The Catalyst Cabin

FINLAND!

FINLAND!

So my pre-winter-solstice project and present to the home, is its stead. Link here for the inside joke… I present, the guts of the Catalyst Cabin. Video Below.

 

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With a belly-skid constructed, the building elevated, and then seated on the trailer, it is time to haul the ‘shed’ to its new home where it will become gold.

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Just cruising, you know, with a 17 foot wide 28 foot long load… Too good times, new experiences, and lofty goals!

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No, this was not a one-time load then offload. The truth is, the constraints of the loading site made it necessary to offload the beast on the road in front of my home first. We then reversed the trailer, loaded her again and…

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Then we brought the shed to her resting spot like the pedal of a Fall rose… Not really, the next step actually took 3 hours.

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And that step was backing the 17’x22′ shed, a 17×28 foot load, through a 20 foot opening between my house an the garage at an angle to meet ‘just-so’ on the foundation in order to miss all the plumbing, electrical, conduits, and sill plate pins… Got to love the challenge!

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And here she sits, the trailer was barely removed by literally half-an-inch between the house on one side, and the corner bracing holding the shed up!!!

Here is some video of the after move:

I left an ‘I’ out of the text in the video, see if you can find it and make a point of that instead of the content;)

For the song of the day, well, Puscifer is still in play! Volume people volume, feel it too! “Standing on the edge of forever, witnessing the majesty!” Puscifer – Grand Canyon

 

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All Hallows Slaughter: Paddock Chicken, Is Good Chicken

It's the time of the year that all Roosters fear. All Hallows Slaughter... Not really, generally I have this job done already, and since I am late I will have to cull 5 more after the new Hens start laying in a month or so....

It’s the time of the year that all Roosters fear. All Hallows Slaughter… Not really, generally I have this job done already, and since I am late I will have to cull 5 more after the new Hens start laying in a month or so….

 

 

Happy Halloween! The Bloody Beetroots – Rock Steady

Modern Homesteading

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The Catalyst Cabin. Well, will be soon…

Modern: based on or using the newest information, methods, or technology.

Home: a place where something normally or naturally lives or is located.

Stead: the place, position, or function, properly or customarily occupied by another.

So a Modern homestead is a place that uses the newest methods of technology on a property with a home and a stead for others.

When my recent Volga German ancestors settled here in Kansas in 1880ish they were modern homesteaders just as I am today. They had living space on two pieces of the property, and they used the most modern technology of the time. Though many things have changed since then, homesteading is not self-sustainability and that is still the case.

The only way to be self sustainable is to literally create all that you use. No one on earth, not even the t-shirt wearing tribes of the Amazon make everything they use anymore. Those days are gone.

As a strong advocate for Resource Based Economics in the future, people wonder why I have such a passion for living simple. The easy answer is that my personality would never allow me to live in a Fresco designed city, I would go crazy. But no one who understands the concept of the RBE actually thinks anyone will be forced to do anything, let alone live in a circle city.

I love efficiency, fabrication, growing food and medicine, challenges, nature, and being creative. And there is no place like a homestead to feed those passions.

Recently, the opportunity to acquire a 16’x22′ garage at a minimal cost came my way, and desiring another living space on the property for some time now, I have devised a plan to see this through earlier than I expected.

In the spring of 2015, I built some raised beds on an old foundation in order to utilize and beautify the slab. The dirt that I had delivered for the project ended up being laced with poisons and my tomatoes told the story with their classically curved leaf tips. My intention after discovering this problem was to continue growing in it thus bio-remediate the soil.

However, once the building became a reality I quickly dismantled the entire setup. Not very efficient in the micro view, but the amount of money and resources saved by reusing this old foundation makes up for it by a long ways in the macro.

The existing foundation and slab is 14×24, with 30″ deep footing with stem walls. That is something like… a lot of extra digging and yards of concrete that are already in place for me.

 

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Here we are facing South. You can see the existing slab and the new form ready for fiberglass reinforced concrete. Where the peach trees are located is where a set of french doors will exit into the beautiful poly-cultured gardens.

 

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Here we see how the new Cabin will sit in relation to the original home and garage. The Cabin will have a large roofed porch on the front/North side that will connect to the garage and provide a covered breeze way.

 

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Here we see 6″x6″ wire mesh for he cantilevered West side which is also pinned to the existing slab via re-bar. Also visible to the left is a two stage, four line in-floor heating system using 1/2″ pex. The center pipes are electric coming in from the pole, and out to the garage. And the far right standing white pipe is the main 3/4″ pex water line; if you follow this line down to the yellow insulation you can see the drain for the kitchen sink.

 

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Here we see that I had to break through the original footing to a depth of 30.” This was done so the waste line can’t freeze and because the vent stack needed to come straight up through that section of the stem wall. So we see the vent stack and clean-out, toilet and shower drain here. Also note the extra precaution taken around the old stem wall with wire mesh to give a long-lasting edge to the new slab.

