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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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Pets vs. Livestock: The Paradoxes of Farm Animal Ownership

For the past few weeks on our property we’ve had a chicken with a phlegmy, body-wracking cough and a chronically limping dog.

Poor Wendell has been on three different vet visits and undergone multiple x-rays of his stiff leg. Some were taken while he was unconscious from heavy-duty (and costly) anesthetics, all to see if he was a candidate for an eye-wateringly expensive reconstructive surgery to remove cartilage from his shoulder.

The chicken? She’s in the compost pile.

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One Year In: The Truths I’ve Learned

“Not killing you.”

That was Ian’s response when I asked him what he was most proud of accomplishing this past year.

WOW. What a romantic.

Granted, he did giggle right after saying it so maybe it was tongue in cheek. (I hope?!)

As we pass the one-year mark of our young marriage, I suppose I’m grateful that his homicidal tendencies have at least taken this long to manifest themselves.

Here’s to hoping that won’t change after some practice with our meat rabbits.

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Putting Up the (2)

Freelance Writing: 7 Weeks In

When I started this blog eleven months ago, I viewed it only as a way for me to connect with friends and family back home. I never imagined that less than one year later it would become foundation I needed to start my own writing career.

Actually, I had such low aspirations when I started that I simply created a free blog through Google. And then cried for a whole day when, a month in, I lost that blog when the college email address I used to create it was terminated.

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Harvesting the Sun

How to Harvest the Sun with a Solar Oven

Hot weather and stuffy kitchens are enough to turn anyone off their appetite. Unfortunately, conventional ovens can create a lot of heat, quickly making meal prep a miserable experience for everyone. But there is an easy solution to this problem, a low-maintenance, simple to use oven that required almost no effort to use. Best of all, it runs off the solar system’s most plentiful renewable resource- sunshine. Welcome to the wonderful world of cooking with a solar oven.

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