Monday, June 29, 2009

Sustainable living

Tuesday the 23rd I and the rest of the Douglas County Museum's Umpqua Explorer program (it used to be called the Junior Explorer program) visited the home of a couple whose purpose in life is to be completely self sufficient and right now estimate themselves to be 80-90%.

In the picture above he's in their garden.
Their house is actualy just a large metal barn but is very nice inside. It's powered completely by their own solar, wind, and hydro power and heated completely by their woodstove!

They used to live in New Mexico but wanted to move to a place where she could cut her own Christmas tree(and where they could be self sufficient more easily).
Their farm is about the same size as Maggie but in the more mountainous terrain east of Roseburg (we live northwest of Roseburg)

It would have cost them $38,000 to get electricity brought up there which is why they installed their alternative energy sources for $34,000.
They raise goats for meat and hunt venison, cook completely with a wood oven, dry their own herbs, find and dry their own shantrell, morrel, oyster, and shaggymane mushrooms, make their own soap, get their own eggs from a chicken coop, weave with wool from their goats, and once their milk goats start producing that will be the final step that makes them all but 100% self sufficient.

The llama above protects their goats.
They make a living selling goat meat and their excess eggs, mushrooms, and dairy products. also she sells Navajo style rugs for about $100 a piece (she learned to make them from a Navajo rugmaster whose rugs sell for $10,000 a piece).
above wildflower known as allhill or sethhill

They pick wild plants such as Plantain which treats bug bites and Oxalis which is great in salads.

Me and Mom couldn't decide whether they're doing this because their hippies or because their conservative and wish they lived in the 1800's (I know people of both those ways). their house seemed very hippie-ish with a mix of casual and fancy, Asian and European with a Budihst shrine. but he dressed like a cowboy.

Every once in a while he would say: maaaa! He sounded just like a human toddler.
Me and my family are already getting our own meat, raising chickens for eggs and gardening but we're also interested in doing some of the other things they're doing: raising goats for meat and milk, having a hydro electric genorator (his fits in a doghouse) utelizing wild plants and mushrooms, and drying our herbs.

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