Sustainable Living Skills You Need to Survive
It might not seem so serious to the average consumer in the First World, but the future of the world as we know hangs in the balance. The media is full of bad news that can make changing things for the better seem hopeless, but there are simple and radical things you can do to reduce your impact and set an example for others. It's not just a choice, our survival depends on it.
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Although my house will still be tiny by most measures, I’m adding some more square footage this fall. As much as I like the idea of a tiny house, when you are homesteading—growing your own food, preserving it, making most of your food from scratch—you inevitably are going to need a little more space. Enough of my current house is packed with food and drink storage, canned and fresh, that I don’t have enough room for storing my cheese and winemaking equipment and the fridge and freezer I use to store homegrown produce. I’m not complaining, but it would be nice to have a place to store the excess clutter in my house so that it’s a more livable space. That’s why I’m building this mudroom. My garden shed is also cluttered with all sorts of homesteading equipment and I need an overflow.
This was a pretty good year for organic grapes in my vineyard. We didn’t get a late frost and we had dry weather early in the season, which goes a long way toward ensuring there will be a good crop. That means I have enough grapes to make a significant amount of wine this season. In this video, I take you through the harvest, the fermentation, and the pressing of the grapes.
Continuing the tour of Kyle’s house, we check out his Seussian wall just built this year and made from earthen mortar and reclaimed bricks and lumber. This wall is just fun to look at, and I can’t imagine what it would be like to have it in your own home to look at every day. Continue reading
Dancing Rabbit is the best place to see many examples of natural building first hand. We have over 30 natural buildings in one place built from mostly local, natural, and reclaimed materials. In this video, and the next few I post, I will be showcasing the buildings of Kyle Yoder, who’s lived at DR for several years and is known for the organic forms of his design. One of the great things about natural building is the freedom it gives builders to think beyond the 90 degree angle. Kyle’s just begun the finish plaster of his own home, the Gnestle, and we’re going to get a peek at his work and a little explanation from the builder himself.
One of the canned foods I eat most of every year is salsa. In the late summer, I get a bounty of tomatoes and other salsa ingredients pouring in from my gardens and I like to turn them into a good supply of salsa for the year. If you’ve never had real fire-roasted salsa, you should try it sometime. It’s like a different animal from store-bought salsa. So much depth of flavor and a smokiness that liquid smoke just can’t replicate. In this video I take you through the process of making it from scratch.
There are those who want to cut corners in natural building by ignoring level and plumb. Is it that they feel level and plumb are rules, and natural building is supposed to be fluid and unrestricted? Well, gravity is a pretty unforgiving force and it never ceases trying to make things right, no matter what your building is made of.