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Winter is just around the corner and for the first time in my life the reality or readying for winter has meaning and it is  really daunting! There is way more to get done now than there was in spring, and with so much more emphasis on completion and impending snow! Firewood was our most pressing priority last week as we got to the bottom of our old stack and began trying to burn some birch we had cut down over the summer, well the birch was wet and our damn trailer is FRICKING COLD… and growing colder by the night! The fireplace has a miserable time with wet wood, and us girls have been bundled up and shivering the nights away. So we went to town and bought a trailer of wood, along with one of those really great eco fans (which sits atop the wood stove and drives hot air in any direction using only convection heat to power it, best $70 we have spend out here!) We also stocked up on winter socks, slippers, and even bought some discounted micro fleece blankets and thermal reflective foil. I am going to combine the blankets and the foil to create some warm winter window coverings. All of the sudden we are starting to get comfortable and warm, and just in time. I looked across the valley today and the very top of the largest mountain to the SE was sprinkled in frosty white trees!

We spent much of last week scrounging materials and getting our moneys worth out of our trailer, a number of trips to the local tree nursery for foam blocks, crates, and black canvas, and off to the window company for more patio doors and even some nice wood framed XL ones. We realized very quickly that we need to organize a huge delivery of the foam blocks we discovered and have been playing with for the last month. These blocks are a tree planting waste product, which are ridged inert foam, they are incredibly strong and essentially act as lego blocks, which are lightweight, have an incredible R value, they are rot resistant and oh so inspiring…

In fact the other day we went a met a local who is building his family home with these blocks, 1 man, 6 months and a tight little budget, and he has himself a whimsical, realistic affordable and creative house. We believe we have stumbled on the future of affordable housing in BC! And we are teaming up with some inspired others who are one the same path.

So in addition to foam we are flush with Fir these days, as well. We purchased a huge load of fir from Dylan’s brother in law, and now we are stacking, grading sorting and most importantly protecting all of this fir from the elements. Dylan has begun strapping out his shop roof with massive fir planks and is now covering the strapping with these diverted foam blocks, they will be fastened and covered with tarp for this season, and next year we will work on installing a living roof. The shop will hopefully have a roof on it by the end of this week, so we have dry storage at the very least. And with the mild winter we are anticipating we plan to get the shop walls up too using more foam blocks, dry stacked and finished with a concrete plaster.

Today it rained, and one day soon it will be snow. I spent the day in the rain putting the garden to sleep, cutting and chopping and composting, I should have done this all weeks ago but I have been working on so many other things. I think I am morning the loss of my fresh produce isle, but I was excited to plant garlic on Friday (the full moon) I built up a lovely bed and planted about 60 cloves and over 250 seeds. I had the chickens running around behind me while i tidyed the gardens, scratching up the beds and eating bugs and little garden leftovers. While I did this Dylan and Mia played with foam blacks. Mia has coined the term “Foam Home” and has started building a giant workshop play house, and even the dog got in one the foam action, as we built her a covered insulated dog haus.. as she refuses to use the dog house we dragged up for her, but she seems happy in her dirt hole under the bay window, complete with walls and a roof now! She has also happily taken up the position of shop foreman and dug herself a large dirt pit to nestle it while we all work away.

Lots more to do…

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