Posts By: norton

Planning an off-grid solar system.

Estimating Energy Generated by your PV System Using the equation below, you can estimate the annual electricity production and electric bill savings for a grid-connected home solar electric system with a net metering arrangement. Determine the PV system’s size in kilowatts (kW). A typical range is from 1 to 5 kW. This value is the… Read more »

Keeping a few chickens

Minimum Space Requirements (m2/bird) Type of Bird Inside Outside Bantam Chickens 0.1 0.4 Laying Hens 0.15 0.8 Large Chickens 0.2 1.0 ……

Straw bale gardening

It’s time to devote some time to learning (and practicing) straw bale gardening. I’ve been aware of this technique/system for a while but have not paid much more attention. Here’s a great starting point, an article from The Dirt I Occupy “The Amazing Straw Bale Garden“. And another from No Dig Vegetable Garden. Here’s an… Read more »

Breeding Guinea Pigs For Meat

The guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) is called cuy, cobayo or curi in Spanish. This animal is, just like the llama and alpaca, a pre-Colombian domestic animal kept in the Andean region. Even today its distribution coincides with the area of influence of the ancient Inca Empire. I’m considering raising guinea pigs as an alternative to… Read more »

Masonry heaters & stoves

GeoPathfinder Many people currently cook in a microwave oven. It’s called “micro” because the high-frequency radio energy used to jiggle the food’s water molecules has a very short wavelength. We call our stove the macrowave because, even though it utilizes radiated infrared energy (heat) which has a much higher frequency and even shorter wavelength, the… Read more »

A collection of straw bale resources

Straw bale building guidelines for wet and humid climates Climate and Straw bale construction Five tips for keeping straw bale walls dry in a wet climate Yes you can! Build with Strawbale in Wet Climates Moisture and straw bale walls. Sun Plans Strawdio Template Straw Bale Futures Passive Solar Design Lime paint, lime wash and… Read more »

Composting

This book describes a way of making compost, i.e. humus, which is simply, labour saving (no turning) and quick, both in ripening the compost and in getting results in the soil. It is adaptible to all conditions and to every size and type of garden, allotment or farm, the process being based on nature’s own methods.

Tasty ways to enjoy your tomatoes all year round

Read the original article “5 Tasty Ways to Eat Your Tomato Harvest All Year” on Treehugger.com Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce Marinara sauce, it can make or break any Italian dish. Don’t worry, this recipe is sure to be a family favorite. The tomatoes come out tasting sun-dried and is it so simple to make. You… Read more »

Checking straw bale wall moisture levels & all things monitoring

I have the opportunity to add “smart” technology to my house as I’m building. I’m considering using either, or both, arduino boards & Raspberry Pi computers as the main processors to which I’ll attach various sensors and switches. Primary considerations will be power consumption, heat production & cooling, and reliability. Both Arduino and Raspberry Pi… Read more »

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Dimensions of straw bales

Straw-bales can be made from a range of plant fibres not only grass-family species like wheat, rye, barley, blue-grass, and rice, but also flax, and hemp. Bales of recycled materials like paper, pasteboard, waxed cardboard, crushed plastics, whole tires, and used carpeting have also been used or are currently being explored for building.