Dorn

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Member for
2 years 2 months

Contributions

# of Wiki Edits: 312

# of Forum topics submitted: 77

# of Comments: 119

Stream of Wiki Edits

Title Edited on Edit message
Tow or 3 Point hitch tool bar for yeoman's plow Friday, March 14, 2014 - 00:22 View changes View current version
Tow or 3 Point hitch tool bar for yeoman's plow Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 17:57 View changes View current version
Tow or 3 Point hitch tool bar for yeoman's plow Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 17:55 View changes View current version
Tow or 3 Point hitch tool bar for yeoman's plow Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 17:53 View changes View current version
FarmBot Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 22:46 View changes View current version
FarmBot Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 22:46 View changes View current version
FarmBot Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 22:31 View changes View current version
FarmBot Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 22:31 View changes View current version
Commercial Scale Rocket Stove Bread Oven Sunday, March 9, 2014 - 12:02 View changes View current version
Commercial Scale Rocket Stove Bread Oven Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 19:05 View changes View current version

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Stream of Forum Topics

In 50 characters or less... Posted by Post datesort ascending Last comment Number of Comments # of Comments new to you
http://www.harvestgeek.com/ Dorn Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 23:08 Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 23:08
Editing the preface and other historic texts Dorn Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 08:58 Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 08:58
uploading encyclopedia articles and editing/updating text Dorn Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 16:27 Friday, April 5, 2013 - 17:15 4
Pedal power Flywheel technology? Dorn Monday, February 18, 2013 - 12:46 Friday, February 22, 2013 - 09:22 1
Tool plan for Open Farm Ecyclopedia of Practical farm knowledge Dorn Friday, February 15, 2013 - 10:57 Monday, February 18, 2013 - 21:54 7
FarmHack Event Tool Template Dorn Sunday, January 20, 2013 - 17:07 Sunday, January 20, 2013 - 17:07
Some tool wikis are not showing up Dorn Sunday, December 23, 2012 - 22:45 Monday, December 24, 2012 - 01:25 1
Interest in having the guide de l'auto-construction book translated into english ? Dorn Saturday, December 22, 2012 - 12:44 Friday, February 28, 2014 - 10:23 2
Open source farm skill list- a start Dorn Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 23:42 Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 23:42
Some Design Principles for Open Farm Tools and Questions to Consider Dorn Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 23:00 Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 22:47 3

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Stream of Forum Comments

Dorn's picture

What about sandboxing all the internal chapters/articles and just publishing the main table of contents as a regular tool - with each article linking to a sandboxed tool? That should work right? Then the navigation is from a main tool page to the articles - but the articles will then still have forums and no coding needed.

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All four volumes are posted now https://archive.org/details/Farm1

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I posted a wiki to capture FarmHack design principles. I am sure several of these could be consolidated and articulated further - It would be great to also link to examples of each criteria in use with FarmHack tools and to reference them as we document our tools and design choices.

Here is the link to the building design principles wiki http://www.farmhack.net/wiki/design-principles-farmhack

A good similar discussion can be found here http://www.openstructures.net/pages/2#vraag-1a

and here http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2012/12/how-to-make-everything-ourselves-...

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I think a single row width sweep plow setup would work well. I have found it even works under mulch with a Coulter to cut through first.

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Any comments on forum wiki structure? - would it be hard to add forum links to floating wikis as a method to comment on articles?

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I wonder if we might implement a rating on completeness of documentation as a method to keep the barrier to entry low, but also encourage the idea that the aim is for enough information to be shared that anyone could replicate the tool.

There are a lot of tools posted right now with fairly limited descriptions or images. In some cases that may be all that is needed, but I think an open rating system may set expectations for where the community would like to see the documentation move to.

I think that we might also add a note in the tool template that in that it is OK to appeal to the community for help in further documenting tools.

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Hi there Wyatt,

So glad you found farm hack. I just came across the http://milkingsystem.com/ myself. It is very exciting to reduce the fixed overhead costs of traditional dairy infrastructure. A complimentary retail system also exists http://www.dfitalia.com/en/raw_milk_dispensers.php . I would encourage you to start a forum or tool wiki with your projects and see what documentation and design approaches we can pull together and see if we can get some activity going on it.

