Our Philosophy

Festina lente
-make haste...slowly

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Photo Update - Candlemas 2013

 A couple photos of a recent project, stacking functions in a tiny house.  Remember that 4 of us live in a 320 s.f. wall tent, so floor space is certainly at a premium!  (And there is no real possibility of loft space in a tent like this...).  Bathing was a need that had to come in from the cold, so to speak, as we ran out of money to finish our bath-house, but there wasn't enough room to give the tub a dedicated corner.  So...voila!

I built a tabletop for the clawfoot tub out of 1x6 yellow pine, fit onto cleats that sit snugly inside the edges of the tub.  A 1" x 3/4" pine strip is glued and brad-nailed onto each end to give it extra structural rigidity.  The whole works was then sanded smooth and finished with three coats of linseed oil.
The table-tub is plumbed through the floor, where it empties its contents into the retention structures of the  young orchard out back.
Remove table top and there you go - nice deep clawfoot ready for action.

On a fine sunny day in early January when the temperature outside hit 70 degrees, the table is comfortably set for 6.  Just pull up a few chairs around the outside. 

One of the main thrusts of daily life around here, as I suspect it is just about anywhere else, is keeping the dirt outside the house.  Here is our very inexpensive method for doing so.  Hang the damp clothes by the wood stove for a day or so, repeat cycle.  It's a big job if the laundry piles up for more than two days.  Behavioral innovation underway.
Here's a shot of the developing garden in mid-winter.  Notice that the contour swales are doing their job of collecting water and fertility quite well.  All of this moisture and biomass would end up somewhere downhill of this spot if the swales weren't there.  The greens bed in the low tunnel is doing very well.  We are eating from it with some regularity, even now.

Here's a close-up of the contour swale system doing it's thing.  I didn't put any of these leaves in the garden, but the soil underneath is moist and protected all the same, full of worms, perpetually enriching the system.  One thing I have added is a little soybean meal, sprinkled over the beds, as additional feed for soil microbes and earthworms.
Long-time internet pal, LewisLucanBooks, informed me that bamboo can be "steered" in the direction we want it to grow by the application of fertility in that direction.  Here I've harvested a secondary yield from my meat rabbit operation....

...And applied it uphill of some young timber bamboo I'm growing to block the view of my house and workshop from incoming traffic.  The timber bamboo will, in turn, provide me with giant poles for construction projects, free self-regenerating gutters for water capture and dispersal, and any unwanted shoots can be cut off and fed back to the rabbits.

Remember that any new terra-forming tends to yield an opportunity to direct overland water flow.  This improved pathway naturally feeds into the basin around a young Winesap apple tree.  A few minutes with the grub hoe and this tree becomes virtually self-watering.

Well, that's it for now.  The children are calling me in on their cellulose telephones.

Till next time, all our best from Small Batch.  And happy Candlemas...
Tripp out.