This blog is about our travels in our solar powered "Airstream" and living off grid, in our passive solar home, near Bancroft, Ontario, Canada.

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Sunday, 31 July 2016


Can you see Mary in the raspberry patch? This is just outside our front door and the crop is excellent this year.

Rather than let the bluejays have them all she decided to pick some this morning.

It was easy picking as the berries are plentiful and easy to spot when they are ripe.

Raspberries are an excellent food providing, vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber. as well as copper, potassium, vitamin K, folate, magnesium and the list goes on.

It looks like an great year for berry picking up here. We are looking forward to elderberries and cranberries later in the season.

Until then we will enjoy the berries we find right outside our door.

Safe travels everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 30 July 2016


Saturday is always extra busy here and today was the busiest of all.

Our first stop was the Maynooth Farmers' Market where we love to get fresh sourdough rye bread and mushrooms.

There is always a wide selection to decide on and Mary likes to get a variety for our favourite mushroom, potato meal.

Then we went further north to the Combermere market which is quite popular with the cottage crowd.
This vendor always has a line-up. Not Tim Horton's but she does sell donuts and it is popular.

I liked this Blacksmith booth with all his unique metal products. There are a lot of talented artisans up this way.

11:30 and we are headed back to Bancroft for the Civic Holiday Arts and Craft Sale.
Once again lots to see and admire.

Perfect weather for a perfect day.

Now it's time to relax and enjoy all the delicious food we bought.

If you didn't make it this year plan for the next. It's always a great weekend.

Friday, 29 July 2016


This will be the busiest weekend of the summer here; it is the 53rd annual Gem-Fest.

At the end of the day yesterday we made a quick visit to the displays.
The show utilizes the skating rink and the curling club ................
with more vendors outside. Fortunately the weather forecast is for a hot dry weekend.

Mary didn't really have sufficient time to view all the displays as there are thousands of rocks from all over the world on display.

Here Connie and Mary discuss a polished stone with one of the vendors.

If you are into "rocks" then you need to visit Bancroft this weekend.

More information is available by clicking HERE.

Enjoy the show and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 28 July 2016


We've spent the last few days in Toronto having more tests done on Mary and meeting with her surgeon. He was very happy with Mary's progress and simply advised her to do what she wants but listen to her body. She needs to ease back into life but her back will tell her when she has done too much.

He also advised her to meet with the radiologist at Sunnybrook Hospital. He thinks the radiation will shrink the tumor which is necessary if Mary is to be pain free long term. We are waiting for that appointment to discuss this further.

So we are home looking after our 40 meat birds and getting ready to enjoy company today.

Thanks for all your support, love and prayers throughout this whole process. Every word of encouragement was appreciated.

Safe travels and thanks for keeping an eye on us.

Monday, 25 July 2016


When the days are hot it's time for some water fun.

Owen decided the best way to cool down was to spray Oma.

Better do it twice because once wasn't cool enough.

Looks like Oma has the hose and Owen is on the run. Too much water Oma!

Time to pick cucumbers and take a rest.

Enjoying shelled peas with Oma.

No better way to pass a summer's day.

Safe travels everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 24 July 2016


This is the time of year roofers are busy. Yesterday I helped a crew of volunteers from our church put new shingles on this house.

Those pneumatic nailers sure make the job easy.

We had plenty of help and the work progressed quickly and properly as most of us had done this before.

I spent most of my time with Durl and John on the ground ready to bring up supplies when needed.

The job was done by early afternoon and I'm sure the shingles will seal securely under all this heat.

Carrying bundles of shingles was a lot easier 40 years ago; must be thicker shingles.

Enjoy the sunshine and stay cool. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 21 July 2016


Our chickens have settled in very well so it's time for another project.

Today I cut wood to size for our raised garden beds and cold-frame I want completed by next week.

I work on the west deck in the morning as it is the coolest space for outdoor work in this heat. Once the sun comes around I call it a day and move inside to hibernate until the evening.

I'm surprised how much cooler our house is without the need for air-conditioning.

This guy crawled out from under the logs, wondering what all the noise was about. He checked things out then disappeared under some planks.

Our goal is to get some carrots growing in the raised beds by August 1st. They should be ready to harvest before we get our first frost. We will then cover the bed in leaves and harvest from it throughout the winter. That's the plan, we will see how it goes.

I'll post pictures once we start putting the beds together.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the sunshine.

Saturday, 16 July 2016


First one up each morning checks to make sure all is OK with our chickens.

They are located in the coop top left corner in this picture. The coop in the middle is empty and waiting for a new crew of layers to arrive in September. That is the earliest delivery date we could get for layers.

This morning the girls were out early enjoying the sun and eating as much as they could find.

We went and bought a second feeding station as this one was a little crowded.

Mary likes to add a few greens from the garden to give them some added nutrition.
This is kale from our garden and I use it in my smoothie every morning. Once washed, we bag and freeze it for later use. It's not just the chickens that have to be fed.

Time for a little relaxing in the sun.

Life is good down on the farm.

Next week I want to build a couple of raised garden beds and get some lettuce, spinach and kale ready for fall planting.

Always something.

Thanks for stopping by and safe travels everyone.

Friday, 15 July 2016


I had planned on covering the roof of the coop with  just a tarp but Paul was here and something more substantial could be built with his help.
First job was to attach trusses to support the fabric. I used 1x4s which will do fine in the rain but will need additional support under a snow load.
I had a roll of Tyvek from our house construction and Paul helped me haul it into place. It gives us a seamless cover although not as durable as steel roofing. I'll keep my eyes open for another steel shed that someone is discarding.

I need to add additional strapping over the cover to keep the wind from making it a sail but I'll do that another day.

Have you ever noticed how baby chicks love to squeeze into the most difficult place and lie on top of each other? Must be for comfort as it can't be for warmth on these hot days.  (30*C)

Everything seems secure and the chicks are happy to have a dry place to live.

Thanks for stopping by and keeping an eye on us.  Let me know if you are discarding a steel shed.

Thursday, 14 July 2016


It was wonderful having Paul visit for a few days. Thanks to him we got so much more accomplished. First job yesterday was filling the feeders and water containers.

Next we stopped by the local lumberyard for 200 feet of hemlock.
Those green boxes you see on the trailer are the shipping containers for the chickens.

We loaded our two boxes and covered them with a tarp thanks to Rob.

Feed, wood, chickens everything was secure and we headed for home.

Freckles was quite intrigued with the furry little balls that squeaked none stop.

Mary lifted each one from the shipping container and placed its bill into the water container so it knew where to go for a drink. They were hot and thirsty after their journey.

Once the 40 baby chicks were settled Paul and I got busy working on the roof. Of course it was one of the hottest days of the summer, 30*C and we were working in direct sunlight, no shade.

Construction report will follow tomorrow.

Just checked on the babies and all were sleeping soundly.

Time for me to go back to bed.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016


Today the chickens arrive and I think we are ready. Yesterday Paul and I finished the shelter inside the coop. Thanks to Marvin, it is roofed in steel which should keep them dry. As you can see I first covered the frame with Tyvek house wrap then the steel siding.

Looks good and will easily shed water.

I still had the doors and some roofing from Marvin's old shed so secured them to the top of the coop to provide shade and divert some water. Not pretty but practical.

I had to use a piece from our house construction to complete the one corner. It's a chicken coop, so using scraps is fine.

Here Paul and I secure the roof sheathing to the ridgepole. 

I think we are ready.

Now I need to hook up the trailer and collect our birds. I'll post those pictures tomorrow.

Thanks Paul and Durl for your help and Marvin for the steel. Our chickens will have a happy home.