automation!

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Life changed this week when we acquired a huge old concrete mixer which wasn’t working when we bought it, nor were we able to fit it in the back of the car.. luckily the sweet lady selling it also happened to have the perfect sized trailer (we have long been hunting for) for sale, we bought both along with a pot belly wood stove perfect for Dylan’s shop and headed home. Dylan within about 2 hours of playing got that old 4 cycle gas powered B&S motor roaring again! Daubing has never been so efficient, and what we spent in the purchase was less than the cost to a chiropractor and massage therapist to correct our aching backs from manually mixing batch after batch of concrete earthen mud. To date we have managed to close up about 75% of the waddle walls and the entire nesting box wall with another course of cans, some recycled garbage, and an old window. The man hours on this project have gone about 70 % to mixing and 30% to building… prior to our new purchase now we are keeping perfect pace to the mixer and running a smooth 2 man 4 bucket operation! Just a little time each day and the place is almost done.

Last week the chickens got another tier of the garden opened up and it doubled their grazing space and has provided them with a much safer and easily accessible situation for us. There have been a couple large hawks hanging around lately, and Dylan spent some time improving the overhead netting and added a large tarp to keep a good area dry. As they transition into the chicken condo the old tractor, (or tour bus as Mia calls it) will still be under shelter and usable for another rooster and his brothel. We are certainly going to have to get ride of a few roosters soon.. it’s just tough to tell which ones.. they are all so beautiful. I am hopeful that folks in this community will want them and we can get some hens next year.. otherwise poor James Brown is going to end up on the table!

One of my dearest friends in the whole wide world David spent last week visiting from Quebec and he put in some back breaking loads of earth moving and daubing with me. But it wasn’t all hard labor on his stay we also took on another round of pickling (and eating) beets and experimented with knitting using yarn we made from old T shirts…  Mostly it was just wonderful to share our home and new lifestyle with him along with great conversations and some yummy meals!

Dylan is doing his CORE hunting course this weekend (mmm game meat), and Mia and I took in another fall fair yesterday in Castlegar. The weather was STUNNING! not a cloud in site, clear blue sky and it was hot hot… I think it got up to 28º! Today however is rainy again but we have a list of projects to finish up inside including yet more pickling, pretzel making, and I am going to take a stab at the hallway pile of my art supplies…* maybe!

Living in 600 some sq feet is challenging at times.. but nothing a little straw bale art studio wouldn’t solve!

The coop pictures may leave those of you who haven’t seen the structure in progress wondering what is going on… but as the final details are completed I will do a video walk through, which should clear up any question you might have. The chicken condo is made of 100% garbage bonded with 70% earth from our site excavation and about 30% cement GP Hydrolic… everything is setting up super hard and the perch sticks on the nesting wall are strong enough to hold Dylan!

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2 thoughts on “automation!

  1. My dear Shauna. My time spent with you guys was so eye-opening. I NEVER thought that I would be able to mix cement, build walls, hold chickens, and prepare such great food that was all grown on your land. It was amazing. Your project makes me so happy. I can’t WAIT to come out and help you some more. Ill bring my strong muscles to be really helpful! Keep up the good work. I love you guys.
    David xo

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