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Ty Morrison
Posts: 179
Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
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Victory Farm is an ongoing experiment in my permaculture awareness and design.

I had posted this in several spots but they seem very obscure, so I am posting it here after some encouragement.

This year has already crept up on me and I have failed to plan ahead, so we'll see what really gets done.
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Ty Morrison
Posts: 179
Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
16
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My water issue is an obsession.

This diagram is a sectional depiction of my problem. It is about 10 feet from surface of water to surface of property.

I use an electric pump (grid tie) to lift water, currently to pressurized irrigation (sprinklers). This year I will augment with PV and windmill generated power to a lead-acid battery bank and then test my duration and capacity.

My obsession is to use the flow of the seasonal stream to lift water to a reservoir that i can use for agricultural and fish needs. I started with a spiral pump (photo with black pipe) but it was too crude to use the small amount of energy in the stream. Over the winter I developed my second design which is a spiral pump variant using two helix of black funny pipe wrapped opposite each other inside a 5 gallon bucket. The bucket adds buoyancy to overcome friction of the mechanism. I am now waiting for mid-april to place it in the stream and see what it does.

Obviously the Ram pump is a possible solution too, but I was trying for something a bit different.
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Ty Morrison
Posts: 179
Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
16
chicken goat solar trees urban wofati
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A few images of the farm and staff!
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Fainting goats (lawnmowers and stick makers) six total
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Light Brahmas (eggs and scratching) four total
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Pasture
 
Jen Shrock
pollinator
Posts: 363
Location: NW Pennsylvania Zone 5B bordering on Zone 6
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You got one heck of a design going on there. Please keep posting updates as you go. Looks like you have some good staff too!
 
Ty Morrison
Posts: 179
Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
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This weekend I spread 30 pounds of seed on about a third of an acre.

The seed mix was 1/3 austrian winter pea, 1/3 vernal alfalfa and 1/3 buckwheat. All good gowers and nitrogen fixers in my area.

My goal is to create two grazing cells for my 6 goats, I am hoping to improve incredibly compacted pasture that currently is in 'pasture grass' which is mostly rye grass.

I have not really done anything with one cell except water. The other cell has been a lawn with 'organic' fertilizer program from the local nursery. I am not interested in growing grass to feed the clippings to the goats, plus it never did real well.

The seed all suggested about 1 inch of cover after spreading. Ain't gonna happen at my place.

In order to make the labor as simple as possible, I rented an aerator from the local shop to punch 3 inch holes at 4 inches on center through the current lawn/pasture as the ground was still moist from winter precipitation and then broadcast the seed with an ortho whirley hand spreader.

In the pasture the chickens and goats went to work scratching and walking which seems to have filled some of the wholes. In the yard, I have just left the debris lay.

I have been fortunate to have about 48 hours of early spring rain on top of the seed.
 
Ty Morrison
Posts: 179
Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
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This past weekend I took advantage of a small window of opportunity to start the next wave of compost and have some rainfall wet it down.

I used the spoils from the feeding area where the 6 goats eat every day, I have tried several ways to contain the hay when feeding the goats but they defeat them all, so I simply throw the hay out on the ground and let them spew and poo on it.

I wheelbarrowed that lot of manured hay over to the manured straw from the stable and the four chickens in the coop side of the stable, along with over-wintered remnants and leaves.

I wound up with this pile. It is a accretion of my first three experiments with the geoff lawton version of the Berkeley method. This time I left it uncovered like the latest video about the 'chicken tractor on steroids'. As you can see, the chickens are moving in on it, just like they should.

I coop the chickens at night and they still get grain/pellets/oyster shell/ sand. Pasture range in the day.

This morning the compost mass was steaming: all systems are go!
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Ty Morrison
Posts: 179
Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
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About two weeks have passed since seeding.

I set up a temporary fence to create two zones in the pasture, one for goats, the other for the seed.

The goats have really tested my fence, but it seems to work.

We have been very fortunate to get gentle rains so the seed is well watered.

The chickens have really helped with the compost pile, scratching aggressively.

Soon the water will flow in the drainage ditch and I can get this year's prototype pump out for testing.
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Ty Morrison
Posts: 179
Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
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Yay! The water is flowing. Started yesterday. This means that after the flush, I can set my new prototype pump.

