Tim Skufca

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since Feb 12, 2013
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Recent posts by Tim Skufca

Good luck with this project. I will come visit sometime this summer.

A few things;
- the sections do not represent the "sloped" walls of the trenches to "prevent cave ins"
- I still worry about the moisture needs of a greenhouse with this sort of round-log foundation
- hopefully you document these details, especially the wool insulation

8 months ago
your existing WOFATIS have been working largely by how dry it is all maintained. Not so for a greenhouse that is designed to treat gray-water. Moisture will be a big problem. Consider using gabion baskets to encompass the log posts. Mechanically connect the log to the basket and fill with rocks. This will provide an avenue for moisture to escape, keeping the logs dry.
> I understand the cooling concept, but notice Oehler's design has an exit for hot air at summer peaks. This would be more important if the next point was considered
> the sun infiltration is limited by the wing walls (maybe open to the sun with a 120degree angle?). Consider angling the wing retaining walls to open more to the sun, including solar gain to the east and west - which would then have the difficulty of too much heat in the summer, thus the previous point
> gray-water needs wet-land plants to gobble up all the nutrients that are available. I have a design of 4 bathtubs that drain by gravity into each other. The gray-water is introduced into the top-most 1st tub of wet-land plants (full of pea-gravel) which then flows into the 2nd, and so forth. The end result should be very clean water (which can be safely discarded onto solidly frozen ground outside). The important calculation is to determine how much gray-water needs to be treated, keeping in mind that gray-water turns to stinky black-water in a matter of hours, so you cannot store gray-water - it must be 'immediately' treated.
> If you develop this huge infrastructure and have very little growing space, then the point might get lost. The sketches show a very insignificant growing area.
> I'm super excited about your project because I've had a gray-water treatment greenhouse concepts for over 10 years, but no money. Another consideration is buried barrels of water which can store the heat from the summer. Water is a fabulous material to hold and move heat.
> I'm way late to the design party, and maybe these points have been considered. If so, sorry for the interruption and I'm excited to see progress. I believe I saw a stretch-goal of adding devices to record the data, deep inside the build. I highly encourage this.
2 years ago
Great concept. Count on me to join - $100.
2 years ago
a great tip I got when building a road in muddy (when wet) conditions was to first roll out a layer of carpet, then use about 4 to 6 inches of 2-3"-minus crushed rock. Drive over this for a season or two, then top off with a layer of road base. [the used carpet is easily found in the town I live] - [the crushed rock is important because it has angular surfaces that compact and bind - as opposed to river rock that twists and squishes]. After driving over the first layer for a period of time the rocks get a stability, but not necessarily flat. The road will not be all that comfortable to drive on (drive slowly). After the road base is installed the undulations in the surface are filled in; ideally a roller would be useful, but we didn't spend the money on this. You may need to grade it occasionally, but that is expected from any non-paved road.
We used geo-fabric in one area instead of carpet to compare. The two systems were comparable.
3 years ago
Dan, great recipe! I appreciate its complexity. It's amazing how much a little olive oil will bring out the flavor, as well as all the other ingredients you listed. Even if one has a fraction of what you've included here, the key point is that it will have tons more flavor than just using water. Cooking a vegan meal that doesn't taste vegan is a skill. Your recipe here is a great step toward that.
3 years ago
we have a ground-source heat-pump which heats our hydronic floors from a well in our in-town Missoula well. In-floor heat is very comfortable. In the summer heat we circulate well temperature water through the floors to keep the space comfortable, which is very important if the Missoula air quality gets bad from forest fires. Closing the windows and running 55 degree water through the floors is an effective way to hold off those awful smokey periods.

ALSO: what is not talked about with Rocket Mass Heaters/Stoves is the necessity to be there at all times. There is no way to take off for a few days, or else everything freezes. I have the mind-set of embracing technology and install solar panels that power the electrically sourced hot water.
3 years ago