Chael Givan

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since Jan 31, 2013
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Recent posts by Chael Givan

It looks like pasty butt syndrome or maybe/possibly egg peritonitis (broken egg inside the bird). I would add a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a gallon of their water and wash the birds butt with warm, soapy water, like mentioned above. Remember, chickens are resilient birds if allowed to be chickens and this will probably clear up on its own after a bit of care.
6 years ago
Having done this last year, I can say that it will last about a year if 2-3 inches thick and when gone, it will leave very nice hummus-like soil in its stead. Clover along the edges will start to creep inward and plants love it in general. Erosion can be an issue, as we had bits of the driveway wash away to reveal the gravel/stone/packed clay earth beneath, but considering the cost of the delivered mulch (free), I am not complaining one bit.

It's also lovely to look at during the damp/rainy times of the year.
6 years ago
If I were you, OP, I would abandon the earthship for now and build a conventional shell so that you have something to live in. Finish the shell or continue on the earthship after you are stable and settled. A very creative way to build a mass wall cabin out of engineered lumber would be one low cost way to build. This is what I refer to: http://tinyhouseblog.com/log-construction/how-to-build-a-small-log-cabin/ . The technique is relatively economical, 'tight', straightforward to build and far more structurally sound than a stick frame build plus I believe you will have less problem getting this approved by the building inspector.

6 years ago

Samantha Langlois wrote:I like this idea. I believe it is energy storage that is harder to achieve than capturing the actual energy.

Your idea of using pumps, water, a holding system and gravity makes a lot of sense. I'm just not sure if it scales.

In a way it reminds me of the use of gravity in this thread on permies: https://permies.com/t/33200//Gravity-Light-light-source-gravity



It is funny that you mention the gravity light thread. That is what initially triggered the thoughts which led to this post
6 years ago
http://www.inbar.int is a lesser known but awesome resource that deals with all things bamboo (and rattan). It includes subjects like agroforestry, animal husbandry, farm planning and more. Great stuff, wandered across it a few years back doing parallel searches and loved it.

For instance, http://www.inbar.int/totems/hands-on-chinese-style-bamboo-furniture-manual/ might be helpful for your needs.
The hydrogen idea is interesting and sounds like a solid technology if it gets to the commercial stage. My own guess is that the methods I mentioned simply don't have the efficiency of a battery system but might surpass the battery system for longevity and/or cost.

Ideally, I'm praying that I have a small running body of water or enough wind/sun to let me tinker at my next home.
6 years ago
I'm not here offering answers but rather I'm here asking questions. I've read that solar systems are expensive, in large part, because of their battery needs to power things when there is no sun out. Why aren't people using panels to pump copious amounts of water into holding tanks, thereby storing potential energy, for use later via outlet gates and water wheels or turbines?

This methodology would apply to metal springs also. It seems to me that a solar system could be broken down into a few motors, springs and solar panels or alternatively, solar panels, a water pump, holding tanks and a water wheel with attached motor. Perhaps it's all just pie in the sky optimism and not practical. I'm asking here to see what others think.
6 years ago
Adding painted gourd birdhouses to the area will invite martins to nest. The martins, in turn, chase away crows.

Crows are very, very intelligent and might easily be onto your tricks with straw, mulch, seedballs, etc.

Out here in Kentucky, seeing 20 or so gourd birdhouses near a rural home is very common.
6 years ago
It was recently discovered that fishing thread can be tightly wound and then heat treated to memorize the shape. This process turns simple fishing line into a really strong artificial muscle which contracts and expands depending on ambient heat loads.

http://singularityhub.com/2014/03/10/superstrong-artificial-muscles-developed-from-fishing-line-and-sewing-thread/

Because heat is the triggering element which controls the expansion and contraction and because this is so simple and most likely DIYable, I can see this replacing somewhat expensive or bulky vent controls.

Just a thought and something I want to try when I start developing my own greenhouse blueprints for scalability on my own land.

Cheers.
6 years ago
I don't know how cold your weather gets but here in Kentucky we have been free ranging half a dozen layers on about an acre of land. Supplement feed consists of spoiled rice and other kitchen scraps. Perhaps we are lucky, but between their open-air 'coop' box which they have free access to (dogs keep away predators) and their ability to forage the grounds, we have found they lay close to as well in cold weather as they do warm. To give an example of this, recently a 5 day cold snap hit with accompanying snow and 0-10F weather while we were on a 5 day vacation. One dog stayed (we had a neighbor leave out food) and protected the ladies and when we returned we found about 25 eggs in their nesting box.

Having had chickens for a number of years like this, I have observed that they are great foragers if given the chance and readily live off the land with some scrap food supplementation. There are coyotes and coons out here, sometimes we hear huge packs howling at night, but a disciplined LGD and free range has been wildly successful so far. It's easy to over-complicate things and, at least with the ladies, we find that allowing them do what they love to naturally do comes far easier than any sort of fenced or cooped/heated/artificial solution would.

Just food for thought.
7 years ago