Also, split the compost pile in two and gave a truck bed full of the best to a friend who is much more of a gardener than I.

I think you can see some of this if you look closely to these photos...
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Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3981
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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I am looking forward to seeing how the pump works!
 
Ty Morrison
Posts: 179
Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
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Pasture update first:

The 'drilling' with a rental aerator followed by broadcast of vernal alfalfa, buckwheat and austrian winter pea was successful. After keeping the goats out for 6 weeks with a temporary fence, 'we' decided to let the goats back in.

The photos show the abundance of growth in the protected area. Notice that the new starts were able to compete with the existing pasture grasses and weeds.

The difference between both sides of the fence is obvious once I took it down.

The goats are very happy and no longer choose to eat the old alfalfa hay...

The other 'yard' I overseeded is doing well too, but has a lot of Elm starts in it.
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Ty Morrison
Posts: 179
Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
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Then there was the pump experiment number two.

This was two helix wound funny-pipes in a paint bucket with blades on a frame. The bearings are bronze rings and grease. The two helix are joined inside the bucket with a tee fitting and the single outlet pipe passes through the slotted aluminum axle-pipe to a free-spinning pvc hose fitting I found at Home Depot. The bucket provides buoyancy for the assembly in the slow moving slack-water ditch in an attempt to compensate for friction and weight. The helix pump compresses water and air as it spins, pressurizing the 'burst' of water and providing the lift I can't get as there is no head pressure in the ditch, nor can I modify the ditch with a weir.

The water-master is a harsh mistress and has removed several previous weir installations.

Over the past 24 hours the ditch has been augmented by additional stormwater run-off so I was able to test the pump in both regular flow and higher flow conditions.

The helix pump concept definitely works. Just like the spiral pump.

Unfortunately the flow in the ditch is meager at best and is not enough to spin the double helix bucket. Not even at high flow and with some corrugated sheet metal baffles to funnel the stream and further augment the flow speed. Bummer.

I will try deeper blades, just to see...

I think the double helix is very heavy when in-use as there is quite a bit of water in each helix. Also, my bronze/aluminum bearings are just not as free spinning as I would like.

In addition to the deeper blades on the current pump, I am going to try a bicycle wheel with blades in the underground culvert to see if I can even get a wheel to spin...if that works i will try the spiral idea again.

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Ty Morrison
Posts: 179
Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
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Success?

This it the fifth prototype of the flow energy double helix pump.

It has ten 6" blades asymmetrically distributed and the lift height is about 10 feet.

It pumped for six hour and the flow when tested, was about 1 gal/hour.

The stream flow turned out to be pretty high. Some time in the night it diminished by about 25% and the pump no longer worked.

Several attempts we made to focus the flow and added two blades to the mix, but end the end, the energy in the stream flow was not enough to lift to ten feet and the pump stopped.

When the line up from the pump to the reservoir was removed, the pump ran well in the diminished floe, so the correlation of stream flow to head pressure is key to success (duh!)

Prototype 6 will be a new start, as prototype 5 has a lot of design changes that likely affect efficiency.

1 gal/hour raised 10 feet...it is a start to an off-grid reservoir system.



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Ty Morrison
Posts: 179
Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
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Alterations to improve flow = some help

1 gal/hour
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Ty Morrison
Posts: 179
Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
16
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My other off-grid is wind power from ornamental wind mills.

Some plastic gears, an old 18 volt dc drill motor and some labor.

Waiting for a few other pieces of the puzzle from Amazon to complete the test.
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Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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I'm wondering if your flow would be improved by making the hose a straight downhill shot once it overcame the 10 foot climb. I have a feeling that dip in your hose is causing you some pressure issues. From the pictures it looks like once the water makes it to the top of the berm, it flows down into a ditch and then up another little berm/hill, forcing the need for more head pressure farther from the power source?
 
Ty Morrison
Posts: 179
Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
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Likely. It was far from 'Scientific Journal' rigor! I got six gallons, before stream flow dropped, even with the 'dip'...but I remain positive and have justified another trip to 'Home Depot"!
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Ty Morrison wrote:Likely. It was far from 'Scientific Journal' rigor! I got six gallons, before stream flow dropped, even with the 'dip'...but I remain positive and have justified another trip to 'Home Depot"!


