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How We Made a Homemade Rain Barrel Aquaponics System

A new year means a new wave of projects for Ian to delve into, and he wasted no time setting up a home-based aquaponics system right in our pantry.

Actually, saying Ian waited till the New Year is putting it too strongly. He had the system set up in our pantry back in early December, and I was forced to verbally combat him in numerous lengthy arguments over why he couldn’t justify buying fish early and getting a fish sitter through the holidays. Yes, these are the kinds of fights that define our marriage- Ian begging for new pets and me never quite managing to talk him down (our second dog, anyone?)

In any case, I think he nailed it with this latest project. Who knew it was this easy to raise your own edible fish right in the pantry? We now have tilapia to join our worm bin as a kitchen-friendly self-sufficiency boost for our daily lives. In fact, I think this system is so great I’m going to try to convince you to build your own.

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Our First Pig Slaughter

Well, we did it.

For those of you that harbored doubts about our ability to actually butcher our first pig, you can put those thoughts to rest.

This past weekend Ian, with the help of our pastor and professional butcher nephew along with a crew of middle school girls, humanely slaughtered Mr. Cris P. Bacon. After hours of effort we now have a full freezer of the freshest pork possible.

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Wendell and Aldo and the Peculiar Case of the Bags of Organs

Something sinister is afoot on the mountain these days… or at least something smelly.

Wendell and Aldo are true Appalachian dogs, meaning we let them have the run of the land and romp where they please. Unfortunately, sometimes that means they get into mischief.

Or rather, mischief finds them.

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Ian’s New Pet Project

This is just about the final result of Ian’s most recent homestead obsession- all it needs are a few key extras to be complete.

Short of terrifying, does anyone have a guess for what it is?

If you don’t, no worries. It’s probably a sign that you’re in the sane majority not being continuously haunted by blue rain barrel fountains.

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Why I Write

November has extra significance for me this year.

It marks six months since I started freelance writing, and three months since I began doing it full-time.

Back in May I was feeling stuck. Much of my working time  was spent deep inside myself, writing and reforming blog posts in my head until I had the freedom to take out my laptop and type them up. This left me feeling split in two and never fully present. I resented the confines of an outside schedule on my life and wanted instead to spend more time in the world of my thoughts, giving myself the space to methodically pull them out.

I had no idea that a few short months later I would be fully committed to this practice, or how incredibly fulfilling it would be..

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