Aleksandar Jankovic

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since Mar 18, 2015
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Somewhere in Serbia
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Recent posts by Aleksandar Jankovic

Great stuff William!

How's the pond looking now? Keen to see some updates as I'm planning something similar in the not too distant future.
3 weeks ago
Check out this resource from the UK Forestry Commission, specifially page 26 on natural (fridgeless)  stratification
The rainy season seems to be kicking in earlier this year :O

We're going to have our straw bales in place for the wall soon, together with all the window bucks installed. I would like to plaster as soon as possible, and insert the windows later.

On most projects I've seen, people install the windows first, then do the plaster. It seems like it's more of a challenge to keep the bales dry while the windows are being installed. Especially in our case, it might take more than a week to get the windows made and installed. Any downsides to covering the window holes with some temporary protection and just going ahead with the plastering?
2 years ago
So we're putting huge south facing windows in our straw bale cottage this summer. We want to make these windows super water and air tight, so they won't be able to be opened. Since we won't be using windows for air ventilation in our home, we thought about making small openings that we can open when we need to move some air. They would probably be placed high on the south side (to act as a sort of chimney) for air out and somewhere on the north side for air in. They would need to have mosquito netting and perfect water tightness and insulation when they are closed. This design makes a lot of sense, so instead of reinventing it, maybe someone already has experience on how to go about making a simple vent opening?
2 years ago
We have access to a lot of straw bales from last year that have not been pressed tight and are not exactly the ideal dimensions for our cottage. So we thought about making a hand baler (something similar to this perhaps) and re-baling these old bales to the dimensions we seek. It's extra work, but we've got the manpower and won't need more than a hundred bales for the small cottage.

My main question is: can a hand baler make bales of adequate tightness for building a straw bale home? Or are these super tight bales only the product of machines? We're talking about wheat straw, by the way. And if anyone has any hand baler plans to share that they are happy with, that would be awesome
2 years ago
I'm really interested in knowing more about this, in particular about water catchment off Oak shingles.
2 years ago
I think Sepp Holzer's Permaculture book is a great practical example of what can be accomplished using Permaculture in a temperate climate.
2 years ago
We are located in a temperate continental climate with plenty of rainfall, although the summers can get a little dry with up to 40-50 days without rain.

We're planning to dig up a couple of ponds and connect them via swales for some much needed water retention. The challenge is that the soil is quite sandy and I doubt that we will be able to keep the water in the pond without it draining away. There is no clay on site and transporting it from off the property in the large quantities that we need is not feasible.

It looks like the best bet is to get some EPDM foil/liner, but I wanted to check in if there were any other ideas on how to handle this. EPDM seems OK, but can get pricey and I never feel too comfortable "isolating" an element from it's surroundings via hard barriers.
2 years ago
I have just finished reading Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities and I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking about starting a community

3 years ago
I’m familiar with the prepper/survivalist ideas, but I’m not in or from the US so I will provide a different perspective on the matter.

I like to consider all the things that can go wrong and prepare for specific events: floods, forest fires, droughts, etc. and focus my energy on a proactive approach on trying to prevent these rather than reactive with stockpiling and hoping for the best. If it’s a bigger threat that I cannot hope to prevent, then that takes a load off my shoulders

Every generation since at least the 60s has had reason to believe that a major societal collapse is just around the corner and I see no reason to believe it’s more likely now that it has been. Could be wrong though, there are more variables to consider than we have the capacity to process and predict. In any case, I’m banking on community over walls and guns.

And in the end I find the word “survivalist” off putting, as it defines a lifestyle by negative outcomes that foster fear with a slight tinge of paranoia. Maybe “abundantist” is something that will catch on as more people get into permaculture
3 years ago