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uniquorn

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #750 on: August 08, 2019, 12:02:22 AM »
SOIL. SOIL. THE PERFECT SOIL!
Our plot is old hayfield with rock not far down. The difference between the beds we've composted on and those we haven't is stark. Nearly time to plant on the no-till experiment area. Will let you know how it goes.
Actually lots of things grew pretty well the first year but after that it got more challenging.

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #751 on: August 08, 2019, 08:05:21 AM »
SOIL. SOIL. THE PERFECT SOIL!
Our plot is old hayfield with rock not far down. The difference between the beds we've composted on and those we haven't is stark. Nearly time to plant on the no-till experiment area. Will let you know how it goes.
Actually lots of things grew pretty well the first year but after that it got more challenging.

I try to add some new layer of compost each year on existing beds (1-2 cm) if I can - that is the best soultion if you have enough compost.

If not, I try to grow some quick nitrogen fixer in a mix (like planting crimson clover with some mustard and phacelia either planted autumn or early spring), mow it down in May, water it in well, and then covering it with a black tarp for a few weeks (to germinate-and-kill the weeds and help decomposition) and then planting things into it during June-July for an autumn harvest (carrots, beets, brassicas, peas, beans, salads). This way fertility can be sustained...

Villabolo

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #752 on: August 16, 2019, 04:44:12 PM »
Concerning food storage, I suggest a 1 year supply of rice and/or wheat; a 2 month supply of canned food; a solar oven for cooking and a grinder for the wheat.

The wheat or rice should be packed in food grade buckets with Carbon Dioxide or oxygen absorbers put inside of them to keep weevils from infesting it. They can also be purchased in #10 size cans with a shelf life of 20 years.

Last, but not least, canned heirloom seeds for garden planting.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #753 on: August 16, 2019, 05:29:42 PM »
Villabolo, I would suggest dried beans to match your rice and wheat storage. Protein .
 Kinda off topic but several kilos of sea salt will keep a very long time. With that and a small supply of saltpeter you can cure meat for storage if the lights go out.  Also you can use the salt for kimchi or sauerkraut .
 

DrTskoul

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #754 on: August 16, 2019, 05:31:19 PM »
And lots of vitamin C, as lemons dont store too well

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #755 on: August 24, 2019, 07:50:25 AM »
Hello,
I have around my garden a quite long beech hedge that I cut once a year during the summer. I didn't do it yet this summer because of the heatwave, I always heard that trees don't support too well to be cut during heat waves.
Well, when pruning (is it the right verb) these beeches, I get a lot of biomass that I can't use. It makes jams in the crusher (too many leaves), it's too much work to crush it manually, I tried to put it directly in the compost but it reacted like a silo (which means that after a few months, the leaves where still green and in a good shape). So I bring it to the recycling center.
Any Idea before I start this yearly work ?
Thanks, best regards,
Etienne
Well, I also tried to burn it, but it is forbidden and makes a lot of smoke (not discreet at all). I know somebody doing it at night but I have neighbours (he doesn't), and I don't want to annoy them too much.
Well, I changed my strategy. I sort the branches and only keep the ones that are ok for my crusher and bring the others to the recycling center.
This year I have much less production from the hedge than the years before. I guess too warm weather during the spring is not soo good.

ghoti

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #756 on: August 24, 2019, 07:20:44 PM »

Well, I changed my strategy. I sort the branches and only keep the ones that are ok for my crusher and bring the others to the recycling center.
This year I have much less production from the hedge than the years before. I guess too warm weather during the spring is not soo good.
I have a similar approach. I use a small electric chipper for branches up to 3cm diameter and the larger wood either goes to friends who have wood stoves or to the city's yard waste compost program.

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #757 on: August 26, 2019, 07:16:05 AM »
re: what to do with big branches?

