Buster Parks

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since May 15, 2017
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chicken rabbit urban
Denver CO
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Recent posts by Buster Parks

Lots of great ideas here, especially the one to get as much as possible from other properties.  I'd add that since they are going to haul off whatever people don't want they might be willing to haul some of it to the front of your property and dump it there for you. I'd also be happy with large brush piles if they aren't going to chip it.  I would spread them out and cover as much ground as possible with them (at the back of your property).  Much better than bare soil, and my brush piles here typically have really nice soil underneath after a few seasons of breaking down.  Since you won't really want to plant too much on this right of way you might as well encourage healthy soil and a wild zone 5 area.
2 weeks ago
For two chickens I think an IBC tote could be upcycled with a minimum of purchased materials and modification.  I wanted to try this but it would a bit small for my flock.  I'd use the cage as the frame and raise the plastic box two or three feet within the frame to make a run area underneath. Cut an opening in the bottom with a short set of stairs for them to get up inside.  Replacing more of what is now the floor with chicken wire would keep manure from accumulating inside, letting it drop through to the ground instead.  The plastic body would need lots of ventilation cut in but roosts could simply be a few long branches pushed though holes cut in the plastic at different heights and angles.  A minimal amount of chicken wire down low would be needed since the metal frame they come in has large openings.  It would be heavy enough to need wheels, maybe from an old bike. Lots of other little improvements I can think of but hopefully you can picture it from this description.
1 month ago

thomas rubino wrote:Guys I'm sure it can be done but...  in that scenario you would want to build a batch box rmh over a J tube. AND it will be badly inefficient.
A rmh mass should be in the room with you to enjoy its warmth.  If you are trying to push / pull that hot air thru pipes to the house, the volume loss in line size ,plus the line loss of heat.. it would hardly be worth it. Super hot in your sauna and luke warm air coming in the house. Plus an hourly trip out to the rmh to refill it... really a lot of work for a luke warm return.

Now there is a style of wood burner, known as a Hasa. With a large firebox surrounded by mass with large insulated pipes underground coming indoors. Built away from the house it is designed to be burned for long period's at a time.  Uses fans to move the hot air. And insurance people are usually OK with them.

There are certainly losses to minimize, ohm's law doesn't sleep but I think it's an interesting enough idea to try and quantify the losses.  To start I modeled a few different ducts with and without insulation.  One way to keep losses low in the duct is to move the air through it quickly.  I have a 400 cfm, 150 watt, 6" blower and plugging that in at 150 CFM to account for some drag I could see a 5 degree F drop across a 15' length, 120 to 115  (used 0 deg outside temp).  That's with an inch of foam insulation.  I'm ok with that.  With no R value it would be a 20 deg drop, badly inefficient for sure.  Good call on the batch box over j tube, much easier to operate for an outdoor attempt.  I guess I'd use this sort of setup as much as possible with my existing furnace as a backup, maintain a low minimum temp overnight, etc.  I didn't model losses through the sauna shed since that's so simple and really comes down to the total surface area, temp delta inside/outside and how much insulation one wants to buy or source second hand.  I also agree that losing the warm mass indoors is a big one for the overall comfort a typical RMH provides.  I guess a second indoor mass could be added which shouldn't be a problem for insurance.  With proper planning one should be able to determine at least the amount of heat expected to be lost from the structure and duct before starting.  I believe it could be designed in a fashion that is far more efficient than an inside wood burning stove since we start out so far ahead with the rocket heater efficiency.  To be fair we'd need to add the blowers draw of 115 watts to this designs losses, though that's only when running.  I'm not sure that badly inefficient is a given, just somewhat less efficient depending on design.  I appreciate your ideas and hope you'll mention other problems with this sort of setup.

Ram , I'll send a PM
2 months ago

thomas rubino wrote:Hi Ram;
When your dealing with uninformed insurance people it can be tough to legally use a RMH.
Only thought I have is to build a room outdoors containing the rmh and insulated vents going to the house. Here's the problem with that... A) it will not work very well and ....

B) Enter the innocent but uninformed insurance person...  (A Favorite saying)  YOU CAN"T DO THAT !!! its too close to your home, my gosh what if this funky non certified home built hippy contraption caught on fire ?  Your home would burn down and MOST IMPORTANT...the  insurance company will not pay (The Most favorite saying)

Some people (not recommending this mind you) But some people just build one anyway...  (bad people) who are rule breakers ... who question authority (how dare they!!!)

As a responsible Permies person you should never think that way...  

Have a great day !

I think you are on the right track.  Also in Denver, we can build a 10x12 shed without a permit (may be off on the size a small amount).  So how about a super insulated shed 10 or 15ft from the house set up as a sort of RMH heated sauna.  There are insulated flexible vent hoses often used in indoor growing here that could be buried or perhaps used above ground and sort of temporary connecting the sauna to the house.  The RMH itself wouldn't need any modifications I don't think.  We'd probably want to sauna to get uncomfortably hot to deal with the losses through the insulated lines but no where near fire danger.  I've been thinking about this same option as OP but using a heat exchanger and I like your building idea way better.  I think I'd want two lines, one for hot air and one return.  A blower of some sort on the hot air line inside should be enough.  I guess we could add a thermostat to the blower and treat our sauna as a heat battery.  A thermostat near the blower/vent would warn us when the RMH needs fired back up.  If we want to spend some $$$ we could make the sauna quite fire resistant with certain materials but I'm not sure I see the need.

I've also considered just blowing hot air into the crawlspace I have since it's already insulated around the perimeter.

2 months ago
I'm trying a variation on the till once and double dig options here this year.  About 2500 sq ft mostly forked or dug by hand with a bit using the tiller (hated how the tiller did, it's being given away).  I immediately planted fall and winter cover crops like wheat, rye, Austrian winter peas, favas, mustard and daichon radish.  Since it's a small area I tried planting very dense in most areas to choke out any weeds that germinated or survived.  Timing was important for this and I did it all in late aug thru early october.  My plan is to thin the grains and peas that survive till spring as I'm ready to plant next year but keep some of the wheat and winter peas for shade and seeds.  While not as flexible timing wise I like the results so far and I have nice greens for the chickens and rabbits hopefully thru some of winter.
2 months ago
I think I would like to be turned into bio-char rather than ashes.  I wonder if this would be a huge change or if the big ovens could be still used with some modifications.  I often think about how many of our waste streams could become char and this seems like a good one to me.  Having a natural decomposition option like the hugelculture plus a longer lasting option to cremation seems good too.
2 months ago
Fermenting their feed drastically reduces the smell of manure.  Fermenting feed at that scale would be a real chore I think but might be less infrastructure than composting it after.  There's a video on youtube of a guy mixing it in a clean cement mixer for a large flock.
2 months ago
Looks great! How many rabbits did it take to produce a gallon of leaf?  I'm just planning to start raising them and this seems like a great extra reason.
3 months ago
Mine mostly get dead mice once the cats are through with them.  They were immediately interested and it's a big prize anytime I throw them one now.  Maybe just start with a few snap traps and see if they'll get interested once they get a taste?
3 months ago
Would sorghum stalks be even better?  Planning to grow sorghum as a test next year primarily for some grain to feed chickens but was looking into processing stalks for molasses.  This seems like another good use.  I think the sugar in the stalks might fill the role of a second ingredient like wheat germ?
3 months ago