A little drama, a whole lot of hard work, good neighbors and horsepower. A stampede of horsepower in fact!

What was meant to be a working bee of moving cleaning hauling multching and fixing, turned out to be a solid confirmation that we are moving to a unique and wonderful COMMUNITY! We still got a whole lot of work done, but once disaster hit, we soon found we were in the right place! Here’s the abridged weekend events:

Dave, Dyl, Ceili the Dog, and I arrived a few hours before our sea can was due to show up on Friday. We had time to enjoy a cold beer get a fire going and then right at it, as the guys started emptying the epic workshop area of debris, moldy insulation, and the like when we heard the rumble of our hired driver and saw the familiar sight of our bin on board, this was exciting!! But short lived as very rapidly the drop off, turned sideways… literally. The driver decided to rip up the hill without first inspecting the road, grade, hill, landing area or anything! Against our better advise he bombed right up the hill and within about 5 minutes he managed to stick his rig on a precarious ridge with most of the tires off the road leaning HARD down a steep bank. The total weight of the rig desperate to follow the law of gravity was a whopping 24000kg!  The sun was setting and it started to rain lightly. It seemed that our building materials were destine to take a devastating tumble. With no phone book, no telephone lines, and certainly no cell phone towers, no friends to call on (yet) the task at hand was daunting. 4 hours from any major city center, where were we going to find a semi tow truck, or a HUGE piece of picker equipment to lift and rescue both the truck and the bin on our rural now blocked road. And who would fork out for the bill we were certain would be terrifying?

Dave and I jumped in his car (as our truck was trapped uphill from ground zero) Off to the gas station we went, were Peter and Denise suggested we chat with Wayne, who just didn’t have big enough equipment to help us out, but suggested that someone on our road had a cat that might be of some good, it was now dark and dave and I drove up and down McKean until we found the described yard which looked like it might host a large CAT, and heart in throat we looked about a dark lot which in my mind was home to a serial murdered. Through the paddock across the street the very man we were hoping for came running to see who was snooping around his lot, Mr Mckean as it turned out (our roads namesake) a hardworking man feeding his cattle for the night suggested we head to Sissys in the morning to speak with Tracey the owner and track down her husband Kevin, who had a loader that Hue thought may help. Are you with me still? Well after 11 pm Hue came to assess the mess himself in the pitch dark, certain his D4 would be just to small for the job, we had to settle in for the night and bunker down with our distraught driver. Before the sun came up the driver was pacing and I headed with him down to Sissy’s in search of Kevin, who just so happened be there. He listened to my distress call, and phoned Ryan who lived a few minutes from us and also owned some heavy excavating 4×4 equipment. Ryan immediately swung by the site to assess the situation and headed over to meet us and advised Kevin that the job was too big for him alone and that Kevin likely needed his huge loader, in addition to some excavating which would need to be done.

No more than an hour later our driveway was home to some of the largest tonka trucks I had ever seen work, and the lot looked like a sandbox and these amazing neighboors, dug and scrapped and hitched and lifted pushed and pulled and in not to very long our bin was precisely were I had hoped it would rest, the driver tail between his legs was back on the road with a mindset to sell his truck, and find a new profession. Our driveway was wider and flatter and we had a huge pile of sand and gravel (to use on the next project). All this before 11 am and when it was all done I couldn’t help but feel the whole mishap was fated as we managed to meet some truly outstanding folks (who won’t soon forget us). We paid them in a truck load of beer, and a promise to return with some premium baked goods. All that aside we still had a Whack of hard work to do!

Dylan and Dave scrapped the entire trailer roof and lap sealed the works (hopefully we won’t have any new leaks, just gross old ones to take care of now) I got to work on sheet multching a swath of garden (more on that in detail later), we hung some deer fencing, emptied the entire storage shed, created 2 huge dump piles, pruned the apple tree, and replanted a little tree that tangoed with the truck bumper, and got 2 rows of potato’s in the ground. We enjoyed a world beat show at Sissy’s and some amazing food, met another handful of good folks and new neighbors, bought a lot of poo found 2 laying hens, and bought a peach tree and a nectarine tree to plant in May. We measured up the kitchen and bathroom for reno plans, and are dreaming of Dylans workshop design. All this in just a few days, if only we could keep that pace all the time, however I already feel the slow down effect of the valley taking hold, with so much wilderness to explore and paddle, we will have to be diligent to make some improvements before the winter and still explore our new playground!

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Big move soon, It’s the final count down!

Fence Posts & Vineyards Oh My'

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So The big Easter weekend was a whirl-wind of action at our place!

We managed to sleep 10 in the trailer and host 12 for turkey dinner + 3 doggies. We test drove the turkey deep fryer and enjoyed another fabulous organic Winters Turkey! We managed to haul 28 dead trees out of the back bush, and dig 28 treacherous fence holes in bountiful bolder filled clay. The posts were burned and tamped into place and the garden security is well on it’s was. We have a lot of junk to haul away, and on the next trip out (right away) we will address the trailer, it’s horribly dated, dirty, drippy and dodgy and we need to call it home for at least a year so it’s time for some of our magic touches. We really have had to talk our selves up for this one, as it is a really ugly box that needs a good lick of modern clean and sustainable.

After a week of trailer touch ups, we will get back onto the garden matter. The plan is to sheet mulch about 1/3 of the whopping 6000 sq ft garden, dig 1 swale, and then ground cover the remaining 2/3 of the garden with a diverse mix of oats, clover, barley grass and beans! Along with a XL plot of heirloom garlic varieties. There is a couple years of crazy long grass growth that has taken over the plot so the above methods are my plans to both combat the grass and inject some nutrients into the soil.  Next year I will adress another 1/3 of the area and only cover crop 1/3. But this year while the sheet mulch settles in, I will be starting seedlings of a huge array of heirloom seeds saved from last years garden as well as the interesting treasures I have acquired from various folks and seed savers. I am most excited about: orka beans, rattlesnake beans, Dukabore baby yellow pear tomatoes, and rich purple tomatoes,  some assorted patty-pan squash varieties, and It will be cool to grown our own blue moon squash for Halloween this year.

Also over the weekend we hacked back the grape vines, reset the support posts and found that what I thought was 3 grape vines, was actually 9! It will be wonderfully to see how much fruit each one produces! The fruit trees also require a good pruning I just don’t know the first thing about this process, so I am researching that now.

Our crew of hard labourers included: Dave, Colin, Kelly, Pauline, Jessie, Matt, Dayna and Helen. We also had an expect sailor to guide us, but that is another storey. I think I need to learn some chain gang songs, to keep the crews motivated, although the camp fire food seemed to do the trick!

I am planning to post a calendar of building project in the next couple weeks, which will outline our plans for the summer. So our friends and family can plan trips around the multiple building projects they would like to help out on. So far I think the priority is our passive solar shower house composting toilet outhouse design, and hopefully we have a crew to work on that while I am doing my PDC with the gals in May at the Mountain Waters Retreat. And some time between now and then we will settle in for good!

The other project I am really excited about this summer is building a PSP chicken heated green house and getting the fruit forest orchard set up for chicken grazing, and over the summer our little dozen hens will enjoy a travelling home with a simple chicken tracker design.  More to follow and as soon as my sister uploads her 1200 images from the past weekend I will add a link!