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Daron Williams

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since Oct 08, 2016
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bike books forest garden fungi homestead hugelkultur kids trees
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From a young age growing up in arid Eastern Washington Daron learned the importance of protecting our rivers and watersheds. This was later enforced while working to restore water systems in England, and studying climate change in the Fiji Islands. Daron has worked to protect the waters of the Pacific Northwest through jobs with several non-profits, the US Geological Survey and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.
Through this hands-on field experience and with degrees in water resources, political science and a master’s in environmental studies, Daron understands the challenge of protecting our region's natural habitats – Daron is meeting these challenges head on through his current role as the Restoration and Public Access Manager for a local Land Trust.
Daron was also brought up with a passion for growing his own food. Throughout his youth, his family grew approximately half of the vegetables they consumed in the backyard of a suburban home. Given this background in water and gardening, it was no surprise that permaculture and other ecological based methods for growing food would appeal to Daron.
Now that Daron and his wife have purchased land with a small house, Daron hopes to be able to apply what he has learned over the years to create a demonstration ecological based garden/farm system to provide for his family and to share with others what works and what does not.
Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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Recent posts by Daron Williams

Hello all,

I'm a novice when it comes to rocket ovens but I would like to build the one that is shown in Paul's rocket oven documentary sometime in the future. The dvd is great but I'm having a bit of trouble with the j-tube.

First, am I getting the basic vocabulary correct? Is it called a j-tube? Is it a batch box too? What exactly does that refer to and what is the alternative?

Also, is the base called the burn tunnel and then the part going up called a heat riser?

My understanding is that it can be built to different dimensions. I have seen threads talking about 4", 6" and 8". What exactly is being measured for those? Is it the open part on the inside?

Say you go with a 6" system. How does that affect the dimensions of the rest of the system? Is there a certain minimum height for the heat riser? How about a maximum height?

As far as building the j-tube. I have seen a couple different versions. Some seem portable and some do not. One looked like it used duraboard on the inside and then some sort of bricks on the outside of the duraboard. Do those bricks have to be fire bricks? Or would regular masonry bricks work?

Are there any basic schematics available for free online anywhere? Even hand drawn would help a lot for me to understand exactly how it is all built. Also, if there are any good YouTube videos that show the construction of a j-tube that is similar to the one used in the documentary that would be helpful too.

Really appreciate any help you all can give with this.
2 weeks ago
Sounds like you are talking about creating a cooperative as opposed to a traditional business. I would recommend finding a few other people to start the business with using the cooperative model. That would also let you all pool your resources.

Even in a cooperative pay is different at different levels. But one person can not dictate what the difference is. This could result in a more fair distribution of the profits that still takes into account the different skill level required for each position and the value added to the business by each position.

Though often in cooperatives individuals are still given the ability to make decisions based on their position without taking a vote. But if they do a bad job than there are options for the other members of the cooperative to make changes. So if an executive gives themselves and the other executive staff a big bonus the rest of the employees have recourse if the bonus is seen as unfair.

Just another way to run a business and can be done in a very fair and effective way. Can also be done poorly but the same can easily be said for traditional business.
2 months ago
I know in general that trees and other plants improve air quality. In this sort of situation with bad forest fire smoke would having healthy trees on your property help? Just wondering how much better say a food forest could make air when it is already so bad...

Air quality down here in Olympia really sucks right now. We are rated at very unhealthy right below the worst rating of hazardous. Same thing happened last year though this year is even worse...
2 months ago
Just over a day left in this giveaway - if you have not entered make sure you don't miss out!
2 months ago
Do you want to grow more food?

Growing food for you and your family is a core part of the homesteading life. But sometimes it is hard to know where to start. You have this land but where do you start?

I know for my own land it can feel overwhelming – should I get chickens, or should I focus on creating an abundant garden? Or is there something else I should do first?

Learning from other homesteaders who are further along in this journey has always helped me make better choices for my homestead.

I watch Justin Rhoads vlog most days and have learned a lot from his videos. Especially, from his DVD’s: Permaculture Chickens and The Great American Farm Tour.



To celebrate the end of Justin Rhoad’s 100 Days of Growing Food Challenge and his YouTube channel recently reaching 300k subscribers Justin is giving away 10 Packets of Food Growing Know How to 10 lucky winners.

Do You Want to Grow More Food? Click to Enter the Giveaway

So, what is in these packets?

  • 1-year access to Justin Rhoad’s DIY Abundance Community ($179). This will give you access to an ever growing How to Library of videos and access to an exclusive Facebook forum. Plus, you will have direct access to Justin when you need help with your homestead.


  • The Premium addition of Justin Rhoad’s Permaculture Chickens DVD ($139). Learn everything you need to know for raising chickens from hatching to plate.


  • The Premium addition of Justin Rhoad’s The Great American Farm Tour DVD ($159). Be inspired by farms from across the country. Seeing what others are doing on their farms and homestead will inspire you to do more than you ever thought possible.


  • With just over 2 days left on Justin’s giveaway don’t miss your chance to win one of these 10 packets!

    Do You Want to Grow More Food? Click to Enter the Giveaway
    2 months ago
    Wordpress is the dominate blogging service if you want full control over your site and have a standalone site. But you might also check out https://medium.com or https://steemit.com if you are less worried about having your own standalone site.
    2 months ago
    Does a swale slow the movement of groundwater by creating an area that is more saturated than the surrounding area? I think it does and here is my reasoning.

    The water holding capacity of soil is determined by the amount of space between all the individual particles. This space also determines the rate of flow through the soil.

    A swale is essentially a void space which would hold more water than soil taking up the same volume. It would also take less energy for the groundwater to fill the void space of the swale than to fill the space between the soil particles.

    My thought is that this would slow the flow of groundwater and essentially create a "traffic jam" backing up groundwater behind the swale and slowing the overall flow uphill of the swale.

    Downhill of the swale the rate of flow should return to essentially normal which would be why a series of swales would be more effective than just one. Even if the amount of surface water is fairly minimal after the first.

    My main point is that I think this reduction of the flow rate of the groundwater is a benefit of a swale in addition to its ability to intercept surface flow.

    In not trying to argue against the underground dam idea - I think it is a great tool to add to the toolbox. I just think swales are doing more than was described above.
    2 months ago
    For my own business I'm going to try using Steemit which is a blockchain based social media site with it's own cryptocurrency called steem. Nice thing is there is no energy intensive currency mining with it. It is all based around people creating content and the community liking individual posts which then gives each creator a portion of the cryptocurrency created. You can cash out for US dollars.

    It is small at the moment but seems to be getting traction. It is decentralized and does not seem to have the negative issues commonly associated with cryptocurrency. The site would work well for blogs, vlogs, and anyone creating digital content on a regular basis.
    I have had luck with https://nextdoor.com for local stuff. People in my area are fairly active and it has been a good way for me to find free stuff from people in my area.
    Chop and drop is a common technique used in food forests to build the organic material content of the soil. Could just go through and chop and drop before harvesting or just don't worry about stepping on the plants and treat that as a rough chop and drop.
    2 months ago