Britain’s Chelsea Flower show won plaudits today for its off-grid sustainable garden from Australia.
Prince Harry visited, and Chef Jamie Oliver said: “I’ve had a good look around and my favourites so far (include) the Australian garden.
The design features a lush desert gorge with huge boulders, a native wildflower meadow and a natural billabong (water pool) and waterfalls using recycled water from nearby buildings. (more…)
Little by little I have been actively working on removing GMO foods from my pantry, to make it more painless I focus on one food or one food group at a time.
I have always been an avid label reader, when my (now grown) son was a child, he had been diagnosed with ADHD, something that is unfortunately all too common, especially in boys. One of the things we did was to modify his diet by removing everything, and I do mean everything that was any sort of sugar, that meant every ingredient that ended in “ose”, the only exception to that was lactose, fortunately that didn’t seem to bother him. Some of the items removed from his diet was sucrose (table sugar), glucose, sucrose, dextrose, fructose, the hardest one was dextrose, that can even be found in table salt! As long as we kept his diet going, he behaved so much better, fortunately I was a prolific and adventurous cook, I had no problems making anything he wanted or needed, my son and the rest of us ate quite well. It’s my son’s birthday today, happy birthday Josh! (more…)
Summer’s coming, and our thoughts are turning to outdoor fun and relaxation. Here are some items you can find online that are useful or essential, either to a camping weekend or a full-fledged off-grid life.
When it comes to stacking the kids friends where you don’t have that much room, try this bunk-bed cot:
In a recent article, I talked about all the critters that poke, stick, sting and bite, one of those critters we deal with out here are the scorpions, and it’s the beginning of scorpion season now. A few years back, we had a rash of them inside the sky castle, we were killing one and two a night, every night. They become active after dark, coming out to hunt other insects, mostly crickets and such. I wouldn’t mind except for their nasty sting. When we had that bad rash of them, I had been sitting in front of my laptop one evening, it was warm, I was wearing shorts, I felt something on my leg next to my knee, I thought it was a fly and absentmindedly brushed my leg with my hand, that was the first time (and hopefully last time) I got hit by a scorpion, I have to say, it HURTS! (more…)
I sit looking out the window, my view is magnificent, I am looking down across a high desert mountain valley, words cannot describe the beauty of the landscape that falls below me, but this is a harsh beauty, full of plants, bugs and critters that poke, stick, sting and bite. Some might find this a torture, I find it to be my Heaven on earth.
PB and I moved out here 5 years ago this last December, in some ways it was a huge move, in other ways it felt like coming home. After buying up just under 6 acres on a mountain side, in the high desert of far western Texas, one of the first things PB did was build our cabin, what would become our sky castle. (more…)
Koones: a one-woman industry of kit-home publishing
In homebuilding, innovation in materials technology and energy efficiency is everywhere, but construction methods seem always to lag behind as many contractors stick to the familiar and sometimes the cheap. The Guardian reports that choosing a home has become “as simple as picking furniture from the Ikea catalogue” for residents of Nijmegen in the Netherlands, where a neighbourhood of affordable architect-designed kit houses has just been launched. If you can’t afford pricey designs that does not mean settling for generic or uninspired aesthetics, inefficiency and mid-grade craftsmanship.
Author Sheri Koones champions this alternative path – prefabricated housing – that she has been promoting for years in a series of books about this option. The latest is “Pre-fabulous and Almost Off the Grid,” which features more than 30 homes built using some sort of prefabricated components. (more…)
Discovery Channel, Travel Channel and TNT all look to offer new wrinkles to the venerable survival-based competition reality series genre with new shows set to debut later this year.
Travel Channel and Discovery are set to stretch the genre, in which strangers compete in desolate and extreme locales — born a decade ago, with the premiere of CBS’s Survivor — to include a married couple (Travel Channel’s Get Lost) and totally nude contestants (Discovery Channel’s Naked Castaway and Naked and Afraid) in an effort to find new ratings success. (more…)
Shoes, ladies I know you think about them a lot, and some of you guys too, but how many of you wear shoes that would let you down in an emergency situation? Ladies I talking about running around in high heels, or little flip flop sandals…
Now I’m not saying you can’t wear these kinds of shoes, but perhaps you should seriously consider stashing a more suitable pair of shoes that could be quickly accessed in an emergency. (more…)
Inventor Justin Capra – his foundation launched Soleta
Has anyone tried the new line of Soleta zeroEnergy range of sustainable off-grid homes? Developed by a Romanian environmental group, they are made from 97% recycled materials and boast a range of energy-saving features — as well as energy-creating options such as solar panels.The dwellings are said to be available in several shapes and sizes, and combine rustic modular design with multiple energy saving and producing technologies. But despite a blaze of publicity, it is hard to track down anyone who has actually seen, far less tried out, one of the homes.
They range from a small unit with just 48 square-meters (516 sq ft) usable floor space (plus attic), up to a relatively sizable model suitable for a family of five, with a main area floor space of 100 square-meters. (more…)
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