You could always put them the into a purposefully untidy heap at a corner of the garden and leave it like that, great place for snakes, frogs, bumblebees, etc. After a couple of years it starts breaking down and every few years you could move it and take the compost from under it

OR:

heap it up and put a lots of greens (grasscuttings, weeds etc) on it. Same as before: after 2-3 years move it and repeat the process and collect the black gold from under the heap

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #758 on: August 26, 2019, 08:18:21 AM »
And don't forget to pee over it.  ;D
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El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #759 on: August 26, 2019, 09:43:09 AM »
And don't forget to pee over it.  ;D

absolutely! you will need all the nitrogen you can get (for free)!

like this:

Aporia_filia

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #760 on: August 29, 2019, 01:48:34 PM »
Love explosion!!!  :o :D

Aporia_filia

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #761 on: August 29, 2019, 02:05:55 PM »
There is a not well known agricultural approach called syntropic agriculture. Also suitable for gardens. I'm learning from it and trying different seeds before really starting a project.
As you all know, the soil is the main part in the game. With this theory you try to copy the behavior of a forest but using all edible varieties you can. So you don't touch the soil, only adding mulch, and when it goes on it's own you wouldn't even have to add compost or manure.


https://agendagotsch.com/en/

http://adam.nz/syntropy?fbclid=IwAR04e321jvSZgGv93I0zDKXCwyayVdwL5sCY5LLaYBoSJLkxo9WPVTvZqz0


Aporia_filia

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #762 on: August 29, 2019, 02:38:27 PM »
Wageningen University has a lot of different free on-line courses. I found "Soil4Life" a fantastic introduction to knowledge about soils. As they are free I suppose they wouldn't mind if I share some of the videos with you. The course, of course, offers lots of ways to find more information about specific items. I encourage you all to have a look at their offer.

« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 03:11:46 PM by Aporia_filia »

Aporia_filia

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #763 on: August 29, 2019, 02:45:49 PM »
Another one

Aporia_filia

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #764 on: August 30, 2019, 10:15:20 AM »
Sorry, for some reason the last video is not complete. But here in the attachment you can find some more info about different life forms in the soil (Macrofauna)

This is a very interesting video comparing old agricultural practices with modern industrial agriculture and what it means to soil:
RECARE Project-Soil Erosion in Spain (2015). Video (8:26).  

Aporia_filia

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #765 on: August 30, 2019, 10:55:03 AM »
Good Land Management to Reduce Disasters in Tajikistan (2015). Video (10:00). 

Don't miss this one  ;). Allow biodiversity and a bit of common sense and the difference is enormous.

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #766 on: August 30, 2019, 05:21:15 PM »
aporia,

Thanks for the videos!

I was horrified at seeing all the bare soil in the Spanish orange plantations when I visited Spain and I wrote about it upthread. Absolute nonsense

syntropic agriculture: this is basically a succession based agroforestry system utilizing well known regenerative agriculture principles: have succession, don't leave the soil bare, have biodiversity, no mechanical or chemical disturbance, etc. Nothing new here but nice videos. Unfortunately most farmers still think in terms of ploughing and monocultures and pesticides/herbicides, so they are very far from this...maybe in a 100 yrs more farms will look like this one in Brazil
« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 07:53:59 PM by El Cid »

Aporia_filia

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #767 on: August 31, 2019, 12:41:09 PM »
That's the word, 'horrified'
I lived for a while near those orange fields, saw the transformation and it was scary as hell. You see how all life disappears from the soil and every where. No more insects, no more birds, no more wild flowers. And the extraordinary taste of the oranges also disappear.

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #768 on: August 31, 2019, 02:46:44 PM »
I plant (clovers, alfalfa, phacelia,) etc around my fruit trees and cut these a few times a year and put some of the cuttings around my trees in a 1-2 m circle which keeps the weeds at bay and fertilizes the trees. The trees seem to like it :)
Also, the flowering plants (especially phacelia and clovers) are constantly visited by all sorts of beetles and bees. I have at least 3 types of bumblebees in my garden, and these guys are amazing. They work from dawn till dusk, even when temps are only 10C, when the normal bees are unwilling to do anything.

