LIVING OFF GRID

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

If you have any questions send us a comment; we love to hear from our readers.
Click on pictures for larger view

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

TRAIL MARKERS

 

We have trails throughout our property that even extend across property lines. Everyone uses them for snowshoeing, biking or just an easy enjoyable afternoon hike.

This past winter our neighbours decided the trails needed adequate markers and designed a different butterfly or moth for each trail. I was impressed.


Penny ignores the markers and follows her own trails; usually into the nearest body of water. She's a retriever so this comes naturally to her. Now if we could just teach her to take a shower everyone would be happy.

Stay safe and healthy everyone and thanks for stopping by.


Saturday, 1 May 2021

COOP SECURED


 In another week or two we will move the meat birds into the coop at the back We have been busy making the coop and area safe for them.


The coop was covered with chicken wire when first built and over the years we've added to the cover to make it more secure. Unfortunately we didn't realize that a huge hole was left up near the roof at the back of the coop. Don't ask what happened.
 
Yesterday that problem was solved by covering the entire back wall with heavy "hardware cloth" This stuff is like cow fencing and with all the clips holding it in place I think the little night critters will have to dine elsewhere.


Meanwhile our layers  continue to be pampered. Every day they get 3-4 hours out of the coop to scratch in the gardens and yard They are fed a special organic healthy diet of chia, flax, yogurt,, lettuce, millet,,       which Mary prepares in  the kitchen for them We have 6 birds and they are laying 5-6 eggs a day They are happy and so are we.

Here it is May 1st and we are still getting snow. This won't last but it is still too cold to move our meat birds down to their coop. Mary doesn't want them in the house much longer so we may move them to our porch. 

Stay safe and well and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

POTATO BAGS


This year we are experimenting with "potato bags"  Mary's usual potato bed is full  of garlic and her new bed is full of tree stumps; another job for another day.


We don't have rabbits but we do have chipmunks and they love to dig for seeds and new plants.


Mary wants to grow peanuts in these bags so I wrapped them in "hardware cloth". That should keep the chipmunks out and the seeds safe. I will cover the tops with chicken wire and fill the bottom with a thick layer of stones. 

There is always a job waiting for my attention and we are trying to get as many jobs done before the blackflies arrive.

Time for breakfast then outside for some exercise and fresh air.

Stay safe everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 26 April 2021

BREAD

 

Mary was busy baking bread this morning


It's a two day process so once this bread has cooled it will be enjoyed It is delicious on its own with just  a little butter..

Enjoy your day and thanks for stopping by

Sunday, 25 April 2021

A WEEK OF EXTREMES

 

This was a week of extremes. We had rain, snow, sun and temperatures  from -8*C to +13*C. It was  challenge keeping everything alive and healthy.

Yesterday we took the covers off the gardens  to check on our young plants. All looked like they had survived the frigid night temperatures this week. Here you  see the lettuce plants looking very healthy. We hope to start harvesting in 3-4 weeks

Our layers are now two weeks old and starting to develop feathers. We move them onto the porch when our temperatures are warm enough for their tender bodies.

Tonight will be our last dip into freezing temperatures. The forecast for the next two weeks looks much warmer  and spring like. Our next project is securing the large coop so predators don't manage to enjoy any free meals. We did see a fisher on the property this week and we know there are foxes in the area. We want our chickens safe.

Stay safe and well everyone and thanks for stopping by. 

Monday, 19 April 2021

RAISED GARDEN BED PROTECTION

 

 We have raised garden beds because the bedrock is so close to the surface here. Our beds are 10 ft. x 3 ft. (3m x 1m) and about 30 inches (76 cm) tall. Most are covered in plastic to create a greenhouse environment and give us a longer growing season

This morning our beds were covered in frost and we are expecting snow later this week.


Mary transplanted lettuce, kale, spinach and carrots last week but we need to protect them every night from cold temperatures.


On the nights when the temperature will drop below freezing we cover the plants with fabric tunnels

These tunnels are actually three layers of protection; two layers of fabric on top of the fabric tunnels.


Here you can see the two layers of fabric pulled back. The lid for each garden bed is covered in chicken wire to keep the deer out and on cold nights we add  a layer of plastic.


This morning we are off to get our Covid vaccine shots. Our numbers here in Canada have been going in the wrong direction lately and we need to get this virus under control before summer arrives and all the cottagers return.
Stay safe and well everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 17 April 2021

NEW CHICKEN RUN

 

We needed to redesign our lower gardens to a accommodate a  run area for our chickens. 

First job was to remove some of the hugel hill and build a compost bin.

The compost bin was easy to build; two skids for the sides and some 8 ft. hemlock boards filled in the front and back

We used Penny's old dog kennel for some of the fencing as her kennel wasn't being used. Penny doesn't seem to be too happy about the whole situation. We buried old chicken wire along the bottom rail to keep any predators from digging under the fence.

It was all too much for Penny. She slept while I worked.

We checked every inch of the fencing and added any additional metal necessary. It looks a little rough but it will do and we used leftover material that was just lying around.

Another job done and we are ready to get inside and enjoy the fire. It's going down to 2*C tonight and they are forecasting snow later this week. We will update you on our gardens later.

Stay safe and well and thanks for stopping by.