Michael Heath

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since Dec 08, 2015
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Recent posts by Michael Heath

Get you some red wigglers and toss in there. (beasties also known as manure worms).  They'll help move that manure into compost quicker.
Michael
11 months ago
Don't know much about this personally, but I do remember concrete/cement roofs on my last visit to Bermuda.  At least it's a place to start.
1 year ago
I've gotta ask.  What do you do with mulberries?  Because they are so delicate, I assume they don't freeze, store or travel well and that's also why they don't join straw, black and rasp as the berries found in the local WallyMart.  I assume you juice them, but they seem sweet enough, that they wouldn't need much sugar and therefore not a candidate for jelly/jam/preserves unless you mix other berries with them (Traffic jam?).  Wine, perhaps?  At the risk of subverting this forum subject by turning it from harvesting to preserving, what do YOU do with them?
1 year ago
We have many mulberry trees.  The birds enjoy the fruit and sit on fences, and "deposit" the seeds, often with a bit of fertilizer to help it get started (c8.  Because they are so delicate, we harvest along with the majority by popping them in our mouths.  It helps keep the mowing moving along when you can get a treat every round.  We have a rather rare white mulberry tree (more like pink), I would think these berries would stain any white sheets much less.  Many's the mowing session I come in with purple fingers after passing under the standard mulberry trees.  That also means that shoes come off at the door to prevent carpet staining also.
1 year ago
Nothing new here, I also have used ashes on driveways to melt snow/ice and provide traction.  Also, My Grandparents had a bucket of ashes in the outhouse to "sprinkle after you tinkle".  Helped to soak up liquid and cut down on the smell.  One caveat that I have learned the hard way.  Even metal buckets are not the safest to hold ashes.  My wife cleaned out the stove and left the metal bucket sitting on the carpet next to the tiled floor. Came back to find a scorch hole in the carpet and melted padding underneath.  We got lucky the ashes weren't hotter.
Michael
1 year ago
Herbal teas - Red clover blossoms, mints, chamomile, strawberry leaf, raspberry leaf, pine needle(haven't tried this one yet).  Go down the tea aisle in your local health food store and take notes.
Dried herbs - or fresh herbs for that matter, if they don't sell, next time they'll be dried herbs.

Michael Heath

Go ahead and imitate someone you admire.  But the minute you fail in that imitation, you advance another step on the journey of finding yourself - Michael Heath (c8
1 year ago
I could not get the permies code:tmun20 to work.  I assume that that coupon is no longer active.
Michael
2 years ago
Make sure you know what you are planting if you decide to plant any hips.  I know that in Missouri, Multiflora roses(Rosa Multiflora)  has been classified as an invasive plant species.  And I have the thickets to prove it.
"Misery" Mike
2 years ago
So if you supported at the physical DVD level, then you don't get downloads?  These are not contained in the "Glory" level?  i didn't get the download email and it's not in SPAM.  (Truth be told, Spam only goes back for a month), so if it came before then, it could have been in Spam.  I also didn't get updates 27 through 30, which I also found interesting.
Thanks,
Michael Heath (fiatguy1955<commercial at sign>gmail<dot>com)

Sky Huddleston wrote:

I don't know how large your house is, but running this heater on pellets constantly will likely heat you out of your house. Unless your house is over 2200 square feet, that is! Also, adding a flue damper will increase the burn time.By how much varies, but my estimates are anywhere from 14 to 20 hours.

Do note that a pallet of pellets is 4' X 4' X 4' which is half a card in terms of volume. Pellets are usually more than wood in terms of cost, people buy them for the convenience of a super long burn time.

You also must factor in that most pellet stoves use 15 to 30 dollars of electricity each month and their parts go out quite frequently and are very expensive to replace and time consuming to rebuild as electric pellet stoves are overcomplicated to say the least. The only wear part here is a 304 SS burn grate that one replaces yearly or so, and the part costs ten dollars. So this heater is already cheaper to operate just on the fact its non-electric alone. Thats not even factoring the cost of the replacement parts for conventional pellet stoves.

