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, two sheds in addition to expansive gardens and stone work. We have a generator, propane lights, refrigerator and 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.
Just back from a tour in Iraq with the US Army Reserve, activist Jon Alvarez is hosting a new local talk show at noon on WFBL 1390 on your AM dial. I encourage everyone in the Central New York area to check out Jon's new show! Topics will include pretty much anything and everything from local to National and even International issues. Jon's show airs daily from noon to 1:00pm.
UPDATE - JON'S RADIO SHOW IS NO LONGER ON THE AIR.
We are disappointed to see Jon go, but he has real estate to sell and his farm will take up whatever time and energy he has left.
Libertarian Gary Nolan is on 105.9 FM from 4-7pm, Monday thru Friday. Sad to lose Jon but Gary has a great program for us liberty minded folks. I encourage everyone to check it out!
HUGE RECESSION SALE! This downturn in the economy has really put a pinch on our business. In order to try to get things going we are marking down all prints 50% - 75% and are willing to negotiate on our originals. Take advantage of this opportunity to buy that painting you have been wanting or get a jump on your Christmas shopping! http://www.abbottsstudio.com/
Abbott's Studio, 624 So. Main St., Central Square, NY 13036 315-668-9459 HoursMon - Fri 10 -6 and Saturday 10 -3 or by appointment.
We all hear the phrase, "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle", and I think most of us try to put this principle into practice to some degree. We definitely are trying to practice what we preach at Dragonwood.
Gleaning, scrounging, dumpster diving is an art form for us. You would be amazed at the things we have picked up over the years. Our cabin is built largely from "recycled" or "salvaged materials. My son and I picked up two mini van loads of red cedar shakes from a building being razed back in 90's. These shakes are very expensive to purchase and last a long, long time. They now are on our cabin. We also used doors and windows picked up on the side of the road.
Palettes picked up for free have made great compost bins. We have developed a nice system that is easy and free. These bins are ideal, the cost is right and they are easily expandable should your needs grow. I expect at some point I will take photos and post a quick piece on here about these easy to build compost bins.
Pictured above is our most recent find. A house burned in our village and before rebuilding, the contractor completely gutted the building to include the old brick chimneys.
Old bricks used to be easy to come by, but as demand has grown they have become hard to come by and actually cost more to purchase than new bricks.
This particular contractor apparently had no use for them or didn't want to bother. He was about to put them in a dumpster and have them hauled off to the landfill. Given that he has to pay by the ton to get rid of the construction/demolition debris he was all too happy to let us take them away.
So far we have filled our truck three times and I estimate there are two to three more loads. Many are broken but a lot of them are whole. We are taking even the rubble as we intend to put that down as hard fill where my son is putting in his driveway.
Nothing goes to waste! Finds like this are out there, you just have to keep your eyes open and not be afraid to ask. You will get turned down sometimes but the times you get a yes make it worth the trouble.
Seems like I just posted a little piece on here about planting garlic, but another year has passed already. Mid October is about the right time to plant garlic in this part of the world, (central New York state) and this past Sunday we set in 106 cloves of six different varieties.
Last year (2008) we only planted one variety. We waited a little too late and ended up buying our seed garlic from a nice old guy at the regional market. He didn't know for sure what variety he had, but it looked good so we went with it. It was a white hard neck variety that for lack of certainty we called it a New York White Hard Neck. After harvesting this past summer we have determined that it is most likely Music, a fairly common, easy to grow hard neck.
We have been growing garlic for well over a decade now and normally grow several varieties. Last year was an off year for us, procrastination I guess.
In the early years of our garlic cultivating we purchased our seed garlic from a garlic farm in Fulton, New York. This place was great! They grew dozens of varieties and were very helpful. We even took a garlic growing seminar there. Sadly they are no longer in business.
This year not wanting to wait too late and fall back into a repeat of last year we (Debe) got right after it and found a good source *on-line and ordered our seed garlic well enough in advance so as to be ready at planting time.
We have planted nearly double what we set in last year and will plant a couple dozen more before we are done. You can never have too much garlic.
Pictured above, Debe is setting in cloves into one of our raised beds. We have the varieties sectioned off and labeled with our signs for easy identification at harvest time.
*Buying seed garlic on-line: A quick search will bring up many sources of seed garlic. Be sure to locate one near you or at least one that shares your climate as much as possible. California may grow wonderful garlic but those varieties may not fare as well in New York for example.
Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that is does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.”– Ayn Rand