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I agree that the ranking should be based on numbers of subscribers/followers- and possibly displayed as a ranking, to give a bit of pride, but without exposing actual numbers or individual subscriber identities directly.

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Upload image dialog box formats to the right of the screen in such a way that it is not scrollable and makes it impossible to upload more than one image at a time without going to preview or saving between image uploads.

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Just came across this - seems like we should look into their model for funding physical proejcts

https://secure.christiestreet.com/about

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I agree - that would be very helpful. Goes along with the larger "how to use this site" tutorial we were talking about

Dorn's picture

So many of the next steps we have talked about are around improving the value for the participant in farm hack, which in my mind is access to relevant information and community. One of the values of participating in opensource is as Rob mentions, is access to project capital that would otherwise not be available. This is clearly an area that has a lot of potential to be enhanced on the site through facilitating multiple distributed funding methods - but this is just part of the value. Another value is access to documented ideas and experiences from folks with skilled minds ready to problem solve with you - this is a little more complex because it requires a certain critical mass of people to jump in, and is more fragile because the exchange and value is more based on social relationships and a more nebulas future return which will likely not be directly linked to your own contribution. In academic terms it is "complex reciprocity" - it is like a barn raising. By showing up and contributing, you put yourself on the list when you need a barn raised by the group - it is a sort of informal community contract. As in a barn raising those that make large contributions are recognized by the group but that return can come in many different forms - in learned skills, in shared experience, in good food, and in future connections and idea exchanges.

I, as a farmer, am not interested in developing a tool business, but in improving my farm and I would like to have access to the best tools for a kind of agriculture that has not yet been developed. I see the speculative R&D and manufacturing being a poor fit to rapidly develop adaptive technology that will meet my needs and the needs of the next generation of farms and farmers needs. In my view, anytime there is a license involved, it puts up a road block to expanding on that bit of insight, which will slow down innovation (think apple/samsung). The music industry and sampling controversy is the most common example, but there are so many examples (patent trolls in computer hardware and software making a fortune by producing no value but instead creating a toll in road of common progress).

Fashion is the most public example of a billion dollar industry based on no design protection. Anyone can copy anyone else and they do - that is why the brand identity is so important. It identifies quality craftsmanship, or other qualities that are built on trust (maybe not the best industry to emulate, but you get my point). However, what you see in fashion is constant churn of designs and rapid adaptation to changing markets. I think this characteristic fits adaptive direct market agriculture much better than the model on the other end of the spectrum of living on royalties based on unchanging work done decades before.

As Lois and I have talked about a lot, there are clearly revenue models in opensource hardware (and software), but they are different revenue models based on service and skills transfer rather than knowledge protection. By sharing development risk, we can also reduce the amount that we each need to recover back from a project in order to move on to the next project, and instead of looking to recover a large development cost, we can focus on marketing our products and skills. Even Wikipedia now has professionals making a living - not by licensed content or ads, but by writing and maintaining really good entries for third parties.

Our project is a little different than wikipedia, but I believe not as different as we would think. I think we tend to dwell in our discussions on a very narrow set of projects that are expensive to prototype and require specialized fabrication skills. That is why I was so interested in the french FarmFab concept http://www.adabio-autoconstruction.org. They have an entirely separate program around fabrication skills that is much more like vocational training- with traveling trucks with equipment that can show up at a farm to do a build of a previously set design. When I was doing the weekend biodiesel workshops with Girl Mark, she would charge for the weekend and people would bring their own materials etc. SO the knowledge was free and open source, but Girl Mark's time was compensated for - (and those projects required low skill levels and few special tools). These two models might be something we could build on. I think we would do well to separate the skill development track from the documentation and design work. I think this would enable us to focus on the social and online process of designing and sharing things that are easy to share electronically and socially first (photos, software code, parts sourcing, 3d components, skills videos, shared experiences, approaches, food etc.)

