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To Gas or not to gas... that is the question

 
Posts: 74
Location: North Carolina
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Many old hippies such as myself, were lured into obscene self-indulgent complaisance in the 80's and 90's. Each year I make an effort to mend my evil ways. All my lights are LEDS. My produce doesn't travel 3000 miles to get to my kitchen. No more food in plastic jars... okay still buying mayo. I up-cycle fabric and make shopping bags for people. Much to my cats dismay they no longer get canned food because my town doesn't recycle the cans. I think the only thing that keeps them from locking me out with the goats is the promise of a pond stocked with catfish in their near future.

In planning my move off grid I am struggling with just one thing... My beloved 1929 Wedgewood gas stove. In my quest to reduce my fossil fuel carbon foot print further I know I really should stop pricing those school bus size propane tanks for my new homestead... and yet I love the way the old girl bakes and roast. The ability to instantly reduce the heat under a pot of cheese curd is without compare. It's a tough one. Today I found myself bribing myself with a stunning 1800's wood cook stove... it is the same price as the filled propane tank... I'm going to need to find one in Kentucky cause the shipping from Boston is as much as the stove! and several very large men to move it.
 
pollinator
Posts: 248
Location: Poland
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You can make your own biogas, also for the car.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1379
Location: Bendigo , Australia
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Angelena, dont beat yourself up over the stove.
Take it with you and use it with LPG.
Nobody is perfect, we can only do what is practical in our lives.
There will be compromises everywhere.
I have been continually attacked for my greeny views;
- why are you wearing shoes, and not thongs?
- why do you use a petrol powered car?
- why have you got a woollen jumper?
ETC ETC.
I inform them that I am just not perfect yet, not unlike themselves.
I happen to race sidecars which gives them plenty of ammunition they think.
Until I explain my motorcycle is a Vegan, its uses ethanol for fuel, rubber from trees for tyres and steel from the ground.
They dont know what to say after that.
Do the best you can and offset the gas cooker by helping others who want help.

Also, I am 70 years young and that helps when you are taking with the fools.
 
Flora Eerschay
pollinator
Posts: 248
Location: Poland
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AngelinaGianna Maffeo wrote:My beloved 1929 Wedgewood gas stove.
[...]
Today I found myself bribing myself with a stunning 1800's wood cook stove...



On the other hand, both stoves sound tempting when you write about them... if I were you I'd maybe try to build a biogas plant for other uses, and still get the stunning wood cook stove? Both can be environmentally friendly if you design it well. Also depends on your budget of course.
 
pollinator
Posts: 973
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
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John C Daley wrote:
I happen to race sidecars which gives them plenty of ammunition they think.



Monkey?  I used to race sportbikes when I was young.  15 years ago a guy moved a few doors down and he used to race too.  Neither of us had tried sidecars so we decided to give it a go.  We bought the rig and were working on it when he got a new job and moved back to the States.  I'd still love to try it.
 
Posts: 7649
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Ideally, I would want to keep both stoves

The wood cook stove in the house to double as a heat source in cold weather and the gas stove in the summer kitchen...or porch?

We used to carry our little 'Daisy Washington' wood cook stove outside to cook and can on in the summer, set up under a tarp strung between a couple trees...not ideal but worked at the time.  I might be the only one I know who got sunburned canning tomatoes

I miss cooking on wood but love the ease of a gas cook stove....and if you are only using it seasonally probably won't need the big big tank so could at least limit propane consumption.
 
master steward
Posts: 8717
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Another way to think about it...  If you stay with gas you save some time each day (and maybe some particulate pollution).  In the course of a year, does the time you gain allow you to teach more people how to do nifty things?  Would those nifty things reduce those people's carbon footprints by a larger amount than the footprint of the gas you're consuming?  
 
gardener
Posts: 1805
Location: southern Illinois.
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Methane certainly comes to mind.  I am in the process of heading in that direction now. I probably won't be operational until late fall.  The UN has posted a number of designs for use in developing countries.  Do be aware that there is more than one poorly thought out plan posted on YouTube and elsewhere on the net.  Methane mixed with oxygen can be splendidly exciting. So, be careful.
 
AngelinaGianna Maffeo
Posts: 74
Location: North Carolina
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Thank you all for you thoughts. I will take the Wedgewood with me even if it's just to use her as a hutch. I have thought using her in my summer kitchen would be perfect. I do a lot of canning over the summer and Fall so an outside kitchen is a must.

I'm really loving the community of this site. I can't believe I haven't found it sooner. I'm still learning how the site works. While it's lovely that I got an apple yesterday, I have no idea what apples mean. LOL Happy Mothers Day to all the women who chose to take on the hardest job of all. My three are in their 40's, this job never really ends, but I wouldn't change a thing
 
Posts: 79
Location: The Netherlands
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If you use gas only to cook on, I'd say hang on to it for now. It of course depends on how long and much you cook on the stove, but the average usage is only what, 30kg of gas per year? And that brings you a very efficient, clean burning flame that provides you precise, on-demand heat. Firing up the woodstove just to bake a couple of eggs in the morning doesn't seem really efficient to me. I don't have the numbers right here so the calculation might be a bit off, but from the top of my head burning a kilo of lng produces about 3-4kilo of CO2.  The average tree removes about 20kg of CO2 from the atmosphere, so if you planted about 4-5 trees per year you'd be carbon neutral in your cooking.