Biodiversity should be key, but instead we have these huge monocultures...sad

And thanks for these videos, i have never heard about this guy (Ernst Götsch) but he seems to be a true agri-hero in the mould of Masanobu Fukuoka

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #769 on: September 03, 2019, 09:13:23 AM »
I was thinking about syntropic agroforestry and I realized that many of its practices need to be tweaked to work in temperate climates. There is much more rain, sunlight and higher temps in the tropics, so you can't use SA practices here as easily. I came across a nice article that basically summarizes what I think about SA in temperate climates:

https://transformativeadventures.org/2018/11/06/syntropic-permaculture-in-temperate-climates/


Tor Bejnar

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #770 on: September 21, 2019, 10:17:12 PM »
Don't know where to post this, think it's OT here, but it's about plants ...  :-\

Increased atmospheric vapor pressure deficit reduces global vegetation growth
    Wenping Yuan, et al.
Quote
Abstract
Atmospheric vapor pressure deficit (VPD) is a critical variable in determining plant photosynthesis. Synthesis of four global climate datasets reveals a sharp increase of VPD after the late 1990s. In response, the vegetation greening trend indicated by a satellite-derived vegetation index (GIMMS3g), which was evident before the late 1990s, was subsequently stalled or reversed. Terrestrial gross primary production derived from two satellite-based models (revised EC-LUE and MODIS) exhibits persistent and widespread decreases after the late 1990s due to increased VPD, which offset the positive CO2 fertilization effect. Six Earth system models have consistently projected continuous increases of VPD throughout the current century. Our results highlight that the impacts of VPD on vegetation growth should be adequately considered to assess ecosystem responses to future climate conditions.
(entire paper at the link)
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etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #771 on: September 22, 2019, 08:06:20 AM »
This is a major worry, not the VPD as a concept, but the feeling I have that hedges for sure don't grow so much the last years, and new trees have problems to become big enough to reach to the ground water. We had at least 2 very dry years and the impact is terrible. It's nice to say that trees are the perfect machine to capture CO2, but it's not so easy to start it.

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #772 on: September 22, 2019, 08:14:09 AM »
This is a typical weather graph. It's going to rain in 2 days since quite a long time ago.

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #773 on: September 22, 2019, 09:46:59 AM »
...and new trees have problems to become big enough to reach to the ground water. We had at least 2 very dry years and the impact is terrible. It's nice to say that trees are the perfect machine to capture CO2, but it's not so easy to start it.

If you can increase the organic matter (or we could say carbon) content of your soil, then that soil will be able to store more water for longer. To do that you need to grow lots of plants all year around as plants pump carbon into the soil. I suggest planting various cover crops around the trees, eg sunnhemp and sudangrass during summer, wheat plus some clover for the fall-winter-spring period, etc. and cutting these crops when the time comes and immediately replanting them with a new, different cover crop mix. The cut crops should partly be used to mulch around the trees (1-2-3 m radius, 10-20 cm thick), that will help them a lot with nutrients and water retention, the rest can stay on the ground where they fall.
I plant my new trees during autumn and water them only the first year and even then only if it does not rain for a good while (2 weeks). After the first year there should be no problems at all in the temperate zone and no additional watering is needed for trees (unless you live in the medieterranean or a very dry zone).

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #774 on: September 22, 2019, 05:49:08 PM »
You will find bellow a picture of a two years old hazel that recieved more or less 10 liters of water every 3 weeks this summer.
I used to plant such trees end of August if they are in a pot because we always had a lot of rain in september.

sidd

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #775 on: September 22, 2019, 10:24:12 PM »
Re: 10-20 cm thick mulch

I am always advised by arborists not to put down more than an inch or two of mulch ... ?

sidd

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #776 on: September 23, 2019, 12:52:25 PM »
sidd,

Arborists usually (by profession) mean woodchip mulch and I agree with them that too thick a layer could cause problems as it takes a long time to break down and might become almost impenetrable to water for a while.

I advocated grass cuttings /cut greens as mulch and if you make it 20 cm thick it quickly (1 month or 2) collapses to 2-5 cm especially during the warm season if you have rain.

It is my experience, that if you put down 5-10 cm woodchips, weeds easily grow through that and it will be very difficult to handle the situation. On the other hand, if you have 20 or even better, 30 cm of cut weeds/grass/greens around the trees, it heats upsomewhat and kills all the weeds underneath and chokes them and by the time the mulch collapses (becomes much thinner) nothing or not much will be there to grow through it.

