Rocket Mass Heater Manual
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Richard Gorny

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since Mar 08, 2013
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Recent posts by Richard Gorny

A quote in my garden :)
2 months ago
I have built one almost 10 years ago, in May 2014.  I removed the sod and some soil, put birch logs into the hole and built upwards. The hugel was approximately 5 feet above the ground when finished. I have mulched it and I have planted it immediately. It did not hold water, literally and figuratively. It required watering, without that nothing wanted to grow on it. I might have made a mistake using too much wood inside, that's for sure. My soil is almost pure sand, so it did not hold on the wood well. Also, water was draining fast. With years, this hugel was a home for many generations of snakes who just loved overwintering inside, lay eggs and have their pencil-like babies. It has collapsed into one third of its height over those 10 years. Last year I have simply covered it with strawbales and I have grown squash on such mound, which hardly is still a hugel I guess. In those strawbales that hold water from winter and spring rains, it performs well finally. I suspect it will turn into a raised bed over time.
2 months ago
Well, my first advise always is - just do it! As permaculture principles teach us, start small. I always advise to start with 3-5 vegetables and learn how to grow them successfully, chose the ones that are the most important for you and your family. Next year and 3 more, etc.
Tend small garden bed perfectly, rather than many beds in a lousy way.
Decide on your gardening style, and at the start follow it by the book. There are plenty of options. For instance, you can go Ruth Stout way, or Charles Dowding's way, each described in details and each awesome. But when you are at the beginning of your gardening adventure, never mix the two.
There are some "no brainer" methods described in the books, like Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening, which might not be fully aligned with permaculture but give you good start and success. And no matter what is your gardening style, if you grow your own food and collect your rainwater, you are a good permie, better than vast majority of population.
Do not overthink it. Accept, that some plants will die, we will all die anyway. Failures are just lessons, observe them and draw conclusions. But as I have already said, just start and keep at it.
3 months ago
Perhaps a threat that summarizes requirements, in a fashion of a Yeoman's Scale, from the most to the least important, in order to condense all that was said in the main topic?

Perhaps a calendar that lists the dates/deadlines, if known?
3 months ago
I have done something similar a few years ago, but 860 square feet, and I'm in the equivalent of the zone 6. I have documented that with pictures. I share a few here, just to encourage others that it is possible with almost zero cost and your own work as the only input :) I hope many people accept this challenge and opportunity :) Have fun guys!

3 months ago
Looking at this page I ask myself one question - how many cards are related to gardening, and how many to non-gardening topics.
Also, personally, I devote my time to tell people that permaculture is not "the different way of gardening". It is something bigger.
I am not sure if this page helps in that.
BUT, if it turns out that thanks to such narration the cards will reach bigger number of people, I will be more than happy.

Coydon Wallham wrote:Yuri, you made the comparison here with the “Wild West“ in the US- are there indigenous groups in this area that are still distinct from the Russian government?

Some facts on this topic.
7 months ago
It would be very interesting to make a survey across readers community of this book. I mean a serious reseach. To see what impact it has on their thoughts and actions. I wonder if there is a good way to do so, to get statistically significant results. Here on permies our survey sample is skewed towards bigger impact. I have handed over the book to some people and places, and the feedback was always from slightly positive to very enthusiastic, however its impact on readers action varies from huge to none. But the seeds are being planted for sure with every single book handed over and with each next reader.
8 months ago
Hi Vern,

1. I have made a hole in the top of the IBC tank
2. I glued 1/2 inch elbow to the hole
3. I glued a short piece of 1/2 inch pipe to the elbow
4. I glued another elbow to the pipe
5. I glued a long piece of 1/2 ich pipe to the elbow. This pipe is vertical and ends about 5 inches above the top of the upper IBC tank.
6. I have secured this pipe to the upper IBC tank
7. I have put a gauze on top of the pipe, secured with rubber band. It lets air our but stops bugs from getting in.

1 year ago
For many years I've been playing with making my own seed starting and potting mixes for seedlings.
With permaculture ethics in mind, I deciced not to use neither peat moss (destruction of wetlands) nor coco coir (imported from thousands miles away).
I was focusing on a local resources on my land, which is mostly sand, as well as on compost.
A classic permaculture recipe calls for "sharp river sand + sieved compost" mixed in various proportions (the smaller seeds, the more compost), but I was not successful at all using this recipe.
In some areas, people vouch for soil from mole mounds, since the mole made all the work for them - the soil in the mound is already "sieved" and since it comes from deeper layers of soil, it is also free of weed seeds. In my place however, it is mostly a pure sand, so not very useful.
In the end, I use currently almost pure compost coming from two sources - my fast, hot composting operation and leaf mold compost that takes years to finish, both sieved. I also add worm castings to the mix sometimes. It works well, but there is definitely a room for improvement here.
What is your favourite home made seed starting and potting mix recipe that contain only ingredients available in your garden or on your farm?