M. Tok

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since Mar 10, 2017
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Recent posts by M. Tok

Thank you for your reply. Actually I was thinking to use the upfront swales for inlet and as spillway too.
9 months ago
I am at the stage of implementing the first steps to a homestead. The land I am working on is 4 acres. And It is sloped both to south and west.

Tehere is no steady water source so I need to harvest rainwater and make ponds for irrigation and other purposes. The ponds will serve as a water storage system and also I want the land to be a recreational space for the residents.

To the west there is are gullies and a small winter creek (more like a ditch size). I rely on the winter ditches because it has streaming water in the winter. And they bring water from upper parts of the terrain, forest areas. I am at stage of beginning the waterworks, ponds and swales. I plan to locate a pond as high as possible with regards to winter runoffs and ditches. The ponds will be about 4-5  meters deep because there are 3-4 months without rain.

The scale of the map is meters and the topographic lines show 1 meter elevations. I plan to set up swales upfront to use as an inlet and retention.

I want suggestions from the experienced people here about my concerns:

The scale of the map is meters and the topographic lines show 1 meter elevations. I plan to set up swales upfront to use as an inlet and retention.

1. I plan the upper pond as a standalone pond. Some neighbour suggest to use the road as a dam structure for the upper pond. Any thoughts?

2. The lower pond will serve multiple functions. Water storage to fish production to scenery. I have two options for the lower pond. I will decide according to the optimum distance from the living space. I want to pond to be as near as possible without causing any problems. Do you have any suggestions?

3. Do you suggest more shallow ponds around?

9 months ago
Hi Kelly, thank you very much as I have already learned so much from your blogs. And some questions just pop up every day.  

I would like to learn about eaves and loft in a dome structure.
During putting the joists for the loft, is it possible to use very long joists so that the outer parts are used for eaves?
1 year ago

Kelly Hart wrote: I once worked on an earthbag residence in Mexico that was designed with raised beds adjacent to the exterior walls and you can read more about this project at http://earthbagbuilding.com/projects/pvmodel.htm

If a good moisture barrier is provided between the wall and the planter bed, and the foundation of the house is designed to escort water away from the foundation (as a rubble trench and French drain do), then all should be fine. One of the beauties of earthbag building is that it is not seriously vulnerable to dampness.

Thank you Kelly.
That's it then. Already applied and tested:)
1 year ago

I am designing an earthbag structure. and I came upon an idea of berming the house with earthbag raised beds against the house...
It looks very promising at first but I am concerned about the moisture and drainage problems due to watering the beds.
Did anybody try such a design and how can we drain the bedsides so that the walls and foundation is not harmed and the plants get water? Any suggestions...
1 year ago

Chris Kott wrote:I don't know how fire retardant borax is, though I have heard it mentioned. I would still seal cardboard or other flammables up in a natural plaster wall, away from oxygen.

Hi Chris,

I am sure that if you google borax and fire retardant you can find that borax indeed is a fire retardant. That's how cellulose insulation- basically paper- is used as an insulation material. And I thought you knew this because you treated logs with borax and so you have done it already.

Anyway, these are some links, but you can find more scientific ones too:
1 year ago

Rez Zircon wrote:
I knew a technically-homeless guy who lived in a cardboard house he'd built from appliance boxes. It had two full-height rooms and running water, and was stable enough to be reasonably weatherproof. Quite impressive. Also, corrugated cardboard is a terrific insulator.

Hi Zircon,

Can you remember any details how it was possible to build with cardboard.
1 year ago

I am happy that this topic has past beyond my initial scope for good. I benefit from the suggestions. Because I am at the permaculture design stage and trying to plan for a community which I hope my project will gradually evolve into.

And as to the permit issue. I am a citizen of Turkey. The problem can be solved but needs time: There is no official road to the field although there is an informal one. And I have to go to court and formalize it first. This is the legal triviality of my country.  

Whatever the reason or whatever I do (I will probably erect a tent first and build an earthen building this summer. I, myself, can use earthbag and rammed earth techniques. Need help for wooden structures.)

I am trying to figure out if underground / semi-underground earthen structures are possible in my situation. The land has a %5 slope ( 5 unit elevation in 100 units horizontal length). So if possible earth-bermed house is a real possibility. But in order to do it, I need to dig a rubble trench-french drain to the outer perimeter because the soil has a very high water table seasonally during and after rains in the winter. So somehow and earth bermed earthen structure opening to a greenhouse might be an option if I can figure out the thermal comfort issues.

So I find Ziemianski's and Tobias Ber's and rowan eisner's suggestions are similar. And especially the thermal comfort of the "life-bubble" is encouraging because there are many counter thoughts.

So Let's say that at some point I want to built a house and an attached greenhouse. And I think it is a good option for solar performance. Do you think the moisture and thermal comfort issues associated with greenhouse still exist in such a design? I would like to think about this issue.

And borax-treated cardboard and a house made of cardboard are interesting. The potential flammability was discussed. So, from what I have read I think that the borax treatment is made to achieve fire proof or let's say fire retardant quality. And that is the case for cellulose insulation. Am I wrong.

1 year ago

Phil Stevens wrote: I'll chuck it into one of the stock troughs for safekeeping. I fished a head length out the other day to check on it and it looks exactly like it did when it went in...and that was at least two years ago.

Hi Phil,
Sorry perhaps english is not adequate. What is 'stock trough'... More importantly do you mean that you submerge the wood into water?
1 year ago
I am Just asking. Forget about the borax.  The real question is submerging the logs in a Man made pond.
1 year ago