Also if you have an orchard you can have lots of greens around the trees (grass, clovers, alfalfa, etc) that is easy to cut and put around the trees (mow-and-blow style). I think this is the best and easiest solution for trees. (vegetables are a different matter)

vox_mundi

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #777 on: October 09, 2019, 04:46:53 PM »
Researchers Find Multiple Effects on Soil from Manure from Cows Administered Antibiotics
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-multiple-effects-soil-manure-cows.html

A new study led by Colorado State University and the University of Idaho found multiple effects on soils from exposure to manure from cows administered antibiotics, including alteration of the soil microbiome and ecosystem functions, soil respiration and elemental cycling.

The team also saw changes in how plants allocated carbon below ground and take up nitrogen from the soil. In addition, they observed a decrease in ecosystem carbon use efficiency. This means that when antibiotics are used, less carbon is stored in the soil and more is lost to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

... Scientists took samples over the course of seven days, and found that in the presence of antibiotics, carbon traveled into the above ground plant material, to the roots of the plants, into the soil and respired back out as carbon dioxide much faster than any of the others.

... "There was much less of that new carbon retained in the system compared with other soils we sampled"

It's often thought that manure is a helpful fertilizer, and that it adds nutrients and carbon to soil but this benefit might be offset if antibiotics are administered to livestock.

Carl Wepking et al, Prolonged exposure to manure from livestock‐administered antibiotics decreases ecosystem carbon‐use efficiency and alters nitrogen cycling, Ecology Letters (2019)
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Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #778 on: October 16, 2019, 08:18:46 PM »
Vox-mundi , Soil bacteria and fungi are a very unappreciated part of the terrestrial carbon sink. Keeping them happy and abundant requires water, organic feedstock, and warm temperatures.
Thanks for the warning about antibiotics in manure ! Some things seem so obvious after you learn about them . 20/20 hindsight
Wormers are also a regular part of keeping domestic livestock and they can impede worm health in your soil or wormbed.
Hard to find much literature on the subject. Keeping the worms happy is probably right up there on people’s priorities list with keeping soil fungi and bacteria happy.

My garden this year produced a lot of oil seed pumpkins that I am splitting and then hand scooping seeds. I spread the seeds on cardboard and sun dry them. I was a sloppy gardener so I have plenty of volunteer amaranth to harvest and winnow . The de milpa tomatillos have gone native and so I have been making Chile verde. They can be picked and stored a couple months without refrigeration. They are like the amaranth ,weeds at this point, but useful weeds are almost better than having to tend vegetable crops. The shallots gave me a small return but produced seed for next year.
 The live oaks are starting to drop acorns but the holm oaks aren’t ready yet. If I could figure out how to process the live oaks into livestock feed I think I could really make a big dent in feed cost for my pig operation . So if squash seed and acorns can keep a few pigs fed year round I think I can get very close to a viable small farm both carbon wise and profitable enough to pay the bills.


El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #779 on: October 25, 2019, 09:07:18 PM »
Small update.

We've been eating sweet potatoes about every other day for almost 2 months now, and we still have a few weeks' supply (all grown on cca 10 sq meters only). We make a big bowl of salad (tomatoes, various salad-leaves, etc) also. That's for lunch, all home-grown. For breakfast, its apples, pears, raspberries, figs, also home-grown. I also make fresh carrot-beetroot-apple juice every day (huge beetroots this yr, 1 kg each).Not yet self sufficiency, but a good part of our diet is from the garden in Sep/Oct. Tastes good, feels good.

(central Europe, zone 7)

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #780 on: October 27, 2019, 08:28:58 PM »
That's awesome. I'm jealous, although my wife is still getting stuff out of the garden as well (what with the crazy, warm weather).
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Re: Gardening
« Reply #781 on: December 10, 2019, 11:51:57 AM »
Ok, so even now, all of you who live in NH midlatitudes, you can still get some fresh greens for almost free.
I planted mustards in September/October into some beds (after melons and tomatoes and sweetpotatoes were done there) and they grew very big (1 meter). I harvested the greens continuously. Also, beets' leaves can be harvested into December and together with the very frosthardy rocket(ruccola) they make a nice salad.

