Thank You

To GM in England who sent us an absolutely lovely kettle to compliment our new wood stove and enjoy a “spot of tea” on a cold winter’s night. Thank you so much for the useful and practical gift. I am sure we are going to get a lot from this kettle over the winter.
And another “Thank You” for Mike in Colorado for his generous donation that we received in the mail today. We are deeply grateful and touched by your generosity.  Along with a check he enclosed this wonderful note which I would like to share because we can never get tired of hearing/reading enough inspiring stories from fellow travelers.

Dear PTF
This is long overdue. Over the last couple years, I’ve gleaned a vast amount of information, as well as inspiration, from your website.
I must share my latest PTF inspired moment. After receiving a link from Anais about holistic chicken feeding, I decided to contact a small, local restaurant in regards to acquiring some of their kitchen scraps for use as chicken snacks. This has proven to be an excellent food supplement for our flock as they dispose of a lot of fish, greens and left over grains, which the chickens love to consume, thus making their yolks sooooo orange.
I could go into great detail of our solar oven, shower, the ever-expanding garden, the bike powered ice cream maker ( a hacked up version of your flour mill) etc., etc., but I’m sure you hear many inspiration stories, so I’ll just stick with the intention of this message as one of gratitude for who you are all and what you all do ( or don’t do compared to the mainstream).
Thanks for being a light in the fog of our country’s “progress.”
From the Rockies, I anxiously await your next journal entry.

[How neat is that, a bike powered ice cream maker? OK, we’ll have to add that “to-do” our list along with a bike powered washing machine that we have our eyes on. So much yet to do!]

Busy Days Are Here Again

These days, everyone is working a loads of different projects.   Hopefully, sometime in November will have an addition to add to the PTF website (so stay tuned for details)
Lots of work to be done in the garden, Jules put a lovely bamboo pea trellis to replace the tomato tunnel.   Clean up continues.  Justin has been hard at work cleaning out the cellar. When we transformed the garage into a “community space” lots of scrap wood, pots, plastic drums, salvages, side of the road finds, etc were stuffed into the cellar. Now that we are we are expanding our homesteading skills more space is needed for food storage and work space. So to do that we are having to go through all the junk again and keep what we really would use. Hopefully, with the junky junk gone it will give us more room to perhaps store our canned goods, dried herbs, drying herbs, soap supplies, homemade soaps, wine, and bulk foods and so forth – sure would help to have extra room for storage.

It’s A Matter of Weight

A representative for one of the clay roofing co came out yesterday, we are concerned about the weight of roof materials and wanted to be sure and get his opinion if our house is structurally sound enough to support clay tiles (congrats to those who guessed!). We aren’t concerned of the weight on the house per se but the eaves are what concerns us. Craftsman homes are notorious for sagging eaves. Metal roofing would be about 150 lbs per 100 square feet and the “lightweight” clay tiles are a little under 600 lbs per 100 square feet – with asphalt shingles somewhere in between That would mean our 3000 sq ft roof we’d have 18,000 lbs of tile (plus the weight of 100 sheets of plywood and 2 layers of 30lb tar paper) over our heads and with our existing sagging eaves could our house support such weight? Just today, we just came across a site that noted that the tiles retain moisture (since they are porous) and when wet would add 10% more weight. Yikes.  So we tried soaking/submerging the 4lb clay tile sample for 2 days and afterward it weighed 4lb 2oz, which is only 3%. This is an expensive project for us and we want to make sure that we are happy with the final choice so we are being very cautious. It is going to be the last roof we will ever buy for this house, and there are no returns or exchanges.   So many folks we’ve talk with have very different opinions and suggestions – it’s not easy being green, as Kermit the frog sang.