Sunday, July 26, 2015

More info about the solar dehydrator

25 July 2015: The dehydrator has been at the PIP farm for about six weeks, but the black pipes were not complete. They had come apart and leaked. I went for a couple of hours just to repair it and get everything so that it will never leave again. Meanwhile, John is down in the woodland using his wood butchering techniques to erect a toilet block.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Garden ideas: clover and self watering

7.7.15: I am gradually converting my lawn to other herbs.... and doing further experiment with self watering methods. The rain is far too infrequent during July-August for my roofwater based system, and active watering is necessary.

It is now mostly a mixture of clover (left) and chamomile (right), and it has not been done by planting, it has been done by not applying weedkiller and keeping it mowed not too often... And these are the indigenous plants that have taken root. I have dug up the ragwort (ugly and poisonous), and suppressed the dandelions by picking off the flowerheads. Any dandelions remaining, get added to our lunch as part of the salad. The chamomile forms a dense herbal cover with small yellow flowers, and yes, it can be picked for making tea!
The farmer on the field used to grow chamomile as a winter crop and this has drifted over somehow. Also, the clover is in full flower, the bees love it, and I will not mow any of it until the seeds have formed. 

For this to work better, the bottle needs to be stiffer, so that it recovers shape during the night. This one is looking a bit soft. 
I have also been experimenting with the self watering using transparent bottles. You fill the bottle up, and place it heads down with a small hole at the end. It does not run out and the gravity, but when the sun heats up the water or the air in the bottle it squeezes out some water. And at night when it cools, it sucks air back into the bottle.
This is the vertical tube farm (a black conduit). The top funnel catches rainwater or my watering can water and runs down a central perforated pipe. The sideways facing bottle is pointed through a 40mm hole, and there is a 3mm hole in the end that is too small for the water to run directly out. 

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