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Julie Reed

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since Jun 23, 2019
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Recent posts by Julie Reed

For growing, I’d vote for the broad fork. Once you realize the damage rototilling does, you still need an alternative to loosen packed soil.
I work with wood quite a bit, and in that arena, the drawknife gets my enthusiastic vote. And there’s really no power tool that takes its place.
17 hours ago
Probably pushing the envelope too much, but what if you made the greenhouse area twice as wide? You double the growing space, double the potential greywater treatment area. Don’t need twice the greywater area? Make half into a compost bin. More heat from that than you will likely ever see from a few gallons of warmish greywater (which really will be close to ground temp by the time it reaches the greenhouse). An extra ten minutes with the excavator to make a longer trench, a few more roof poles, a couple upright supports in the middle, a few extra yards of dirt and epdm for the top, and 10’ more glazing. Maybe that’s already been discussed and vetoed, I don’t know. But it seems like it’s not much more in materials, and probably less than a week in extra labor. There’s extra Kickstarter money now, and the additional food that could be grown would provide a fairly quick payback as well, a factor for those deciding how much to pay for one of their own. A further benefit is you are doubling the total solar gain, for approximately the same mass, banking that much more heat for winter.
To add to Kyle’s excellent answer, if you are looking for heartwood specifically for the different coloration (though you mention maple, which is fairly white regardless), then you will lose an inch or three of each board. Here’s a cross section of a birch slab I milled recently. As you can see, the entire width is usable wood, but the darker heartwood is only about 6-7” of the total 10” width. In the tree, sapwood has more tensile strength, heartwood more compressive. Once you mill the lumber, the dried board is pretty much all the same. Even commercial mills simply take off only enough slab to get the cant straight enough for milling into boards. Many only debark the logs, then saw the lumber which then goes to an edger to become a straight (parallel edges) board. No effort is made to separate sapwood from heartwood.
1 day ago
That’s funny, I was just reading this article last night-
Looks like the cover is automated now, and has gone from straw to synthetic so it doesn’t get heavier when it’s wet.
A couple interesting quotes-
“The correlation between inside temperature and sunlight is almost four times greater than the correlation between inside temperature and outside temperature.”
It seems the wofati should negate that with an earth mass instead of just a thick rear wall.

“From the sixteenth to the twentieth century, urban farmers grew Mediterranean fruits and vegetables as far north as England and the Netherlands, using only renewable energy. These crops were grown surrounded by massive "fruit walls", which stored the heat from the sun and released it at night, creating a microclimate that could increase the temperature by more than 10°C (18°F).
Later, greenhouses built against the fruit walls further improved yields from solar energy alone. It was only at the very end of the nineteenth century that the greenhouse turned into a fully glazed and artificially heated building where heat is lost almost instantaneously -- the complete opposite of the technology it evolved from.“  Ironic huh??

So here we are with this wofati project, coming full circle to the past!

Lowtechmagazine is a great website to explore, by the way!
4 days ago
An addition to the food list- when I make pizza dough I often use beer instead of water- usually a bitter IPA or Flemish sour ale. But lacking either, a tablespoon of ACV in the water (1 cup) will give a nice tangy sourdough-like crust. The acidity also slows down the growth of the yeast slightly, allowing the taste to develop more fully, but plan on extra time for the dough to rise.
6 days ago

Emily Harris wrote: I have brought on floaters myself by eating meat, dairy and refined grains together...  I got rid of them with an eyewash I made...

While it seems fairly evident that the eyewash may have been curative, I’m very curious how you determined the floaters were brought on by specific diet? The woman I mentioned in an earlier comment was a vegan and strongly favored whole grains and raw fruits/veggies. Before the onset of macular degeneration, she had experienced years of worsening floaters (and then eventually the flashes of light).
My floaters are worse in summer, which I always attributed to the sun, as my eyes are very light sensitive. My diet is omnivore, but I eat far more fresh fruits and veggies in the summer, more meat/fish in winter, since I live in the far north and fresh produce is difficult to come by after September. Dairy intake is roughly the same year round, and I don’t eat refined grains, but my floaters are least when I’m eating the most meat and dairy and baking bread frequently.
6 days ago
Lots of anecdotal stuff here...
Some possibly factual stuff-  a few years ago I helped out an older (mid 70s) neighbor diagnosed with onset of macular degeneration. She had been told by 2 different eye specialists to take Lutein, drink lots of carrot juice, and had also been told that floaters are relatively harmless but that the flashes of light can be an indicator of impending Mac degeneration.
The floaters are harmless, but annoying. They concern is if they get worse, get larger, or are accompanied by flashes. I wish I had further info from her, but she moved out of the area to be with family and we did not stay in touch. Last time we talked she was considering cbd oil. So...
Lastly- In a 2004 study of brain tumors, researchers found that cannabinoids blocked and inhibited VEGF pathways through the body, showing incredible promise for cannabis as a treatment for macular degeneration. ... The THC content will combat VEGF progression, while the CBD will calm inflamed tissue.
I do have a family member who says cannabis use has helped eliminate floaters. Of course now we’re back to anecdotal...
1 week ago
I’m with you on that El. Also at a high latitude and will take all the sunlight I can get. The excess heat can be vented or, preferably, stored somehow. I do not get enough sun from late November until late February to grow much of anything. But to keep the greenhouse warm all winter is ideal, as it’s ready when that sunlight does return adequately in early spring. I would modify this project to include earth tubes with solar powered fans, which is still 100% passive, but puts all that excess heat to good use. I hope I’m wrong, but I think this design will require venting, which is a waste of usable heat. I realize the project is primarily about treating greywater all winter, not growing tomatoes. But in my case if I put forth this much labor and expense, I’d be a fool to only care about treating my relatively small amount of greywater (10 gallons a day tops, most days less than 2), despite it being a very real need in winter. The value to me is an extended food growing season, with water treatment as a bonus. I’m really looking forward to what can be learned from this project, and then modify that to my own situation.

paul Wheaton wrote: Oh, and buckle up ...   this ride is just getting started ...

Have you voted in the stretch goal poll yet?

Yep! Love the idea of data collection and 4 extra casing designs/sizes- the thing that really sets this apart.
So happy to see this going crazy so early on! Year round greywater handling in a cold climate is a high priority in my overall project wish list.
2 weeks ago
So does this mean Kickstarter will release the funds sooner and the project can start earlier? Or does it have to run the course regardless?
2 weeks ago