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Rich Points

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since Dec 29, 2017
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Recent posts by Rich Points

I found this thread which is pretty informative.  Sounds like it's not gonna work in my area...  Unless someone can convince me otherwise.  ;)
cooling tubes
4 weeks ago
Hey All,
This heat wave has got me thinking about solar chimneys and "earth tubes".  I've seen these used in Earthships and other places but I'm kinda surprised they aren't more widely used.  I did some web searches and found a few things on the subject but I still have questions.

For those who don't know how these work.  Basically the sun heats the chimney causing a convection current which draws cool air into the living space via the earth tubes.  

I'm not sure but I think one of the drawbacks or complications with this  set up is dealing with condensation.  I'm in the mid west where it can be quite humid at times.  So when the hot and humid outside air hits the earth tube it will shed it's water.  The question is how do you deal with this condensation.  My fear would be after a time this would blast mold spores into the living space.  

I've spent time at Wheaton labs and listened to a bunch of the podcasts and I remember Paul talking briefly about this but I don't recall his verdict/conclusion on the technology.  Maybe we could prod him to discuss this a little bit in the next podcast?

Anyway.  Do people have experience with these systems in humid areas?  Any good resources to check out?


4 weeks ago
I'm a permie here in Michigan and make end grain hardwood cutting boards. All the wood has been locally harvested, cured and processed. Some of them are available at a consignment shop called Eyrie in Depot town Ypsilanti MI.  I also have a bunch here with me at home here in northern Michigan.  

Hit me up if you're interested in one.
8 months ago
Hey Guys.
My RMH has been up and running for a season and like most J-Tube setups the first brick over the burn chamber has cracked.  The question I have is, do I care?  I've seen several other J-Tubes, one of which is 20 years old, that have cracked bricks here.  

It seems that once that brick breaks once it's probably not gonna break any more.  But I have nothing to back that up aside from intuition.

Perhaps I could replace this brick with something of higher quality?  Maybe a ceramic kiln brick?

How are others dealing, or not dealing with this problem?

11 months ago
Hey All,
I'm putting the finishing touches on my RMH heater that I built last winter.  I recently added concrete countertops to top off the masonry.  

Note this thing doubles as my bed.  I currently sleep on top of a half dozen comforters, blankets and sleeping bags.   Next I'd like to make some kind of cushion or something to sleep and sit on.  

Like most Mass heaters this thing gets hot! I had a rubber camping sleeping mat at the base of my pile and it melted up pretty good.  I measured 130 F the other day 10 hours after the last burn.

So I'm looking for materials that are soft and comfy but can withstand the high temps.

How are you covering your mass?  Any suggestions?

11 months ago
My name is Rich Points and I'm a RMH builder here in central lower MIchigan.  Would love to help you out with your build!
11 months ago
Hey Permies,
For the past couple of years I've been increasingly enthralled by permaculture, horticulture, homesteading, natural building and all the stuff we talk about here on these forums.   As I approach 50 years old I guess you could call me a lifelong environmentalist both personally and professionally.  But it wasn't until a few years ago that I rediscovered permaculture; I studied it briefly in grad school 20 years ago.  At the time I thought it was a bunch of hippy dippy mumbo jumbo, and here's the thing, I consider myself to be a full fledged hippy!  

Anyway permaculture has grown and matured quite a bit over the last 20 years and I'm glad to have rediscovered it.  Now it's all I can think about, all I want to pursue.  The framework that the permaculture principles provide have been incredibly empowering for me.  I feel like I now have a practical outlet to do something positive right here and now.  

Recently I've been diving deeper into Geoff Lawton's teachings and his videos online. I have to say I got chills when I saw his food forest presentation.  Geoff just oozes with enthusiasm and passion.  Geoff is one of the best advocates and educatiors in permaculture today.  IMHO. I think his voice should be heard by more people.  Which brings me to the reason for this post.

The Public Radio International show Living On Earth has been around for a good long time now.  If you haven't heard it before it's on a lot of NPR stations and can be downloaded as a podcast.  I've listened for years and have always found it to be a bit soft but overall I think it's a good quality show.

