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Simon Scott

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since Dec 03, 2012
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forest garden fungi books
Sedona, AZ & Koh, Chang, Thailand
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Recent posts by Simon Scott

Regarding leeches.. a quick search and i found this: https://pondinformer.com/pond-leech-treatment-guide/

Considering that a swimming pond is lined, it could be vacuumed every few months i do believe the problem
sludge buildup can be avoided.   It does remind me to put a fine filter on any water coming from my river pipe. My plan is to ultimately use the well pump (once I have it installed) so that all potential contamination of leech and fish eggs can be avoided.

Thanks for your input ;-)
11 months ago


Thanks Ben for your great advice on the prevention of Mosquitoes, I found this product which has good reviews; Summit Mosquito Dunks.

Dale I have never heard of clarifying water with Moringa seed cake, I will research that further, thanks for your suggestion.

Elle, I have been considering my options with regards to sealing this project.  

I am inspired by the work of David Butler in the UK.  He left his media job to design and build organic pools - that is a pool with 50% plants and 50% swim area, no unnatural filtration and just a small air pump strategically used for circulation.  There is not need for fish in this system, just plants.

Here are a few photos.  A finished project by David Butler.



David's sketch for a pool suitable for a tropical climate



What you can see in my initial photo is the first stage of the construction, the dig.  I decided to wait a season to see what happened to the naturally occurring water on my site.  The water that has accumulated is either slowly draining away from the clay soil to meet the lower water table or this is the water table.  Before I can proceed with my project I must be sure that this is not the water table.  If it is and I decided to use a liner I would need to fit an extensive french drain system under the liner to avoid it being pushed by with the water pressure.

David uses liners on how projects, and if I were to do the same then the next step would be to build two retaining walls.  One on the inner deeper hole and one for the bigger outer hole.  This would then be covered with an insulating layer of something soft, then have the liner applied.  

I have been toying with sealing this hole with cement (like the water tanks they build in India) or even using bentonite clay to avoid a liner altogether - liners are expensive and can be difficult to fit.

Well thanks for listening, thank for your comments and suggestions.  I'll take all the help I can get.
11 months ago
Raw Kale Salad

Cut out the stems, and chop the remaining leaves finely into ribbons.

Place in a stainless or ceramic bowl and add 1/2 - 1 lemons worth of juice and some sea salt.

Mash the kale by hand for a few minutes.  No need to be gentle.

Place covered in the fridge for a few hours and then repeat.

After 2-3 times you will have a lovely, raw kale salad.

I like to add brewers yeast and gomasio prior to serving.

(This idea, based on a typical supermarket bunch size.)

11 months ago



I dug this hole in the dry season as the beginning of an organic pool - 50% plants, 50% swim area.

We decided to wait for one rainy season to see how it would react to water prior to fitting the liner.  

If water were to push up under the fitted liner it would be a serious headache to fix.

After 3 days straight of heavy rain it appears that the hole may have self-sealed?

Another explanation is that this is the actual swollen water table, but that seems unlikely.

Other smaller holes on the property are also filling and retaining water.

Does anybody have experience with these tropical red soils and water tanks?

Have I inadvertently created a natural water tank which may require no liner?

Thanks in advance.

11 months ago

As folks rightly noted, condensation and therefore mold could prove detrimental to your health unless you implemented an efficient moisture trap.  I would be uncomfortable with this idea as even a well designed system would be hard to test for actual air quality. One other idea if you have a well and some spare energy to use from a solar system.  Place your water storage tank in your root cellar, keep the water flowing through the tank perhaps draining out to a pond/irrigated crops.  This would surely keep the tank well below air temperature and in a small cellar space could lower the temperature a few degrees.  The addition of a fan could make this system more efficient.  You may need to place a pan with a drain under the water tank to collect and redirect condensation.  Just a thought.
11 months ago

Dale Hodgins wrote:I thought of something like this, but very small, just as a refuge from the heat in a tropical location



It is a lovely idea for a tropical location, but there would be two major hurdles.

• Monsoon rains (I do believe with clever design, the water could be kept out)

• Termites (I DO NOT believe this issue could easily be avoided, although roof beams of teak would at least last longer than other woods)

Avoiding wood altogether is another option, but then some of the charm would be lost.
11 months ago

brett johns wrote:Having lived in the tropics for decades including offgrid, no electricity as this might be, I would never build with high mass materials. They retain air temp during day then emit all night,  you dont need direct sun for high thermal mass to retain its 33C for many months. Best for living house I ever experienced was old railway line pole, slightly elevated home, no walls bar the bedroom but flyscreen around all sides with covered verandah all round house perimeter.




Hi Brett,

Thank you for your insights, here are the weather conditions at my location.  





I have been thinking hard and long on the question of what to build.  These are the ideas I have considered:

• Traditional cement construction (do not like the aesthetics, environmental impact or fact it must have an AC to be comfortable)

• Straw Bale (concerned about mold and/or insect infestation)

• Cobb, Adobe, Rammed Earth and/or Wattle and daub (these seemed to be the best options... until that is I read your post)

I had not considered that Adobe works well in the Southwest primarily because the temperature drops in the evening.  Where I am located the temperature is much less varied.

If I understand you correctly Adobe would not create a comfortable indoor temperature in the tropics, even with 16" walls?

Your advise then would be to build an elevated pad, with very few internal walls screened off from the bugs.  A few ceiling fans to create a constant breeze.

If you happen to have any examples of what you referred to in your post I would love to see them.

Thank you
11 months ago
My first first hugelkultur bed on Koh Chang, Thailand.



The site of a organic pool, 50% swim area, 50% water plants. It was obvious that we'd have a nice amount of topsoil to put to use, so we decided to build a hugelkultur bed. This bed would serve to grow food but also as a modest privacy barrier, separating the pool from a nearby foot path.



Removing the soil with an excavator we set aside the topsoil for a hugelkultur bed.



Here are the humble beginnings of the hugelkultur bed. Logs, sticks, leaves, palm fronds, coconut husks make up the center.



Using an excavator we started to pile on the topsoil.



Here is the finished pile, the beginnings of the final palm frond layer. This will prevent the soil being washed down during the rainy season.



Here you can see the palm fronds covering and the first young Pumpkin appearing on the hugelkultur bed.



Close up of the little guy. First young Pumpkin appearing on the hugelkultur bed.

--

This was my first attempt so any feedback is most welcome.

Thanks







11 months ago


I am trying to upload a profile photo with a dropbox link... seems to not be working.  Is Dropbox and Permies incompatible somehow?

Thanks
11 months ago
“And then somebody in a tropical climate”

I’d be happy to offer myself and mysite in Koh Chang Thailand as a sister site. As it’s just beginning it’s good timing.
1 year ago
pep