Practical Ecology

Nature Switched On
 

 

 

 

 

in the Pyrenees  the first 10 years

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We still harvest the Jerusalem artichoke but now they are showing the beginnings of their formidable stalks of the coming season.
4 Mar 11:51

                         a   S T A M M E R  project              

2010 February 19 to March 4


The Natterjack toads have started to croak, cranes are massively flying over heading north and the first flowers have started to bloom. Spring is almost here. The weather has nevertheless been very wet and misty for the last weeks and the Almond trees are not flowering yet.


WWW   NSO

 

The first flower on the terrain: the tiny Veronica polita in the vegetable garden.
By the way: the Leek plants can also still be harvested and are of excellent taste.
19 Feb 13:48

 

 

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The solar shower system inside the solar greenhouse.
Looking east.
4 Mar 10:50
 

The solar greenhouse and shower are practically finished. We have had our first showers and it works like a dream. Here the details:
For the solar shower I used 70 meters of black rubber tube, of which 50 meters with a diameter of 19mm (26mm exterior) and 20 meters of 13mm. They were fixed on a structure of wooden laths and 50mm nails, which rested on a tablet for growing vegetables. The heated water is led to a shower, with an ECO water saving head, in the east corner of the greenhouse.

The assemblage is remarkably simple and surprisingly effective. After a few hours of full sun in the morning the water gets so warm that you have to add cold water for a comfortable shower. This way I clocked 5 minutes and 25 seconds with a continuous stream of hot water.

 
In the west corner I installed a workbench, converting the greenhouse into a multifunctional space.
4 Mar 10:49
 
The smaller sized black tubes in the inner circles permit sharper bends.
4 Mar 11:36
 
  On the internet I haven't found any mentioning of a solar shower installed inside a greenhouse, but I can see only advantages:
- the water in the tubes is warmed up before any sun rays hit them
- the rubber tubes are protected from damaging UV sun rays
- in summer excess heating is avoided by covering the roof with some shading material  (probably reed) and by the vegetables growing on the table
- the system acts as a temperature buffer against cold nights and hot summer days when frequent showers refresh the water and atmosphere.

The main temperature buffering in the solar greenhouse comes from 5 second hand oil barrels, which I was lucky to find in good shape and a good price (4 each). I painted them black and filled them with a total of 1100 litre of water.

The grey water from the shower is collected on a gravel bed with an EPDM liner and led outside to a kind of filter canal.

 
  The shower plate of teak wood with gravel and EPDM underneath.
In the upper right corner are the inlet and outlet.
23 Feb 12:01
 

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This canal is set up relatively unsophisticated and straightforward as we use biodegradable gels and shampoos and the treated water will be used in the vegetable garden. The canal consists of a sloping stretch of about 6 metres filled with rough rocks and sand of all sizes which was left over from the foundation of the garden house. These angular stones offer nice growing possibilities for moss, algae and other 'dirt eating'  organisms. The EPDM liner (left over from the garden house roof) is of course apt to suffer leaks from the rough rock but as the water is flowing downward losses will be minimal.

The canal comes out into a small pond lined with smooth river stones to protect the underlying EPDM. This pond can hold about 500 litres and then the water flows over via two roof tiles and can be used in a couple of different ways: perhaps I will create another, bigger pond, or a system of irrigation canals through the vegetable garden or I'll just work with garden hoses and watering cans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
  The exterior of the greenhouse is far from beautiful and forms a real challenge for creating something more pleasing with plaster and vines.
1 Mar 13:18
Blanca inspecting the level of the pond.
Looking east.
28 Feb 16:45
 
 

 

Pond overflow. The water is still dirty from sand, clay and some showers but would quickly clear up.
2 Mar 16:56

Pond lined with EPDM and river stones and pebbles.
Looking west.
4 Mar 11:27
 

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I was doubting as to put soil into the new pond. With soil you introduce nutrients which you pretend to eliminate from the grey water. And that a pond without soil and water plants can be aesthetically as pleasing as a pond overgrown with plants is for me clearly demonstrated with the second, lower pond I constructed some years ago. I decided to introduce some, but not too much soil in the new pond to help the first establishment of water plants.

 

 
  The second, lower pond with crystal clear (rain) water, few water plants but many water animals: now especially snails and backswimmers.
4 Mar 13:08

introduction
floristic catalogue
faunistic catalogue
contact
index
gallery 1: 2006-2012
gallery 2: 2012-
map
>> 2010 Mar 13
<< 2010 Jan 14

 

 

 


 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Latest revision on:  01/08/2018