Category Archives: Grecia

Ram pump construction at Paliomylos.

Hydraulic ram pumps are mechanical devices that employ the water hammer effect to pump water without using any engine, neither electric or combustion.

The University of Warwick in the UK developed a series of ram pump models that can be built with materials commonly used in any workshop. They are basically pieces used in irrigation systems. Here in Rovies, they were building one to gradually introduce more sustainable systems in the olive production. I joined the team that was doing the work, and here is the result.

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Small PVC ram pump, the “Rampampita”.

Ram pumps can be built in multiple ways. There are industrial, made with materials and advanced technology, but can also be built with simple, reused materials and do not require the use of a workshop or specialized tools. To pump a minimum amount of water, we can use standard parts pvc those used in water supply installations. In Paliomylos we did the experiment to see if it would be possible to irrigate the future edible forest with a small hydraulic ram pump that brings water from the canal to a reservoir at the upper end of the plot about 10 vertical meters of the channel.

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Underground cold frame at Paliomylos.

We decided to build an underground cold frame as nursery for the springtime garden. During the last weeks of winter is necessary to start planting seeds that will later be transplanted into the garden. Temperatures here can lead to freezing during the night. The cold frame must have enough insulation to maintain a higher indoor temperature and prevent the plants from die.

The idea evolved from a design that includes a trench inside, using the terrain as support. The place where is doing to be done faces the south, and has the old channel wall just behind. The foundations of the wall are stones, in which we excavate. Therefore, the thermal mass of the wall heated by day, should provide certain temperature into the cold frame. To isolate more at night, we will place a door with double glazing.

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Compost toilet improvement at Paliomylos.

The compost toilet in Paliomylos was no longer used due  to a malfunction. Somehow, a little fly got within the system and reproduced in large quantities. At some point the seal failed. We had to improve the sealing and, same time, install some improvements such as a window, water for washing hands and some more accessories.

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Baking sourdough bread at Paliomylos.

The intention in Paliomylos is try to be self-sufficient in many aspects as possible increasing the consumption of food produced here and surroundings. In the villages on the slopes of the mountains, they cultivate a wheat  that local bakeries use and has the feature that produces a yellowish and tasty flour. We will use it to do our bread. Cultivate the cereal is in mind for the future, perhaps along the lines of olive trees.

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