Loving what I am reading here!

pay_it_forwardFebruary 8, 2012


I am a new GW member and am slowly making my rounds through the different forums. After recently posting to the building forum, I saw this one and started reading. It is so refreshing to find a community in which bigger is not necessarily better!

I could really use some help with our simple floor plan. Please see the building forum thread below.

Thanks in advance for any input you may have! I look forward to participating in this forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: Floor plan enthusiasts please...

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Hi, PayItForward! How about crossposting the floorplan over this side for us? You're allowed. :)

Yes, we are the whole-house fans here. We don't specialize in any one feature, we like it ALL. Foundation,floors, roof, appliances, kitchens and baths, eating areas, storage, laundry, you name it. And we don't know it all, by any means, but we know where to ask ... or else we made our mistakes ONCE and vow never to do it again. And that is worth a lot.

So glad you hitched up with GW and found Smaller Homes quickly. It took me several years of the gardening side before I discovered the home side, both are sort of addictive.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 11:19PM
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Just crossposted ~ thank you! Thanks as well for the warm welcome! After we get the building of our home started, I look very forward to checking out all of the gardening resources. My goal is to eventually harvest most of our own produce needs ~ I have a lot to learn first, though :)!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 11:42PM
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OMG, you sound like me when I was 35! I wish I had that energy now... :)

My advice, don't WAIT to learn first, just start doing it, and learning by experience. You stand a 50-50 chance of getting it right intuitively. And seeds and plants all want to grow, so your work is half done to start with.

I killed a lot of plants over the years, learned what would and would not live in my climate, and discovered I had a passion for growing things. I have a feeling that you'll discover the same about yourself. North Carolina is a good place for gardening. You have some major nurseries in your state. One of my favorites is Plant Delights Nursery. They get a lot of my plant budget every year.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 12:04AM
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Thanks for the advice, Moccasinlanding! As I've only grown onions, tomatoes, and some flowers thus far, I joke that my thumb is more yellow than green! Gardening indeed has a learning curve steeply based in experience. I am so excited to be able to dedicate more time to it after our home is completed!!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 11:25PM
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Best advice I've ever received...research your plants, so you know they'll do well, in your area. I grow a limited number of plants (zone 4) but we have a wonderful climate (when it's not winter LOL) and no pests/bugs that are too much trouble.

Second best advice...know your soil! If you don't have good soil, you won't have a beautiful garden. We have clay soil (and horses) so I would recommend finding a large amount of AGED horse manure, to dump into your garden beds. It will fertilize the soil and helps clay soil drain better...and sandy soil from draining too quickly. You will get some weeds, so don't plant anything, until you've weeded a few times...which is easier to do, when you aren't trying to weed around the plants you want to keep!

You are in a much warmer climate, so you should be able to grow a lot more produce. That's going to be such a treat, to enjoy fresh fruits and veggies, almost year round. Be sure to include a place to sit, in every garden...which gives you a chance to ENJOY all the beauty, of your hard work :)

Also, be very careful with lily of the valley, foxglove, daphne and other plants which are QUITE poisonous, especially with little ones helping in the garden!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 2:02PM
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Excellent advice indeed, Lavender Lass! Thank you!! I have just as much fun planning my outdoor rooms as the inside ones and will definitely be including seating areas to enjoy the beauty and hopefully quite literally the fruits of my labor :)!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 3:19PM
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payitforward: I too was thrilled to find the warm folks at "smaller homes". If you have any cats be sure to trade photos w/ shadesofidaho.LOL
Check out ACRES USA, it is a GREAT resource and they have excellent books.There is a section of articles written by Joel Salatin and other knowledgeable people. You can get a copy of their magazine for free also. I plan on buying all their books when I get my "small holding". I love to browse the site and dream about my future(Kerry I hope) cow and real milk ! :)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 3:40PM
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EATREALFOOD, pardon my ignorance, but what is Kerry in relation to cows?

