Tucked away deep in the woods at the southern edge of the Tug Hill region of New York. Dragonwood is our off-grid sanctuary. Six acres of pond and gardens bordered by forest on three sides.
The project began in 1995, when after a long search, Debe and I purchased the property from a local logger. To date we have built a cabin, a bridge, out house and a shed in addition to expansive gardens and stone work. We have a generator, propane lights, grill, a wood stove and modest solar system. A dug well and small stream suitable for watering gardens and other needs and a nearby spring for drinking water.
The Dragonwood Chronicles will serve to document the project with photographs and notes. Future projects will include additions to the cabin, a root cellar and a studio building.
Comments and questions are always welcome.
We enjoy hearing from people who visit Dragonwood Chronicles. Please feel free to leave a comment or ask questions.
Many readers of this blog share my interest in the lives of Helen and Scott Nearing. This book will be of interest to those same folks. Here is a review I found on the book "Almost Utopia".
Reprinted from Amazon.com
By Elaine Beckwith
Elaine Beckwith Fine Art, Jamaica, Vermont
This review is from: Almost Utopia: The Residents and Radicals of Pikes Falls, Vermont 1950 (Paperback)
The photographs contained in this volume capture a remarkable slice of time in an isolated community on the cusp of change. The pure artistry of these candid shots and the skillful ability of Rebecca Lepkoff, an outsider, to place herself and her camera so unobtrusively before her subjects were remarkable. Rebecca is not present in her photographs: only her subjects, clear, rough-hewn, and strong. These images celebrate the commonplace with freshness and authenticity, frozen in time yet profoundly alive in their moment and, through Rebecca's skill, uncannily alive in our time as well.
The accompanying essay by Nearing scholar Greg Joly places the people, the community and the photographs in historical context. Joly ties the people to place; the rugged character of the land is reflected in the character of the folks who settled in this isolated environment.
This book is interesting on many levels: the artistry of the photographs; the historic association of the "intentional communities" of radicals and others who migrated to the isolation of this Vermont valley; and recognition of the hardscrabble locals who had lived subsistence lifestyles in this rocky landscape for generations.
The U.S. Congress sets a federal budget every year in the trillions of dollars. Few people know how much money that is so we created a breakdown of federal spending in simple terms. Let's put the 2011 federal budget into perspective:
* U.S. income: $2,170,000,000,000
* Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000 (about 1 percent of the budget)
It helps to think about these numbers in terms that we can relate to. Therefore, let's remove eight zeros from these numbers and pretend this is the household budget for the fictitious Smith family:
* Total annual income for the Smith family: $21,700
* Amount of money the Smith family spent: $38,200
* Amount of new debt added to the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Amount cut from the budget: $385
Does the US have a spending problem? It appears we do!
Thought I post a few photos of this summers gardens. It's been a hectic summer with selling the business and getting ready for our move to Florida (winters) so the garden has been put on the back burner. Despite the neglect it's doing quite well. We have perhaps the best tomato crop in recent years. We tried a new variety of pole beans that are excellent. Our garlic harvest was good as it always seems to be.
The weeding has gotten away from me a bit more than is typical.
In these photos you see my grand daughter Kaitlyn (4) looking for "Jack in the Bean Stock", also our outstanding horse radish, and my cucumbers that I grew on a trellis for the first time. So far so good.
Like most rural locations across the northeastern part of North America we have a huge white tail deer population. Seems deer love to eat Hosta. We now have hundreds of Hostas and well over forty different varieties.
In past years the deer didn't bother with our Hosta collection until fall when they were about to go dormant anyway, so we didn't care much when they browsed off the foliage. Last year they decided about the end of June to devour our collection. Luckily Hosta are very resilient and come back with out any problem the next spring. We set out to try a host of different tricks to try to keep the deer from feasting on Deb's babies. Nothing really seemed to work and this year by the middle of July half of our collection has been wiped out by these hungry critters.
On the reccomendation of a local nursery we have purchased and applied Bobbex Deer Repellent to the ones that remain untouched. The nursery claims this is a good product and I hope it is.
We will let you all know how this works and what we think of it.
We would also like to hear about any other ideas you may have. Please feel free to share your experiences good and bad with deer repellent, tricks or products.