A year later…

I’d been meaning to do a “nostalgic” post on the one-year anniversary of the groundbreaking for the Nid, but of course I forgot all about it until now, a week or so after the date. Better late than never? So, more or less a year ago, I was in full swing, had just arrived back on St Croix after some five-ish years away, was all psyched up to build a house, start a “farm”, full of dreams and spunk – even when it came to seemingly endless bushwhacking (by hand), digging, and hauling rocks and sand up a stump-filled path. Now that the glory has worn a little thin at the edges, I must reminisce those early days, in order to look back and see just how far the projects have come. Sure, I haven’t done as much as I hoped, thus far, but I’ve still made a lot of progress – despite various setbacks. While the roof isn’t fully waterproof yet, at least I have a roof! The back acreage is not yet cleared, but that means less maintenance. I’ve gone from “nothing” to a fairly habitable dwelling, a small front-yard garden of greens and herbs with peppers, tomatillos, and more coming along, a coop of happy, healthy chickens who are paying for their keep in delicious eggs, and a puppy who’s a huge pain but can always bring on a smile. I’m well ready for a brief respite from this rather small island, but life is far from bad. A reminder of a year ago:

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The foundation just started.
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Posts being prepared.

To this:

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Newly fitted front doors.
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Friend Lynne, of s/v Amarula, relaxing on the pallet swing in front of the Nid with her two dogs.
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Edwin taking a “dust bath” – chicken habits.

Not too shabby, huh? My vision is still coming together, and is ever-evolving as I question myself, what’s next? The soles of my feet already begin to itch…but there is so much left still to do here!

Meanwhile, I had some fun on Easter Sunday – forget about Hot Cross Buns, we had Hot Cross Bunnies!

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Food and the production thereof will always be a main focus – we all strive to do what makes us happy, right? In an endeavor to produce *healthy* food, I decided to build a solar dehydrator as a means of preserving excess fruit and veggies without added ingredients. In fact, this is just a “test” version in table-top size – I’ll be building the full size one over at Cruzan Gardens with Cynthia, as she also wants one and has superior amounts of sun and space in which to use it. Mine is a somewhat simplified version – it remains to be seen whether the primary one is more efficient.

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Now, I’m not a big fan of papaya in general, but it turns out that dried papaya is really good – well worth the 2-3 days in the dehydrator.

wpid-20150331_150613.jpgOf course, I’ve also started up my fun little roadside market stand; if you haven’t already come out to see it, be sure to stop by tomorrow! I’ll be there from 2:30 until dusk, on the Left-hand side of Mahogany Road 1.3 miles up from the beach. There will be fresh eggs, 3 kinds of wood-fired sourdough bread, freshly baked cookies, bananas, papayas, garden greens, and of course lots of jam and chutney! Even if you don’t need any provisions, feel free to stop by for a visit – it’s a peaceful place to sit and chat for a little while.

I can still use compostables, cardboard, wood shavings, and especially shredded paper and empty (clear) beer bottles, if you happen to have any! Hope to see many of you tomorrow, cheers!

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2 thoughts on “A year later…

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  1. Hi This is Robyn Bitterwolf from the 4 Elements Culinary and Wellness Center on Water Island, just wanted to say hello and to ask you a few questions .We live on Water island and we built a few alternative houses using bottles and stone, we wanted to do a reciprocal roof using native wood,,what kind of wood did you use?..Also we would love to invite you to come visit as our guest..we have built a wood burning oven and we have a culinary program and are giving an artist-en bread and cheese making classes . would you like to come and teach a class?
    340-626-7950 Robyn

    1. Hello Robyn, apologies for the slow response, your comment got lost in the ether. Your projects sound very intriguing! I have mostly used manjack and saman wood, however, both are prone to termite damage. Hardwood would be highly preferable, but one must use what one has!
      I would love to visit sometime, though I do not often get over to St Thomas as all my doings here tend to keep me tied down most of the time. I’ll certainly keep you in mind if I do end up over there in the coming season – thank you!

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