However I think it would be an excellent addition to have a regular guest segment with someone like Geoff Lawton to discuss the various permaculture principles, practices and techniques.  

What do you guys think?  Are you familiar with LOE?  Would you like to hear a regular permaculture segment on the show?  

Not sure how to do this though. I tried to email Geoff but his email doesn't seem to be public.  I guess an email to LOE and Steve Curwood, the host, is in order.  

Looking for ways to make permaculture a household word.

Thanks for reading

Hey everyone!
I just uploaded a video tour and review of my rocket mass heater build.

Thanks for watching
1 year ago
I recently found this new video from Geoff Lawton talking about Food Forests.  Geoff does an excellent job of describing how a food forest works and it's potential to solve many contemporary problems throughout the world  I got chills when I first watched it a few days ago, since then I've been sharing it whenever possible.

What I like about Geoff's presentation is his awe, wonderment and enthusiasm for the potential of the Food Forest.  I've been a permaculture enthusiast for several years now and I'm ready to engage at the level he's talking about.  But I wonder how it will be perceived by the masses.

My advice for your flier would be to distill it down even further.  Somehow encapsulate the potential in bite sized pieces.

here's the video

check out this awesome info graphic
food forest info graphic

Another thought that comes to mind is check out some of Paul Gauchie from Back to Eden gardening method.  He uses a lot of religious language in his permaculture.  I'm an atheist but this video tour of Paul's garden was very inspiring for me a few years back and was part of my introduction to permaculture.  But like Geoff, Paul has an infectious enthusiasm.

FYI I'm writing here because of a cross link from a similar thread I started this morning.
A Permaculture Resume?  What's Permaculture?
1 year ago
Hey All,
My name is Rich and I live in mid central lower Michigan, zone 5b, on 12 acres with my dad.  I moved here about 2 years ago and over that time I find myself obsessing over permaculture and it's potential.  I've long considered myself an environmentalist and have devoted much of my adult life to reducing my footprint and helping others do the same.  I studied permaculture briefly in grad school but it didn't resonate with me at the time.

Here at dads place we heat with wood, so when I first moved here I started researching how to burn wood more efficiently and of course I found the rocket mass heater.  I was immediately enticed by the RMH and quickly built a prototype.  Then another, and another.  I took workshops and was fortunate enough to study with Erica and Ernie Wisnar as I earned my PDC at Wheaton Labs.  I now have a fully functioning RMH in my space and it's fricken awesome!

My study of the RMH brought me back to the world of Permaculture, these days it's about all I can think about.

I'm trying to build a career as a consultant along with some kind(s) of cottage industry.  I've been a worm farmer for many years so I'm thinking about scaling up production.  

I could go on with more specifics about my skill set and situation but I'm hitting a wall that I suspect many of us are.  I live in a rural area with lots of poverty.  The local economy is driven by some light industrial factories, retail and big agriculture.  Lots of folks commute long distances for work.  I recently went to an earth day event at the high school and talked with folks from the master gardeners club, 4H and the county extension.  Not one person I talked to had heard of permaculture.

Over the past 2 years I've tried various things to try to connect with other permies in the area.  I've posted on the local gardening group on facebook, nobody know what permaculture is.  I hung fliers around town that say "Interested in Permaculture? Me too!! Let's chat".  No response.  I've posted on craigslist...nothing.  I have connected with a few folks here on there forums but they're all hours away.

I'm finding it hard to market myself as a permaculture consultant/practitioner when know one knows what it is.  

Somewhere along the way I picked up a piece of wisdom from a market farmer who says a big part of selling regenerative food is being an advocate and cheerleader for regenerative practices.  You have to educate your customers before you can sell to them...

I don't know, I'm at the end of my cash reserves so I started working on my resume which got me thinking about all of this.  

Anyway, if you have thoughts on how to proceed or air your own grievances I'd love to here them.

Frustrated yet impassioned.

1 year ago