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Jeremy Baker

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since Feb 19, 2013
Keen student of Nature. World traveler. Managed properties, permaculture sites, nature guiding, plant nursery and propagation, energy efficient design and heating, solar technology, electric vehicles. Building a custom RV to see as much of N. America and Central Anerica as possible.
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Recent posts by Jeremy Baker

Kate, nice to hear from you again. It’s understandable that it’s slow going when you are placing energy into many things.  Been there,....I’m still more scattered than would be ideal. But am working towards more focus and clarity this year. There was a Canadian blogger who shared a lot about the challenges of solar in Canada.
solarhomestead.com
1 month ago
My lowest pressure washer is my bathtub lol. I take a bath then reuse the water for laundry then reuse it to heat the house then reuse it for the garden.
1 month ago
FYI. Last I read Electrodacus has plans to run his home in Canada entirely on 13kw PV with his own design non mppt controller and low voltage PV. As a owner of a high voltage mppt system I am intrigued. And I’d consider it if I was to do it over and if low voltage wire runs were not very long. But you haven’t installed anything yet so you could sell your equipment and start designing from scratch. Many people are not satisfied with their first system and build another. But some plan so carefully they are satisfied. And if one is shopping for bargains then one gets by with what one finds.
I’ll second the suggestion to study theory and principles.
1 month ago
Great post. I did extensive hedgerows on my site before I became nomadic. It was mixed Pacific Northwest natives, useful exotic, fruiting, pollinator, and ornamental.  I noticed a big increase in the birds, insects, and wildlife as the hedgerow developed. And the privacy on a main county road was wonderful. It was slightly analogous to a stretched out food forest. I planted close and planned on thinning and coppicing.
I hoped planting densely would discourage blackberries. There is probably threads on Himalayan blackberries, I’ll check. But one thing I noticed was between my conservation plantings, food forests, hedgerows I got overwhelmed by the blackberries. Because mowing is no longer applicable. And the increased bird population brought the blackberry seeds into the food forest and hedgerows. I’d do it all over however.
I didn’t gather data but it seemed the hedgerows helped create micro climates.
1 month ago

Nice to hear from you again Kate and Amanda. Wow, the pictures in Visalia look fun. Thanks for that up close look across the pond.
And Maggie, your mountain retreat in the High Sierra looks sunny and bright. The Pinyon Jays are fun to see in that Pinyon Pine Forest. Have you checked out the work of The Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute? They pop to mind for high elevation.
Kate, you get the award for doing Permaculture in Canada.  I think all the folks up there should get some recognition for exploring Permaculture in that climate zone. My friend near Guelph says she still has snow?
Jeremy in the verdure Skagit Valley near the Salish Sea (Puget Sound).
2 months ago
Hi Stacy,
Ok, thanks,  I’ll PM you. I’ll be stopping at my mining claim in S. Oregon as it’s a lovely campsite with old growth firs. I bought it mainly to keep it out of the hands of miners and to steward it. But it’s fun for a little gold panning, rock hounding, swimming, and r&r.
2 months ago
Hello Folks, it’s April, sorry I was absent from this thread for 5 months of Winterlude and regrouping. Hope y’all fared well overwinter and yay it’s Spring!!! No, I have not settled on a place to do Permaculture, community, solar, and steward land yet. My travels got cut short and I needed to move my base to a friends property. That was a process in Winter!!. I’ve been in Washington where I store my old Motorhome. Have been upgrading the Motorhome solar and helping with a couple electric vehicle conversion projects. And doing a lot of reading and thinking. The plan is to fix a better short bus/cargo trailer I found to go visit sites and be semi nomadic. So this season is planned to install a lot of the van and bus conversion materials I’ve collected then sell and donate what’s left. I wish I was building a van or bus together with others. That would be fun. I’ve been catching up on rocket heaters technology wondering if anything could go in a short bus. There is and rocket stoves have come a long way since I was into them 20 years ago. The walker batch stove  and double shoebox 2 stove with glass cook top look very promising.  
But it’s not all work, this Spring I’ve a couple trips planned over the North Cascades to the Methow Valley to continue my nature studies and then down through Eastern Washington, Eastern Oregon, to N. Cal to visit a couple of permaculture sites. Then back to WA to work on the bus conversion and continue downsizing materials. If anyone wants a awesome solar energy system I’d love to bring the equipment I have and help install it. Can always use some productive work along the way to keep the “show on the road”. And of course to visit sites and share Permaculture.
Next week in “April showers” the Allis Chalmers model G electric conversion project for River Farm Community goes into full swing as all the parts will have arrived. After that’s done and I sell some extra solar stuff I plan to take much of May to do the trip previously mentioned. Mays a wonderful month especially if one enjoys botany and birding. April showers bring May flowers.
 All for now.
 My dream still is to check out permaculture sites and offer free suggestions, like a free consulting, and get to know folks. Please contact me if you are interested.
2 months ago
Lots of good ideas. What about looking at the entire house or dwelling as storage. The entire house as a integrated system. For a look at what one electrical engineer would do if he wanted to rethink solar and integrate it into many facets of home design check out www.electrodacus.com. If I was to start all over with solar and home design I would consider these options.
Solar panels are at a subsidized low cost presently. I’m curious to see what will happen in the next few years. And batteries of course. These factors all play into the design.
I have NO affiliation with Electrodacus. The schematics and codes are all open source. Actually I’ve noticed some similarities to Paul’s use of crowdfunding and a educational aspect.
 