There is certainly demand for fabrication skills development but by developing a separate track for projects that require it, we might be able to move faster on other projects. Not everything on farmhack will require machining and metalwork - but it is easy to dwell on it as a barrier. The fabrication skills development track and lowering the cost of access to tools- like mobile setups, coops, fablabs, partnerships with schools etc. could then continue as an objective but not a road block. I don't think this would be an abandonment of our current work, but rather a refinement that would also help clarify and define what "farm hack" events are all about (builds, skills, or designs, or documentation, and how they all relate to one another).

Dorn's picture

It is true, if you are not relying just on mechanically killing the mulch then timing rolling for flowering is not so critical and you can get the benefits of a more diverse mix. I think using a combination roller crimper and disk action, like the no-till drill would also allow for an earlier mechanical kill and therefore a more diverse covercrop mix without glyphosate It would be terrific if Charles Martin might publishing his designs to farm hack and get some more units built around the country. He mentioned in his farm show article that he was pondering next steps and if he would try and find a local manufacturer. Here is the link to the farm show article http://www.farmshow.com/a_article.php?aid=25646

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I would recommend looking at the roller crimper tool page. I will see if I can attach this forum post to it. The primary issue with the cimper with mixed covercrops is getting them to flower close enough to each other so that they will kill when they are rolled. If some are too far along they will produce viable seed, and others that are not mature enough may still have enough root energy to recover. If your roller is the standard I&J model based on the rodale design, you will want to make sure that your fall seedbed prep is very good. Because the roller is rigid, if the ground is anything but flat, it will ride up on ridges and miss hollows - which results in sections missing crimps.

One of the developments I would like to see on farm hack is to develop a sectional roller that will follow ground contours and apply even ground pressure. Charles Martin in PA has addressed this with a roller mounted between the rows on a no-till corn planter which also has the advantage of seeding into a standing crop, rather than having to set the planter up to work through the rolled mulch.

Hairy vetch is a great cover crop to mulch and provides wonderful weed supression while it is growing, but decomposes very rapidly. If there are perennial grasses, they will push through the vetch mat by mid July (if the vetch was killed mid june). Winter rye on the other hand - if planted at 140lbs/acre or more in good fertile soil (sometimes growing up to 7' tall), will provide a heavy mat of many inches that will not decompose significantly until the following season. I have had good luck last season planting crimson clover and winter rye together and having them bloom together in the spring. Since crimson clover is an annual, it also kills easily when flowering. I have used it as a mix this year with rye, and with winter wheat and winter barley.

I have not done the rye vetch mixture for crimping in the past because the bloom dates have not been coordinated - and vetch in general has been harder to kill with a crimp until a little after full flower and seed pods start to show. However, I found on our farm that a disk harrow set without offset, or a no-till drill run over the vetch is far more effective in killing the vetch and can work several weeks earlier than the crimper. This season I am going back to planting a rye vetch mix again for crimping with this more aggressive method for killing the vetch - with the hope that the viney vetch will pull down the rye enough to be crimped with the disks of the no-till drill.

There is so much to learn and experiment with in these approaches. I really look forward to hearing about your experiences.

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Please feel free to post your best water catchment designs to the tools page of Farm Hack. I am sure that others would be really interested in learning from your experience. Use as many photos and drawings as you can! I am in the process of building upland holding ponds using earth berms and poly liners for irrigation and animal watering, so I would be interested in how what you are working on, and your experience might be relevant to our farm.

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I think this is why this community is so important - to prioritize and help folks along to gather more of the skills which would otherwise keep them dependent or reduce possibilities for innovation. I think that is why "hacker spaces" are popping up that enable access to more tools, some of which are not needed every day, but make a job from being a struggle to a pleasure. There are several farms in our area that rent out space to equipment shops, so that they have quick access. Our farm does work for our own operation and a couple others, so there are a lot of models towards shared ownership/access and scale that justifies the infrastructure. Some of the approaches are to reduce the cost of the tools to accomplish the task, or to save folks from investing in tools that are less important - and that is where feedback is especially important based on what folks are actually using.

For example, there was a guy at a recent Farm Hack event who had a hand held metal circular saw that he thought was the best thing going - I had looked at them and the price always kept me away, but he made a great case for it. He didn't have the tank rental fees, gas etc. and hardly touched his torch or even the plasma cutter. In two years of my tank rentals I think I probably could have paid for it.

