Dina Herrington

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since Dec 10, 2016
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Recent posts by Dina Herrington

Hi, Kelli!
I  live in Bisbee,  AZ we have 66 acres with 2 large washes in th high desert.
We get tons of rain and wild mushrooms grow freely here .we bought our property sight unseen and we're thrilled to find a tiny Orchard when we got here.
We have about 25 pear trees, 13 eucalyptus, one sad little pomegranate that we're trying to save, 2 peach trees, 2 Chinaberry trees, and an Elderberry tree.
We would love to have you come visit and do a walkabout. We're trying to bring things back with natural water collection and directing the water with rocks and trenching.
I don't always get my permies messages so, you can reach me at my email DHerrington2001@gmail.com or my phone 706-308-3532. We live on the border so texting sometimes works better than an actual call because cell phone towers in Mexico sometimes interfere.
Good luck on your project and I look forward to hearing from you.
3 months ago
Great idea.  How did the project go?

William Lindberg wrote:I don't have enough money to buy a new house and never will!

I do have a small shack of a home near my parents house on their land.  I'm wondering if I can build on to this house using earthbag and cob.  (I do have their permission)  I'm concerned about where the addition will join the existing structure. My thoughts on this venture range from build around the house to take advantage of earth building insulation or just build near with a "breeze way" type of connection one room at a time until an independent structure is complete and tear down the existing structure.  The problem with the current structure is that it was poorly built and is now quite old.  It is also much to small for my large family.  I'd love to hear some thoughts and advice on this idea.  

My thoughts on construction are to use Raschel Bag tube if I can find any and cover it with cob and finally plaster.  Obviously I need a good rock foundation to prevent wicking and a good overhanging roof to keep the water off the extirior of the building.  I simply must have a rocket mass heater in the house somewhere.  I hope to learn more about living self sufficiently and smart use of the land and resources.

My basic plan is to first build a folly for practice using the same techniques I plan for the house or addition.  This will give me a chance to make some mistakes and learn.  I plan to have it done before winter and see how it weathers.  Assuming I suceed with the smaller structure I'll go on to build some addition or adjacent structure next summer.

I live in rual Eastern Kentucky and I'd love to hear that there are some permies out hear! I love what you guys are doing.  I plan to join the movement.  I wish you all Peace and Love.

5 months ago
We have a similar dilemma, we have 66 acres in the High Desert Mountains in SouthEastern Arizona in an old mining town. Our well water tested for 30 PPB arsenic and high in sulfates. It;s an old ranch that has been abandoned for several years.

We plan to harvest mesquite beans, but not sure if they will be safe. We also have a small orchard (40 trees) and have no idea how to remediat appropriately or in a meaningful and cost effective way.

We want to start
1-put an RO filter on our well for irrigation BUT it is expensive and wont address the soil

2-concentrating mycelium in certain areas - we have rains during monsoon season then it gets pretty dry with the occasional snow or rain. How do we maintain enough moisture for the mycelium? how do we dispose of the fruit if we can get it to work?

3- plant in raised bed planters watered with collected water - this is probably the fastest and cheapest option for growing edibles

4-Letting cattle graze our grasses and drop magical pies  

5- plant non invasive species that will help filter the water and clean the soil.  Cottonwoods grow in Northern AZ, not many down here, not sure why. Pallo verde don't seem to fare well at such high altitude (we are over a mile high) Mesquite thrives here and will grow quite tall if they get enough water.

The area we live in used to be a forrest. It was clear cut to feed the smelters for the mines. What is left is desert and new growth mesquite. The ones that are irrigated are quite large. We also have about 15 Eucalyptus , several juniper, cypress and pine trees on an irrigation system.
The arsenic may have been concentrated due to all the agriculture and mining, my thought was to add more trees and vegetation ( and maybe compost piles?) to the area, irrigate them and create water harvesting basins around them  with the thought that the vegetation would act as a sponge to hold water on the land and decrease the concentration of arsenic.

regarding the sulfates - im clueless.

