Rick Hatch

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since Mar 11, 2014
Penticton, BC. USDA Zone 6b, 300 mm annual precipitation
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Recent posts by Rick Hatch

would you be using mostly transplants? I'm curious how direct seeding would work in a deeply mulched scenario. Seems like on a market Garden scale, seeding by hand is impractical, but I can't visualize using a Jang or Earthway through the wood chips. I'm interested because I would love to deeply mulch all my beds.
3 years ago
Thanks Marco and Joel, great ideas all around. Definitely want to keep the dehydrator portable for winter storage.
4 years ago
As part of my research I read about "downdraft" dehydrators, which seems somewhat counterintuitive to me as the air has to follow a more circuitous path, but apparently works well. This design has the benefit of lower overall height. The idea here is that the chimney part attached to the side heats up and sucks the air out through the solar collector.
4 years ago
A kind soul gifted me with this old Subway bread rack. Brainstorming ways to re-use it and top on the list is a solar dehydrator.
Here is a link to the bread rack: http://www.nu-vu.com/pdf/specs/nuvu/CabsRacks/HW-2G-spec.pdf

There are 18 slots for 18"x26" racks, so there is potential to dry a lot of product at once.

I have been thinking of how to best convert it into a solar dehydrator. Here are two different designs I've been thinking of.

1: similar to the Appalachian State University design, with the whole metal unit lifted up on a wood frame and the collector entering the unit at the bottom.
Design idea 1:
4 years ago
In your situation I would look into getting a perennial system established as quickly as possible. Maybe a Stefan Sebkowiak style Permaculture Orchard setup? Have you watched that movie? A lot of work in the set up but not much once productive. 50 days total he said in a recent interview.
4 years ago
My family and I moved to Penticton about 2 1/2 years ago from Calgary, so those are the two main climates that I know as a reference. First of All, it would be great to have more permies in the area! A friend of mine worked on the Kaleden Earthship and it sounds like the construction group were excited about the project, so it's a shame that they ran out of cash. I didn't get a chance to visit the site when they were building but it's a beautiful area.

Have you had a chance to see the property? I'm curious what the land is like.

As far as being sunny in the winter, the reputation here among the locals is that winters are overcast and socked in here in the valley. Compared to Calgary which is very sunny but cold in the winter, we find it somewhat darker in the winter but not as bad as many others seem to feel. A lot of people try to get up to the ski hills just to get some sunshine.

If you do get the place, I'd love to come out and have a look! Good luck.
4 years ago
Hi all, happy holidays. Just wanted to let you know that I've started up a Facebook group for Penticton Permaculture. Just search it and like the group. We will assess who's interested and start having monthly meetings in January.
5 years ago
I've never built one, but wanted to say two things:
1) regarding Montana being further north and therefore not as evaporative as a southern desert, probably true, but I live in the Okanagan Valley in BC, farther north than Montana, and we get 12" approximate moisture per year and evaporation is higher than precipitation, Especially during the growing season. this is the northern tip of the Sonoran Desert system and during the summer it is Hot and Dry. In the lower areas near watercourses it can be somewhat lush but other than that we're talking sagebrush and Ponderosa Pines.
2) from what I learned from Javan Bernakevitch who worked extensively with Sepp Holzer, Hugel mounds should be built around 6' high and perpendicular to the prevailing wind. They should be build in groups So that the first one gets hit with the dry desiccating winds and acts as a windbreak for the rest. Maybe even making the first one extra high somewhere where dry wind is a problem?
5 years ago
I would read Ben Falk's book The Resilient Farm and Homestead. Also check YouTube for some great talks by Ben. He and his wife farm 10 acres in Vermont and their system seems to be doing great. He does state that the farm is mainly providing their own food; income comes from his design firm.
5 years ago
Very cool...what strain of fungi is in the bed? Have you harvested mushrooms from it this year yet?
5 years ago