Rebecca Norman

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since Aug 28, 2012
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Rebecca has lived in Ladakh in the Himalayas since 1992. She's a bit of a crabby, grumpy character but is trying to Be Nice on Permies.
Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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Recent posts by Rebecca Norman

Unfortunately I don't think chicken manure is much good for biogas, which could be a solution for manure of animals such as cows.

To compost chicken manure well and make good compost normally requires addition of large amounts of carbonaceous materials to mix with the highly nitrogenous chicken manure. That would mean materials like straw, dry brown autumn leaves, or sawdust, in much larger volumes than the chicken manure. Then, well mixed, made damp, and then turned and mixed at intervals, it could become excellent compost. If you don't have access to that much material or that much space, then this wouldn't work for you.

However I don't know if there will be any kind of organic or permaculture solution for keeping 100,000 chickens. It is difficult or impossible to find organic solutions to a concentrated animal operation like that. If you had a much smaller number of birds, as well as some diverse types of trees and crops, then it might be possible to have the products and waste from the green things feed and serve the chickens, while the chicken's manure and activities feed and serve the green things.
19 hours ago
Yes, I bought dried nettles last winter and powdered them in the blender, and it was very fine.

(I powdered some with dried chives and dill and just a little salt, and it makes a delicious and vibrantly coloured buttered popcorn -- mmm!)
3 days ago

Abe Coley wrote:i've had decent luck lightly taping the pieces together with scotch tape and the boiling the thing in milk for 10-15 mins. Brush milk onto the broken faces first before you tape them together. Let cool and dry and then pry off the tape.

Kept my favorite coffee mug alive this way for years before i finally shattered the thing into too many pieces to be salvageable.

If you try this suggestion from above, please let us know how it works out!
3 days ago
I've grown fruit trees from seed in containers, but haven't seen yet how they will do when I plant them out because I only just moved into my own house.
Mulberry from dried fruit I bought.
Peaches, apricots, apples from fresh fruit, and planted with a month or two. Walnuts likewise.
I just do stratification in containers of soil, no fridge or paper towels. I keep them in a protected place through the coldest part of winter, such as in a shaded part of the greenhouse.
Hi Chris, the OP has already said clearly that he is not going to use (heat producing, high load) devices like a coffee maker etc. He has already mentioned that he has minimal load, just a couple of  small electronic devices and a few LED lights, and it's a vacation cabin where he doesn't mind much if power runs out and they have to use candles sometimes. His total load as mentioned is well under 100W. So I would agree with suggestions to make the system a bit larger than just 100W, but don't worry about making the system 1500W since he knows not to attach any heat producing (ie high load) devices like a cooker, kettle or coffee maker.
2 weeks ago
I like this one that I got on Amazon, with very very fine holes. Since it sits down in your coffee cup, it soaks the coffee for several minutes, like a French press. It's called FORLIFE Extra-fine Tea Infuser and Dish Set. It's easy to carry when travelling or camping. All steel, no glue or plastic.
2 weeks ago
I'd love to further the discussion,but everything you said was just so right already! Carry on!
3 weeks ago
I agree with all that S Bengi says above, and in addition, if you're line drying clothing indoors, of course that adds moisture.

Combustion of gas produces steam as part of its exhaust, so if you use a gas stove without running an exhaust fan, that can add a lot of moisture to the air (as well as, if it's making noticeable moisture you may even be increasing the carbon monoxide in your house!) If adding a ventilator fan seems too difficult, replace some of the cooking with electric versions like an electric kettle, microwave, or the electric pressure cooker below.

A pressure cooker does some great things: it keeps most of the cooking moisture from boiling out into the house, it cooks things much faster, and it uses much less energy to cook the same thing. Pressure cookers are commonly used all over India so I'm used to it, but maybe it sounds too exotic for Canada, I don't know. The Instant Pot is a big hit in the US the past couple of years, an electric pressure cooker with lots of timer settings that make things easy. It can do things like soak your beans and then pressure cook them after the soaking time is finished, or slow-cook stews. It releases less steam into the house than doing the same on the stovetop in a normal pot.
3 weeks ago
Hmm, at our school we've been halfway trying to make biogas for years, so I've thought and read about it a lot. I think one issue is, it tends to be not at all pure fuel gas. It has a lot of moisture and other gasses in it. We remove the smelly sulfur gas that causes corrosion in metals by passing it through a chamber of steel wool, and sometimes we've had a condensing chamber that works in cold weather to remove some of the moisture. But even then I feel maybe it's not an intense enough fuel to try to bottle it. Better to store in a big tank or bladder and pipe it to the usage site. But of course your situation might be different.
3 weeks ago