The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Uses for sawdust

Sweeping up sawdustMy mindset already seems to be taking in the permaculture mantra "one man's trash is my treasure."

All through our building project, I've been letting the sawdust slip into the mud and disappear, but this week I suddenly realized it was a gold mine!  I swept up about half a gallon and wish the wood-cutting part of the project wasn't nearly over.

Shall I use my precious sawdust for making bricks for a rocket stove or for mixing with wood chips to provide our mushroom spawn a better substrate?  Choices, choices!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Comment by Everett Thu Feb 4 10:06:29 2010
Worked like a charm!
Comment by anna Thu Feb 4 10:49:31 2010

The trouble with bricks is that you have to fire them, which is not as easy as it seams, and very energy intensive.

If you don't have access to a kiln, you need to stack the bricks with layers of charcoal or coal in between, and coat the outside with clay. A recent BBC program in the series "the Victorian farm" covered the process. Maybe you can find it online? I think you'd like the entire series as well. It's about three experimental archeologists who lived for a year on a farm, growing food and livestock like the victorians did. So with some mechanization, but not much else.

Comment by Roland_Smith Fri Feb 5 12:59:04 2010
...choices indeed...humanure? I will sign up later on the site. Great idea!
Comment by Heather (like the plant :) Fri Feb 5 13:00:30 2010

Roland --- I'll have to find that program --- it sounds like it's right up my alley! I watched something a bit like that from PBS, but was disappointed by how it stuck to reality tv, human drama and didn't tell enough about how people did things.

Heather (like the plant :-) --- humanure could be a good use too! I'll look forward to seeing your user page.

Comment by anna Fri Feb 5 14:43:29 2010

profile counter myspace

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