, and our 2 young sons live in the house, and anyone coming on to the property would have to either live in the equivalent of a camper trailer or a (very) tiny house, because of building code restrictions).
My preference is market gardeners, but my wife would be happy with someone that would help move some of our gardening/permaculture projects forward in exchange for living on the property. However I'm not sure how to work something like that in a way that would be fair to everyone involved.
Steve Forest wrote:Dundalk might be better for your needs given the following reasons.
There are grocery stores but I don't shop there so I don't know if food is healthy or not.
None of the grocery stores in this area (Dundalk, Markdale, Durham) have much organic selection. I've spoken with the manager at one of the supermarkets in Markdale about it - he says that on regular basis he brings in organic produce, and then he ends up throwing out a bunch of it because the higher prices that he needs to charge for it, results in it not selling.
There is a health food store of sorts in Durham.
There is a sort of organic food store in Kimberly. I say 'sort of', because she sells the produce from a number of market gardeners in this area, who call themselves 'beyond organic' or some such thing. I interpret this to mean that they are not certified organic, but ask you to trust them that they are *so* organic, that they are beyond organic... Is my cyncical nature showing?
There are farmer's markets in most small towns now-a-days, it seems. (Both Flesherton and Markdale have small farmers markets.)
There's at least one person running yoga classes in Flesherton (10 minute drive from Dundalk). My wife takes classes with her. I don't know about Dundalk or Durham.
Every so often Durham seems to experience a severe bad weather event - whether it be flooding, or severe windstorms.
Cured concrete is not toxic to the best of my knowledge. Do you have any references (URLs/etc) that show otherwise?
When you take into account the longevity of the structure, it is one of the least toxic building materials out there, that your local engineers will design in, and your local building department will agree to...
nature does not like it
Mother Nature says different things to you, than it does to me.
its energy is dull
"energy"? "dull"? These words, in the context of concrete, make no sense to me.
it also looks ugly
This is a personal preference, not an absolute. All my concrete slabs are plain gray slabs, which looks perfectly fine to me.
You can add colour to concrete, and you can put a shine on concrete, and you can embed all sorts of things into concrete. You can make concrete look like artwork if you desire. I have a lot of books on concrete, and some of the photos of what people have done, are quite beautiful.
Travis Philp wrote:I like the idea of the WOFATI structure but we don't have the money for a barn structure with the permits and engineers plans/stamp. Even if we did the permit office here are as oldschool as you can get, and I doubt they'd go for such a thing.
An engineer cost me about $1000 a couple of years ago for the suspended concrete slab (first floor), the basement walls and the basement floor in my 25x30 addition on my house.
If you design underground house (don't say WOFATI to the engineer or building department) using reinforced concrete instead of wood and plastic/pond liners, you can probably get an engineer to do the engineering and sign off on it, and if an engineer signs off on it, your local building department will likely approve it.
After the structure is in place, you can put sand on top of your underground house, slope it, and cover it with plastic so that you get the same effective water barrier that you'd get with a traditional WOFATI, while having the strength and permanance of concrete (and a building permit, and the ability to get insurance and permission to live in the structure).
Concrete and steel isn't that much more expensive than lumber/beams, if you have to buy the lumber/beams. The biggest cost in anything that I've built on my farm in the last 14 years has been the labour.
I'm going to ordering a bunch of seeds from Richters Herbs (we're both located in Ontario).
Last year I planted a bunch of fruit trees, and I'm looking for suggestions for fruit tree guild seeds.
I've generated a list, based on what I've read here on permies and elsewhere.
Some of the postings on this topic don't go into enough detail. For example, several people have mentioned yarrow, plaintain, dill, mint, but don't say what variety they used. (Does the variety matter?)
I live in Southwestern Ontario, and it is interesting, the approach you are taking.
Adam Mohammed wrote:I co-own land here in southern Ontario. A group of us bought 75 acres (no well, no house, 50acres hay 25 acres 'other' non-arable) in June 2010 with one guy having started the project by having a corporation
As a service to other people interested doing what you've done, could you make copies of the legal documents/etc required available somewhere? Sanitized of course, with your names/etc removed, to protect your privacy.
cabin with a footprint under 100'sq [doesn't need a building permit for that size, and, I think lofts don't count]- - not sure yet how it would work to do 100'sq at a time, thus, build a home one room at a time
It is the total size of the building that counts, so you cannot build a home, one 100 sq.ft. room at a time, unless the rooms were seperate from each other. Plus you probably have a limit on the number of outbuildings (including 100 sq.ft. sheds) on your property. (Though without a complaint from your neighbours, your municipality might not care.)
