Monday, June 6, 2011

Days 172-341 Still Going Strong

So, living in the middle of nowhere without internet or steady power supply has really taken my posts down. The primary goal was still accomplished, people started examining the way they lived and the ways they could lighten their load on the environment. Hopefully it inspired enough people to start doing something, anything to make a positive impact. Trudi and I are still holding up the promise to make changes and keep changes for the entire 365 days. We've never been much for talking anyway, just doing. There are some things I miss and when the challenge is over, I may bend - though not break. Most improvements we will continue for the rest of our lives, especially with a baby on the way. Here are some highlights:
Camping vacations with the dogs.

Pickling some cucumbers from the garden.
Shooting the short: Kar Karma.

Growing fruits. I'll have to add updated pics from the garden.
Shooting an animation.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Days 156-171 Temps in the teens

Day 156 - salvage old wheelbarrow
Using some Rustoleum and buying a new tire, I've salvaged my father's old wheelbarrow for use on the 'stead.

Day 157 - Spread organic fertilizer
Contains chicken feather meal, bone meal, blood meal, and chicken poop.

Day 158 - Build a permanent reusable brooder
The temporary recycled box brooder couldn't stand up to the pullets knocking over their water, so using some recycled and some new wood, this should stand the test of time.

Day 159 - Build hoop houses for crops
As we dipped into the teens I had to insulate the crops. I am proud to say we didn't lose any plants.

Day 160 - Reuse rubber bands
Whole Foods, where Trudi works, uses rubber bands around many of their products. Instead of throwing them away at work, we reuse them for just about anything we need securing.

Day 161 - Adjust mini blinds on a schedule
During the days, the south facing mini blinds stay open during the day to gather heat, and closed at night to help insulate the windows.

Day 162 - Switch to BPA free shower curtain
Threw out the PVC and bought this bad puppy. Pretty.

Day 163 - Plant leftover seeds
Seeds go bad after a certain amount of time, and with the few empty patches of our raised beds, I filled them with some expiring seeds. We'll see if they can stand the cold?

Day 164 - Revive old propane tanks
The fact that we use propane bugs me a bit. But we do need heat at this time. Instead of buying new tanks, I grabbed a couple out of my fathers yard and put them to use.

Day 165 - Use Cubby for storage
As the homestead grows, so do the garden and building goods and tools. Instead of building a new shed, we're using my homemade camper for tool storage.

Day 166 - Use organic all natural lip balm
Out with the chemical stuff.

Day 167 - Tuck pants in when working
I was finding myself washing my work pants every other day, only to clean the bottoms. It gets kinda muddy. I threw fashion out of the window and started a new trend.

Day 168 - Fill fridge with water bottles
We have to put a supply of water in bottles every night so we have some water for washing, brushing, tea, coffee, dogs, birds, etc. The hose in to the house freezes, so we don't have any until about noon some days. Well, it's been a great advantage having this cold water placed in our fridge to help keep all of the contents cold when the fridge is off all night.

Day 169 - Reuse student binders and jewel cases
At the end of every semester I have a ton of students who don't pick up their work, delivered in binders and jewel cases. I will give them to my next classes for use on their projects, or colleagues who need to organize their own stuff.

Day 170 - Reuse, don't burn old shelves
I tore these shelves out of our house to build a dining table. They were in a pile to be burned until I found a great place for them in my shed to add an ounce of organization. Still needs a lot of work.

Day 171 - Use organic fish emulsion
Application of fish fertilizer, high in nitrogen should keep these plant thriving nicely.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Days 147-155 Whoo it's cold!

