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Started by tasselhoff on Apr 4, 2019 1:22:42 PM
Eco-homes

So, I've decided to buy a doer-upper and make it as self-sufficient as possible, with the accent on permaculture-style ecosystem restoration.

Because IMO we're each responsible for showing the way forward in our own way in a time of potential ecological collapse.

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tasselhoff - 04 Apr 2019 13:25:14 (#1 of 619)

This time I bought it with enough left over to do the basics:

- fix the roof

- sort out the foundations

- get the bog out of the living room

- set up a combined solar collector / wood boiler system with buffer tanks for central heating and hot water

- add hemp / lime insulation around the house for maximum internal thermal mass (it's made of stone) as well as internal lime render showing some stone

Gotout - 04 Apr 2019 13:29:16 (#2 of 619)

Good for you tasselhof! Any chance of some pictures as the project progresses?

tasselhoff - 04 Apr 2019 13:29:40 (#3 of 619)

- after an initial period of checking for frost pockets etc, start planting chestnut and walnut trees

- prepare a six-parcel micro-ley rotation scheme with geese and chickens in the mix as well as corn, tatties etc. The livestock bit will be in four sections where they spend about 10 days in each in mess up parasitic lifecyles.

- hopefully be able to buy a strip of land behind the house as the main 3.5 acres are not directly by the house

- get used to shit internet again

- maybe one day create a plinking range as the land butts up against an old railway embankment. This might take a while as the whole range needs to be fenced off to prove we're not poaching.

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tasselhoff - 04 Apr 2019 13:30:33 (#5 of 619)

#2 I might set up a YouTube channel

tasselhoff - 04 Apr 2019 13:33:19 (#6 of 619)

- Look into photovoltaics. I'm not sure whether to go for a hybrid/standalone/feed-in approach, but in any event I'll be needing some sort of UPS for certain bits of the leccy such as the lighting and the wood boiler/central heating. It's about 2200 feet above sea level and can get very cold, so I don't want to take out the existing wood burning stove and find that I'm not capable of heating the place once it's gone.

- Lighting - 100% LED. I've already bought about 30 LED lights, so this isn't going to be too hard.

KizzyK - 04 Apr 2019 13:35:07 (#7 of 619)

What is plinking? I fear it is something I might not like too much but apart from that good idea.

Some friends and I looked at a big place recently to do something similar long term but it was out of our price range to buy AND do all the work needed unfortunately. I'm shamefully hoping Brexit will affect land prices in the UK as some forecasters seem to think (seems a lot of farms might go under with loss of subsidies etc), then the dream may come a little closer. Still need a UK govt to fucking wake up to climate crisis and ecosystem collapse and realise legalising home generation/off grid stuff might be worthwhile though.

Dementor - 04 Apr 2019 13:35:18 (#8 of 619)

I found out that there's such a thing as solar air heaters the other day. You can mount them vertically on the side of the building in a panel / insulation pad / solid wall sandwich. Supposed to be quite effective.

KizzyK - 04 Apr 2019 13:36:51 (#9 of 619)

Yes a YouTube channel is a great idea. One of my old students has one documenting his gradual transformation of the old family farm with differing areas of rewilding, management and livestock. Its fascinating.

tasselhoff - 04 Apr 2019 13:37:36 (#10 of 619)

The boiler, buffer tanks and hot water system will end up in the front basement which is quite large but presents a few difficulties. Anything I use needs to have a width/depth/height combo of no more than 95x125x1750cm. This is a pain as I'll need to buy two 500l buffer tanks rather than one bigger one. And they're not cheap (and they will lose heat faster).

I'll need to make the basement frost-proof too, which is a pain.

tasselhoff - 04 Apr 2019 13:38:32 (#11 of 619)

What is plinking?

It'll be shooting a .22 rifle at bits of metal that go ping!

tasselhoff - 04 Apr 2019 13:40:39 (#12 of 619)

- Not die from radiation poisoning. There's a high radon level with it being granite, and I'll need to McGyver up something such as a sump in each of the basements and an air pump that comes on for five minutes every hour to suck out the radon. This is part of the pain in the neck bit about being frost-proof. I might need a reverse-flow heat exchanger for the radon pumping to avoid losing too much heat.

tasselhoff - 04 Apr 2019 13:44:30 (#13 of 619)

Anyway, that'll do for now. First thing I've bought is a shower to replace the bath https://www.leroymerlin.fr/v3/p/produits/cabine-de-douche-l-110-x-l-80-cm-noir-lys-e1501083255 and a toilet to go behind it (with 80cm lardarse room) https://www.leroymerlin.fr/v3/p/produits/pack-wc-a-poser-sortie-horizontale-sans-bride-sensea-easy-e1501856531

The problem is that I have to do a 100km round trip each time I go there. And the above two items aren't being sent together. ARSE. Oh, and I'm recovering badly from a gallbladder op so will be constrained on the lifting heavy objects front for a while. So, before we move in I'll be spending more than I had wanted to on artisans* to do stuff for me.

* That's workies in French, not twats in beards selling me expensive coffee and the like

foghorn - 04 Apr 2019 13:45:30 (#14 of 619)

<subscribes>

tasselhoff - 04 Apr 2019 13:46:08 (#15 of 619)

Putting the bog in the bathroom enables me to knock down a wall, increasing the size of the living room. There'll be the hot water doodah that'll be sitting there like an ugly bastard until I can get it in the basement though.

foghorn - 04 Apr 2019 13:55:04 (#16 of 619)

We´ve gone and got us a homestead, tass. I think it is the most pleasing thing I have ever done.

KizzyK - 04 Apr 2019 14:00:01 (#17 of 619)

It'll be shooting a .22 rifle at bits of metal that go ping!



ohhhh thankyou for clarification!

tasselhoff - 04 Apr 2019 14:00:37 (#18 of 619)

It's great when you've got some cash to do stuff too.

Filed under "things I learned from the last bastard time I tried this".



Getting buy-in from my better half has been important too. As well as the virtuous aspects, it's also a means to be able to live with the least amount of money possible in order to have choice in our lives about how we want to live.

Bonusy - 04 Apr 2019 14:05:26 (#19 of 619)

after an initial period of checking for frost pockets etc, start planting chestnut and walnut trees

What's the significance of those trees in respect to this plan?

tasselhoff - 04 Apr 2019 14:08:52 (#20 of 619)

The original permaculture was mainly about forest gardening, i.e. using perennials as edibles thus avoiding annual tilling, planting, weeding, etc etc. Chestnuts and walnuts are the mainstay of such a system in these climes and hardiness conditions. There'll be others too, but they're bankers that I want to get in ASAP. I'll be mainly planting late-flowering varieties due to huge diurnal temperature range and risk of late frosts.

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