Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Bathtub Wormbin

The Bathtub Worm Bin

November 23, 2013

We’re getting down to business.

These videos serve a dual purpose. They serve to both give back and to work as a mutually beneficial learning tool.

Giving Back

There are three ethics in permaculture:

Care for the earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply. This is the first principle, because without a healthy earth, humans cannot flourish.

Care for the people: Provision for people to access those resources necessary for their existence.

Return of surplus: Reinvesting surpluses back into the system to provide for the first two ethics. This includes returning waste back into the system to recycle into usefulness.

The “Return of Surplus” ethic is not all about giving your homegrown goodies away. It’s about taking what you have gained from your efforts and putting the surplus back (“back” is where you feel it should be) to promote a sustainable system. It does not only deal with the “extra” tomatoes that you give all your neighbors. Giving back from your sustainability can come from your gardening efforts, your home efforts, your hobby efforts, your energy efforts and even your learning efforts. I have learned so much from others (You Tube videos, Blogs, Web Sites, Magazines, Books, Podcasts); it only makes “permaculture sense” to take what I have learned and give that back.

The Mutually Beneficial Learning Tool

Am I a professional permaculture designer? No! Not even close. I am just getting started on my permaculture adventure. However, I feel that if I learn something from someone and then teach it to another, I have solidified that information in my mind. Making these videos helps me organize the lessons I have learned, repeat the information while practicing the fundamentals of the lessons learned and to offer an avenue of motivation and criticism (I need all I can get of both) from you the viewer.

By nature, we humans want to share what we know. How many times have you been in a conversation and all the while the other is speaking you’re thinking about what you want to say? You Tube is a great avenue for others to tell the world what they know. But also for the “others” to comment back and say, “Dude! That’s not right at all.” OR “Have you considered ‘this’ or ‘that’?” The comments I receive from you, the viewer, help me learn more and more about the information I present.

This week we are making a worm bin out of a bathtub. I filmed this video concurrently with the last video I made but have been holding onto it for the past month. There will be a follow-up video very soon showing the progress of the worm bin and how it’s holding up.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The New Homeatead

We Found a New Homestead

November 23, 2013

The New Homestead – An Introduction

We found a new homestead and are pleased to be showing it off.
We searched high and low for a new homestead and settled on a nice home sitting on about 5 ½ acres. They are long acres which actually make the property “feel” like it’s sitting on much more.

It’s a semi-fixer-upper

We wanted a turn-key home in order to focus on the property itself instead of trying to fix up the home and work on the property as time allows. It’s amazing how little time a working couple has left when trying to balance work, a child, a mother-in-law (yes, you heard that right) and daily chores. What time we have left we spend working on the home and the property.

The Mother-in-Law

When we were in Idaho, our mother-in-law lived in her own, small, independent-living apartment. When we arrived here in an area with 6x the volume of people, there were NO apartments similar to what she had been living in. We looked for “regular” apartments and were turned off by all the “interesting” neighbors (a teenage boy sitting on a child’s swing with head phones bigger than his too-small head who actually took time to stand and pull his pants DOWN lower than they already were to expose more of his tighty-white-ies may not be the best neighbor-type for a 60-something single lady). Needless to say, she ended up with us “until we find her a place to live.” When you add that all up, it equals – FOREVER. It’s not that we don’t like her, we just…well…you know. Let’s move on.

Where to Start?

Where do we start? This property is a blank slate. There is nothing that even resembles “permaculture” on the 5 ½ acres. Every system has a need for laborious and outside intervention in order to maintain the system. Sure, there are trees that are more-or-less a wind-up-and-go system yet there are roots exposed to the top of the ground. We have to start somewhere and the two places (yes, I said two starting places) will be the main garden and the kitchen garden. We also need to map out the property better and prepare for each system, the zones (more on that later) and plan for the planting date in the spring.

What’s Next for Back to the Homestead?

The gardens! Yes, we have to get started on the gardens. However, we have to start setting up systems for the day-to-day. I’d have to say that we need to set up a way to manage the kitchen scraps that we four (myself, my wife, my son and my mother-in-law) produce on a week-to-week basis. The solution: A worm bin! Next time on Back to the Homestead we’ll talk about making a BATHTUB WORM BIN!

See you soon.