Tim Skufca

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since Feb 12, 2013
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Recent posts by Tim Skufca

I'm curious if anyone is aware of earthbag construction to form a dome which would then be covered with dirt (for a root cellar). Does Kelly Hart's book address this (earthbag ceiling)?
5 months ago
thanks to Karen Donnachaidh for her "daily-ish" reminder on aging. As I approach 60! my parents are on their journey to the end of this life as we know it. What I'm experiencing/learning from a dad that has fallen multiple times, attached to an oxygen tether because of heart issues, with my mom in full-swing alzheimers, is that the biggest need/expense is in full-time care. You can attest as strongly as you wish that "NO ONE IS GOING TO CHANGE MY DIAPERS" or help bathe you - but it might really happen. Which family member is going to step up to this challenge? Everyone must put front and center what it will be like to clean a soiled parent. SO: how to connect this to permiculture? I continue to push for communities that are M-A-G-I-C which stands for Multi Ability  -  multi-  Generational  -  Inclusive  -  Communities.  The vision I have is for a community that is farm-centric, with all walks of life living/producing/selling/storing/processing farm products. The difficult element is that this elderly population has high medical needs, which means a close medical center is needed. But where COMMUNITY comes into play, is that a full awareness that each one of us face the threat of needing full-time care. So include this into any intentional community. Some folks are made to plant/pull weeds/harvest; some folks have the ability to change adult diapers - and everything in between is needed. But how better to go through these years of adult diaper neediness than to be surrounded by a productive farm  -  at least you know where your food is coming from. I'm talking about dying with dignity. And if one's productive life helped support others' end-of-life days!   ...that's what it's all about. Our productive lives need to help support those that need full-time support.
7 months ago
I'm interested in buying a core. If these have been built, can you post photos of the actual unit. I'm not sure what part the "manifold" is, so, along with this list of what's included, I'd also appreciate a list of items not included in order to construct a rocket-mass heater (aside from all the ducting and the mass, the roof/wall flashing, and the finish material).
8 months ago
no, I've never eaten spirulina.
One other detail: I made the mistake of quitting Allopurinol (the correct spelling) after being gout-free for a few months, and eventually gout came back. AND, it takes months for your body to get the Allopurinol set in your body before it does its job, so if you decide to try this drug you need to give it at least 6 months or so to do its thing. I now take a 300mg pill every other day. It costs pennys a day, and I don't detect any side affects.
9 months ago
my gout has been gone for years now, and I correlate this with three things: 1). I now take Alupirinol daily (which Marta has stopped being concerned about since there has been ZERO gout attacks since starting that drug. She realizes the horror/permanent damage that gout causes is much worse than side affects of Alupurinol. 2). I'm down to 170 pounds from close to 190 when I was suffering from gout. I don't want to test if weight loss is enough to stop taking Alupirinol. It's cheap.  3). I go to the YMCA 5 to 6 times a week with cardio (cycling) and pilates and yoga (with a sauna as a "carrot" to get me there). I hate exercising!, but if it means no gout, I'm there. I certainly know where you're at. [also, moderation in all plant-based foods. A quart of peanuts a week!!] Sorry for being so blunt, but your body will thank you if you ended those damn gout attacks. Good luck
9 months ago
We are nearly finished transforming a shipping container into a 2 bedroom, kitchen, bathroom bunk house with a separate office for the farm. Although we have considerable mechanical systems (solar thermal, graywater treatment, composting toilet), the benefits of the shipping container is that you can drop it onto your land and it comes completely weatherproof. It will take quite a lot to heat it as is, but you can slowly insulate the inside and not worry about the weather. Come spring you can start cutting out windows and doors. All that is needed is an 8 -foot timber on one end and an 8-foot at the other end 40 feet apart. Pretty simple foundation. If this is intriguing, I suggest getting the undercarriage spray-foam insulated while in transit - we had the container placed atop two others to easily access the bottom for the foam insulation. Some spray-foam materials are more kind than others,. so you should do your research, unless you are on a tight schedule, then use what's available. Insulation is the cheapest element of the process that has the most benefits. Don't skimp on it.
11 months ago
Lee Kochel:
"Finally, vegan diets are good and useful and healthy for about 30 days only because they are detoxifying diets whose good effects are exhausted after that.  Then they become slow starvation diets good for fungi, bacteria, and few animals."

So what should I be suffering from since I've followed a vegan diet for about 6 years?
11 months ago
My wife is a nurse that adamantly said NO! to allopurinol, but when it was between the downsides of this DRUG! and the harm of those mean crystals eating away at my joints, she is now a fan of the drug. But I still maintain the best route to take is to EXERCISE!!!, reduce weight, and drink LOTS!!! of water. Starting in on an allopurinol regimen is not always easy. This drug shakes things up and can cause more attacks as the uric acid is being mobilized. HOWEVER, the best wisdom is that every body is different. Try everything until you get your solution.
11 months ago
My uncle (on mom's side) and father both suffered from gout, which then was passed onto me. My first attack, about 12 years ago, was when I was a vegetarian and very active (played soccer often). I tried everything, even went to an acupuncturist. I would get an attack maybe three times a year. About 5 years ago I went fully vegan. This reduced the gout attacks tremendously along with daily exercise, LOTS of water and no beer. Yet the attacks would still happen (maybe once a year), but each time they got worse. Finally, I got on allopurinal, 300mg daily. Now I'm able to detect a coming bout of gout, at which time I slam a bunch of Ibuproprin and as much water as I can stand (which makes me have to pee several times at night), but I've been gout-free for years now. (One time I thought I was finished with gout, quit taking alloprinol, and soon had another attack). Before going the alloprinol route, try this: EXERCISE!, lots of water, vegan diet, loose weight. Good luck. Gout is something to get serious about getting rid of. Two fingers and a toe have permanent damage due to gout. (PS: don't exercise when you have gout. Those mean crystals will tear up your body. Drink lots of water to get things moving out of your body.)
11 months ago
If you're not averse to using plastic for the cover, there is a product I saw on-line the other day that is intriguing - "solawrap". It has more insulation value, more durable, easier to install than a typical UV-protected plastic. I have no idea how much more expensive it is, but I bet a lot.
The flexible plastic slides into a track that is attached to the hoops. This interested me because we are considering using small diameter logs to build a greenhouse. The problem I haven't figured out how to solve is how to protect the plastic from rubbing against the rough log surface. With "solawrap" the plastic never touches the frame.

1 year ago