Eco-Sense Fall 2013 Update:
What’s going on? It’s been so long since our last update that I don’t even know where to begin. A lot has happened, and IS happening on the Eco-Sense homestead.
Our lives continue to evolve to focus more and more on FOOD. Whether it be expanding our gardens, mulching, creating micro climates, growing different crops (like sweet potatoes and chick peas), mulching, planting perennial food forests, learning about companion planting and soils, harvesting, milking a neighbours goat, preserving foods, and did I mention…MULCHING. We have been drying, fermenting, milking, cheese making, canning and even learning about meat…catching, killing, cleaning, cooking and eating. Chickens continue to a big part of our lives and we are even planning their food garden so that they can harvest their own food…they like this…A LOT.
Chickens self harvesting their OWN food.
Bumper crop of SWEET POTATOES
Perennial Foods: Our passions are also taking us to new places…Gord has spent so much time researching plants that I swear he’s growing leaves. The green looks good on him…especially with our global climate changing so rapidly…he’s adapting quickly. Perennial veggies are much tougher plants as they don’t need perfect conditions to start new growth every year…and damn they are fun to learn about. Once established, perennial food forests provide much easier access to food. I simply love wandering through the food forest to gather whatever I can find for dinner…is seems so much more natural than all those straight lines of manicured veggies.
Food Forest Plants
Aligning our passions with our income: Eco-Sense has entered a new phase to officially become a farm. Our focus will be spread out on many aspects of food. This is to keep life interesting, to mirror life’s reality, to adapt to changing growing conditions, and increase resiliency in unpredictable economic times. Gord is expanding his perennial plant knowledge exponentially…his brain is well suited to this and I find it very sexy when he rattles off Latin names. We will be selling specialty perennial plants here at Eco-Sense, as well as plant group packages. This means selling groups of plants that grow well together (guilds). Also available will be extra items like eggs, teas, herbs, seeds, and produce from the garden. We plan on having a weekly open house where people can come and wander through the food forest, talk to us about plants, specific cultivars, guilds, chickens, veggies, nuts, water systems, energy, food preservation, cheese making, mud, ponds, climate resilience, rant about politics, etc. We may even talk about our Eco-Sense home or the Eco-Hut. Stay tuned for the grand opening of our Farm Resilience Business in the Spring of 2014.
This is where milk comes from. My friend and Neighbours goats.
What’s an Eco-Hut? The sustainably built Eco-Hut, located by the refurbished old pond, is the new office for our farm resilience business. This off-grid solar-powered natural building is about 130 sqft plus a sleeping nook. It is totally self-contained and we may even move in there when the kids are grown. We like to think of it as our retirement home. Anyone interested in the small home movement will certainly love this space.
Eco-hut: Under Construction
Fully off-grid self contained mini home
Peak Moment TV: Our friends Robin and Janaia from Peak Moment came for a ten day visit this fall and parked their home on wheels here with us at Eco-Sense. We had a grand time sharing our lives, stories, and food with these two amazing women. They travelled around the Victoria area filming conversations with inspiring people. Janaia also painted a watercolour of our greenhouse/cob oven. We LOVE IT. Here it is: http://peakmoment.tv/journal/early-autumn-chronicles-from-the-salish-sea-coast/ If you are not familiar with Peak Moment TV, you may wish to check out their journal (http://peakmoment.tv/category/journal/) and on line conversations http://peakmoment.tv/category/videos/. Peak Moment is made possible by donations and sharing, so if you like what you see you may wish to donate to Peak Moment TV. Here is a Peak Moment video tour of the Eco-Sense Home: http://peakmoment.tv/videos/an-eco-sense-house-natural-building-natural-living/
Janaia’s painting “Earth Hands” gifted to us.
Island Gals: Ann continues to write for Island Gals Magazine here on Vancouver Island. My articles are the story of our Eco-Sense Journey, our home, our lifestyle, and lots of rants. Most of my articles are available on our website in the Island Gals section. The magazine is a great collection of Island Women writing about their lives and challenges…it’s so very real. Website for Island Gals: http://www.islandgals.ca I would like to thank my good friend Pattie Whitehouse who has edited all my articles from the beginning. Pattie is a brilliant editor and writer who wrote the first ever published article on Eco-Sense. These days, Pattie applies her talent as a personal historian. If you would like to save your memories and stories so that they don’t get lost, you may wish to hire her expert services. http://www.pattiewhitehouse.ca
Tours: We have dramatically cut back on tours due primarily to scented laundry products, which the majority of people are using…quite sad really, as fragrances are known to interfere with the natural hormone functioning of the body and may also contribute to cancers. Here a link to a quick and engaging read regarding the top hormone disrupters to watch out for. http://www.ewg.org/research/dirty-dozen-list-endocrine-disruptors. We are not so obsessive as to think small doses are going to kill us…we just don’t like how people smell with all those chemicals on them and feel uncomfortable inviting the chemicals into our healthy home. So, if you are not offended by our offence at smelly people, and would still like to book a private UNSCENTED tour, just send us an email. Rates start at $150 for a 2 hour tour. For a free virtual tour check out this Peak Moment tour of our Eco-Sense home. http://peakmoment.tv/videos/an-eco-sense-house-natural-building-natural-living/
Eco-Sense is participating in Living the New Economy: (the old economy is broken…if you agree read on…) http://neweconomy.ca/victoria.html Living the New Economy event on Vancouver Island on Nov 29-Dec 5. There is a full week of amazing events that will rock your world! Dream about a better and fundamentally different way of living. Come explore what innovation and collaboration can create in our communities. Find out how to mobilize a New Economy on Vancouver Island – one that is co-operative, ecologically sustainable, socially empowering and rooted in wisdom. Come and connect with folks who have brilliant ideas, audacious projects and ambitious enterprises, and who are looking for people just like you to be part of their plans. Explore opportunities to align YOUR values with your livelihood. Find new mentors, partners, investors and allies. Something for everyone here. Website: http://neweconomy.ca/victoria.html Tickets on sale now and it’s based on what you can pay and the value you find in the experience…very interesting way of doing business.
Eco-Sense slideshow: 2013 year in review. We are currently working on a slide show with photos of projects, gardens, food, and chickens for the year. Stay tuned.
Ann and Gord