Annie Hope

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since Mar 05, 2012
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Recent posts by Annie Hope

Thanks for your your replies.

There are five houses mentioned in the Children's versions of the books:  the first two are logs - a log cabin already standing, a log cabin they build in Indian Territory, the other three are built with "bought sawn" lumber.  In Plum creek it had a loft, (I think the film was based on this house) and in De Smit a town store and house with a second story, and the homestead claim / homestead that was all on one level, and built in three stages.  This last one is what I am trying to replicate.  I have found a bit more about these in the following places:  This gives the dimensions of the buildings, but has no contact.  This has lots of tantalising pictures including a replica of the half house shanty they built themselves.  Unfortunately they have not updated since 2015, and an email to them came back undeliverable.  This is some information on shanty claims in general, and the one at the top looks like the first pictures of the "half house" shanty in the book.  This has more pictures of the inside of the current building for tourists.

The current homestead people visit, and sketches in later of Wilders book of the homestead show horizontal weather board.   Pa talks about tar paper on the house being blown off the roof in a blizzard although well boarded on, and one old photo showed a shack wrapped in tar paper and held on with a mishmash of thin boards.  

These may give someone an idea of the name for the style of building I am trying to replicate.  Also maybe a tiny house plan I could take and adapt in this style.

I have also learnt that under new laws I can build up to 30m2 without consent provided it is "light" building material, one level, and of no  more than 20kg per Square metre wall or roof - e.g. not brick or cement etc. and no electricity, sewerage or potable water.  
1 week ago
I am building a sleepout that can be a maximum of 100 square ft (10 square metres) an under 3m high without building consent, and I am interested in it reflecting the building style of the sawn board houses in Dakota (with some hidden insulation batts).

There are many references to building, but in particular on p.64 of The Long Winter Pa says "Our store building in town is boarded and papered, sided on the outside and ceiled on the inside.  It's goodcand tight and warm"

Does anyone know how to translate this into modern building terms of where I would get a description of this building process.  I am in New Zealand where stud walls with horizontal weather board outside, steel roofs and plasterboard walls and ceiling inside is the norm.  The inside then used to usually have wall paper when I was growing up, but paint is now the norm.

I am guessing this is wide vertical planks outside with thin vertical planks on top along the crack.  What about on the inside walls and the roof?

I would make it a sloped half house like the first part of the shanty house in "By the shores of Silver lake", and make it 2 x5m with a loftbed on each side and the ladder rungs  on the wall like in "On the banks of plum Creek".

Any other ideas?  

1 week ago
I am not sure where this fits, so if someone want to cross post this - please do.

In the dry summer of the southern hemisphere I drove my rideon out of the shed to access a trailer, went to get something, and came back to this fire in the process.  It started in the rideon engine (moral of the story - when you use a ride-on, lift the engine lid to help it cool, and brush out any grass).  

There has been burnt to the ground two vehicles and a few extra tyres, two each 1000L IBC and 220L drums and a lot of household appliances and personal effects with plastic.  

Our sand trap bore for land and animals is 1-2 metres down and about 4 metres from the garage. (we use rainwater in the house, and have disconnected this from the house roof till after demolition, and cleaned the tank and trucked in a load of water)  Our house is about 10m away.

I know that burning plastics give off dangerous gas, but what about soil residue?  

The first thing I think I should do after demolition is to cover the area with woodchip, or gravel or an above ground concrete natural pool (when they demolish the garage I have a 6x6m cement slab already that could be the base) to stop the soil toxins being air born.

But would it be safe it eat plants that have grown though woodchip into this?

If I did test the sand trap water, what should I be testing for?

1 week ago
Did you ever get answers to these questions?
4 weeks ago
I am wanting make a cheap indoor natural pool filter for a very cheap second-hand above-ground pool.  

I am scared that the cost of this is going to way out-strip the cost of the pool.

We live in a very temperate climate.   average min/max in mid summer is 13C/22C  Average min/max in mid winter is 2C/13C.  Record low is -4C.
The system will not freeze, but it will need heating pretty much year round to reach 26C swimming temperature. I would want both pool and pond water heated and the water in a closed system.

I am looking at an area of 4-8M2 (40-80 ft2) and a volume of 3000-6000L (740 to 1500 Gallons) to start with.

I have 8 acres and and a fairly secure rain/bore supply, and don't eat fish, so have not really dabbled with aquaponics much.  I have grown duckweed for chicken food, in shallow ponds, however, and would like to do so again.

I have seen duckweed mentioned as one plant with filtering roots, and am wondering if it could be the only one used.  Could I pump up to a 44 Gallon drum filled with sand that empties into a shallow pond above the pool filled with duck weed and then into the pool itself?

Also, I am not sure what keeps the plants living in the natural pool pond, as I am guessing the last think you want to be doing is dousing them with your manure tea or other natural fertilisers!  Do we throw off enough dead skin etc to keep fertilising them?

4 weeks ago
hi,  did you ever do this, and any advice you could give?
4 weeks ago
Hi,  I was wondering if there is an update to this.  Did you achieve this?  
4 weeks ago
I am doing road-side sales in an area that has summer influxes of tourists, and so sales are very seasonal.  I don't want to plant climbing beans and have to pick hundreds of beans a day that won't sell just to keep the plant producing.  I was wondering about planting dwarf beans that if not picked green would could be left to harvest as a dried bean.  

The question is - how good are various dried beans as a young green bean - e.g. Cannellini, pinto, painted / borlotto.  Anyone out there with experience?

The other option would be to pick green beans specifically grown as green bean varieties, and if they don't sell, pull the whole plant and feed it to my livestock (pigs, goats, cattle).  
How safe is this to do in larger quantities?
I have successfully experimented with a couple of oyster mushroom buckets, but now am trying it commercially for the first time on some barley straw I just got cheap by the large bale.

I am wondering what size and quantity of holes is best to drill in my 100 newly purchased recycled buckets.

They are 10l (2 1/2 gallon) and the growing space is 26cm across (just over 10") diameter, and 23cm (9") high.

This article suggests the ideal is 7cm (almost 3") diamter hole:

This articles says that the ratio should be 0.2cm2 / 1cm3    (area / volume).  This is more than the drillable area on the sides of the bucket:
This seems a lot more than the holes that I have made before or seen in pictures on-line.

There also seems a lot of info left out in the articles.  Were they looking at the first flush only, or the total growth?   I have more than enough room in the converted garage to leave the buckets for several weeks to get several flushes before the barley straw is totally spent.

Before I waste months of time and buckets experimenting with this  myself, i am wondering if someone out there has already experimented with hole size and can share the results.
5 months ago