Transition Whatcom

This may morph into a blog or some other method of getting the information out, but we feel a good way to communicate ongoing work, ideas, celebrations, accomplishements, struggles and the rest is needed.

Starting with this week: This morning we rendered lard, which took several hours over the woodstove. This afternoon we planted, staked, and mulched six large (6' or so) ball & burlap Sitka spruce trees south of the road, at the north end of the main field (the beginning of our windbreak). All week we have been cracking open walnuts that we harvested earlier in the season. Yesterday we started washing out and drying 55-gallon plastic drums (that once held sorbitol). The barrels will be used for food storage as part of the "feed-your-enemies-as-you-would-yourself" peak oil strategy. We've also been working on chainsawing up a large willow tree that fell across our river path.

(written by krista rome)

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~  Thanks for the update Chris....I came out Saturday and was sad to miss you all!  Blessings and may your winter be a dry and warm one....

Luv,  Jamie

exciting stuff!!!! all this wonderful activity!!!yeah Chris.....(-:

Ok, so I fooled you all by posing as Chris :) I took over her computer for a few days and forgot to sign her out of TW before posting. Sorry, Chris! 

The three of us Riverhavenites started installing the sheep fencing this week. We've got about 400 feet of posts pounded in already, and other than me dropping the post pounder on my head (ouch) all went nice and easy! It's a small bit of the several thousand linear feet we are wanting to fence in order to have several paddocks and a lot of reed canarygrass weed-whacking to go...If anyone has a lead on some used 6' metal T-posts, we are going to need plenty. 

Happy New Year everyone!  Winter time is pretty relaxing when you live in accordance with the seasons! But in addition to cooking yummy soups from our canned and root-cellared goods, and staying warm by the woodstove, there is plenty going on around the homestead.  Our current exciting projects include:

- installing fencing and a shelter for our soon-to-be sheep (yay cute sheep!)

- building an "eggmobile" chicken house on wheels for our soon-to-be layers (yay awesome eggs!)

- preparing for our Spring Homesteading Workshop Series through Whatcom Folk School (check it out!)

- burning the sludgiest of our waste veggie oil as a heat source-- we are getting creative mixing it with sawdust, dry bean pods, straw, all kinds of things!  Our biggest success so far is the "veggie burrito," a mixture of sawdust and waste oil that we scoop into a newspaper and roll up like a burrito-- they burn great!

- planning our food-growing for next year. We will be offering limited shares of super high-quality naturally grown vegetables, pastured eggs, and pastured meat, so if you are interested in reserving your share please contact us. More details will be available in a month or two. We are excited to feed our friends!


OK, obviously my excitement is showing in how many exclaimation points I had to use in this post :)  --Chris W.

OK, also, a homesteading first for me-- cracking a cup of self-harvested hazelnuts by hand with a nutcracker last night in order to soak them overnight and make 3 cups of hazelnut milk this morning. Of course the milk is unbelievably delicious, and you can be sure it is hard-earned and I will treasure every drop!  The more we are an intimate part of our own food, the more we are grateful for it and aware of all that goes into what we eat. <3

OK so much for the blog attempt. It is mid-february now and we are working hard every day, in a flurry, trying to get the sheep fencing done in time for the arrival of four new sheep and two alpacs this coming weekend! We also just moved our small chicken flock into the new eggmobile, and they are very pleased with the new abode. It's too bad they will get kicked out into the not-yet-built garden tractor once the new babies move in (we'll get 30 chicks in a few weeks that will be the main egg-laying flock to live in the eggmobile). 

We've also started planning our spring garden, figuring out a makeshift seedling greenhouse for this year, and will start cutting and planting willow, dogwood, and cottonwood live stakes in the eroded, steep banks of the creek and river. Chris Wolf and I will be leading a Spring Homesteading Series through the Whatcom Folk School this spring as well as several other workshops. Busy. Busy. Busy. but Happy.

We're still eating an excellent and varied diet from a well-stocked pantry and freezer. 

We are looking forward to the coming season when it is warm and the days are long and we can invite you all out for more potlucks and fire circles and idea sharing. 


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