Friday 21 November 2014

Homesteading Part One

Let me see if I can remember enough about the Homesteading Course to write a post.

not me-homesteadmaniawebsite
I didn't know about the uniform until I showed up.
Loose hat made over from a moth eaten undershirt, clogs with hand knitted socks, dreadlocks especially if you are over fifty, plaid shirt of course, flowing garments, denim overalls and straggly beards for the guys.

The only people other than me not wearing the uniform were a couple who have recently bought several acres of waterfront property. They plan to farm for tax reasons. I hope they can afford some hired hands as they both needed smoke breaks at increasingly smaller intervals as the day wore on.

Shallow creature, am I not? Unlike me, all those uniformed people had tremendous depth. A young woman homesteading generational property, a little pixie of a man who had learnt gardening at the stately homes of England, homeschooling, weaving, earth mother types, young couples choosing a rural lifestyle for ethical reasons.

One more thing, there was a bucket in the washroom for us to pee in for the compost.

First up I took soil building. The course was located at the church and two urban farmers are using the once neglected grounds as a demonstration garden. permaculturepowellriver

The main focus was lasagna/sheet gardening. It was useful to see the test beds at year one, two and three. Soil building is a years long process, no quick fixes, throw away the ph meter.

Next up was keeping rabbits.I was a little bit anxious about the killing and butchering video. We visited the rabbit farm the next day. serendipityrabbitry. The owner is all about honouring the animals we use. They have a good, if short, life and from what I could tell a painless and stress free death. If I keep rabbits it will be for their poop but there is no doubt they are an excellent and manageable source of protein.

they go out to play if it is not raining

Here is the bread I made in the afternoon

multi grain and spelt
The woman who taught this makes her own flour from organic grain. periwinklefarm A whole lot of discussion about commercial flour and gluten sensitivity. We also learnt how to make our own yeast because in a disaster where are you going to get it? yeast recipe

That was enough for one day. The second day adventures will be in the next post.

I'm still reeling a bit from the excitement of the library vote on Saturday. A resounding Yes. Fund raising is now the name of the game but first a little action on the domestic front would not come amiss. Everything I own appears to be strewn across the bedroom floor.


  1. Congrats on the library vote! That is wonderful!!! And your homesteading adventures make me want to drop everything and get out of here! It sounds so very fantastic! You had me chuckling over the uniforms as my brother lives on an organic farm and he and many of his pals wear that uniform too! That first photo of that gal is hilarious by the way!! What I would have done to take that soil class!! And your bread is beautiful! Cant wait to hear more and thank you for the links! Nicole xoxo

    1. I really want to get a hat, lots of craft sales on at the moment, maybe I'll be able to find one.

  2. Great news about the Yes vote. And wow that is a lot for Day 1...I did a lasagna bed and it has proven to be a great way to make and extend beds...I will be doing more come spring. Fascinating you made your own yeast...bread looks great too. I have a uniform that might be gardening in nature but would not fit the bill for this.

    1. I have my gardening jeans, slightly less worn are a pair for the house and a best pair for going into town. Such a high end wardrobe!

  3. Nice to visit and read your posting today - love the bread! Jack

  4. Thanks for this post and the one to come. I enjoyed reading about lasagna gardening. It's sounds a bit like what I do with my compost pit at the end of the growing season, but I dig it up and mix in fertilizer before planting the following season. Silly question, what do they consider to be meal? - Margy

    1. Good question. I will have to find out. It seems on the whole it doesn't matter what gets laid down as long as it is a mix of brown and green. I've put down green clippings form the garden clean up, straw, seaweed, leaves and compost. On the new bed I'm making cardboard will go down first.

  5. At least the straggly beards were only for the men!!
    Your bread has filled me with envy - I have never got a rise like that ... what is your secret ?