Julie Reed

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since Jun 23, 2019
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Recent posts by Julie Reed

It’s also assuming those people are in a position to be influential. The global problems we face are the result of corporate greed to a large extent. That’s fueled by consumerism and even if a million people change their lives in dramatic ways, will they influence others to do so, or simply be regarded as ‘fringe weirdos? These ideas really need to strike a nerve in people who can in turn change things in a way that affects millions of other people. Because unfortunately, if a million people switch to a clothesline, another million will say well, great! Now my polluting won’t matter as much! I’m getting a bigger car!! Sort of like the carbon offset game companies play.
3 weeks ago
Erin these are so amazing and beautiful! I do hope you re-consder selling prints at some point. I'm no good at promoting myself either, and part of that is- if I enjoy doing a thing, it's not as enjoyable if I'm doing it toward an end of selling it. I'm willing to sell stuff I make, it's just that the pressure of producing to sell takes the fun out of it (my talents are NOT art, that's for damn sure!). But if I could reproduce thngs, like prints of artwork, then that would make selling less tedious. Anything I can do well, if I want to sell 10, I have to make 10 and suddenly it's a job, not a fun hobby, and by number 7 or 8 I'm wishing I'd never done it.
Maybe the right audience is here? Pretty sure you can sell stuff here in some way. I particularly love the foxes, as it's fascinating watching them in the wild, hunting mice under the snow.
2 months ago

Douglas Alpenstock wrote:
And since my grid power is still fossil fuel based, and likely to remain so, I think using less is simply better.  

They was kind of our reasoning as well. I think there are good cases to be made for incandescent in certain situations, but don’t see it as necessarily ‘better’ in any clear black and white way. Even with a couple situations where I could substitute a 300 watt halogen bulb, there would be enough times I don’t want that heat that it still wouldn’t make sense. If there existed a way to store enough power for 3 or 4 months, to have maybe 5kwh a day, then we could go total solar. For the time being, a generator simply can’t compete with the (comparatively) lower cost of the local utility, and it’s fossil fuel either way. Even solar would have a 20 year payback, but that trade off would be worth it, again- if we could have power year around.
3 months ago
Very diverse, informative thread! We are far north of Montana and while a 60 watt incandescent gives off heat, I certainly don’t see one bulb as making any noticeable difference when it’s below zero outside. Maybe if I sat in a small closet with it a foot above me? But that’s not practical. As my eyes age, I find bright white light the most effective for doing pretty much everything, and LEDs deliver that perfectly. Counting all the bulbs here- indoor, outdoor, shop, shed, we have maybe 40. At any given time the number in use varies from zero to ten or twelve, depending on time of day, year, and number of people. Since maybe 50% of this lighting is used as outdoor or shop illumination, LED is the clear winner for efficiency given the amount of lumens needed. Our electric cost is about $.25/kWh. The bulbs we changed out for LED around 5 years ago are still functioning just fine. New 40-60 watt equivalent bulbs are only about $2 each for high quality.  Unfortunately there’s no renewable energy option for electricity when we need it for lighting, but there is for heat and cooking (wood) so it makes perfect sense to heat with wood and use LED to save electricity and get far better quality lighting. I think for many people finding a better way to heat water might be priority one, as it’s a year round need.
3 months ago
Hi Amanda, welcome to the forums! Your question addresses moisture as the concern, but the biggest worry, especially in a small space, is the carbon monoxide and other fumes from the gas stove. Gas burns very clean, but there are still undesirable elements in the fumes. If a hood (ideal) isn’t practical, what about a fan built into the wall above the stove, located just below the ceiling? This could be as simple as a computer fan as others have mentioned. You could make a hinged, insulated flap to cover it when not in use if you live where it gets cold. The outside can be screened to keep tiny wildlife out, and you could even rig up a second insulated flap for outside, controlled from inside. A fan requires electricity of course, but draws negligible amps and could be solar powered. The high/low window or vent idea will work ‘mostly’ but a windy day could negate that. A fan outlet can be set up with baffles to still work in the wind.
4 months ago
Six legs, two wings and one ass-whooping! I laughed til I cried!!
Can’t wait to share these…thanks so much for the links
5 months ago
I would love if someone with a dendrology education could comment on this. Correlation is not always causation, so it would be interesting to know a scientific basis for the preservation aspect. I learned when I was young to girdle (what he calls ring barking) trees to kill them, but we did it to pre-dry firewood trees. If you are unable to cut firewood a year ahead, girdling trees in the spring allows you to cut them in August and have dry firewood by October.
The information presented is limited to conifers in Scandinavia so I’m wondering if there are other factors that slow decay. Or, if drying the sapwood this way has a similar effect to kiln drying lumber, (except that doesn’t prevent decay long term). If these methods truly can preserve logs for even a hundred years in any location it’s worth exploring.
Two different memories were triggered by this.

