Daniel Richardson

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since Feb 10, 2018
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Recent posts by Daniel Richardson

I'm navigating this area myself and learning all I can. One chart that surprised me was the cycle life vs. depth of discharge. With battery technology progressing so fast, I'm really left scratching my head on what type to use for my house. Lead-acid can last a really long time(a lifetime) if you have enough of them to keep the depth of discharge very low. With the amount of researching happening though, I'm guessing some miracle battery technology will present itself in 10 years or so that will blow the rest out of the water.

Goodenough Glass Battery for Hydro-Power

1 month ago
Yes, those look exactly like some I've seem growing in Aspen. The wife loves their fragrance!
1 month ago
Anything can be done with enough muscle power. Usually for these things we use an attachment for a skid and those can go most places. Screw-piles work great in a lot of soils if you install them correctly. What kind of site/soil do you have?
1 month ago
Finish the semester strong. Do not attend next semester unless the virus panic has subsided. You are not getting what you paid for with just online classes. You are right, agriculture is not something to be learned remotely. Find something else that fits your strengths, something that can make you actual money. Something practical, maybe not your dream, and get good at it. Bonus if it does align with permaculture in some way. If you have to switch paths in school to accomplish this, do it. Study business, not necessarily at school. I've seen a lot of brilliant people fail because they just don't understand business. Live with your parents or others if you can and save money. Unless you inherited a big farm, it is going to be hard making a living with a degree in sustainable agriculture. Your desire to have a homestead is admirable, but it will be the school of hard knocks that will waste many of your most critical years. Besides, most everyone needs outside income to make it work. Put it on the shelf for 10 years. 10 years is nothing and it will fly by. Do what most people do, but do it better. Get a normalish job and be disciplined about your money. If you put half the energy into building your profession as you would waste in your first year of messing around in permaculture, you will do amazing. Find permaculture things to get experience with on the weekends and plant a small garden this spring. Make it your hobby. Hold off on having kids until you're at least 25 and don't let bad relationships drag you down. Find someone who brings something to the table if you don't want to be single and don't ignore red flags. You can do everything right and lose all of your hard work to a divorce, trust me, I know. Make friends who share the same dreams and encourage each other.
2 months ago
As you know, cob doesn't insulate very well, but can store heat like a champ, I second the RMH idea. Placement on the site is important. A lot of the old cottages in windy/snowy areas are partially built into hillsides and are low to the ground. The aerodynamics and shape of the house can be a huge advantage. If you're against modern materials like rigid foam-board etc, I would try some kind of a cord-wood cob hybrid. You know who has been living in your neck of the woods for 1000's of years? The humble beaver. Note the shape of their den and that it is an earth-composite structure. If it ain't broke don't fix it! I have always wondered why people have endlessly cut wood to burn instead of cutting it once and using it for insulation.
6 months ago
I messed around with some calcs a couple years ago for cob/earth composite structures. These have earth for the roof and everything. I made a quick gif of the process for any interested. I ended up not building this because I wanted to pick my battles with the HOA. Spans can very, as well as the thickness of wall. Exterior foam-board is basically a must for various reasons. Would yield a stout structure for a low price with the right soil. The model is for a 10'x10'x12' shed, a common size to avoid permits.
6 months ago
Where I am ponds do freeze, but generally not enough to walk on. The freezing can actually help keep the water from evaporating due to wind. People who use tanks often bury them, otherwise they have to put a heater inside. I've been considering using the pond ice to fill an icehouse. Rainwater catchment is mostly illegal on a large scale here too, which is insane. We get about 19.5" of precipitation annually on average +/-5", so pretty dry. I'm a little worried about your sandy soil being able to hold water without a liner. Anyone nearby do what you're trying to do, or can you build a test model? If you're really against plastic, you might have to tile the inside. Are you able to use excavators or are you having to dig by hand?
6 months ago
Good book, and she also has a good show, but here is an example of how twitter gets an image stuck in your head!

6 months ago