All material on this site is my own opinion, and in this First draft, Unfinished state may be inaccurate
Including: Viktor Shauberger, Rudolph Steiner,
Permaculture, Plants & Herbals, Fuel and Energy use,
And various other interesting Links I haven't written about yet
Viktor Schauberger (the water wizard)
Had an amazing understanding of water and flow,
and of some of the subtle energies which tie together
water, minerals, trees, and life.
His intention was that we should use the Constructive;
Implosion energy spiralling in, instead of the Destructive;
Explosion energy spiraling out.
These and related ideas are being used today in Flowforms
For purifying, mixing and energising liquids,
Amphora Water Storage
for retaining the natural energies of stored liquids.
Schauberger also identified the positive benefits of
using Copper, as opposed to Iron based tools for
Gardening and Agriculture, showing huge yields
and almost eliminating slug damage.
He combined this with his understanding of flow,
to produce the Golden Plough
Schauberger inspired Flowforms are often used to mix and energise the solutions
used in biodynamic agriculture which is based on some talks given by
Rudolph Steiner (another great and original thinker) who recognised the damage being
done to both the land and to the nutritional value of our food,
by intensive modern cultivation methods.
His biodynamics are a more complete version of Organic Farming.
Steiner's original writings etc. on biodynamics
and a vast range of other scientific and spiritual matters
from Architecture (effect on the spirit), to the nature of Warmth,
or even world economics,
(He is probably best known for his thoughts on education,)
are accessible online thanks to the efforts of the wonderful people
While we are on Agriculture , Gardening, Plants etc. I must mention the more recent
development of Permaculture , although in many ways it is just (just?) a
rediscovery of the interdependance of everything.
Having gained my Permaculture Certificate,
I have spent some time looking for an area of study for my Diploma.
There are many excellent studies of plants and their uses:
the wonderful Plants For A Future Database
and the massive New Crop site;
a very large database but aimed at growing information for U.S.
Has lots of links to other databases like
American Indian Ethnobotany Database
Henriette's Herbal medicine pages;
are not so extensive but good for
cross referencing European and botanical names ,
(has Japanese, but unfortunately not Chinese),
and an ever increasing number of pictures.
She also has a page of Classic herbal works
giving online searchable versions of various Materia Medica
although you have to go elsewhere for my favourite starting point ;
the online version of
A Modern Herbal by Mrs M. Grieve
I got my Hardcopy of Mrs Grieve
from Dave, who's shop:
There is also Kew Garden's searchable database
which is good for accuracy, but largely refers to what is in the collections
as opposed to what they are used for.
But without a piece of land to 'Design',I felt that I would be best looking at ,
Fuel and Energy use
within Permaculture systems
Fossil fuel addiction is the main Problem,
for anyone trying to achieve a balanced and sustainable system.
In fact having thought it through, I realised that;
Any plant uses Carbon dioxide to grow, and releases it when burnt or rotting,
Coal and oil are the remains of plants (and small to micro organisms),
Which trapped CO2 in the Carboniferous era, thus helping the atmosphere
become Oxygen rich, and support the development of Humans.
In terms of Our Atmosphere, any fossil fuel burnt is purely adding to the CO2
(Ironically , this means that using fossil fuels to make Plastic and then putting it in landfill is good
as it at least ties up the CO2 for much longer)
whereas, any plant material burnt is just putting back what it has taken out,
and Coppice wood ( where the root is left growing and the trunks or branches are harvested then left to regrow)
is Neutral or even Positive as the Co2 used to grow the root is not returned for many decades.
This is given extra significance when you take the energy use and pollution of
producing stoves, boilers etc. in to consideration , as well designed, efficient, wood burners
can be produced using far less energy than the equivalent gas, oil or even coal burners.
In fact, when equipment manufacture is taken in to consideration ,
then even Electricity generated using Solar cells, Large scale Wind power,
or Hydroelectric is questionable.
Cars are the real problem,
as any fuel used has to be of high energy value and easy to fill and use.
Wood is not the first thing you would think of in this case, but in fact, it is perfectly possible
to use wood to produce a gas suitable for petrol engines, and it was done extensively
during the 2nd World War.
In fact there is a lot of interest on the net in Gasifiers,
although mainly for Electricity Generation using agricultural wastes.
Extensive Wood Gasifier site with working Designs
Gasifier discussions and links
200KWe CHP system development
DTU Viking Two stage Gasifier CHP unit
But although it is perfectly feasible to run vehicles with mobile units
or to use electricity, or even the gas produced by static generators, to run adapted cars,
it would be much easier to run Diesel engines on Vegetable oil.
In fact Diesel engines were originally designed to run on vegetable oil,
as mineral oil was rare and expensive.
Using vegetable oil removes nearly all of the harmful pollutants from the exhaust
and lubricates the engine better.
At least one manufacturer has stated that their engines will last much longer running on vegetable oil.
The U.K. Experts are
who produce fuels
in the UK at least, the Tax
system is heavily biased against using Straight Veg
and in favour of the chemically reacted version of BioDiesel favoured by the Oil industry,
Which uses methyl hydroxide (usually based on methanol byproducts of the petrochemical industry) in its manufacture.
Actually, this has changed, as there is now a loophole for small producers, which means, if you don't use more than 20,000 litres per year, you can legally process your own tax free. As I understand it, this means I'm quite legal "processing" cooking oil from the supermarket (when it's cheap) by pouring it into my fuel tank.
Be Warned, this will not work on all unconverted Diesel engines!!
has a Bosch injector pump, which seems happy with the strain, whereas
the Lucas ones tend to die.
Also I have a heated Fuel filter (off an old Peugot) to help it thin out.
But having said that, most diesels will happily take 40 or 50% veg oil mixed with the diesel in the summer and 25 to 30% in the winter.
And Here are a few Other Interesting Links
which I haven't had the chance to add Blurb to yet.
A lovely Straw Bale House To make me Jealous,
AMAZON NAILS take Strawbale
to a whole new level
Enzyme stabilised blocks and roads
James A. Duke, in "Handbook of Energy Crops" (1983, unpublished)