Rowe 2012 seminar forum

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  • Tue, Mar 27, 2012 - 09:59pm

    #1

    Adam Taggart

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    Rowe 2012 seminar forum

This forum thread is for use by the participants in the Rowe weekend seminar that took place on March 23-25, 2012. Please use it for:

  • keeping in touch and emotionally supporting each other
  • sharing perspective and ideas around the Three Es
  • providing encouragement in working towards your Step 0 goals (and beyond)
  • collaborating for in-person gatherings

Once the new site has launched, a new Group will be created replacing this thread.

It was an absolute pleasure to spend the weekend with all of you. Chris, Becca and I hope to see you here on the site often!

  • Thu, Mar 29, 2012 - 07:00pm

    #2
    mackcom

    mackcom

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    Step 0 progress

 

Hello all,

First I want to thank everyone for providing a place (at Rowe, as well as this forum) where we can speak candidly about our hopes and fears.  The energy I’ve gleaned from this group has been incredible.  I attended this seminar where I thought I was going to learn about how to live with less, and soon realized that this is making me wealthier then I ever imagined!  I now have a rich community of people that I can share this journey with; I’m no longer alone with my ruminations.  So, thank you!

Now, the good news…. Today I received my “Big Berkey” filter system (with Doulton ATC candles) from St. Paul Mercantile.  Before I’ve even used it, I feel more in control of my life, it’s incredible.  Now, if something goes wrong with my water supply, I have a “Plan B”, something real that I can use to help myself and my family.

So, I just wanted to take a minute to celebrate my first step and encourage others to do the same.  I’ve just started the marathon, many more miles and steps to take, enjoying the journey as I go.

Enjoy,

Ed Mack

 

  • Thu, Mar 29, 2012 - 07:18pm

    #3

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

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    Congrats and welcome

mackcom wrote:

 

Hello all,

First I want to thank everyone for providing a place (at Rowe, as well as this forum) where we can speak candidly about our hopes and fears.  The energy I’ve gleaned from this group has been incredible.  I attended this seminar where I thought I was going to learn about how to live with less, and soon realized that this is making me wealthier then I ever imagined!  I now have a rich community of people that I can share this journey with; I’m no longer alone with my ruminations.  So, thank you!

Now, the good news…. Today I received my “Big Berkey” filter system (with Doulton ATC candles) from St. Paul Mercantile.  Before I’ve even used it, I feel more in control of my life, it’s incredible.  Now, if something goes wrong with my water supply, I have a “Plan B”, something real that I can use to help myself and my family.

So, I just wanted to take a minute to celebrate my first step and encourage others to do the same.  I’ve just started the marathon, many more miles and steps to take, enjoying the journey as I go.

Enjoy,

Ed Mack

Ed –

Welcome to CM.com and congrats on knocking off the hardest step in your effort – the first one.  We weren’t at Rowe, but were at the Lowesville seminar a few years back.  Good luck on the journey….have fun.

  • Mon, Apr 02, 2012 - 12:55am

    #4
    bjmcder

    bjmcder

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    My step 0

It was great meeting everyone last weekend, I definitely feel a lot more confident about things now having got to meet with so many like-minded people.

One of the most immediate steps I was able to take, having just learned about it at the workshop, was participating in a community-shared agriculture (CSA) program. I pay a local farm about $400 at the beginning of the season, then every week from May-October I get a share of their harvest, roughly equal to a large grocery bag full of vegetables. Working out to about $20 a week, this saves me money over what I would pay at the grocery store, and I can be confident knowing that the farm is only 5 miles down the road.

I highly recommend checking out CSA’s if you haven’t already, as it’s an easy first step to take in sourcing your food locally. http://www.localharvest.org/ is the site I used to find one.

-Brian McDermott

  • Tue, Apr 03, 2012 - 02:09am

    #5
    joesxm2011

    joesxm2011

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    local harvest

bjmcder,

Funny you should mention that site.  I found it this weekend and located several nice farmer’s markets close to home and one farmer that sells hard red wheat that I can put into bags and buckets.

I also saw a house down the road from me listed as a farm that raises llamas, ostriches and goats.  I see the animals driving to work but did not realize that they sold breeding stock and fibers for spinning.

Small world.

