Tony Hedgewolf

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since Jan 23, 2013
Västerbotten, Sweden
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Recent posts by Tony Hedgewolf

I'm slowly building a craft business as part of my drive toward self-sufficiency. A lot of the things I make contain bone and/or antler. This link should take you to a folder on my cloud, where you can see knives, combs, needles, needle cases etc.
2 years ago
We have some land in the north of Sweden which has no topsoil at all in a lot of places. We're using basic hugelkultur to start creating some. After only one year, the first beds have filled up with native plants and the areas immediately around them are also becoming populated. It's like mulching with added super-powers!

I'm a firm believer in 'no-dig' (too many stones anyway) and only weeding immediately around the plants we want to favour. Roots in the ground at all times. Rotten wood is your friend.

We also have chickens, which roost above half of an IBC at night. This enables us to collect their droppings mixed with shavings to add to the dusty 'soil'.

The combination of these principles allow us to mimic the natural process seen in the woods. Nature knows best, follow her lead and microbes will follow 🙂
2 years ago
Thanks for the replies!
Particularly, thanks for reminding me why I'm doing this (and to go back and read Art's book again...)
I realised the only reason the tank crept into the design was in an attempt to appease the planning department by giving them something familiar. The application form basically wants to know how many chambers our settling tank will have, how big the leachfield is and how far away is the nearest groundwater access.

During our meeting last year, I was told to attach an extra sheet of paper, describing the planned system so it could be considered on its own merits.
So, I'll go back to designing the system I believe in and then educate where necessary.

Thanks again!
3 years ago
Thanks for the responses!
Thanks also for the timely reminder that I needed to update the profile. I'm not in the UK any more, but in Sweden.
Yes, we definitely have a frost line here!

Since making that post we finally got hold of the guy who can sign off various crucial aspects of the build. He hasn't ruled out our use of the rocks, depending on a sample dig to see what is below the surface.

The method isn't all that strange in this part of the world, being seen under most old barns and a good number of houses (some of which are several hundred years old). It is still common practice to have a french drain around houses here too, so thar would certainly be something to consider.

I would like to hear more about the failures you mentioned though, always good to have all available information...
3 years ago
That's a fair comment, I did wonder about that while I was writing. I'll have to figure out how to get a picture on here!
3 years ago
Hello All
So, amongst the list of things to do over the next two years is building the house in which my family will live.  The spot we've chosen for it is completely flat, very compacted and full of stones of various sizes and surrounded by more of the same (the area has been used in the past as  a business, fixing up heavy machinery so has had a lot of traffic on it).

The previoius owner of the land left us a large pile of granite rocks, each in the order of 1 to 2 tons and the idea is to build a single story wooden house on top of them.  Using the tractor and a sled made from two trees we've been able to position these lovely flat-topped rocks at key points of the perimeter of the house, where they've sat for a year without any sign of subsidence.

NOW.... the question is;  are we going to have to drill/dig holes in the spaces and sink concrete piers in order to 'lock down' the foundation, or should it be enough to move the rest of the rocks into those spaces and then crack on with the timber work?

I'd prefer to avoid concrete if possible and it just feels like these rocks are so big and represent so much combined weight, it's almost as if we'd be building straight on the bedrock! Not to mention how hard it will be to make holes or trenches in such packed ground...
3 years ago
Hi everyone!
I've been lurking around permies for some time now and finally decided to pipe in.
I'm about to start building a house and smallholding on a piece of farmland/woodland in the north of Sweden. As has been pointed out elswhere in this forum, the greywater situation is one of the hardest parts to solve, with long winters and deep freezes.
My plan at the moment is as follows;
Outfall from the washhouse to pass through a basic grease and scraps filter (possibly vermiculture), then into half of a 1000 litre IBC, which will be filled with gravel and will drain into a complete IBC below ground. The connection between this gravel 'funnel' and the underground sump will be sealed, so when the sump is full, the funnel will fill up to overflow into a leachfield.

Ok, with me so far? Now the (hopefully) clever bit...
The other half of the cut-up IBC gets supported above this setup, a wind-powered pump draws water to it from the sump and a bell syphon empties it periodically into the 'funnel'. This top tank also gets filled with gravel and both half-tanks will be stocked with greenery to feed the chickens.

The whole setup will be inside a small polytunnel and the leachfield will begin in the ground inside to make more chicken food. On the downhill side of the tunnel, the rest of the leachfield will be planted with fuel wood trees to feed the RMH.

Enough rambling, what do you all think ?
3 years ago
Hi {:^}>
I'm in Brierley Hill, West Mids. Quite a suburban setting and a big Victorian house but I do what I can with chickens, supplementary solar water heating and planning my first indoor rocket mass heater this year. Otherwise, I'm using this place as a testbed for ideas.
Long term the plan is to move to Sweden (near my lady's folks) and start 'doing it properly'. Best of luck with your ventures here in the UK !
7 years ago
Just a thought; could you improve the heat transfer to the fins by creating turbulence in the downflow, using a couple of simple baffles inside the chamber?
7 years ago
This is looking increasingly interesting to me, as I currently live in a place which isn't my 'forever home' so anything I try out here needs to be low-impact in terms of the future sale value of the house. Ernie has commented about the short exhaust run being good for such a small burner, on which I have a couple of questions;
1) Do you feel that the vertical exhaust is significant to the success of the burn i.e. does it provide chimney draw?
2) If a horizontal run is possible, what do you think would be the maximum length with this system?

Thanks to all of you who make it possible for such lively, honest and productive discussions to take place !
7 years ago