So yeah we at some point have to sift through red tape, fees, and suffer higher taxes to legally subdivide the land (trying to keep chunks big enough so they can still be zoned as agriculture, for lower taxes)
Don't count on being able to do this. My municipality only allows for 2 lots to be subdivided off of a 100 acre rural/agricultural parcel. And to do this, your neighbours wishes are considered. Unless you can get your land rezoned (and as http://www.wholevillage.org found out, sometimes the municipality just won't let you do that).
Does that $1000/month include your property tax payments, and all the other payments that you'll have to make once you are a property owner?
As to the first, I was referring to payments made to an hypothetical property seller by me on a monthly basis, assuming that the rest of the costs are comparatively insignificant and that I can cover them with the rest of my income.
The assumption that the rest of the costs are comparatively insignificant is... not valid in my experience.
Property taxes, house/fire/liability/mortgage insurance, maintenance costs - these add up quickly.
I suggest that you read some books on real estate, and real estate investing.
Was that quote with any money down, or just the monthlies?
The URL that I referenced answers all the questions that you could have, and more.
paul wheaton wrote:I'm gonna be hanging out with ernie and erica in a couple of days. It might be fun to make a podcast. Anybody have any questions for them that I haven't covered in a previous podcast?
I'd like a discussion on rocket cook stoves, particularily with construction details for one that will last for a long time. From what I've read about them, the rocket cook stoves made out of #10 tin cans don't last very long before they rust out. (Then again, they only take around 20 minutes to make, and are dirt cheap - literally, if you use sand/clay/dirt that you find nearby as the insulator.)
Fat Charlie wrote:I've thrown out more CFLs because of my 2 year old son than because of natural causes. There's one lamp that he just loves to knock over
CFLs contain mercury.
The fact that you are putting CFLs where your kid is repeatedly breaking them astounds me. I hope none of the CFLs that he has killed have physically broken and exposed your kid to the mercury that is inside them.
I've removed all CFLs that my kids could possibly access to ensure that they aren't exposed to mercury if one breaks.
Brad Davies wrote:I like it. It reminds me of the old saying, If you give a man a fish he will eat for a day, if you teach a man to fish he will eat for a life time.
It isn't sufficient to teach someone how to 'fish', when they'll need to make major lifestyle changes.
I'm somewhat cynical, and expect that most people won't make dramatic lifestyle changes of the type that Paul suggests, unless they've hit rock bottom.
I could be mistaken, but I think that rocket stove technology, while really cool, won't be allowed in any place that has building/fire codes... or in buildings that are insured (unless you want your house insurance cancelled).
My wife and I and our 2 sons (2.5yo and 4yo) live in Southwestern Ontario (outside Markdale) on 99 acres. We've been experimenting with various methods of gardening, and this summer we built a chicken coop (10 layers+1 rooster to keep them happy), and planted a bunch of trees, fruit trees, bushes and berry bushes of various sorts.
If you're building something that will require a building inspection then you'll want concrete, unless you've got a foreward thinking building inspector.
Why not concrete? For all intents and purposes it is just man-made rock. I put reinforced concrete slabs under even my smallest sheds out on my farm, so that they have a solid base (even my kids 6'x8' "toy" shed has a reinforced concrete slab under it).
Steve Forest wrote:I have 94 Acres at Dundalk Ontario (z4b) and want to start food forest.
I have 99 acres near you (just outside Markdale). I'm interested in seeing what you are doing. We just started planting various trees, fruit trees and bushes on our property. I'm interested in having a forest garden, but for now what we are doing is more like a typical orchard with berry patches here and there. Deer are a problem.
Travis Philp wrote: Planting a small amount of each type of forest garden plant and giving them a year or two to see if they work. Unless I'm pretty sure that they'll work out. EG. I know cherry, apple, currants, gooseberries, plums, mulberries, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, globe artichoke, and many varieties of vegetables will work well here
I'm located in Southwest Ontario, just outside Owen Sound. Zone 5a I think.
If you wouldn't mind, can you list the sources that you've found for the various plants/trees/bushes?
We're trying to set up a small food forest here, and apple/plum/cherry trees are available from Canadian Tire/Home Depot/etc. Berry plants of various sorts (red currants, gooseberry, blackberry, blueberry) are also availabe from these stores.