Day 147 - Used only recycled weed-cloth
No more plastic crap!
Day 148 - No more vacuum
Thanksgiving cleaning. Beat out them rugs!
Day 149 - Build recycled wood table
Made from repurposed pine glued/screwed/nailed/sanded/coated, for our "dining room".
Day 150 - Get worms for composting
They're indoors underneath that pine "dining room" table until it warms up a bit. They do best above 57 degrees.
Day 151 - Use LED Christmas lights
At 1 Watt of running power, they spice up our cul-de-sac. And remember, the sun's paying for that watt, not the environment.
Day 152 - Plant some green manures
I planted some rye that can be turned under in the spring.
Day 153 - More chicks, made recycled brooder box
Box, wood shavings, feeders and newspapers all recycled.
Day 154 - Turn off the heater at night
Phew, we got down to 27 degrees last night, and bundled up under every blanket we own. In the tiny house it didn't get too bad, and who doesn't love snuggling?
Day 155 - Reuse buckets
On thanksgiving we went to my dad's and he offered me a bunch of old bucket. I put them to good use with compost, backup water for when our solar panel system gets drained and can't run the water pump, chicken feed, etc.
Pluggin' along! More projects this weekend.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Days 123-145 Move into tiny home

Day 123 - Move into tiny home
It's been a busy moth, moving and getting used to the solar panel system. But, here goes the latest. 117 sq.-ft living... and loving it.
Day 124 - All papers due online
Let's get rid of paper use. My students now hand in all of their papers online.
Day 125 - Turn off fridge at night.
Stuff stays cold. Nothings gone bad yet this month.
Day 126 - Deliver tests online
Again trying to get rid of paper waste.
Day 127 - Use water filter over bottled water
Shouldn't be drinking water straight from our well, so we got a water filter that kills everything instead of what we were doing when we lived with a well last, filled plastic bottles at the grocery store.
Day 128 - Charge phones on the way to work
Engines running, let's use it. And it keeps us from charging our phones from home source.
Day 129 - Disconnect 19 gallon hot water heater and go with point of use
Day 130 - Charge computer and other batteries on way to/from work
No home-source use.
Day 131 - Buy recycled topsoil from building site
Trudi's birthday present this year was dirt.
Day 132 - Build raised garden beds
A continuation of Trudi's B-day present. It allows us to eat locally. Very local.
Day 133 - Turn all power off at night
We make sure there is 0.00 watts being used while we sleep. Talk about savings!
Day 134 - Buy chickens for free range eggs and fertilizer
I don't eat 'em, but Trudi does. I just wanted the fertilizer and entertainment.
Day 135 - Build coop from recycled wood
Day 136 - Buy smaller, more efficient USED washing machine
Have you aver tried doing laundry by hand? It was sad to get rid of our nice energy chomping washing machine, but this nice gentleman from U of F gave me a good deal. He's moving back to Korea. Nice boy, wish him well.
Day 137 - Plant organic veggies
I love fresh food.
Day 138 - No more paper products (except bathroom)
These organic cloth napkins made from recycled flour bags are so soft! And they clean up well in our new washer.
Day 139 - Hang dry all clothing
Stored away my dryer. Air, do your duty!
Day 140 - Once a month shaving (or longer)
I don't want to keep charging my razor. And I don't want to buy disposables. Maybe for Christmas I'll get a straight razor?
Day 141 - Build shelves from recycled wood
I used this wood for other stuff, now it's repurposed, and we have order in our lives.
Day 142 - Feed dogs all natural no-grain dog food
They were logs on their vegan diet. We spiced it up with free range chicken and no-grain dog food. They've got the pep back in their step. $60/bag is nuts though!
Day 143 - Spend more time outside than inside
On days I'm not working, I must spend more time outside than inside. I love this. It keeps me from watching college football on Saturdays, saving electricity and getting me much more productive around the land. I even get to watch my beautiful pets, as they watch each other.
Day 144 - Use manual tools whenever practical
Building these shelves and coop I used a hand saw as often as I could over my circular saw. Loved it, but still a bit sore.
Day 145 - Buy only "green" dental floss
Not that plastic stuff. Nope. Nylon with natural wax.
Day 146 - Chew natural gum
Ok, this is packaged crap. But, I do have to teach in front of up to 100 students a week, and that garlic squash I ate stinks me up.