Wow – two new posts in as many nights…I’m on a roll. I was reading through the old posts and thought it might be a good time for an update. After a couple of months I forget what I have spewed on about but I see it has all centered around a cohesive theme, albeit a little on the serious, doom and gloom side.

So on a brighter note. I managed to conquer that whole composting thing. I dump that smelly, overflowing crap into my wooden crate and cover it with mulch and soil and mix it up every now and then. That is after the resident raccoon has a go at it (he/she has moved out of the barn into my attic btw) I was going to put a live trap on the deck but I was worried he was a she and possibly had some babies up there. I don’t need that guilt.

I figured I wouldn’t do much with the compost but I have cleaned the crate out twice and spread that dark goodness throughout my expanding edible forest ( ok – not so much a forest as a mush-mash of plants and seeds scattered around the property). The compost sits right beside a large maple which I tapped, feeling all nostalgic about my brother and I – you know – trespassing and drilling all those holes in the neighbours trees. Still brings a tear to my eye…

On the upside the syrup turned out amazing. Lovely golden, pure delicious syrup and I seem to have outgrown that allergy (Or maybe we were tapping sumac or hogwort back in the day) but regardless it was a success! I was at it for weeks; collecting, boiling, even put it in mason jars (3) with a label. The downside was the $500 dollar hydro bill. Yep – won’t be going into production anytime soon.

Oh, and that whole inner turmoil with the degrowth paradigm? I had to take on job number four then five to pay for the quest into self sustainability, well that and the hydro bill, but I’ve kicked it back to three now and gave up on the hoop house and the yurt. After all – I do have a house here already so I may as well use it.

And then there is the goat, Arthur. Turns out raising semi domesticated livestock is not at all like raising wildlife. They don’t return to the wild. When he became weaned from the bottle I loaded him up in the car to start visiting and acclimatizing to the farm from whence he came. The friend and owner of the farm asked if I would like a crate to transport him in. Hunh? I opened the passenger door and he road shotgun, gazing out the window at the new sights and reveling in the fresh wind in his face out the open window. Goats are just awesome that way – they don’t get all freaked out about new experiences.

We arrived at the barn and he followed me into the ‘goat’s pen’. The utter look of disdain has never dissipated. Despite the screaming and crying and anguish I knew I had to stop carrying on and let the amalgamation happen. Unfortunately Arthur did not take to the goats and the owner has had to accommodate for the “pet” goat who has his own pen, requires daily walks and places him self slightly above the dogs and far removed from the goat species.

So where does that leave us? I continue to experiment with the permaculture venture and it involves a lot of time and effort and fun. Where, from sheer lack of experience, I felt completely intimidated and threatened by the “experts” I have moved past that as I realize that the majority of us are all learning and experimenting and although we may be at different levels of the game, most want to offer encouragement and support and help. It is a common goal and there’s no sense letting egos get in the way. That’s how we got into this boat to begin with.

There’s something really satisfying about getting to know the ground around you whether it is a small urban plot or large acreage. When you really get to know that microcosm you call home you have a much greater appreciation of the bigger picture.


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