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Lab Ant
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Location: Orange County, CA
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Thank you Tim for the froe and that pdf. It looks like a really useful little book to have around the Ant Village. Nice and clear with great pictures.
 
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Welcome! I'm seeing what else I can do.. it would be helpful if you guys said in this thread what you folks can use right now. It's October, and I am imagining you don't need a lot of planting and gardening supplies right this second What's a priority?
 
Posts: 75
Location: Montana
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Many thanks to Su Ba for sending us a bunch of awesome stuff!

I am particularly pleased because the nice waterproof boots fit me and me alone. The Lehua Honey is delicious and awesome and tastes like madcap tropical flowers and the tools have come in handy many times already.

Mahalo mahalo!
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It was too bright! I couldn't keep my eyes open
 
Jesse Grimes
Lab Ant
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It seems the two boxes from Su Ba were only the beginning. We received 8 more boxes full of goodies! Thank you so much Su! There was a wide array of stuff inside the care packages including tons of clothes, tools, kitchen utensils, candles, and loads more of that special honey from Hawaiian bees! She even sent some coffee blossom honey, which is unlike anything I have tasted before. It was a late night by the time we got back to Allerton Abbey to open the packages, and we all had a lot of fun going through the boxes and seeing what would come next. Thanks again Su, for sending so much cheer into the Ant Village.
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So many care packages!
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Shelby modeling a silky smooth robe.
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Jim was so excited he wanted to wear all the gifts at once.
 
Sharla Kew
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Another package from the magnamous Su Ba has yielded this super fab jacket! It has been snowing all day so its stylish warmth has arrived with perfect timing.

Thank you so much!
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So fly and so warm
 
pollinator
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You're welcome. I have another box ready to ship tomorrow. Enjoy!
 
Lab Ant
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Su Ba! Your eminently speakable name has become a glorious affirmation of joyful gratitude here at ant village! Mahalo!

Here's a picture of Kai and Sharla modeling just a few of the awesome gifts you sent:
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Kai and Sharla exclaiming Su Ba!
 
Su Ba
pollinator
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Oh you guys are so much fun! I'm glad that you can use at least of the items we are sending your way.

Wednesday I'll be mailing the next two boxes of assorted items. But this time I'm including some of my holiday chocolate covered macadamia nuts and roasted coffee beans. Please share some with Paul and his household. Thanks.

I'm also gifting you (and Paul's household) some bags of various locally grown Hawaiian coffees. I've taken the liberty of grinding it since I don't know if you have a coffee grinder there. I'm guessing that somebody there must be a coffee drinker and could have fun trying out the various estate coffees.
 
Sharla Kew
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I. Love. Coffee. Su Ba, I am going to lose sleep waiting for the next package!
And after it gets here I'm going to lose sleep because of all the coffee I'm drinking.

Thank you so much!
 
Su Ba
pollinator
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Sharla, just to let you know........I mailed off two boxes today, which means that they go out in today's island mail. One of the boxes has two bags of coffee in it. I will try to find time to put together the third box later this afternoon, so it will go out in tomorrow's island mail. There will be two bags in this third box too. So you'll be a coffee drinking fool for the holidays!

Looking at that snow in the photos, a hot drink may help warm you up.
 
Su Ba
pollinator
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Well, I didn't get the last box mailed until two days ago. So don't expect it to arrive until after this weekend.

The brown balls are milk chocolate covered macadamia nuts. The smaller dark brown balls are semi-sweet chocolate covered coffee beans. Both are yummy, though some people don't like the gritty feeling of the coffee beans. But these things are a hot item around here. I tend to only go to the effort of them once a year...at the Christmas holidays. I hope you enjoy them. Yes, I grow both macnuts and coffee on my homestead, but not the chocolate (from cocoa trees). I haven't been successful in getting the cacao to grow on my place.
 
Sharla Kew
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Su Ba! We got the goodies! I am drinking the coffee right now and enjoying it greatly. The chocolate covered treats are so good! SO GOOD! We're waiting til Christmas to break into the coconut candy. Well, we're acting like we're going to wait til Christmas.

Thank you so much!
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Perfect pairing
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Wonderful under the christmas tree!
 
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
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Did you guys get my box, hope it didn't get lost.....
 
master steward
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Chadwick Holmes wrote:Did you guys get my box, hope it didn't get lost.....



I know that there is a new box for the ants ... we brought it in late last night.
 