Thanks, Dina, TJ and Jami
1 year ago
Loved the video and am most interested in a book

Gld you are covering heating costs in the book, are you addressing COOLING COSTS? We live in the high desert mountains in SouthEastern AZ and have seen more extreme highs and lows in temps over the last few years - where it used to be reasonably mild. I expect many are seeing the same and cooling is rapidly becoming and issue as much as heating.

I would market by introducing the Energy cost savings for heating (and cooling if it applies).

Good luck, Cant wait to see the finished product!
1 year ago
Sorry if this looks strange I'm doing on a crappy old andoid phone.

1) is it critical to do the second burn if you are adding to cob or Adobe

2) is it critical to do a second burn to create a breathiable "lime pkaster" from Ash.

I live in the very dry desert and don't have the means to do a second burn safely, even in winter

3( Can you do a second burn without making it into balls

Thanks for reviving this post! I have lots of Ash and my husband thinks in hoarding. I need to have a plan or it's going into the compost.

quote=Spencer Miles]The reason that Prim re-fired was to calcine the calcium in the ash... no pun (not really)

The decanting that he did floated away the LOI (loss on ignition - unburned charcoal).

His video is a little misleading - and this thread has some issues related to it.

Generally (GENERALLY!!) Wood Ash is primarily Calcium and Silicon (with metals - primarily Aluminum) and that is mostly (MOSTLY!!!) the same as Portland Cement.

Wood Ash in general is chemically identical (IN GENERAL!) to Ordinary Portland Cement.


Why doesn't your fire-pit turn to a cement block? Metastable Crystalline Structure!!

When OPC clinker comes out of the kiln, it has to be rapidly cooled, or the crystals in it grow into more stable forms and combine with humidity to create expensive, sterile, and caustic sand/gravel/dust - ash.
Wood fires cool slowly, so the ash becomes hydrated and stabilized.

Prim's video shows first the fire to make the ash - this is incidental to the process, the first fire doesn't mean much and may as well have been a cooking fire.

The second fire is the key. Before the second fire, he "purifies" the ash by decanting the LOI - this is good. In the second fire, the ash balls that he made glow - this is calcination that drives the CO2 out of what is essentially limestone in the ash (that is produced by the slow cooling - limestone is already carbonated via a chain reaction from hydration to carbonation)

Something missing in his video is that the inner part of the ash-ball is insulated from the air/humidity, so it cools slower than the skin of the ball, and is not converted to a non-reactive (useless) form of Calcium.

Then he adds fired clay dust. Clay is alumino-silicate goodies, and the firing process creates a meta-crystal. Vis Metakaolin as opposed to kaolin. Metastable clay is a Pozzolan... much argument and many Romans....

The most important part here is the RAPID cooling of the ash (again, after it has been made - the first fire is not part of the cement process, all it does is make ash...) Prim did it via a ball of ash, and dropping it in water.

The use of naturally cooled wood-ash in concrete or plaster or mortar adds a little bit of reactive lime (calcium) to the mix - but it is mostly a super-fine filler and to a lesser extent an added Pozzolan (again, Concrete Chem is a field of many dangers!!)

Just mixing Wood Ash into Portland is certainly good - but to replace Portland all together with wood ash requires that the ash be heated to red-glow, then cooled as rapidly as possible. This actually makes it INTO Portland Cement, just with a dirty and uncontrolled recipe.

My plan (and why I'm back here again after a few months of research, experimentation, failure, and re-thought) is to make a diy rotary kiln. Seriously. Get the ash super-hot, then blow huge amounts of air over it without creating a dust-cloud of doom. My mountain has a severe lack of limestone, and my wallet has a severe lack of portland cement
1 year ago
Is it too late to get in on the group purchase? My only concern would be shipping to AZ
2 years ago