Monthly Archives: September 2009

Raising the Roof

The big news is that the roof is going up quickly.  Probably one of the few things that’s going faster than I anticipated.  The weather has been exceptionally cooperative, all the same, we are running out of time before the cold moves in so I’ve strung two large blue tarps over the site so that we could possibly work even if the weather wasn’t great and wouldn’t have to go through the labor intensive process of covering and uncovering the walls every time the weather got bad.

I considered covering the site from the beginning, but ruled it out based on how hard and costly it would be, but looking back on the unusually wet summer we’ve had here, it would have been a good idea to do it earlier.  Who would’ve guessed though?

Tao raising the roof.The flow of visitors(i.e. free labor) has tapered off somewhat and Liz has injured her back somehow.  That left me with the unenviable task of raising the roof mostly alone.  I consulted with Tom Mudd, a family friend down the way, and he filled in a lot of my questions on how to design the roof and what I’d need.  He also informed me I’d need a minimum of 3 people to put the ridge beam on.  I didn’t have the luxury of waiting for volunteers so I pondered and came up with what I felt was a fairly ingenious method and managed to do it all by myself.  I’ve since hung all of the rafters and cross-ties and started putting the purlins on.

It’s now become clear that we won’t be staying in the building this winter, and we’ve decided to try to leave around the last part of October.  At the current pace we should have the roof done and the protective plaster on easily by that time.  Our plans for the winter are to get some sort of used RV and migrate south, visiting other intentional communities, ecovillages, and like-minded people along the way.  We’ll also probably spend some time in Virginia working on Liz’s house there.

Liz stuffing between the balesIn other news, we were in the news last week.  We were the cover story for the Columbia Missourian which you can see here.  They took some nice photos and wrote a pretty good article.  It looks like the same article also got put on a number of news sites in St. Louis.  A guy named Glenn who’s building an earthship in Union, MO called me tonight after reading about us on Yahoo! News.  It’s great having all the cool people come to us without even having to search them out.

The garden has slowed down, but still producing a large number of tomatoes.  The squash are producing a second explosion, which we could probably have done without since we’ve got two large overflowing crates of them as it is.  Liz has canned about 35 jars of pickles as well as a couple jars of pasta sauce.  She’s also discovered  that you can use regular jars from the store to can with.  Jars from things like pasta sauce and pickles will seal shut if you do them just like the special canning jars.  That ought to save some money and what a great way to reuse something rather than recycling it.

The Missouri Department of Conservation provided us with channel catfish and bluegill fingerlings for our pond.  It was more than a small chore hauling the pond water up to the truck to have them put the fingerlings in at the drop location and then hauling them back down.  We haven’t got the road accessible back there yet so I had to make a half dozen trips with the garden cart.  Next spring we’ll be getting the bass fingerlings for free from the MDC as well.

Justin destroying the noobsToday we took a brief break from everything and went to a “Knapp-In” in Booneville, MO about an hour away.  Justin and Melainia, our friends from Fulton invited us out.  Justin knapps flint and makes his own spears, at’latls, darts, arrows, bows, etc.  It was really interesting watching the people knapp arrowheads and knives.  Justin participated in the at’latl contest.  For those that don’t know, an at’latl is a deviced used to essentially extend the length of ones arm allowing you to throw a spear or dart much harder and farther.  Although he’s technically new at the contest throwing, he cleaned the floor with all of the rookies, myself included, although to be fair it was only my first time to ever try to throw one at all. Here’s a video of Justin hurtling a dart with an at’latl.

That’s it for this installment.  We’re in the home stretch and the weather is starting to cool off.  We’ll be working pretty much non-stop except for a brief excursion down to Mississippi for my 10 year high school reunion.