I also just talked with a group of farmers and they just got a TIG just so they could work on their aluminum irrigation piping. I have not made the investment myself, on the tig or the mill yet, as I can't justify it just for our operation yet, but I have been talking about sharing the shop with some other folks and adding those things in. As our operation diversifies and grows the shop becomes more important. Since we serve three farms and have a good deal of cooperative relationships I think that is what makes it possible to invest in some of this- but not all at once. I know I have a bunch of stainless tanks that I will need in the next year or so, and that may push a TIG - but even then it may be a shared investment. The mill will be a similar story . There always seem to be several in the $3000 range around here - as you mention the skill is the big factor. In this case wouldn't invest alone, but with a machinest friend of mine who is doing custom work who might co-locate. He wouldn't need it every day either. I provide the space, he provides expertise and it is conveniently available when it is needed- but for both of us the upcoming projects need to justify the space, the time and the expense.

Ideally I would like to see farmhack help link up the services you mention with farmers through the tools pages. If done well, the documentation is good enough to take it to a custom shop, or if the skills and tools are there on-farm then all the better. Some of the tools don't need to be owned but I think farm hackers should know what is possible and how to access tools. I see it as helping each other breaking down barriers, reduce the intimidation factor for some of these skills and become more independent through greater collaboration.

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On our farm we have an equipment shop, and black smith shop, and a wood shop each with different sets of kits and tools. This thread started as simply documenting the original discussion from the Intervale Farm Hack and was around prioritizing farm shop tools for fabrication of farm tools and prototyping. The original post mentioned that the next step was to prioritize organize and expand. An earlier post also opened up a wiki for modifying organizing and prioritizing http://farmhack.net/wiki/farm-shop-basics. It is fair to say that the focus was on metal, but for fabrication of farm tools, much of the work on our farm does tend to be metal work. The level of equipment needed will really be dictated by the scale and type of operation. You may also notice that on the "to do" list is to separate out advanced fabrication from the basics, and also that urban needs will be different than fabrication or repair. From my perspective there are certain tools that make a lot possible and I know that I wish I had purchased years ago. For example, a metal cutting bandsaw for cutting stock is one of the most used pieces of equipment in my shop - but until I got it I didn't know what I was missing. I haven't put a bridgeport on my own priority list, but it isn't far off and if I had one it would get weekly use redoing bushings, and opening up larger holes for implement pins etc. that the drill press simply isn't set up for. I know that the better our farm shop gets the faster the turn around time and the higher quality the implements that we either create of modify. The faster we can get repairs done or modifications done the more ideas we can try in the field and the better the results on the ground. I agree with the principle of keep it simple, but also I know when there is a build vs. buy calculation that I would rather put the investment in the tools to build than into new paint and waiting for a part to ship from who knows where in the middle of planting or harvest.

I would love to see a tread and tool entries for fabrication of tools themselves.

Some of the tools I could see documented for farm shops that could be fairly easily fabricated:

Gantry crane
metal shear
shop press
forge
power hammer
heavy shop tables
(others)??

there are forums out there for build it yourself machine tools - but the build vs. buy is a little tougher on those (at least for me)
but perhaps what might be needed are some categories of tools associated with fabrication of particular types of farm activities for example:

heavy farm equipment fabrication
light farm implement fabrication
hand tool fabrication tools
tractor repair - engine/transmission/fuel/frame/body etc.
General electrical
power transfer (gearboxes, chains, bearings etc.)
hydraulic and pneumatic systems
irrigation/animal water systems/general farm plumbing including fuel transfer etc.
fencing
farm building construction
(others?) each of these could have their own floating wiki to build out and prioritize?

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I find the design challenge of fitting the gasifier components on a tractor daunting, and have thought mostly about sticking with stationary applications - but the install at the driveonwood site looks like it would be fairly functional.

The GEK site lists several folks in my area in New England some of whom I have I have connected with. This winter there was some talk about doing a tour of all the functional units. I will attempt to photograph and document what I learn. I am especially interested in the co-generation potential and using it to provide heat and power for our farm buildings. I think a big variable to make it viable in an on-farm installation over the longer haul will be efficient chipping, storage, drying and general materials management to keep it fed with high quality fuel. I think there is a lot in developing on-farm systems and appropriate affordable equipment and associated infrastructure.

