3D Printing Fly Traps

This is the third in what has turned into a three-part series on organic pest control (it’s just that time of year). The previous two posts were on organic wood lice control and white butterfly decoys. Like most rural dwellers, we accept flies as part of life. Some years are worse than others but wet [...]

White butterfly decoys

The previous post about organic woodlice control touched on a couple of elements of pest control: trapping and physical separation of pest and plant. Another strategy that can work quite well is using environmental elements to confuse or deter pests. You can apply the principle to planting technique, by mixing up your plants to confuse [...]

3D Printed coffee grinder part

My friend Eddie has a small coffee grinder that has given him many years of faithful service but a broken part has rendered it less useful than it could be. I’m not sure what the official term is, but I’ll call it the sweeper. It’s the part that sweeps the ground coffee out to the [...]

3D Printing replacement parts for a camera

My friend Eddie asked if I could print a replacement part for his old, but mostly useful Nikonos camera. Like so many consumer items we have, for the want of a single part or two, it could be almost as good as new. It needed a new knob to turn the film advance winder, and [...]

The finished Arduino wireless water sensor

Back at the end of 2009 I started playing about with an Arduino solution to monitor the water level in a water tank about 300m from the house. The tank isn’t visible from the house so a standard visual tank indicator wouldn’t work. In a nutshell, this sensor measures resistance through an array submerged in [...]

The Lifeboat Bookshelf

We’ve been asked a few times to recommend reading lists to people so I thought it was about time we listed a few of our favourite books. We read a lot and this list are the ones we think are the most informative, inspiring or plain useful. I’ll add more books to the shelf as [...]

Arduino water level gauge

A couple of months back I was lucky enough to win an Arduino starter kit from the folk at Mindkits. With the Christmas break upon us we’ve finally had some time to get our first project underway – a wireless water tank level gauge. Our main water tank for the farm is out of view [...]

Power cut? What power cut?

We are in the middle of a scheduled power outage thanks to our lines company. The last “planned” outage for maintenance we were supposed to have never happened, so I was a bit blase when the letter arrived announcing today’s outage. Someone new must be in charge because at 1:00pm exactly our power went off. [...]

Playing with Dave’s reprap

This post should help restore some geek balance to the “farmgeek”. We had the pleasure of a visit from our friend Dave this weekend and as a result of some logistical issues I was lucky enough to have possession of his reprap for a few days. What is a reprap? From the reprap Wikipedia article: [...]

Water ram pump

We are very fortunate to have a prolific spring on the property that supplies all the water we need. While we currently use petrol and diesel-powered pumps to move the water around the farm, we have always planned on using more sustainable methods.The first step is the installation of a water ram pump. Ram pumps [...]