Monday, September 25, 2017

I think the forecast was wrong...

Well the forecast said 50's and mostly sunny for today. But this is what I woke up to today.  I think they might have got it wrong...

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Summer Wrap Up

Happy first day of fall! Though there's been days of snow here, that's what the calendar says it is. :) 

Though it's not firewood destined for my little stove obviously, here's a quick video showing some of the huge variety of chores I help with around the property where I live which vary constantly with the seasons. (If you are new, I do not own the ground where my house is parked, I trade work to the owners for being able to park here.) These logs are headed for a much larger stove in a very much larger house, but firewood is something I really enjoy doing.

As summer wraps up, I've have a few friends over for dinners with a bonfire.

I'm not sure if the weather will allow any more of these this year or not, but maybe if everyone brought a good warm jacket!

And sometimes even in the summer, the cool temps late in the evening make everyone want to hang out inside instead.

The garden and flowers overall have continued to look wonderful this summer. Maybe partly due to having no freezes through out the summer which is more normal.

As things wrap up, I've been busy preserving all the food I can. Pickling, canning, drying, and fermenting as much of what I does grow here as possible. Some day my goal would be to eat almost nothing that is not produced on my own property, but in this cold climate, I don't think I will quite pull that off.

I baked bread for the first time in years. Due to several food intolerance, I'd pretty much stopped eating it for a while. But I do love eating and making fresh bread so I decided to experiment with a much older variety of wheat and see how that made me feel. It turns out I experienced none of the lethargy, brain fog, or indigestion I have normally had when eating most wheat products so this is an experiment I might have to repeat!

While most things are still green, and fall colors never really appear around my house with almost all the trees being conifers, you are starting to be able to see fall colors in the small brush and weeds.

Smoke continued to blanket the area for much of the summer, mostly from more distant fires as there were none very close to my house. And thankfully the smoke was not as thick or choking as it has been in many other places in the west. But still, midday should not look like the above photo. 

This is a no filter shot of the setting sun where you can see the smoke is thick enough to even allow you to see sun spots on the lower right side!

And then it turned to winter as you could see in my last video. Washing much of the smoke out of the air and putting a damper on most of the fires thankfully.

And the snow sped up my need to harvest as much as possible from the garden. :) So that's been keeping me busy all week as I try to juggle what to harvest now so as to not loose it to freezing, and what to wait on because if it survives under the garden covers, it may grow and produce a little more.

Enjoy the start of fall whatever the temps in your area!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

First Snowfall On My Tiny House 2017

Summer seems to have decided to run off in a hurry around here! It's snowed off and on for the last few days. I'm staying busy with trying to dry, can, freeze, or ferment everything left in the garden.

The forecast is not really calling for any letup in the colder weather either. But at least this is putting a big dent in the fires and smoke that have blanketed much of the west for most of the summer.

The mountains are looking like they've got snow to stay for the year now and the snow line is not too far above my house. 

I even got to see a snow bow! Well it was half snowing / half raining at the time. But still pretty neat to see. 

So I'm curled up inside working on all the food preservation and very cozy with my little wood stove burning. 

And just for fun. This little boy wondered by the other evening. He looked to have some antler marks in his side so I'm guessing a bigger bull had recently chased him away from all the girls and he was all alone.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Good Morning & My Mulch Disaster

Good morning folks! Another lovely day here at my tiny house. I finally decided to show you all what happened with my garden mulching. Hopefully so you can save yourself from the same results!

Despite that, some things are doing well. Despite the problems  I am eating a lot of fresh veggies. Just not as many of some things as I wanted to be able to. 

The flowers and herbs are still looking amazing around the house though.

As well as around the shed. Where I'm still seeing hummingbirds and hummingbird moths visiting regularly. 

And in farewell for now, a cozy fire under a cloudy evening over my house. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

An Easy Way to Cut Your Power Bill & Inexpensive Garden Fencing

Another pretty summer morning at my house. I'm enjoying it while it lasts!

Here's a little video story about how I thought I had a problem with my solar system, but it was actually caused my a careless oversight on my part. Even if you are not off grid with limited power, it's the kind of thing that might save you some cash! One of my followers told me that when she started unplugging everything that was not in use a few years ago, her power bill went down by 25%! That's pretty amazing unless you prefer to just donate extra money to your local power company. :) 

My friend Beth came over and we went current picking together. Despite being at the tail end of the season for currents this year, we found a pretty good pile as you can see. Enough to juice into a little over a quart of wonderful citrusy fresh current juice!

Since a lot of you have inquired, here's a video on how I keep the big critters out of the garden. Most of the time anyway. Including possibly a relatively cheap way to fence your own garden if you live in an area where that is necessary!

In other news, I am still battling my little underground munchers in the garden that are not stopped by any fencing, but the things they have not gotten to are looking good!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

More Veggies, Flowers, Birds, and an Off Grid Hair Washing Tip!

I have more veggies out of the garden every day! 4 quarts of sweet pickles are now fermenting on the counter, and everything else was roasted in the oven to go over tacos for dinner.

While the weather is remaining warm for now, you are starting to be able to feel fall in the air around here. Hopefully I'll have a few more weeks of being able to eat loads of fresh things before hard frosts kill all but the very hardy greens like kale, chard, and brussel sprouts.

Since how I manage hygiene in my off grid situation is a question I get a lot, here's an idea for a quick and water saving wash if you have long hair that tends to get greasy right at your scalp line but you don't want to be too hard on the rest of your hair. I'm not a hair professional, but this has been working for me for a long time.

After a brief but heavy rainfall that knocked some of my taller flowers over, I just cut them and made a pretty bouquet that I've been enjoying inside for a few days.

While I love flowers, the food is my main goal when gardening. Take a look at all the pretty kinds of summer squashes I'm getting right now!

And as always, I enjoy watching the birds and bees around my place. Above is one of the hummingbirds that grew up near my house this summer. When this baby was leaving the nest, it sat on the branch protesting it's new independence for a while. Seeming to prefer the idea of it's parents feeding it to venturing out on it's own. :) They swung by every now and then, but it seemed only to tell it to grow up. It must have finally accepted it's new role in life because it did fly off, and I would imagine is now one the the indistinguishable speedy flashes of color I see feeding from my flowers. It was pretty special to get to witness this much more stationary than normal little part of it's life!