A biologist next to me on a plane once told me that there are more bacteria in the human body than human cells. Why don’t we just look like big blobs of bacteria then? Well, he explained, rather condescendingly I might add, that human cells are larger than bacteria, duh! How comforting!
In light of these scientific facts I embrace the idea of being the container for a very populated micro universe. And as the custodian of this universe I strive to feed and nurture it well. My only regret is not having discovered the culinary skills and joys of rotten food sooner.
Since choice of food has long been recognized as an important element on the road to sustainability, it makes sense that sooner or later fermentation is considered. Of course those of you who eat bread, cheese and spirits have already made that leap, but probably don’t know you have.
As I’ve integrated fermentation into my kitchen and altered my palette, my diet has changed. Flat bread made with sprouted, fermented legumes is now my dietary staple. BC (before cultured foods) it was brown rice and a bowl of beans. How I ever digested those things is beyond me. The more I go back to the roots of eating food as it was traditionally eaten the better I feel. For millennia food has evolved away from being healthy and fresh and toward being convenient and easy to store, and deliver. Real food supports a strong immune system and creates little mucus. TMI I know but an important fact. So now I keep a big bowl of the sprouted and fermented batter in the fridge and cook it up on a flat grill as needed. In case you think real food is tasteless listen to this: savory garbanzo curry bread, lentil rosemary, onion cilantro, basil olive and sweet cinnamon raisin. My other specialty is buckwheat waffles I make with sprouted and fermented buckwheat, coconut milk and very little else. Continue Reading »
I have covered the Wheelhaus a couple times over the years. They have been busy designing new plans for new models that are coming out now and in the near future. These are Park Model size homes for the most part and at least 400 square feet in size. They have some very interesting designs and I wanted to share them with you. To learn more about them visit the WheelHaus.com website.
The original Wheelhaus, the Wedge, is the base model for our rolling cabins, all of which are designed to offer a combination of a rustic and modern aesthetic. The Wedge features an angled roof, which starts low above the bedroom and builds to 17 feet in the living room. Trapezoidal windows grow similarly from back to front, offering natural light while maintaining privacy. The front of the cabin is almost entirely glass. A large sliding glass door opens to a private deck.
For anyone who enjoys winter outdoor sports like ice fishing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing or ice skating, the tiny warming hut is a blessing in cold and snowy weather. Used all over the world, warming huts are small structures that can be both temporary or permanent and usually contain a place to hang up wet gear, seating and sometimes a wonderful wood stove or fireplace where you can warm your freezing fingers. Warming huts are also a great place to break out a small stove to heat up some food or a cup of hot chocolate.
Over the past few years, warming huts have bloomed into an interesting architecture. Innovative designs have popped up near frozen lakes, near cross-country trails and in the middle of mountainous forests for use by snowbound travelers on their way to a cabin or campsite. Many of these huts utilize passive solar design, raised platforms, creative heating elements and unusual materials. Continue Reading »
by Jeff Turner
A few years back we were camping in a two man tent every weekend while building a home in the mountains. Having to set the tent up and take it down every week was beginning to wear on us. Especially since the location we were building in was considered a temperate rain forest. This usually meant we had to reset it up again in the garage later to dry out, as well as take it down. I figured a more permanent structure would be in our best interest, so we set out to build a tiny house to replace our tent. We affectionately refer to it as our “Shanty in the woods.” Even though we have finished our house it continues to sleep the occasional visitor when all beds and sofas have been exhausted.
At our home in the city 2 hours away we were in need of additional storage and I had been thinking of building a storage building. Our garage, out of necessity for my work, had been turned into a shop. The amount of dust I generated was not good for our camping gear, lawnmowers, bikes, etc.
On a trip to the recycle center one afternoon I noticed 3 large pallets of commercial windows. I inquired about them and was told they were headed for the crusher. I asked if I could maybe buy about 10 as I had been thinking about building a solar water heater. He allowed me to take two of them home to see if the size would be right for me and said he would ask his boss about a price. When he told me $5 each I was interested. We had taken 4th place in Mother Earth News “backyard garden” contest the year before. Ever since then, I had always wished I could have a small greenhouse and at $5 a window, that could be a reality.
I thought about combining my storage shed with a greenhouse which could also serve as a “Tiny guest house”. In the end I was able to purchase 66 windows for $200 or $3 each.
Our municipality allows a 12’ x 12’ structure without a permit. With the exception of a shed roof for the lawnmower I was able to do it.
As a tiny house it incorporates everything that one would need. It has a toilet, sleeping loft, cable, running water, electricity, and heat. The south facing glass is a great source of free heat. Lately, night time temperatures have been in the low 30’s, although the inside temperature has stayed above 50 with no supplemental heat needed.