It’s been a wonderful week at our urban homestead in the making. Instead of any major projects, this week my focus has been cleaning and tying up any loose ends from other projects. This will be my focus for most of next week too.
Water Usage at Our Homestead in the City
Since we are not hooked up to a municipal water source, we must cart in our water each day. This gives me an intimate knowledge of how much water we use, and an incentive to conserve it. On the days that we camp at our house, Little Lotus and I use about 10 gallons of water per day. This includes water for cooking, bathing, watering plants, washing dishes, and cleaning. This number will increase by about two gallons when we begin to wash clothes with our manual clothes washer.
We fill up two 5 gallon water containers at a water refill machine at a grocery store near us. Although it will be a lot more convenient when we install our water catchment system, I’m glad that we’ve supplied our water this way to begin to with; it’s given us an incentive to practice water conserving techniques.
One of our next projects will be to build a greywater filter and holding tank. Greywater is the water left over from activities like washing clothes and dishes. With a simple greywater system we can reuse our greywater for use around our yard.
Little Lotus’s Expanding Imagination
Little Lotus loves spending time at our off-grid house. I’ve witnessed a surge in her creativity and playfulness. She builds small earthen houses for ants complete with acorn steps and leaf curtains. It’s really amazing! She’s also claimed the empty space under one of the large benches in our living room and dubbed it her cave. She lined the bottom of her cave with a yoga mat; added pillows; and stocked it with books, snacks, a flash light, and her drawing pad. She has also had lots of time to perfect her origami skills. Today she fashioned herself a pirate hat, eye path, and sword for our daily trip to the library.
Our poor dog Nala has mange. Luckily, we live within walking distance of a feed store. At the feed store we were able to purchase a remedy for her that contains lanolin and sulphur. We were so happy to find something that would give our sweet yellow lab some relief, that we didn’t consider what this treatment might smell like…let’s just call it potent. After Nala’s first two applications, we decided to apply her medicine outside and let her air out for a while before bringing her back in.
Helpful Tools and Gadgets
Here are some of the tools and gadgets I’ve found useful so far:
Long-handled brush: My new laong-handled brush has been very helpful for cleaning walls and really dirty floors.
Ratchet screw driver set: It’s amazing how many times per day I use a screw driver. I use a screw driver set with a ratchet handle to make it a little easier to turn.
Mobile AC Outlet: I use a small AC outlet that I can plug into the lighter in my car. It turns the DC power generated by my car battery into AC power. Mine offers 75 watts of power, and I purchased it at Walmart for around $25. With my inverter I am able to charge small devices like my phone, camera, and laptop.
Solar shower: We purchased a solar shower at Academy Sports and Outdoors for around $6. I like our solar shower because we are able to take a warm wash down each morning and evening. When the solar shower lays in direct sunlight for three hours, the water inside heats up, but we often fill it with warm water from our tea kettle.
Propane camping stove: We use our camping stove for everything from cooking to making hot water. Because camping stoves create Carbon Dioxide, we only use it in a very well ventilated area and with extreme caution.
Our city homestead project is sponsored by MedKeka. Visit them online at www.MedKeka.com. Support our urban homestead with a purchase from our online store www.AsanteGeorge.com/shop. Become a sponsor at www.AsanteGeorge.com/greensponsor.