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Garden Mastery Academy - Module 1: Dare to Dream
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Natalie Jensen

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since Nov 07, 2019
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One half of a pair of nerds who are leaving the city for a rural-ish life and a mini homestead in eastern Ontario. We move in late June 2021.

(Not my real name, but pretty close.)
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Recent posts by Natalie Jensen

Chris Gordon wrote:Any other permies in the area in the last 7 years? Always planned to create a food forest at home but covid really kicked it into high gear for us. Want to use my 3.8 acre in carleton place area to become calorie and nutrient self sufficient. Would love to trade various food forest species with locals but im just getting started.



Howdy! Our closing date on our very miniature "homestead" will be in late June. It is about 0.5 acres and is closer to Greely. We're transplanted apartment dwellers from Toronto and are looking forward to growing as much food as we can in the coming years. Work and budget restrictions limited us to this size and location, but maybe as we learn, grow and save we will be able to take on more in the future. We won't be in a place to trade for a few years probably but it's lovely knowing there are like minded folks in the region.
2 months ago
No personal experience, but I read and enjoyed this book a few years ago: https://newsociety.ca/books/p/permaculture-for-the-rest-of-us . It is is Nova Scotia, not NB, however.

3 months ago
I patched a larger hole in the same pair of jeans I used in the darning BB. I went with an ornamental visible mend:

Hole and patch fabric:


Set up:


Progress, and the hole I darned on the left:


Finished:
4 months ago
Excited to post my first submission! I darned a large-ish hole in a pair of jeans. I patched another hole in these jeans and will be posting for that BB shortly too! I used cotton thread because I wanted to get a feel of what it would be like if I did proper invisible mending, working with the threads left in the fabric. I'm still a ways off from that skill, but it was an interesting learning experience. I used an embroidery hoop to hold things steady for me.

The hole:


My set up, including thread and needle:


Progress photo, just using the remaining threads to build up a new fabric:


Finished work, after I went in the other direction weaving between the threads from the first step:


The fabric in the surrounding area is still week and will need a patch eventually, but this was a great learning experience for me.
4 months ago

Jon Wisnoski wrote:Great find, thank you.

I guess it all comes down to what "available" means.
I started out thinking that this was bad luck, but I am not sure anymore. Our neighbors still are not connected to the municipal drinking water system and or course they can get it if they have the money to pay the hookup cost. So available is apparently being interpreted as already connected to your property. And the water supply people said that the only way for us to disconnect was for them to physically cut the line off. Meaning we would be back to where we were before we paid to connect, it is "available" if we wish to pay tens of thousands to have them connect our land to the water supply. It seems to me, that unless their are more laws pertaining to this, we should be able to disconnect.



I just want to make sure I am clear that in order for this to be possibly true, you would have to have an acceptable (to the Building code) source of water and way to handle wastewater. It sounds like that is the case for you as you mention that you have at one point opted to be connected to the system. This comment is more for others who may stumble on the thread.

Local government is... messy. If you have only been dealing with the water folks I would make sure you have checked in with the planning/building departments too. I say this as a water person* - the water folks aren't always aware of all the other layers of rules around their work. There are a lot of jurisdictions at play here. There is the Ontario Building Code which is a provincial law (often administered at the local level), but there are also possibly local by-laws that sit on top of that code. I was doing a little searching and I noticed that there is by-law in my area which outlines a "mandatory connection area" and these homes must now be connected to municipal supply. The planning/building department should be able to give you a useful answer because they are the people who would be making the call about whether a dwelling is suitable for occupancy.

*None of my comments relate to my professional experience which is not in the area of customer connections, I just know where to look for possible answers.  
4 months ago
I'm not sure if this is any more research than you have done already, but section 3.7.4.1 of the OBC states:

3.7.4.1. Plumbing and drainage Systems

(1) Except as permitted in Sentence (3), each building situated on property that abuts on a street in which a public or municipal water main is located shall be provided with or have accessible to its occupants a plumbing system including a potable water supply, a sanitary drainage system and plumbing fixtures.

(2) When the installation of a sanitary drainage system is not possible because of the absence of a water supply, sanitary privies, chemical closets or other means for the disposal of human waste shall be provided.

