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    • Tue, Jul 03, 2012 - 09:38pm

      #5

      EndGamePlayer

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      Changes in the game plan….

    We are living a rural lifestyle and I can’t believe how much time I researching how we are going to be self-suffcient in the future. That said, we learned about peak oil and started planning in 2005 and we have only covered the tip of the ice berg when it comes to being self-sufficent.

    I have gardened for over 30 years and can say with confidence – growing nearly all my own food is a different ball game than having a hobby garden for a few fresh veggies over summer. After 4 years of going at it – we are at least providing 80% of our fruit and veggies and this is the first year I got my small production on chickens going – enough to give us all the chicken we want. We have dairy goats and they produce about 30% of our dairy. Not much, but better than nothing.

    As of late, I have made some extreme changes in our game-plan A. We used to want to grow sugar beets for ethanol and we will most likely grow some. But I recently heard about propane and how flex-fuel it can be in that methane is a replacement for propane or natural gas.

    So, we are planning on changing our electrical system to a propane powered system. This is going to cut our electric bill (which the rates have tripled since we moved here) down to around $30/month. It will also allow us to use more power for the farm needs….water pumping, garden watering, and the like. The only thing around here that doesn’t need water is our no mowing grasses – everything else is so bone dry now!

    If porpone becomes too high a fuel cost, we can make methane from both human and animal waste before it goes to the garden composter. Though methane and propane are interchangable, its still not as dense an energy as gas.

    IWe can do this with powering a truck too. For people who are connected to natural gas lines, they only need to plug into a special gas unit and re-fuel the vehicle. And again, if the fuel becomes too high, then methane is an option.

    We have entirely re-thought about how we are doing our gardens too. The old way of clearing and planting, then weed, weed and weed until harvest is not only time consuming, its also impossible to do when the weather doesn’t coopeerate. Today its like 100 degrees out there and the weeds are taking off …again.

    This summer, we are going to try to make narrow chicken tractors and put some hens in there to go between the row crops and clean up weeds before the weeds over take the crops. The problem with that is the design is only 18 inches wide and 12 foot long so they might end up tipping over.

    The tomatoes, green peppers, melons, cantaloupe, pumpkins and cold crops alll need to on plastic or some way to not spend too much time weeding. I do small bio-intensive spring lettuces, spinach and greens but I also plan on eventually doing them all in plastic. Finally, we planted no mowing grasses near the house and buildings and I want to expand the plantings of no mow grass to the garden and wooded pathes. That reduces the mowing task and energy use down to 2 times a year, verses the mowing every week.

    The plans for the rain collection system haven’t changed….much. Collecting rain water hasn’t changed, but last winter I monitored the temperature in our old root cellarand I’ve decided to store the water there and use it as a mini-geo-thermal system to store cold water there until July for less home cooling costs and if the water is warmed by August, it might add some warmth into the winter. Today, the outside temps are over 90 degrees and the root cellar is 67 so it might happen sooner than later….

    Have a Happy 4th Every one!

    EndGamePlayer

    • Tue, Jul 03, 2012 - 07:45pm

      #6

      EndGamePlayer

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      The Best Low Cost Design I’ve heard of…

    Now, I’ve studied this for years and wish I would have saved my money. We bought a Centrex composting toilet, a Nature’s Head and others as we build new bathrooms and refuse to go with a conventional septic system.

    The best (and low cost) design I heard of uses a wood box with a metal container to “deposit” into. Make the box big enough to hold the metal pail you find and confortable enough to sit on. Then as needed, pull out the metal container and you can either start a fire under it so it burns down to nearly nothing, or if the contents are dry, burn inside the metal pail. Having 2 metal pails would mean no rush to burn between uses.

    What’s great about the Box-n-Metal Pail System is if people are medications, then the contents get burned before going into the ground. The other benefit is the toilet is portable and might be used if someone has a medical need and needs a toilet close by. Yes, that CAN happen!

    Now, having tested nearly all the composting systems on the market, I can say with confidence I don’t care much for any of them other than the one above. The best toilet system I ever heard of and want to replace our systems with one day is – a digester from human waste system. After all, why not re-purpose Poo!

    The person I talked to said that if you can collect the waste in a tank and siphon off the gases, you have some small fuel source. In China, they use this fuel source as a central digester and it provides some fuel, almost enough to cook a meal a day.

    Now for the real controversial topic…..What to use for toilet paper??

    • Mon, Jan 09, 2012 - 02:30pm

      #1114

      EndGamePlayer

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      Draft horses…the forgotten alternative energy

     I have a neighbor who uses draft horse to the max. Mainly he does horse logging (cedar river horse logging and you can find him on Facebook -Tim Carroll, with the picture of horses).

     

    He brought the horse over last summer  to cut the hay and I was wow’ed as they hardly worked up a sweat. You can see them and how he trains they on rural heritage.com take out the spaces as the iPad auto corrects everything. 

    Not only do the horses do field work and drag logs out of the woods with little disruption to the veggitation like vehicles would, they are also ridden when needed and a beautiful animal to watch.

