Thursday, October 28, 2010
While they were here Albert took them on a mini tour of the ETC and explained our developing system of using biochar to enrich our soil through carbon sequestration. "Bio-what? Carbon-what?" you ask? Biochar is a substance used in the pre-Colombian Amazon. It's similar to charcoal, but with a few major differences. These differences allow the ground up biochar to be added to the soil to help encourage healthy growth. It's also being used now to trap carbon in the ground, instead of allowing it back out into the atmosphere, where we already have an over abundance contributing to things like climate change and global warming.
I played paparazzi and followed Albert and the Jameses around while he was showing them our system. Here's the little video that came out of it. (I also made one outlining our use of strawbales in our garden and greenhouse, but it doesn't seem to want to upload. I'll try to get that fixed within the next week or so.)
Friday, October 8, 2010
Here's a quick video of the crew preparing and applying an even coat of plaster to the crumbling, mix-match exterior of the beautiful little building. Once that's dry, they plan on adding one last tinted layer, probably in a rich orange or burnt umber.
Monday, September 27, 2010
|Jason and Cliff, along with two |
apprentices, Jordan and Jessie, getting the job done.
The window is removed every June, as the weather heats up, and replaced with screen. This allows all the heat created from cooking to move on out of the house. And, during our first cool snap after Fall Equinox, we put it back in. Just in time, too, as getting up to cook breakfast at 6am was starting to be an exercise in "How fast can I get this water to boil, so I can have some tea?!"
Some other signs that fall is here:
- The pear tree has finally been stripped of all its fruit, having fed a gaggle of Gaia University Southeast students.
- We're all showing off our favorite sweaters that have been stored during summer.
- My kitten slept under the covers with me last night.
- The tomato plants have been ripped out of the greenhouse and replaced with winter greens.
- Cloudy days and cool rain.
- I'm starting to think of the lower story of the hostel as "Siberia," its common nickname during winter due to its tendency to collect all the cool air in the house.
- The kitchen is decorated with a bounty of pumpkin and butternut squash from Mt. Lebanon Farm.
- The sound of the kettle singing in the early hours of the morning. Repeatedly.
So, what's your favorite sign of Fall?
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Ta daa! It's Conversations on Collapse, by our very own KMO!
In addition to being the resident ETC podcaster, co-innkeeper, and all around great guy, KMO is the producer and host of the long standing C-Realm Podcast (the C stands for "consciousness.") For over four years, the C-Realm has brought you interviews and conversations about...well, I'll let KMO tell you in his own words: "possible technological singularity, entheogenic exploration, the re-localization of community & agriculture, and individual conscious autonomy."
Conversations on Collapse is a collection of transcribes of C-Realm interviews that explore the idea of a collapse of our current industrial, petroleum-based system, and what people are doing to prepare for that eventuality. Among others, Conversations includes the view points of James Howard Kunstler, Daniel Pinchbeck, Sharon Astyk, Dmitry Orlov, and the founder of the Ecovillage Training Center, Albert K. Bates.
Would you like a copy of this tome of knowledge and inspiration? Nothing could be easier! Simply click here to purchase one (or two, or three) of your very own through fictionondemand.com.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Doug was kind enough to leave some of the cider behind for the hostel. As the innkeeper here, I’m always trying new ways to produce our own food. With Doug’s gifted apple juice, I thought I could try making a little bit of fermented cider. Inspired by fellow Tennessean Sandor Katz’s Wild Fermentation, I filled two pint canning jars with the golden goodness, laid some cheese cloth over the top, and screwed the canning rings on the top. Without the flat canning top, this leaves the juice open to wild yeast floating around in the air. I’ve been stirring them a couple of times a day, whenever I think about it.
It’s only been about three days, and the cider already has a bit of a bite. It’s fizzy from the carbonation released by the fermentation, and I can taste just a hint of alcohol. I’m loosing some to evaporation, so I’ll probably go ahead and drink it pretty soon. I’ve got just enough for me and a couple of friends to enjoy a bit with dinner tonight…hmmm…maybe some roasted squash to carry on the autumn harvest theme?