Chris Sturgeon

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since Nov 13, 2012
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Building soil in the Yukon.
Yukon Territory, Canada. Zone 1a
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Recent posts by Chris Sturgeon

In my understanding, a small amount of char in the cob mix would be OK for carbon sequestration purposes, but- as stated above- it has water retention and bonding issues that would be deleterious to the overall mix if used in too high a quantity.

A better use may be in the weather-proof lime plaster layer, coating the cob. The charcoal acts a a polozon (sp?) in the mix and as a darkening agent for areas where solar gain is desired... such as a garden bed wall or a South facing wall in a cold climate.
8 months ago
Any tips on taking cuttings? I have access to some mature buckthorn, but I'd love advice on how to propagate it onto my own property.
1 year ago
"Time vs. money vs. embodied energy" is pretty much the trinity that informs my decisions in life. There is always a push and pull between these factors, but sometimes an amazing synergy!

As a side note, I'm trying to get a local oyster bar on side so I can collect shells and burn quicklime for my own projects. I don't know if this is any less energy intensive than commercial concrete, but at least it saves the transportation to my remote northern location. Plus, another factor, I get to learn a new set of skills!
Oleo Saccharum (latin for 'oil sugar') has been used since medieval times as a flavouring in baked goods, punches, and as a general preservation method for aromatic volitiles and terpenes found in the zest and pith of oranges, lemons, etc.
Oleo Saccharum

I've found some recipes that only use the pith after the zest has been removed. I love the idea of using every bit of flavour, then composting/burning for potassium.
2 years ago
Aaron, it sounds like you are set up for success! I've used both ale and champagne yeast to make hard cider, I prefer the dry (and harder) product from champagne- though it's personal preference. My one tip regarding crab-apples is that they need a lot more time in the bottle to round out. even after 6 months I found it a little green. I've never had the discipline to cellar a bottle past 2 years, but they were the very best tasting bottles, so I'm going to try very very hard to leave at least one bottle from my latest batch for 3 years and see.
Good luck. Will you take pictures and post the process?
2 years ago
Hi Peter, Yes. And the Nearest Lowes/Home-despot/Rona is 1000km away in Edmonton! My reading has me thinking that Type-s with an added pozzolan will work for my plastering needs, but true quicklime would be better. A common pozzolan is brick dust, but again no source here, so I may divert some of my bio-char production and use charcoal to do the job.

I'm now thinking that it may be easier to find some local limestone and make my own true quicklime in a homemade cob kiln. Or very slowly in my paint-can retort that I use in my woodstove for charcoal.

2 years ago
Amen, sister! Watch out... next thing you'll be fermenting mushrooms, watermelon rinds, your tea, etc... it makes them all delicious!

Care to share your brine recipe and process?
2 years ago
William, this may be a good motor to use backward.
Do you have any use for battery charging or other trickle-in loads? This paired with a wind-mill or hydro-wheel could make a decent generator.
2 years ago
Gabe. I found a type-s lime made in Wisconsin. The nearest supplier is in Edmonton; still over 1000km away from me so even driving down to get it will be an expensive endeavour. Hope this helps you find a local supplier near you!
2 years ago