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'[OT] homegrown food and woodburning, was On Nuclea'
2006\09\15@115256 by Aaron

picon face


James Newtons Massmind wrote:

>Just planting a garden is a good way to start.
>techref.massmind.org/techref/other/gardens.htm
>http://techref.massmind.org/techref/other/garden/fencehouse.htm
>
>  
>

Yeah, just dandy.  We probably even made the equivalent of $1 per hour
on our garden this summer.

Here's this year's potato harvest:
http://www.bright.net/~agarb/tater.jpg

Kids helping to shuck and silk sweet corn to put in the freezer:
http://www.bright.net/~agarb/shuck.jpg
http://www.bright.net/~agarb/silk.jpg


>Chickens are just wonderful if done right:
>techref.massmind.org/techref/other/chickens.htm
>  
>
No more layers for me.   Not when I can buy a dozen factory farm eggs
for $0.89.

I do have 135 broilers that go to the butcher in a few weeks, though.  
They may get big, fat, and smelly, but at least they're dead in 7 weeks:
http://www.bright.net/~agarb/peeps.jpg

Unlike, 6 months for bacon:
http://www.bright.net/~agarb/Pork.jpg

or 16 months for steak:
http://www.bright.net/~agarb/Beef.jpg

>PV is great:
>http://techref.massmind.org/techref/other/solar/case1.htm
>
>Woodstoves are fantastic: One of these days I must put up some pictures and
>a description of mine.
>  
>

My woodburner:
http://www.bright.net/~agarb/woodburner.jpg

$8000 'till it was all said and done with circulating pumps, insulated &
buried pipes, heat exchangers, etc.  That's with no hired labor.  This
will be my 4th heating season with it.  Should finish paying for itself
this winter.  Now if my 2 & 4 year old boys would just grow up, I could
get rid of my gas-powered chainsaw and woodsplitter, go back to ax and
maul, and stop being so dependent on foreign oil.  I guess I'd have to
trade in my 1952 model woodgathering rig for a few wheelbarrows, too.
http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m168/agarb6/misc/h.jpg


An AVR project in the works to measure/log some temperatures and control
a circulating pump for the boiler:
http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m168/agarb6/misc/avr.jpg

>Ah, I could talk about this stuff all day.
>
>  
>

Perhaps, but sometimes, I think life would be easier if I was born a
city boy.

Maybe I should sell my 5 acre property, tiller, tractor, trailer, log
splitter, chainsaw, and 3 deep freezers, so I could buy a Hummer and
move to town?

Aaron

2006\09\15@121450 by Alex Harford

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On 9/15/06, Aaron <spam_OUTaaron.piclistTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
>
> Yeah, just dandy.  We probably even made the equivalent of $1 per hour
> on our garden this summer.

Wow, that harvest looks amazing compared to mine:

http://www.alexharford.com/2006/04/21/square-foot-gardening-continues/

I'm starting small and learning right now, hopefully I'll be able to
afford a larger place in the future with some space.  5 acres would be
amazing, but is unattainable where I live (Vancouver).

2006\09\15@140356 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> >Just planting a garden is a good way to start.
> >techref.massmind.org/techref/other/gardens.htm
> >techref.massmind.org/techref/other/garden/fencehouse.htm
> >
>
> Yeah, just dandy.  We probably even made the equivalent of $1
> per hour on our garden this summer.

We plant things that are expensive to buy organic or that we like to have
fresh. Peppers (my wife is a wiz with peppers), spinach, tomatoes (bad crop
this year), herbs. Potatoes and corn are great, but you are right: They can
be purchased for a lot less at the store or local farmers market and the
organics are not much more. We don't grow them for that reason.

We also have trees that require less labor.

> >Chickens are just wonderful if done right:
> >techref.massmind.org/techref/other/chickens.htm
> >  
> No more layers for me.   Not when I can buy a dozen factory farm eggs
> for $0.89.

Eating something that was produced that way turns my stomach. Cost isn't the
issue.

> My woodburner:
> http://www.bright.net/~agarb/woodburner.jpg
>
> $8000 'till it was all said and done with circulating pumps,
> insulated & buried pipes, heat exchangers, etc.  That's with
> no hired labor.  This will be my 4th heating season with it.  
> Should finish paying for itself this winter.  