If you can grow any chickens, I'd love to see the pictures of those too. I ordered some day-old biddies which were the BLACK STARs, a sex-linked characteristic, so I could get all females. They and the RED STARS are great layers. They are supposed to be the highest egg producers ever. For meat, a different breed would be chosen. I had to give up my little hens just before they began to lay, due to a neighbor complaining. The man I gave them to came by a year later and wanted to know where to buy more, he said they laid about an egg each per day. Not bad. And they were very friendly, kept my garden free of bugs, and the dog loved them. I think she thought they were her puppies.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 2:34PM
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Hi mocassin
sorry I should have clarified...Kerry cows are an indigenous breed from Co.Kerry, Ireland. They are endangered as are many of domesticated animals all over Europe. see Kerry cattleman's association. They are small(important for me), docile and produce excellent milk and there are some herds in the US.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 1:44PM
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Eatrealfood ~ your moniker tells me we certainly have something in common. My husband and I believe very strongly in eating whole foods (and as much organic as possible). I am so very motivated to grow as much of our own produce as possible! Though a plant based diet is working well for us, I do appreciate Joel Salatin's perspective on farming.

Moccasinlanding ~ sorry you had to give up your hens. I wish more people (including your neighbor) would be supportive of self-sustainability. It galls me to think of the complaints some people receive when trying to create an edible lawn. for example. Ugh, large spans of green grass to have to water and mow as opposed to utilizing the space to grow healthy food. I happen to think vegetable and flower gardens can be just as beautiful as (and often more so than) perfectly manicured lawns that are often kept up for appearances rather than function. My thought is that if you like to water, mow, and manicure a lawn, have at it! However, allow your neighbor the same courtesy to have flower and vegetable gardens instead of lawn if he/she so chooses. We do plan to have a small, manageable lawn area where our daughter's outside play area will be, but otherwise are planning to go mowless everywhere else. Whew! Better get off my soapbox... :)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 11:14PM
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pay it forward: no need to get off your "soap box" as you started this thread ! I read a story on naturalnews.com about a woman who got in trouble with her "home owners" assoc. and the local gov't. for planting vegetables on her lawn. Well the short and long of it is Gary Null took up her case and the telephone calls of outrage started...I vow that if I get any land kale will be the "lawn" and hedgehogs, red squirrels, hares etc. will have their own "wilderness" somewhere on the edges for food foraging. It's the best way to keep them out of "your" food.
Speaking of a plant based diet, I made yellow split pea dahl with spinach/brown rice and yoghurt with cucumber/cumin for dinner. Simple. Delicious. I recommend any of Madhur Jaffrey's books for Indian food. Since Indians eat a lot of legume/vegetable based dishes it's great cuisine for vegetarians. Greek and Italian are great for vegetable dishes too. Let me know if you would like any author names, I collect cookbooks so I know many that have great vegetable recipes. I eat as many vegetable dishes as possible although I'm not currently vegetarian. "I never met a vegetable I didn't like"--my quote. I get yelled at for buying too many b/c they don't fit in the fridge...some people buy clothes I buy karela :)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 11:56PM
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I'm loving this thread, what a friendly group! The greatest pleasure in my life (besides my husband, kids and grandkids!) is gardening; however, I can't grow squat in the vegetable department here in Texas. So, I got into Antique Roses, which, surprisingly, grow quite well here. We have a huge yard by standards today, so can keep as busy as I want.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 4:30PM
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Eatrealfood ~ I LOVE kale!! It's an absolute favorite and staple in our house, so a kale lawn sounds pretty fabulous :) ! I will definitely be seeking some of your cookbook recommendations (but probably not until after we get our home built as I already have a pile of recipes to try that are piling up!). Your dinner sounds truly yummy!!

Ogrose ~ This is such a friendly group and feels like a respite from the hectic moments in life! I'll bet your roses are lovely!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 5:31PM
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I like to garden, too. My ornamentals are in the front yard and my veggies on the back patio. Between my lack of knee function and our having two dogs who love veggies, I have decided that I cannot grow veggies in the ground. I usually have two tubs of tomatoes (grape or roma), cukes, green beans, and sweet peppers. Two years ago I tried kale and chard and they did surprisingly well in containers.

Lee Valley has some nifty hardware for making raised beds out of cast patio blocks. I was hoping to make some this spring, but I don't think we will be spending any money on frivolities. But I have dirt in my pots and can do a little bit with what I have got!

Here is a link that might be useful: Lee Valley tools dot ca

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 11:32PM
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