29.12.14: I had a discussion with someone who said that my vertical farm bottles should be opaque and not of translucent material. The roots do not like light, and will not grow correctly out to the edges. Also in hot conditions the bottles could dry out too quickly with solar gain. So, one by one, I am covering them with reflective aluminium tape.
Monday, December 29, 2014
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
16.12.14: I have added a frameless polycarbonate front porch to my house. This is recycling some 6mm polycarbonate from an unfinished solar panel building project. Because it is curved in a vault shape, it can be completely frameless and will withstand gravity force and upward wind loads.
Subsequently, after a few gales, it became obvious that some bracings were required, and some metal bracings have been added, but the appearance of the porch remains extremely lightweight.
Friday, December 5, 2014
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
1st December 2014: These photos show the process of building the vertical revolving barrel farm.
See some comments by John Macdonald about my vertical revolving barrel farm project.
The design of this is based on the Garden Tower project from Michigan, but their product is not sold outside the US and Canada. I would willingly pay the full price to buy their product if they would make it available in the UK. I have based the construction on their design idea which is to have a strawberry planter style outside surface with 30 pockets, then the centre filled with soil, and the centre line with a 150mm flue filled with kitchen waste and worms. At the base there is a collecting chamber for crumbly compost and a another collecting chamber for liquid produced by the worms. The construction starts with a B and Q 210 L water butt.
Building one of these in December is not likely to produce massively good results until next spring. However, I have tried planting it with some Pak Choy, Kale, and Rocket, all of which are capable of growing in the cold weather. The idea of the revolving system is to allow the plants to get a fair share of sunlight, and to allow me to stand on the concrete doing maintenance instead of walking round the barrel on the grass.
3rd August 2016: The vertical farm on the garage wall has dried out in the long hot summer. The pipe system works, but tends to silt up in ...
22.5.17: New Address for this site: I registered chargingtheearth-solar.co.uk with Google domains. Apologies that I have not posted for...
7 July 2014: The work proceeds on the pond, with a pond liner delivered, and the turf lifted. Earth and hardcore have been lifted and I ha...
13 April 2015: I have had a spare PV panel on my extension roof for about two years and let two summers go by without using it. I wasted a...
Open Homes weekend 25th - 26th April (and 3rd May) Eleven low energy homes open their doors to visitors this spring. Som...
I have been wanting a 'column of Green' at the front of the house for a long time, but the clematis I planted a long time ago has...
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 ...
15 June 2014: It has been a dry June so far with negligible rain. I'm glad to have 300litres of water storage for the garden. House ...
5 November 2014: The vertical watering system is complete and working well. So much rain falls in the winter that the valve needs to be clo...
March 2015: Work on the solar dehydrator has been progressing well, and it is nearly complete, lacking merely the top surface of the sola...