Laura Hans

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since May 06, 2020
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Recent posts by Laura Hans

Off grid so not online much.  Yes. CO = Colorado STD = Standard.   I should also add the interior walls are drywalled with a vapor barrior paint mixed with a heat sink additive.  Little thermal mass beads of a material whose name escapes me right now.
2 weeks ago
Our experience in CO with a 10' × 14' room we added, 2×4 frame on a deck set on piers.  STD paperbacked fiberglass insulation in walls, 1,5 inch foam board and 1/2 inch chip board under floor, pad and rug inside.  STD roof insulation. Only air leak e as a light fixture which was not caulked.  Even doing all that, nothing could keep it warm until we closed in the "crawl space".  Used left over galvenized roofing bermed with dirt.  Mainly heat migrates from the main house.  But, a coil of black 4 inch irrigation piping on a south exposure exhausts into that space underneath. We screened the ends.
Seems heating the underside helps the most.

3 weeks ago
I have grown lovage for about 20 years in the high and dry of the the front range of CO.  It seems to prefer soil more on the clay side.   I have better luck
starting from seed than trying to transplant.  You need a large root ball to get it to transplant.  My best growers are usually against a privacy fence or house.
Don't know if that is due to the shelter from the wind but that is now where I put them.  They will spread.  They seem to companion well with my rhubarb.

I also keep honey bees and have noted that they attract wasps and native bees, so my honey bees avoid them.  I don't plant them near my hives, or put my
hives close to my lovage patches.

The celery flavor is much stronger than regular celery.  I dry the large leaves and use them like a bay leaf.   My husband will chew the stalk but it is too
much for my palate.  The seed I use like fennel seed, or celery seed.

The dried stalks are hollow and if bundled, make great native bee habitat.

We live in the high desert area of the southern rockies.  Our "soil" is mostly sand.  Blue grama grass grows naturally here and is highly valuable as open
range forage. It is low bunch grass of a light minty turquiose color so not quite what midwesterners consider a lawn.  The spring seed heads are quite showy.
You may also want to first plant with some green manure cover crops like clover, and buckwheat, native wild flowers,  let them amend the soil then seed in the
with the lawn,.  

6 months ago
Good morning Dr. Leo,

We built the de Layens hive per your free online plans, then ordered unassembled frames from you.  Thank you. The bees are installed and doing well.  We also built a horizontal Langstroph hive using
similar concept.  We repurposed some hollow core closet doors filled with paper shards.  We installed a package of bees in it as well to run a comparison.  Both seem to be doing well.  The two hives
we installed from nucs last year in standard Langstroph hives, barely survived the winter and are struggling.  It will be an interesting experimental season for us here in the foot hills of the southern Rockies.
We also ran a package of bees in a Warre hive last year.  They did not survive the winter.  They left 8 pounds of honey in the hive, so did not starve.  I believe they either froze or smothered.  There were 40 degree
diurnal swings which confused them as well.

6 months ago

I also use kitchenware, but mostly in container garden.
6 months ago
Love the Russian flat-cutter concept.    My other favorites would be Hori-Hori, the Japanese serrated sickle and the Korean hand hoe.
I tried to post pictures but am not that savvy.
6 months ago
Here is the information and thought process. n

My deep well is high in hydrogen sulfide.  All other potability tests indicate safe to drink.
It has a solar powered pump.  Lots of unused power available when pump is not running.
Fuel cells combine Hydrogen and Oxygen to produce electricity, heat and water.

Those are all valid needs in an off grid homestead.
My greatest need is good drinking water.

How do I create a closed loop system which would utilize the hydrogen sulfide water to make
fuel to make clean water.  

6 months ago