1- a high school kid we hired as a laborer one time, to help tear down a large barn type building. We'd get to over-analyzing how to do a thing, and he would come up with some wild cartoon-type idea. Modifying that cartoon often became a solution. "Well, we can't do it with explosives... but we could rig a winch over there..."
As Beau said, "It's usually one of these throw-away ideas that sparks the idea". That kid had some great 'throw away' ideas, silly as that sounds on the surface of it. Or, to quote Paul- "try 100 things, 2 will work, but you never know which 2".

2- a good friend back in my early 20s who was purely artistic (unlike me, lol!), and I was so envious of her talent, but when I actually spent a long weekend with her, I was shocked by how much utter crap she created. I realized her amazing results were really only about 10 or 20 percent of everything she actually tried. And- I really think this is a key point- she would laugh at the crap and just move on!. I look at expensive supplies and think 'I don't want to waste these', but the artist/creator plunges in, knowing there has to be waste and mistakes to get to the good stuff.
I suppose the ultimate analogy might be mining- a little bit of gold requires a large pile of tailings.
5 months ago

 Margaux Knox wrote: I kept "rocket-powered" in header after changing the header copy to include "super-efficient" below. I went back and forth on this one... I think it's good to keep the language consistent, and using the term straight out the gate does build curiousity... But I do agree it might confuse people, and could be better to use more familiar and clear language here, so I may change my mind again. Open to thoughts. I had waffled on that one earlier as well, but decided to keep it because the video in the header says "Rocket oven" so I felt that built some consistency and context.

I’m not sure the word rocket is so foreign anymore. Maybe it’s just the algos finding me but I see constant links on Pinterest and YouTube for building rocket stoves and ovens. Ads on Etsy selling plans and kits.  Europe and Russia are very familiar with baking in masonry ovens. I suspect the internet is ‘shrinking and connecting the world’ enough that these concepts may be more familiar than we think. That said, I do still feel it’s probably good to keep the word rocket, if for no other reason than it being specific to the design, whereas ‘super-efficient’ is both subjective and also applies to many other types of heating and cooking devices.
I realize this thread is 2 months old now, and you've probably figured out a plan for this season. But a couple things to ponder- It seems like given the high cost of electricity, it might be a good option to separate heating and lighting. Low cost (to operate) LED grow lights (maybe with solar panels charging batteries to run them at night? I realize that's another capital outlay though), but waste oil or Rocket stove/RMH heat. Have you considered (or would it be a possibility) a walipini style greenhouse? I know a full on Walipini doesn't work well that far north, but the earth sheltered concept is still valid, and especially so if you can incorporate some passive solar gain during the summer to keep the ground from ever freezing. Any chance you have a south facing slope?
Another (maybe or maybe not doable for you) option is introducing a heat source like chickens or rabbits, that could also be a profitable 'crop'. Or maybe team up with someone wanting a space to raise them, giving you free heat and them a needed location?
Anna Edey, who wrote Solviva, was/is in Massachussetts, that book may have some useful info for you. It's a neat reference about stacking functions to grow a lot of crops in a smaller space.
5 months ago