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9/30/13

Off Grid Prefab House Tilts, Solar Cooks, And Rides.


Off grid living is almost too easy this time of year. Sure it gets cold at night, but as long as it warms up mid-afternoon, the off grid prefab SIP house is warm, almost overly so. I leave a few windows open, even through the crisp night. It feels goooooooooood to have that fresh air cutting through the house, while *real* down comforters, the kind that actually work, keep you toasty. At night, in my bed, I look up and out the north windows: with autumn.... THE STARS... oh, the stars...

Tilt-A-Prefab
People keep asking about the "flat roof" on the casa ti prefab house, so I thought it might be good to show them better the illusion, via photos: The exterior SIP (structural insulated panels), yes, are level, but within: THE ROOF SLANTS.

The north roof's pitch then allows water to drain via the exterior scuppers, pictured here:
Scuppers on the north side of the prefab house...
 Here are some interior bedroom shots where you can see the pitch:
From the west bedroom, looking west...
(north is on the right)

From the east bedroom, looking east...
(so north is on the right now)


At the off grid prefab house, it is still solar cooking season.

Unfortunately, that does not herald Dinner Party Season. Solar cooking is more haphazard, with smaller portions.  But soon? The cookstove beckons, and with it stews, casseroles, and roasts for a crowd.  
 
Embrace The Prefab Architecture But Ditch The Prefab Diet
To be fair, we eat healthy. Very healthy. BUT: Recently, I have been thinking we eat too much wheat. We embrace pasta, bread, pasta, bread... we love it! It is hard to turn down HOMEMADE BREAD.  But I am trying to replace our heavily milled starches with more whole grains, like barley,  millet, etc.  I am enjoying millet so much I think I will sow a crop this spring!

From Plant Management Network

From Heirloom-Organics.com:
"The millets are a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops or grains, widely grown around the world for food and fodder. They do not form a taxonomic group, but rather a functional or agronomic one. Their essential similarities are that they are small-seeded grasses grown in difficult production environments such as those at risk of drought. They have been in cultivation in East Asia for the last 10,000 years.
...
Pearl millet is higher yielding than foxtail millet and regrows after harvest if sufficient stubble is left. Dwarf varieties, which are leafier and more suited for grazing, are also available."

I love the cookbook Jerusalem. Go get it. Deliciousness, and I think it's because of the heavy emphasis on fresh herbs, root vegetables, and different ways of grains we're all, now, ready for.  But in a Southern town, population 40? Some of the ingredients are... trying... to find. Family members have deathly allergies to cashews and pistachios. Why not replace any mentions of couscous with millet? And while we're ruining the good recipes of Jerusalem, why not...

Parsley and Millet Salad
Cook millet like you would rice- about a pinkie width of water over the quantity you are cooking, simmer without opening the lid until you feel it's al dente. Check quickly- if the water is gone, yer done! Turn off the heat, fluff with a fork.

Stir in the millet well with:
- lots of fresh chopped parsley
- salt & pepper & liberal dashes of lemon juice
- coriander sprinkled all over
- glugs of good olive oil
- minced garlic & onions
- toss in lots of Parmesan or any feta/goat/earthy tangy cheese
-you could embrace the tabbouleh route and add cukes, tomatoes, olives, or just leave it "plain"- because that is already full of taste!

I mentioned riding in the title but I took no pictures this week. So... Picture children from 4-12, toddlers to tweens, all hanging out at The B's. One moment, a pony is led around for the 4 year olds; then: the others climb onto her back to canter, miniature style, grinning. She crow-hops a few times, the kids laugh, because she is their size- on her, bucking is fun! Next, we tack up R., and she trots, or, bridle off and on a lead rope, takes them around the round pen, working on balance, on getting used to her horse size.   
A sunny day, with children, horses, and a pony:
Here, we've got our own Saddle Club.



Reading Club:
Homeschool:

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