Category Archives: Homesteading

Bathroom demo work…

Hey everyone, this weekend is a short update as I spent the majority of it inside doing demo work on the old masterbathroom downstairs. I’ve gotten all the sheetrock ripped out (except ceiling which might also come out if needed for fan duct work or electrical).

It’s coming along, next will be heading to the home improvement stores to see what kind of tub and standup shower basin we’ll be installing. πŸ™‚

Next weekend will be harvesting greens from inside our grow tents and planting the verigated weigala and red currants out in the yard that we propagated this past summer (burrrrrrr it’s been cold!). πŸ™‚

Have a great week everyone!

Indoor harvest and seeding, raking leaves and wandering around the roof

Hey everyone, I’m late again in getting my weekend post up. Paula is heading to California for her brothers wedding and I’m staying home to be “the dog whisperer”, so it’s been busy here on the urban homestead. πŸ™‚

So…let’s get to what was done this weekend. First was harvesting the lettuce trays in our indoor grow tents. With this came the need for seeding 7 new trays of microgreens/lettuce. If you’ve been following along on our Youtube channel we were on our 2nd cut for many of these trays and they needed to head for the compost bin (aka our garden boxes). I’ve been taking these trays out and pulling out the contents and laying them on top of the garden boxes to see if I can still get some harvest out of them before the frosts drop them to the ground.

With the new trays seeded and ready to go in the grow tents it was time to finish raking the leaves around the yard (the rest of these came down while Paula and I were in Hawaii). So, with the garden boxes chopped-n-dropped it was time to bury them with a nice layer of leaves to keep the worms a little warmer and get the decomposition moving (albeit won’t be much until we start getting the warmth of spring, but what the heck why not get an early start).

The last outdoor project was getting up on the roof to do our last fall cleaning of the gutters as well as putting down a nice sprinkling of baking soda to kill off the worst friend a home owner can have in the Pacific NW….roof moss. Moss might be great on the forest floor, but letting it reside on our roofs is something you better take care of on a regular basis. Otherwise you’ll loose years of life and have to spend thousands on roof replacement. Wanting to use the least caustic method of killing the moss I’ve found that using baking soda changes the alkalinity where moss can’t survive. Our 90 year old neighbor uses Tide laundry detergent, but the thought of all that soapy residue hitting our water ways makes me a little uneasy so using something like baking soda (which isΒ soda ash or sodium carbonate) makes me feel better. πŸ™‚

Well this was a quick update for the weekend work, next weekend will be tackling the down stairs bathroom demo…so more Youtube video and pictures should be up for your enjoyment.

Have a great week and upcoming weekend everyone! πŸ™‚

Pictures from Maui, garden teardown/cleanup, maintenance on the Prius

Hey everyone! Another weekend is gone…into the depths of the cold and drizzly Pacific NW…<SMACK> snap out of it man! Getting used to being back home after that week in Maui has been strange, its a weird kind of funk I’ve not experienced having never been vacationing anywhere really warm during our winter. Guess that means Paula and I need to return to Hawaii sooner than we planned. πŸ™‚

Saturday was a mild dry winter day so it was time for tear down of the 2017 garden and general yard cleanup. Here’s what we got done:

  • Chopped-n-dropped all the tomato plants and stored their cages under the deck. I like just dropping the plants into the boxes and letting them rot over the winter. Then in spring covering them with clear plastic to really kick up the decomposition process. About a month and a half before planting our summer veggies I’ll uncover the beds and broadcast some cover crop seed. This will grow up until 2-3 weeks before planting when I’ll cover them again with the clear plastic to kill everything off (quick version of chop-n-drop cover crop) and it will help heat up the soil for the coming plants. That’s the plan for 2018 on the garden beds
  • Raked leaves off the trails and into the flower garden beds for mulch around perennial bushes
  • Installed the temporary fencing around the garden boxes…if we don’t do this our pugs have a tendency to think the areas are their “chase me” playground in the soft soil (especially when we get snow). πŸ™‚
  • Transplanted 2 more of the lower yard blueberries up into the new blueberry bush island (we now have two islands with blueberry bushes throughout to make harvesting much easier by having all in one zone of the backyard).
  • Cleaned out all the bird feeders and refilled (also hung 2 new suet blocks for hungry winter birds).

With the nice weather Saturday I decided it would be a good day to change the oil on my Prius commuter car, so that got done. Also checked the air pressure in all of our cars/trucks tires. This helps save on wasting fuel, is a safety issue, and prevents excessive wear on the tires (saving you money long term).

Paula hasn’t had a lot of time lately for getting our Maui pictures posted to her Instagram page, but here’s a couple photos from our hikes in the hills and at the cliffs/beach (these are the full size jpeg images so loading might take some time from our slow-poke server πŸ™‚ :

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Back from Maui and boy it’s cold on the urban homestead

Hey everyone (Aloha!), Paula and I just got back from Maui and BOY was it beautiful…with that we’ve started looking at some property there, but the prices on Maui are a little steep. So, we’re looking at some larger property (20+ acres) on the Big Island so we could have a little more space. Also, we’re going to need to setup solar and a few small wind turbines since power is around $.30kWh compared to $.10kWh in Oregon. Some areas where we’re looking are around the wetter side (south of Hilo) and on the other side of the island over by Kailua-Kona (I’m good either way dry or wet). Some one said while we were there in Maui “if you don’t like the weather on any particular day in Hawaii you can just drive to another climate and get what you want”; there are 13 climate zones in the Hawaiian Islands, so that sounded great to Paula and I. πŸ™‚

I’ll try and put up a regular update this coming weekend with some of our photos from the vacation. Bye everyone!