Passive Solar Greenhouse

Economically Green

I have not posted anything in a while, but I wanted to update everyone on a new project I am pursuing. My first year of growing food has been somewhat successful, despite a few major setbacks, such as the hydroponic tower. I also harvested the potatoes that were growing in the barrel. To my disappointment their were not as many potatoes as I expected. Besides these two major issues I was able to harvest some swiss chard, basil, and kale. I have some mini bell pepper plants that are finally starting to bloom. Unfortunately the end of the season is fast approaching, like it normally does in Canada. That is why I have been planning to construct a greenhouse for a while now. Technically I am constructing what is called a passive solar greenhouse or a bio shelter.  

A passive solar greenhouse is different than a greenhouse is the…

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Banksy Coffee House, 162 Essex Road


With Banksy books, T-shirts, tote bags and anything else that can be printed on, it was only a matter of time before someone opened a Banksy coffee shop.

The Banksy Coffee House on Essex Road in Angel, not far from a real Banksy, opened in January and is decorated with Banksy tributes in all forms, from the drink mats to canvas prints of his graffiti on the walls.  But it does not really live up to the high expectations one has of a place that names itself after the highest-paid man in street art.

It tries to pull off the mismatched furniture look, but ends up looking cluttered and the furniture is too samey to really master the style. The Banksy prints on the fake-looking brick walls don’t mix well with the old fliers, posters and pieces of sheet music that are hung alongside them. Banksy would have probably…

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Garden Project Update

Beekeeping afloat

Its been some time since I mentioned this rather overgrown suburban garden that is now a veg factory and insect feeder.


The furthest bed was planted with three types of Kale and boy no matter how fast I eat it it just keeps growing and will provide me with fresh greens right through the winter, its just an amazing vegetable and looks rather nice to.


The central bed again with Kale and Broccoli and finally the experimental way to over crowded third bed planted with two potatoes just to see how they would grow in the front garden (going by the foliage pretty good so far) Swiss chard around the edges (did not expect them to get so big) some beetroot and doing really well, a few Fennel just as I have never eaten or grown it and acquired some free seeds and finally completely swamped some radish, but I…

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Tending a garden – Late Summer 2014

The Salted Banana

I really enjoy tending and keeping a vegetable garden.

I’m fortunate to be given a few beds at the place where I farmed back in 2009.
The owners put in a cover crop of buckwheat
which is covered in blossoms ( & therefore honeybees) in the above photo
The hum of the bees & the now constant cricket song are a soothing sound to work by

It’s a lovely place
And while it’s often difficult for me to motivate myself to drive there
(“Jeez I’m using gas again, using the car again, I just got home from work, what if it’s too hot, etcetcetc…)
I never regret going, once I’m there
(Why do I forget this?!?)
It’s tricky for me to find a balance between effort and doing, and impact & nourishment…

Yesterday it was sunny & warm, but not too hot, thankfully
And so I set about weeding the…

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I love late summer.

Whispering Iris

Lately I’ve been inspired to take nature pics. I’ve mostly been taking pictures of my Mom’s garden. I’ve been really noticing the bumble bees out lately. I love bumble bees. I think of them as the bear of bees. I use my boyfriend’s old Kodak Easy Share camera, the same I’ve been using for a few years now to take pics of my jewelry. It’s not the latest or the best, but I’m impressed with the quality I get from it. I mostly depend on natural lighting when I use it. Below are some pics of my Mom’s flowers and a grumpy bee that let me snap a few of him before he protested and hovered off.


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Turning Logs into Lumber – Part II


So, after my last post about stacking saw milled lumber, you should all be experts in the first steps of getting ready to crank up that sawmill and get to work! When my husband and I realized that we would need to cut down a dozen trees where we planned to build our house, a friend mentioned having someone with a sawmill come in and cut them up into lumber for future building endeavors. As this idea started to morph and become its own beast, we suddenly became the proud new owners of a Wood Mizer LT15 sawmill. Why pay someone to do your dirty work when you can slave and sweat over it all summer long yourself? 😉 And so the story began where every spare moment was spent cutting down trees, cleaning up their tops, having huge bonfires, stacking loads of firewood and cutting lumber out of…

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