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The draft that I forgot!


By Lori


Today is February 16, 2014! The following is a draft which has been sitting since ….

Today is December 28, 2009… the year that seems like it wasn’t! Where did it go? Perhaps it was the succession of unpleasant news stories about the environment; the endless litany of concerns that never seem to be addressed… in any case, here I am, nearly at the end of the year…wishing I had better memories of 2009… speaking strictly for myself it is a year, the memory of which, I will not treasure! Perhaps the coming year will bring the changes I wished for…. all for the better!
I expect to be moving and starting up a new garden. we were supposed to be doing this last summer…and I had hoped to be preparing my next garden by now, but all my plans are still on paper.
A lot depends of the place we find. I’m hoping for a south facing gentle slope…with trees or a wall for a wind break on the north and west side. If these features are not extant …then I’ll have to construct/plant them…so as you can imagine I’m hoping to find the ideal place where I can just move in and start to dig!!! The most challenging part of the plan is to situate a solar greenhouse on the property… I know there are new age materials available which are lighter than the stone, metal and glass structures I’m familiar with; and I’ll be looking thro magazines…surfing the ’net, to see what I can find. Part of the plan is to sink it into a hillside…or position it beside a building, for heat retention and shelter from wind. it will not be in use during the coldest months…but I would like to be able to keep it warm enough for plants at least ten months of the year.

I had decided to erase this blog. Then I realized that it presented me with an opportunity to appreciate a little better the results of that period of wishing and hoping…because most of the things I wrote about have come about and in ways that I would not have expected. I wrote the first part of this blog 4 years ago!! Almost exactly one year, to the day, before we moved to our place here in Matawatchan. The purchase of our house and hillside, the net surfing, the costing and purchase of the greenhouse all happened. The greenhouse has been situated and moved and now I’m planning to re-situate it on the “southerly” aspect, connected to the house, which I was hoping for.
Luckily for me…I don’t have to plant any trees unless I choose to do so! I have trees mature enough to tap for sap in spring…I have seven apple trees which, with a little tending, will give us apples for cider, and two nut trees (black walnut) and a number of beech trees and a grove of hazel which could also provide us with nuts from trees in the forest .
The plan has evolved to the point that I now have the best growing area mapped out and almost clear of the prunings, limbings and culling of undesirable trees along the forest margin that were stacked to dry in the areas which will become the vegetable beds. This spring I will finally buy the cultivator I’ve been hoping for and the digging of stones will be at an end. ( I have a feeling that if I come back five years from now and read this blog…I’ll be laughing at that! I don’t think there is ever going to be an end to stones on this property! ) As a result it might be more prudent to say that I hope to put all the naturally occurring stone to good use perhaps as foundation material for the cabins or the observatory. Yes, I’m still dreaming about that…been here three years and it seems like I’ve hardly scratched the surface of the plans I made. At the point of making this blog, I was worried that I would never find the place of my dreams and would have to “make do” with something which required a lot more work than I had ambition. To a certain extent, I was lucky…but I’m still short of ambition and energy.

The decking will be placed at the corner of the house and a porch/solar room will be constructed with the existing greenhouse as the walls and roof. That way I hope to be able to heat the greenhouse earlier in the year. at present it sits out in the middle of a windy spot which is very cold in early spring (March) when I need to start my veggies. And perhaps I should add that the following picture was taken before the snow came…It’s now under 2 ft of snow! That’s the main reason why I’m dreaming on paper….er …well you know what I mean.

More blog posts by Lori

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amazing that you have been in your new place 3 years have done so much there already...good plan to move the green house closer to the house..hope it copes with all that snow. we have been kept indoors by our weather but ours is more wind and rain than snow..thank long till your melt comes?

17 Feb, 2014


Gosh where does the time go. glad you shared it with us.

17 Feb, 2014


T. was telling me that according to Environment Canada's long range forecast we will have a week of days between the 18th Feb. and the 25th Feb... where the temps will be above zero C. The nights will still be very cold...but the days should see some lessening of the snowcover and 7 days will be a teasing taste of warmth. Our spring usually arrives with the calendar near the end of March...but I have seen Aprils (like the last one) that were frigid. then, come May, with some warm temps, the mosquitoes and blackflies deter outdoor activity. One upside of the very frigid temps we've had: the minus 30-40 C. temps will kill off some of the overwintering the Ash Borer and the Maple Borer...and Anophiles mosquitoes slowing the spread of these scourges. Nice to know that there is an upside to the winter weather!

17 Feb, 2014


You, short of ambition??? Just look at what you have achieved in your garden. I thought the english did understatement! What i would like to know is did you ever get your dry compost toilet installed? ;-)) just read your "in my little corner of the world" blog. I missed a lot while we were on our travels.

17 Feb, 2014


LOL...the "understatement" is genetic, Resi. Scratch me...I'm a Brit! We had a better summer (2013) with an average amount of rainfall and much cooler summer temps...and digging my pond and culling the forest took some of the focus off of the compost toilet...However, we have since begun to give more serious thought to simplify our drain systems..also, looking for plans to reuse the "gray water" produced by washing clothes and dishes, and sinks and showers. At the same time, ramping up the "composting" efforts to include human waste...but keeping the garden compost and waste compost separate. Our sons will benefit when they inherit. The Amish/Mennonite farmers of southern Ontario have whole communities which have always been off-the-grid and it might be a good idea to look into their methods. Found a very interesting way of moving water, called a hydraulic ram. Now there's something for you to google! ;-)

18 Feb, 2014


We had a septic tank in france as well as here in the new house. I always had one of those massive watering cans by the sink and used all that gray water on the garden, mostly for the veggies. I will be interested to see what you find out about the amish ways of coping w living off the grid, they should have perfected the art of water conservation. Strange though to be talking about this with so much of the uk currently under water! Off to look up your hydraulic rams

19 Feb, 2014

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