Sunday, February 10, 2013

Our Baby Boy

Walter picked out this bear statue at Lowes last Fall.  He usually gives it a kiss as he's passing by.  It had been sitting across from the container house under a small oak  tree, but after we completed the landscape we thought it would look cute closer to be house.  We decided to move it to the steps.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Before Picture Landscaping Container Home Porch

Here is what the front porch landscaping looked like before.

Solar Panels at Off the Grid Vineyard

Our 10 acre slice of paradise has been called "the ranch", "the farm", but so far nothing is sticking for a real name. We planted 20 grapevines a couple of weeks ago, and I have been thinking about really having a go at the vineyard thing. We want to add an olive tree orchard as well.

I remember taking evening strolls through the small Italian community where my sister, Robin, lived near Ortona in the Abruzzi region of central Italy. Everybody had a little bit of everything Italian: artichokes, grapes, olive trees, tomatoes. Most of the homes had less than an acre of land, but they crammed a lot of vegetation into what small bit of soil they did have. It was lovely! I think central Texas weather is so similar and I really want to grow these same items at our property in the Hill Country.

We plan to run our place off solar power, and so far we can watch TV, charge our cell phones, have lights and power the mini fridge, etc. And that's just with the set up seen here. (above photo) We have about ten more panels, batteriesm and a larger power system in production this week. We run a pump off the solar power to water the vines with a hose from the pond to the vineyard which is planted along our fenceline. We plan to plant 20 more vines in the coming weeks, and I'm researching olive trees as well.