Friday, March 22, 2013

Books I'm reading and a new resource to prepare for my homestead

I bought three books from eBay sellers last week to start learning about ways to have the homestead setup I want.

The first is The Humanure Handbook by J. C. Jenkins, the second is Create an Oasis with Greywater by Art Ludwig and the third is Mini Farming by Brett L. Markham.

I'm about a third of the way through The Humanure Handbook right now and am so surprised by the simplicity of the concept of closing the 'nutritional loop' so to speak.  I'm learning that I want to make less of an impact on the environment and show people how easily it can be done by example.

I also found out about Victory Garden International that was started by Tom Wiegerink right here in Palm City, FL where I live.  Tom is trying to teach people to grow their own food gardens to be self-sustaining.  I just found out about it and joined the group's Facebook page but I intend to volunteer to help out and to gain valuable experience as soon as possible.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

High tech ways to live a 'primitive' lifestyle

I'm really doing a lot of research to answer questions that come up about my plans for an off-grid tiny house.  People ask me about how I'll have power, water, cooling and heating, etc...  and while I'm still working out some issues, I've been amazed at the resources I'm finding for these things.

Of course I'll be using solar and wind power for the few electronic devices I'll still want to have.  A laptop, small entertainment system, cell phone, iPod, and maybe one or two other things can all be charged from a 12 volt system or use 12 volt systems already.  I found a few websites that truckers use to pimp out their cabs to make them like a home away from home.  Or marine supply sites and stores.  They have all kinds of things that would also work wonderfully in a tiny house that are designed to use the 12 volt battery system. 

I just got an email from Tiny House Newsletter via tinyhousetalk.com that had a link to Personal Atmospheric Water Generators (makes water from the air).  You can get solar power compatible models from them and they sell the other things you need to power them and make your own purified water for pennies a day!!  If you read some of my previous posts I talk about how little water I would actually need to use if I don't have running water or indoor plumbing and I believe I could make enough water for my own use with one of these.  It answered a few big questions. It made my plans that much more realistic for me and I just love the idea of not having to get my water in a complicated way that would take me going out to get it or it being delivered.  I will be getting one of these for my tiny house!

I'll be doing a few chores by hand that I do with a machine now, but it'll only be me and a kitty in a space that'll likely be smaller than my bedroom so there'll be much less to do! Washing a few dishes by hand daily and doing a few loads of laundry with a WonderWash will fit right in with a half hour of cleaning a week.  Even collecting my grey water to filter will be a snap because I won't be using all that much water to begin with.

I love being able to mix the old and new ways to have a more sustainable life for myself and the environment!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

"Jen's Nut Hut"

That's going to be my tiny house's name, Jen's Nut Hut.  A lot of people who know me won't be a bit surprised to hear that, but for different reasons than why I'm giving my house that name.  

One day last year I was sitting on my back patio and one of the squirrels that live in the trees caught my attention.  S/he was gathering dead branches from the tree by chewing them off of the limbs of one of the trees and taking them to where the limb met the trunk to pile them up.  Some of the branches got stuck on other branches and the little critter lost them.   More got lost or stuck than gathered by my count as I watched.  A good pile would get going and then topple over, falling to the ground 15 feet below.

That little squirrel just kept on gathering, no matter how many times the branches and sticks fell he just kept on going until he gathered what he needed.  I sat there and just marveled at the lesson I let myself be taught by a cute little tree dwelling rodent in my own back yard.  The persistence, patience, determination and fortitude I saw in that squirrel told me that I can do all of the things I want to no matter how many times I may stumble while I'm reaching my goals!!

I had been questioning some things until that very moment and felt I'd been given a validation.  I will have my tiny house ready by my 50th birthday, with bike mechanic school to follow. 
I will reach my goals, just like the squirrel did.  I just have to keep my eye on the goal no matter what!!