Wecome to Dragonwood Chronicles

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.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Used Bricks

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.

Happy scrounging!

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