Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Adventure Began...

Back in the 80's my husband started pushing us to consider the environment and how we lived. At the time most of his suggestions seemed to mean more work for me - the stay at home mom. Suddenly there were rain barrels instead of a hose to water my expansive gardens, suddenly I should be hanging clothes instead of using the dryer, walking or biking instead of using the car, composting scraps, using reuseable grocery bags and on and on. Every week there was a new suggestion. I admit at the time I balked at many of his suggestions - deep down I knew he was right but geesh did everything have to make more work for me?
I eventually came around to his way of thinking and enjoyed the benefits, using watering cans and rain barrels gave me some pretty good looking biceps - not to mention the walking and biking kept me in shape. Then in the early 90's my husband decided to go "veg". I could not get my head around it - he loved meat! loved sucking the marrow out of the bones much to my, and the kids, disgust. I figured it would not last but made sure to be supportive and to cook him things without meat while still cooking meat for myself and our two children. That meant some nights I had three different meals on the stove as invariably one of the kids did not like what I was cooking. It was VERY trying! He did not change his mind. He eventually wore me down. I read all the books he had read to make his decision and again I knew deep down he was right but I loved the taste of steak now and then. Reluctantly, I started cooking more and more vegetarian meals, introducing soy products that seemed like meat and while I still eat meat on occasion probably 90% of my diet is now vegetarian. We lived in the suburbs all this time and eventually put solar panels and a wind tower up on our home to produce some of our electricity but the property was not conducive to taking our sustainability much further.
In 2004 we bought property in a small community near the Grand River and built an eco home on our 1 1/2 acres. And so the adventure began...

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I am a fellow Harrowsmith fan, too bad they folded. I have the article featuring your home and love to see people doing something out of the mainstream. My dream was to be in the magazine one day. I am working on my own house design for a straw bale home for my husband and I in Monte Creek, British Columbia. I have a couple of questions I hope you will answer. First is about drying cloths. How do you do it (inside the house?). Secondly about your radiant floor, how much did it cost and would you do something else if you could do it again (was it worth the investment?) The article says your radiant system is heated with propane, did you consider solar hot water, wondering why you went with propane. Love the wood stove, it is beautiful, I would like one too! Can you tell me what was the cost to build per square foot for your home. I am just beginning to research straw bale, solar, its very overwhelming trying to decide what to do and how to do it. Our plan is to build next year, but it is a big step for us and any advice is greatly appreciated (I mean its the small details that matter). One more thing i am fascinated by clerestories and you have one in your main entrance, any chance you can post some pictures of how that looks from the inside. Thank you very much, Sincerely, Kathryn, Abbotsford BC