Kyle Noe

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since Jul 02, 2017
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fungi trees woodworking
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Missoula, Montana, United States
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Recent posts by Kyle Noe

Greg Martin wrote:I'm surprised by the lack of mention of biochar.  Biochar is as insulative as foam board insulation and there is no concern of it molding or rotting.  

Hey Greg, I'm sure the char would be a great insulator but I'd hate to see how it would perform during a house fire test...

Is ash insulative? I'm sure I've heard of ash being included in cob, mortar, etc.
5 months ago
BRK Post 142

Fred made use of boot labor today, so all of us went over to his plot and tended to the trees and growies there.

Grey and I moved some peeled logs and mulched the baby trees. It sounds easy but it entailed pushing wheelbarrows of mulch through brush.

Then later in the day I got to finish my dry stack wall at the greenhouse. It took a few more courses of rock and a bunch of buckets of gravel behind the wall. Josiah, Dez, and Grey all needed gravel and I needed more right away, so I fetched a truck load of gravel at the gravel pile. Then finished off the wall with the last course and dirt behind it.

Josiah had us start boring a hole through the Abby for the greywater pipe going to the greenhouse. We had time to poke through but didn’t have the pipe to test fit. So we switched to mulching on top of the greenhouse to finish the day.

Kind of a mish mash of a day.
BRK Post 141

This morning’s work had me doing battery maintenance on all of the batteries around the lab. Of course Nine, who had been doing battery maintenance, did such a good job I mostly wandered around looking at perfectly good batteries.

But luckily Josiah had some real work for me to do at the greenhouse.

He needs a retaining wall at the end of each wing wall to hold back any dirt wanting to come around the end.

So I made a good start on that, tomorrow should see it done.
BRK Post 140

It was gardening day today. And I planted peas again. I planted peas everywhere. Hundreds of peas.

It took the whole morning to plant all of them.

After lunch I worked with Grey to move the solarium forward. We each adjusted one of the long sill mortises to match with the other sills. They look good to me.

Then we cut one log down the center, each half is going to be used on either side of the garage door, flat against the wall. But they need tenons at the bottom. I started one tenon, they aren’t difficult to cut just time consuming to mark out correctly.

We wont get back to the solarium until Thursday, we have been cordially invited to join Josiah on some greenhouse work.
BRK Post 139

I woke up to pouring rain outside. The dirt roads on the lab actually got slippery, all of the hydrophobic dirt was saturated.

I helped Orin for a couple of hours putting his slip straw walls up. I got a little better at mixing the staw and clay together but it is still a slow process.

Later in the afternoon I went back to my biochar, raked it up, and crushed it into smaller bits. It took quite awhile, I'd love to know a better way to crush it.
Thanks Greg.

I found a bunch of wood that wasn't burned at the bottom of the pit. I think next time I'll start with a smaller fire and add wood slower.
BRK Post 138

I took on a little project today. There are so many little bits of wood scrap left from the events. They aren't a great size for rocket heaters and I've been thinking of ways to use them up. So I took a bunch and turned them into biochar.

I followed some advice on using a pit fired method here:

Dug my pit in Arrakis, made a well ventilated stack of wood, and lit the pile to start the burn.

Grey helped me feed the fire until we went through about half the wood left in the shop. I had to tend the coals until the larger chunks were burned and brittle.

I could tell when they were done in two ways.

They broke apart when poked and the fire they put off changed, less orange and the coal itself glowed more.

During the end of the burn, the hot coals sounded like tinkling glass.

I wet the pile down as pieces finished and soaked it at the end. I'm going to rake it up tomorrow and use it in our Ruth Stout composting.
Hey Mike. I didn't know anything about that. I will inquire. I'll try it out, any reason to use some old tools.
BRK Post 137

Summary of the morning: Watering, chopping grass, composting, cleaning up the classroom.

Onto the good stuff.

For the afternoon, Grey and I got the sill notches squared and planed. Then the mortise through the center chiseled out. It is much to talk about but doing it gave me a good idea of how precise the cuts need to be and how sharp my tools need to be. Spoiler, they need some care.

We just need to do a test fit and make sure everything fits.
BRK Post 136

I took it a little slower today. Spent time seeding a good portion of the primary gardening space with winter peas. They should improve the garden over winter. And I'm soaking some more peas to get them ready to plants

I observed lots of life in the gardens today, lots of mycelium threads in the mulch, ladybugs, beetles, a mushroom, squash flower, kittens wrestling. Everything is appreciating the daily watering.

Dez and Mags put out around 1500 gallons of water today, plus there is a rain storm predicted for tonight. I'm hoping for a late summer flush of growth.

Other than gardening, Grey and I finished getting the long sill to the right dimensions and roughed out the notches on each side. It took a lot of relief cuts, hatcheting, and chainsaw shaving. It's a 20 foot length piece, so every time we need to take the width down it takes a long time.

I'll get pictures of it tomorrow. We get to make peg holes through the ends and I'd like to document the process.