July 19, 2008

Even unschoolers aren't immune from the association between fall and a new year for learning. As summer moves on we are talking about what to do in the coming year - as if September marks the beginning of anything for us. Never the less, plans are being made.

The land we cleared and the pond are sitting now, waiting for cooler temperatures. You can't plant grass or flowers or trees in the summer heat down here. So that is on hold. (And its so hard to wait!) In the mean time, we are gathering materials for the coop, the shed, and the various fences we'll need. I found a person on freecycle.org who is clearing a field. They offered us all the cedars we are willing to cut and haul. Joe is there now. (Score.)

Henry has decided to study blacksmithing. He didn't know before hand, but two serious smiths live in this area. One is an artist, rather famous in SCA circles, who makes authentic chain mail and various armour. The other is more of a working class smith, a sweet grandfatherly type, and the repository for the state association's smithing library. I called him up right away and he was full of helpful information. So that's in the works. We join the state association, start going to meetings where demos and hands on experience abound, then we take a class up in the mountains somewhere. (Dude!)
Ry and I are going to build a cob oven. We are working from the advice of a friend who recently built one of her own. And we are reading a book she recommended: Build Your Own Earth Oven by Kiko Denzer. I have only one real concern about our little house. Right now it is 100% dependent on the grid. If we lose power, we lose all systems. Having a wood fired oven (and hand pump for the well) will ease my mind. So I'm reading up on ovens today. The book gives seven arguments for mud. Here is number one: "Mud is fun. Your kids can help you build an earth oven. This is very important. Do they know more about computers than they do about the earth that feeds them? With mud between their toes (and dough between their fingers,) they can learn how it feels to be a plant, with roots that can taste the fertile soil, and leaves that can eat sunlight!" (Right On.)


Annie said...

What an exciting update!

Neat about the blacksmithing. I lived in an old heritage town a few years back as a caretaker. The other caretaker was the resident blacksmith. I had a really good time watching and learning and I have this helpful booklet: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=32963&cat=1,46096,46130&ap=1

The oven sounds like a great idea. Hope you'll take photos!

MOM #1 said...

Wow! Making your own earthen oven sounds so awesome. Keep us updated!

Maria said...

so talk to me about the hand pump. Indoor or outdoor? How to install? Etc...etc...IF we ever get this new house I'd like to put in a wood burning stove right away, but your oven sounds like a super idea, too!

Very exciting...and it IS interesting that we are so ingrained to start wanting to learn new things and make fresh changes in our mind around September....wonder what would've happened if the school year was different??

Mommylion said...

One of our good friend's father is an old school blacksmith. Real interesting guy, deliciously scary.

Sounds like amazing projects in the works. I am feeling the call to plan as well. Only your post has inspired me to plan bigger and more creatively than I have been. Sounds much more satisfying :)

AztecQueen2000 said...

Have you considered the John C. Campbell Folk School? Don't let the term "school" throw you off; it's more like an artists's retreat. They have great one-week blacksmithing workshops.

Anonymous said...

Katherine, you know I've always admired you and your blog. May I politely ask why you're not around the DJ anymore?

Krista said...

Oh, regarding the other comments I left on your other post: this helps a lot. Thanks!