Summer 2012 Update

Life is chugging along at Eco-Sense.  We continue to put a great deal of time and energy into growing our food with the daily rewards of healthy delicious home prepared meals.  Eating in season comes with it’s challenges but this is vastly outweighed with the pleasures of the first feasts of long anticipated garden delights.

Pizza every two weeks in the cob oven. Yes, those are dandelions. YUMMY!

Gord is focusing on a couple jobs this summer that is taking him away from home during the days.  The bank account is topping up after a lean winter.  The jobs Gord has taken on have been very satisfying for him with a technically challenging carpentry job with circular joined roof structures, a greenhouse/cob root cellar project and all with like minded clients where hugging to say thanks is the norm.  We have also done lots of tours so far this summer, but are taking a bit of a break for August.

Making feta cheese

Our Chickens are healthy, happy, and producing close to an egg a day.  We have been giving away eggs to many people when we have extra, and boy does this feel better than selling them.  Here is a video of our Off-The Grid net ZERO Energy, net ZERO Water, and zero waste chicken coop.  We have been growing some of their own food this year, and the chicken oats, peas, and kale are just about ready for them to go get them.  When Jason McLennon from the Living Building Challenge (LBC) was here for a visit in June, we joked about the chicken coop achieving more petals on the LBC than our home…Jason joked that we should have registered it…we sent everyone home with eggs.

Ann’s new ensuite. I love it! Thanks Gord!

Ann has been enjoying writing articles for IslandGals…a new local magazine.  her last article was on Ecological Economics (the Economics of Happiness), and the next article due out shortly is about Permaculture.  Check out the Island Gals website to see where you can pick up your free copy or even sign up for a subscription.

In addition to writing articles, we spend about an hour a day responding to media enquiries.  Here is a list of the latest bit of Eco-Sense in the media:

  • YES Magazine
  • Your ECO Friend – detailed blog post from a couple touring North America to write a book on Green architecture.
  • West Shore TV – short documentary coming out early this fall (sent them home with eggs after the filming)
  • SotoKoto – Japanesse print magazine with a very long article on the home with lots of pictures  (too far to mail eggs)
  • Photo of our home on CNN international
  • West Shore Magazine – article this fall
  • Eco-Sense Utube channel

Update on the destruction to the neighbouring wetlands:   Last Jan we wrote a blog post about the damage occurring to the ecosystem on the land next to our home.  What’s it worth…Calculating the Carbon footprint of Environmental Destruction.  Well, the plot thickens as the land is further degraded.  But just in summary, Ann has been working with both municipalities (View Royal and District of Highlands) and various community members to try and find out what is really going on there.  It’s absolutely absurd to invest such large sums of financial capital to totally degrade an ecosystem for the sake of running a small unprofitable herd of cows.  The evidence supports the theory that the land is being prepared (flattened and filled with roads and a bridge) for some sort of other non farming development.   Ann has launched a formal complaint with the BC Farm Industry Review board (FIRB).  To read Ann’s latest presentation to View Royal council, check out this link.  20120711 View Royal council Notes  Back in June right after the two Mayors met and just before the stop work order was issued in View Royal, the Neighbour who owns that land showed up here with his brother…I was home alone and they were aggressive and angry with me for causing trouble.  I didn’t send them home with any eggs.
Well water Update:  The good news here is that the third water test of our well this year has come back potable.  The bad news is that this could change again this fall when the rains come.  Here’s some data for the levels of LEAD and NITRATES in our sell water.  And finally here is a short list of what we have been reading and watching lately:


One response to “Summer 2012 Update

  1. Valerie Elliott

    Lovely to get an update from you guys (we are less responsible)! We too have been getting into the cheese making as we are buying raw milk from a Metchosin farmer. Isn’t food more delicious when it comes from your own garden and kitchen? And what is the round stuff on your pizza. Are you making your own sausage now too? Stephan is planning that for his next food adventure but needs to figure out the logistics in the cold storage first… he wants to make those cured meats with fresh organic meat from our farmer. Food, glorious food! We’ve been doing work for a new farmer who is renting land in exchange to farming on it. its fun and rewarding to work for food. Keep up the inspiration you two. Off to pick peas which have been non stop (and 8 ft tall) due to the weather… XX from us.

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