William Egan

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since Nov 12, 2013
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Recent posts by William Egan

Last spring I thinned the sweet corn when it was a little over a ft. tall. I washed it roots and all and juiced it for my wife and I along with other wild edibles and grape leaves. We are still alive and well.
  On a side note, I had some ears that I left for seed, I took some dried hard corn kernels and put them in a greased skillet on the stovetop and made parched corn. Leave it on medium heat and they will swell up instead of being all wrinkled and they become round. As a survival food it lasts a long time and can easily be eaten like that or ground up (a lot easier to grind) and put in soups or stews or just water and seasonings and sweetener to make a tasty mush. It alone has enough nutrition to live on for several months. The Indians used this extensively for winter survival or long journeys.
1 month ago
Hey Paul I am wanting to build some cob structures soon but not sure when I'll be able to start, I'm no expert but it is a pretty straight forward process. What I plan to to do is a post and beam with wood pallets stuffed with straw and about 4 inches of cob on each side. If you use post and beam you don't have to worry so much about your walls crumbling in an earth quake or such. I plan to char some cedar post for the beams to prevent rot and fungus. If you have any questions I'll try to answer but keep in mind, I'm not expert but I have built a lot of things. I am near Ava Mo. so maybe we could give each other a hand if I can ever retire. Have a great day.
3 months ago

Phil Gardener wrote:They've even made ships out of concrete (but they float by a different principle)


Aircrete is nifty stuff!  Have fun with it!  Happy New Year!

Right Phil, I didn't read the whole thing but I have known for a long time and even used Ferrocement. I used it to build a few septic tanks and even my cement pond

I think they sunk most of those ferrocement ships off the coast of Florida to build the reefs.
Thanks for watching and God bless.
11 months ago
  I just wanted to wish everyone hear a Happy New Year. I love Permies and all the good people I have met here and I love being able to exchange thoughts ideas with a lot of great minds.
  I also wanted to show what I'm getting done with the sun room I'm building and how an aircrete block (foam and cement mixed) is so lightweight it floats. It is a lot softer than regular concrete, for those of you who have never heard of it, but it has a lot of practical applications. In fact I think it will revolutionize the building industry. It can be made harder or softer, light or heavy but it main virtue is its insulation value. I know it has a carbon footprint but its cheaper than blue foam and lasts forever. Its has been used a lot in housing, lots of people make blocks and cement them into walls of any shape, commonly domes and then covered with an outer layer of wire or fabric and a harder cement. I plan to use it under a concrete floor for insulation. And as you can see in the video, it floats.
 This is my New Years Video, I hope you like it and thanks for watching.

 I sincerely hope everyone has a happy, healthy prosperous new year and God Bless you one and all.
11 months ago

bruce Fine wrote:I saw something somewhere and 55 gal drums were painted black, filled with water and used as thermal mass with great success in a greenhouse. adding a solar water heater panel and small circulating pump could help keep the heat up.

 Bruce I'm just speaking from my experience. Here in the midwest I have seen weeks with no sun and my drum was painted black. I'm no expert and may have been able to do something to get it to work better but I think its safe to say your not going to successfully heat a greenhouse where I live anyway, with barrels full of water. What I will say is it will help keep it warmer longer if you can have a heat source. Your solar water heater may work in some climates but if you have a lot of cold and no sun you get little heat. One big factor is how well your greenhouse is insulated too, an underground greenhouse may do pretty well even here with just solar. My thoughts are as Thomas said, a rocket mass heater. They use little wood as compared to a wood stove, you can heat up a lot of mass well into the night or on a cold day with just sticks you clean up out of your yard or a few busted up pallets. You could even set your warm loving potted plants on the thermal mass.
 Oh, you could set up a thermal syphon with a rocket stove or something but it will take you all day to get you barrel hot, I know this one from experience too. And if you have more than one barrel you have a job on your hands.
 I hope this helps, just my two cents.
11 months ago

thomas rubino wrote:Hi Douglas; Welcome to Permies!
Were you hoping to extend your growing season with water barrels?
They work well all summer long to take the chill off.

