Thanks for the update @Dominic
I've been informed via irc that the spiderfarm residents are not in any danger, have had earthquakes, but their shack is holding up well.
@cel, @marina, @substack wish you folks are okay.
According to the news (5/5/2018) lava is seen coming from a fissure in Leilani Estates, which in the map looks close from the farm.
Hawaii Kilauea volcano eruption, thousands forced to evacuate:
@cel The #solarpunk expands! Maybe.
Are y'all going to buy it?
Well, they said "food" and in some cultures spiders are considered a delicacy...
@ktorn: @substack is off SSB right now. i am off spider-farm right now. (returned to mainland and am in New York for a few weeks). the volcanic action is far enough away though
@jolyon i don't think it affected me
@Cy #spider-farm %kcmgLpb...
jeepers, that's scary. cc @substack
@substack @cel how you guys doing? How far are you from the volcanic action?
Another lot on the market near spider farm
Previous: %bvG/Emw... %f29wGvq...
i'm keen to pitch in on this if others are.
@cel are there any details of the sale, asking price, etc?
When I mentioned this to the late, great rosarian Margaret Sharp, she said to beat it at night with a broom. Why at night? I asked. So the neighbors won’t see, Margaret said.
I couldn't help thinking of Basil Fawlty giving his car a damn good thrashing
Young avocado trees can't handle too much sun. As they mature they can handle it.
Cacti are generally very similar in this regard. When I first started raising them from seed I was very surprised at how sensitive the seedlings are to drying out. A humid environment is required for the first year or so and then the young plants can be slowly hardened-off.
We have a young avocado tree here in the fruit forest. It's roughly 1.2m tall and is planted in a 'pocket' of open space surrounded by much larger trees. As a result, it experiences dappled light for most of the day - with some direct sunshine for a few hours. It also seems to enjoy the protection from the wind.
Now that I think of it, I did a wine tour recently, and at one of the farms they explained that their best wine comes from a vineyard grown in the bush style, which is basically untrained, left to itself.
This reminded me of an article I read about dry farming in California:
Is it possible to grow healthy grapes without watering them? Actually, if conditions are right, he says, it’s possible to grow even better ones. Less water means smaller, more intensely flavoured grapes with a higher skin-to-fruit ratio. Other crops – tomatoes, potatoes, squash, corn, apples, even marijuana – can be dry-farmed too, with similarly intensified results.
“The hardest part about dry farming is actually convincing people it works,” Bucklin says. “But in places like Spain, France and Italy, pretty much everybody dry-farms because it makes better wine.” Irrigation has even been banned in parts of Europe to preserve the quality of certain grape varieties. But in California, where irrigation is now the norm, dry farming has become a forgotten art.
Nematodes can effectively regulate bacterial population and community composition — they may eat up to 5,000 bacteria per minute. Also, nematodes can play an important role in the nitrogen cycle by way of nitrogen mineralization.
One group of carnivorous fungi, the nematophagous fungi, are predators of soil nematodes. They set enticements for the nematodes in the form of lassos or adhesive structures.
Sounds like a job for some #myco ?
poor nematodes ... I hear some of them are really important for vibrant soil ecology. (basing my science on Kim Stanely Robinson's Mars Trilogy terraforming...)
are these the evil disease harbinger-type slugs?
Are you pickling slugs or euthenising them? (or both)
if that's a photo that's breathtaking
I love tux updates!
approximately every time I handle seeds I freak out with awe at this whole phenomenon of everyday self replicating technology
Who knew? too much sun? Too nice conditions?
Today, as the last day before I'll be traveling for 34 days, I completed a project I'd been planning for a while: a new switchboard. I didn't get as many washers as I needed to be able to attach new devices with less risk of cutting power, but this will do for now. I also doubled up the wires to the battery with 10 gauge wire, which should help improve the performance of the system. I started around noon and by the time I finished it was dark.
There are 71 pots in that first photo, each with a citrus sprout. Forgot to mention.
I used up all of our mulch and all our spare pots to move a small patch of citrus that had come up unexpectedly after about 4 months. I put a ton of citrus seeds in a small area but they hadn't sprouted for such a long time that I expected them all to be duds. The area was only about 20x30cm and I didn't even get all of them before I ran out of pots. Many of those pots are tofu and yogurt containers with holes cut in the bottom.
