James Smartt

+ Follow
since Feb 14, 2016
James likes ...
books chicken duck
Ford, WA
Apples and Likes
Apples
Total received
2
In last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Likes
Total received
17
Received in last 30 days
0
Total given
15
Given in last 30 days
0
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by James Smartt

Growing up in the San Antonio area of Texas it was generally considered a bad practice to use large amounts of Live Oak in your compost.  That being said all I have is 'old wives tails' that basically indicated the the Live Oak leaves were to acid (Tannic?) to be a good compost and that your compost should only contain at most 1/4 to 1/3 Live Oak leaves.  But like I said it is just 'old wivws tail' stuff and I never investigated it just adhered to 'common' knowledge.

2 years ago
BTW I envy your issue with excess water, I would love to have to decide how to dispose of standing water.  

Also I have flagged your post for more attention in hopes of getting you more 'professional' or knowledgeable input on your situation.
2 years ago
What I envision you building is essentially a retaining wall on the downslope to your building, please correct me if I am wrong.  

Now I am far from either a concrete or water hydraulics expert, but I would imagine the water setting on the outside of the wall would eventually permeate/penetrate the concrete.  If I was going to attempt something like this I would excavate down to the slab level everywhere I was going to apply concrete, I would drill/jack hammer down into the slab to secure my concrete, and pour at least a foot of pure concrete at that level before stacking my rocks.  I would also line the created wall and at least several feet up hill of it with some sort of impermeable barrier and put a 'french' drain of some sort at the base to direct standing water from the 'wall' to lower areas.  Otherwise you are going to end up with something very similar to the problems with basements in the wetter areas, where the water eventually forces it's way through the concrete and seeps through the other side.

If I am incorrect on this issue I bow to those that know much more about concrete and water hydraulics than I, but this would be my first guess at the issues that you could expect.
2 years ago
Firstly you need to make sure you have mites, not bed bugs or some other critter.

https://www.healthtap.com/user_questions/746233

this... http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/pcmites.htm

indicates that extensive vacuuming, low humidity and abrasive dust (DE) could all be effective in getting rid of mites if you determine that is what you have.

2 years ago
Both the Devons and the Dexters as I understand have fairly even tempered bulls (if raised correctly).  Bulls are like any other male livestock, they are only beneficial to have on hand if their breeding can offset the costs to maintain them.  We plan to have a minimum of 3 heifers before we attempt to keep a bull on the premises full time.  So the plan would be to either artificially inseminate or rent-a-bull  in the meantime.  That being said we ended up going just the opposite direction with our pigs, as we got a good deal on a Large Black boar piglet that we could not refuse, so we will now be adding an additional Sow each year until we have 3 or 4.
2 years ago
That does make things quite a bit more interesting...  Is it possible to collect the water uphill before it gets to the slab rock?  Possibly something like a drainage ditch  in the hillside with deep dry wells at each end, would not catch all the water, but should certainly cut back on what comes down the hill into the front of the house.  I would also divert all roof water to some other location, and possibly install some sort of sump pump in a lower spot (maybe make a 'true' sump, by burying a barrel with holes drilled in the sides) in the front yard to pump excess water away.

Desiree Fleck wrote:We have thought of and attempted to trench the perimeter of the building. The problem is that we are sitting on limestone slab rock, and it's relatively impossible to dig in. We have used a pick axe to make some trenching in the past, but osmeone pointed out that we might ruin the whole foundation of the house because the concrete sits on the slab rock and if it cracks, the whole foundation could ruin. Not sure how to move forward with trenching.

2 years ago
Quite a nice find there, wish I was closer
2 years ago
You are going to have to get the water under control before you do anything else, I would do some research into French drains, as it sounds like they would be suitable to your issues. Essentially what you are going to do is dig a trench on three sides of the building and fill them with rocks, so they create an underground drainage system that can flow the water from the hill around your structure. The Straight lines in the diagram represent the French drain...

    ^^^Hill^^^
     
   ___________
  | .................. |
  | .....House.... |
  | .................. |

EDIT ... Oh well the ascii art doesn't work well here but you should get the idea
2 years ago
I too like the Dexters, they can also be used a a triple purpose breed as they are still used in some capacities as an Ox.  When we get ready to bring cattle in we are leaning towards the Devon, also a triple purpose breed, larger than the Dexters, but generally a calm and easy to work with breed (characteristics often found in triple purpose breeds).
2 years ago
I don't know that there is a 'standard', but higher voltages ( 24 and 48 ) are more popular in full blown solar systems, but it is unlikely that designing this particular piece for higher voltages would be cost efficient. And, it is relatively easy to get 12 volts out of a higher voltage system, so it would still work even if you later decided to install a full blown solar system at a higher voltage.

R Ranson wrote:Getting back to the system itself.  What volt system is standard in a home solar set up?  Is it still 12 volts?  Since I might want to integrate this into a larger set up later on, I think I should keep it all the same voltage.  Or does that not matter so much?

2 years ago