Now that 3 days ago a hard freeze (-8 C) killed the mustards, I still have some fresh greens for salad under a small low-tunnel which only costs a couple of euros. The greens (salads, rocket, etc) can survive -5 to -10 degrees at night easily under the plastic because during the day even without direct sunshine temps go up above zero, and that is all they need. Last year we had a very warm winter (minimum temp only -10 C) and I could harvest greens all thru the winter. It's worth doing it, almost zero work, no weeding, no watering needed during the winter (i open the lowtunnel when it gets warm or if we get a warm rain)

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #782 on: January 03, 2020, 01:25:30 PM »
So, I decided to build a small passive greenhouse with a climate battery, this is actually pretty cool and very cheap to operate, so i hopefully won't need any heating:

http://www.ecosystems-design.com/climate-batteries.html
also check out this video:


My planned size is 8*2 meters, it is going to be a pit style greenhouse, 0,5 m deepth underground, with maximum height of 2,3 meters. I plan to dig the hole, put down perimeter insulation to 1 meter depth and build the structure during February. Glazing is 16 mm polycarbonate. I plan to plant the first cold-hardy plants at the end of Feb and transplant melons, tomatoes at the end of March, so that I could harvest them from  the end of May. Wish me luck!! :)

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #783 on: January 03, 2020, 11:04:56 PM »
Great. This is very impressive. I don't remember in which country you live, just to know if I could hope similar crops here.
I have a recipe with Kale to share. I placed in the bottom of a pan potatoes with carrots, something like 3/4 and 1/4, added water and salt. Than I added the Kale leaves cutted in small parts, I had also removed the hard parts of the leaves. Kale took about 4/5 of the volume in the pan. I cooked everything together (kale not being in the water, it was steam cooked), removed the water and finished like I would have done for mashed potatoes (this included adding some milk and butter). It was the first time the kids agreed to eat kale.

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #784 on: January 04, 2020, 08:27:57 AM »
Great. This is very impressive. I don't remember in which country you live, just to know if I could hope similar crops here....
I have a recipe with Kale to share. ....

I do like brussel sprouts with sour cream mashed like potatoes, they taste good!

As for my location: it is Hungary, winter minimum temp is between -15 and -10 C, winter average temp 0-1 C (average -2 night +3 daytime), summer average temp cca 22 C (cca  17 night 27 daytime), summer high 35-36 C

Theoretically (and based on others' experiences) if you have a well insulated pit greenhouse, you should not see much freezing during winter here, since the soil at 1 m is 5-6 C, so you get a constant "heating" from below plus the little sunshine minus outside temps. Should add up to greenhouse min temps on average of 2-3 C, and highs of 8-10 C during winter

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #785 on: January 04, 2020, 12:43:20 PM »
Yes, the drinking water pipes are about 1 meter underground here in Luxembourg in order to be protected from freezing. Conditions might be similar even if we are much more north than Hungary. The concept is great, but a lot of work to achieve.

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #786 on: January 04, 2020, 03:18:09 PM »
So, I decided to build a small passive greenhouse with a climate battery, this is actually pretty cool and very cheap to operate, so i hopefully won't need any heating:

http://www.ecosystems-design.com/climate-batteries.html
Looks like lots of tubing and plastic... What about using rotting horse manure as a heat source? I'm thinking about that (if I stay another winter here in Bavaria). We got lots of folks with horses around here. 10m²x0.5m I could get from one friend alone who just dumps the manure into the forest.
Google image search on my avatar image gives "wood". In fact it is the lower part of David Hilbert's tombstone.

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #787 on: January 04, 2020, 07:21:02 PM »
So, I decided to build a small passive greenhouse with a climate battery... this is actually pretty cool and very cheap to operate, so i hopefully won't need any heating:

http://www.ecosystems-design.com/climate-batteries.html
Looks like lots of tubing and plastic... What about using rotting horse manure as a heat source? I'm thinking about that (if I stay another winter here in Bavaria). We got lots of folks with horses around here. 10m²x0.5m I could get from one friend alone who just dumps the manure into the forest.

