Dustin Mattison

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since Nov 16, 2015
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Recent posts by Dustin Mattison

I live in Fujian Province, China. The climate is sub-tropical monsoon. I want to build a 3 meter diameter raised bed. Originally, I was planning to build a geodesic dome greenhouse, but I think the summers are too hot for this.

Instead, I want to build a 6 meter diameter earthbag round wall (3 meters high) around the garden for wind protection and privacy. The style would be similar to the Chinese Hakka houses. I don't want to build an enclosed roof, only a roof to cover the walls and 1.5 meters inside the garden round house.

See picture of round hakka houses here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakka_walled_village

I also got inspiration from the Forestier Underground Gardens http://www.undergroundgardens.com/


My question is, how can I protect the plants and soil from the heavy rains which occur during rainy season?


Dustin

I plan to build an aircrete dome house like those shown at http://www.domegaia.com/gallery.html

AirCrete is a lightweight non-toxic masonry material that is easy and inexpensive to make yourself. It is waterproof and insulative!


In the past I built an earthbag hut 3.5 meters in diameter. It took me 4 years and still isn't done. I work on the weekends. After discovering Aircrete I changed my values a little bit. While using concrete isn't as ecological as using dirt and clay, it will save me a lot of time. Instead of spending my time mixing plaster for covering bags, I can quickly build a dome and then do a nice job at using earth plaster on the inside and floor. This would be a compromise.

I live in an earthquake area in China, but my location usually just has some mild tremors. Even if there is an earthquake that damages the aircrete dome, I think it will be pretty safe since it is lightweight material and also won't cost much to fix.

What do you think? If I build a dome with Aircrete is it considered "natural building"?

Dustin
Sichuan Province, China
2 years ago
I live in Sichuan Province, China. I am building an earthbag house and growing food in the mountains. This mountain has tons of Diatomaceous Earth. I use it instead of sand when making natural plaster.

I am curious to know if I can use it as a soil amendment. Actually, the small plot I am beginning to grow in is basically about 80-90% DE, with the remainder being decomposed leaves and plant matter and some clay.

Do I need to add a lot more compost to make up for the fact that the DE is in such high concentrations? My Chinese farmer friend said they used to grow sweet potatoes, potatoes, corn and more on this plot. I want to grow green leafy vegetables.

Dustin
Sichuan, Province China
2 years ago
Hello

Does anyone know if epoxy resin is a good choice for waterproofing a cob countertop and sink? I was considering concrete but I would rather use cob if possible.

I am looking forward to hearing some opinions and suggestions. Thanks

Dustin
2 years ago

leila hamaya wrote:you might be able to get some manure ? kinda gross if you think about it too much, but its basically just chopped straw, from an herbivore, horse, or cow manure. it would also help with the cracking.

it's not so good to think...even if it cracks i can fill it in with more stuff. theoretically that sounds like it would work, but often if it cracks badly to begin with, the new stuff you put on top will also crack, it will follow the same cracks as the bottom coat. only very tiny cracks can be patched up good.



Leila, can cow manure be used in combination with DE-earth? I want to add white to the mix and I don't want to buy kaolin clay. Can I add linseed oil over the cow manure plaster to make it more water resistant and shiny?

Dustin
2 years ago
cob
Glenn
I decided to use iron sheets to cover the space inside the bench (rather than half barrels). The height will be about 35cm and width 60 cm. The length will be 2 or 3 meters. What I am not sure about is whether to make the length 3 meters, or whether 2 meters will give better performance. Do you think 3 meters will be too long for my system?

Dustin
2 years ago
I built a 6-inch batch  box. I now need to connect it to half barrels in my bench. See pictures.

I want to connect 2.5 meters length of half barrels, then exit using 8-inch tubing.

I am not clear how to connect the half barrel to the heat exchanging barrel. See my photo. The gasses will need to move down from the full barrel and connect to the half barrel about 8 inches below it. I think I read somewhere that the height of the entrance into the half barrels needs to be lower than the exit on the other end. Is that correct? If so, by how much?

Dustin
Sichuan Province, China
2 years ago

Troy Rhodes wrote:If the primary goal is to pump water, then turning the kinetic energy of your stream into electricity would not be the -most- efficient way to pump water.



Troy, why do I need to be concerned with efficiency? The water power is free. I would just need to buy an electric pump to pump the water up.

I looked into ram pumps but it doesn't seem that the drop in elevation is enough to get the water 100 meters up. I think I would have to buy a very long pipe to put in the stream and then it still might not work.

One thing I want to find it is can I combine a ram pump with an electric, use the electric pump to increase the flow rate going into the ram pump?

Dustin
2 years ago

William Bronson wrote: If you have a storage tank above your point of use,the GPM of the pump becomes moot.



William, I have a storage tank above the point of use. I want to use the water power of the stream to generate electricity. See attached pictures. I am unclear on whether I can just direct use a Pelton Wheel in this situation. And if so, where would the wheel be placed? Does it have to be placed perpendicular to the water flow? How deep would the water need to be? This water is about 8 inches deep.

Dustin
2 years ago
Hello

I have a house on a small mountain. It is about 60-100 meters higher than the stream. I have seen videos on youtube for building an electric generator from an old washing machine. The guy said his generator produces about 900 watts. Does it make sense to build one of these generators and use it to power an electric water pump to pump the water up to the top of the mountain? Do these generators produce enough electricity? Would I need a battery?

Dustin
2 years ago