Chadwick Holmes
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Cool, just didn't want it hung up in some post office list because I got it in the mail right before the holidays.....thanks Paul!
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
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Chadwick, your package arrived!

It contained a gorgeous wooden bowl and three mysterious pieces of metal. I speculate that they are woodcarving tools of some kind, perhaps for a lathe?

Thank you thank you! The bowl is inspiring and quite practical, and I look forward to learning more about how to transform raw wood into similar objects of beauty and utility.
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Chadwick's wooden bowl
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mysterious metal pieces
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on the bottom of the bowl: a dedication to ant village
 
Chadwick Holmes
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Yay, so yes the bowl, rising bread dough, salads, seeds while planting,chips or popcorn around the fire, and if you tie a circle of string and a tied string across that one so if it's on a table flat it looks like a no smoking sign then it can go on the bowl to make the bowl a bucket too! I use them for going out picking. The bowl is treated with food grade flaxseed oil with a little turpentine spirits, if it look like it needs more just use flaxseed oil it takes a few days to dry but it's safe and natural. Cherrywood that fell from a storm so no pain to get it either. As seen on the turnery and turners at permies thread!

Notice the bottom is thick and heavy, this way it is less likely to fall over in outdoor use!

That metal thing I wasn't sure if you all could use, it's a scythe peening jig, just drill a hole in a stump smaller than the pointy end and beat it in. YouTube has instructions from there........if you can't use it, give it to a gapper that fancies it for a job well done! Haha

More to come closer to spring, I didn't want to send tools in winter, it just felt like giving a kid a bike in a snow storm......

Keep up to good work!
 
Sharla Kew
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Kai's been planting hazelnuts with one of the awesome Hori-Hori knives that Truly Garden sent us!
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evan l pierce
Lab Ant
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Thomas Griffin sent us a ton of food: rice, beans, peanuts, and a big bag of red pepper flakes! Thanks Thomas!

Scott Dietrich visited a while back and left us lots of food too: eggs, garlic, onion, cashews, dried cranberries, other stuff I'm forgetting, and pancake mix! Kai, Jim, and I had some delicious pancakes! Scott left us some other cool things too, including a winch, and some seeds! Thanks Scott!
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bulk calories!
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pancake time!
 
Posts: 109
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Did the Cajun Spice ever show up? If not I need to check on it.

Rob
 
Rob Griffin
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Oh, and I have had good luck sprouting the seeds from the dried red pepper.

Rob
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
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Rob, no sign yet of the cajun spice that I'm aware of, but folks are going into town so maybe it just arrived at the mailbox. We'll see I guess.

That's cool to know about sprouting the pepper seeds. I'll have to try that in the greenhouse you sent. Speaking of which, here's some pictures of that greenhouse you sent:





















Thanks again for sending this greenhouse, Rob!
 
Rob Griffin
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I checked with Azure Standard and they did not send the Cajun spice. It appears if it is not in stock right at the moment you place the order...they don't send it when it comes in or even tell you they are not sending it. The red beans and rice would be better with the Cajun Spice....I will check on reordering. You should have got a thermometer/hydrometer for the green house and a compost thermometer for the Abbey and a battery operated CO2 monitor for Jim from Amazon, like last week.

What is your thinking on the earth bags?

Rob
 
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I just noticed the poly panels on the greenhouse and they appear to be the type that is only UV treated on one side. If they are installed wrong they will deteriorate very quickly. I have a friend that did that with his greenhouse and they did not last even half their expected life. I don't know how to tell the difference. Since the instructions were confusing they might not have mentioned that detail.
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
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Cool, thanks Rob! As far as the earthbags go, my current thoughts are that they might be a particularly good material choice for building a root cellar. As far as a house goes, some disadvantages of earthbag with a cob plaster finish compared to wood might be the increased work/difficulty of adding shelves or attaching things to the walls once they're built, as well as all the extra work of the cob plaster finish. A properly designed house built of wood that's lived in and dried out (heated) regularly should have a decently long lifespan, be faster and easier to build than earthbags and cob, and imho be more livable, even if the wood doesn't last a thousand years. That said, for structures like root cellars that won't be lived in or heated, and therefore will have a higher humidity, earthbags might be much longer lasting and therefore a better choice than wood. Also, the lack of shelves built into the walls won't hurt at all, since you want the shelves in your root cellar to be away from the walls for air flow anyway. Plus, since a root cellar probably won't be getting direct sunlight inside, one could conceivably procrastinate on the cob plaster for some time without the bags photodegrading. An earth-integrated greenhouse is another structure where using earthbags instead of wood might make it longer lasting due to the high humidity, though you'd want to get a cob plaster on it right away to prevent the bags degrading, plus one could experiment with curved, maybe parabolic, back walls. Furthermore, after reading through that pdf you sent me, I think I'd be more comfortable committing to a smaller project like a root cellar first before considering a full-on earthbag house. So what do you think, Rob, would a root cellar still be something you'd want to throw some love at in order to see it happen?

