Tuapte Semper Ingredere Via

Community, People, Localization – a return to a human scale

Mead – Wine from Honey

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Hoping next spring to get the first livestock which will be a hive of bees.   I like honey but I really like a drink before dinner.  Mead is, in all likelihood, the oldest alcoholic beverage known to mankind. Before agricultural techniques were developed, humans were traditionally hunters and gatherers. After gathering honey from the hive, the natural yeast and high moisture content would cause the honey to ferment, producing mead.
The term “honeymoon” has been associated with drinking mead during the month long celebration following a wedding in pagan times. In addition to the health giving properties of honey; mead was thought by the Romans to lengthen life and posses unique healing qualities. The ancient Nordic people considered the drinking of mead as a most important aspect of daily life.
A single honey bee colony can produce more than 100 pounds of extra honey and this is what is harvested by the beekeeper. One can make a wine, or a beer like drink.   And variations in between.
And once I figure out how to make toast I will use the honey.
Finished all the tiling but the bathroom.  Working on the shed in between rain storms.  Growing pile of wood to split for next winter shortly.  Wood stove already to light up a fire.
Also got the effing boat out of  Tor0nto and to the the property in latish August on a transport truck.   Bit iffy having the truck able to back in off the road without going into the ditch but its there now for the winter – or the first person who offers $10 bucks and a stick of gum.
Perch for the birds

Perch for the birds

 

 

Written by dcveale13

September 22, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Why I do what I do

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Some have asked why build a house on an old pasture in the country, why a  “green” house , heat with wood and went off grid.  Well I guess its because I think too much.
Thinking up new ideas

Thinking or sleeping

I have always been interested in self organizing complex adaptive systems such as physics and civilizations.  Learning why a system starts to wobble and then comes apart has always piqued my curiosity.
When I came back to Canada in 2004 I became further interested in other systems particularily the economy energy and climate.  As I could see oscillations had started to occur in these systems.   In one a year of good crop harvests would be followed by a bad year and cycles of a few years of good or bad seem to falling apart.  The economy was and is swinging between euphoria in the markets with day to day transactions replaced with debt rather than earnings.  Companies created profits from accounting practises as their earnings from sales shrink.
 Lots of fresh air
Insurance companies for example have started to project by 2050 will be out of business due to the rising costs of natural disasters.   Toss in the need to increase profits from increasingly risky market activity and they will likely be forced to further change their business models.    Western governments have also legislated that banks can go into depositors accounts to remove money if they require re capitalization.
Oscillations such as the price of gasoline increasing 300 odd per cent since 2000 and similar increases for products such as milk or eggs are indicative of change coming.
As they pass a threshold they move into a period of chaotic movement where outcomes are impossible to predict.   This continues until a new normal is obtained in the system.    Easter Island or Roman civilizations being examples or a hurricane or the life of a star.
All of which lead me to start thinking of managing risk at a personal level.   How to avoid being swiped by failures in some of these components such as the electrical grid or pension plans.   All of which lead me to build a house which pretty much maintains itself, eliminate water costs, electrical and pretty much all running costs.  It also provides me with the chance to take advantage of opportunities as they appear or so I hope as things change.  Some for the better and some for the worse.

 

What to do next

What to do next

Written by dcveale13

August 25, 2014 at 10:18 am

Stalked by Chipmunks

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House is staying warm in this temperature drop. Thinking it may be another long cold winter.  At least that seems to be the early forecast.  Plenty of wood but want to make sure its closer to the house this year.   Stupidly left it away from the house and had to dig through snow drifts to get at it in March.
Enjoy splitting the wood.   Hard work but I can see something accomplished at the end of it plus its a great way of getting rid of frustrations.  Just about ready for the start of colder weather now.
First load moved to the house

First load moved to the house

Seems to have been a good growing season for trees.  Poplars coming back, black locust that survived the 2012 drought are shooting up.  Tthe cold nights are less good for the annual vegetables though.  That’s when most of the growing is done.  Although the zuchhini , tomatoes, carrots etc producing a fair bit.
Lots of bird species around.  Last evening their were humming birds, couple different types of sparrows, gold finches, purple finches and thrushes about.
Gold Finch eating up the sunflower seeds

Gold Finch eating up the sunflower seeds

Think its a purple finch

Think its a purple finch

Darn chipmunks seem to be on heroin.   Stepped out on the porch and two of them leapt at me from beside the door screeching at me.  I jumped 4 feet up and smacked my head on the porch roof.   Chipmunks ran away chuckling the little swine.
Thinking up ways to get me

Thinking up ways to get me

Getting ready to leap at me!

