A Dry Spell

A Dry Spell

It has been a long dry spell…both with the weather and our cash flow.

  • Our winter has been short, warm and dry.  Welcome to climate chaos.  There’s no snow pack and not much rain and all we can think about is the salmon and the cedars.  Last sunday’s open house at Eco-Sense, it was the trending topic.  There seems to be quite the unease and angst among those people that are paying attention to how fast the climate shit is hitting the fan, locally and globally.  The good news is…it’s raining today.  Short video  to explain the latest in climate science…better sit down for this one.  Or article in the Ecologist here.
  • Last fall, starting with our mostly self financed tiny campaign to run for municipal office, and then combined with not earning much income for 3 months, we experienced a significant decrease in our personal cash flow.  So now we are back at it and finding that balance with our 3-thirds lifestyle that most people have heard us speak about.  Last Sunday’s open house for perennial edible plants was EXTREMELY successful both with selling some plants (financial capital) and lots of people just coming by to hang out, chat, and wander around our gardens (social capital).  Gord and I are thinking we might be able to go to the dentist.  woohoo!!!! Emily will likely have to wait another year or two for braces though.    Remember, we are making these choices to live with less money, so please don’t worry about us…our health is excellent…we just need a bit of minor dental work (health capital).
Chicks being raised in  JA forest.

Chicks being raised in JA forest.

Farm Gate Sales of Perennial Edible Plants:  Sunday March 15th from 10am – 2pm.  We have excellent stock and everything is just starting to leaf out.  Our updated plant list is here.  Prices include GST.  Gift certificates also available.  We only take cash, cheque or a bank (email) transfer if arranged ahead of time.  Something not on our list is Jerusalem artichokes which are awesome to plant in your chicken area especially for your young chicks.  We have tubers by the bag full.  See last weeks post to learn more about this permaculture technique for raising young chickens.  Here is an excellent article on why regenerative farming is so important.

Gord in his second home

Gord in his second home

We have been busy with all kinds of spring activities in the gardens.  Gord has propagated LOTS of plants in the new recycled solarium greenhouse (man cave).   We have also been starting seeds and therefor reducing our requirement to bring in outside plants.  Some of these are ready now, but most of these efforts will pay off next season.

Tea leaves.  Camelia sinensis.

Tea leaves. Camelia sinensis.

We had a big tea plant die due to a rat eating the root.  Sad, but great opportunity to make LOTS of cuttings.  Ann kept all the leaves and has made a fantastic black tea by bruising and mashing the leaves, oxidizing and fermenting, and then drying.  YUMMY!


Roof top garden will have a hoop cover. Right now we have tones of kale here that we have been feasting on ALL WINTER.

We have also been expanding our roof top solar gardens.  Last year we produced lots of squash and water melons up there, but this year we will do even more in this incredibly HOT microclimate.  Yup, we are going to grow turmeric and more melons and MORE squash and sweet potatoes.

Little Eco-Hut surrounded by perennial edible plants.

Little Eco-Hut surrounded by perennial edible plants.



And finally, a couple days back we did a presentation up in Duncan on Tiny Homes: Ecological and regenerative Design – covering systems, philosophy, and policy.  There is a group in the Duncan area led by Joy Emmanuel that is looking to create a legal tiny home community.  They are looking for land from 5-10 acres cooperatively owned with tiny eco-homes individually owned.  Tiny homes are less than 500 sqft, and can be built out of many different materials or in some cases, even on trailers (although that may be a zoning/building code issue).  If you are interested in learning more about this contact Joy Emmanuel <joye@telus.net>

Another “Want to Be Our Neighbour?” opportunity is fast approaching, not just with our home, but with a neighbour whom is sadly moving.    The home will be listed in two weeks… stay tuned.   Ian will be missed.

Last but not least in this short update is a reminder that spring is fast approaching?  At least the BC Fruit Testers Association spring sale on March 21st has been a sign of such, but with spring here, all the better reason to attend the sale, pick up scion wood, rootstock and plants.   Gord is writing a series of articles for the Cider Press, so read if you dare.  If you have any trees that you wish to have grafted but are not wanting to experiment, Gord can do it for you.

Thanks for reading,

Ann and Gord

3 responses to “A Dry Spell

  1. Excellent update Gord and Ann. I love your roof top garden and prop house. Thank you !

    • Thanks Jamie. Our power just went out so I came in to make sure we don’t have any phantom loads drawing from the solar PV system. Thought I would check on line to see how wide spread the power was out. Most of our house systems run without a hick-up when the power goes out…we just can’t use the washing machine or vacuum. 🙂 Gord’s in his man cave potting up some plants for tomorrow and I’ve been out herding ducks into their new food forest home.

  2. Superb update Gord and Ann. Thanks for photo of the roof top garden inbetween the solar panels. Great integration photo. All the best this season.

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