Sorry I was not able to attend the conference but I had too much to do splitting up four trees that were recently cut down and trying to get the gardens ready.  I would have liked to meet some of the New England members.

Joe

  • Fri, Apr 06, 2012 - 08:33pm

    #6
    Chris Martenson

    Chris Martenson

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    Success!

Adam, Becca and I are always gratified to hear that people find the weekend seminar to be of great help, and that it exceeds expectations. We do our best to create, and then learn from, and then re-create the weekend so that it evolves over time.

Music to my ears is that people feel more confident and are taking actions. Those are two great outcomes for the weekend.

For anybody that is interested, there is just one more weekend seminar this year on the books and that is at Kripalu over the June 29-July 1 weekend.  If you can make it, our feedback provides excellent assurance that you will find it to be money and time very well spent.

Perhaps anecdotally, but the just retired director of Rowe, Doug Wilson, who has seen more than his share of seminars over the past three decades, has made it a point to attend ours not just once in full, not twice, but 5 times (missing only this sixth one due to a wake that he had to attend).  He’s told us it is one of the very best he’s seen.

A particular strength of the weekend is aligning partners who may be singing from different sheets of music in their relationship when it comes to preparation.

At any rate, I had an especially good time at this last weekend and the crowd was really engaged. We were too, and I am very glad for the experience and memories.

  • Fri, Apr 06, 2012 - 10:50pm

    #7

    Adam Taggart

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    Meat CSAs

For those just learning about CSAs, also realize there are CSAs that specialize in local, humanely and sustainably-raised (non-GMO, antibiotic-free, grass-fed, free-range, etc) meats.

I just recently became a customer. As with garden-oriented CSAs, you subscribe and receive a box with choice cuts of freshly-butchered meats from a variety of animals (beef, pork, lamb, chicken). Much more convenient than store-shopping, much tastier, and you enjoy the peace of mind knowing you’re eating as healthily as a carnivore can (no pink slime!)

And Ed & Brian: congrats on your progress – you’re both off to a great start!!

  • Mon, Apr 23, 2012 - 03:25am

    #8
    SimonR4

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    Preps since Rowe

Hi All,

I have been busy since returning.

  1. Got my raised bed vegatable garden prepared and preliminarily planted
    1. Reconfigured the two 4’x4′ beds from last year to 16′ by 3′ (as I found that it was to hard to get to the back [North SIde] of the bed since I have to use deer mesh to keep the squirrels, rabbits, raccoons and deer out of the vegatables) 
    2. Added a new 4’x4′ section (when I got it home from Home Depot I discovered that they changed the design from a screw retained side boards into grooved 4×4 corners to dovetailed fit (eliminating the need for screws, but not compatable with my modification.)
    3. BTW, did you hear that about the rabbit that had the nerve to knock on my back door and ask for salad dressing.
    4. Had to cut sod, roll it up and moved it to part of the yard that previously got no sunlight until we cut down some 40′ to 50′ high trees in preparation for solar PV and solar hot water.
    5. Dug down 6 ” and removed the 25% of the soil that was rocks via sifting, added peat moss, garden lime, vegatable microgrowth fungi (from Fungi.com), sand and then filled the beds with combo of top soil (plus more peat moss, lime, fungi,etc.)Garden with prepared old soil with garden lime applied
    6. Covered Bed with black garden cloth to cut down on need for weeding and put up the initial 4′ side supports with the deer mesh doubled over on the back (so I can add the 8 foot supports for the tomatoes and cukes and beans which crawled up the back to that height last year)
    7. Garden Bed Prepared prior to planting
    8. Planted the seedling my daughter and I started last month.

Been Cutting wood and splitting it and making wood holders and stacking it.
Wood Split and piled and covered for drying

Contracted with Master Mason to design a Masonary Heater (much more efficient than wood stoves or fireplaces for heating a home).

Started on my aquaponics system today (Sunday April 22 2012) by building a modified potting bench that is shorter ( to house the 55 gallon fish tank in shade under the deck boards that will support the grow beds which is heavy with gravel, expanded clay and the water from the fish tank)

My redesigned platform for the Aquaponics Fish Tank and grow beds

The 6 foot tall back verticals will either support a lattice for the produce of the grow beds or additional vertical Aquaponics systems.

