Johnmark Hatfield

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since Jan 26, 2015
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Recent posts by Johnmark Hatfield

So i would like to dig a well close to a dry run. It floods a bit when it rains a lot, and deposits rock.

I’m in a place that didn’t get glacial drift in the last ice age, so the formations have been there for a loooong time.

I have dug down 7’ to make a well pump room. It’s about 2’x4’x7’. Im in wisconsin, so i went below the frost line for the pump and pressure tank etc.

I dug by pick-adz and shovel.

I’m now trying to auger a deepish-shallow well. I may have a deepish well pump (more than 25’) depending on the depth.

I blacksmithed a rock breaker to put on my auger’s extensions to break up rock, but sometimes my auger grips the larger rock and doesn’t want to bring it up.

Any fancy tricks for this? I thought about attaching a large whisk and stabbing the rocks to get inside of it.

A grabber tool seems a bit difficult to wield, but ive thought of modifying a cheap post hole digger and have it close with a spring and pull it open with a rope.

I know, i should just try a different area. It’s a bit of an alluvial clearing and the whole space is rocky.

It’s just for a temporary place to put a trailer home while i build something more earthy.

Ive been wanting to do rain catchment forever, but my gal is set on having a well, so here i am.

She’s a bit more open to it after she sees how hard it is without having a million dollars to get a company to drill to the aquifer.
1 year ago
I’m just in wisconsin, and i’m hoping to auger a hole soon.

You would also think a structure like you have would work, but with a “lid” with 4-5’ of insulation board to keep the ground heat in.

What sort of access door does this thing have?
1 year ago
I am in a cold climate (Wisconsin) and want to do a cistern that’s cheap, potable, and non-carcinogenic.

I don’t know where to get a stainless steel, large (500-1000 gal) tanks, and i’ll need to retain the dirt for this or galvanized.

How unhealthy is a cement cistern vs a plastic bpa free underground one?

The plastic makes it so easy and cheap, but we aren’t perfectly trusting of the plastic to not leach something creepy into our drinking water.

It’s all very experimental, so i just want to hear if anyone has any experience with these.

I may just go for a plastic underground storage tank, as it’s quick and dependable.
2 years ago
Now i’m thinking i might pair that solar dehydrator idea thing with something else. I could put one on every “stack” of upward air flow to a suped up solar chimney.

I was thinking how my anvil picks up condensation when it stays cold and the air heats up.

If it had a low air intake and high out.  i could have a large piece of metal ( I beam cut off or something) that would sweat and and then mostly drain off, but wick up a few cloths or something that would sit infront of the intake. I would be evaporative cooling. The hotter the day, the harder the draft from the chimneys, the more air getting pulled into the chamber. The cooler the i beam, the more condensation, more evaporation, more cooling. I guess when it cools off and just sits wet, that may be a problem, and you would need a tight house and well thought out air flow. I think the chamber would need to be primed with water, and then the cloth would need to be replaced or removed when weather cools down or you would have damp cloths just waiting to get musty.

This would only work in humid climates (like mine)

Any thoughts?
3 years ago
Im in Wisconsin and have hopes to do earth tube things. A few ideas come to mind. Ive wanted to use these to heat a house. The tubes we be coming into a walipini then through some large compost piles, then to the house.  

For cooling, perhaps it would be beneficial to have a cooling chamber (like a root cellar), where air slows down considerably to allow time for the temperature to be exchanged. It would have gravel and im trying to think how it could purposefully be condensating and draining.

Galv pipe into the chamber, pvc into the house to insulate.

Ive also been thinking about installing a passive solar vent (like the ones for dehydrating food). It would be roof mounted and the intake would be from the house. The air would be heated up behind the glass covered black cabinet, and then out a vent. So instead of pushing air (like the dehydrator) its just pulling air. im just trying to think through purposeful condensation. Toilet tank esque with a condensate collector. Like...pump up a bunch of cistern water and put them into a tank in every room to condensate. Then pour all the water right back into the cistern once they stop condensating.

3 years ago
How high is the ceiling? Is it possible to make a subfloor of treated wood and  shim it up level? Less dust i for sure. Then just put down a vapor barrier and ply wood and then tile it up.
3 years ago
sometimes i think that we have to mimic nature in our social communities as well as our gardens.

if you have read the 'secret life of trees' you've heard of all the health benefits of an old growth forest that even keeps the dead trees roots alive to continue in sharing and communicating. the book makes many comparisons with humans and trees - but the sad part is many of our human communities don't act as humanely as the tree communities are. Sometimes i think i wish elderly homes didn't exist and that death could be embraced sooner and surrounded by people that were close knit. but without a close knit community, an example of that is rare and when existent it comes off cult-ish. Elderly homes don't keep people from dying -  but they almost always keep family from being close knit. My great grandmother was visited by her family every few months for a few hours, but i don't really call that a close relationship. it's also hard to have a close relationship with people so unresponsive.

