Episode-527- Call In Friday 10-8-10 — 18 Comments

  1. Interesting about running water pipes through compost to help heat the water. Search YouTube for Jean Pain Method… This guy created an 18 foot diameter compost pile that is 9 feet tall. He ran water piping through the pile to produced hot water for his house. The pile’s heat lasted long enough to give hot water for 18 months.

    Oh yah, he also was able to produce and capture some methane from the pile which he used to power a generator, stove/oven and truck.

  2. I’m not sure if you’re aware of it, but Monolithic Dome has a great little water filter system available for about $24. They send the ceramic filter, and you put it in a bucket set up. The plans are included. This filter should rival the Berkey, and the Aqua Rain setups! I have one of these for backup….

  3. The situation in Argentina was well documented by Fernando “FERFAL” Aguirre, I believe. This also spawned a book by the same author. During the whole situation, which lasted for years, FERFAL put up blow by blow accounts of events and how he circumvented them. “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse”, Based on First Hand Experience of the 2001 Economic Collapse in Argentina. This is a great read. His current blog: with intro: . His current Blogspot:

    • @Kathy Wilson, that is the guy I means. Great blog and a good book I just always have a hard time remembering his name.

  4. My husband and I still hope to someday build a monolithic dome. We’ve toured their place in Italy, TX a number of times and I’ve sketched at least 100 floor plans on graph paper over the years. You just can’t beat them for energy efficiency, but finish work on the inside is tricky and non-conventional to say the least. Still, I imagine we’ll eventually build a dome.

    On the water filter that Kathy mentioned above, I agree. We have 2 in our supplies.

    On fish, we transfer fish into our ponds all the time and have done so for years with no issues. We also stock with fingerlings when we feel the need to do so.

    Great show- Thanks Jack.

  5. You’re right, these filters aren’t the BEST for the chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, but 100% on bacterial, etc, ain’t half bad. For 1/10th the price of the expensive ones, this will still save lives. MANY times you could carry the smaller ceramic filter by itself when the Berkey is to bulky. I have smaller Berkey bottles, but they can’t keep up with clean water for a family. You also have the option to filter water more than once. If you filter it once and it only removes 80%, if you filter it again, will it remove 80% of the remaining chemicals?

  6. Kathy,

    Double or even triple filtering might remove some more particulate matter if you were pre-filtering water with sand, charcoal, etc. With quality filters like Berkey, Lifesaver, Katadyn, or even with a ceramic filter most of the filtration is accomplished on the first pass. You might get a bit more filtration the second pass, but the filter will still let through almost everything that passed the first time.

  7. @Kathy,

    Expensive is first of all relative. A SET of Berkey filters is like 80 bucks, one of those filters is 18, so they are not 1/10 even out of the gate. More like about half the cost, 80 vs. about 40.

    The next issue is that one of these filters simply filters to .5 micron so it doesn’t matter how many times you filter water if the pathogen is smaller than a half micron it will pass through.

    Next a filter will last “6-8 months” where a Black Berkey can last years and a set will filter about 6000 gallons of water. What I am saying in the price for a filter is less important than the price per gallon of filtered water. Say you have four people using 1 gallon day. A single black even just rigged in a cheap bucket like these things (remember a single would have a cost of 40 dollars) would last about 750 days, over two years vs 6-8 months. More than four times the work for half the cost.

    I am not saying that those ceramic filters are bad just they don’t cost less and they don’t do as good of a job by their own specifications. To judge performance we can just look at specs to judge expense we have to look at the total cost not just the initial cost. With water the real cost is per gallon and in that regard the Berkey beats everything I have ever looked at.

  8. Oh say you are filtering like rain or well water that is generally safe anyway though, the other filters are probably more than good enough, still even then the Berkey costs less.

    Next if you want fluoride out of your water neither does that, with the Berkey you need to buy a second set of filters. With the ceramic ones you need another type of filter to get the fluoride out.

    For me at home my two biggest concerns are chlorine and fluoride.

  9. Thanks for all the response. Water is critical to all of us. We have a Berkey, and the little ones, too. We also have an Aqua Rain, with Doulton filters in it. Where are you getting the Berkey filters for $40? I have not found them for that. The other issue with the Black Berkey filters is that if your filter is knocked off the table, it will break. The ceramic filter is really slow to filter, too, so I use two filters to make coffee, tea, and drinking water. I appreciate all the feedback!

  10. As an aside, twice a year, I put about a pint of Colloidal Silver into the full Berkey filter to help recharge and clean the filters. It may not be necessary, but if it helps keep it clean, it’s almost free, and if the silver colloid goes through the filter, it helps keep US clean. Maybe not necessary, but can’t hurt….

  11. @Cathy first I don’t think double filtering is necessary, that is why I chose Berkey, I got the best and most cost effective I could find.

    On the cost, you won’t get that buying a single set they retail for like 99 a set on our sponsor ( but he runs specials and blacks are usually on the list. Join his email list.

    That said at 100 a set we are still at 50 per 3000 gallon capacity of one filter. That still crushes the cost of every thing else I can find that is anything close to as effective.

    Last I am not really sold on Colloidal Silver. Can’t really comment on that one way or another. I think may people worry to much about things like how pure you can make water. I want my water clean and I want insurance for clean water in the future. However, I am not about to over sweat this water thing and then go out breath the air we have today and mislead myself that I am toxin free.

    Humans are meant to deal with toxins, we can handle typical natural toxins and I believe on some degree we need them. What I don’t want is human contributed crap in my water.

  12. i just got around to listening to this episode and i loved the bit on groundnuts vs. jerusalem artichokes. i actually drove to work this morning and spotted some jerusalem artichokes in a field…and i was about to purchase some. duh.

    i just wanted to add that i have recently planted some ground nut tubers in a raised bed and while doing online research i came across a video from a permaculture garden in canada that was practicing a “three brothers” garden, taking from the three sisters idea. they planted ground nut, jerusalem artichokes for them to climb onto, and a ground cover ginger (which will not grow in my area, so i was thinking of purslane to substitute) to supress weeds. i thought this was a fantastic symbiotic relationship using two permanent, edible plants that grow in most any zone. i will be adding this dynamic duo to my permaculture plans.

  13. thanks for the great info on groundnuts. After a little research I found out that I can give it a shot right here in the middle of Utah.