    • Sat, Oct 01, 2011 - 02:46am

      #3

      EndGamePlayer

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      If you have water flow- HydroPower is the way to go!

    When we researched our power options…I almost forgot HydroPower!

    The things I love about hydropower is we don’t need batteries because the water here flows 10.5 months of the year…what to do the other months? but the amount of power is constant and available. That makes it much more affordable and less maintenance. We’ve had a small wind unit and 6 small solar panels for years and really tire of the constant need to de-sulfate and maintain the batteries…not to mention the initial cost of a big battery system.

    I found a couple of designs I really like. The water jet units are priced within our range (they really put out the power if you have enough drop), but adding on units in the future might be a problem so I think we might go with a Water Bug which can have additional units added as we have resources. These also float on shallow water so they require less maintenance. The one thing I think makes these units so invaluable is the motors can be converted to wind during the times our creek is frozen. It might not be as dependable power as wind just blows so often here, but any power when off grid is a God-send. Anyway, this design really looks like a do-it-yourselfer could manage.

    I also like the Clemson Beaver pond leveler as we could put a trolling motor in the end (anchored) AND keep the beavers from flooding the area. That’s killing to birds with one stone. Granted, not everyone has beavers to deal with and the distance to run the power all the way to the farm site could be an obsticle, but the idea of managing beavers AND getting power really jazz’s me up.

    Anyway – I’m now sold on hydropower as our best option for main power source.

    EGP

    • Fri, Sep 23, 2011 - 04:25pm

      #77

      EndGamePlayer

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      Anyone used Jet Stoves or Rocket Mass Heaters?

    Hi All- Well its that time of year …again.

    Has anyone used a wood burner with a jetstove chimney? They are supposed to be smoke less and put out twice the heat. I really like the concept of not letting all my heat go up in smoke and out the chimney. I talked to the guy who is making them and he will soon have the chimney available to add on to my present burner. Its in a test stage now and he said it looks promising.

    I need to do one chimney on each of my wood burners –  three for the house, one for the workshop and one full boiler burner for keeping the water from turning to ice in the barn.  I have been using electric de-icers to keep the animal water thawed but our plan is to get off the grid by next spring.  Something like this would seem like a good idea.

    I love the idea of the rocket mass heater design but I live up north and when we burn – we burn 24/7 to raise the temperature up by, sometimes, 100 degrees F (when its 20 below) and for those of us who live up north – that can add up to a lot of wood. Last year we burned 5 cords for all the buildings. . .roughly 10 pick up loads. Sure, it only cost us $35 in gas to do it (chain saw, gas to haul and gas for splitter) but it took 22 days at 5 hours a day. If I can reduce that work load by any amount – I would be a happy camper.  And I don’t think a rocket mass barrel chimney would work because we’ve used a double barrel kit for the work shop and it really only lasted a season before rust got it. The barrels just don’t take the heat like a heavy metal unit could. . . at least, that’s my thought.

    IF these really work as well as I think they would by burning off the smoke and releasing all the heat before it leaves the building, then there might be no end to the things we could do with it – make hot water, make a sauna (!) or even build a year-round greenhouse if we could run the chimney heat underground. That’s if it works as well as I hope….Anyone else familiar with these? I’d be very happy to hear experiences with using them!

    EGP

    • Mon, Sep 19, 2011 - 06:23pm

      #57

      EndGamePlayer

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      Full Moon

    No, I haven’t read that but since I have no idea on the exact location of this thing is, its anyone’s guess. . . but IF I was to make a guess, I would think if it passed between us and the Sun, it would happen closer to end of Feb to end of March…about the time of the March 11th Japanese quake…just a guess though.

    I have been trying to find a timeline on the orbit and have been watching amature vids. I can’t find "authorative" details. Please share if you find anything!

    EGP

    • Mon, Sep 19, 2011 - 04:19pm

      #55

      EndGamePlayer

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      current info on “what’s causing quakes”?

    I found Google Sky shows (what is being called) a dwarf star named Nibiru. Maybe this is old info to some people, but since it can be seem in Google Sky, it might be of interest to those who haven’t seen it before and are wondering why they are feeling quakes.

    Here’s how I found it:

    • Go to Google Sky and click on "Constellations" in the HOME button (bottom left of screen).
    • When the constellation symbols load, click on the Lion (for LEO).
    • Wait for the map to load then click on the INFRARED button on the top right of the screen. It’s the blue star-looking thing and it came in behind Elenin, thus all the confusion. The blocked out picture to the bottom left is the sun (just below Virgo) and (IMHO) they block it out to prevent lens flares.

    Presently, the highly active solar flares are directing toward it.  We have been heading away from it during the course of our orbit, but we are now back to heading toward it so it will soon start to look much larger. **Note: thiis heavenly bodies should not be confused with the recent pulsars found in early Sept.

    Feel free to post or PM me if you have additional comments. I’m always looking for valid data on the movement of these bodies.

