Johan Thorbecke

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since Jan 13, 2013
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Recent posts by Johan Thorbecke

It is possible. Depending on where you live small scale wind might also help. Are you completely off grid?
3 years ago
We are blessed with a good recycling program in our country. Plastic separation is still a thing due to contaminants but that is actively being worked on.

Most urban areas have underground containers for paper, plastic and glass. Cans go with the plastic but those are easily seperatable at the processing facility with magnets.

The Youtube channel not just bikes made an excellent video about it:

3 years ago
I'm afraid that Africa might be too big and diverse to comprehend in a single book. Stuff that is essential for a Congolese might be of little use for someone from Egypt.
4 years ago

John Weiland wrote:Not so much a windmill idea, but if 3D printers become efficient with the production of hardened materials, I can see all kinds of older farm equipment that could be repaired through 3D printer parts manufactured based on a 3D template.  Even for newer equipment that may have been imported and for which parts are hard to find domestically.  Right now, I have a Yanmar F15D with a broken front grille.  It's made of molded plastic, but it's one of the parts that I would probably have to special order from Japan.  Don't know how far off is the ability to print parts with the integrity of hardened steel. ?....

That's exactly what 3D printing is used for right now. I fixed so many things with 3D printed parts. There are steel printers out there but they are more where normal printers where a decade ago, printing steel still requires some very powerful lasers. But it's already proving itself in the prototyping and small scale production front. It's much easier to print a prototype part than to make a new mold for every change.
What are the dimensions of the grill? If it's too large for a regular at home printer you might can just print the broken/missing parts and glue them in.

4 years ago
Here you pay a deposit for the cylinders and when you're out they just come swap it, needs to be done about every 1-1½ years. Most houses have two cylinders were one has the valve closed. Out of cooking gas? Open the other one and call for a swap of the empty one, so you never run dry.
4 years ago
If you use gas only to cook on, I'd say hang on to it for now. It of course depends on how long and much you cook on the stove, but the average usage is only what, 30kg of gas per year? And that brings you a very efficient, clean burning flame that provides you precise, on-demand heat. Firing up the woodstove just to bake a couple of eggs in the morning doesn't seem really efficient to me. I don't have the numbers right here so the calculation might be a bit off, but from the top of my head burning a kilo of lng produces about 3-4kilo of CO2.  The average tree removes about 20kg of CO2 from the atmosphere, so if you planted about 4-5 trees per year you'd be carbon neutral in your cooking.

Also, so mayonnaise doesn't come in glass jars in the US?
4 years ago

Grady Houger wrote:I've seen people making computer fans with 3D printing, haven't seen windmill blades, but its all the same concept. The only reason I haven't got into 3D printing is that I haven't wanted to put in all the time to learn 3D modeling software. I figure if I ever NEED a 3D print I'll just have to pay someone to make it for me. If you are going to go for it Tom, then the turbine blade math and fluid dynamics probably aren't any harder than the rest of the modeling process.

You don't need to! There are several libraries filled with tens to hundreds of thousands of designs, ranging from marble tracks to spare parts of old appliances. Even something as a custom gear can be generated quite easily, fill in the diameter, amount of teeth, pitch and this site will generate a design for you.
For me it's a bit of a hobby but is an excellent tool to have, not in every household but surely in every neighbourhood.

Although certain parts can be 3D printed I would refrain from printing an entire blade out of it. Polymers work best when they are in a continuos slab, not when stacked in layers. An acrylic sheet might work better and be cheaper.
4 years ago

Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:[quote=Johan ... I'm in a comparable situation right now, also on an island that depends on tourism and on those same flights a lot of fresh shipments are also coming in. I'm happy that after the border with Venezuela closed a few years ago there was at least some realisation that there needed to be more local production so some old market gardens got a boost. At least the shelf stable and frozen staples can still come in via container ships, so even though the menu will be limited nobody should get hungry.

Hi Johan, this is off-topic ... but I am curious. I can only find you are from the Netherlands, but here you tell about being on an Island and the border with Venezuela. Is it Aruba or Curaçao? I know some of the permaculture people at Curaçao (for some time I had the idea of moving there too), that's why I ask you. I'm currently on Curaçao indeed! Although temporary so I'm not starting too much other than several fruits and veggies in pots in the garden. I visited a few plots out of interest and give keep my coffeegrinds separate for one of them because the ground could use a bit of PH tuning, but for the rest I'm not too involved. Although what I did saw brings me hope, with the right design people are producing ridiculous amounts of produce.
4 years ago
Bulk as in kilos or pallets? For up to 2-3 kilo, there is often a spice trader at your local week market, otherwise wholesalers like Makro.
4 years ago

Eliot Mason wrote:Compostable bags for sous-vide?  Wow!  That changes things...

Have you used these? Got any brands/names to share?

I searched and found references to the idea, but no actual products.  There are plastic alternatives for vacuum sealing, but the ones I found all indicated they weren't suitable for sous-vide cooking.  : (

They're called Eco Pouch:

Ryan Hobbs wrote:I try to avoid plastic stuff. Braising and poaching are good enough for me. Sous Vide is basically poaching anyways. It just has a plastic package around the food item. But, trout poached in clarified butter is to die for.

Sous vide is different then poaching, the product doesn't really interact with the water, that's only in the pot to conduct the heat in a controlled way. And with sous vide it goes way further in temperature control, 1-2 degrees difference can have a lot of impact on the let's say trout filet and with sous vide you can finetune it and have consistent results every time.
4 years ago