@cel Since I'm pretty remote, if I was to chip in 1% or something, I guess I'd just like to see it being put to interesting / fun use :D (with videos / photos / blogs / scuttlebutt posts, etc)
Would I 'officially' own 1% of it? Or would 1 person have to own it 'officially'?
Here are two of them. Some of them are in thick brush and others have more space.
@cel maybe up to 1% :P
What could we do with the land? :)
Young avocado trees can't handle too much sun. As they mature they can handle it.
Our prior attempts at growing avocado from pits haven't done too well. The biggest problem has been excess sunlight stunting and killing the tree. We have 2 stunted avocado trees which are barely alive. One might bounce back but the other has been in stasis for about a year at only 20cm tall and will probably wither away. The other stunted avocado came up out of the compost and got too much light. We transplanted it to a darker location but it seems that once stunted avocado keikis can't easily recover.
Due to these observations, we've started chucking avocado pits into dark areas created by invasive tibouchina bushes. I moved one avocado keiki I grew in a jar of water to one of these areas and it has been doing quite well. That plant was the only viable avocado keiki I knew for sure we had, but today I did a proper census and found 13 healthy young avocado trees, some as tall as 60cm.
@cel that reward scheme is fantastic. It's made my afternoon
- get land
- live on land
- go to beach'
2 acres of forest is large to me...
if you or anyone else want to go in on this, message me and @dinosaur
say what you can offer and what you want!
i'm excited for the opportunity to expand #spider-farm and the dreams associated with it. thanks @cel for the invitation to participate, i'm happy to share resources i have available to me simply because of my privilege.
By more of a communal thing, do you mean
@mwmeyer if i was to say "a more communal or cooperative-based thing", i would mean: i want to maximize high-trust cooperative relationships that benefit community and commons, minimize low-trust transactional relationships that benefit capital.
a timeshare model does coordinate a group of people to cooperatively share a common resource, however the method is to simplify the relationship into a very rigid economic transaction: you can stay at this property for X days per year in exchange for an initial cost of Y dollars and recurring cost of Z dollars per year (i'm guessing this is how it works, correct me if i'm wrong). the benefit of this approach is that you don't have to trust your peers much, since the terms are so clear. if they can't afford the initial cost, or the recurring cost, or mess up the property during their visit, you are isolated from their misfortune. but in my opinion it's missing any sense of community, any sense of shared human connection (empathy), any sense of a truly common resource. this all being said, a timeshare model is great when people all want what it has to offer, but i don't think we want what it offers.
We've been seeing rats lately. For the past 3 days, Tux has caught at least one rat every day and 3 days ago she may have caught 2 rats.
I think maybe we are seeing more rats around because it's winter and guava season is over, so they must be getting hungry. They've been getting into the garden some and there's been some evidence of them on the kitchen table.
@substack those look like regular AC light switches.. Which are typically rated for 15 amps, or 1650 watts.
At 12 volts DC though, only 150-180 watts is safe before you reach the max amp rating and then the switch might fail in some interesting way. Probably ok for laptops etc (likely charge well under 100 watts), but you'd not want to run an inverter or larger load through those switches.
What this wants to be when it grows up is a breaker box full of 30-60 amp breakers. :-)
The switches power the terminals with thumb screws, for different loads I assume.
@mikey i spoke with the agent just now. they are asking $39k. the lot is on a ridge so there is less flooding, and it has possibility of ocean view if you build on it.
another lot is for sale, 3 lots down from spider farm, on the other side of one of our neighbors place.
oh, and it's ownership in America. I forgot Hawaii wasn't just a pacific island for a moment. (Not meant as slander, I'm just scared of sentences which have US and tax in the same phrase)
sorry, I'm stuck with a mortgage so probably can't afford, but asking because I think those details might help others get a good idea.
do you have any aspirations for what you'd like to do with the land?
Exciting offer! Can you tell us more @cel?
Questions (probably naive) like :
- is it in a lava flow area
- why are the sections so narrow?
- what are the dimensions-ish?
- what are you allowed to build on the land
- what does it have connected:
- phone / internet
Here's a chart I found:
Batteries that are being charged will be higher - the voltages while under charge will not tell you anything, you have to let the battery sit for a while. For longest life, batteries should stay in the green zone. Occasional dips into the yellow are not harmful, but continual discharges to those levels will shorten battery life considerably.