    EndGamePlayer

     

    • Sun, Aug 14, 2011 - 02:22am

      #19

      EndGamePlayer

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      Home Made Energy 101

    Matrix is dead on- you first have to cut back on your use – like that hot tub has gotta go! So does the electric sauna – get a wood fired one.

    At MyBackAchers.com we just finished our test run on a Water Bug unit for Hydro-Electric power, which will at least run spring, summer and fall (forget winters cause the creek is froze up). In order to live off-grid – we still need to reduce all the energy use we can.

    I prefer hydro when its available and I think its the one alt-energy people can made themselves, gives constant power – or at least when the water flows, has a short pay back time and doesn’t use batteries – unless you want to. We saw a guy on ebay selling solar pieces you soldier together and he really had a pallet of them for cheap- like $9K – that’s cheap for solar and you can add to that cost when you add the batteries because it doesn’t run all the time. Same with wind – we tested a small unit to see if we wanted a large one and it was too much hassle when batteries didn’t have power when the wind didn’t blow.

    We don’t heat with any electrical use and we don’t need a freezer running when its 20 below so that leaves us lights and communications to power. We cook with propane (might be switching to wood in a few years) and the washing machine gets run once a week whether I want clean clothes or not (of course clothes get hung outside to dry..or freeze depending on the weather. . . had been think we would just hang dirty clothes out in the winter and get them off the line in spring to conserve even more. =))

    EGP

    • Fri, Aug 12, 2011 - 06:21pm

      #46

      EndGamePlayer

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      Hydro Electric, Wind, Solar … more than one solution…

    Hi-

    While thorium might be a solution in the distance future,, I think people are starting to create their own unique solutions. My other issue is that centralized energy may become a thing of the past, or at least interupted so continuing to conserve will always be the theme of the day.

    Here’s what I mean about creative people:

    • Guy builds solar system to power home and when not sending power to house – it makes hydrogen for transportation (maybe he has a fuel cell?). @font-face {
      font-family: “Times New Roman”;
      }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } http://www.youtube.com/v/xEdQRVQtffw He had help financing and I think he says how much it all costs somewhere in his video, which is beyond our resources.
    • Guy turns a barrel into hydro-electric on : @font-face {
      font-family: “Times New Roman”;
      }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }a:link, span.MsoHyperlink { color: blue; text-decoration: underline; }a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed { color: purple; text-decoration: underline; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }span.fbodquote { }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23DUFIDDEEQ
      with apparently a barrel, motor and fins. Wouldn’t that be a way to make power for a hydrogen generator! What I like about Hydro-Electric – NO BATTERIES required. Which when we tested wind and solar – they all require huge battery bank systems (2 – 3 times the cost of the solar or wind unit). They also pay for themselves faster since they can run – 24/7. . when you have the water flow. 
    • Finally, (one of my favorites) the solar powered bike, which would fit about 50% of my transportation needs if I got some good weather gear. . . .and its a cheap healthy ride.

    IMHO- I think we will see an "Energy Rennesaince" of new ways to make energy. Like Chris said- "We didn’t exit the stane age because we ran out of stones" and I don’t think we’re going to exit the age of energy just because oil and gas are depleting – we’ll still have energy but it will be much different. You might not just plug something in mindlessly- you might jump on a bike to peddle-power up your computer or go chop some wood to warm your house. It will be different, but in many ways safer and better for all of us.

    EGP

    • Wed, Aug 03, 2011 - 04:07pm

      #10

      EndGamePlayer

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      SafeRIGHT!

    Yeap – wade through all the bs to get to some interesting stuff! Get ALL your filters on.

    I , for one, am waiting for the August 4th details about Elenin, comet, black hole, dwarf star . . .whatever it is. I personally checked the nasa/jpl trajectory and position at the time of all past known seismic activity (I looked up the dates of all the major quakes) and found a 100% activity when there was a straight alignment, 80% when there were squares (unless you count swarms) and not just on our planet. Saturn produced lightening storms a few years early and for now, as this comet nears the Sun, more active solar flares of higher intensity are being noted.

    Which is why rumors abound about the activity and I hope that the explaination NASA gives in a few days will help understand why the annomolous activity associated with this comet that is only suppose to be 3 – 4 kilometers.

    Note, the 9nania prediction did not predict that Japan would quake, only that there would be a quake. I found this to be a theme in all the Elenin predictions that were acurate. The activity from Haiti quake, the Indonesian Tsunami, New Zealand, Iceland, Japan, Chili all match the comet alignment positions,

    Also note, the guy who talked about the plumes in Nev./California was right about-  that there were plumes, contrary to the USGS’s letter. These were not predictions but his observation. The USGS never saw them the first time. My point in mentioning this was that people themselves are observing things and this makes for more eyes on the ball than at any time in history. . . and again, some people seem to have a natural talent that with some refining and verification could mean a huge collection of information like humans have never seen before. What a resource of brain power.

    Feel free to PM me if you want need help in going over data. I’d be happy to help anyone who can intelligently discuss this.

    EGP

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