Category ArchiveOff Grid Lliving
We recently hosted and enjoyed a wonderful visit with Francois-Xavier, Cecile, and Emma(age 6) Delemotte, originally of Montreal and now total nomads (www.nomad-dream.org). Having sold their home and possessions, the family is cycling around the world for 3 years, and stopped by for a couple of weeks of WOOFFing to experience farm life and rest after they started cycling 2-1/2 months ago in Vancouver.
Emma milked cows, patted pigs, caught chickens, chased ducks, ate good food, taught Little Anne, our 24 month old Border Collie, good “child manners” (i.e. submit to ALL hugs, at any time!), and gave the tooth fairy reason to visit the ranch on her first night here. Cecile helped immensely in the kitchen, and used her strong rock climbing hands to ably milk the Jerseys with Jenny. F-X picked Nanking cherries until his hands turned red, photographed everything, and helped with everything from moving and sorting cattle to taking 10 year old Kiril Sabo on a 16 mile bike trip south to Norris, MT at the Delemott’s departure!
We encourage other farms to host WWOOFers and wonderful visitors from abroad. Our time with the Delemottes was filled with children playing together and finding a common bilingual language, discussions about farming, and parenting, and concerns about the future of the environment that supports us all. This planet is truly small and precious, and opening our home to such wonderful visitors, such great new friends, reminds us that wherever we have been born, whatever language we speak, we are the same in our hearts.
Off Grid Lliving saboranch on 07 Nov 2008
The Sabo home is shown, off-grid and insulated with straw bales.
In the foreground at right is our self-ventilating chicken/greenhouse, also insulated with straw bales on the north half. Winter ventilation is achieved with 60′ long “earth tubes”, buried below frost line in front of the greenhouse. In cold weather, these tubes bring in pre-heated air, which escapes passively through an upper window of the chicken house.
This passive airflow keeps the air for both plants and laying hens fresh all winter. The greenhouse feeds us year round, with tomatoes and peppers in summer and salad greens all winter, staying 30-50deg F warmer than outside temperatures in winter.
We compost all chicken bedding (autumn leaves, straw, and wood shavings), and the cows’ straw bedding in the pile next to the chicken house, using it one year later on our fields and our home vegetable garden.
Photo: Steve Simpson