Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fall time Garden Checklist

This may seem like a long post of pictures, but it's only because the list of things to do in the garden is quite long as well. This to do list is only for mid fall; so much more work to do! Why? Well, lets say that feeding yourself to try to minimize outsourcing is a lot of work. This year that was my goal. 

I did not forsee how little time I would have to dedicate to it at the end of pregnancy and while taking care of a new born. This post is similar to the one I write about being domestically challenged. What you are about to see is an overgrown garden, ready to decompose, and other garden messy scenes. the list begins. Enjoy!

1. Remove all the plats that are dying. Especially all the zucchinis and pumpkins have taken over this place. Au revoir!

2. Take the seeds from all the plants that are seeded: lettuce, kale, basil...

 3. Take all the yummies that are left over, and leave some that are still growing. We still have lots of kale, swiss chard and cabbage. Some will continue growing, some will get harvested this week. 

 4. Put away things around the garden, like water pots (we don't need them anymore), beer cans and cups. No we don't really party at the garden; we use beer as slug traps. I love slugs, they are really cute creatures, but they chomp all of our food, since the garden is right next to the swamp. Slugs love beer.

5. Plant cover crops (picture below). They are hardy plants that are planted in the fall to protect the soil over the winter. They prevent soil erosion and absorb soluble nutrients so they don't leach away with the rain in the winter. The roots make good munchies for the worms when we take the tops off. 

6. Plant some potatoes (picture above) and other plants that I grew from seed in the green house. 

I've never planted potatoes in the winter, but I'm going to give it a try and see what happens. We may be able to have them in the green house anyways.

7. Continue taking weeds out. We do this by hand. It's definitely a lot of work, but we don't use any chemicals in our garden. Organic gardening should be the standard for anyone anyways. Some will get composted, some will be used again in the soil for sheet mulching. 

8. The first picture above has the huckleberry bush in it and it's surrounded by mint. So... Harvest the mint that's left over. I'm glad there's still some I can harvest.

9. Use the biodynamic prep (the one in the box in the picture above) It reduces radioactivity by enhancing biodiversity in the soil. It also channels cosmic energy into the garden, yippee!

(If you are curious about biodynamic preparations, check out this site that tells us a bit about it.)

These are pictures of the lavender. I'm not doing anything about it just yet, except for weeding. I like the pictures so I thought I'd share :)

 10. Last but not least: enjoy the gardening process. Being outside when it's cold and wet may not sound very appealing for most people. But I've found out that when I do, I don't get the winter blues, I connect more with nature and I get stronger and healthier. What do you have in your garden checklist this season? Any recommendations? 

Happy gardening to you all, and happy Hollowing! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Month #2

Happy month #2 dear Matia Zucchinni!

You got your firsts serenades and music lessons, or that's how we like to call our Witching Hour soothing techniques. This month, music worked like a charm.

Your 0-3 month clothes don't fit no more, but thank god your knitted booties still fit, you definitely look mighty cute.

You came along on our little road trips an adventures. You saw cows for the very first time, and they saw you; they probably thought you were a tiny piglet.

 You saw the rise of our yurt. Yes, you actually saw other things this month besides my boobs. Yay!

And you slept like a champ. We appreciated the 3 hours at a time sleeping chunks at night.

 You were loved and held by a bunch of people, you got your first cold, and played games with us. First big laughs and hugs; first words (baby words, of course). First enjoyable baths and more.
 I'm exited to share more new things with you as we become best friends. What an awesome guy you are!
Oh, and you grew out of your acid reflux!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Along the Farmland

The other day we went on a mini road trip along the farm land, 20-40 minutes away from home. There's so many family farms around here, that have different kinds of farm practices, but one thing was for sure: it was a pretty stinky ride. You'll see why next.

Flying poop right there for you! This is something you see a lot around here: mono crops and flying poop (which I only hope is not full of other things too)... 

But even though I may disagree with some practices, I thought I'd show you what I saw. 

Beautiful hills, lots of trees (where it hasn't been clear cut. Yes, people still do that)

Heavy machinery and structures.

And beautiful nature all around,

A cute store along the way full of locally made goods, mostly organic, all delicious. It's called the Everybody's store

Past blueberry season, long lands of mono crops. Eventhough very pretty looking, I personally prefer a different use of the land, one that stimulates biodiversity

Happy to end our little trip next to the Nooksack River for a relaxing nursing time next to the water. This is what I saw along the farmland. Do you live close to a farmland too? what do you see? What kind of practices do you support?
I think is good to know who your local farmers are...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Domestically Challenged

The other day someone wrote me to tell me my blog looks like a commercial ad. It's true that I like to raise my vibration and empower my energy through positive imagery. In other words, I like to look at the bright side of life as much as I can, and this is my space to share that vision. But my life is no commercial ad. So here I show you a little mess I deal with daily, why not?

