Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mushrooms and Green Tomatoes and a bit of Free Geek

What a busy week! A friend brought over 5 lbs. of chanterelle mushrooms that he had picked at the coast. We traded a medium sized frozen chicken and a dozen duck eggs for the 'shrooms. Good deal as we've all decided that we love the chantrelles! They're in the dryer now. We'll seal the dried mushrooms into pint sized jars and freeze for 2 days to kill anything that might still be alive after the drying process. I'm keepin' my fingers crossed!
I've been told over and over again to include some computer based learning in to our curriculum. I've been told that to know the zen of the computer is to know the path of the future. Well fine. After rebelling against technology for years (except for this fine blog! I don't even have a Facebook page) I decided to include some technology based lessons into our studies by volunteering at Free Geek. If y'all don't know what Free Geek is, find out! It's so super duper cool and we so love all the Geeks working and volunteering there. Here's a link to their website, research! http://www.freegeek.org/ We spent 4 hours dismantling disk drives and recycling the different bits and pieces, learning what each part looked like and what each piece did. We're doing the Adoption program at Free Geek; volunteer for 24 hours and earn a computer. Simple eh? And fun! Stella and I don't need a computer but Joshua and Jason are super stoked to be able to earn themselves a computer that they'll be able to use all by themselves a couple of hours a week. See, I'm progressive!
Until super recently, we were able to draw out the growing season and were eating pretty much every day from the garden. Though the last few days have been nothing but deluge and downpour, I'm afraid to take a photo of what it looks like now. This picture was taken just a week ago and look how healthy we are! How happy! I feel like I could write a book about all I've learned this year with the garden and the animals and although I didn't achieve what I sought to achieve, I did learn a lot. I feel we're on the right path and I wouldn't have traded all these ups and downs for a million dollars. Every death, I carry with me and every triumph, I wear on my sleeve. All in all, a good harvest season.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Of Motorcycles and Master Recyclers

Today, after much debate and fearful consternation, Joshua rode on the back of a Victory motorcycle with my dad, Dan. I don't think I've ever seen my son so thrilled in his life. His confidence so ripe, I could smell it. My dad (a line I'm still so thrilled to utter as I only just began this relationship with him a year ago) took Josh up to his favorite leather shop in Vancouver and purchased him a rad leather coat. He then took Josh on a spin around the neighborhood. Oh My Goodness! The anxiety I felt those 10 little minutes! It felt like each of those minutes was an hour. Josh wouldn't take the jacket off until it was coerced from him at bedtime. Both joyous and a little sad, tonight was my last Master Recycler class. Every Wednesday from 6:30 to 9:30, for the last 8 weeks, I immersed myself in waste management theories and climate change graphs and anti-consumption conversation. It was heaven! One of the last speakers this evening wondered at the attendance of this course; he questioned why 30 people would give up their prime time hours in order to sit and listen to trash experts espouse bio-plastics. Little did he know that Wednesday evenings had quickly become the highlight of my week. I almost felt selfish at this indulgence. And I got a name tag! It even says my name, not just Volunteer but Rebekah Vincent... Volunteer. Oh to the heights we rise!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ghetto Composter and Jerry-Rigged Wheelbarrow

Today was a beautiful, sunny day and darn it if we didn't deserve it! After a rainy and cold summer, my Summer To-Do list is but half it's original length. I'd have preferred it to be completed, but such is life. We did however, utilize the day in all it's splendor; we finally built the Habitat Composter!
Although we have an Earth Machine composter and a compost tumbler, we really needed something larger that could be turned easily as well as be centrally located. So out of pallets Joshua, Stella and I built two compost boxes. Eventually I hope to expand it to three. It's so totally ghetto that it's cool; we named it the "O", in honor of a metal letter O that we found at Scrap last year.
And can you believe it, we haven't had a working wheelbarrow ever?!?!?! We had bits and pieces of one that Jason and I surgeried together today. A few bolts here, an over sized metal rod there and voila! A working, if not slightly shaky, wheelbarrow. It works like it should and that's what matters most. Yay for usin' what ya' got!