Tuapte Semper Ingredere Via

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

Archive for the ‘Learning stuff’ Category

Winter 2016-2017

with one comment

Looking forward to warm weather now.  Seems like its been a long winter.

Deer

More deer

As god as my witness I did not know deer could snicker. Icy winter and one early morning I went out early to go into the village for the morning papers. Took one step off the deck, hit the ice and when ass over tea kettle landing on my backside cursing. At which point 8-10 deer sleeping 30 feet or so away in the brush stuck their heads up and starting snickering at me. A cross between a heehaw and a snort. They didn’t even move as a limped back inside shaking my fist at the buggers.

Late Feb with the thaw I again was up early to go and get the saturday papers, stepped off the patio and slipped in the mud and water, flying face forward into a bigger patch of mud cursing away. Again the same damn deer stuck their head up and started snickering at me. Buggers have seen me run and know they can walk away slowly and stay ahead of me. Covered in mud I had to slink back inside to clean up. Planning my revenge though. Going to make a sling shot, get some marbles and will see who has the last laugh.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy checking things out

Decided to make my own suet mix for the woodpeckers this year.  Lard or more usually bacon fat, oat meal, chunky peanut butter, corn meal, raisin and sunflower seeds.   Never seen so many woodpeckers coming around as this year.   Sometimes two on each feeder and they would often eat their fill, then stay on the feeder for half and hour digesting.   Think they liked it more with the bacon fat and bits of bacon, but then who wouldn’t.   Likely a whole bunch of woodpeckers around now with high cholesterol and pending heart attacks like me.

picking peanuts

getting the peanut out

blue jays around all winter. fighting over the peanuts. They pick up one peanut shell, put it down, pick up another, put it down and pick up a third all the time. Don’t know what their criteria is but its pretty funny.

Hard to miss a cardinal

Cardinals around a lot this winter. Careful coming to the feeders near the house. Stuck up two at the shed and they are often out there on the ground getting seeds. Chickadees swarm those two feeders. probably 20 or so during the day back and forth waiting their turn of a seed. Lots and lots of juncos

Root cellar

Cob Pizza oven

Robins, red wing black birds and lots of finches about now so spring is coming. will be glad to see the end of winter this year.

Looking at getting my two wheeled tractor this year i think. Kind of need something to work the land a bit more easily then my shovel. Nut trees, fruit trees, berry bushes all looking like they survived the winter. Norway spruce should put on a foot this year of rain comes.

Planning on the getting the root cellar and pizza oven done this summer if all goes well. Unless i get distracted by something like a fly going by and end up chasing it. The locals often come from miles to watch me running around the fields with a fly swatter for the day trying to get that damn fly

Written by dcveale13

April 2, 2017 at 9:06 pm

Edible stuff

with 3 comments

Putting lots in the ground the past few weeks.  Weekends have been busy as heck.  Lots of rain so what has been planted is growing and the effing weeds are growing faster.  Spend 3 hrs weeding Saturday after 3 hrs of cutting grass.   Cutting more grass today and weeding a bit.

 

Planed two big planters with flower stuff , two big tubs with more flower stuff and two tubs with borage which is my favourite plant to add to salads – leafs and flowers.   Usually a race between the rabbits and I to get to them.  I think this year I have outwitted the bastards by putting them in a tub but will see.   Finally learning that one has to work with mother nature not confront her.

 

Bought flower bulbs from a real store not Walmart this year and they are starting to come up. Not quite sure what they are or what they will look like though.   Have a plot of those and 5 plots of wild flowers.  Figure by July it will all be doing something.

Soon to bloom

Soon to bloom. Can’t live without buckets in the country

 

This stuff made it to the UK when the Romans hung out there for a bit.   For centuries a part of all gardens until the past 30 yrs. Now making a comeback in the UK with foodies and in North America.   Spring shoots are like asparagus and leaves and flowers are edible.

Good King Henry

Good King Henry

 

 

Starting to shoot up.  Will get to six feet in another few weeks.  Smallish sunflower atop.  Sunchoke by another name.   Another perennial making a comeback.   Will store the tubers and use them for soups and frying up in the winter

Jerusalem Artichoke

Jerusalem Artichoke

 

 

At least some are eating well

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

 

 

Will dig up this area this fall and some behind me.  Will quadraple the area for annual vegetables and likely test grow some grain for the dual purpose cattle i am leaning towards now

Will turn over this soil

Will turn over this soil

 

Spent the morning laying down these rubber tiles in the pantry (paint in the winter) so I could move the freezer inside.   Will now build some shelving units and start making booze, and once the fruit start producing – raspberry and strawberry jam

Rubber flooring

Rubber flooring

Written by dcveale13

June 14, 2015 at 11:17 pm

Watch a Tree grow

with one comment

I gave awa my tv’s  and was planning on only having Internet at the house but haven’t gotten around to that.   And to be honest its been like shedding an addiction.   I don’t check every 30 minutes for the latest news, email or research something and usually turn off the cell phone.  Instead I read, stop and think or go and look at how much a new tree has grown in a few weeks.  (Surprisingly so sometimes!)  Most of us don’t seem to be able to relax or when you stop to think about it, realize how odd it is to sit down for a drink with friends and everyone is checking their cell phones.   We seem only connected to the immediacy of the moment – not the scale of a week, month , year or decade.  Maybe that’s one of the reasons we discount things like possible climate change or our changing economic status.

Easy dinner

Easy dinner

Flying off with the peanut

Flying off with the peanut

We also seem to have disconnected ourselves from what we are certainly part of.  Nature.   Most of what we have is created from the resources of the earth and energy we extract – which is just stored sunlight encompassed in ancient biomass.   We define ourselves by what we make or build then strive to separate ourselves from nature and keep it in a public park or in the country.  The very thing that keeps us alive as a species we watch  from our car or house windows as if its somehow separate.

Eating the suet

Eating the suet

Lately we seem to value more what Honey BooBoo is doing than turning off the tv, computer, gaming box, cell phone and seeing what is out there.  Go somewhere and listen to the silence.  Hear the birds or owls or coyotes singing.  See the stars.  That’s the reality of what we evolved in and exist in, not the artificial reality most of us live in today.  Go watch a tree grow.

Screw you ! Its mine

Screw you ! Its mine

Written by dcveale13

October 28, 2014 at 12:57 am

Mead – Wine from Honey

with one comment

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

with 3 comments

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

with one comment

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

Everything is better with a glass of wine

with one comment

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