Jerry, thanks for the heads up regarding potential uv vulnerability. That's very disconcerting. There was nothing in the instructions about it as far as I could tell, nor was there any noticeable difference between the two sides of the plastic panes. I guess we'll see what happens.
 
Rob Griffin
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Evan,
Look at chapter 7 in the book I sent. On pages 97 to 102 it shows how you use wood plates and studs to have attachment points for all sorts of things to include shelving and even how to do stairs. It is actually really simple. I was more worried about them wicking up water and that was that crude drawing I sent you of how I thought the it would go on the outside where you are earth berming it to keep that from happening.

I will admit I have never cabbed, but I have laid cerement. I have looked at it on the some sites and youtube. The ones that are really mixing it up and laying it down in quantity were using a cement mixer to make it. They would mix it up a bit wet and then let it age (dry) a bit overnight and trowel it on like plaster and it was going pretty quick....as long as you had the raw materials already stockpiled. I think Jesse said there might be a cement mixer at the Lab???

As for the greenhouse, the vent on the roof or maybe the door....was there only one way to install it with a certain panel facing out? Maybe you could tell by looking at it which way is out. It looks like panels are not smooth, is that just on one side or the other

Rob
 
Rob Griffin
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Things are slow so I searched a bit on the UV coating on HF greenhouses. Best I can tell both sides are UV coated, how well who knows, some of the hotter climates people were reporting pin holing after a year or two. I guess that will be part of the greater experiment....
 
Rob Griffin
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Real Slow....
Page from book....
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Rob Griffin
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Now I have a mission as the picture did not show....
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
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Rob,

I saw that part of the book. I realize that if one knows exactly where they want all their shelves and such before they start building, then it's a simple enough matter to build in the wood bits to attach them to. But I like the idea of living in a house a little while and letting the placement of such things develop more organically. I think that in a tiny house specifically, storage spaces are something that if done well can make it awesome but if done poorly can make it totally unlivable. I don't trust myself to know ahead of time exactly how I'll want to interact with the space, so I favor the flexibility that wood gives me. I suppose I could just build in potential attachment points in an earthbag structure everywhere I think I might potentially want to put shelves or something and then just use the ones that seem like they'll work; that would give some of the flexibility, but it's a lot of extra work and at that point I may as well have just built it all of wood in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, I think earthbags have their applications, and specifically the thermal transfer and potential longevity seem like they could be advantages over wood. I'm stoked on the idea of taking on an earthbag project and gaining experience with that medium, but a house is something I'd prefer to work up to, rather than it being my first project. Maybe after starting to build with earthbags I'll realize that they're super easy and decide to take on a bigger project, or maybe they'll turn out to be more hassle than they're worth and I'll be glad I didn't bite off more than I could chew.

So, a root cellar is currently what I'm thinking. If that works out great, maybe an earth-sheltered greenhouse. And if all that works out wonderfully then maybe I could take on a house. If such an incremental approach is not something you'd be willing to support, I totally understand. Perhaps another ant is more confident in their ability to build with earthbags and will want to commit to a larger project. I hope I'm not coming off as ungrateful to you for what you've already sent and your offer to send more, but I don't want to commit to anything larger or more complex than a root cellar for my first earthbag project.
 
Rob Griffin
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Evan,
It is obvious not everybody thinks the same. The two houses I had built I studied the plans a bunch and pretty much had thought through everything several times over so stuff turned out about as I expected...and with standard housing the bank would probably frown on you telling them you want to live there for awhile before you decide which room is the kitchen and where the cabinets are going....

I respect this is really your experiment so you can do it your way. Like I said before I did not understand why you would want an insulator (wood and I guess in the end, cabinets full of stuff) between the living space and your thermal mass and I would like to see someone do it with earth bags. Plus I like the "permi" part of them vs the more inevitable demise of the wood in the future. But it is your vision.

