Tag Archives: living off the grid

Meaning not buying any electricity or water from a power or water company. Getting alternative forms of energy.

A little Orr-chard maintenence

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Our neighbor, Sir Richard Orr (The lion-hearted), is a certified arborist.  We needed his help the other day trimming trees, specifically the fruit orchard that we put the chickens on.  Those trees had never been trimmed and were in need of serious help.

Richard’s advice was to get Zen with it.  Here he is telling Jake about the exciting world of tree trimming.

Richard let everyone have an opportunity to make cuts.

Phone went ding*

As you can see, these trees got a TRIM!

The Master at work.

Grace is taking a picture of her feet right here.  I found it funny to look over and see this happening.

The chickens were eating the blossoms.  It looked really pretty to see them frolicking among the downed branches.

This was a different kind of tree than the others.  It had a whole new set of challenges, but remember: ZEN.

Almost done with this mad tangle of a tree: zen zen zen zen zen zen zen zen zen!!!!!!!!

And last, but not least, Isaac showed up to hold a chicken.  AAAAWWWWWWWWWW.  That chicken was very zen.

 

 

 

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The Pirate Ship

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A recent turn of events has brought a new (old) hoop house into our lives.  These pictures tell a story of their own.

Paul and the boys went to go look at it, and this is what they found.  This vessel has definitely seen better days, but it’s still seaworthy!

I feel like we need Linus to come over and wrap his blue blanket around this and tell us it just needs a little love.

Paul, Jake, Patrick, Grace, Yosha, and Paul Z. went to the site to take it apart, and were able to get the whole thing down in one day!  The hardest part will be where to put it!

Up and Over Rover

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Today it was 60 degrees.  Now, some of you might be thankful because in general people are winter shy.  Me however, am mourning the lack of winter, and have nothing but complaints over the beautiful, gorgeous, epic day today.  One thing I can’t complain about however is the lack of wind.  Why?  Well, because we’ve had this hoop house going up, and have been waiting all month, or longer possibly to get the plastic up and over the top of this behemuth…it’s been a long wait, but TODAY was the day.

In other news, a side note that helps propel this story forward, we received a new WWOOF’er yesterday, around evening time.  His name is Damian.  He comes to us from the great state of Texas, Dallas area (represent).  Now that you all have been introduced to him, the pictures that he’s in won’t seem so unfamiliar.  Moving on…

Why don’t I just cut to the chase and start feeding you pictures with captions.

Everybody, this is Damian.  Damian, this is everybody.  I’m assuming by this picture, I didn’t take it, that he has a sense of humor.

Whilst I was at school, the crew was working on finishing the south end wall construction.  Patrick, I like that you’re wearing the sweat band I crocheted.

I like this shot a lot, I titled it in my folder “Intimate Hands”.  I feel like we’re peeking in on this intimate moment of teamwork.

Whoa, the pull back reveals that it’s the brothers…that would make for an interesting plot.  I say this in jest men, thank you so much for the help.

Here is the finished end wall.

This is my artsy end wall shot from the other side.  This right here, is exciting!  Not the shot, although I think it’s neat, but the end wall.  It’s almost finished!

Forgive me, I was premature, I should have put this picture in the mix a little earlier.  This is the finishing touches to the end wall.

I like this little series here of Paul cutting the door out after the construction was complete.  I must admit, this has been a long road, putting up this hoop.  Even though the top is not on at the moment, this cutting of the door plastic, felt like a ribbon cutting of sorts.  Enjoy.

Suspense building…

HERE WE GO.  This means that the top is near.  A quorum of farmies came together to pull the plastic.  A lot of the faces were the same faces that helped us last year when we pulled the plastic on our first hoop.  Last year it was soooooo windy.  Not as windy as it has been lately, but windy none the less.  It seemed really frantic and critical to get it done and get it done quick.  This year, today, it was so calm and work at your own pace-like, totally a different mojo.  It made this process a whole lot easier.

Here’s Patrick.  Patrick is laying out wiggle wire.  The wiggle wire fits into a c-channel, which attaches the plastic to the structure.

The posse assembling, getting a tentative set of instructions.

Laying out the plastic.

I think this picture is neat.  I couldn’t decide between this one and one that turned out a little warmer. But, I like the coolness of this one.  Since it is February, we should all get the illusion that it’s cold outside…unless you’re standing underneath that plastic.

Photo credit: Mark Landry.  Awesome shot!  Richard Orr, prepare to become a star my man.

They are attatching the plastic here.  Working on the wiggle wire.  Most people are holding up the plastic.  For a time they were working in a bubble.  A few of us bystanders helped hold up more of the plastic so those guys could breathe.

Hi.  I was there too.  I pretended to be a tough girl and helped hold the plastic.  I almost dropped my camera trying to get a shot of me being tough, but this is what I snapped.  It’s tough to maneuver a camera with one hand.  But now you know that I was there too, and did some.  Thanks y’all who did most of the work, ahem*, Patrick, Jake, Paul Z, Barry, Pauly…and for those of you I’ve forgotten…I’m getting the flashing light, I’ve got to go…I love you all!

