April 24, 2013 by LeaLSF
These are photos of just some of the things made recently here on the homestead.
1. Spatulas, made from cherry wood blanks on the band saw, finished with linseed oil.
2. Onesies, dyed with turmeric and annatto seed. Find the how-to guide on our website.
4. Maple Syrup, Grade B .vs. Grade A, a collecting and boiling labor of diligence and love. Yum!
April 3, 2013 by LeaLSF
Have you ever been to a baby shower and thought hey aside from these cute cupcakes this has very little to do with new life? I have thought this exact thing while munching on a delicious cupcake. I won’t do it, said I to myself! Then as I was sitting around wondering how I can possibly get done all those things I want to this spring a train of thought hit me, and it went like this. I like my friends, I do want to celebrate with them, I/we can use some serious help in the garden, and my friends want to come get sweaty outside after a long winter.
After a bit of planning here at the homestead we invited framily from near and far for a Saturday of epic gardening. That day we crossed off of our list these things: prepping old garden beds, digging many a hole through tough soil, pounding black locust posts in for a new garden, clearing out trees for a baby fruit tree orchard, planting fruit trees, building trellises for peas, and planting early plants directly into the garden. We ended up getting that done and more. Other things that got done: bonding, new friend making, fixing tools, maple syruping, bon-firing and a ton of cooking.
Thank you to all who participated. It made all of us here at the DP feel so warm and fuzzy to celebrate a new life coming to the homestead with all of you. Like, Monica Fanya, one enthusiastic participant said, “It’s like planting baby food, just in the early stages.” So true!
Please enjoy some photos and videos of the event.
March 7, 2013 by lilygpad
Last week our friend Mike Lukshis came to visit with his tabla drums. These are hand drums used in Hindustani classical music. Mike has been studying with Pandit Divyang Vakil and teaching for the Taalim School of Indian Music for a long time. He decided to make a video with us at the Dacha.
Some of this is us being goofy and most of it is beautiful music made by Mike and our neighbor Matt Ocone, teacher at the CSMA. Check it out (you can see the Dacha’s new wood stove in the background, too).
March 5, 2013 by LeaLSF
What’s better than plain homemade yogurt? That’s right, little-bitty 8 ounce fruit- on-the-bottom maple yogurts that you can take to-go.
Here are some extremely easy and fast instructions on how-to make six jars of this stuff. Thanks to our very own Danila for this very useful innovation in the well-established field of cottage yogurt making.
SO EASY, YOU’LL FLIP!
First into a measuring cup measure out 2-3 tbsp of already made yogurt. You can use store bought yogurt, just make sure it says somewhere on the package that the yogurt contains active live cultures. Read more
February 18, 2013 by LeaLSF
February 15, 2013 by LeaLSF
Our friend Ali brought over a couple white baby onesies and some fresh turmeric, wanting to try out dying cloth with natural food dyes. I was like, “Right On! chemical dyes are all toxic and gross, let’s do it, and do it now!”
We also had some annatto seeds from the tropical achiote tree, which I had plucked off of a tree just some weeks ago on the Big Island of Hawai’i. So we dyed some fabric with them as well. Originally I gathered a bag full of these seeds to draw with, but I heard it works on fabric too. Since these are used often in natural food dying, you can order them easily online or get them in the international section of a supermarket.
Here’s how you do. approximately. You scrape the annnatto seeds out of the pods. Most likely though, you’ll have the dried stuff already in powder form, so you can skip this step and the next. Then you grind them up in a coffee grinder and mix it with water in a stainless steel, ceramic or pyrex pot. Smells really great! We used about 1 tbsp of powder to 3-4 cups of water. Note- as with the turmeric to follow you can add more or less to intensify or soften the color.
February 11, 2013 by diznila
I wanted to make a quick post about a super easy and super cheap woodshed we built back in the Fall of 2011. Using mostly materials we salvaged from the trash or re-used, we threw up this shed in a little more than a weekend. It has a capacity of around 8 cords, but we use it for much more than just wood storage, and it now keeps our tractor out of the elements, provides storage for straw bales, and houses miscellaneous items that needed a home. Think of it as an open-air barn.
January 24, 2013 by LeaLSF
For your viewing pleasure, the finest flakes lay down to bed one January morning. Just before they land a sauntering winter sun catches hold of them, and thus the glitter. Meanwhile the usual crows are in the trees and the fire is crack-a-lacking.
It is 1.4 °F out there, and though I don’t want to worry you dear reader I must report that our water pipes have frozen for the second night in a row. We should have know better than to put the water system in the uninsulated sun room. Do not fret, or judge us too harshly. The pex pipes will thaw with all this sun in just a moment. This very day, we will temporarily fix the issue with the clever use of clear construction plastic. In the future, we will build a wall to insulate the water system, effectively divorcing it from the fickle nature of sun room living. The water system will thus become part of the very house from which I write, where it never-ever freezes. Even if each resident here would choose to be away for the coldest month of the year, this house will not, would not, drop below the steady temperature of the earth by which it is buried in the north and west. Read more
December 4, 2012 by LeaLSF
Here at the DP we believe in three sustainabilities: environmental, economic and emotional. Investing in a third planting of carrots in mid-July grows our savings, and earns us interest. Growing carrots increases soil capacity, by breaking up the soil and attracting beneficial organisms. Pulling and eating crispy and sweet carrots in December makes us giddy. Invest in a third planting of carrots next summer, it’s the responsible thing to do!
November 14, 2012 by LeaLSF
A few of the Dacha Project’s members helped start a company this year, and they are just unveiling their second product. They have been working very hard from conception to production, and we’re very proud of them! Check it out, it’s EcoJarz and they are nice-looking, super-useful and will go a long way to help prevent waste.
Their new product is a silicone version of their first. It’s a hot green drink top that makes any small-mouthed jar into a to-go container. Not only that, but the tops are completely non-reactive, with no-BPA, and no leach. Try as hard as you might, this is very hard to find. With one of these lids you can have an all glass, steal and/or silicone drinking vessel, and that is still rare in the marketplace.