Green house questions

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Tora
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Post by Tora »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Sun Dec 26, 2021 6:04 am
I don't really know a great deal about compost so am probably not the best person to advise you, we just throw our vegetable off cuts onto the ground and let them return to the soil but if your pile is too dry it won't get started.
That, burial and a pile in an out of the way place has always been my approach too. The purpose and indoor setting this time is requiring me to learn how it all works and what I need to do. I’ll figure it out but it would be good to get a constant source of heat in there soon for cold spells like we are having right now.

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Zasso Nouka
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Post by Zasso Nouka »

Tora wrote:
Sun Dec 26, 2021 1:39 pm
That, burial and a pile in an out of the way place has always been my approach too.
Sorry, are we talking about compost or how you deal with unexpected visitors late at night or from NHK ? :eek:
Tora wrote:
Sun Dec 26, 2021 1:39 pm
The purpose and indoor setting this time is requiring me to learn how it all works and what I need to do. I’ll figure it out but it would be good to get a constant source of heat in there soon for cold spells like we are having right now.
I'm hoping you can figure it out so I can then copy what you've done :D

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Post by Tora »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Sun Dec 26, 2021 9:49 pm
Sorry, are we talking about compost or how you deal with unexpected visitors late at night or from NHK ? :eek:
Probably work for both!
Zasso Nouka wrote:
Sun Dec 26, 2021 9:49 pm
I'm hoping you can figure it out so I can then copy what you've done :D
I’ll keep trying and report back. You can do with it what you want. There certainly seems to be a lot of potential. Wish I could’ve gotten a couple more barrels of water in there before the cold spell. The one I have was pretty warm this evening despite the cold and wind all day long. The heat from the sun sure is amazing. I was working in the greenhouse for a few hours from 5-8pm and was surprised that I t got real cold real quick.

I have 1 shirin with a rentan (like the kind that lady used to do in all her rich husbands after drugging them at dinner) and 1 hibachi with half done chunks of diy charcoal smoldering now. There were still live coals from the previous night (20 hours earlier!) hurried in the ash in the hibachi when I added more charcoal.

I put a sheet of plastic on top of the compost to help hold in moisture, too.

I also had a banana that my friends are growing professionally today. It was a tasty motivation. Not as sweet or strongly flavored as the supermarket fare but a it had a very nice aftertaste.

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Post by Zasso Nouka »

It's quite surprising how quickly vinyl houses go from very warm to cold once the sun goes down, I can be working in ours during the day and they warm up quite fast even on a slightly cloudy day but as soon as early evening comes they get cold real quick so it would be nice to have a reliable system to keep at least a few degrees above freezing.

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Eric in Japan
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Post by Eric in Japan »

I have a compost pile inside my greenhouse- I made it out of four old bus tires I cut the sidewalls out of. It is warm in the core, but doesn't seem to heat the greenhouse that much.
The same with the "cube" I made of two old sheets of concrete form plywood.
I wonder if heating a medium sized rock on top of your shichirin might even out some temperature flux- a sort of thermal flywheel effect. But maybe that wouldn't be big enough.
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Post by Shizuman »

I have the same issue with compost piles going cold, if i try the vegetarian option with just veggie scraps, straw and plant matter its really tough but if i add a bag of horse manure, nice fresh stuff it will easily hit over 60 degrees and even better if its shredded. Do you have access to any sources of manure?

I built a big 2 cubic meter pile of leaves this year and its been sitting at about 55 degrees for 2 weeks now. might be a bit large for your house though.

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Post by Tora »

Eric and Shizuman,
Thanks for the input.

I have a 2 cubic meter compost bin sitting inside the north end of the greenhouse. I made it out of 3 pieces of welded wire mesh- pig wire as we used to call it- the stuff they use to reinforce concrete slabs. The thin stuff -¥300-400/each. One sheet/piece is cut in half and forms the ends. The end wires are bent over to hold it all together. Ran a circular saw down one side of some bamboo and put it over the top to cover the exposed wires sticking out of the top. Makes the sides real rigid and I don’t tear my arms up on the wire when I’m adding more leaves to the pile.

I added some chicky-poo to the top but I’ve found that stuff to be very insoluble in some situations. I may have to stop by the horse stables and pick up some manure next time I’m down south. I never found horse manure to smell bad and “road apples” make great projectiles for neighborhood battles when the parents aren’t watching. Maybe hose manure would be the best option for the indoor setting due to its aromatic properties.

For the hibachi and shirin, I strategically stacked a few bricks on top to mostly cover the top and control the airflow for a long burn. It’s a very “about” thing and hard to control but I can get it to hold heat for almost 24 hours with the right placement. Large hardwood coals buried in the ash might even last for a few days based on what I’ve experienced here and heard from stories about forest fires. I’ve also put red hot coals out by putting the bricks so close together that air couldn’t get in or out.

I considered making a rocket mass heater but couldn’t decide what to do with it after taking the poly off in the spring and then I ran out of motivation. Maybe next year if I come up with a more permanent plan.

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Post by Tora »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Mon Dec 27, 2021 7:14 am
It's quite surprising how quickly vinyl houses go from very warm to cold once the sun goes down, I can be working in ours during the day and they warm up quite fast even on a slightly cloudy day but as soon as early evening comes they get cold real quick so it would be nice to have a reliable system to keep at least a few degrees above freezing.
The 2 layers of plastic with a blower turned down works great and doesn’t seem to be drawing much electricity at all.

A few drums full of water added in might just do what you need and be very low maintenance. DC motor fans are available and could be run off a simple (diy?) solar setup if your greenhouse is away from AC power.

If there’s a place nearby that makes or processes juice or other food, they might be a good source for metal or plastic drums. A place near me sells single use ones for ¥500. They do seem to be somewhat seasonal so planning ahead would a good thing.

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Post by Zasso Nouka »

We've got some big plastic drums left over from when we used to import neem oil so might give them a go, spray them black perhaps to aid absorbing heat and put them down the middle.

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Post by Tora »

Zasso Nouka wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 7:42 am
We've got some big plastic drums left over from when we used to import neem oil so might give them a go, spray them black perhaps to aid absorbing heat and put them down the middle.
It seems like it would only require a little paint and maybe some plastic primer?

You seem like the kind of person who would measure temperature before and after putting the drums in there. I put mine on the north end so I wouldn’t be casting shade on anything down low.