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Author Topic: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path  (Read 28312 times)

Bruce Steele

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Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« Reply #150 on: May 27, 2020, 05:28:54 AM »
I ran the wheelhoe around and took another picture.

https://imgur.com/gallery/memt55F
via Imgur for iOS

and a picture of the wheelhoe

https://imgur.com/gallery/A9ydlL7
via Imgur for iOS

One man with only a solar electric wheelhoe could maintain two or three acres of garden without too much effort.  So the question remains, how many food calories can someone produce without fossil fuels ? 


El Cid

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Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« Reply #151 on: May 27, 2020, 07:37:55 AM »
You have a very nice place with those hills in the background Bruce.

And what is your answer to your question (regarding calories?)

nanning

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Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« Reply #152 on: May 27, 2020, 07:40:50 AM »
Dear Bruce, I could take this further: if all machines are electrical with sun/wind-powered batteries, there are no fossil fuels necessary and 1 man can do (with heavier equipment) much more than 3 acres: Just make the machines bigger.

Until... the (parts of the) machines break down and there are no replacements anymore. Because it is high tech, you cannot mend it when an essential part is broken, as opposed to low tech.

High tech non-FF farming is a nice dream but it makes one quite vulnerable in the long term if there comes a period where new and replacement parts are hard or impossible to get. I think this period will come rather sooner than later. Sorry to break your dream Bruce.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

El Cid

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Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« Reply #153 on: May 27, 2020, 07:46:21 AM »
We also planted wheat (not as much as that) but we don't try to process it yet, we just give it to the hens.

I also planted wheat near the house but on only cca 10 m2, to show my sons what it looks like, how it changes day by day and have some fun hand-harvesting and hand-processing. I am mostly into fruits and partly vegetables, growing grain is not really for me, and honestly quite pointless as Bruce said above. Nonetheless, I like looking at my "wheat-field" and seeing it grow daily.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« Reply #154 on: May 27, 2020, 08:57:19 AM »
I grow dent corn because I can mill it with relative ease. Wheat can be milled but I put more effort into emmer, spelt and einkorn because farro can be cooked like risotto. Peas grow through winter and beans in the summer . All these crops are for drying and storage. Learning how to grow these crops with an electric wheelhoe does not preclude using a human powered one if your survival depended upon it. Mine would work manually if I took the battery out,
 I know how to garden without power assist . Also that one acre garden could be larger with the electric assist but even in my youth I never attempted a garden that size with a shovel and hoe.
 But I also want to know how many food calories an electric tiller can produce. There are about 10 fossil fuel calories invested in every calorie of food produced. So the choice isn’t between doing it by hand or using a 1000 horsepower John Deere , or it shouldn’t be.
 
Here is an old post about my feeble attempts at quantifying embodied energy in the solar/electric wheelhoe  and how many food calories it might produce. It does give one pause to think of how many potato calories it takes to pay back the embodied fossil fuel costs of one very small tiller. Mine is six years old and running well.



1389
Policy and solutions / Re: Improving EROEI numbers
« on: March 18, 2014, 05:09:17 PM »
JimD,   So steel just taking a stab at this without pulling tillie apart to weigh it

Steel.  239 times 20.1. =  4803.9 per kilo times 10 =  48039 k/cal for twenty two pounds

Aluminum. 239 times 155 = 37,045 per 2.2 pounds

Monocrystalline. 239 times 4750 = 1,135,250 time 2 m2. = 2,270,500

Total = 2,355,584 K/cal per tillie

The 24 volt battery is going to be a whopper I assume so it needs to be added1389
Policy and solutions / Re: Improving EROEI numbers
« on: March 18, 2014, 05:09:17 PM »
JimD,   So steel just taking a stab at this without pulling tillie apart to weigh it

Steel.  239 times 20.1. =  4803.9 per kilo times 10 =  48039 k/cal for twenty two pounds

Aluminum. 239 times 155 = 37,045 per 2.2 pounds

Monocrystalline. 239 times 4750 = 1,135,250 time 2 m2. = 2,270,500

Total = 2,355,584 K/cal per tillie

The 24 volt battery is going to be a whopper I assume so it needs to be added

One acre potatoes.   = 3,729,040 K/cal per acre

So like I said you need to get several years out of one machine and amortize the embedded energy
costs. You do get a lot of potatoes to eat however.
My question remains. If tillie with solar cells,batteries and metal cost combined equals say
4,000,000 k/cal embedded energy costs and you get five years of use and produce 11,777,920 k/cal
of food you get  an EROEI of 2.94   The solar cells will keep producing energy while not charging your batteries and if we lowball that at an EROEI of 2 then have you improved your actual EROEI by more than double? I really don't think the solar cell EROEI is that low and tillie doesn't weigh as much as the amounts I have used. So it comes down to what the embedded cost of the batteries and charger
amount to and how long everything lasts.
 
