Michael Helmersson

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since Mar 02, 2013
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Geraldton, Ontario -Zone 1b
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Recent posts by Michael Helmersson

Can anyone clarify whether Beaked Hazels are self-fertile or not? Our lone, semi-mature bush produced a single nut last year that we only noticed now. I was under the impression that I needed a second bush for pollination, so I'm trying to get seedlings established but they're barely 4-6" tall right now. I've looked on the web and can't find any clear explanation of how we managed to get a nut. One website said that it requires cross-pollination AND that it is self-fertile. Confusing.
3 weeks ago

Aldous Fangsteiger wrote:The colleague with whom I am developing this research has obtained information, yet to be verified, that the small structures Mike built may have been demolished along with the purchase of the land by a third party.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to trace the owners back to the place where he built.
The search continues...



The vast majority of people likely wouldn't see any value in what Mike built. It's also highly likely that whatever structure replaces Mike's will have absolutely no value to me.
3 weeks ago
Sorry to hear about the car, but what happened to the deer? I assume it was killed instantly and hope that it didn't suffer.
1 month ago

steven hobert wrote:Hello Michael.
We (my partner and I) really appreciated all your helpful information about the Groovy Yurt, yurt life, and the earthbag foundation/cellar.  We'd love to ask you some more questions.

Before reading your post we had also come up with the idea of a "root cellar" underneath the yurt but didn't have an idea how to do it in a reasonable amount of time and with no experience.  We are also thinking of the "root cellar" being above ground (at least for now) in order to save time and avoid potential water table issues.

And we are also leaning towards buying a 22' Groovy Yurt.

Could you give more details about how the yurt and platform (with insulation etc.) was done?
In your photo it looks like you have one thick beam going across but I assume you put more across to support your floor and wood cookstove etc . . .?

I assume you did not put any posts in the middle to hold up the floor, correct?

I believe you said the top of your floor was two layers of 1/2" plywood and underneath it 8" of styrofoam.  How was the styrofoam secured to the plywood?  did you have 8" joists between plywood floor and the beams?  Was there any material below the styrofoam?  

How did you secure the yurt to the foundation/ground?

Do you have a ramp going up to your door? how many feet off of the ground level is your yurt floor?

I'm sure we will think of lots more questions.  
Thank you for your time



We've built up the ground around the cellar so that there is a gentle slope up to the yurt.

The styrofoam panels we used were 4ft wide with varying lengths and staggered end joints. I laid out 2x10" planks lying flat so that all joints (sides and ends) were supported. On long plank spans, I used posts to provide extra support.

The big beam in the middle is supported by posts in the middle in order to support the weight of our cookstove.

The panels have metal inserts molded in on 24" centers, so these were where I screwed the plywood flooring into.

The yurt is not actually attached to any of this. There is a thin plywood skirt that encircles the circumference of the styrofoam with 4" rising above the level of the flooring. The yurt walls sit inside this skirt to keep it from shifting and slipping off the floor. It's still just a big round tent that can be moved if necessary. It's heavy enough that it is secure in any weather we get.
1 month ago

Mary Haasch wrote:Knowing what we now know about the communication in the forest community, do these methods cause any effects on the neighboring trees?



This whole thread is intriguing but I read it all with the uncomfortable awareness of the trees' sentience.

Mike Haasl wrote:Having the hinges on the side makes a lot of sense!  Mine has them at the top so you're kind of hunching down to get under them and access the trays.



The one thing I never did resolve was a way to support the top while someone is fiddling with the trays. Just by typing this, I've come up with at least one viable solution, so I guess it wasn't an insurmountable challenge-- just a matter of focusing my mind on it. If it works, it'll be to your credit. If it doesn't work, we just won't talk about, okay?
1 month ago
Here's a sad picture of my dormant dehydrator's mount:
1 month ago