i don't remember the exact wendell berry quote but it's something like -...death used to be seen as a sort of healing, and now it's a disease with an overly complicated cure. -

even more complicating a difficult time is that the typical lucidness of the elderly is diminished by our sedentary lifestyle with poor diet and the only engaging activities are watching tv or a computerized crossword puzzle.

a co-worker from ecuador of mine says its not like that at home. people eat fresh from their gardens and the older people are more responsive and active.

anyways...i think rebuilding the extended family needs to focus on what it means to be a nuclear family, what it means to have neighbors, neighbors as friends, have older people as neighbors, have older people as friends and mentors, and how everyone from seedlings and those long gone can populate the same physical soil.
4 years ago
i'm a (progressive) mennonite and live in a place with lots of amish. i think about my identity within a larger community a lot, and sometimes i wonder what % of an aesthetic is affectation or just the -comfort- of being judged. If you know the enneagram, I'm a 4 that likes being different. That first impression judgement, (which is evolutionary by the way), is welcoming among your own and can be abrasive with the rest of the world.

I feel like i have a lot of expectations placed on me in a lot of settings. i'm a white male that's college educated and i come from a midwestern US upper middle class evangelical christian home. when i go to my parents church, i dress accordingly and my mennonite-ness or permie-ness is suppressed because the difference is overwhelming, but it's something else to take on when any sort of discussion or opinions arise, and they have to be given in love and with tact. a step back always has to be taken to look at myself and the other.

for some reason the amish are highly respected. Perhaps somehow the permies could embrace a new look that reflected their ideologies. I do have holes in a lot of my clothing, but i have been in the maintenance and construction work for 10 years where i'm on my knees a lot. I understand the waste not want not idea, but would it be even more ecological/energy efficient of me to use an old pair of jeans and patch holes as soon as they appear? (insert old idiom) I used to sew a lot more many years ago, but somehow i've become too busy lately. too busy is a misnomer. time is the best distributed thing in the world. perhaps we don't budget our time or stick to our budgets well. re-think our time constraints, re-think our ideologies, perhaps change clothes just a tad when we are going to socialize. these aren't terribly life changing things.

sometimes i think the dirty-hippy look is partially meant to be abrasive to mess with people. perhaps that's a good thing, but when it's accompanied by abrasive personalities, it's not very empathy inducing for the people its abrasing.
4 years ago
So I've lived in a few different "community" settings. I've lived in community households that divided the labor by certain jobs in a very egalitarian - we all cook, we all clean, we all have some separate tasks. Cleaning dishes was more of a volunteer thing. it wasnt on a schedule. we had house meals 4 times a week, there were 8 people in the house. you cleaned dishes once every 2 weeks for a household meal. People picked up dishes, swept the kitchen and dining floor, wiped up counters and tables, others put away the left overs, napkins, etc. The thing is - we all had a relationship that went beyond utilitarian housemates. we actually looked out for each other and listened to each others lives.

i've also lived in household where it was very very ...governmental? meetings were cold. division of chores was by the book and gave no lee-way for people that just had a baby or anything like that. when you didn't get a chore done the question wasn't "hey..i noticed __ got forgotten. is there a reason it wasn't done?" it was "chore x was not done and you have accrued a demerit, and will pay a fine". There was no move towards personal relationships, and the feel of the house was sucky and judgemental.

With my wife and child, i feel like without an official structure, we can place expectations on the other and on ourselves that may have come from our separate families, from watching TV shows, or just our own idealism. I would say first, you have to remember that you are with your spouse because you have a friendship. whatever internal or external stress is happening - these should be shared. not in an "oh crap, this is what we have to do because our lives are falling apart" way. It's just a part of friendship. not for fixing the problems. to share and to know. have a date night, but only after having intentional sharing.

a marriage is a marriage. life is life. you don't do it perfect all the time. those aren't hinderances or reasons to give up. they're reasons to remember our imperfections are here to bind us together as humans.

talk about the tasks or roles you do around the house. perhaps write out a list. you may be surprised about what they other writes down. don't make the list completely utilitarian. family isn't an assembly line of efficiency. if the social burden or organization burden or task burden is too heavily put on one person. even the load. if the load is unrealistic, change your expectations. have real conversations with other people in families.  

remember that difficulty isn't some rare form of torture that you've been tossed by some short straw of a spouse. difficulty welcomes you in to the rest of humanity.

these things are all un-structured, un-exampled, un-supported, and we have no frame of reference for what is normative. our modern lives are strange. you have to swim against modernity's current of miscommunication, poor management of time, stress, etc and let go of any image of suburbia's super-spouse magazine.
4 years ago
baldosa is the spanish word for tile, perhaps it is a company, but it may just be a generic label on the product.

could the rocks be used like a brick? what happens if you take whatever you can get from the ground and put it in a bunch of water for a week or two? i've been to haiti, but not your region. can you get a shovel in the ground at all to do a soil test for a sand/silt/clay ratio?
4 years ago