Patrick sacrificed and climbed up on the wall to cut the plastic to lay flat, so as not to interfere with the top plastic.  Hardcore Patrick…really hardcore.  Someone agree with me.

Here it is.  It’s happening.

Holy moly.  I can’t tell you how happy this makes us.  This was a feat.  Like the building of the pyramids, just not on such a grand scale.  High fives all around!  That’s Jo-nathan Bame down there.  He’s the CSA manager for Northwest Arkansas Local Harvest.  He’s giving a thumbs up, which you can’t see, but now you know.

There.  It’s up now.  This is EPIC.  A humble thank you to everyone who was present today, as well as throughout the entire process.

Be careful what you wish for

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Brrrrrrr!  Just two weeks ago it was over 100 degrees and unbearably hot at night.  I would tout that I was going to roll around in the snow naked and embrace the cold this year.  Well, the last couple of nights and mornings have been brisk, leading me to find a sweater and socks.  I feel like a little kid with my arms crossed screaming “I don’t wanna!”  I feel like a hypocrite.  Maybe, dear reader I was speaking out of turn and didn’t really mean what I said.  Maybe I will keep my clothes on when there is snow on the ground.

In other farm news, we were anticipating getting 75 new baby chicks this morning.  They unfortunately didn’t arrive this morning, so tomorrow will probably be the next day.  Don’t ask what variety they are, I have no clue.  I didn’t even know we were getting new baby chicks until a few days ago.  Maybe I’m being kept in the dark on purpose, hard to tell.  Also, a bear attacked the pen that was constructed in the orchard to house all of these chickens.  I say bear, but it was more likely a large deer that ran into it, freaked out and karate chopped it to the ground.  Pictures will follow, it’s pretty amazing.  There is a metal pole in the ground that was bent in a 90 degree angle, and now laying flat.  The moral here is, don’t let your chicken fence get in any deer’s way.  The deer will always win.

Sell Outs!

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Sell Outs!

Here are the pictures of the table from the day we sold out of our wares at the farmer’s market.  It was very hot this day and also the tomato tasting event held at the Botanical Gardens, by the Ozarks Slow Foods movement.  Remember they bought several varieties of our tomatoes for the event.

 

The sign that mentions “Certified Naturally Grow” caught one woman’s eye who had a few bags full of produce.  She came over and asked a few questions about what it meant.  She said to me “Thanks for the information, I think I just bought produce littered with chemicals!”  I didn’t want to tell her she was right, but we are “certified” to tell you that we DON’T!

Blackberries, Okra, Chocolate Stripes, Peron’s and beautiful flowers.

That’s pretty much all she wrote.  Everything flew off the table and it was a great feeling, I’m not going to lie.

It was so DRY!!! How dry was IT?

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My goodness gracious.  It has been so hot and DRY lately, things are dying all around us.  Lawns are brown, trees are loosing their leaves, the people are wilting themselves.  Team WWOOF is so bored, I can tell.  They spend a lot of time, all day usually, watering.  You see with the CSA, we can’t let things die on us.  Our customers are depending on a crop.  Let me rephrase that.  We could totally let it ALL die and the customer would have to understand, because they signed a piece of paper, and something like drought is part of the liability.  But we’re too nice, and since we have a lot of help and it’s too hot to do much else, we put a hose in their hand.  It’s funny, because as I type this out, it is currently raining.  The rain, which has only been going on for about 20 minutes or so has prompted me to write about the dryness, because I’ve been needing to.  One of our CSA members asked me the other day how things were growing.  I let him know how tough it’s been and how some things are just wilting away.  He totally understood if the bags were empty for the next few weeks.  He shared the story of his garden with me.  He said he and his wife had been gone for three weeks.  Even though they had someone watering it for them, they returned and their garden was dust.  This “heat wave” that the weather man has talked about has lasted for two months now.  It’s more like a heat tsunami!  This wave won’t leave.  I guess my message to you dear reader is respect the fact that there is produce at your grocery store, and there are many, MANY factors that go into its survival.  Uh oh, the rain knew I was talking about it, it just stopped : (

Buzzy Day Today

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Up with the sun, and we got more accomplished before 9:30am than most.  Early this morning, Paul went up to Lowell Arkansas with a new farm friend Butch Wilson, to pick up a bee hive.  Butch and his wife came to the Slow Foods potluck held here about a month ago and noticed that there was a hive at the back of the farm.  Since he and his wife grow a garden, he said that he couldn’t support what we were doing in that way, but would like to help out in another way.  So, Butch and his wife purchased a bee hive for us, to help pollinate the crops.  Thank you Butch, and your wife, I feel bad that I don’t know her name, for your generous contribution!  Also, a few representatives from the CO-OP, Ozark Natural Foods came by to take our picture to go up on the wall in the produce section of the store, and interview us for their newsletter, or possibly their blog?  I’m not sure, I was in and out of the conversation, but we were interviewed about the operation.  Lastly, about 20 highschool/college engineering students came out for a tour of the farm.  Paul and Jonathan took them around, and with their enthusiasm, I’m sure these folks were wowed.  Then it was lunch time.