Test the soil's Ph to find out what what it lacks. Great soil has a healthy blend of Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorous -- all of which are generated from compostable materials.
Identify what species should be growing in this soil, depending on climate. It does not need to be native.
Acquire a locally-abundant biomass to feed the soil whatever nourishment it needs (may be an agricultural or industrial byproduct — like chicken manure or press mud, a byproduct of sugar production) — but it can be almost anything. The less distance you have to haul the biomass the better.
Amended the soil to a depth of ~one meter, plant saplings that are up to 80 centimeters high, packing them in very densely — three to five saplings per square meter.
The forest itself be planted to cover at least 100 square-meters, minimum. This space grows into a forest so dense that after eight months, sunlight can’t reach the ground. "At this point, every drop of rain that falls is conserved, and every leaf that falls is converted into humus. The more the forest grows, the more it generates nutrients for itself, accelerating further growth. This density also means that individual trees begin competing for sunlight — another reason these forests grow so fast."
Keep the forest watered and weeded for the first two or three years, after which it should become its own ecosystem and sustaining.
Leave it alone -- allow that ecosystem to work. Not all will, but those that do do for a reason.
Electrical hazards in homes in the Northwest are rampant, due to a specific company's product .... these are especially common in Oregon and Washington.
Federal Pacific Electric breaker box.
"According to a report, some Federal Pacific Electric panels failed to operate properly nearly 60% of the time in the event of a power surge. The homeowner had no way of knowing that too many electrical devices were plugged into one room. The devices required more electricity than the circuit could provide. “The wiring got hot enough to fry an egg,” the electrician reported. Normally, the circuit breakers should trip to cut off the electricity and prevent a fire. The Federal Pacific Electric breakers did not operate properly, resulting in two circuit breakers and a bus bar being burned."
WASHINGTON — The Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) today announced $37 million in funding for 16 innovative new projects as part of a new ARPA-E program: Integration and Optimization of Novel Ion-Conducting Solids (IONICS). IONICS project teams are paving the way for technologies that overcome the limitations of current battery and fuel cell products."
On Netflix! A documentary about a river resource brought to the brink of destruction, its slow reclamation, and a peace made between people.
"A River Between Us tells the story of the oldest and most bitterly disputed water war in the West today. The film's primary focus is the struggle for justice on the Klamath River, where forty years of bad blood between the local farmers, ranchers, Native Tribes, members of the Tea Party, state politicians and federal government have created one of this country's worst environmental crises. Most importantly, as part of the largest restoration project in American history, A River Between Us provides the solution to ending this generations-old conflict: in order to save a river, you must first heal a people."
Pest control without synthetic chemicals
12-15 drops of Peppermint oil, 8-10 drops of Eucalyptus oil dropped into 0.5 oz dish soap diluted in 12 oz water spray bottle.
Fragrant and strong! The soap + oils will help the scents remain in humidity and weather.
Repels (low concentration of essential oils) or kills (in higher concentrations): Fleas, Ticks, Wasps, Spiders, Mites, Chewing Lice, Earwigs, Millipedes, Dust mites!
Essential Oils can be obtained in quantity online, pretty easily:
The Federal Aviation Administration is funding research to make this costly conductive concrete more affordable.
This special concrete mix, studded with electricity-conducting ingredients, could help airports and other places run on time during inclement weather.
"Potholes often originate from the liberal use of salt or de-icing chemicals that can corrode concrete and contaminate groundwater over time, Tuan said, making the conductive concrete an appealing alternative with lower operating and maintenance costs. The power required to thermally de-ice the Roca Spur Bridge during a three-day storm typically costs about $250 -- several times less than a truckload of chemicals, he said."
Battling climate change with a partnership between public and private investment in discovering and developing breakthrough technologies is the aptly-named Breakthrough Energy Coalition
While we'll never get people to stop burning wood to make fires for heat and light, and cooking -- we probably can help our planet out by finding better ways to stay warm, have light, and cook food.
And let's not forget about powering our beloved electronics!
"The existing system of basic research, clean energy investment, regulatory frameworks, and subsidies fails to sufficiently mobilize investment in truly transformative energy solutions for the future. We can’t wait for the system to change through normal cycles."
Harvesting Water from Air
Researchers in Bangalore, India have come up with a machine that can harvest the moisture from the air -- it works best in environments with 65 - 75 percent humidity.
The fastest way to grow a forest; directions modified for an ecosteader audience / adapted from the source below: