I am glad that I live in the times that we do, for the most part, jokes aside about this being the worst timeline possible.
I think about this, particularly in the fall. While there are some fall preparations that I need to do, I’m not spending time hoping that I’m harvesting enough food to see me through the winter. I’m not reinforcing my structure to withstand the cold, or ensuring that my clothing and bedding will be adequate.
What have I been doing for fall prep this year? A few things.
Last year, I put straw around the base of TH2. That made all the difference in the world in terms of my heating costs!
To explain: The tiny house sits on a cement slab that has pipes with hot water running through it, so my floors get toasty and warm, which then heats my house. (I love my radiant floors so much. I put down tile on top of the slab. The tile in the living area/kitchen is thicker, so the floors get warm, but not that warm. The tile in the bathroom is much thinner. Stepping onto a warm floor every morning when I go to the bathroom is sheer luxury.)
The first winter I lived in TH2, I hadn’t insulated the pad, and I ran through the propane gas I use to run the heater about once every three weeks. The next year, I added dirt around the base of the pad, and that stretched my coverage to about once every four weeks.
Adding the straw last year meant that I went through a tank of gas about once every six weeks.
Now, I’ve added another couple of inches of dirt on top of the straw. Hopefully, that will keep my gas usage down, if not extend it further.
Next week, we’ll be trimming things. There are a lot of bushes that only produce on new growth. For example, the gooseberries will only berry on new branches. Old branches won’t produce any fruit. (We didn’t get any fruit this year because we had critters come through and “trim” the bushes for us when they were flowering.)
We need to trim the blueberries back. We forgot to do that last year, and they really need it. I’m going to trim all the rose bushes. We’ll trim the grape vines, and perhaps the pears as well.
I have a small heater that I put into the bird bath this week. (Yes, the birds who come to the property are pretty spoiled.) I also changed over one of the feeders. The one I’d had up works well in the summer when I have tons of birds so that I don’t have to fill it every day. However, in the winter, it doesn’t do as well in the rain. The seeds at the bottom of it get soaked and turn into muck, plus it’s hard to clean. So I switched over to a feeder that’s smaller, but much easier to keep dry and clean.
I’ve changed out the soil for one of my indoor plants. I still have one to do, which I’ll get to today, I think. Or else this weekend. These are roses that I’ve had for years. Though I regularly give them fertilizer, the soil has just become depleted. I’ll change it out, and give the rose a new mix.
I’ve been dealing with injuries this month—first I tweaked my knee, then I thoroughly sprained my ankle. I’m hoping that next week, I’ll get back to doing serious walking again. In prep for that, I acquired a waterproofing spray and liberally applied that to my shoes and my raincoat. We’ll see how well it works next week.
I want to move around some of the plants that we have on the property. For example, my rhododendrons. They’re just in the wrong place and get far too much sunlight. I plan on transplanting them someplace where they’ll still get good light, but not so much. We’ll see if I end up doing that next week. We need enough rain to soften up the ground so that they’re easier to dig up.
I’ll also be transplanting some of the little maple trees I have growing around TH1. Those trees were all grown from seeds from one of the maple trees in the backyard of my old house in Seattle. Quite a few of the trees have done well where they currently are: their trunks are over an inch thick and they’re almost five feet tall.
Some of the little trees haven’t fared as well. I plan on transplanting those to new locations where they will hopefully thrive. A couple of them are going into buckets. I’m moving those close to TH2. As I’m not convinced that the area I want to plant them will be the best place for them, I want them mobile. I’ll move them around until I do find a good spot for them.
I’ve already started doing a little of my fall baking. A friend of mine grew pie pumpkins and gave me one. I made it into pumpkin custard which has been fabulous. I’m starting to figure out spice mixes for maybe making a porketta this holiday season. And so on.
And I think that’s all that I’m doing so far for fall prep!
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