2 months ago
Good topic. I mess around with various energy and heating systems and ideas. I’ll name a few:  small electric dish radiators. They are like sitting next to a hot fire with the infrared radiant heat directed in desired direction. I’ve seen small radiant heating elements of 250 watts that thread into a light bulb socket. A nice dish could be fashioned to make this a very effective heater.
I looked on Amazon and there are dozens of inexpensive heat mats. Both for industry or for health purposes. I know of someone who has a 3 gallon solar shower bag on his dashboard with a 60 watt heat mat (12 volt) under it.  With the combination of sun on top and electric underneath he always has warm water. The bag can be used as a hot water bottle if not used for shower.
Hydronic heating can be “micro heating”. My Motorhome has PEX tubing going from the floor heat tubing to a small 4 horsepower Diesel engine that charges my batteries. I can preheat the engine to start it and heat the floor when it is running. The floor essentially becomes the radiator. There is also PEX tubing going to the shower which has a small radiator. I keep it warm enough for plants in the shower. I could run PEX tubing to whatever I wanted. It will be connected into a batch rocket water heater before next Winter. Currently it is heated by a small custom propane water heater as my heating needs are relatively light here in the Puget Sound area. I used maybe only 35 gallons of propane last Winter so I didn’t finish building a wood fired heater.
 I started reading about far infrared heat panels. I thought about  a couple of these on the ceiling in strategic places like above a favorite seat or above the bed. Then I remembered I have a roll of heat mat for greenhouse use. It is 6 feet long and I measured 105 watts consumption. It is warm to the touch and was nice above my bed.
It’s nice to have something to simply “knock the chill off”. Micro heaters can do this. Another good strategy is to have a big heater that is only on a few minutes then a small heater that takes over to “keep the chill off”.
 As fabric and battery technology increases I imagine we will see more solar fabric and heated fabric. There’s massive research going into these.
 Good Old Raisins and Peanuts, GORP, is the heater we used when I was a outdoorsman. Take a few into the tent to stay warm at night too.
2 months ago
One of the great things about hydronic heating is the zones. With a turn of a valve a zone is turned on or off. Maybe because my parents house had hydronic floor heat I’m biased. I grew up walking on cozy warm floors. The cat loved it. So I added hydronic floor heat to the house I remodeled and then to my Motorhome. And I plan on it for my Skoolie. Like nearly everything doing it well isnt as simple as it sounds. I read a textbook called Modern Hydronic Heating.  But PEX pipe sure helps. My Dads house had copper in cement I’m assuming. It may have corroded long ago. I’ve seen it done in cob at Ray Kelleys. In a downstairs room that was always cold so they added a cob floor with PEX tubing.
 Check out www.electrodacus.com  .  He is going to run and heat his Canadian house with all solar but will add 13,000 watts of solar. There’s no reason why hydronic couldn’t be all solar with enough panels.
I’d like to design a Permaculture wagon wheel shaped community for nomadic vehicles or tiny houses in zones around a central space. In the middle would be a big dome greenhouse with a RMH central boiler. Hydronic heat would be pumped to each zone on demand.
3 months ago