However , be forewarned they work completely backwards, when you ask them to work in the spring or fall.
That same water mass that holds heat, also will go cold and steal heat... Will take all day on a sunny spring day for them to absorb heat.That heat "might " be enough to keep your plants warm.
On a cloudy day they stay cool and steal heat! Plants go cold., nothing thrives, if they survive at all.
They also take up a huge area...
That same area "could" have a rocket mass heater!  Nice long warm mass to set your starts on.  Will definitely extend your season right into winter if you wish.

Come check out the RMH forum here at Permies.  We even have a section on rmh's in greenhouses.
I keep a plastic greenhouse warm all winter in northern Montana with a RMH.  No fire all night long...  no creosote ever, clean ash out once a year...Less than 5 cords of wood to do this.
Even if you do not desire one in your greenhouse, it is just good information to have in your head.
You never know... you might want one in the future in your home.

I agree with Thomas, I live in mid Mo. and I have a large high tunnel I got through a grant trough the NRC it is 30 x 72 ft and I gave up trying to heat it in the winter, its just too big. On a good sunny day it takes all day to warm the barrel slightly so without a good heat source and a lot of barrels its just not going to work well. It has taught me what I can grow in the winter with no heat and the ground inside rarely freezes at least not for long. Lots of cold crops like spinach, kale and cilantro will do fine with no heat. When and if I build another one its going to be small, insulated on the north side and 2 layers of plastic and most likely set down in the ground a few feet and have a rocket mass heater. I am building another homestead  three hours away so I have a lot of big plans and I am wanting to document it on my youtube channel (Little Beaver Creek Homestead). My hopes are that I can help others find cheaper ways to do things and become more self sufficient, and I have a lot of ideas like how can I keep a green house cooler in the summer to grow cool crops in the summer. If i could pull cool air from a small cave I have or underground tubbing it may work.
Anyway think small and insulated for a winter greenhouse then your heat source would be easier to do. Have a good one, hope this helps and good luck.
11 months ago

Travis Johnson wrote:Kind of a funny side story on "Katie".

As I said, I have been married twice before, so when I met Katie, and things got serious between us, I was worried as she had two children, and I did not want to enter and exit their lives and cause irreversible harm. So I prayed, because I am a believer, and it was like he answered clear as a bell in a quiet voice, "And who did you say you were going to marry when you were a kid?"

When I was young, and played with my toy tractors and trucks, I always pretended I had a Katie for a wife. Then one day I heard a sermon on prating specifically, so I prayed my wife would be a Katie, that is how I would know.

But then I married a Tina and a Patty and wondered why it did not work out? Katie though, she is special, and my best friend. It is also why I use her name Katie a lot instead of wife. Her name means so much to me.

That story about your wife is so cool, Hope you guys have a long wonderful life together. My wife is the most wonderful gracious woman I could have ever found. If she passes before me I will probably most assuredly do the same, hell I might even go off in search of Bigfoot, lol.
11 months ago

Travis Johnson wrote:I often wonder if more people would build cabins if they did it Maine Style?

This is where the logs are laid vertically instead of horizontally because it allows a camp to be made with smaller logs, and shorter logs. I know it does not have the traditional look, but Maine Loggers developed this because the logging companies did not want to use good trees to make logging camps for the loggers, but instead wanted those good trees to go down to the mills as logs, and instead use smaller, shorter trees to build cabins to live in as they cut wood.

I belonged to a black powder shooting club and we built a cabin like that out of cedar and it worked really well, the French trappers would use that method also. I would char the logs that go in the ground to prevent rotting if it were me. I used to do a lot of winter camping when I was younger but I almost 60 years old, I don't seem to bounce as good as I used to especially when I'm cold. I think -10 is as cold as I ever camped out but we cheated, Teepee with a fire inside but was windy, still a cold night.
11 months ago

thomas rubino wrote:Sorry William;  That building went away many years ago.
I do live in a 90 year old cabin now though.  Fire killed cedar logs from the big 1910 fires in the N.W.
I can't claim to have built it. I'm only one year older than you... 15 x 20 a whopping 300 square feet ! Multiple additions give us a huge 600 ft or so.

That's really cool Thomas, Thanks for sharing.
11 months ago