Getting ready to leap at me!

Flower bulbs from walmart were a waste.   Get what you pay for.   Probably made of plastic from china.   Wild flower beds doing real well plus once they get going its year after year.  Giant thistle has popped in one of them.   Some sort of metaphor for my life but can’t figure out what !
Thistle amongst the flowers

Thistle amongst the flowers

Will need another bookshelf soon.  Keep getting handed cookbooks, mysteries and other books from people downsizing their place. Think I need to figure out a way to put the cook books somewhere near the kitchen.   Only downside of the strawbale walls is finding the studs behind the clay plaster for hanging stuff.
Stuff done so far this year:
New areas for raspberries, asparagus, comfrey and squash
Planted 20 hazelnut trees
Planted 50 Norway Spruce and 50 Highbush Cranberry trees
Completed the deck under the porch
Experimented with flower beds
Tiled bedrooms and living area except bathroom and pantry to finish off
Before winter
Shed
Outdoor oven
Move firewood and splitting for next year
Did not get done
Root cellar
Pond

Written by dcveale13

August 14, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Summer Fun

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Tiling last week and mostly done.   Kind of fun to do but had to move furniture from here to there and back to get it done.  Books were the hardest to move.

Moved to dump truck loads of gravel over two days.  That was not fun.   With just a shovel it took a while.  Split about half a cord of wood by hand.  Will get the chain saw out shortly to get the next half cord ready for splitting.

At least now the house is semi presentable.   Now back to outdoor stuff and Toronto to do some boat work next week.

 

Kitchen before grouting

Kitchen before grouting

Moving stuff back in

Moving stuff back in

Had four of these green herons around the week I was tiling

Had four of these green herons around the week I was tiling

IMAG0106

Lot easier to clean with tiles on the floor than concrete

Lot easier to clean with tiles on the floor than concrete

Written by dcveale13

July 31, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Everything is better with a glass of wine

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Recently one evening I was sitting on the deck after a hard day’s work and enjoying a glass of wine.  Contemplating all good things in life like how much wood a woodchuck chucks if it could chuck wood, when I heard a bunch of banging and rattling under the deck.   Stuck my head to look under and there was a ground hog staring back at me.  By time I got back on my feet to get a pole to scare him out he had disappeared.

Early next morning I went off to check the vegetable patch and there he was again staring nochalantly around without a  care in the world.  Much like me on the deck with my wine. Then he went back to eating my beet tops.   I grabbed the a handy length of 2×4 and charged the bastard but those suckers can run like the dickens.   He took off past the tree line into the next field and I made to follow him but forgot about the fence.   After entagling myself from the barbed wire and cursing like a mad man I decided it was time to sit on the deck and contemplate life again.

That evening I grabbed some wine to head out to the deck (recurring theme there) and this bloody deer was eating the day lilies and had been biting off one of the high bush cranberry shrubs.   This time I was clever and grabbed a handful of nearby rocks and started heaving them at the fleeing deer.   Suffice it say I would starve without a grocery store nearby.

Coyotes singing the past few nights around 1 am.  Quite enjoy that.

some of stuff growing now.  Planted a bunch of rutabagas at the end of the weekend.

zucchini plants now flowering orange with small zucchini started

zucchini plants now flowering orange with small zucchini started

Pole beans climbing up my makeshift poles. See if they produce

Pole beans climbing up my makeshift poles. See if they produce

About 25 plants plus coming up now.  Yukon gold

About 25 plants plus coming up now. Yukon gold

Mother nature seems to grow them better. Cherchez la femme

Mother nature seems to grow them better. Cherchez la femme

Tiled two bedrooms this past weekend and moving furniture back in.   I had forgotten how much effort there is getting up then going back down constantly there was. Plus forgot the knee pads.  Monday was not pleasant.  At least the tile lines are pretty good even if I was having a glass of wine at breaks.  I did the one below without the little plastic things to make sure the tiles are equally apart from all the others.  Must have been the wine…

Tiles before grouting

Tiles before grouting

So far moving ahead with projects.  Not sure I will get to the root cellar this year.  Not enough time working weekends and evenings.  At least as I sit on the deck after a hard day of work enjoying more wine ( I buy in bulk)  the place is getting more comfortable and I know the animals are happy I am feeding them.  Birds are.  I can tell.  As i sit with my 3rd glass of wine I can see the truck windshield is covered in bird shit.  %$&*#(#  animals

 

Written by dcveale13

July 1, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Growing weed

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Yes that too is on my list !