This page gives a scenario for depth of discharge effect on a gel battery: https://www.energymatters.com.au/components/battery-voltage-discharge/
A Sonnenschein Solar Bloc 100 AH Gel Battery discharged to a depth of 70%, i.e. with only 30% or 30 AH (amp hours) remaining, will have a lifespan of around 1200 cycles, which is quite impressive. However, if it’s only discharged to 50%, the expected number of cycles skyrockets to around 1700! If a cycle is a day, that adds over 1.25 years to the life of the battery.
Much lower voltage and darker today with light to medium rain all day. We're already down to 11.9/12.0 at 18:00.
The voltage has been pretty good tonight! We kept running both laptops until 21:50 and it never got below 12.0. It's back at 12.1 with one laptop running now. I put some washers on the battery terminals on Sunday and I think that helped a lot. Today while the batteries were charging the highest voltage I saw was perhaps only 12.8 or 13.0 and a lot of ~12.5 even in the middle of the day. Tomorrow I might double up some of the wires to reduce the resistance further. #solar #offgrid
Light rain and darkness today. We didn't get much of a charge, but the batteries are at 12.1v at 18:30 with both laptops running. Our truck's right front tire blew out while leaving the driveway, so we'll need to get a tow into Pahoa to get a replacement before everything closes for xmas.
Yesterday one of our neighbors stopped by with some free stuff to offer before he headed to the transfer station. We got a nice table and some shelves that we've put to use in our improved kitchen area.
I built this new shelf for the kitchen with some scrap wood.
The lower area is tidied up and again provides usable dry space for projects.
Our eggplants are doing well. I just harvested one and there are lots of tiny fruits. Some bugs have been eating the leaves but I haven't figured out which ones. Last time it was some caterpillars.
These seed-grown dragonfruit cactuses are coming along. It's much slower to grow them from seed compared to cuttings, but we had some seeds.
This is our biggest starfruit tree from seed. We have many smaller ones. There is a tree in Orchidland where we get starfruit for free.
Some lemon and oranges from seed. We have many, many citrus planted and some are finally sprouted. I read that a lemon tree grown from seed can start producing lemons in 1-2 years, but oranges take longer.
Each of our two banana trees have shoots now:
I've begun to make mulch beds everywhere. This one is seeded with eggplant.
Last night this giant mantis gave us a visit. They're pretty aggressive.
The house in the trees. You can see more of the improved flashing on top:
How much path-making with machetes do you do? If a lot, you might want to consider a scythe, like the grim reaper. That's what we use.
Today Marina and I went for a hike with Tux all the way to the back boundary of the lot. A few days ago we cleared out the path some more with gloves and machetes. We pulled up most of the guinea grass from along the trail which is very sharp and will cut up your skin if you brush against it. I also hacked down a bunch of bushes in the way and diverted the trail so that it's completely inside the boundary instead of occasionally meandering into the adjacent lot.
We've been training the cat to follow us on hikes, and she has really gotten the hang of it.
This is the tree that marks the approximate location of the southeast corner. Given the way that we measured back this far in ~4-9m increments, the lot probably extends past this point perhaps another 10 or 20 meters.
Here is Marina and Tux in the far back of the lot. Tux followed us the whole way!
Behind the southeast bounding tree is a hill. I hiked up here and Tux followed me! Then she wandered around a bit on her own but came back down once I had hiked down. This is the top:
And this is the view!
I also spotted a white post from the top of the hill that seems to be a property marker, so I think our estimate of the distance is partly corroborated.
Marina looking up at me from the base of the hill:
Despite new parts of the trail being only a few days old, the pigs have already started to use it:
We hiked back with Tux, who is much faster, racing and leaping, back to the house than heading out into the unknown.
I also had to tie down the stays on the awning several times much more tightly. The posts are now anchored to some bushes which have quite strong roots. I put up the tent again but a gust of wind took it out and I haven't gotten around to fixing it again. Our gazebo also flew up a ways and caught on an ohi'a so we lowered it and I weighed it down with a rock.
Yesterday we had some heavy winds from the north, sustained at 50 km/h with gusts of 72 km/h.
This caused some of our flashing to buck up. This photo only shows one of the pieces up, but there were more pieces that bucked up in the wind throughout the day. I bent them back down when they popped up but they wouldn't stay down.
