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Rusty Bowman

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since May 30, 2009
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Recent posts by Rusty Bowman

Thanks for your post, Jen Fan. I edited mine a bit on your suggestion.

Really thought I'd end up building a home and living there. Life is always in flux though.


7 months ago
Own a confluence on 28 acres! Unique with its two creeks, I feel badly for letting this property go. It's time though. 20 miles north of Boise, 3 miles east of Horseshoe Bend. Access via country maintained road.

3 miles east of the Payette River, 3 miles west of the Boise National Forest.

Two sides of this property abut BLM land. The other two sides are buffered by the creeks.

Virtually unlimited access to public lands and various recreational opportunities out the back door: kayaking, rafting, MTBing, ATVing, motorcyling, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, snowmobiliing, camping, hotspringing, fishing, hunting, ziplining, paragliding......

Lax building codes with no minimum size. Build what you want!

Wildlife, including beaver on site. Well, power, septic approved, and private bridge. There's also a little and completely secluded island on one of the creeks. Perfect place to hang out or soak in a wood-fired hot tub under the milky-way! Priced to move. Please pass the word. Thanks!

Here's a bit extra info:
7 months ago

Kelly Beck wrote:Very good stuff! I'm hoping to do some grey water use this year. The washer is a great place to start. I'm sorry if this was already discussed in the thread and I missed it, but when using cleansers appropriate for eventual garden use, I need more info.

Does anyone have experience or info?

Here are some of my thoughts. Please let me know if I'm off base. I have used baking soda with essential oils for laundry in the past. I want to do this again. I'm also learning to make natural lye soap, but I haven't researched if its safe for the garden yet.

Also, how about grey water storage WITHOUT aeration? Would laundry water be nasty after awhile? Hmmmm....


Kelly B.


Yes, the "laundry to landscape" system is a great place to start. Very easy. As far as soaps, I don't know about the baking soda. I use a liquid detergent by ECOs that clearly states on the jug that it is greywater safe. Art Ludwig had a list of varying detergents that were good in one of his books and perhaps on his website too. I would check that out as he has or had a wealth of info there for free. Seems he even had a recipe for homemade stuff.

I'm not familiar with aeration but, can tell you from personal experience that greywater gets nasty smelling in a hurry. You want to get it on/in the ground as soon as you can so all those tiny creatures we can't see will deal with it.

On another note, not sure why the subject of crap and urine came up in this thread but for anyone that's apprehensive about its use...for anyone that cringes at the thought of it being called a "resource"... all I have to say is that the Humanure Handbook is a must read. Jenkins also has some good stuff on greywater in it and the philosophic aspect is excellent. In my humble opinion, it's one of the top books in the genre of eco, sustainable, etc living.
11 months ago
Had a few minutes and saw this forum so thought I'd make a quick post. Here's a pocket rocket fired sauna I made from salvaged materials. Have ~$100 in to it. Very happy with how it all performs and have enjoyed it immensely. The following is a copy & paste from the youtube video:  

"This sauna was built almost entirely from salvaged materials. The only things purchased new: Two stove pipe elbows, silicone, and some screws. It's an old grain hopper that was headed to the scrap yard. Its roof was missing so I turned it upside down and capped the auger hole with a domed skylight I made from plexiglass. Each cedar shake was tapered with a carving ax. Time consuming! The benches and walls are from a redwood deck and the ceiling is cedar and redwood fencing. The floor bears on 4" of locally harvested cinders for insulation. The stove is 4 pieces of scrap metal (no bottom- it sits on the cinders), the top being a disk from a farm disk I welded on concave side up... a built-in pot to melt snow for humidity and add essential oils to. There's a damper in the chimney but the stove has no moving parts. Starts super easy and burns hot and clean. The ring surrounding the stove and containing the rocks, is the middle third of a 50 gallon barrel."

11 months ago

Malcolm Thomas wrote:... seems like the more man invents the harder it is to clean it up.

And that's why, in my humble opinion, we as a society, should keep things simple rather than always look towards technology to build "new ways" to do things. I'm always leery of some new promise, some new invention, that's going to get us out of one pickle or another. I like what Albert Einstein said: “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

But I digress. I don't come here often these days due to having so many irons in the fire but...I always enjoy it when I do get here. Great links and thoughts. Thanks, everyone.
1 year ago

Linda Sefcik wrote:IMO --
spilling "grey water" directly and repeatedly around a living area is less than hygienic.

Could possibly be, I suppose... if left to run out in the open on the same area without ever moving. However, if stationary, and the grey water goes to a sub-mulch basin, like Ludwig and others often speak of, the grey water is all covered... or, underground.

I use both types...but the above ground version is via two hoses which get moved around frequently. In other words, nothing builds up...and all the little micro-organisms take care of things... presumably (according to Ludwig, there's not a single documented case of an illness due to grey water). On my sub-mulch basin, I open it up to inspect on occasion... and it can smell fairly bad. But covered, I never notice and it's not something exposed and being spread about by vermin, stepped in, or otherwise in contact with me or anyone or anything else.
1 year ago

Eric Rich wrote:My cooperative house based in Salt Lake City is looking to build a greenhouse on my land.  We decided on using a Chinese design for the exterior, with a climate battery, but I keep wondering, there's all these different schools of thought, why not merge the elements that make the most sense from each?  I like the idea of a pit greenhouse especially in our residential neighborhood, so we can grow tall plants without having such a high structure.  I love climate batteries, and geothermal and really want to incorporate them both.  I've poked around the internet for a hybrid greenhouse that uses both geothermal and a climate battery, but cannot find any that have adopted both means of heating.  Is there such a thing?  If not, why doesn't it exist?

Thanks for any and all help.

Around here (just north of you, in Idaho), the term geothermal is typically used to describe a means in which to heat floors with hot water. Is that what you are referring to as well?

That said, I have wondered the same thing... using a pit greenhouse with climate battery tech. It might be a good combo in some areas/contexts. Wouldn't be workable with a high water table though, obviously. Excavation isn't cheap either... but, if you had a friend with a backhoe...

I'd build a climate battery greenhouse in a heartbeat if I had room for one. Attended a workshop a few yrs ago and was sold on them. Was picking figs and eating them during breaks taken while pruning a banana tree. At 7,000'! Can't wait to get some property to build my own!

1 year ago
Thanks for the additional info, Jocelyn!
Well, here it is, shortly after building. It's on its third winter now. The hole in my first flush proved to be a touch big, allowing water to leak out faster than a drizzling rain could overcome. Because of this, I've just left the valve closed so as to completely bypass the washer until I have time to dial it in.

I'm very pleased with the system otherwise. Works really well and the cistern fills quicker than I thought it would. This spring, I'll be running the overflow downhill to a wood-fired hot tub I made.... then extend the roofing on the harvester to collect even more water, to help flush the hot tub.

1 year ago