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Nancy Troutman

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since Jun 21, 2016
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Born and mostly raised in Arizona. Moved to the mountains of Maryland in Dec 1999.
I am not off-grid yet, but getting close. I have yet to solve food storage and computer needs. I use less that 100 gallons of water a week for everything, from laundry, hygiene and cooking.
I am always looking for ways to live closer to the earth.
Swanton, MD
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Recent posts by Nancy Troutman

Using wood chips could dramatically extend the time it will take for your compost to mature.  Reason is that it will take longer to decompose than other covers.   There is something more important to consider though.  What i would recommend is determining what soil improvement your particular soil needs, then use that as a cover.   Woodchips might very well be the best soil amendment for your situation.   However, if woodchips is not something that would improve your soil, I would use something else for a cover.  I use peat moss myself as a cover because it is a soil improvement for clay soil - which I have.   So using it as a cover means that I am getting 2 uses out of it rather than one use.  My soil is on the acid side, so wood chip mulch goes in the opposite direction of what my soil needs.




1 year ago
This video makes an argument for not trashing our poop/pee.

2 years ago
I use peat moss as my cover, and live alone.   I go just short of 2 weeks between emptying.

Oh.. and i have a pee bucket that drains into a grey water drain.   So that probably extends the time dramatically.
2 years ago
I wish I saw this technique last spring.   September is not the time of year to properly test it out.
2 years ago

Daniel Zimmermann wrote:While copper might work better in your area, part of what makes this work in the slums this is designed for is that there's no material in it worth salvaging.  Copper and aluminum are sellable for scrap,and it's not uncommon to see A/C units stolen for the metal parts (at least here in California).



Good point.   I think if you have the $$$ to do something else, there are better ways to cool.  However, if money is scarce, this is an almost free way of getting some relief from the heat.  The biggest disadvantage I see is bugs.   I am concerned a screen might block much if not all of the wind created by it.  It will take me some time to collect enough bottles as I am not a soda drinker, and neither are my friends.   However, at the very least I plan to use this in my chicken coop and barn windows.
2 years ago
Thank you for the picture Devaka Cooray.  Maybe use a solar pump to circulate the water?

The biggest problem with this setup is I rarely drink soda.   So getting sufficient bottles to try it out is proving difficult.

I am also wondering if the setup would work best on the sunny side of the building? 
2 years ago

Devaka Cooray wrote:
Hmm! How about this idea: maybe a bit more efficient version to this would be to have a highly conductive metal neck, attached to a thin copper pipe which carries water. Since copper and water have high levels of thermal conductivity, that would effectively absorb the heat accumulated at the metal neck of the bottle. Since the cooling power is proportional to the rate of heat loss, that would cool it down a bit quicker, I guess....



I am lost.   Could you draw a picture?
2 years ago
I cannot speak for Texas, but for Maryland this is what happened in 1999 when I moved here.   It was the health department that I had to deal with.  The residence had to comply with all modern health codes.  That meant septic, etc.   The explanation I was given was that they would not give me a residency permit on the property that did not meet code as, at a later date, i might want to use the regular toilet.  So a septic and drainage field was installed based on the number of bedrooms and baths.  

So basically, I had to comply with all modern code and hook-ups.   After it was installed, the health police doesn't patrol my restroom to verify I use it the modern wasteful way.

Hope this helps.
2 years ago
I am thinking to put it in open windows in the summer.   But it might be a way to ventilate an attic too.

Not sure what they used for the plastic but I am thinking to use a 1/4" plywood board.
2 years ago
Was discussing frogs with an e-friend into natural foods, and how they are a farmer's "canary" as to whether or not there are chemicals in the water.

I am wondering if those of you that switched to permie farming have noticed an increase of frogs near your farm?
2 years ago