Marina and I took the two lengths of flashing down to put in more wood tites.
Then Marina had to run some errands and I stayed to look after the house. Before she left we put both lengths of flashing back up on the house but while she was gone the pieces were still getting blown to fold upward. I took both lengths down myself and added two extra 2x4s to weigh down both sides. I screwed wood tites into the new boards to connect them to the flashing and managed to install one of the lengths of the much heavier flashing myself.
I tied down the new length of flashing which wasn't even rattling as it took strong northernly gusts. Just as I was getting ready to install the second length, Marina got back from town and we put up the second length together.
Marina came back from town with some spray foam, which I used to seal up some of the cracks in the new roof configuration. It luckily didn't rain yesterday but it hasn't rained today either, so we'll have to wait and see if there are any leaks.
The plants are all looking really good! Dragonfruit from seed: that's really exciting - can't wait to see how they grow. I've found growing cacti from seed to be very rewarding. I was surprised how much care and moisture they need when young, at least the handful of species I've grown that way.
I bet the new shelves and extra kitchen worktops are a big help. I'm adjusting to a little kitchen right now and the lack of shelf space creates some interesting challenges.
I had the same thought. I sorta assumed that they've got to be actuating a relay.
Do these switches run relays to different batteries? I can't quite tell what's going on.
That's a nice start, @stubsack! #badpuns
These nematodes burrow through your intestines into your blood stream and then hang out in your brain until they die. There are other kinds of nematodes that attack the root structures of plants and cause them to wilt and die.
thanks @jeremai. the weather is beautiful
The slugs go in a jar with salt because 80% of slugs harbor angiostrongylus cantenosis nematodes (rat lungworm).
2 slugs deposited into the slug jar tonight, both in the area near our kitchen. It's been raining all day.
At the monthly Orchidland farmers market, we ran a little solar demo showing how to run a small DC solar system with a boost-buck converter. We had planned to use one of our bigger panels, but the truck is in the shop right now, so we brought parts that we could carry in our backpacks. People were pretty into this demo, and had a lot of questions about how to run electronics directly off DC instead of going through an inverter.
We also got a large green papaya and two cacao pods:
And one of our neighbors gave us this 90W panel to use for wifi mesh prototyping purposes.
This is what the green papaya looks like inside. @marina is shredding it in the grater right now.
Our neighbors are up to some really cool stuff! Some of our neighbors operate a dairy farm and are 100% self-sufficient for food after only 2 years. People grow a lot of food here and are involved in all kinds of agricultural and energy self-sufficiency projects.
@x this is the latest update
planting ulu trees
Today @marina and I went with one of our neighbor-friends to prune an ulu tree at the lot of one of our other neighbors on 40th street, also in Orchidland. Ulu trees send up shoots from the roots of established trees that become new trees. Pruning mature trees of shoots allows the tree to produce more fruit.
We snapped the shoots off the roots with machete and shovel. We hosed the shoots down to avoid transporting fire ants, our neighbor took a few shoots, and we brought the rest back to #spider-farm. I planted 18 of them around the lot and we have 15 more in 4 cloth bags packed with cinders. We'll save some for @cel to plant on the new lot and give some away at the Orchidland farmers market this Saturday.
This was the biggest cutting. I also cut some guava down to make a stand to keep this one upright:
Loose ulu cuttings before packing them in cinders:
We're going to pick up some ulu trees on Thursday from one of our neighbors. Today I also started working on bicycle trailer version 2 using some wheels from one of mikola's old bicycles and some scrap lumber. Hopefully by Saturday I'll have a functional bicycle trailer I can use to haul some solar panels and charge controllers over to the community lot for the monthly farmers market to have a functional prototype #offgrid solar demo which we have already signed up to present. If I finish that project in time I might also be able to get the second iteration of a solar cooker working.
What are you learning?
@nichoth We don't have an address. Many lots only have a TMK (tax map key) number because you have to pull permits to get a street address.
Most of this subdivision was last covered in lava 300 years ago. We're in lava zone 3. Downtown Pahoa (not so far away) is in lava zone 1 and lava covered a grave yard and almost took out the transfer station in 2015. Kalapana was covered in lava in the 1990s and every few years a house gets taken out by a breakout.
@noffle It's google maps. You can right click and there is a menu with a measurement tool. I'm certainly going to be lifting this feature for peermaps. Make sure to click the scale in the lower right to switch the units to metric.
