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If I were an Ant, I'd......  RSS feed

 
Su Ba
pollinator
Posts: 979
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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books forest garden rabbit solar tiny house woodworking
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Only 12 people get to be Ants and give it a real try but lots of folks have ideas about what they'd do if they were an Ant. Maybe some of the ideas would turn out good, perhaps others wouldn't, but it would be fun to see what ideas people come up with. Perchance some of them would inspire the working Ants.

I, for one, have daydreamed of being an Ant, just for the fun of it. I initially came up with an approach, but over time, it morphed as I saw what challenges the real Ants were up against. I still daydream prior to falling asleep at night, tweeting my Ant house and Ant gardens....putting up wild foods and designing water systems. A very pleasant way to drift off to sleep.

Anybody want to share your "ant ideas"? Share yours and I'll share mine. What fun!
 
Mike Feddersen
Posts: 357
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Su,
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I wish I had one to show you, sin e I'd love to see yours.
Seriously I have seen so many posts by you that makes me want to train under you, Obiwan Kenobi. And in paradise, no less.
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I was thinking how much I hate all the love the current ant/s are getting, but started following anyway.
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I think sleeping arrangements first, with a strong emphasis on food. I would delve into the local wildcrafting of wild edibles Prayerfully Sergio's book would keep me nourished.
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I know wofati is the golden goose for Paul, but if allowed I would go earthbermed, with a living roof placed on wood timbers.
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A nice rocket mass heater inside the hut, with a bench to store some heat.
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A garden would be paramount, so fencing it in would be required. I like the first ant's fence. I remember someone mentioned that deer don't like to put their feet where they can't determine the outcome. I think some nice rows of wood would be good, but that might give the turkeys a place to fly from. Also rabbits and other garden raiders would need deterred. I am an omnivore so if its' eating my food it just became part of my food chain.
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I would love to help Paul or whoever at the lab, like the first ant. I was posting on another thread how I had to search YouTube for the information on sweating a copper fitting. The information was sound and my hose bib went on without a hitch. I am ignorant of a lot of things, I overhauled a Big Cam 4 Cummins engine down to the cam bearings, but gas engines would need help from YouTube.
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I'm not cute so I would need to borrow someone's mug if I wanted to capitalize on ant lover's love.
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It would be such a great experience, I envy young people not tied down. But I would not change being a dad, holding my baby son was a great gift from GOD.
 
Rob Griffin
Posts: 101
Location: Huntsville, United States
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Su,
I did not think I was the only one thinking " if I were an ant.." I am sure you saw what I posted in the ant village forum...maybe even that is what sparked you to start this thread...But hopefully without sounding like a broken record..."water, water, water....". If as an ant you can not solve that problem or Paul doesn't comes up with some sort of community water system the ant village is going to struggle. Best I can tell the closest water is down at base camp which is several miles away. That does not seem sustainable or practical to me. I have been trying to figure out how much water per day I as an ant would need...I am thinking around 5 gallons. 1 gallon to drink (maybe more in summer though if working hard), 2 gallons for food prep and washing (but maybe a 1.5 gallons gray water back for plants) and another two gallons for drip irrigation. So for a year that is ~1800 gallons. Obviously during the winter ( and how long is winter in MT...6 months ?) the plant water will not be needed. But the 1800 gallon number would be a good working number and would give some room if there were guests or the plants needed more during the dry season.

So 1800 gallons is ~240 cubic ft which is a 9 ft diameter pond 4 ft deep. That is not terribly big. So if you could scattered over your acre say 5 to 7 of these you would be in great shape. As I said in the other forum I heard Paul talking in a permi culture video about, I think he called it a "stealth pond" where you did the pond, fill it with rocks then earth cap it. I would definitely try several of these as there seems to be no shortage of rocks around there, then put in several open ponds, earth bermed to shelter from the wind to limit evaporation and try floating car tires with recycled wine bottle on the surface along with hardy pond lilies (many parts are edible) and if they are only around 9ft in diameter easily shade trestled with junk poles. And of course the gray water marsh at the lowest point on the plot.

It would take the first year to establish the ponds, hugle beds and gardens and fences with hopefully the ponds and and hugle beds soaking up water over that rainy season and winter, which hopefully will give an abundance of food and calories for year 2 when I would concentrate on the shelter while stuff is growing. I am not totally sold on the wofati designs I have seen, the wooden side walls trouble me. I like the idea of South facing windows, solar sink floors, rammed earth sidewalls, strawbale cob South and North walls, RMH, trying a green house on the North side, outdoor kitchen with dry stacked rocket stove for summer cooking and making biochar, 1/2 a dozen cold frames on the South side (done first year), Solar Panel Array, a sawdust pit on the North side to store frozen bucket water blocks in the winter for summer use (solar powered blender for dandelion flower daiquiris! (did I mention still?)), compost piles ( and if I have plenty of water....hot showers and more gray water), worm beds and of course my own crapper collecting solid and liquid waste. And if I had enough water I would go with a few chickens.

Dang that sounds like paradise to me because year 3 and on will be just reaping the bounty and running the blender.

Rob

ps I might get a bb gun as Fred might have liked sharing a the wofati with a bushy tailed wood rat, I would not be so generous.
 
Rob Griffin
Posts: 101
Location: Huntsville, United States
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It is winter...golf season is off, so is tennis season now so I have tons of time to think about this. It is too bad Paul is off line with his health issues as I would have loved to hear his opinions on this stuff.
So....I have changed my mind...for the shelter I would go now for walls all round with with earth bag construction, with the East and West walls earth bermed with a french drain still assuming their was some sort of billboard water proof cover over the roof and the East and West earth berm. North and South walls earth cobbed over the earth bags. I am thinking 20ft by 20ft giving the floor footprint with a bit of a loft in the middle of maybe 4 to 6 ft. Four areas 10 by 10. Bedroom, indoor kitchen/pantry , living room, private area (bath, toilette area). Sun exposure to the South and small greenhouse on the North entrance. I am still contemplating how the roof would be. Obliviously on the South side an over hang for Winter vs Summer sun, but how would the wood roof with earth covering be integrated on top of the earth bagged walls.
Suggestions anyone
 
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