Also, so mayonnaise doesn't come in glass jars in the US?
 
master steward
Posts: 3949
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Just a quick thought on the propane tank.

The company that delivers my propane also furnishes the tank so I have never bought a tank.  Maybe other states are different than Texas though all the locations I have lived at it was the same.
 
Johan Thorbecke
Posts: 79
Location: The Netherlands
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Here you pay a deposit for the cylinders and when you're out they just come swap it, needs to be done about every 1-1½ years. Most houses have two cylinders were one has the valve closed. Out of cooking gas? Open the other one and call for a swap of the empty one, so you never run dry.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1565
Location: RRV of da Nort
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Interesting that you live in North Carolina and a question for those who have brought up biogas.   Is there any way to 'cylinder' (abused here as a verb) biogas or would that be too expensive?  I'm thinking of that large, unsustainable hog CAFO industry in your state and whether or not the state universities there working with that industry ever tapped the biogas from the manure pits.  It's clearly not an ideal source, but maybe a containering/delivery technology has been investigated there that could be a benefit down the road for yours and other's gas cook stoves ..(?)....
 
AngelinaGianna Maffeo
Posts: 74
Location: North Carolina
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John Weiland wrote:Interesting that you live in North Carolina and a question for those who have brought up biogas.   Is there any way to 'cylinder' (abused here as a verb) biogas or would that be too expensive?  I'm thinking of that large, unsustainable hog CAFO industry in your state and whether or not the state universities there working with that industry ever tapped the biogas from the manure pits.  It's clearly not an ideal source, but maybe a containering/delivery technology has been investigated there that could be a benefit down the road for yours and other's gas cook stoves ..(?)....



There may be some research being done at one of the Agri schools at the collages here. They have an ungodly mess from the pig farms out on the coast after the last two hurricanes. Someone told me they are starting to offer courses in Sustainable living here now. I hope biogas is part of it. My biggest challenge here has been teaching the farmers I've met to stop using poison on their crops and wasting money buying nitrogen, at $7000 a field, when they have a small mountain of manure from cleaning out their barns just sitting their. I haven't met any working on any biogas. I'm going to have to wait for someone else to work that out... there are only so many things I can be brilliant at. LOL Before the pandemic I drove maybe 10 miles a week now it's every 3 weeks. I really just feel it's rather hypocritical of me to rage at the fracking and then cook with gas. Thanks for the idea I will keep an ear out for information on it.
 
AngelinaGianna Maffeo
Posts: 74
Location: North Carolina
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Johan Thorbecke wrote:If you use gas only to cook on, I'd say hang on to it for now. It of course depends on how long and much you cook on the stove, but the average usage is only what, 30kg of gas per year? And that brings you a very efficient, clean burning flame that provides you precise, on-demand heat. Firing up the woodstove just to bake a couple of eggs in the morning doesn't seem really efficient to me. I don't have the numbers right here so the calculation might be a bit off, but from the top of my head burning a kilo of lng produces about 3-4kilo of CO2.  The average tree removes about 20kg of CO2 from the atmosphere, so if you planted about 4-5 trees per year you'd be carbon neutral in your cooking.

Also, so mayonnaise doesn't come in glass jars in the US?



Hey thanks for working out the math for me. My gas bill is only about $13 a month so I guess I don't use much. 4 or 5 trees per year that is something can do in a heart beat. And no sorry to say mayo no longer comes in glass jars here. It's sad too they were a great size jar for storing herbs in my apothecary.
 
John C Daley
pollinator
Posts: 1379
Location: Bendigo , Australia
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BIO gas from manures has been done for years.
I read of systems in New Guinea in the 1970s.
I doubt any more research needs to be done.
Essentially the digesters are tanks with sloped floors so the solids drop to a collection point.
Most sewerage farms and many farms around the world use it to produce methane from memory which can drive motors
and produce electricity.
Biogas production
 
Flora Eerschay
pollinator
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John C Daley wrote:BIO gas from manures has been done for years.



And it doesn't have to be just manure, from what I read. It can be everything mixed together: plant waste, byproducts of all kinds of fermentation and plant processing (brewing beer, grinding cereals), wood chips *and* animal waste (manure and slaughterhouse waste). So a great solution for permaculture-like farm, which has all this together.
 
John F Dean
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Location: southern Illinois.
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Hi Johan,

Great point on the swap valve.  I use one and it is great for my 100 pound tanks.  I always keep an extra few tanks around anyway.  
 
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