Nissa Gadbois

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since Jun 24, 2015
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We own a 300 acre farm in central Massachusetts. We are working to restore an abandoned farm and farmhouse. We're also starting a permaculture project in Bulgaria.
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Recent posts by Nissa Gadbois

Thanks so much for the resources!  I think I'm going to go for an outdoor tank  for the sake of cost savings.  The digging of a cellar hole, lining with concrete or stone, etc. might just be too much for the budget.  Certainly undesirable in terms of disruption to the site.  Piers are allowable here, so that's my preference. And that would mean an upright, outdoor tank.

Now I'll be looking for ideas to insulate it against our cold winters.  Right now, I'm wondering if ecofoil insulation like they use on proper yurts could be a good option.  Later, perhaps, we could create a stone enclosure for beauty and durability, and marginal heat gain (NNE side).  Stone, we've got.  And because this structure would be added later and isn't critical to the overall build, we can take our sweet time.

1 week ago
Using the calculator, it looks like a 2500 gal tank would get us by with a prefill from the main well.  But if we went up to 3000 and also collected from the studio roof immediately adjacent, we'd have more than enough to get us through even an unusual drought.  Plus it would give us the option to have a little wee washing machine if we later decide to have one (especially convenient in the winter).  Overflow and grey water can go to the Z1 and shared Z2.

Cool!  Now to look around for tanks that don't have a really long lead time.

Nissa Gadbois wrote:Well this is cool!  Thank you so much for this link.  I can't wait to see what it says.

Kim Goodwin wrote:This is the calculator I've been using while designing our rainwater catchment in Arizona:

Rain Harvesting Calculator with monthly estimates and including drawdown (your usage)

1 month ago
Well this is cool!  Thank you so much for this link.  I can't wait to see what it says.

Kim Goodwin wrote:This is the calculator I've been using while designing our rainwater catchment in Arizona:

Rain Harvesting Calculator with monthly estimates and including drawdown (your usage)

1 month ago
I've calculated that we can expect somewhere in the neighbourhood of 25K gallons of water per year on the roof.  We'll have somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1000 sqft of roof, and somewhere around 42-43" of precip a year.  We're super fortunate.  

John C Daley wrote:My signature has details about capturing and using rainwater.
But what size roof and  what rainfall do you have?
You dont need to hold one years supply in the tank.
I have 450mm rainfall and have  a 20,000L tank.
Underground tanks are a bigger cost but great for freezing areas.
If you were building I would suggest a tank in the basement or even a barn with a small heater.

1 month ago
hey there,

Anyone know of a way to calculate the size of storage tank a home will need to supply potable water to a home?  I've already calculated what we can catch from the roof, but I don't think we need a 26k gallon tank.  :D

We will use no more than 100 gal/day for two of us.  We are allowed to use a waterless composting toilet (huzzah!) and that saves a lot.  We won't be doing laundry here, but next door in the main farmhouse.  So, just cooking and showering.  Still, I doubled what that should be just to be safe and arrived at 100 gal/day.

What's the rule of thumb or straight up calculation for this?

Thinking to put in in-ground tank below frostline because it freezes here in Massachusetts.  Extra water can go to other tanks for the orchard and small Z1 garden where the house will sit.

Thanks heaps,
1 month ago
Thanks Jeff and Anne!  I've been watching vids on making a raku kiln and an anagama style one.  I'm thinking - maybe - those could be improved upon with rocket stove tech in terms of fuel usage.  But also - maybe - reduce fly ash.  I'd love to know what the likely cone range is.  Obviously, that's going to be a limiting factor when designing pieces.

Anyway,  thanks.  And I'm really looking forward to what comes out of the Jamboree!

1 month ago
Hey guys.

Sheesh, I've missed the replies notifications in my email.  That's not the forum's issues methinks.  It's our own email server.  I apologize.

Maybe better to also email me directly ? nissa_@_renaissance-farms_._com

1 month ago
Hey there,

I'm looking for plans for building a pottery kiln here on our property.  This would be used by our family, but also as a community access resource.

Has anyone built one?  Can you share plans or links to plans?  Accessing materials... cheap or not so much?  What kind of temps are you getting?  What about tending the kiln - pain in the butt or not so bad?  

Also, I'd love to see photos of what you turned out with your rocket kiln.

Thanks heaps,
1 month ago
So I've decided to go with really good insulation and a Walker continental rocket cooker/mass heater.  It's rated to heat 1200 sq ft and we're under that.  I'm considering hempwool insulation at this time.  I'm also considering transoms over the doors for better airflow when the doors are closed.  If at all possible, I'll use pocket French doors on those rooms that need doors, except for maybe the bathroom.  That will probably get a solid door. :).

Thanks for your input everyone!

2 months ago

Jt Lamb wrote:Re-reading the OP, I don't think I quite understand the scenario ... is there an existing home and a new (small) one going in as well? Or raw land with a small home going on it?

Any new construction triggers requirements to the latest code item an AHJ cares about. Old stuff might get grandfathered in, but new construction triggers incredible requirements.

So there is a home already on the farm.  This would be an accessory dwelling.  The state's condition on his return home is that he have a separate dwelling from the main house.  In this case an attached in-law apartment will not satisfy.  So it's a separate little house.  Even if we *could* make an in-law apartment, we would still need to 'upgrade' our septic.  That is estimated to cost between $10k and $50k. That's gonna kill our budget.  So, yeah.
2 months ago