homesteading (252)

Chicken Coop In the Spring

I know I’ve said this before, but it’s really paid off to build a tight, rat-and other critter-proof chicken coop plus yard. Billy Cummings did the honors here: concrete floor for their nesting room and feed room, aviary wire on the sides and top of the yard; wire down into the ground a foot or so at bottom edges of yard for digging critters like skunks or raccoons. The yard works so well we don’t even bother closing the little door to their nesting room at night. I probably built five funky chicken coops over the years before this one.

   The bantam hens work really well for us; the Golden Seabrights are not only (in my opinion) the most beautiful of chickens, inquisitive, perky, and friendly, but they lay surprisingly well. Once you have your own fresh eggs, you can’t go back to store-bought.

  The sod roof is doing well after the late rains.

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West Vancouver Rustic Waterfront Cabin for Sale

“… this is the best waterfront value in the Gulf Islands & only 8 min from Vancouver. 17,000 sq ft lot with 65 ft of WATERFRONT frontage. This rustic cabin is in original condition with lots of life left & an incredible waterfront view. Features include, low bank access to water, rain water catchment system. Private westerly facing lot with deep water moorage option directly in front of property. Can be sold together with Lot 40. Call listing agent for details…”

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Great Food & Company at Bibi's Restaurant, Monroe, NC

I got to the restaurant just after closing time Monday night, but Jason, the owner, asked if I’d like a burger. He made me a great burger with melted cheese and a cornbread salad. Katie, the waitress, and Jason sat with me while I ate and we talked about organic food and farming and homesteading. Katie has two kids and she and her husband want to find a place in the country and plow the land with mules, be off the grid, and raise their own food. I told her she sounded just like a hippie girl from the 60s. Jason gets local food for his restaurant and prepares vegetarian and vegan meals as well as burgers and chicken. He’s the one who turned me on to the Palace restaurant, where I had breakfast the next morning. Here’s Jason’s Facebook page.

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Wood Burning Cookstoves

Great selection of wood cookstoves. I like these 2 because you can see the fire.

We bought a soapstone stove from Vermont Castings (not with an oven) over 30 years ago and it’s been a wonderful (and our only) source of heat ever since. These days I’d go for an oven.

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Sent us by Irene Tukuafu

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Valley of the Elves by Ellie Pritts

“In November 2010, my best friend and I found ourselves nearing the end of an impromptu and underfunded trip to Europe. With just 80 Euros to our names in Florence, we relied on a network of friends of acquaintances to secure lodging for a long weekend before we moved on to Athens. We had only a vague understanding of where we were going to spending the next few days. All we really knew was that we were going to be staying in a non-traditional community in the mountains northeast of us. The author J.R.R Tolkien and “elves” were mentioned, but we weren’t sure how much of what was being told to us was simply lost in translation.

   We boarded a train, a bus, a Jeep and finally walked on foot to reach our destination. It was breathtaking. We were greeted by a herd of cattle wandering the valley as we made our way to the dwellings. We learned that the community was nearly entirely self-sufficient; all their food was grown there. There were many cows, goats and chickens being raised as well. We also learned the name of the community, which translates to the Valley of The Elves in English.…”

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