Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Operation Inoshishi: Permaculture Wild Boars Update

Well, it has been about one month since I began Operation Inoshishi. And I can say it has been a partial success.


As you can see ( or maybe you can't, it is not the best shot ever taken...) the boars dug up two of the six holes. So I guess Operation Inoshishi runs at a 33% success rate.
On a side note, during the past month, the boars have also dug up several square kilometers of non-garden area, and uprooted two 4 year old apple trees.
I hate wild boars.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Seed Exchange Party!

Well, if you are going to be in Takahagi, Ibaraki next month on the 19th, swing by the first "Northern Ibaraki Seed Exchange Party"

I finally did it, I got off my behind and organized a seed exchange. It was remarkably simple. I just made a quick and dirty website at Google sites, made a few dozen flyers, and started passing them out to people, and making little flags out of them and sticking them into people's gardens! Now we just have to see if anyone shows up....

If you would like to participate from afar, send me some seeds you would like to trade, and a very generalized request list, I will see what I can do!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ice Sculpture

The ice from the goat's water bucket. Just thought it looked pretty.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Testening

I finally did it. I tested the solar parabolic cooker.
However, there are some problems- it is cold outside! Five degrees, and some clouds scudding the sky. But, I figured that I should get it done.
Outside temp was 5 degrees C.

Water temperature before starting was 12 degrees

Step 1: Prepare the target. I took a 350ml can from the recycling pile and spray-painted it matte black.
Step 2: Aiming the mirror. I have two strings running in an "X" over the top of the parabola. When the shadow X hits the small X I made on the base, it is focused.
Step 3. I filled the can with water and measured the temp- twelve degrees. Then I took some string and tied it to the ring-tab. Finally I suspended it from a 1x4 just above the "X" on the baseplate.
Can in place and ready to heat.

Step 4. I made a spreadsheet to record the data and began to measure.

You can see the can shadow over the target.

There were a few clouds in the sky.

Over the course of an hour, the temperature of the 350ml of water in the can did manage to rise to 45 degrees C. Perhaps more constant vigilance in aiming could have improved that. I did have to end the experiment early. The original plan was to continue until a stable temperature was reached for 30 minutes.


  1. The parabola is not very sturdy. It flops around and sags, causing a very soft focus I think.
  2. You really cannot use it in windy conditions. It will blow it around and the wind will steal heat from your target. perhaps insulating the can inside a clear glass jar would improve efficiency.
  3. Winter is not a good time for outdoor solar cooking in this thing. The sun is so low, that it is hard to suspend your target in the focal point, due to the angle. And the cold air also steals a lot of heat.
  4. It is fun to experiment.
So, any geeky types out there who can help me understand my data from the spreadsheet?
Also, any tips or hints, or requests for other data?