You are right about plastic. I hate it and avoid it whenever i can. But let's be honest: how many square meters of plastic insulation have you got in your house? Hundreds. Same for pipes, many hundreds of meters. I will use about 20 sqm of 10 cm EPS and about 12 meters of the most  simple PVC plastic pipes. I think that 30 yrs from now we will have cheap and reliable, environmentally friendly hemp insulation but not now.

AND:

The food I will produce will be totally organic, no pesticides, fungicides, etc, more nutrient dense, and much better tasting!
Also it will not have to be shipped from far, no heating will be needed to produce it. Do you know the ecological footprint of the food you buy in the supermarket? Salad greens, and tomatoes brought from Spain or the Netherlands, that are produced in huge, heated greenhouses.

I bet that even considering the plastic (which I truly hate), my footprint will be much smaller. I designed this greenhouse as simple as I could, using as few materials as I can. If we had plenty of cheap strawbales as insulation (even though I would have to change it every year) I would have considered that but it is not available.
 

Florifulgurator

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #788 on: January 04, 2020, 10:53:01 PM »
So, I decided to build a small passive greenhouse with a climate battery... this is actually pretty cool and very cheap to operate, so i hopefully won't need any heating:

http://www.ecosystems-design.com/climate-batteries.html
Looks like lots of tubing and plastic... What about using rotting horse manure as a heat source? I'm thinking about that (if I stay another winter here in Bavaria). We got lots of folks with horses around here. 10m²x0.5m I could get from one friend alone who just dumps the manure into the forest.

You are right about plastic. I hate it and avoid it whenever i can. But let's be honest: how many square meters of plastic insulation have you got in your house? [...]
Yeah. Plastic isn't always bad. For a larger permanent project I would also use it.

(My old half-ruin farm house actually has not much plastic and minimal plumbing. But my current firewood logistics involves lots of it, as I heat mostly with pellets and saw dust bricks to produce biochar and Terra Preta compost. I haven't yet managed to get the stuff without a plastic bag for each 10-15kg. Luckily there is a good garbage incineration plant not far, which is happy about my plastic as fuel. Dual use plastic! Else the incinerator would need more co-firing with oil.)
Google image search on my avatar image gives "wood". In fact it is the lower part of David Hilbert's tombstone.

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #789 on: January 05, 2020, 09:15:06 AM »
Horse manure seems to work fine. I read that in the 1800s it was used in Paris as heat source to grow vegetables. The farm Bec Hellouin uses that method, but there were so many more horses at that time.

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #790 on: January 05, 2020, 07:10:55 PM »
So, I was looking around to replace at least a part of the plastic insulation, and it seems that I can get 5 cm thick reed "sheets", or whatever you call them, for a reasonable price. This is the stuff they used to make their roof of in medieval europe (see pic attached). The good thing is that these roofs are still used in some parts of the countryside, and they usually last  20-30 years or even longer! Bad thing is that of course it is more expensive than plastic, but not by that much , while its insulation properties are a bit worse. So I think that the underground insulation is still going to be EPS (reed would not last long in the wet underground) but the aboveground one could be 10 cm thick reed (it will cost about 10-12 euros per sqm).

TerryM

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #791 on: January 05, 2020, 07:12:45 PM »
Cid
That's a hell of a successful model to emulate.
Congratulations!


Does he have plans for sale? or is further information available elsewhere? I've an acquaintance with 400 acres who married the gal down the road who will inherit an adjoining 400 acres. He recently exited the dairy business, but wants to keep the properties intact.


He might be interested in such a project, but I'd want more information before I could recommend it.
We're ~430 latitude with less extreme winters than depicted. Our river no longer freezes over on an annual basis & gigantic greenhouse tomatoes have been commercially viable for some time.
To clear up the last sentence the tomatoes are large, the greenhouses are gigantic. :)


Any information appreciated.
Thanks
Terry


El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #792 on: January 05, 2020, 07:17:56 PM »
Terry, if you mean the "Citrus in the snow" guy, I think he recently started selling parts for such greenhouses, but you would probably need to contact him to find out. Also, ecosystem designs, the page I quoted above, builds passive solar greenhouses+geoair/climatebattery, but i have no first hand experience:
http://www.ecosystems-design.com/four-season-greenhouses.html

I merely try to copy these guys after having read a lot about this stuff (but try to make it as simple and as low ecological footprint as possible). I will tell you how my project worked out on these pages. Stay tuned! :)

TerryM

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #793 on: January 05, 2020, 08:56:37 PM »
Thanks.
It was the Citrus in the Snow guy I was referencing.


