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Author Topic: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path  (Read 26011 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 S. Poelsma
Prisons in your head!

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 »