Greg paid me a great compliment not long ago. He called me his ‘pioneer woman’.
Compost: I had been cleaning and hauling away rabbit droppings from under the hutches. The manure goes into my big compost bins but I always leave a few of berries in the buckets to which I add water to make a manure tea. This then goes to my potted plants as an easy-to-absorb fertilizer. (Apparently I’m old tech compared to Sting) Still it serves my purpose. My goal is to use or reuse as much as I can.
I’m a long way from having zero waste, but I’m trying. I need to be more diligent about emptying the vacuum cleaner bucket into the compost bin. I’ve probably thrown away enough dirt to plant a garden.
Maria Oaken-Seeder: The other day I was cleaning out one of my garden boxes. Over the winter it had been covered with leaves, but underneath them were all the acorns from a nearby oak. The long fingers you see in the bucket are the tap roots.
The acorns had sprouted in the warm, moist soil, some of them going down six inches or more. I dug them up, careful not to destroy the root. Then I went around our property and planted the seedlings wherever I thought a tree might be nice. I won’t be watering them so they’ll have to make it on their own, but even if only one of these seedlings make it, it’s an oak tree for a future generation.
Greg, boy genius:
Greg has been talking about alternative energy for years. This year, since the government is still giving tax breaks to those who buy alternative energy equipment, he decided to go all in. Greg has a good understanding about electricity, but he’s never attempted anything on the scale of powering a 2400 sq ft building.
From nothing more than pictures and a few specs, he designed an entire solar array. I asked questions as he built the thing and I’d like to think I offered some helpful suggestions on how best to mount it.
Even though we’re hale and hardy now, in the back of my mind I always try to consider what kind of health we’ll be in 10-15 years. What good is a great piece of equipment if we’ll be too old to maintain it as the years go by? I suggested creating a rail system so the entire array can be brought down from the roof so he could work on it if necessary.
I’m the idea person. I leave the mechanics to him. LOL!
We haven’t mounted it yet, but he’s already put it together and put it through its trials. It worked perfectly. I swear it felt like magic. The sun actually ran all the lights and every piece of equipment in his shop.
Home Grown Food Summit: Fellow gardeners and closet homesteaders, check this out. This is a FREE event happening March 7-13th with over 30 speakers who will talk about composting, beekeeping, gardening, livestock and preserving food. I plan to be there.
This event is hosted by Marjory Wildcraft, the inspirational speaker I saw recently at the Mother Earth News Homestead Expo in Belton, TX. Click on the banner for more info.
In other news: I managed to redirect my old blog’s url to this blog. It’ll be an inconvenience to anyone Googling something I’d written about in the past, but I want to try it for a while until everyone’s used to coming here. If you have an old blog that you want to redirect to a new web site, email me and I’ll send you the link that gave me the instructions on how to do it. It was incredibly easy–some coding required.
Sad news: Samhain Publishing will be shutting down later this year due to declining sales. I was so sad to hear this; not because I have books there, but because they are one of the good guys. They’d always treated me with respect and professionalism. I have to wonder if indie publishing has knocked the wind out of most of the publishers out there. So many publishers have closed their doors or merged since the advent of self-publishing. I suppose it was inevitable.
Blog smileys: A big thank you to all of you who’ve stopped by, sent me emails, tweeted and shared my posts. You guys are the best! I thought this transition would’ve been tougher but it’s actually been the easiest part of this process. (Setting it up was the worst!) If things continue to go well this year, I might move my Book Cover Diva site to a WordPress platform later on.
So far, the only thing I haven’t figured out is why three of my regular commenters keep landing in the spam box. Somehow, Mike Keyton got in the second time without any intervention on my part, but we haven’t yet figured out what he did differently.
If your comment gets stuck in moderation, bear with me. I’ll find you. And if you have any ideas on why this is happening, let me know. There must be a common denominator somewhere.
So what’s going on in your neck of the woods? Do you recycle much? (I’d love to hear what you reuse.) Did you hear about Samhain Publishing?