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Maxwell Myers

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since Aug 05, 2017
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Recent posts by Maxwell Myers

Nice, all good tips and perspectives! I figure I'm just going to twine them tightly together, not worry too much about protecting from mold. I developed Asthma and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities from living in a house with a severely moldy basement about 10 years ago, but come to think of it, I've never had symptoms outdoors where mold was present, probably because of the larger air mass/ventilation factor, and partially because some large degree of molds toxicity comes from the toxicity of the building materials it's eating. If it's just regular Heat Treated wood, with a competing bacterial mass that comes from good compost, I think it'll be fine. I'll probably make the bottom be black polyethylene garbage bag, which won't photodegrade at the bottom, to at least loosely seperate the compost fertility from leaching out into the ground, as well as lifting the whole pile off the ground with whatever bricks and cinder blocks I've got lying around. Thanks all!
4 years ago
Hi all. Quick question. I have a couple free HT pallets I intend to frame out as a compost bin to keep the dogs out. What are the best options to keep mold from developing on the pallets (to prolong their use and keep air quality in and around the compost bin healthy)? I was considering Raw Linseed Oil, but it's been so cold out I doubt it would dry for weeks, and I'd prefer to use it as soon as possible, and Linseed Oil is not UV Resistant, and apparently might even promote mildew. Perhaps Tung Oil or perhaps something I'm not even aware of? Should I sand it down first? I obviously want to stick to non-toxic options. Does anyone have any good ideas how to deal with this issue?
4 years ago
I wish you luck! My girlfriend and I did this for about 2 years, and found nothing but bait-and-switch scenarios where people would always act laid back and cool at first, (if anyone ever works to convince you HOW cool they are, over and over, run). and then switch to desiring either constant attention, or later informing that we would now be servants to their lordship. In fact, out of 5 people we stayed with, 4 of them never actually wanted any concrete work, (or wanted to do permaculture, or much of anything at all, it turned out), but instead fulfill their emotional needs, (either because they were lonely people needing new best friends, or petty tyrants just wanting someone to push around). Make sure you know exactly what's expected of you in terms of hours worked, or chores per week, or whatever. There has to be a defined concrete value you are agreeing to provide, and if they are wishy washy with what that is, run. They are luring you in, and by the time you're moved in and comfortable, the real terms of THEIR agreement will come out. And it won't be good.

Also, make sure they know your stance towards having to hang out and/or report to them on a dimes notice. Let them know if you are introverts, or want community. It's a hard road, and most times it won't work out. But I wish you the best! We got so emotionally exhausted by the process we decided to focus on getting our own land now. Nobody managed their land even close to wisely, in our perspective, and it never felt free to have someone lording over us. But your mileage may vary! Again, good luck!
5 years ago
So I had an idea for a cheap air filter the other day that has worked out unbelievably great, really moves alot of (now fresher) air. Perhaps someone here could get some use out of it!

A 20x20 Box Fan.
A 20x20 3M Furnace Filter (The activated charcoal filter one works great).
Some Duct Tape.

Altogether about $30 at Wal-Mart. Tape the filter on the back of the fan, (not the front) and voila! A cheap, DIY air filter that'll compete with high-end, several hundred dollar models.

5 years ago

Bethany Dutch wrote:Hi Max!

I can tell you NO, not all of WA is so prohibitive. Here in Stevens County (we're the northeastern most county) you can have one unpermitted and uninspected dwelling per parcel. Which means you can build whatever the hell you want

I would recommend checking out Kettle Falls, Colville, and Chewelah. I live between Colville and Chewelah and they both have hospitals. The hospitals are "rural" hospitals but you can be in Spokane with several major hospitals within an hour.

Thanks, that's all very helpful and intriguing! We'll certainly look into it. How are the parcels divided? Is land usually divided into a certain number of defined parcels when you buy it, or is that somewhat at the discretion of the landowner?

Are mosquitos a problem in your area? Olympia/Seattle has pretty much zero, it's strange. Coming from the Midwest, it was a real pleasant surprise.

5 years ago
Hi all, first time poster here, (but big fan of the Permies podcast, I figured this might be fruitful to post here). My girlfriend and I are looking for a place to move to open a permaculture homestead. We've run around in circles on this question for so long I think it might be helpful to just put it out there and see if someone has some guidance.

We've driven through Montana a couple times, and have generally liked it (Although cracking a radiator in our converted shuttle bus outside of Buffalo Jump in 105' degree heat and then having to basically live in the Belgrade Flying J parking lot for a week while we made arrangements to repair it, surrounded by a horde of methed out truckers was not an experience I'd suggest to anyone). Missoula and Bozeman seem nice as hubs for the inevitable trips to civilization. We love WA, but haven't yet found a place that meets our criteria. Olympia, WA is a favorite, but the zoning laws around there seem to make things more difficult. But we're trying to narrow down our options by county, it's a big question and sort of racks the brain the try and nail down a single place out of the infinite number of options. If anyone can speak up and say "Yeah that sounds like x, or you definitely won't find that in y county" please say so. We're trying to keep our options open while simultaneously narrowing things down.

-A place within 30-45 minutes of a hospital, mid-size town with good organic grocery stores.
-Somewhere where we can build an underground house, rocket mass heater, greenhouse, yurt, or a log cabin without government scrutiny or building permits. No zoning laws, I guess?
-Somewhere green (at least green-ish) and without any notable pollution hotspots nearby. I have respiratory issues / MCS and air pollution makes me feel like death.
-Preferably with trees that we can selectively cut down for building materials.
-Good, deep soil
-Not liable to flood.
-Near running water (if possible, I realize this is a big request), or at least gets enough rain to harvest.
-A 3 to 10 acre lot, where 40-50k is either enough, or would at least provide a decent down payment.

Paul Wheaton's enthusiasm for Missoula is a bit contagious, I think he said that Northern Missoula is more lax with the rocket stove issues? What about Bozeman, does anyone live nearby and find it conducive to permaculture? Is all of WA so prohibitive with building codes/ rainwater harvesting laws and the like? I would greatly appreciate any suggestions!

5 years ago