Sarah Joubert

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since Feb 09, 2015
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Farmed "oldschool" with chickens & beef on a smallholding. Have come to the conclusion there is no "if you cant beat em, join em"with the big boys. You need a David approach to the Goliaths out there.
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More D'Ebre, Tarragona, Spain Mediterranean zone
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Recent posts by Sarah Joubert

I know this is rather outdated but I stumbled across this while looking for something else. I have a pvc pool that my exhuberant daughter split all down the one side. I also have dirt that is the texture of cement-even the few weeds that struggle to come upin the spring have a very short life, they're dead by summer. And I hate throwing stuff away. Having enthusiastically tried various methods to ammend my soil, keep plants hydrated and the bugs off long enough to get any sort of harvest I was prepared to put in a bit more hard work.
I roughly patched the 2m tear, put in a 15cm layer of broken clay bricks, topped it with a holey tarp. I then proceeded to fill it with composted bark chip, composted horse manure and a bit of my dirt. I laid drip irrigation pipes and draped a net over. It took me 2 days but I think it was worth it.

I planted swiss chard, collards, brocolli, cauliflower and onions late last summer. It did really well! No losses due to pests, I hardly watered once the seedlings were established.
I have just planted out squash seedlings, same thing, beyond drip irrigating for an hour every 2nd /3rd day for 2 weeks post planting, I haven't had to water and the soil-yes SOIL- is moist and friable. Plants look healthy and I have upgraded my netting so I don't have to pull the whole thing off when I want to harvest a few items.
I can reach the middle from each long side and the tall sides act as a wind break for the seedlings against our persistant, desicating winds.

It's not everyones cup of tea but to respond to the "why", After 3 years of trying and failing, what an achievement to grow some of my own food! Yes, there's plastic involved but most of the food available to me has been fed by plastic drip irrigation anyway and is wrapped in plastic for how long before I get it? I have no water on site, every drop either has to be fetched from town (in a plastic IBC) or harvested (when rain does fall)from our roofs and is recycled before draining away through our lovely clay dirt. Any ammendments (poop, barkchip) have to be brought on site anyway so I may as well empty them into a pool rather than onto the ground where they will go  into stasis - unless I water and turn every few days.

It's not ideal, but it gives me hope that I can grow food while I work on the bigger picture of regenerating the landscape. My next project is IBC wicking beds- which is what I was searching for when I came across this thread.
4 days ago
Thanks Cade for such an indepth insight into pressure and why it's important to plan from the start! I think I ended up going with 16mm pipes so hopefully have partailly addressed the pressure issue.
4 months ago
Stephen! Thank you for a well written, informative post that directly relates to my situation. I can easily retro fit the valves. As for the wood burning stove hot water, I have just completed my walker cookstove and am basking in it's warmth. I now have a year to figure out how to use it's chimney pipe to create a reliable thermo siphon non-pressurised  unit that I can potentially connect the inlet to my pressurised system and rely on gravity to supply downstairs hot water supply. Thanks for your help and the link.
4 months ago
Stephen! Thank you for a well written, informative post that directly relates to my situation. I can easily retro fit the valves. As for the wood burning stove hot water, I have just completed my walker cookstove and am basking in it's warmth. I now have a year to figure out how to use it's chimney pipe to create a reliable thermo siphon non-pressurised  unit that I can potentially connect the inlet to my pressurised system and rely on gravity to supply downstairs hot water supply. Thanks for your help and the link.
4 months ago

thomas rubino wrote:Hi Sarah;
Hopefully, Matt will see your post and reply.
If not you can message him at his website.  https://walkerstoves.com/

I have seen a J-Tube built inside an old cook stove before, (yours is very cool-looking).
I'm sure with enough reworking, one of Matt's cores could be built inside.
It might be a lot more work than just building a brick cook stove using Matt's core.

Another thought might be to use your stove by building a J-Tube inside of it and using it in an outdoor kitchen for summer use.


Using it outside is definitely an option I am considering but have absolutely no idea how to go about it! Do you have a link to any resources? The other option I was thinking of was using the front piece (it's sooo pretty!) inside with a ceramic glass cooktop and build a j tube outside for the stove top but I'd really like to incorprate an oven into both stoves.

7 months ago
Hi Matt, thanks for your prompt response. So far I have attached the main water feed from the cisterna (with a non-return valve at the bottom of the pipe through the sterwins pump. The pump has a lift capacity of 8m, 3800L/min and a psi of 4.3. I don't particularly want a highly pressurised system as we need to conserve water and my husband likes to leave taps running! I have connected the downtstairs bathroom basin and shower with separate feeds for hot and cold water -although I don't have a system providing hot water as yet. There is plenty pressure- I can run both basin and shower together without fully opening the taps. I still have to connect unstairs and the downstairs kitchen basin. So far I haven't used and check valves within the system. I skimmed that thread, I don't see anything that relates to my project but thanks for trying.
7 months ago
Hi Matt Walker, I am looking to build an indoor cook stove and heater using an antique metal front panel, stove top and oven. I have included pictures. I know your design uses a ceramic top, my question is, can it be modified to include an oven and use my metal parts?
7 months ago
Hi John, thanks for your input and my apologies for not acknowledging your contribution-life got in the way of this project. I do have some follow up questions if you have the time to help? My questions  after your answers..

