Posted on Leave a comment

Off-Grid Video: 11 years living off-grid in an earthship house — Vox Populi

person on a bridge near a lake

Have you ever considered going off-grid?

This off-grid video shows you how, or at least one version.

Off grid living comes in many shapes, sizes, and places. If you have ever come across the portrayal of someone living in a bunker or geodesic dome and found that way too out-of-bounds… Consider the independence. There are many alternatives to traditional construction and complete grip dependence.

With an increased interest in self-reliance as well as obvious stress on supply chains in recent times, this video shows one method that does not require an all-or-nothing, crunchy granola approach. Non-traditional construction can be aesthetically pleasing. Not only is this sustainable, but clearly it works.

Hélène Dubé and her partner Alain Neveu from Es-Cargo have lived off-grid in Quebec, Canada for 11 years in a self-built earthship style home made of recycled tires filled with earth and large south-facing windows.

Video: 11 years living off-grid in an earthship house — Vox Populi

Off-grid can happen step by step

If you have been thinking about sustainable living, remember the big picture. Living off-grid even in some ways makes you more prepared if the grid runs into some hiccups. The more that you can produce–as opposed to consume–the more you conserve resources. This has a side benefit for the budget as well.

Even if you are limited in your ability to practice a self-sufficient lifestyle, remember that every little bit is just that: practice. The first time I tried to grow container vegetables, I learned A LOT. Mostly about what didn’t work. Now that there is a yard to play with, I have the biggest tomato plants on the block. Everything has a learning curve.

I hope that like me, you get inspiration from seeing the off-grid lifestyle “all out” and thriving. Seize the day and plant something. Even if it is just one potted tomato.

Posted on Leave a comment

Green Green Green is the Thing

top view photo of clover leaves

Green for St. Patrick’s Day!

Today we celebrate all things green, with all the green pictures from last year’s garden! Once again, it is time for March Madness, grow lights, and starting seedlings indoors in zones 4-6 or so.

Whether you enjoy green beer or not, let’s use this week as a reason to celebrate! Celebrate spring. Celebrate a new year. Celebrate health, if you are blessed with it. Celebrate a hot cup of coffee. Celebrate the first baby seedlings poking their heads up out of the potting mix.

I lost all my stored garden seeds.

I am actually behind on my spring planting this year. My shoebox of garden seeds was THROWN AWAY to my great sadness. It used to live in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator. Then, we got a new fridge.

Maybe you can see where this is going.

The new fridge turned out not to work, but we had already put a few things into it. We called and were able to have another new fridge delivered the next day. The replacement fridge worked just fine, and is still going strong…

You can see where this is going.

We took out the few things we had put into the original replacement refrigerator–except for the onions and the box of garden seeds in the bottom drawer. Also, I failed to realize this. Until a few weeks later when I was ready to start planting. So, now it will be a little while longer.

Anyone who keeps a stash of garden seeds will appreciate how crestfallen I was to realize that probably $40 worth of seeds including, marigolds, a variety of heirloom tomato and pepper seeds, and various annuals that we grow every year. I am not going to be able to replace all of the varieties in one go since that would be pretty wasteful.

The garden will be just fine, though.

Happy Spring!

green plant clover close up photography
Photo by Elias Tigiser on Pexels.com

Posted on 2 Comments

Why Crocuses Bring the Spring

purple flowers garden

Crocuses are the first spring ephemerals

Why crocuses? Just a few weeks ago, snow and ice were everywhere. Yesterday, walking through the dormant garden, we found the first pop of color! These little beauties add a lovely violet accent to the lawn. The dormant garden may be sleeping, but there is actually so much life just beneath the surface.

I think these were originally planted in a border along the lawn, some years ago, but they show up along the entire lawn now. We love it! We are no-till and of course, working towards a permaculture garden. So a healthy layer of dead leaves is serving as mulch. Doesn’t seem to bother these little blooms at all!

Three purple crocus flowers viewed from above.
Happy crocuses in the morning sunshine.

Spring lifts the spirits

At this point in the year, spring is well on its way. I’ve started some seeds indoors. The indoor trees in their pots are starting to go outside during the day to harden them off. (Our lemon tree actually sprouted some new leaves!)

As I write this, I realize that the aloes, fern, and a small cactus will feel left out. Not to worry, they have now gone out into the sunshine as well.

green and gray bird perching on aloe vera plant
Photo by Jean van der Meulen on Pexels.com

Still, nothing is really happening outside… yet. Well, not in the garden.

A lot is happening in the forest. There are visible buds on the top branches of the tallest trees. The migratory birds have returned in force. The geese have paired off. The mallards have returned. The flock of turkey buzzards down the road seems to have doubled in size since last spring. No eagles yet. Many hawks and owls. The resident heron circled a few times yesterday on reconnaissance.

In the garden, though, the dominant color scheme is still wintery. So these signs of rebellion are very welcome!

About a dozen purple crocuses bursting through the brown leaves.
Looking cheerful

Crocuses are hardy perennials

Hidden for most of the year, the crocuses are ready to take their moment in the sun the instant winter starts to recede. They rely on a robust root system just under the lawn. Mowing doesn’t bother them. Foot traffic over the grass in the warmer months has no effect.

In fact, they seem to spread a little further every year. Since the grass isn’t much to look at this early anyway, all the better. A little later in the spring we will have so many bluebells. I can’t wait. Do you have a favorite spring ephemeral? To me, they are just the best.