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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Monday, 6 July 2020


For the past week our chickens have been living on our porch in a kiddie's wading pool that no longer holds water but was an excellent home for day old chicks. As they grew we added height to their home with strips of cardboard.

But now they are getting bigger, growing feathers and wanting to perch on any high point they can reach; it's time for a new home.

Tomorrow with Kate and Owen's help we will move them down the hill to our enclosed chicken coop where they can move about as they please. It may be a challenge getting all 32 chicks there in one load, but we will try.

Watch for more picture after we get that job done.

Stay safe everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 4 July 2020


Pennny loves to swim so we have been taking her down to the lake most afternoons.

A walk to the lake isn't complete without a chat with the neighbours and now that we have Penny everyone wants to stop and hold her.

First job is to check the shoreline for suitable sticks to chew on.

Before long she is in the water up to her neck swimming back and forth having fun.

No better way to enjoy these hot summer days.

The most fun is chasing Mary and splashing everyone. Next week Owen and Kate will be here, twice the fun and people to chase.

Today we head north to Combermere to see if the farmers' market is back in operation.

Thanks for stopping by and keeping an eye on Penny.

Friday, 3 July 2020


Penny sleeps a lot. This is to be expected as she is only nine weeks old and sleeps most of the day. We usually find her snuggled against our boots, a table and the wall or squeezed into the tiny space under our shelves. I think she likes having something up against her body.

She prefers to have her head elevated and since we don't have a "doggy pillow" she uses a stuffed toy to give her that comfortable position. Doesn't look that comfortable to me.

Today we cleaned out the chicken pool and Penny was there to help. In and out numerous times and...

checking to make sure we did it right. Mary feeds her at 12:30 and places her food inside the crate while Penny waits to be allowed in. Today we found her sitting in her crate, waiting for her lunch. We were so busy we forgot about the time but she didn't; she's so smart.

Now she's off in dreamland, content to let the day go by eating, sleeping and playing. It's a tough life being a dog.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe everyone.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020


Our carrots look like this; a massive bed of tops too thick to allow the roots to grow properly. This requires constant thinning as they grow which takes time.

Yesterday we experimented by placing the carrot seeds on toilette paper before planting. I placed a small dot of glue every 2 inches (5 cm) and Mary used a toothpick to place the seed on the glue.

 We first watered the area so the soil was completely soaked before we planted. Then the strips of toilet paper were placed in the garden bed and covered with a thin layer of soil.

The area was then watered again and covered with a board to protect the seeds from the rain. We learned later that carrot seeds do not germinate well when the temperature is above 20*C. Unfortunately we are in for some hot days and so we may need to do this again in September when the days are cooler. I'll keep you posted.

Our cucumbers are growing nicely and Mary is delighted with the crop she sees. This is the first year she has had success growing cucumbers up here. I think the little greenhouse has improved the growing conditions for these plants.

Our peas are also flourishing and should be ready to pick when Owen and Kate are here next week.

Penny has settled into her new home very well and prefers to sleep on our cool cement floors on these hot summer days. This is the way we found her yesterday afternoon; sound asleep hugging her little stuffed buddy.


Thanks for stopping by and keeping an eye on us. 

Sunday, 28 June 2020


Yesterday we picked up Penny. For the first eight weeks she was well loved by Peter and family but now she is ours and we couldn't be happier.

Last night went well. She slept five and a half hours before letting us know she needed to go outside. Once done back into her crate for another three hours; no problem, no fuss.

Mary makes sure Penny gets all the love, hugs and cuddles she needs. We are one happy family.

Life is extra busy these days, with chickens and a new puppy to look after. So far all has gone well and we are looking forward to having family and friends visit the next few weeks. I'm sure Owen and Kate are anxious to give Penny some hugs.

Stay safe everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 25 June 2020


Our chicks arrived yesterday in this cardboard box specifically designed for safe and easy transport from the hatchery to the co-op.

Once home we transferred them into this child's wading pool lined with newspaper and wood chips.

We soon learned that wood chips could pose a health hazard to the baby chicks as their digestive trac isn't able to digest the fiber yet.

Now their home is chip free and everyone is safe and happy. They slept huddled together under the heat lamp and now are busy running around bumping into one another and eating non-stop.

I'm sure there will be other lessons for us to learn, so if you see us doing something wrong please write and let us know.

Stay safe and healthy and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020


Our baby chicks arrived this morning. We ordered 30 and they sent 32 just in case two didn't make it.

The first thing Mary did was place their bills into the water trough. This was necessary so they would know where to go for water.

We have two water stations and three food stations for the baby chicks. 

Their food is spread out in this feeder so they have lots of room for eating.

We were originally going to keep the chicks on the porch for the first week or two but it has turned cool so we moved them indoors to the mechanical room. It's the warmest room in the house and they are well protected from any predators. In a few weeks we will move them outside to the chicken coop.

When we went to the co-op this morning there must have been over 100 boxes full of baby chicks.  If on average each box had 30+ chicks that works out to over 3,000 little baby chicks going out to new homes up here today. The guy at the co-op said they have never been this busy with baby chicks. Looks like more people are trying to be self-sufficient. 

Thanks for stopping by and keeping an eye on us.