The extra cost and inefficiency of those external units kept me away. We
paid $4000 for our stove including all labor and installation. It sits dead
center of the house and heats us up nicely. In SoCal wel do less heating,
but it will pay for itself in about the same time.

I do miss having hot water from the stove in the winter. One of these days I
need to look into an add-on or just wind some copper pipe around the stack.
The trick there is to prevent steam forming, but I think a layer of
insulation will keep the maximum temperature down.

> Now if my 2 & 4
> year old boys would just grow up, I could get rid of my
> gas-powered chainsaw and woodsplitter, go back to ax and
> maul, and stop being so dependent on foreign oil.  I guess
> I'd have to trade in my 1952 model woodgathering rig for a
> few wheelbarrows, too.
> http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m168/agarb6/misc/h.jpg

Or you could convert it to electric:
http://www.flyingbeet.com/electricg/

Mine is a trailer behind our minivan. I get all the wood I can use from
people around the area who have trees cut down and don't have a use for the
wood. Most of them have already had it cut and let it lay around long enough
to be seasoned. I just got a full trailer load (7'x10'x4') of ready to burn
avocado.

Splitting the green pine and oak from our house and the neighbors has about
killed me, but it is a good workout.

> An AVR project in the works to measure/log some temperatures
> and control a circulating pump for the boiler:
> http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m168/agarb6/misc/avr.jpg

Humm... That LCD panel looks familure.

> >Ah, I could talk about this stuff all day.
>
> Perhaps, but sometimes, I think life would be easier if I was
> born a city boy.
>
> Maybe I should sell my 5 acre property, tiller, tractor,
> trailer, log splitter, chainsaw, and 3 deep freezers, so I
> could buy a Hummer and move to town?

Want to trade? :D

---
James.


2006\09\15@141025 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
Those mini-greenhouses are great! Have you thought about how to regulate or
at least log the temperatures inside? One thing I hate about growing is it
only takes one screw up to kill the entire crop. Forget to water one hot
day? Dead! Leave the covers on for a weekend out of town when the sun
decides to shine more than you expect? Dead! I'm interested in how some of
these issues can be automated and protected against.

Anyway, congratulations!

P.S. Trying to post a comment to your blog generated: "Fatal error: Call to
undefined function: wp_get_current_user() in
/home/.carolina/alexh/alexharford.com/wp-comments-post.php on line 27"

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2006\09\15@141814 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> > An AVR project in the works to measure/log some temperatures
> > and control a circulating pump for the boiler:
> > i104.photobucket.com/albums/m168/agarb6/misc/avr.jpg
>
> Humm... That LCD panel looks familure.

My 'internal' name for it is the JES display...

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\09\15@143458 by Alex Harford

face picon face
On 9/15/06, James Newtons Massmind <.....jamesnewtonKILLspamspam@spam@massmind.org> wrote:
> Those mini-greenhouses are great! Have you thought about how to regulate or
> at least log the temperatures inside?

A problem that isn't solved yet.  Right now it's manual, and so I use
the greenhouses sparingly, mostly for getting the seedlings started.

I like this thing:
http://www.leevalley.com/garden/page.aspx?c=1&p=10543&cat=2,43224

But obviously that's too expensive to be using everywhere in the garden.

BTW those tomato plants in the pics are now 7+ feet tall.
Unfortunately I moved halfway through the season, so I haven't gotten
any harvest!  The tenants above me are taking care of them and I'll
probably go back soon to clean it all up.

>
> P.S. Trying to post a comment to your blog generated: "Fatal error: Call to
> undefined function: wp_get_current_user() in
> /home/.carolina/alexh/alexharford.com/wp-comments-post.php on line 27"

Ugh, I've been battling comment spam, no fix yet. :(

2006\09\15@175811 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> On 9/15/06, James Newtons Massmind <jamesnewtonspamKILLspammassmind.org> wrote:
> > Those mini-greenhouses are great! Have you thought about how to
> > regulate or at least log the temperatures inside?
>
> A problem that isn't solved yet.  Right now it's manual, and
> so I use the greenhouses sparingly, mostly for getting the
> seedlings started.
>
> I like this thing:
> www.leevalley.com/garden/page.aspx?c=1&p=10543&cat=2,43224
>
> But obviously that's too expensive to be using everywhere in
> the garden.

