Philippe Elskens

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since Feb 04, 2016
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Recent posts by Philippe Elskens

Connor Ireland wrote:For a time I heard a lot of talk about big manure waterproofing the bottom of a pond. Supposedly that bacterial activity creates an anaerobic slime that becomes impermiable. They were calling it 'gley' I think.

THREE SCENARIOS:

I fence in an enclosure and throw cracked corn and water into it. The pigs tread and root at their own pace and I toss in straw. Then I shovel it out and bring it to the site.

I fence in a circle with a steel post (rebar or rock bar) driven into the center. I use two lengths of straight fencing, attached to the post, to restrict the pigs to one half or quarter of the circular enclosure, while I shovel out the other side. This arrangement would work like the hands of a clock, I use cracked corn as the incentive in this model, just like the first.

I have also been thinking of using tethering collars, or a harness (http://www.pigs4ever.com/pot_bellied_pig_products/harnesses_and_leads.php) arrangement to get two pigs to pull a disc or harrow (http://brinly.com/DD_55BH.html). I would drive a stake into the ground in the center of a circle and hook one end of the disc to that stake, so now the harrow move like the hand of a clock. I will use corn as bait, or a stick, to get these pigs to walk forward in a circle, constantly walking with them, constantly tossing corn, constantly whacking their butts with a stick.

OBVIOUSLY these are in the order of their mud-mixing power, and keeping the blend even. They are in reverse order of realistic-ness, since I have never heard of pigs used as draft animals. My neighbiors say it can't be done, well I intend to get pigs in a month or two anyway. What do you think, Jim?



I was just thinking about this idea and came across this post. Did you ever try it? How did it work out? As in practicality, and quality of the cob?
1 year ago
cob

thomas rubino wrote:Hi Philippe; Welcome to Permies!
To answer your question,  4" is the average layer of insulating cob under a mass.
Normally, to mix cob to be insulated, you would want to add cut pieces of straw / hay / horse poop to mix with your cob.  
Generally perlite is not used under the mass.   Straw is much cheaper than perlite.  No reason you can't though.

Using bricks and cement board to elevate your mass off of the floor is also a common practice.



Thanks for your reply, Thomas!
Hmm, so basically just cob, but with more straw? How much straw? I would assume that this doesn't insulate that well... am I wrong?
1 year ago
About to build a 19cm diameter Peterberg batchbox rocket mass heater with a large U-shaped cob bench in a tipi. Since a tipi has no insulation, I want to store the heat as efficiently as possible in the bench by insulating the bottom and back with a perlite-clay slip mix. How thick should I make this layer?
1 year ago

Joana Soares wrote:

Philippe Elskens wrote:Looks great!
We are starting a similar project (2 ha food forest) close to Lisbon soon.

Which cover crops would you recommend?



Where around Lisbon?
I just fell in love with trees and we are buying 5ha of land at Arruda dos Vinhos where I plan to plant a lot of them.
Still finding my way around all of this.



We are just a couple of minutes away then! I've sent you a PM
1 year ago

Dustin Rhodes wrote:Earthen floors are extremely low cost, can be kept from getting moist, and are not dirty(ie, not prone to have loose dirt particles detach and become free dirt), if they are made correctly.

I can't post a link right now, but searching this site for "Earthen Floor" will reveal multiple threads detail how-to, and why it's a good alternative.


That being said, I think wood floors are great, and my they would be my choice as well



Hadn't even thought of an earthen floor (although that is our plan in the permanent structures)!
So just install on top of a plastic barrier for moist?
1 year ago

Dennis Mitchell wrote:

Philippe Elskens wrote:

Dennis Mitchell wrote:Why build for just a two year period. Just set it up and live in contact with the earth. It seems to be a waste of materials, and labor.



We'll set it up at the foot of a hill, so I suspect that after some rainfall the earth will be quite moist.
It seems to me that it would become extremely dirty very quickly, no? With a platform, we could leave our shoes at the entrance and keep everything relatively clean inside.
Also, we're planning on building modular. So first we live in the tipi while we build a small building (a bathroom for example). Then we build a kitchen/living area. Only then we build a bedroom. And even after that it's likely that the tipi will be used for something, maybe even a children's room. But I'm definitely planning on keeping all costs as low as possible.



I get by with a rug covered canvas, which also protects from water, but if you are reusing the flooring you will want a rudimentary foundation. Keep the wood separate from soil, masonry, or stone.
A cheap temporary construct would be to lay down pallets over plastic, then cover with 9/16’s osb, then cover with rug. Then you can reuse the osb, plastic, and pallets in another project.



Yes, osb on top of pallets was what I was thinking of! Hadn't even considered plastic underneath...
I'm hesitant to putting down rugs as we'll live with 2 big dogs, 2 cats and 2/3 people so those things will just gather dust!
1 year ago

Dennis Mitchell wrote:Why build for just a two year period. Just set it up and live in contact with the earth. It seems to be a waste of materials, and labor.



We'll set it up at the foot of a hill, so I suspect that after some rainfall the earth will be quite moist.
It seems to me that it would become extremely dirty very quickly, no? With a platform, we could leave our shoes at the entrance and keep everything relatively clean inside.
Also, we're planning on building modular. So first we live in the tipi while we build a small building (a bathroom for example). Then we build a kitchen/living area. Only then we build a bedroom. And even after that it's likely that the tipi will be used for something, maybe even a children's room. But I'm definitely planning on keeping all costs as low as possible.
1 year ago

thomas rubino wrote:Hi Philippe;
Yes I think the 18mm plywood is thick enough.  I would set the floor joists at 16" center as it is a small area. Or 24" would also work, although I would recommend you brace/strengthen the walking area's of your floor.

Putting an insulator down (even saw dust or wood chips ) will keep your feet warmer.

Are you bulding a Rocket mass Heater in your tipi ?  I know that I would...



Yes, we will build a Rocket mass heater. But we are in Lisbon, so I wasn't planning on putting down any insulation...
1 year ago
We've ordered a big (10m diameter) tipi that we will live in for 1-2 years. I want to build a wooden platform inside. Part of this platform will be pallets that we have left. For the rest, which plates should I use? MFD is cheaper, but less strong than plywood. Which thickness do I need? Is 18mm enough? How far apart should the floor joists be?
1 year ago

Dustin Rhodes wrote:Nice plan!

I don't see a house listed in the design - are you planning on commuting to your plot(or is it tucked under the trees in the picture)?

If so, you're going to want to beef up fencing and other protection measures, as you can't respond to animal(or human) pests in the heat-of-the-moment.



We're planning on building a house, right where the chicken coop is now. Getting planning permission is a huge challenge of itself, but we're hopeful
1 year ago