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Diana Marmont

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since Feb 13, 2015
NE Washington State
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Recent posts by Diana Marmont

My mother and I own property in Northeastern Washington state. USDA Zone 5b and situated at about 3200 feet in elevation. Trying to figure out a few things so we can make progress on the build this Spring/Summer. Winter temps can be as low as -20F and summer temps have reached 109F on occasion. Property is on the grid but it is a vulnerable grid which has been taken offline for several days at a time during the summer for maintainence. It’s also been down due to major storms, wildfires, etc. There is a small, dry hunting cabin on the property but we’ll be building something more substantial for full-time occupancy.

Geo-thermal (with appropriate insulation) seems like a good option to help keep inside temperatures within liveable ranges should the grid fail.  That said,  I’m wondering how deep we’ll need to dig and if there’s a way to figure out how deep our actual bedrock is. The properties above and below us have very little topsoil ( like less than 12”) but our property seems to have acted as a catchment for a lot of the soil from above us. I know I’ve been able to dig several 2 foot holes in the past and the company that installed our septic system didn’t have any issues.

Is there an online resource that has average earth temperatures at various latitudes and depths?  Any low tech  tricks for determining how far down your bedrock is? What’s the cheapest way to do a geothermal system? I really liked the geothermal system the Raney’s did on Homestead Rescue but not sure how well that design really performs. We’ll want to have a way to power any fans with solar or battery due to the previously mentioned grid issues.
4 months ago
I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this book. We are using "loveable loos" on our new property. We currently have one small dog and a puppy, who won't be so small for long.

Given the amount of aging and the volume of 2 adult humans (sometimes with 2 almost adult humans) vs 2 very small dogs (who do most of their business where we can't find it), I've been tossing it into the humanure compost. No pet food here, they eat people quality food, so no concerns about heavy metals.

I'd originally planned to compost their waste separately but realized it would take forever to have a big enough volume for hot compost.

Like the idea of a worm bin for it, but does the bin smell initially? Moisture control is an issue right? As well as temperature (not too hot, not too cold)?
3 years ago
My new property is in Zone 5b, Northeastern WA. Half of the precipitation we'll get is in the winter months and I'd like to come up with a way to catch/store as much as possible to use during the summer months for crop production/livestock.

We have a well that will provide us with sufficient water for in-home use, but during the peak growing season we're not sure how we'll get by. The well is a lower flowing well, yielding about 0.33gpm. Enough for a few people living without flush toilets, but not enough to be frivolous with it.

I've thought about a 'pond' that snow can be shoveled to and snow melt can be routed to with trenches, but something that requires less regular effort on my part would be greatly appreciated. I'd like to not have to rely on the well for irrigation needs at all, given WA state 'legalities' regarding water rights, but rainwater catchment is legal.

Based on historic averages, we're looking at about 8.5" of precipitation from October to March, months where it is highly likely to be frozen. We'll get about 8.4 from April to September.

Is it worth the effort to try to capture at least a portion of the water from the snowfall?
4 years ago
I'm in a similar situation, although my climate is not as severe as OPs. Zone 5b. Most of the precipitation we'll get is in the winter and I'd like to come up with a way to catch/store as much as possible to use during the summer months for crop production/livestock. We have a well that will provide us with sufficient water for in-home use, but during the peak growing season we're not sure how we'll get by.

I've thought about a 'pond' that snow can be shoveled to and snow melt can be routed to, but something that requires less regular effort on my part would be greatly appreciated. I'd like to not have to rely on the well for irrigation needs at all, given WA state 'legalities' regarding water rights.

4 years ago