gardening (201)

Photos from Ladysmith Yesterday

A few photos yesterday in Ladysmith, a nice little town south of Nanaimo on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Cumberland is another such nearby town. There are houses for sale for under 200K. Old mining towns. Small homes built for workers that have the appeal and aesthetics of simplicity. (The below isn’t one of those homes, it just seemed seemed like a unique doorway cut into the corner of a sort of cube.)

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Tuesday Morning Fish Fry

Blog Posts I just did 2 posts for our new blog — they’ll be up within a week — https://www.theshelterblog.com/, as I transition to a different blogging mode. Not as much stuff as this (although I can’t resist blabbing now and then). More material on building, the home arts, gardening, farming. Especially building.

I feel like I have a lot to communicate with builders after all these years of non-academic study of carpentry and other methods of construction.

Back in the saddle with this new blog.

Coming off 5 years of building domes, I set about to learn the most practical methods of building homes, small buildings, and barns. It can be so simple.

Sample future posts:

•Drawings of 5 tiny homes (including every stick of wood in framing (from Shelter)

•Barns of my acquaintance

•Timber Framing

•Master Builders of the Middle Ages

•Architecture: architects need to know that the definition of architecture is “…the art and science of building.” Building.

Dwell magazine: occasional comments on this paragon of soulless living

•Rad Rigs: More tiny homes on wheels

I’m really excited to be shifting to this mode. I have something like 70,000 photos, both film and digital, to draw from.

Today’s New York Times has a terrific science section, including a stunning photo of the moon by the Lunar Orbiter V, and an article about a combo robot/man diving suit that will be used to explore a Roman ship believed to have sunk in the 1st century BC, and which carried “…the Antikythera Mechanism, a mechanical device for predicting celestial movement.”

Serena was just superb on Saturday. Power and grace. Beautiful.

Surfing Without Catching Waves Went out on my 10′ Haut Surftek board the other day, too many surfers for me, just got a couple of krappy rides in the foam. Then a few days later could not get out through 6′ surf with my surf mat BUT as I get older I settle for just being in the ocean AND I’m gonna get waves — going to Kauai in November with surf mat and fins.

Over & Out I’m leaving tomorrow for Pittsburgh, then to Seven Springs, PA to do a presentation Friday,  Sept 12 at the Mother Earth News Fair. Anyone know if Pittsburgh is worth exploring?

Photo: grapes at Louie’s

I've Got You Under My Skin by Diana Krall on Grooveshark

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Around the Homestead

It’s raining, not pouring, but hey! It’s lovely—highly unusual for us in summer…I finally got our well (for watering garden) going again yesterday. New jet pump, new 80-gallon pressure tank…it’s a 15′ deep well that we dug with a backhoe in 1980…put 8″ pipe with saw kerfs (slits) in middle of hole, filled with rock…1-1/4″ pipe goes down inside the 8″ pipe…used the soil we dug out to make adobe bricks with a Cinva-Ram, and they form the back wall of our greenhouse…retains heat nicely…corn is 8′ high, more vigorous than ever before…I’ve been collecting seaweed, last week got leafy parts of bull kelp, dried it, and it’s really salty and flavorful…I’m a couple of years ahead on firewood…we end up with a lot of pallets from book shipments, and lately they’re all heat treated (“HT” stamped on them), meaning they haven’t been insecticided, so I cut them up with chainsaw, good addition to oak and euc picked up on road…we just added a new hoop greenhouse from Farmtek…”EZ Build Gro Cold Frame,” very simple, quick to put up, metal hoops (a la quonset shape), 10′ wide x 14′ long x 7′ high, UV stabilized flexible woven poly fabric, lasts 10 years…it’s really warm, even on overcast days…tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers…

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The Shelter Blog and Lloyd's Blog

I’m changing the nature of this blog. I (we—Shelter Publications) are going to focus on building,
carpentry, homes, gardening, and the like on our brand-new — ta-daa:

https://www.theshelterblog.com

   It’s been up for a couple of months now, and
its look and function have been steadily improved by Mac Wizard Rick Gordon.
Evan’s doing most of the posting (I’m funneling my posts through him), Lew is
starting at 3 posts a week, and we’re encouraging builders to send us photos
and descriptions of their latest creations.

   We hope to build this up so it’s a player in
digiworld —we’re aiming for some major readership. We don’t think there is any
blog or website out there with the type content we are generating. Think of all
the buildings and builders in our books—now coming out daily.store appearances (a slide show and book signing
for Tiny Homes on the Move), and getting such good vibes. It feels like
we’re a tribe. We’re interested in the same things—doing stuff for ourselves
(as much as possible), having a warm, attractive, natural-as-possible
handcrafted home, growing some of our own food…

   Remember, it’s “theshelterblog,” not “shelterblog.” The “the” is necessary to get to the right
place. This blog—my own—will continue to follow my
idiosyncratic path through life. Wherever I go, I’m taking you, the reader,
along with me, riding shotgun. It gives me an extra incentive to explore, to
search, to inquire, to shoot photos—if I can come back and tell others about
it.

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On the Road in Mendo

A great crowd at Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino last night for my Tiny Homes on the Move slideshow. In addition to the 50 or so mobile homes I showed, we talked about farming, building methods and materials, the ’60s*, and building codes. I looked at the roomful of people — we were all on the same page — causing me to reflect on who are these people, who are “we?”

   Dwell magazine, bless its sterile heart, is the completely other side of the picture and, due to its popularity, I would guess our group is in the minority — kind of like the book lovers in Fahrenhei 451. I’ve been trying to define the characteristics of our group. We believe in doing things with our own hands…natural materials…craftsmanship…working kitchens…solar heated water…colorful interiors…Feng shui…gardens, chickens, foraging. One of these days I’ll write something about who we are. In the meantime, heh-heh, check out https://www.theshelterblog.com; this is the kind of stuff we like.

*I said to someone recently, “Well, the ’60s happened in the ’70s — no actually, the ’60s happened in the ’60s and the ’70s — and she said, “The ’60s are still happening.” In many cases, being rediscovered.

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