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9/19/11

Passive Solar Prefab Home Readies For Adventure


In Virginia, fall arrived.



I entitle this: "She Plays With Weeds."


Forgive the diffused pictures. I somehow had the camera on a weird setting. In reality, the light was gold. It's that sharp, slanting gold that only happens in autumn as the leaves begin to turn... Outside, the children bundled up in hooded sweaters and jackets and leggings to run with their newly-energetic-and-ferociously-wild-now-that-the-weather-is-cooler dogs and play, but inside? I've got coffee brewing on the wood cook stove: it is toasty warm in the energy efficient prefab SIP home

In fact, thanks to the cook stove makin' mah coffee, I had to open all the windows it was so hot on this chilly autumn day!

Each year, especially in fall, I walk over to where the road dips to the second field and tobacco barn to take a picture of The View, just because it makes me happy. It occurred to me as I did so today how much that landscape changed:
Then
Now: crop tree release,
a natural pool begun-but-not-finished...

First, we finally graded around the prefab house site; hence bulldozing back the two hills of soil that had been standing there during the prefab construction, waiting, growing plenteous blackberries and providing us with Many Documented Digging Adventures along the field...


This soil was now all moved back around the home site after we were finally able to purchase, install, and bury the rainwater cistern this summer.

While grading around the home site, they used that opportunity of a bulldozer on site to scoop out the One Day This Will Be A Natural Pool and free up some oaks and wild dogwoods from scrubby weed trees. So now that area is more open, with lined with oaks now free to breathe!

With the home site excavated, we began to seed, seed, seed: and finally: I see rye! It's beautiful!!! I always wanted my field to look like this!!!! (Disclosure: We still have *a ways* to go on that field...)

For the past four years we bush hogged the field to cut down weeds, then began to seed clover, fescue, and now: rye. Slowly we are seeing the field return to healthy soil. When my Kenyan "little brother" Kippy came to visit recently, and I mentioned we stayed up late talking and drinking beer... We were staying up late talking soil, and our recollections on how our family farms (and we, today) work hard to improve our land.  He is going to write on his own recollections on building a farm from nothing, in Kenya, as a guest post soon!

You now know "The Dustbowl" can happen again, it already has: Ask Somalia, Texas, Arizona... (insert an endless list of places here...) Yet so many cities that strive to bill themselves as "livable" and "sustainable" still aren't paying attention to their soil. Y'all, top soil isn't just about farms, you pesticide-sprayin', soil-depletin' urban-ish medium-sized cities that refuse to... to look at what your peers are doing!



FYI, two articles I read this week, to consider:

Is urban regeneration dead in the UK? (see page 4) (To consider for USA cities as well - I particularly like their mention of Seattle, who seems to be a beacon of 1. livable 2. community... all which we can improve upon, in Richmond...) http://www.cles.org.uk/yourblogs/the-end-of-regeneration-is-just-the-beginning/#&panel1-1

Less Work, More Living : Working fewer hours could save our economy, save our sanity, and help save our planet. http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/new-livelihoods/less-work-more-living

I found this article interesting because this is how our neighbors in Pamplin City already live - although I suspect they would disagree with the hours part...
 
This weekend, we hung curtains over the cavernous, chaotic closet areas to tidy up the prefab interior until we can build built-ins:

Later:
It's ironic I had written more about the philosophy of sustainable living and working earlier today, because late this afternoon we had a quick family meeting as something unexpected hit us. We're about to start a new chapter in life, and  we are very, very excited about it.


Because my business is all over the internetz... ; ) y'all will have access to me as usual, regardless, and my businesses will not be affected. If anything, I might be even more accessible, geographically.


In Richmond, I had sowed my fall garden; I was 3/4 the way done. Now I save that 1/4 seed, carefully, to collect and scatter elsewhere.
Give us time, we'll tell ya more.

Xoxoxoxoxo to all the internet.



"You've never seen anything like it in your life!
Filled with Adventure! Thrills! Enchantment!
ROMANCE...and Music!"



#StayTunedWeMightNotSayAWord
ForAWeekOrEightMonthsButWe'reDecided
AndAreAlreadyPackingAndStuffingTheSuitcases
WithOurThoughtsOnTheFieldsAndCitiesWeLove

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