We're in lava zone 3
Having never seen lava in person in my life, categorizing neighbourhoods by their likelihood to get covered in lava (if I understand that correctly) seems completely alien.
The 3 word address thing reminds me of of one of @dominic's talks. I don't remember which one, but it featured a bit about proquint.
The scuttleverse is the only medium I use where a post about decluttering and running leads to talking about lava and coordinate systems. Pretty neat!
@serapath This is pretty interesting. Watching the talk, it made my legibility radar get worried, a subject I've run into on ssb. Because what if you want to have no address? Also, there is the funny way that this system makes addressing easier for humans with smartphones, but impossible for everyone else. Having worked as a delivery person, I have to say it is incredibly satisfying to discover the idiosyncrasies and underlying logic and history of a city grid. Like the way that block numbers go incrementally in one direction, so that you can know the number of blocks between you and other given address number. Or how horizontal streets in downtown seattle are mostly in alphabetical order, and also named after trees, while vertical streets are numbers that decrease until you get to south seattle. Or how san francisco is complete chaos, with just a jumble of names and diagonal intersections everywhere. Viewed this way, easier mapping techniques are a way of devaluing local knowledge, making your labor more easily replaceable.
Those little ones will set up camp anywhere. We had them living underneath jars of olive oil in our cupboards in one house. Then one day someone moved the jar, and they all went running away, carrying their eggs with them.
@substack What program did you use to create that map with the distance markers?
How the heck? That's amazing.
As @angel noted, that is some expensive acreage if you're only interested in raw land. I've been looking at land in Northern California and you can find 40 acres for $30k-$60k easy. Hell, I found 1280 acres for $279k that I've been contemplating, Cottonwood creek, one of the last tributaries to the Sacramento river that hasn't been dammed runs through the property (salmon and trout still travel up it).
Is there owner financing or do you need to come up with the whole 32k?
Running to the ocean is about 27km round trip and 150m of elevation change. Going that far, the timing matters because it's too hot most of the day to run very far and running that distance would take a while. It would have to be a rainy day, but even then I don't think I would have enough energy to do a trip that far without packing snacks.
Cleaning up today. We packed away some unused items and moved things around a little.
I resoldered the connections on the boost buck converter on our speakers and put the circuit board in a pvc housing I got at the hardware store for $0.67. Now all the components of the audio system are in a box instead of strewn about on the floor but the knobs are accessible.
It feels nice to have clutter stowed away.
Today I planted some eggplant seeds in two of the four tires I filled with cinders and moss yesterday. Eggplants do well here but caterpillers and some tiny pinkish white bugs love to eat the leaves so they require some attention.
I also went #running. This was not as far as I thought it was so next time I think I'll run all the way along 37th into Ainaloa.
Looks like a great upgrade! Be interesting to see if you get more charge into the batteries and if they last longer through the night.
What is spider farm?
horizontal streets in downtown seattle are mostly in alphabetical order, and also named after trees, while vertical streets are numbers that decrease until you get to south seattle.
The whole conversation is fascinating and I love this detail :)
Wow, the driveway is looking slick. No more pushing the truck out with wood shims!
Origin and evolution of carnivorism in the Ascomycota
I just read this paper last night and it's super fascinating! The authors were trying to figure out a) when carnivorous fungi diverged, and b) if major developments in the evolution of carnivorism in fungi show a causal relationship with major extinction events. A brief summary:
Carnivorism is one of the basic life strategies of fungi. Carnivorous fungi possess the ability to trap and digest their prey by using sophisticated trapping devices - both active (snares) and passive (sticky pads). Molecular clock calibration based on two fossil records revealed that fungal carnivorism diverged from saprophytism about 419 Mya, which was after the origin of nematodes about 550–600 Mya. That means fungi have been hunting animals for approximately 420 million years!
Yeah, I reckon you might need more solar panels @substack. Our 100W solar panel at kiwiburn (regional burn) gets the portaparty battery (40ah) up to ~14 volts in a few hours of the morning (the portaparty is a boombox with an amplifier + LED disco light rig that consumes about 2-3 amps while running).
If you felt like building something with arduinos, you could put hall sensors on the feeds going to and from the battery bank to get an idea of how much you're consuming (in watt hours) versus generating (in watt hours).