I have mastered growing the non fun weeds.  Turning parts of a pasture into productive area of food production is a learning experience about weeds.

Lots of weeds

Lots of weeds

Hard to tell from the picture but 2 days priot it was just vegetables growing and soil between the rows.  Effing weeds shoot up really fast so trying to keep on top of them until the plants get a bit further ahead.   Weeded a bit again last night and thankfully the beets, beans, zucchini , carrots etc are all starting to get ahead.   Kind of reinforces my opinion that getting perennial ground cover surrounding perennial vegetables , fruits and nuts is easier and it all just takes care of itself.

Hazelnut trees are growing really well.   Another year until a small harvest I think.  Will figure out a small press  to get the oil out which is suppose to be identical to olive oil.   Still have to figure out where to grow wine grapes.  Maybe a home built green house.

Lilac

Lilac

Prior owner planted two lilac shrubs at the entrance to the property – which I think i will call Wits End .   Never really sure what a lilac shrub was until someone pointed out this is what I had growing !  Think every day I learn I know less and less.  Thankfully I have an enormous head to fill with stuff.

Starting for Dec 2015

Starting for Dec 2015

Spent a day working off and on with the chainsaw cutting wood for the following winter.  Want to get the 7 cords cut and set aside to season for 12 months.  Although that amount of wood I think i will finish burning in the winter of 2020 for heating and cooking.  Cutting away and trying to carefully watch that the logs aren’t about to start rolling off the pile on to me.  Holding a chainsaw and dodging an 800 pound log at the same time is something i want to avoid with my lack of agility !

Usually by the end of the day I am in the rocking chair , late afternoon sun shining and dozing off.   Often wake up to some complaining birds, chipmunks sniggering, rabbits watching me wondering what the hell i am up to and a couple of deer nearby showing no fear of the great white hunter.   One day….

In the rocking chair trying to keep awake

In the rocking chair trying to keep awake

Written by dcveale13

June 19, 2014 at 10:14 pm

Posted in Cameron Veale

Buggering about

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Well I’m getting pretty good at growing grass.   Darn stuff shoots up a foot in a week.   Keeping it down around the house , veggie patch and out back where I have edible perennial stuff growing and paths here and there.   Battery powered weed eater is a good send.  With the solar panels its easy to charge up but need another battery so i can work harder.

Deer have been around making fun of me.   Up one Saturday morning around 6 am and saw a bunch heading for one of the apple trees.  I went charging out in my flip flops and not much else to scare em off.

Deer laughing at me

Deer laughing at me

I got out and jumped up and down a few times and they finally hopped off.

Cowards would not stay and fight

Cowards would not stay and fight

Starting cutting up an old oak tree out back that had fallen over during the winter. Harvesting branches to stick in the garden for the pole beans.   So far its working, beans going up.   See how prolific they are.

Zuchinni growing and pole beans

Zuchinni growing and pole beans

Spent this weekend getting flower stuff planted.   What i know about flowers I could keep in a thimble and have room left over.  All look good at the nurseries but hard to tell what to plant.

Some kind of wild flower. I know its blue

Some kind of wild flower. I know its blue

Grabbed a bunch of bulbs from Walmart of all places and stuck them in this flower bed.  Some other stuff which I believe are annuals I grabbed at Home Depot in between visits to the lumber department.  See if they come up or whatever they are suppose to do!

Will see what comes up

Will see what comes up

Also dug up and planted a bed I scattered wild flowers on.   Forget what the package said and what exactly that means but they seem a lot easier to do than those bulb things.   Will see if anything pops up this year

Easy to plant

Easy to plant

Finished off the some stuff on the deck and built a big planter and trellis.   Honeysuckle plant in the middle (girl at Home depot swore it climb up the trellis.  )   Also planted a bunch of hops in there to grow up the trellis.  Not sure I will make beer but the options is there.   Took me 6 weeks to drink a six pack of beer.  Wine is another story !

Morning coffee spot

Morning coffee spot

Planted 4 big raspberry plants out back not too far from the strawberry and asparagus.   I guess they need lots of room.  Will take off the rest of the grass and put in some low level growth like mint.  Some day.   Shed going up soon along with the pizza oven

Like raspberries more than strawberries so more to be planted in a year

Like raspberries more than strawberries so more to be planted in a year

 

 

Written by dcveale13

June 8, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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