Not shown in this picture is the 1 1/2″ tubing that brings over the 12v electric from the house solar system. And note that the in floor heating will not be optimum because of the expense it would require to fasten the line in 6″ loops. The way it sits it cost 40 dollars, if done the ‘right’ way it would be a thousand dollars. I intend on hooking this up to a solar water heater, so it is a matter of supplemental heat in the winter, and I can run cold water through it in the summer months.

This cabin will be a greenhouse, man cave, winter home, guest home, summer and canning kitchen, and an example of a very efficient yet modernly equipped tiny house.

I can also see living in one of the homes full-time while I draw a rental income from the other, or maybe advertise the place just rent it for a night at a time to passerby’s. Another huge part of modern homesteading is living cheaply. The less money we need to live, is the more time we have to live. The less money we need to live, is the more money we have for ‘living.’

There is much more to say on this project, but I will keep you filled in as it proceeds. The concrete will be poured by Nov 5, 2015, and I will haul the garage the 10 miles to my home just after. Good times!

 

Whats that? Loser – Beck

Sights and Sounds of The Catalyst Coop

Fuzzy bloody Moon 9/27/15 at The Catalyst Coop.

Fuzzy Bloody Moon 9/27/15 at The Catalyst Coop. You think that is a drink yet? Cheers!

Cats and chickens, bugs and itching’s

Wind and creaks, and birds from their beaks

Some raving booms, and even some Catalysts looms.

Manual link here.

 

HEY YOU, how long do things have to be known before we help with the stone? The epic, Pink Floyd – Hey You.

Catalyst Coop Happenings

WTFAYLA?

Majestic birds. Two years prior we had a Snowy Owl here as well.

So whats been happening on the farm lately?

A few first season Goji berries are drying in the kitchen, I intend to use them as nutritional additions to any meal I so desire. This is the same thing I do with turmeric, another powerful medicinal that I have never used for taste. Whatever I may be eating often gets some sort of nutritional additive like these mentioned especially through the winter. And through the growing season I readily take bites of medicinal’s directly from the plants; all for the concept of preventative medicine, by means of storing vital micro-nutrients in my body for current and future use by the biological systems that keep this body alive and reaching further.

Another polycultured site I have started in my community.

Another polycultured site I have started in my community.

Then there is my favorite old-world ancestral probiotic treat Sour Kraut. I have recently shredded, salted and mashed 17 pounds of cabbage and expect my first taste in a few weeks. This is enough for us to enjoy all winter and through next spring.

I have also put out an ad searching for people who make there own products in the hopes of buying some homemade items that I don’t personally make. So far I am enjoying pickled Okra, half a dozen jellies, Apple Butter, and Apple Sauce.

A view of the main beds from up high. The whole area is around 150'x150'.

A view of the main beds from up high. The whole area is around 150’x150′.

The spring chicks are nearing 3/4 full size, and I expect them to start laying in the early winter months. As soon as they do start laying the flock of pure White Rocks will meet the freezer along with most of the roosters from the new flock of White/Barred Rock mixes. The new flock has two shades of Barred, one lighter and one darker. I have yet to determine if this is between males and females which would tell me whether this is a sex-linked hybrid or not and I have found no mention of the combination online.

We have a breeding pair of Barn owls hanging out in the woods and doing their part in the ecosystem. My daughter loves to explore their pellets for skulls; she found over thirty on a recent search. Also this year Leopard frogs found the waterfall/pond all by themselves, the Praying Mantis population is healthy, a Fox has been seen once, Fox squirrels are making their way into the woods, and our garter snakes grew into very large specimens.

New wild medicinal’s identified include Camphor, Curly Dock, Jostaberry, and Smart weed.

The grass problems solution is under construction. Two main varieties are the problem, but one specifically. I have lots of Fox Tail, but the crabgrass has proven worst considering its allelopathic nature of inhibiting near by growth of other plants. The plan is Clover which has proven to shade the soil early enough to prevent its germination, and of course more perennial plants to fill in the beds under and around the taller trees and shrubs. This was the first year I have a such bad issue with the grass, namely due to the mulches decaying to a point that gave optimal germination conditions. Lesson: keep the dirt covered with living mulches, or a deep litter method of sheet mulching.

Though I never speak of the home projects, today I will mention that years of redesigning the floor plan of the house are coming to an end and the finish work will soon begin. The old third bedroom is now the brand new bathroom and laundry. Old bathroom number one is now kitchen space. Old bathroom two is now more space for the master bedroom. And what used to be an entry way/laundry and living room are now an open floor plan including living, dining and kitchen. It feels great to have this whole plan coming together, even if has taken years longer than it would have with access to money.

The work includes what will be all new plumbing that has a very efficient and centralized sprawl given the placement of bathroom and kitchen. The solar system is simple, but enough to run a laptop, lights, and charge batteries. Eventually a new third room/sun room will be added, and a guest cabin is in the works for next spring.

I think that satisfied my desire to express the happenings of the Coop for today, as normal I just spit this stuff out meaning much is left unmentioned. Since I am here to Catalyze however, I don’t believe the minute details are necessary.

Now go do something with passion in your stride.

Till next time, say hello to my little friend, MUSIC!! I am I, Queensryche