I have been thinking about a 10KW unit which could also be used to pump water to holding ponds built on the high spots when there is extra capacity. The holding ponds would initially be used for irrigation and animal water, but could be fitted with a microhydro to act like a battery of sorts. My thought is to also use the grid as a backup through a transfer switch when the unit is not running.

The forums at All Power Labs is a great resource that I have been using to try and get myself up to speed. http://gekgasifier.com/forums/

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That is great news. Please take and post pictures (or any CAD drawings) of the process and any issues you may encounter, and list yourself as a fabricator for this tool if you would like to. I wouldn't be surprised if others would be interested in ordering. For image size, If you click on the images - on the lower right corner you can click to expand the image to fill the screen. You can also click "edit wiki" to access the image source and click to open the image in a new tab or window. You should then be able to download or print from that. If that doesn't work, let me know. I will also post a suggestion to make it easier to download images for printing.

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I am really impressed with how clear the NRG images show the different cover. I really like the idea of using slide film as a camera filter - the costs just keep going down! We will be harvesting the plots that were imaged on Monday the 11th. I am in the middle of planting more plots right now and getting the oilseed sunflower planted, but on the other side of that I will be able to dive into this more. Looking forward to it.

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I just came across this article that uses range finders (which are fairly cheap) to triangulate and give crop height measurements. I will see if I can get the whole text - here is a link to the abstract.

I am certainly a supporter of keeping the hardware costs of any of this kind of measurement to a minimum, and then do more processing on the backend (which is more easily shared).

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We will actually be cutting two one meter samples in each plot, sorting the biomass,drying it and then weighing it. Which is why if we could find a remote way to calculate these values, we could save many many hours of labor.

I think that we might be able to get some rough information on biomass based on growth height which could probably be extracted based on the known scale of the plots and the heights of the plots above the pathways which is a known ground level. It would be interesting to see what kind of resolution we do have.

We will be doing the ground based measurements within the next two weeks, so we could correlate the on the ground data anytime after that is entered.

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I had the same issue. Mashlab seems to indicate that is is loading texture, but doesn't ever complete. I was wondering if I needed a little more computing horsepower to get it to display...

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I will download this into meshlab - that seems to provide a little higher resolution too. It would be interesting to compare to 123D Catch output.

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Here is an screenshot from the meshlab rendering. It is getting a lot more topography which looks more or less right. I am curious to see what Chris's photos do to the resolution when he gets another model built.

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Here is a link to the results from the 3D engine. http://www.hypr3d.com/models/4fbe49f52d212a000100009d

I it looks like with some editing I might be able to look at the density of the polygons in the plot area to document some change in cover, but it looks like we might need a little higher resolution to really document actual variation - the plot stakes didn't show up, but the plot boundaries which are a known size do show up well.

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Thank you all for such a fun day. I hope we can all get together again in the near future. With all the imaging that took place, I am really excited to see what kind of mapping and analysis can come out of it.

I just created a "sandbox" wiki for us to use http://www.farmhack.net/tools/covercrop-remote-sensing-imaging

I am downloading the single camera images tonight and will get them sorted for sending of for 3d imaging.

We went over to the second site at the woodman farm research station down the road, but the wind was not blowing enough to get a kite up, so that might be a project for another day. I think I may have to get my own rig set up...Perhaps a basic farm hack tool entry could be the basic balloon/kite camera setup from open labs?

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I have started a floating wiki to keep the various lists of tools - we can graduate this to a full tool wiki and/or divide it further as it evolves. I think that it might be useful to divide shop tool kits from field tool kits. I know we have recently refined our tractor tool kit lists on our farm.

Here is a link to the "floating" tool wiki for shop tool kits

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It would be really cool do do a couple farm hacker's shop layouts and inventory - we might be able to make some generalizations and help each other improve. I know my layout could certainly be much better. This is where a sketchup library might be really fun to do a few shop layouts.

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