End of Summer Newsy Update

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As usual, there’s lots going on in our lives and around the Eco-Sense homestead.  Gord has been VERY busy designing potable rain water harvesting systems and compost toilets for people – legally and with permits.  He’s also been doing rainwater consulting for policy creation with various organizations including local, regional and provincial governments.  Ann has been mostly in the garden and in the kitchen…it is harvest season after all.  We’ve both still been busy with council work and some other volunteer activities.  Here’s a quick update:

Cover Image emailedOur book:

“Essential Composting Toilets” is due out at the end of October.  We will have copies available to sell this fall at the plant nursery and at the workshops with Gord.  The book will also be available through our Essential Composting Toilet website, bookstores, New Society Publishing, and online at Amazon.  If you would like to book Gord for a speaking engagement in the region, on Vancouver Island and around BC, please send us and email.  Note that we do not fly (trying to keep our carbon footprint down).  gord@eco-sense.ca and ann@eco-sense.ca


Seems that people are waking up to the climate disruption caused by burning fossil fuels.  With this comes the urgent desire for information essential for transitioning to low carbon resilient communities.  There is no new normal…things are going to just get worse.  But there is SO much opportunity here to build better local systems in our homes and in our communities.  It’s not all bad.  Water and food systems are top of our mind.  Gord is doing a number of workshops this fall.

  • Responsible Water Alternatives on Gabriola Island.  Large group.  Saturday October 27th at 10am.  Almost fully booked already.  See details on the poster below.  $30
  • Compost Toilets at the Eco-Sense Homestead:   Small group with short walk around the homestead (weather permitting).  All day…just toilets.    Saturday November 3rd 10am-3pm.  Details to come.   Registration will be coming soon via eventbrite
  • Responsible Water Alternatives at the Eco-Sense Homestead:   Small group with short walk around the homestead (weather permitting).  Saturday November 17th 10am-3pm.  Details to come.  Registration will be coming soon via eventbrite
  • Also planning events specifically for policy makers and building officials.  Location and details to be determined.


Fall Plant Sales starting up on Sunday Sept 16th:

The nursery is looking amazing this year as the plants have been well looked after this summer.  The nursery will be open on SUNDAYS this fall from 10am-2pm.  Plant list here:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1j-GtX_ufCTWu8muXbCjqAYfc-cIP7WKl/view

Photos of perennial food plants on our land taken a few days ago:

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After 12 years on this land building soils and planting trees our food systems have become not only beautiful but abundant.  Not a day goes by where we are not falling more deeply in love with this incredible place.  We would also say that nature agrees with us as this place is also abundant with nature, birds, bugs, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, etc.  So much life…fills our heart and helps to balance the grief we feel watching our human ravaged earth fighting for the life of all her creatures.  The whales, the forests, the oceans, humanity, everything…nature is screaming out for us to live gently and clean up our mess.


Ann has been reading the book by Guy Dauncey called “Journey to the Future” and we highly recommend reading it to those feeling climate and environmental grief.  There’s a good chance we won’t make it, but it’s guaranteed we wont make if we don’t collectively create a better world…NOW.  Even if you believe that we are already toast, by dramatically reducing your own impact AND working to build local resilience you will help preserve your own sanity and know that you tried.  REALITY CHECK:  We have 20 years (+/-) to reduce our GHG emissions to ZERO while simultaneously sequestering a LOT of carbon (pulling it out of the atmosphere) to have a 67% chance of avoiding a 2 deg C rise in global average temperature.  Some scientists are saying we wont make it…but the mainstream science says we have a very VERY small chance of making it.  This is our collective LAST kick at the can…it’s damn near game over.  nature_graph_emissions_29.6.17.jpg

  1. Guy’s book – Journey to the Future:
  2. Mud and Antler Bone: Myth and inspiration with Martin Shaw
  3. Gratitude and Reciprocity:  Short, inspiring talk/story. Robin Wall Kimmerer

Municipal Elections:

Gord and I have two weeks to decide if we are going to run for council election again.  It’s a hard decision.  We have sure enjoyed our past 4 years on council…what an amazing experience.  We have not agreed on many topics, but have never ever had emotional baggage around this – we are individuals and respect each others opinions just as we do everyone elses input at the table.  It’s been an amazing group of mature people to work with, for the common good of Highlands.

Highlands Council 2014-2018

Solar Dryer for Sale:

Gord built two awesome solar dryers, one for a customer and one to sell.  It’s our best design yet!  Features: easy to rotate, 8 large stainless steel trays, gets very hot inside, small fan with solar panel keeps air flowing perfectly, food dries quickly.

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There is also room in the bottom to put in a small ceramic heater to extend the drying season.  $1,500.  Delivery and installation can be arranged and cost determined by installation details (ie in dirt, on bedrock, or on deck).

We are so impressed that we may build a few more over the winter for sale next spring.

Friendly, attractive, young rooster for sale:

$20. Hatched here early this spring.  Dad is Sophia, a Brabanter Cream, and mom is a Cuckoo Maran.   Awesome rooster to diversify your flock genetics.   Gord wants to keep him as he is a friendly rooster with great manners.  Ann has enough testosterone in her life let alone whatever on earth is happening in her body with all the hot flashes.  Normally we’d eat him, but he is too good to eat.

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Our neighbours house is for sale…just saying.  Anyone want to be our neighbours?  Here’s the listing:   Must like Roosters, crazy neighbours, and lotsa food.

Sealed and Contained Composter Bins:  

Who knew that designing a sealed composter for the book would lead to actually building and selling them.  Gord did a workshop a couple weeks back where six of his sealed composters were built by participants.  A few other clients are also using these composers.  Originally designed to compost human resources from a “compost toilet”, these will also function exceptionally well for regular composts where people need to contain the materials and keep rats, mice and racoons out of the pile.  A great urban system.  Contact Gord for a quote:  gord@eco-sense.ca

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And if that creativity is not enough, perhaps you are interested in a 1000 Litre Emergency Potable Water system.  Gord is just in the process of designing a stand-alone system that is complete with filter, sterilizer and storage.   No pictures yet.


Gord has also taken on the role of managing the purchasing and sales for the non-profit BC Fruit Tester’s Association.  It is that time of year when those folks who plan their bulk orders need to connect with Gord to arrange orders and payments.    If you are wanting to purchase rootstocks in quantities of 50, 100, 150, 200, 500, etc (multiples of 50), please connect now, and if you are not a member, the BCFTA would need to collect a membership fee before I placed your order.

DSC03799.JPGOur heads are spinning from our busy happy life planting seeds and sequestering carbon, and from wondering just how does one buy an old pipeline that legally can’t be built (thanks to the courts), meet insufficient climate targets, pretend to consult First Nations, create fighting between provinces (Alberta…REALLY???), all while negotiating trade deals with insane neighbours?     Welcome to Canada.  Looking forward to the spin placed on all of this by those who are playing games with life on planet earth.

Ann and Gord

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