George Marsh

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since Jan 04, 2015
Moved to Canada from the UK in 2001. Was active with the Green Party back home, but have had limited involvement with their Canadian counterparts. I have worked on several renewable energy projects, installing windmill kits and solar panels, but need to familiarise myself with the changes in technology. I'm enthusiastic about growing things as well as building things, but I'm a better builder than grower.
Hamilton Ontario
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Recent posts by George Marsh

Oddly enough, my wife showed me this listing a few weeks ago.

I tried to contact the real estate agent as the images from the listing show 3 highlighted lots. There are the 2 lots which are clearly for sale here together, but there was also the waterfront lot highlighted and marked "for sale" which I was enquiring about.

I didn't hear anything back from your Realtor. Perhaps that's an issue in of itself.

Land in Nova Scotia takes a while to sell and is often difficult to finance. Have you thought about offering financing? That will probably move it much faster.
3 years ago
Hey Adam, how often are you there at Mustard Seed? I will make a point to stop by when I know you're working.

4 years ago

Fallon Wilson wrote:I got my barrels from Kijiji for 10$ clean inside but still painted. Ernie taught us a technique for safely burning the paint off without polluting the environment. It would be cool to make a portable build so we can take it with us to our new place in NS I have two barrels so we can build two of them We still need brick and some clay, some form of pebble or stone for the mass part.

All the Barrels I'm finding here have been used for some nasty industrial application I'm not willing to add heat too! The joys of living in Hamilton. I know they're out there, it's just finding them.

I have access to more clay than I could ever use, simply an endless supply from basement excavations we do here on a pretty regular basis. I could literally fill a dump truck once a month with the stuff. As for bricks, I easily have a couple of hundred of them, mostly fireplace bricks too, but how they would stand up to long term punishment is anyone's guess. The Mass is another question, I was thinking to buy sand and use concrete rubble, obviously the smallest pieces, though I was thinking that using bricks would work, as long as there was sand and/or pebbles to fill any remaining gaps.

4 years ago
Hey Fallon!

Oddly enough, the only thing I've found hard to source is the Barrels! I can get them, but they invariably have had some toxic substance in them. I can also buy them new, but as I'm not ready to build yet, I've been holding off.

If you are up for a build, maybe we can work something out for the spring? My wife is often up in London so I can probably tag along and we can work out what materials I can bring along too.

What were you thinking about? A bench build or a portable build similar to the one in the youtube video?

4 years ago
Kyle, sounds like a great piece of property! Where in NS are you guys?

As I'm understanding it, you didn't replant anything, you got a lot of regrowth? If that's right, have you found that one species is better at coming back than another?

In the 30 acres you are setting aside, what are you anticipating getting from your wild harvests?

4 years ago
Hey, thanks everyone for your comments and your suggestions.

My thoughts are very similar to what you guys have thrown out there. My idea was to build as much HugelKulture as I could manage and chip the rest for mulch or for burning. While doing that I'd be picking out the best bits for potential firewood, you can never have too much of that.

I would want to return most of the land to a forested state, with the idea to grow a food forest where appropriate. Though I really don't know much about that, always worth a try though right?

Someone suggested to me in an unrelated thread to make sure I get the water tested before buying. Apparently there's the potential for naturally occurring contaminants that could make it very difficult to get drinking water. I have to do some research on the costs associated with this and I'm going to be reading into that a bit more, but it's something to think about, it's all about doing your homework. Also need to have the land looked at for suitability of a Septic system, if that's the route you're going.

Brian - I've been searching on MLS and Kijiji, Fallon has it right with everything he said and I'm intending to do the same thing and take a look in NS and PEI in the spring. He did a better job of answering your question than I could!

Fallon - Where did you guys settle on in the end? I remember you posting a while back that you were looking at land, glad it worked out for you!

Thanks again!
4 years ago
Hi there,

I'm wondering how long a stretch of railroad you are dealing with and what you would think your ideal height would be to deaden the noise. My main concern is just how much you'd need in the way of materials, it sounds like you'd be using a significant amount of top soil as well as a large amount of woody material.

For conversations sake, I would imagine you'd want to build at around 9-10 feet in height as you'd have a significant amount of shrinkage in the first few months. I'm suggesting this height for the sake of noise reduction, I'm not really sure anything above head height or reaching height is still, strictly, Hugelkultur as you want to avoid stepping on the lower levels to maximize growth area. That's obviously not a huge issue as I think you just want to be able to use the surface area of your noise reducing "hillock" for growing food.

The tallest beds I've ever seen were roughly 7 feet tall at install, after 2 years, I would guess they were around 6 feet. I don't recall how wide these were at the base, but I remember they were installed at around a 65 degree angle. I'm rubbish at math, so can't do that in my head right now. I remember the angle had to do with compaction, but I don't recall the specifics. Sorry, I'm not being particularly useful right now.

Probably the best choice would be to post over on the dedicated Hugelkultur forum here, there are some very knowledgeable people there with a lot of experience.

Out of interest where in Ontario are you?
4 years ago
Its hard to sell people something that's unfinished, it sounds like you are more at the prototyping stage.

Where did you advertise your product? What exactly is it you are selling? Kits to be installed by the buyer or are you responsible for the full install and then the warranty on parts and labour?

Are you involved in fabricating the glass? Or is that something you are subcontracting out?

Are you expecting to sell your product locally? or is the idea to sell in multiple markets?

I once helped build a GeoDome back in the mid 90s and it wasn't easy, they're great when finished, but can be a real pain to build from scratch. With that said, sales of something like this are really tough as a good portion of the market who want GeoDomes, are the types who would want to build it themselves.

Your pictures look great and its rare to see Geodesic Greenhouses made of actual glass.

4 years ago
Thanks Allen, I appreciate your comments. Honestly, I'm thinking this would be more a case of build, have fun building and burning things and see how we get along. My ultimate plan would be to have one of these in my greenhouse so I can start my season a little early and hopefully have it carry on a little longer.

Its been easy to find people who are interested in the ideas and want to discuss those ideas, but it's been very hard to find people who want to get their hands dirty and actually build something.

Thanks again, when we actually build the thing, I will follow your recommendations.

4 years ago

Landon Sunrich wrote:Okay, I fully expect some pushback on this one, but I really like heat mats. I think they're awesome.

I love them too, if I didn't have my Heat Mat and Dome combo, my dubious success with starting seeds would be simply non existent. I don't know what it is, I can put an addition on my house from start to finish, but when it comes to working in the yard, it all goes wrong. Thank goodness for Heat Mats.
4 years ago