And a lot of work. I don't want to start paying for an electric car or the solar cells it would require on potato income just yet. Figuring how many people the project might feed is also of interest but I am
just trying to improve solar EROEI for now.   

One acre potatoes.   = 3,729,040 K/cal per acre

So like I said you need to get several years out of one machine and amortize the embedded energy
costs. You do get a lot of potatoes to eat however.
My question remains. If tillie with solar cells,batteries and metal cost combined equals say
4,000,000 k/cal embedded energy costs and you get five years of use and produce 11,777,920 k/cal
of food you get  an EROEI of 2.94   The solar cells will keep producing energy while not charging your batteries and if we lowball that at an EROEI of 2 then have you improved your actual EROEI by more than double? I really don't think the solar cell EROEI is that low and tillie doesn't weigh as much as the amounts I have used. So it comes down to what the embedded cost of the batteries and charger
amount to and how long everything lasts.
 
And a lot of work. I don't want to start paying for an electric car or the solar cells it would require on potato income just yet. Figuring how many people the project might feed is also of interest but I am
just trying to improve solar EROEI for now.   

« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 09:12:41 AM by Bruce Steele »

uniquorn

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Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« Reply #155 on: July 08, 2020, 11:33:35 AM »
Milk coming to the boil in a portable solar oven (not home made)

kassy

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Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« Reply #156 on: July 08, 2020, 02:45:38 PM »
How much does that boil and what is the actual use? Just curious.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

uniquorn

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Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« Reply #157 on: July 08, 2020, 04:18:28 PM »
During clear skies it will cook tarts, quiches, flat bread etc in an hour. Can use it like a slow cooker for casseroles but you have to use a lid. Too much moisture otherwise. Good for warming milk for frothy coffee first thing.
You have to keep turning it to face the sun and adjust the angle for maximum performance. It does nothing on a cloudy day.  Not advisable for people in a rush.
It's a good assistant for our one electric hotplate in summer.

kassy

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Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« Reply #158 on: July 08, 2020, 04:21:22 PM »
Cool stuff! Thx.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« Reply #159 on: August 10, 2020, 05:59:53 PM »
Uniquorn, I would be interested in hearing about what other zero carbon tools or concepts you have purchased or built. There is a trend in purpose with a solar oven, or a scythe. To minimize fossil fuel ?
 A full tool kit of fossil fuel energy saving devices and some write up about how they work and what would inspire someone in the modern world to use them is missing in our” Walking the Walk “thread.
 
We are some rather bright people on ASIF and I enjoy all the science offered. At the same time the search for solutions, or walking the walk , is really a backwater on the forum. There are posters on the forum that avoid anything but the ice , but to those of you who show us not only your expertise in the sciences but also your personal adjustments to our shared quandary I am especially thankful. And maybe intelligence and a personal commitment to walking the walk have nothing to do with each other but having those skills represented in individuals willing to share their story is important IMO.

 The middle of the melting season isn’t a good time to ask big favors so in a few months while we wait out the winter maybe we could revisit.
 
     
   
« Last Edit: August 10, 2020, 06:19:50 PM by Bruce Steele »

etienne

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Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« Reply #160 on: August 10, 2020, 06:45:21 PM »
There is a solar water disinfection method https://www.sodis.ch/index_EN.html

On Wikipedia, they say that is also works with glass bottles, but I guess it doesn't because glass normally doesn't let UV light through.

uniquorn

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Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« Reply #161 on: August 10, 2020, 11:16:24 PM »
Yesterday I uncovered all the beds that were 'locked down' for the autumn because of a storm forecast. Nothing happened and they stayed bone dry with a few weeds trying to survive. Luckily, due to laziness they remained open to the elements and got a thorough but unexpected drenching this evening.
Will cover them up tomorrow.

Aporia_filia

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Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« Reply #162 on: August 11, 2020, 12:15:20 PM »
In my lost farm I had a solar oven just like uniquorn's one. And also a solar cooker which was like a parabolic  concentrating the solar rays. Both needed some orientation every  five, ten minutes, not a problem for normal cooking. My experience with them was very satisfactory with the parabolic one. Quicker than gas cooker on summer sunny days and still good enough in spring and autumn. Delicious how vegetables came out with only a bit of salt and olive oil over them.
The solar oven was not that satisfactory couse a few clouds could make impossible to reach propper temperature.