What! Not up to "Scientific Journal" rigor?!

Glad to see you've justified another trip to HD

Other questions:

--how deep is the water in that channel? Is it worth it to make the paddles longer? Are there perhaps stronger currents in the deeper water (if it is deep)? Would it be beneficial to use more scupper-like paddles (this coming from a former competitive swimmer - how you hold your hands makes a difference in the amount of water you can move, as does the angle at which your hand enters the water)

--I like the channeling you made to increase the speed to the paddles - I wonder a couple of things: could you make that "chute" longer which would basically increase the speed on more water? OR could you place rocks in the channel to help narrow it and create a rapids-like effect, thus speeding up the water?
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Ty Morrison : A small increase in the inside diameter of your hose will allow you to flow more water mostly due to less Flow being lost to frictional losses.

As an old firefighter I know it's true but I have seen it clearly when installing my largest diameter hoses first, several years ago I got some lemon yellow 'garden hoses'
that when left in the sun got HOT and swole up to nearly 1.25 inches, so that the major friction loss was the couplings ! Both straight (as possible) and short can
make a large percentage difference ! Bridge any gaps with boards or even boards, plywood laid on ladders ! just my 2 cents worth ! Big AL !
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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A small increase in the inside diameter of your hose will allow you to flow more water mostly due to less Flow being lost to frictional losses.


Yep - this was recently illustrated for me at a water harvesting course.
 
Ty Morrison
Posts: 179
Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
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Year two:

Whew. Long time since a post. This year sees me with four water reservoirs that fill about 1/2 way each rain. Lately, we've been unusually wet, so I don't really make full use of what has come down and been stored. NEXT PROJECT: FIGURE OUT A WHOLE SITE STORMWATER DISTIBUTION FROM STORAGE

I have had a good spring and fed the goats coppiced elm from my yard. I am still thinking of feed for my goats and chicken coming off the plants in the yard and food waste from the house. That's my one foot long shoe in the middle for reference.

Right now my six goats eat a 60# bale of hay a week. My 1947 2.5 ton resored dump bed is capable of hauling 68 bales. There is a math problem in there somewhere.
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Water Reservoir #3
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Cristo Balete
Posts: 428
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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Ty, if I'm understanding it right, from the picture that shows your place and the ditch, your place is lower than the cement ditch up on the levee/road? Why not just put a siphon line across the levee/road? Put a pantyhose foot over the end in the ditch so it won't suck up stuff, and once the line starts sucking it will always provide water with pressure, as long as the end in the ditch doesn't come up into the air.
 
Ty Morrison
Posts: 179
Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
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Cristo:

Siphon hose: that would be too easy and obvious!

Thanks for reading and chiming in. That would be the best way.

Oddly, from inception, the easement and subsequent water rights forbid a siphon and require removal via district approved waterwheel (none approved since 1923) or from the drainage ditch as I have been doing for years. The water master drives the canal once a week with no regularity of schedule. Ergo, the pump in the ditch: they really don't want me to use my allotted 2 acre-feet per season.

At this point, powering the pump off-grid is still too expensive compared to grid-tie and will be for the rest of my lifetime. I even had an electrical engineer friend at a solar/LED company calculate it for me at their costs. Besides, if the apocalypse comes, watering my lawn and pasture are likely the least of my concerns, so I have only to work with the latent power of the drainage ditch.

Here is this seasons first prototype:

This uses an in-line skate for a pair of roller bearings, a bicycle wheel, a single coil spiral and super lightweight blades made from last falls election signs.

Just looking for a window to go test.

OBTW: I tried panty hose of the pressure foot of my pump hose. The combination of screens was too-fine and always clogged during watering. Wound up using plastic 1/4 inch hardware mesh as the pre-filter to the stainless steel screen on the pressure foot.
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Cristo Balete
Posts: 428
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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they really don't want me to use my allotted 2 acre-feet per season.


Ty, I would fight to get that 2 acre feet. It will add value to your property in ways you never imagined. If you have that right, it doesn't matter what they don't want you to have. It's yours. Somewhere I assume it says it's yours. Get it. Get it written down, get tanks, get a pump or a siphon line, and a meter if that's what it takes, and get the water that is the right attached to that property. It's an invaluable right, and you deserve it.
 
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