I put a common thermostat together with a fan from an old computer power
supply and a 12v AC adapter and it seems to draw enough air that it might
regulate the temperature in a mini-greenhouse, but I'm waiting to put in an
electrical outlet near the greenhouse so I can try it out. The fan consumes
enough that a solar panel and battery would never keep up. It would be too
expensive to purchase, but all the parts were scavenged.

"What the world needs" (tm) is a very low cost temperature control for small
greenhouses. Something that you can build for next to nothing from junk.

I had thought of using the motor and gear train old RC cars (available for a
buck or two at the local thrift shop after the remotes are lost by the
owner) as a cheap battery powered flap actuator. Cheap power screwdrivers
are another possibility. The point is that battery power could be used as
long as it didn't need to keep adjusting. A PIC could make as few
adjustments as possible based on the temperature changes.

> BTW those tomato plants in the pics are now 7+ feet tall.
> Unfortunately I moved halfway through the season, so I
> haven't gotten any harvest!  The tenants above me are taking
> care of them and I'll probably go back soon to clean it all up.

Does "takeing care" involve sharing the fruits of your labors?

> > P.S. Trying to post a comment to your blog generated: "Fatal error:
> > Call to undefined function: wp_get_current_user() in
> > /home/.carolina/alexh/alexharford.com/wp-comments-post.php
> on line 27"
>
> Ugh, I've been battling comment spam, no fix yet. :(


I have the same problems... I'm thinking about just blocking access from
China and Korea as that is the source of almost all of it.

We need an RBL for wikis.

---
James.


2006\09\16@081404 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Wouter,

On Fri, 15 Sep 2006 20:16:08 +0200, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> > > i104.photobucket.com/albums/m168/agarb6/misc/avr.jpg
> >
> > Humm... That LCD panel looks familure.
>
> My 'internal' name for it is the JES display...

:-)  I have a few of these, and they're great except for not having a backlight.  If they'd had that I probably would have bought all of them from
Jan-Erik!

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\16@084144 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
James,

On Fri, 15 Sep 2006 11:03:44 -0700, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

>...
> Splitting the green pine and oak from our house and the neighbors has about
> killed me, but it is a good workout.

The idea that you use oak for firewood makes me want to cry!  It's a beautiful wood, and it's amazingly expensive over here - you wouldn't think it
grew on trees  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\16@111138 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>> Splitting the green pine and oak from our house and the neighbors
>> has about
>> killed me, but it is a good workout.

> The idea that you use oak for firewood makes me want to cry!  It's a
> beautiful wood, and it's amazingly expensive over here - you
> wouldn't think it
> grew on trees  :-)

Historically, when setting out to build a Cathedral, what was the
first * thing to do?


       Russell


* I'm sure there were any number of "first" things that could be done,
but in the present context the answer is clear enough.


2006\09\16@140907 by John Ferrell

face picon face
I have not been able to give Red Oak away for any use. My little 4 acre
forest suffers some storm damage every year and I always have some on the
ground. I cut it into manageable pieces and drag them to a brush pile to
burn. I try to keep the fuel load at a minimum in case of a forest fire. I
am gaining on it but we are due for more weather any time.

My wife's asthma rules out a stove or fireplace.


John Ferrell    W8CCW
"My Competition is not my enemy"
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2006\09\16@153710 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
John,

On Sat, 16 Sep 2006 14:12:18 -0400, John Ferrell wrote:

> I have not been able to give Red Oak away for any use. My little 4 acre
> forest suffers some storm damage every year and I always have some on the
> ground. I cut it into manageable pieces and drag them to a brush pile to
> burn. I try to keep the fuel load at a minimum in case of a forest fire. I
> am gaining on it but we are due for more weather any time.

Dammit!  I wonder how much I could fit into an economy-class max-weight suitcase?

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\09\16@203838 by Aaron

picon face

James Newtons Massmind wrote:

>
> We plant things that are expensive to buy organic or that we like to have
> fresh. Peppers (my wife is a wiz with peppers), spinach, tomatoes (bad
> crop
> this year), herbs. Potatoes and corn are great, but you are right:
> They can
> be purchased for a lot less at the store or local farmers market and the
> organics are not much more. We don't grow them for that reason.
>  
>
We also do a few tomato plants, as well as peppers, onions, radishes,
spinach, & green beans.  And get zuchinni from my mom so we don't have
it running out our ears.  They also keep us supplied with muskmelon,
apples, peaches, and raspberries.

