Creighton Samuels

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since Apr 14, 2013
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Recent posts by Creighton Samuels

Angela Wilcox wrote:Thank you for asking!
RMH, thank you. Here is mine in action at this very moment. Fire burning sideways, heating up my cast iron cook top where I am heating water in my iron teapot from Japan, purple sweet potatoes in a cast iron skillet handed down from family, and soup in a stainless pot, under which I placed canning rings so the pot isn’t ruined on the hot, hot, cooktop. I love my RMH!

It also has a heated bench, which serves as my couch during the day, and I sleep on it at night during the winter.

Function stacking!!

I so love that build!  Is it documented elsewhere?  Such as where you got the cooktop from?  Did you buy it or did you make it custom?
2 months ago

Alex Arn wrote:Anything involving storage of water for longer than 24 hours requires permitting from the state engineering office.   It not a complicated process but it something that takes time.

Trees are hard to grow here.  The wind dries them out and the winters are long.  I would go take a look at the site before you buy and make sure you understand who has mineral rights.

Obviously, I didn't pursue this idea, as that land was for sale 2 years ago.  That said I wonder, would a swale fall under that permit rule from the state engineering office?  Or does that apply to catchment that doesn't allow rainfall to enter into the soil?  I have to admit, I find the rainwater rules in Western states to be weird.
10 months ago

John C Daley wrote:Some thoughts;
- Land is low cost for a reason
- sometimes that reason is that anything usual will cost heaps
- But something done differently may work well

Differently is definatly what I had in mind.

- Why not allow walkers to grab a drink if they need one?

Only because leaving the pump infrastructure in place puts it at risk of vandalism, although there might be a way to do it without much risk of loss to the overall system.

- Have you any thoughts about what you wish to do?

My thoughts are just to build some swales in one year, plant some trees in the next.  Basically create a private camping lot, with a small amount of stored water.  Another way I thought about doing it (if the soil isn't rock) is to bury a pond liner a few feet under the soil, directly under the lowest swale, in a concave shape.  Basically as an artificial "impermeable layer" to create a groundwater pocket.  Then put a driven well head near the bottom of that pocket and a shallow well pump at the top and let it be.  it won't likely be nice to drink, but it would be fine for watering a garden.  After a decade or so, it's either going to be a tiny oasis or nothing.  Something to gift to my grandchildren, I suppose.

10 months ago
I don't know where this topic should actually go, so I'm putting it here...

I was today old when I learned about the Natural Resources conservation service, an agency dedicated to the preservation of natural resources.  I say it, even though it's redundant, because it's not been my experience that government programs do what their name implies.

Well, this agency has a program for financing support of "high tunnel" type greenhouses; primarily for the support of "small scale urban agriculture"; i.e. farmer's market scale producers.  I learned about this agency from yesterday's podcast from Jack Spirko.  Veterans also get preference for such funding.
1 year ago

Bethany Brown wrote:
I hope they’re somehow composting the
humanure on the space station.

They're not.  After vacuuming out the water, human waste is bagged and allowed to burn up in Earth's upper atmosphere upon reentry.
1 year ago
Excellent!  So what kind of soil, drainage etc should I be looking for?  And what is the maturity time of White African Sorghum?  Does anyone know this? I keep finding conflicting info on the web.

Jay Angler wrote:I know a bunch about the things that weren't considered and just how difficult it would really be to create a "life" on Mars or in any spaceship, compared to simply "existing".

And I think that this has a lot to do with why this path of research is valuable.  Certainly, effectively growing crops on an improved Earth is a far easier path; but a wise man once said, "Gaia isn't sick, she's pregnant!".  And while I'm not a Gaia-ist myself, the thought experiment of imagining the whole of the Earth, humanity included, as a single meta-organism does have merit.  In this context, humanity is the mind of Gaia; as the only portion that can think critically, learn, develop technology and act according to a purpose.  So if Gaia is pregnant, humanity is a necessary component to get the newborn off-planet.  To that end, we have to understand ourselves and our environment well enough to replicate it in a tiny fraction of volume and mass, and keep it in balance long enough to establish itself elsewhere.
1 year ago
A few years ago I attempted to grow corn on my property.  Rather than either a row garden or a three sisters hill method, I chose a hybrid of those two.  I planted the corn in a spiral.  I took a pole wrapped in string and used it as my row planting guide.  I inter-planted a bean as well, I didn't add squash.

That experiment was a complete failure.  Corn grew, but whatever was produced was destroyed by wildlife before I ever saw it.  So I abandoned the test to the birds & the deer.  I suspect that the root of my failure wasn't the animals, per se; since there were many lots of traditional field corn growing nearby.  I suspect that my property lacks important nutrients to grow corn effectively, and I'm entirely unwilling to resort to artificial fertilizers.

I'm thinking of trying this again with sorgum/milo as my primary grain.  I intend to plant, then largely leave the lot be for the season.  My goal is to find a grain crop that I can grow for animal feed, not human consumption; but one that doesn't require much attention.  Has anyone here had experience with sorgum that might be applicable to this concept?
Even if this guy lives in his NYC apartment in the dark & without heat, he's still probably neglecting a lot of external factors.  It's impossible for him to live there without both water service & sewage transport & processing.  New York City is unique in the fact that every building taller than, IIRC 7 stories is required to have it's own water storage system & it's own water pumps for higher floors; and residents cannot be charged for this directly.  Also, practically every city has pumping and processing facilities for sewage and other wastewater that he definitely makes use of, but isn't considering in his data.

Granted, adding in the energy required for water treatment, transportation, and sewage treatment isn't going to blow up his conclusions alone; but I suspect that he's neglecting a lot of other factors as well.  Let's take the no-heat in winter option at a glance; because these people are living in apartments that have other apartments on at least 2 sides (and a floor, probably also his roof) these people who live without heat are still getting some heat from their neighbors.  It's a form of freeloading, since part of the advantage of an apartment is that your space's exposure to the cold is limited by your neighbors' heated spaces.
1 year ago