(3) Plumbing fixtures need not be provided in a building that is not normally occupied by persons where such installations are impractical and other fixtures are available in nearby buildings when the subject building is in use.



Now, that doesn't say you have to use that water, but you are going to need a water supply and a wastewater solution, as outlined in other sections:


7.1.5.3. water Distribution Systems

(1) Except as provided in Sentence (2), every water distribution system shall be connected,

(a) to a watermain that is part of a municipal drinking water system, or

(b) to a drinking water system, if a watermain described in Clause (a) is not available.

(2) Storm sewage or greywater that is free of solids and treated to conform to Article 7.7.4.1. is permitted to be used as a water supply for,

(a) water closets,

(b) urinals,

(c) sub-surface irrigation, or

(d) the priming of traps.

(3) Rainwater that is free of solids and treated to conform to Article 7.7.4.1. is permitted to be used as a water supply for,

(a) clothes washers,

(b) laundry trays,

(c) mop sinks,

(d) bedpan washers,

(e) water closets,

(f) urinals,

(g) hose bibbs,

(h) sub-surface irrigation, or

(i) the priming of traps.

(4) Piping conveying the non-potable water described in Sentence (2) shall be installed in conformance with Section 7.7.



I'm not 100% sure if the "not available" means you have to use municipal if it is there. Basically all of section 8 relates to wastewater treatment so I won't copy paste that whole thing here. You will need a wastewater solution to have the building be permitted for occupancy, and that includes grey water.

On top of all of this, your town may have additional by-laws, so that would be a good place to look too. $100 per month for water without metering is WILD. You may not know this, but water/wastewater utilities are funded entirely by rates and fees. If they need to charge each home this amount they must really need the money for critical upkeep or operating costs. I'm sorry you are dealing with this.
4 months ago
Ahhhh! We did it!!!

I finally had enough of sobbing every day in my office so I started looking for a new job late last year and found one in the Ottawa region. We also bought our first car which I suppose is an unfortunate compromise to having to work outside the home in a rural area. DH myself and our two cats moved into a sub-let in late December and in February we put an offer on a house!

Real estate is completely goofy right now so there were two downsides:
  • We were not able to find anything above an acre in our price range that had wired internet access, and satellite/wireless/cell is not reliable for DH to work from.
  • We had to bid unconditional (!!!) which means we were waiting until this week to know for sure that we could get a mortgage. We had pre-approval for our budget, but there is a chance the lender decides we paid too much for the house which would have been...bad.


  • We got a house that is the perfect fit for the two of us, a 20 min drive to my work, zoned rural and in the greenbelt. It's on septic and well and uses propane. It's on 0.49 acres, and the backyard is on the south side, and it looks like we are a good candidate for solar. We won't be able to move in until late June, but we are hoping to use the rest of the summer to observe, plan and prepare the property to hit the ground running next year with a garden.

    We were hoping that moving out here would lower our costs a little bit (I took a pay cut), but we have found this isn't really true. The real estate market has run wild and it was only after taking a potentially financially ruinous risk outside of our original budget (but still affordable) that we were able to buy our mini homestead. I am so excited about the possibilities (and responsibilities) that are open to us here. I can't wait to become a contributing member of this board rather than just living vicariously through the posts I read here.
    4 months ago

    Hayley Stewart wrote:

    Natalie Jensen wrote:I've been chomping at the bit to get some more hands-on learning experience with farming/gardening/homesteading but it's been difficult to find opportunities that don't require a car.



    No Car? We are twins

    And thank you for the warm welcome Timothy, we're looking forward to learning from the great people on this forum.

    1 year ago
    Spouse and I live in Toronto and currently grow things in our tiny apartment and on our tiny, windy balcony, lol!

    We're hoping to move out of the city in the next two years. He can work remotely and I am a professional engineer in a pretty high demand and non-volatile sector, so I am hoping I can find work wherever we go.

    We hope to build a garden to supplement our food needs and also as a rewarding hobby. The plan is to find something with a livable structure and explore some building techniques as well for out buildings.
    1 year ago