> We also have trees that require less labor.
>  
>


Orange?  I have some family near Modesto CA.  Fresh oranges are SO hard
to beat.

{Quote hidden}

That was written somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but I did formerly have 8
layers (for two years).  We let them run around outside, eat bugs, take
dust baths, dig in my wife's flowers, and relieve themselves on our
steps.  Needless to say, we got a little tired of it.  Yes, the eggs had
nice yellow yolks, but I didn't really think they were that much better
to justify keeping them around, so when I ordered my 135 broilers, I
gave the layers away to make room for the new peeps.

>
> The extra cost and inefficiency of those external units kept me away. We
> paid $4000 for our stove including all labor and installation. It sits
> dead
> center of the house and heats us up nicely. In SoCal wel do less heating,
> but it will pay for itself in about the same time.
>  
>


I wasn't as aware of just how inefficient the outdoor ones are until I
came across some website discussing them.  I will say that our house is
not setup very well for a unit inside.  It would have to be located in a
room we only spend 5% of our time, and the rest of the house would be
cold because the floorplan isn't very open.  So overall, I would say the
decision to install the one I did a marginally good one.  One benefit is
that all the dirt and dust stays outside.

> I do miss having hot water from the stove in the winter. One of these
> days I
> need to look into an add-on or just wind some copper pipe around the
> stack.
> The trick there is to prevent steam forming, but I think a layer of
> insulation will keep the maximum temperature down.
>  
>


We have all the hot water we need.  I actually turn off the breaker to
the water heater when the outdoor stove is fired.

{Quote hidden}

Hey, my neighbor has a G that he restored.

I rather think my dad would frown if I told him I wanted to convert the
tractor to electric as technically it is still his.  (I've only had it
at my house for the past 3 years.)

{Quote hidden}

I, too, have a trailer for our minivan, but it doesn't work well back in
the neighbor's woods.

> Splitting the green pine and oak from our house and the neighbors has
> about
> killed me, but it is a good workout.
>  
>

Very good workout.  I did it the hard way for 2-1/2 years.  Then I went
in with 3 other people and bought a splitter.


{Quote hidden}

:)

{Quote hidden}

I didn't know you had a Hummer...  :)

> ---
> James.
>  
>

Aaron

2006\09\17@091839 by John Ferrell

face picon face
I have a chunk of Beech in the garage about 4 inches in diameter. I am
looking forward to cutting it.  Curing is a slow process.

John Ferrell    W8CCW
"My Competition is not my enemy"
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2006\09\17@123118 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> Orange?  I have some family near Modesto CA.  Fresh oranges
> are SO hard to beat.

Juice and eating Oranges. Grapefruit, Tangerines, Tangelos, Lemons, Peaches,
Apples, Plumbs. Just have to keep the ants off them with tangle foot,
fertilize a few times a year and cut them back once a year.

{Quote hidden}

We keep ours in a run and let them out in the evenings for supervised access
to the rest of the yard. I can't stand the poop everywhere and they are very
destructive in flower and garden beds. In the run, the floor is on a slope
and I dump in mulch / leaves at the top which they scratch and mix with
their poop until it comes out as very rich compost at the bottom. No smell,
very sanitary. Building the run took a little effort, but has been very
worth it.

{Quote hidden}

The mess is a good point. We spend a lot of time cleaning up around the
stove. But we all love setting on the couch after a long cold day watching
the flames and getting warm. The bedrooms stay a bit cold, but that is just
fine given some good blankets. The only thing I really don't like is wakeing
up cold when the fire didn't last all night.

{Quote hidden}

I picked up a manual hydraulic splitter from Harbor Freight for $99. It is
basically a jack on its side bolted to an I-beam with a splitting wedge on
the other end. It works better than swinging an axe, but still requires a
large input of manual energy. I have a friend who says he is building a
hydraulic power pack and I have promised to help in return for his making it
available to run the splitter from time to time.

{Quote hidden}

It seems to be a requirement for living in So Cal... But no, I don't have
one.

I guess the deal is off? :)

---
James.


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