Our Philosophy

Festina lente
-make haste...slowly

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Summer Solstice Photo Tour of the Homestead

Last thing I mentioned in the comments section of the last post was the 9 lbs of chanterelles I scored on our property and surrounding neighborhood in mid-June before the rain turned off.  This is the last 4-ish pounds picked just before the East Atlanta Village farmers market two weeks ago, where I sold 7 lbs for $30/lb!  Not a bad racket really...

Well, there it is.  Strapped down, adjusted, and holding 480 sq ft (including the porch) of our most useful possessions.  There's an apple guild developing to the left that the cobbing crew and I started back in April, and a little berry garden just out of the frame to the right.  The native community on this part of the property is loaded with huckleberries, blackberries, and muscadine grapes, so around the "campstead" we're majoring in blueberries, raspberries, and improved grape varieties, under apples and stone fruits.  There's a lot of shade - and we very much want to keep it that way - so we're slowly figuring out through trial and error what can handle it and what can't.  Surprisingly, my magic comfrey isn't doing well here.

On the porch, this is our summer kitchen.  Two-burner propane stove, dish and prep table, big bad cooler, and a big pantry that serves as our main storage unit for kitchen goods and service.  Improvements are on the way for this area, but it gets it done for now.

Coming from a 1600 s.f. farmhouse to this we've definitely streamlined our daily needs down to the bear necessities.  And a pair of small bungee cords have managed to keep the bears out of our necessities so far.  (And they actually have been challenged by the bears!  Lightly challenged, I would assume.  I highly doubt that this cabinet would stand up to a determined bear, even a young one, bungeed or not.  I ran that bear off with a primal yalp and a hickory stick!  The same hickory stick that I protected my new French doors with in the hood back in Macon while I camped in the Camry overnight.)

There's our chill spot on the porch, with our beautiful chanterelle-loaded forest in the background.  Geez, I'm in heaven.

This is the only barrier between my sleeping family and greater nature.  Living this way makes you think differently.  When connection to nature is a full-contact sport you quickly realize your true role in the whole general mish-mash.  Sequestered behind solid locked doors in a climate-controlled environment, it's easy to understand how man might adopt grandiose ideas about his role in the universe; out here, you sleep lightly and carry a big stick.  Homo sapiens is a top predator, but out here that role must be embraced openly and reinforced mentally every day.  It's very empowering...and very sobering.

This Hoosier has been in the family for at least 5 generations, and is our main indoor storage unit.  Thank you, Gran and Joe!

This is my work desk and the childrens' table.  I make all of the Small Batch Garden products here.  I bet my great-great-aunt Joetta, who built the table with her husband decades ago, never envisioned it serving this duty.

Ella's corner.  She's so spoiled;)!

We've added another 40 watts of PV capacity now, but for the first two months here this fan, powered by a tiny 11.8-watt solar panel was our only non-battery powered electrical service.  And what a welcome thing to have around!

You know, for a tent this place is pretty darned comfortable...

I think the little guys would agree.  They love it here.  And I get to spend an awful lot of time with my lovelies.  And no one ever died wishing they'd spent more time at the office.


Well, that's it for this time.  From the 50-watt family in Talking Rock, Georgia, here's wishing you an equal measure of the joy we find in our lives every day.  May your own embrace of a simpler life increase with the happiness you find therein.  Peace.

Tripp out.