HOMESTEAD HAPPENINGS


Bike blender in the making

Harnessing Human Energy

Justin’s been busy tinkering away – he loves fixing bikes. In no time he’d disassembled one of the many salvaged bikes, sanded and painted it, put on the bike blender attachment and pieced the bike back together – adding wheels from this bike, seat from another and so forth. I think Jordanne has her eye on it.  

This blender proto type is not yet on the market so we are pretty excited about being one of the firsts to try it out.   I know we don’t need another blender (we already have a hand-cranked one for the kitchen); however, this bike-blender will be great educational tool for kids or perhaps bringing it to events in the community and whip up some tasty smoothies.
Jules and Justin are now looking at plans for a pedal powered washing machine. We saw one up in Willits a few summer’s back when we visited John Jeavon’s and his Biointensive Garden.

PEDAL POWER – Powering Down While Powering Up

Today, with the heavy use of automobiles combined with the burning of fossil fuels, increasing problems are affecting human health and climate change as a result of air pollution. Pedal power energy has been in use since the nineteenth century. Aside from transportation, pedal-power energy can be applied to a tremendous variety of jobs that contribute to less pollution and conserve energy in the home. Pedal power uses the most powerful muscles in the body: the quads, hamstrings, and calves, converting ninety-five percent of exertion into energy.
Many tools and appliances can be run directly with mechanical energy. With an old exercise bike, a generator, and a fan belt, human energy can be converted into Direct Current (DC) electricity. Some examples of tools that can be operated by pedal power are the table saw, band saw, meat grinder, wood carver, water pump, thresher and winnower, stone polisher, lathes, and pottery wheels. Appliances such as a juicer, grain mill, butter churn, and washing machine can also be used with pedal power. On the farm, pedal power can pump water, plow, and clean grain. The list of applications that pedal power can be incorporated with can go on and on.
Ninety-five percent of the exertion put into pedal power is converted into energy. The average rider at a continuous road speed of twelve miles per hour can produce a quarter horsepower, or enough energy to light two, one hundred-watt light bulbs (Wilson 1977).An important aspect of pedal power is that when the cranks are spun, the force is put into the machine unevenly. The energy being produced comes shakily and in spurts. A flywheel can be used to curb the effect of the unevenness associated with pedaling. Flywheels weigh between twenty-five and thirty-five pounds. The inertia of the spinning flywheel when spun at speed evens out the spikes of force that occur when pedaling
Pedal Power is an excellent source of energy. Pedal power can be applied to a wide range of jobs. Pedal Power is a simple, cheap, and convenient source of energy. With the human population at six billion and growing, pedal power can be incorporated in the lives of families living in third world countries to improve the quality of their lives while being friendly to the earth. Pedal Power is an appropriate technology for now and for the future.
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In the Garden


Top left: nasturtium, roof progress, backyard, driveway, backyard patio/cob
oven, back porch


BOOKMARKS

Earth Headed for Warmest Temps in a Million Years {ABCNews}

In about 45 years, temperatures on Earth will be hotter than at anytime during the past one million years, says the U.S. government’s top climatologist in a new report released today.According to the report, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the planet is just two degrees shy of an average temperature of 59 degrees Fahrenheit, which is what they believe the temperature was about a million years ago.
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No Comments

  1. Brian says:

    Pedal power link is broken.

  2. Anais says:

    Sorry about that. The link has been corrected and can be found at
    http://www.humboldt.edu/~ccat/pedalpower/