The details are as follows:

  1. Aquaponics Table  == total cost was about $60 using pressure treated 2×4’s and deck boards (If I had used Composite Deck Materials such as Trex the cost would have been over $300 but a lot more “esthetic” according to the wife.
    (modified from plans by Kreg Tool == Potting Bench)

    https://www.kregtool.com/images/icons/potting_bench.pdf (You can email me and I will scan the plans or send you the pdf if you have problems)

  2. My new design lowers the table top to accomadate the 55 gallon Rubbermaid container that I have used for the fish tank.
    It also widens it for the same reason.  The top will support the weight of the Rubbermaid Black Totes boxes that I use
    for the growing beds.  Last year I had 6″ of gravel in one and 6″ of red gravel in the other.  This year to increase the
    filtration effect of the grow beds I have bought expanded clay pellets (I have not opened up the four 40 litre bags so I
    do not know if they are the normal round hydroton-like balls or pellets.)
  3. Parts List

    A Front Legs 24″ x 2 (reduced from 34″)
    B Back Legs  6′  x 2 (Lengthened from 47 3/4″)
    C Leg Rails  24″ x 2 (Lengthened from 17″)
    D Long Rails 47 3/4″ x 4 (Lengthed from 33″)
    E Supports   28″ x 3  (Lengthened from 24″)

    G Bench Boards (Deck Boards cut in half)
     

  4. I purchased 7  2x4x8 (pressure treated) and 3 1.25″x5″x10′ Deck Boards and had Home Depot cut them to length

    2 2×4’s cut into 6′ plus 2′ (24″)
    2 2×4’s cut into 4 24″ pieces
    2 2×4’s cut in half
    1 2×4 cut into 3 28″ pieces with a little waste at the end

    3 Deck Boards cut in half.

One idea I have is to make a WindowFarm.org vertical garden that uses 2 Litre Soda bottles for growing vegatables in your window or in my case outdoors. 

 

Here is one variation from a Window Farm Community member in Germany.

The Urban Survival Blogger (http://urbangreensurvival.blogspot.com/)  has a similar Aquaponic approach.

 

I am also intrigued by the 

Vertical Earth Gardens and by RemoteGardener.com who use both pvc piping to feed hydroponics to 2 liter soda bottles filled with hydroton, or just nutrient water for the roots growing out of recycled styrofoam cups.

Been also working on other resiliency stuff but that is for another post.

Simon Rosenberg

PS Dogs, I wish I knew who you were when we were at Rowe to put a face on the man behind the many comments here and on other sites, especially when it came to the discussions on Fukishima.  I really appreciate your insights and sharing your thoughts.

 

 

  • Mon, Apr 23, 2012 - 05:27pm

    #9
    joesxm2011

    joesxm2011

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    Simon

Simon,

Several of my friends have cautioned me about completely covering my wood piles with tarps.  They said the it would trap moisture.  I now only put plastic on the top like a little roof and leave the sides open.  I saw your picture and figured I would mention it.  Just a thought.

My friend has a web site dedicated to hydroponics.  You may want to look at it.  The link is http://www.hydroponics-at-home.com/index.html.

Dogs,

If I knew you were coming all the way up to New England for the Rowe seminar it might have tipped me over the edge into going.  I was probably still to booked up to make it, but I would have liked the opportunity to meet you in person.

Joe 

  • Mon, Apr 23, 2012 - 07:13pm

    #10

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

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    SimonR4 wrote:PS Dogs, I

SimonR4 wrote:

PS Dogs, I wish I knew who you were when we were at Rowe to put a face on the man behind the many comments here and on other sites, especially when it came to the discussions on Fukishima.  I really appreciate your insights and sharing your thoughts.

Hello Simon –

Thanks for the kind words…..we were at the Lowesville seminar, but not Rowe (unfortunately).  The great thing about this site is there are a lot of people who are well informed in a lot of topics – sharing that knowledge and helping clear things up is a strength here that most sites like CM.com don’t have.

Your SFG looks great – ours is booming, we started picking artichokes two weeks ago and they are coming in hand over fist.  If you listen carefully, you can hear the rest growing.

Is that your aquaponics set up with the recycled bottles?  Looking forward to your updated resiliency posts.

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