I found the video interesting but it left many questions unanswered. I did air balance for decades in Las Vegas. A very different climate for a very different clientele, but many of the techniques are at least analogous.


He appeared to be using a fan to draw the cooled air in during summer months, but allowing the heated ridge line air to vent will suck cooled air through the (cooling) geo-piping. Misting the incoming air will cool it further and maintain needed humidity. No electrical devices but the thermostatic valves.


In winter he appears to be pulling ambient air through the (warming) geo-piping. In this instance the coolest base air, (still much warmer than ambient) could be recycled through the (warming) geo-piping. It requires a fan, but it won't be running for as long &/or the geo-pipes could be shorter. Ambient air could be introduced as required.


I'll be awaiting your posts eagerly. :)
Terry

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #794 on: January 05, 2020, 09:15:33 PM »
Based on what I read there are 2 concepts

1) Citrus in the snow guy, open system: he puts down tubing 10 feet deep and it is an open system, ie. one end of the pipe is in the greenhouse, the other is outside. The cold air during winter is being pulled into the greenhouse and while being pulled, warms up to the soil temp (at 10 feet depth), which seems to be cca 50 F (=10 C) there, thereby warming the greenhouse. Summer: opposite, obviously. He's got two thermostats, he operates the sytem if temps inside go up above 25C or below 10 or 5C

2) Closed system: 7-13 m long pipes are laid 0,5-1,5 meter below the greenhouse in the soil and the air is circulated in those (perforated pipes) by a fan. As the greenhouse is perimeter-insulated to 1 meter below surface, it is a sort of battery ("leaky" to the bottom) that can be "charged" with daytime heat and this heat is regained during night, or some later night

2b) Not only perimeter insulation but a total insulation, a true thermal battery is below the greenhouse, but same as 2)

In all cases only a fan is used and the COP is variously estimated between 3 and 30 based on circumstances (my back-of-the envelope calculations) do support these numbers.

it is a very cheap and simple system actually, I plan to use for my small greenhouse a 12 m long pipe and a small fan, these cost no more than 100 euros altogether and its maximum energy consumption (if it works around the clock, which is very rare!) is cca 500 Wh per day which costs less than 10 cents per day


TerryM

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #795 on: January 05, 2020, 11:12:26 PM »
Intriguing!


I've laid miles of perf pipe for leach fields, but not at those depths. No problems with the water table I presume, otherwise watertight piping would be necessary. In California any ditch over 5 ft ( ~1.5 M) required shoring, but laws vary & as a DIY it shouldn't be a problem.
Are you pulling permits?


Fans are efficient, inexpensive and require little maintenance. A reasonable alternative.
Will ingoing and outcoming air be at the same height in the greenhouse?
Swamp coolers (evaporative coolers) are typically used to address humidity concerns. a fan and a small pump are the only electrical draw & they're usually controlled by humidistats as well as thermostats. Misters are the alternative.


Any thoughts re. stratification? The reason I ask is that an extension of the incoming/exiting air that could be moved each season might alleviate such problems by convection, without requiring an additional fan.
Will city water be available? Grid electricity?
Will you be building close enough to your home to utilize excess household heat in winter - say clothes dryer exhaust? I heated my garage in Las Vegas with a 20' exhaust hose that ran along one wall before exiting. An alternative hose ran ~ 3 ft to another exit in the summer. :)


Sorry for all the questions, many concern problems that my friend may face. He's a 20 acre pond surrounded by about the same acreage of swamp/muskeg, so if he located his unit close to that area he'd need to concern himself with the water table.


9W fans are an industry standard here & the volumes sold make them relatively inexpensive. I haven't checked the CFM for decades - I suppose it would be in Cubic Meters/Minute in your region. One blowing and one sucking might provide the airflow you'll need at the wattage you're seeking.


Your method with the shorter pipes and no/little ambient air seems reasonable. Have you taken a temperature reading at your planned depth yet?