John C Daley wrote:MY ANSWERS IN CAPITALS
My query relates directly to the water pump, pressure, non return valves, gravity etc.
Given that the cisterna is 2 m deep, the ground floor is 2.4m high, as is the top storey, how many one way valves do I need and where do I put them?
HJAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT A SUBMERSIBLE PUMP IN THE CISTERN WITH ONE NON RETURN VALVE AT THE PUMP? I have the Sterwin pump already and my questions were related directly to where to situate one way valves and check valves in that scenario.
I have attached a drawing - very rough- of where I plan to put the water lines and the layout of the various basins etc. The kitchen and bathroom are back to back in both flats so there is only 1 water line on each level connecting all the water points.
I WOULD RUN A LOOP FROM THE PUMP TO THE UPSTAIRS FLAT AND BACK DOWN TO THE LOWER FLAT SO THE PRESSURE DROP IS REDUCED OVER THE WHOLE SYSTEM. As the pump is on the ground floor roof, I am thinking of a T joint coming out the pump.

I'm not convinced that the upstairs gas boiler is the best option for providing hot water downstairs.  WHY NOT? By the time the heated water reaches the downstairs shower I will have wasted at least 5L of cold water. Also each time I use the hot water tap I will be heating at least 5L of water which will cool in the pipes once I have switched off the water-that's quite a waste of gas. As I have plenty wood in winter and sun in summer, I'd rther use those energy sources as much as possible.

I am hoping to put some form of masonry wood stove downstairs with a copper coil [I HAVE USED 1/2 COPPER PIPE, BYT 3/4 MAY BE BETTER ]
around the stove pipe feeding a thermosyphon tank affixed to the wall above the sink in the kitchen which could gravity feed the shower and basins in the winter, and switchover to using the sun to heat the water in the tank in our swelteringly hot summers when you can't use a woodstove indoors.
But I don't think I can pull off a pressurised thermosyphon unit.  NO THEY DO NOT WORK So I can't use and old electric water heater/storage tank? I am trying to come up with a system that will switch between a solar collector and the copper coil by closing and opening relevant valves. And the system will have to be fed from the pump so my hot water would not be gravity fed either.
Can thermosyphon work with a non-pressurised tank?  THAT IS HOW THEY WORK Can you expand on the design?
This is a secondary concern though, my main aim is to get cold water from the cisterna to the upstairs flat, supply the upstairs with hot and cold running water and downstairs with cold water. I'm still happy to boil a kettle to wash dishes and shower with my 12V boat pump dumped in a bucket of warm water!

7 months ago
Hi all,
We bought a small plot of agricultural land with an agricultural building which we have refurbished into 2 flats  - one for hubby and me and one for our daughter. We have the bottom and she has the upper room.
The water source is a below ground cisterna that collects rainwater from the roofs.
I have acquired the sinks, basins and showers from freecycle etc and built the cabinets myself. There are no flushing loos, just basins, showers and sinks which will empty into a double reedbed before being used to water vegetation.
My plan is to install a 800W Sterwin pump - which has it's own water reservoir -on the roof of the ground floor bathroom. Pump the water up to that level and then into the upper storey flat, where it will be connected to a gas water heater to provide hot water feed, and supply cold water upstairs and downstairs.
Currently we are on a gravity fed system solely on the ground floor and previously I have cobbled together a basic gravity fed system from a 7 m high water reservoir. So I have no problems with the actual fitting of pipes, connections etc.
My query relates directly to the water pump, pressure, non return valves, gravity etc. Given that the cisterna is 2 m deep, the ground floor is 2.4m high, as is the top storey, how many one way valves do I need and where do I put them? I have attached a drawing - very rough- of where I plan to put the waterlines and the layout of the various basins etc. The kitchen and bathroom are back to back in both flats so there is only 1 water line on each level connecting all the water points.
I do hope the drawing is clear enough! There is a rough 3D version and a side profile which shows the split level.
I'm not convinced that the upstairs gas boiler is the best option for providing hot water downstairs. I am hoping to put some form of masonry wood stove downstairs with a coppercoil around the stove pipe feeding a thermosyphon tank affixed to the wall above the sink in the kitchen which could gravity feed the shower and basins in the winter, and switchover to using the sun to heat the water in the tank in our swelteringly hot summers when you can't use a woodstove indoors. But I don't think I can pull off a pressurised thermosyphon unit. Can thermosyphon work with a non-pressurised tank? This is a secondary concern though, my main aim is to get cold water from the cisterna to the upstairs flat, supply the upstairs with hot and cold running water and downstairs with cold water. I'm still happy to boil a kettle to wash dishes and shower with my 12V boat pump dumped in a bucket of warm water!
1 year ago