Pellets are an alternative to electric, fuel oil, and propane. In many area's of the country, you'll be hard pressed to beat the price of wood. Which is why this heater can also burn wood, too!



Aha!  That may be the piece I was looking for.  Just because I CAN run the rocket heater on 2 bags of pellets a day, doesn't mean that I will WANT to run it that long.  (Honey, it's too hot in here, let's open a window).  And if I run it less, then I will burn less.  In the coldest part of the winter, I usually do 3 feedings a day on my soapstone (radiant) woodstove, Once in the morning to warm it up for dressing and bathroom activities, once around 1 or two in the afternoon to take the chill off and keep the burn going, but only if it is really cold, and once just before going to bed to keep the burn through the night.  So really only 3 armloads of wood on the coldest days, and possibly less than that depending upon how cold it gets.

Also, "adding a flue damper will increase the burn time".  Now I'm still in the studying and learning stage, but I kind of got the impression that you don't want anything slowing down the exhaust from a rocket heater (because it no longer sounds like a rocket?).  I assumed that was because you don't want backdraft or smoke ending up coming out of the feeder hole into the living space.  In my soapstone wood burner, I've found that I have to open the damper whenever I open the feed door or I can fill the house with smoke.  So a rocket heater CAN have a flue damper?  Does'nt that get a bit fiddly trying to keep it adjusted just right to lessen the burn rate and yet still allow enough of a throughput to keep the smoke from coming out the input?

I did call it a pallet of pellets, didn't I?  That's what I get for trying to be alliterative.  I really only meant a ton of pellets.  Which makes sense if one pallet of pellets is half a cord (half a ton?).

I agree that pellets should cost more because of their convenience.  They are processed sawdust, and like all things processed cost more than the raw materials used to make them.  However, I would much rather schlep around a 40pound bag of pellets(my chickenfeed comes in bigger bags than that!) then to try and keep wood ready and available.  Others may wax poetic about traipsing out into the cold snowy woods, hewing down a stately tree and processing it into stove sized bites, but not me.  Growing up, my father's idea was that we should cut wood (and usually at 5am in the morning) the morning after I had partied too hard.  That and being in the land of the long-thorn where they can stab through leather gloves, boots and tractor tires, has kind of dampened my enthusiasm for tree harvesting.  So I am willing to pay for convenience.  And in my opinion, that's why some pellet stoves have more moving parts, for the convenience.  Some have connections to a thermostat, which make it pretty much like any gas or electric furnance.  It only feeds pellets as it needs to, to raise or lower the temperature of the rooms it is charged with heating.  In this case, all you would need to do is keep the pellet hopper full (and you can get F.O.U.S hopper feeders - Feeders of Unusual Size - so you wouldn't even have to do that very often).

Don't get me wrong, we just went through 3 hours of no electric after a storm (longest in 5 years, so I guess we were due), so I understand the need for not being tied to the grid.  In fact, that was one of the considerations behind our choosing a soapstone stove, the fact that it could keep the pipes from freezing without the need for electricity.  But just because I understand it, doesn't mean I wouldn't want the convenience that comes with electricity and pellets.

It seems then that you offer a good middle ground.  Pellets, so convenience over wood and comparable burn rates, but no electricity so less convenience than a more automated system.  Have you given any thought to maybe running on very low wattage/amperage?  Something that might be sustainable by a deepcycle battery?  The three uses for electricity (that I see) are pellet delivery, thermostatic control and starting a burn in a cold stove.  You have already solved the pellet delivery, a low amperage solution could also take care of the thermostatic control.  The only problem I see with a low watt electric system is when it needs to start a cold stove.  That low of an amperage would not operate a heater to start the pellets.  Or could it?  I suppose it could, but that would take a lot of juice from the battery so you couldn't do it very often.  

Anyway, I'm rambling.

Once again, more questions than answers.
2 years ago