Survival: What if… I Get Stung by a Bee


Introducing “The Homestead Project” Part 4

CarmAl Farms

The Age of the Generalist

2013-07-11 10.11.11
Summer Squash
Well-House Project
50 Year Old Electrical System in need of replacement
Excavating the Homestead’s Trash Pit

The last 150 years have been the age of the industrialist, the specialist, the inventors and the lifelong devotees to one system. Whether it is Andrew Carnegie with Bethlehem Steel or Bill Gates with Microsoft, the people in the last 2 centuries who have made it big, and who have made it small, all had to specialize. According to Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, Bill Gates put in over 10,000 hours on cutting edge computer technology before he was in his second year of college. That is success of the specialist.

I believe, with universal increased access to information, and with increased access  to automation, the new pioneers, and homesteaders of the 21st Century will specialize in systems and people. To be specialized in a system or a person, it…

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Coop Scoop

Laura Rittenhouse's Gardening Journal

All 6 chickens roaming the full run together All 6 chickens roaming the full run together

There’s always something happening down at the chicken run. I am, depending on various factors, amused, saddened, worried, fascinated, pleased and a whole gamut of other emotions by my 6 chickens. You can thank me now for sparing you the daily details, I realise the level of interest in my chooks is inversely proportional to your distance to their chicken run.

But, it’s time for a little update because:

IMG_5889-001a) For the first time ever, last week my 5 hens gave me 5 eggs in one day – twice! Remember, 2 of them are almost 2 1/2 years old and 3 of them are over 3 so they aren’t spring chickens any more and shouldn’t be laying every day – especially not in winter.

b) My 2 flocks are basically, almost totally, for all practical purposes, integrated.

c) Molly looks like she’s going to make…

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smallholding dreams

GreenhousesI love my greenhouses. I love the smell of the tomatoes as they ripen – it reminds me of my grandma and grandad’s old wooden greenhouse and the contentment of sitting there eating tomatoes by the handful and watching my grandad sort out his plants. I love the fact that they mean I can grow cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and tomatillos. I try and grow aubergines, but although they flower the fruit always rots and drops off which is crushingly disappointing.tomatoes in green houses

Our friend Lakshmi helped build one of the greenhouses and working in them always reminds me of her. Thanks to Juliet helping me to clear out and plant one of the greenhouses earlier in the year I now have tomatoes and cucumbers to feast on.cucmberstomatoes

I love cucumbers and in the summer I get to eat one everyday for lunch. I also pickle them, but pickling has to wait…

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Underground Greenhouses

The Housing Lab

Earth Sheltered Greenhouses use the fact that the earth is a stable temperature all year round to greatly extend the growing season. These were known to native people as walipini or “place of warmth”

There are so many different types of greenhouses and clever adaptations that books upon books have been written on the subject. Has anyone seen really clever designs in action?


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