I've never really been the super tidy kind. I tend to leave things to clean up for the morning, and often times, there's not enough time to clean up at that time, and I'm usually ok with that, as long as I can take care of it in the next 24 hours. Not everybody could live with me. But when two of my kind get together, and they have a newborn child, oh boy, we are all in trouble.

You'll find a lot of random things on the floor, because why would we take the extra effort to pick it up, while holding a 15 lb. baby + the tray of food we are about to eat + blankets + burp cloth + etc...

And for sure our bed is never made. Is yours? I bet it is...

And clean diapers get real messy in a frenzy of changing a poopy diaper that got squeezed and is now spilling on your arm. 

On any given day, I bet you you'll find balls of dog hair (the kind you could put together and make a felted hat with) along with your glasses, next to a mug full of compostable pear left overs. Yes, it's already looking like compost itself. All on the floor for a perfect recipe for a kick disaster!
Nop! No empty sink, or empty chairs to sit on.

And well of course, a domestically challenged lady with more dog hair all over her clothes, telling you, how do you do it? how do you keep it together when you have to leave the house, and it takes you more than ever, as if you were in a scavenging hunt? How?!
I still have the hope someday I'll figure it out. Any tips for the journey?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Trail treasures

Last week was one full of resting time. We all got a bit sick around here, so we focused on healing, drinking tons of tea and having lots of at home time. Yet, there's always time and energy for a good walk and this week I felt especially inspired by the change in the weather and colors around here, so morning walks were pretty frequent. I love the variety of colors and the fog in the early hours, but I mostly enjoy the treasures hidden all around. 

The mushrooms found on the side of the trail received especial attention, of course. I know nothing about these guises names or properties but I surely admire their beauty and their overall power to save the world. Check out this TED talk to understand this last statement. My hope is that you'll be amazed. But please, if you know their names, or anything about them, let me know, I'm quite curious. 

You gotta look everywhere to not miss little beautiful details of life, like this gorgeous red dragonfly.

 All shades of green everywhere, my favorite color. Eventhough I was actually expecting to see more orange and brown, the cool weather still reminded me we are approaching winter, and I love it!

It got real sunny, I'll take as much as I can while I can.

We had to make a stop for some snacking/nursing time, and of course, play at the pond. 

Textures, colors, smells and change are always a constant.

Radar came all wet from playing at the pond and shook off the water all over Matia and me!

He could do this all day, I swear.

More beautiful treasures; I love spider webs.

 Back on the trail to get home. This trail is located on the back of the property were we live, and connects with the trail from our back yard. Lovely, isn't it? Can you help me identify the mushrooms I found?
Happy Monday, everyone!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Yurt rise

Remember I told you on the Summer Recap about a major project we've been working on? Well... here it is!
Last spring we decided we wanted to build a place to live in that we could call our own, and after exploring some options, a yurt made the most sense. Living "off the grid" is actually really appealing to us: no need to deal with permits, not  having to ask anyone for permission.  Also, a small space means needing less things, buying less, creating less garbage, reducing foot print. Beautiful!
Keep in mind this is a work in progress. In fact, I think that when you choose to live in a Yurt, you're living situation is always a work in progress. We actually love the idea of being able to move our home whenever we want or need to. We started this project in the spring and we can finally see it coming along, yay!
The first step was to sustainably pick out the trees from the property, just two, cutting them down, getting the wood milled and then measuring, cutting and sanding the pieces for the yurt. It's built from scratch with the help of family and friends. We are so grateful for them.

Above you see the lattice, the center ring and the rafters (and a latter to put it all together), the basic pieces of this puzzle home. If you want to learn more about building yurts, check out Simply Differently. We also used this book to figure it out. It's definitely a DIY project that is doable.

This is the lattice, the walls of the yurt that can be folded to open and shut them for easy transportation, all around the top of the deck. 

Then we put the rafters (the roof structure), and like puzzle pieces, they all fit perfectly together to support the center ring, which in turn supports the rafters, all set together for a very sturdy living structure.

Then we bought the yurt canvas and insulation from Nomad Shelter. I guess we could have made it ourselves, but it would have taken us so much more time, and a lot of trial and error. They ussusally don't just sell the canvas, but they were so special with us they made an exemption. We are so lucky!

A skylight was built by Mr. O's brother. It pays off to surround yourself from very crafty people, I tell ya!

This is a before and after putting the insulation and canvas. Our site is surrounded by trees and a little pond we kind of created ourselves. I'll show it to you someday, it's delightful.

Like I said, this is a work in progress, still water and electricity to be set up (maybe rain water catching system and solar panels), a few things to bring to move in and lots of deciduous plants to plant. Oh! and another green house to build! I'll still be using our old green house, which is only a few steps away.
I'll see you soon, with more off the grid adventures and experiments!