That still being said I still plan on sending 1k of bags and some barbed wire. Maybe someone else will want to use them more, but there does not seem to be as much of a presence of the other ants on the forums. You have a bunch of stuff, and Jesse and Jim have some stuff but you don't hear much about the other ant's permi visions.

Rob
 
steward
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You know, a structure built from earthbags could use the greenhouse as the south facing walls. Earthbags are excellent for greenhouses since they resist moisture better than wood. The north wall plus the northern half of the east and west walls could be earthbag, and the greenhouse glazing could be used as the southern half of the building. Then berm over the earthbag wall. . . might be even less "visible from space" than the original greenhouse.
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
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Some kind soul sent a compost thermometer! It didn't say who sent it, but I feel like I remember someone saying something about sending one, I just can't find where or when. In any case, thanks!

Rob, thanks for understanding, and thank you for sending earthbags. I'm excited to try them out. Like I said, if the root cellar works out, I'm hoping to try a greenhouse and then a house too.

Julia, what you described is just what I was thinking. Maybe the earthbag walls could even be sort of a parabola to really maximize the solar gain. And once I've gotten some experience and feel comfortable with earthbags, I'm considering using them to build the greenhouse I have planned for the south berm of my wofati.
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compost thermometer!
 
Rob Griffin
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Evan,
I sent the compost thermometer, should have been an outdoor thermometer/Hydrometer with it for the greenhouse and a battery powered CO2 alarm for Jim. I have been under attack by work for the last week and not trolling on here. I will see about sending the earthbags this week.

Rob
 
evan l pierce
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Thanks Rob! Will keep a lookout for the other stuff you sent! Much appreciated!

Kerry sent a bunch of seeds! Clovers, daikons, lots of different veggies, and a deer-resistant mix! Thanks Kerry!

I'm pumped to try out a little bit of that deer-resistant mix, but the rest of the seeds Kerry sent will be set aside for the other ants. I'm sure they'll be excited to have some seeds to put in the ground as soon as they get back.
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seeds from Kerry!
 
evan l pierce
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More seeds from Kerry!

And some inoculants! Some rhizobial bacteria and some mycorrhizal fungi for the experiment!

Plus Jesse got that drawknife he wanted!

Thanks Kerry!
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Kerry sent more seeds!
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fungal and bacterial inoculants from Kerry!
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seeds and a drawknife for Jesse from Kerry!
 
Jesse Grimes
Lab Ant
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Kerry, thank you so much for the seeds, innoculants, and draw knife! I am returning to the lab this weekend for a short stay before coming back for good in may. I plan to peel as many logs as I can while the sap is flowing, so that draw knife is just in time. I will report back on how it compares to a straight rigid blade. Thanks again for all of your continuing support!
 
evan l pierce
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Thomas (Rob) Griffin sent a diverse package of ant love! Ratchet straps, cups/mugs, candy, really nice sharpening stones, pieces of some kind of wood puzzle box thing that could still be cool for modeling or something if we can't figure it out, a "magic towel," a wooden spoon, a bbq brush, some metal hot dog roasting sticks, and chisels! Cool! Thanks Rob!
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ant love from Rob!
 
Lab Ant
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We received a bunch of packages in the past week! They were sent to ants and gappers.
Thanks Thomas R!

Biodegradable chainsaw oil
Several flexible draw knifes
~10 stainless steel spatulas with wood handles (and walnut oil to treat them)
A video camera
Books (Ive been wanting to check out the one on debt!)
humidity meters

And Su Ba sent us a package of
-Honey and Jam
-Jeans and other clothes
-Chocolate covered nuts
-Steak knifes

Thanks Su!
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gifts!
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draw knife
 
Jesse Grimes
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I just got back to the Ant Village a few days ago, and I was pleased to discover that Thomas R. Sent me everything on my ant love wishlist!  That includes a new video camera! Now I can zoom while shooting, take super high quality close ups, and plug in an external mic for high quality sound in my videos.  Thank you so much, Thomas!  I am blown away by your generosity. I've already used the camera to shoot my first video, which I am uploading now.
 
Time is the best teacher, but unfortunately, it kills all of its students - Robin Williams. tiny ad:
3 Plant Types You Need to Know: Perennial, Biennial, and Annual
https://permies.com/t/96847/Pros-cons-perennial-biennial-annual
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