Tuesday, October 26

Living 'lite'

With the over and fall coming on strong, the garden is winding down and so it seems also is the anxious feeling of needing to get things done. Summer is always so busy here with endless chores and to-do lists and when things come to a close, it is almost like a sigh of relief.

Not that I don't love summer and all its playing in the dirt - that is one of my favorite things. But I do look forward to the crisp fall and slowing down.

Fall is my time. My favorite season. I love every single color in the fall spectrum -deep yellows, tangy oranges and the shades of green from almost yellow to the pines that never change. It is also a time to go over in my head all of the things that went right in the garden and the things that need improving. That list is long but it makes me happy. It shows me that I am actually accomplishing something here. I am learning from my mistakes and successes.

Since the title of this blog is 'lite' homesteading, I thought I would take stock of our efforts in this area. Again, to learn from the mistakes and successes. Being 'lite' does give me a little freedom to indulge in modern conveniences of all sorts, because, like I have said, I am not Laura Ingalls. I enjoy internet and electric and the grocery store. Not that I don’t mind when the power goes out, the internet goes down, or we spend the evening canning peaches and making bread. We want to do as much as we can for ourselves even though the modern way is right around the corner. And we still use the modern stuff all the time, just in moderation and with consideration.

The biggest thing I think he have done so far is to get the solar panel. It pays for half of our electric bill. And given that we used significantly less electric than the average family, this is a big deal to us. We know we are sucking less energy from the grid, and when we get the batteries installed, we will be able to keep our food fresh in the fridge when the power does go out.

Another of our changes we feel good about is the pellet stove. This will be our third year with it heating our home and I really do not know how we could have survived without it. When we moved in, the house was heated only by oil. It cost a small fortune to fill the tank. Now we have the oil people calling us wanting to know why we are not heating our house since we hardly ever have to buy oil.

And who can forget the ladies - our egg production staff that has kept our fridge full of eggs and provided hours of entertaining poultry television. It really makes everything feel right to have animals here. My daily trips to the coop to collect eggs, check on the fencing and fill fonts and feeders has become one of my favorite chores.

Learning how to knit, growing and preserving our own food, making responsible and informed purchases and decisions - just a few of the things that we have started doing here in the past few years. We are starting here. With our home and property in this imperfect world. So many things to consider and much more to come. More experiments, more discoveries and more learning from our mistakes and successes. It will still be 'lite', but it will be our own take on modern homesteading.

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