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1/14/13

Runnin' Around The Passive Solar Prefab Home


Oh these wet muddy days at the off grid prefab passive solar home!!!!
It's not like January here.
As my neighbor dismissed his plans this week with dismay, "Too warm fer hog killin'!"
It's like March.
Red clay everywhere, the soil soaked...

Even with the clouds, it was BEAUTIFUL day to run errands in Charlotte County!



An Amish farm getting ready for spring...
We went to the Amish Store for cookies and sawdust for the composting toilet, then went and got milk at another place, then to another friend's for vegetables... There, we discussed the new Produce Auction going up behind her farm.

Beyond the garden, across the field, will be the Produce Auction...

Prior, the produce auction was held in a cramped building with little parking down the road.  So the Amish got together and created shares in the new auction. She explained, "So everyone can buy a share, then whenever the auction makes a profit, it goes to the shareholders." So that's how a large investment that benefits the entire community happens around here.

Then we headed into Lynchburg!

Lynchburg is interesting to me.  It has Virginia's oldest continuously running farmer's market...  Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest is right near the city, and The National D Day Memorial is in neighboring Bedford. The people of Lynchburg seem to appreciate craftsmen, local food, cultural events, history...

Only 30-40 minutes away, we are looking forward to visiting again soon!  Like the produce auction will be, Lynchburg's Community Market is also held in an enclosed space - on Saturday's there are aisles with farmer's set up, but inside further back are more permanent stalls.



As we begin to discuss the next steps in finishing the off grid prefab home interior, as well as Higher Ground Farm, we spoke about 2 year, 5 year, 10 year goals... what to grow, what to invest in...

Instead of mortgaging out for expensive equipment, we take the approach of use already paid-for equipment we have, improve slowly, but to never extend ourselves... focus on organic, small scale growing for our family. 
Let's take a look at what this banker has to say:
"Grantham, widely known in the investment community as a supercontrarian, came to my attention last month when I stumbled across an article he wrote in his firm’s quarterly newsletter entitled “Welcome to Dystopia! Entering a Long-Term and Politically Dangerous Food Crisis.” Next to this unexpected headline was a photo of (forgive the stereotype) an expectedly conventional-looking investment banker. Below it, however, were two quotes: one from Bob Marley (“Them belly full but we hungry . . .”) and one from Kenneth Boulding: “Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.” My attention was caught.
...
Another Amish orchard preparing for spring...
Grantham’s article succinctly puts economic teeth into the argument that all advocates of truly sustainable food make almost constantly: We are going to be eating sustainable, more-or-less organic and mostly regional food within a couple of generations, and the big question is whether we get to that place willingly (it might be too late for that, but one can hope) or whether we go through a dystopic convulsion first."
Similarly:
Sell your crap. Pay your debt. Do what you love.
"...we were collecting loans. we had one for everything except a mortgage, and guess what, we were house shopping..."

What does freedom mean to you?
"You wake up one day and realize you're living life just based on a script."


But... he doesn't give thoughts on the future. Where's the *saving* and *investment* into legacy? Like he, when we had children we had a mental meeting of what we wanted for our children. We chucked everything and invested in land, then the prefab... backpacking across Australia is nice but what of that can be passed on for generations?

In good stead with the muddy cloudy weather, I served comfort food: 
Around The World With A Venison Roast
  • Day 1: Dinner: Southern Venison Roast: The day before, wash & soak black eyed peas. At lunch, salt water in a pot and begin to simmer the black eyed peas with frozen previously saved meat bits on a bone or two all afternoon. Roast venison slowly surrounded with your favorite root veggies, potatoes.  A half hour-ish before: in a saucepot heat tomatoes, add brown sugar and some salt, simmer. Side 1: Remove potatoes & mash, make gravy out of pan juices. Second side, in separate bowls: Blackeyed peas & stewed tomatoes. Serve with a fresh dill salad. 
  • Cool, then pull the remaining venison apart with a fork and store. 
  • Day 2: Make Asian Coleslaw: shred cabbage + a few carrots, mix in rice vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar to taste, store a day, mix well before serving.
  • Day 3: Lunch: Asian Venison BBQ: heat slowly 1/2 of the venison, add a little tomato sauce if you have any handy. Remember, this is venison yer servin' not some Walmart Manwich yer makin'. Use tomato sauce just to kinda bind it, not sauce-a-fy it. Serve on Amish rolls with Asian Coleslaw. Side: Fresh veggies & fruit.
  • Day 4: Lunch or Dinner: French Venison Tomato Soup: Dice celery and pretend its lovage, sautee until soft; add in a can of tomato/garlic/onion from the summer, simmer, extra frozen-earlier broth to make sure it remains a thin stew / nice broth soup, add in some minced rosemary and a dash of lemon, and finally, the remaining pulled venison. Stir it up and let it sit, but not too long. Serve with bread out of the oven, and clementines. Now warm and toasty and full, send the kids back outside in the frosty air to play.
Reading Club:
Homeschool Notes:
We are reviewing the last semester and doing random testing. They're doing amazing, and it's clear we'll finish the school year early, even when adding in library books and expounding on subjects. Confident now, I added Latin to this semester. I love YouTube for the basic overview-- especially for pronunciation!

Here's what we're doing this week:

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