Christ - I've got to quit asking questions.
Terry

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #796 on: January 06, 2020, 08:11:19 AM »
Ok, lots of questions, and as I am just planning, unfortunately I have no experience yet. So here comes only what i understood:

1) water table: that is certainly a concern. Where tha water table is high, only unperforated pipes can be used. I read though that perforated pipes are better if applicable. Pipes are usually 4-6 inch (10-15 cm) diameter and run underground 7-13 meters. in bigger greenhouses they run into a bigger manifol, or many bigger ones. In my case, there is no watertable to 10 m at least,as I live on a hilltop, so i will go with a perforated pipe. And no permits are needed here at all.
2) You are right about pipe height: since cold air sinks, there is one pipe that is close to the top of the greenhouse and one close to the floor. this is what I plan, too: one end of the tube near the floor, one at 1,5 meter
3) "Will city water be available? Grid electricity?" Yes, our house is close to the city, so no problem with those
4) Stratification? I really don't know
5) I am digging my hole so I have not taken a temp reading that, but I will. I do have data from around the country though about soil temps at 1,2,3 meter depth and they are pretty similar, so I will likely get no surprises: 1 meter temps are usually 4-6 C in Jan-Feb, and 18-20 in Aug/Sep. That is my planned depth, so I used that in my calculations. I could go deeper if I used a backhoe for digging, but I do it manually now

Florifulgurator

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #797 on: January 06, 2020, 02:15:47 PM »
Why perforated pipes?
Google image search on my avatar image gives "wood". In fact it is the lower part of David Hilbert's tombstone.

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #798 on: January 06, 2020, 04:33:48 PM »
Why perforated pipes?

Some say perforated is better if you have no watertable issues, because of
a) better heat exchange and
b) the moist greenhouse air becomes drier air

Source :

http://www.ecosystems-design.com/faq.html

"How does a climate battery work?
During the day when the greenhouse interior is being heated by the sun, the climate battery fans push this heated air from high in the greenhouse down through the underground heat exchange tubing. This warm, moist air cools as it runs through the tubing, depositing heat by conduction into the surrounding soil, and condensed water vapor with latent heat through perforations in the tubing. This cooled, dryer air returns to the greenhouse space, cooling and drying the greenhouse, and regaining its capacity to absorb moisture and heat from the greenhouse again. It is a simple form of the heat pump cycle, that takes advantage of the latent heat energy stored in water vapor, and the phenomenon of condensating said vapor by bringing the air temperature down to dew point through heat transfer to the cooler soil.



"Why do you recommend short runs of heat exchange tubing (25-35’) vs. less longer runs? Could longer runs be used?
We have found from experience that 25-35’ runs work well for efficient air-to-soil heat exchange in these systems, but that is not to say that longer runs couldn’t work as well. The issue we have found with longer runs is that after ~35’ oftentimes the air has already reached soil temperature and is no longer transferring heat to the soil, thereby wasting the remaining tube length. This also creates uneven heating of the greenhouse soil, with soil near the climate battery intake warmer than near the exhaust. We suspect there are arrangements that could make longer runs work, such as increasing air speed, but we have not tested it out enough yet to confidently recommend it. Any shorter than 25’ of tube length and you risk not bringing the temperature of the air down to dew-point while in the tubes, missing the benefits of water-vapor phase-change."

TerryM

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #799 on: January 06, 2020, 10:37:50 PM »
1 foot of pea gravel below the perf pipe & 2 inches above in a 3 foot trench were required for leach fields. Probably 6 inches below in a 1 foot trench should be adequate to dispose of condensate and the water should enhance heat transfer.


A backhoe or trenching machine can do weeks of digging in a matter of hours. The rental cost is trivial.


I've been diligently searching for data that addresses South West Ontario's specific problems. The only greenhouses I've had anything to do with were in or near the Mojave Desert where increasing the humidity was needed.


Both were conventional glass houses. One supplied the owners flower shop & the other specialized in growing succulents - both were commercially successful, both were DIY projects. I did the electrical, plumbing & humidity/(HVAC?) on both, but neither required supplemental heating.


Your "geo-battery" concept sounds promising.


Keep us informed. :)
Terry