Blue Yurt Farms
Homesteading, Yurts, Travel, Life!
Learning about conservation of our precious forests, engaging in tree planting activities and leading a ‘greener’ way of life is what we’re about here at Blue Yurt Farms. Join us to learn more about living a simpler life that celebrates the important things in life.
Hello, and welcome to my personal ‘homestead’ blog. My name is Erin Baker and I am extremally excited to share my experiences with other people that are interested in healthy eating, farm life, and responsible travel. I don’t claim to be an expert on any of these subjects but I do promise that you’ll get some valuable info and some great stories from me.
And I don’t break promises!
Responsible Travel & Homesteading
Unfortunately for our planet, responsible travel is not the most popular way of getting around the globe these days. That said; things are shifting and more people are becoming aware of the dangers that we face if BIG action isn’t taken by each and every one of us. Even though I like to travel, I’m committed to doing it as ‘responsibly’ as possible and my aim is to inspire others to do the same.
My blog is my ‘homestead’ to do just that!
In today’s world, there are many people choosing to live “off the grid”. They build homes in the middle of nowhere. They travel from place to place in tiny homes. They are unconnected to traditional power lines and happier than ever with their choices to be free. Since they live off the grid, you may think that they have to give up the things we love the most about our modern lives. This is not true. There are many off-grid power generator solutions that can power heat and air units, refrigerators, and more.
An Off-Grid Lifestyle
When living off the grid, you ditch the traditional way of life. You may grow your own food. You may embrace hunting and fishing. You may harvest rain water for flushing your toilet or watering your garden. There are many options available. It simply depends on how far off the grid you want to be. Most people live off the grid without sacrificing television, smart phones, laptops, or other technology. This is made possible by the power generators that they set up wherever they go.
Powering and Off-Grid Life
The people who embrace living off the traditional power grid have discovered ways to have it all. They ditch expensive power bills by choosing other power solutions. The main three options include:
This type of power uses a wind to provide power. As the wind blows it spins a propeller blade. These blades capture kinetic energy and send it to a generator inside the rotating housing behind the blades. From this, it generates electricity.
Generators are used both on the grid and off. Even your power company will use a generator. There are portable generators available to people who want to live off the grid. A quiet generator can power homes in all locations using natural gas, solar power, gasoline, and diesel. Some are designed to work off more than one type of fuel, depending on availability in your area.
Solar power is the use of our sun to provide power using photovoltaic solar panels. They are often installed on the roof of an off the grid home. On sunny days, your solar panels will harness the sun’s power in a battery, where it will be stored until it is necessary.
Pros and Cons
If you want the most efficient type of natural power, then many say that solar is your best option. There are fewer moving parts in solar panels than there are in wind power generators. However, if you look at the numbers, at most 20% of the sun’s energy can be converted and about 60% of the wind can be converted into power. Therefore, it has been proven that wind power is available 24/7 and one wind turbine can provide as much as a thousand solar panels. Wind does provide the most power output, but wind turbines require a lot of space. They are also not easily moved from one place to another. A generator can provide ample power for most homes, even larger ones. You only need the fuel to power them.
The cost of solar or wind power is dropping, but so far solar is cheaper to run if you want to use a renewable energy source. It still requires quite an investment to get solar power setup. You could pay up to $29,000 depending on the size of your home. Most generators can be purchased for a few hundred dollars.
When trying to decide which is best for your off the grid lifestyle, you will have to make sure you do your research. What can you afford, how much power do you need, and how permanent do you want it to be? These are all important questions for you to consider before you decide.
It is a simple, universal fact that Mother Nature has a sense of humor. There usually isn’t a better way to describe the urges that we all have to go to the bathroom. It is a fact of nature that makes little boys giggle and once it hits, no one can deny its power. Humans and all animals do it. You can be driving along a road and see a dog doing it or visit a zoo where you may see large animals taking care of it. As luck would have it, some farmers also use this natural ability to make money from manure.
Farmers and Manure
No one can deny that manure is useful as a fertilizer. When manures absorbed by soil, nutrients release into the soil. These nutrients can increase the moisture content of sandy soils. It also loosens compacted soil. It adds carbon to the soil so that more nutrients can get into the soil. It is also able to reduce runoff, which can deplete nitrates. Manure is also very slow to release its nutrients. This means you can fertilize less often and avoid worry that your soil will have too much nitrogen. Most often, we think of cow dung for fertilizer, but this is not the only situation where fecal matter can be used.
Odd Uses for Animal Dung
Since B.C. times, people have used dung in some very interesting ways. They have used crocodile dung as a birth control method and to give their face a pasty white appearance. Cow dung was once used for building material in Britain. Llama dung has proven effective as a pollution fighting agent. All you have to do is run contaminated water through it. Llama manure tea is also used in gardens and other areas. It is a popular choice because there are fewer seeds and plant matter in their dung.
In 1862, gunpowder was also made using manure and urine mixed together. It created saltpeter. The saltpeter was then harvested and used to create an explosive combination. Confederate states were even encouraged to collect their urine and do their part to aid in the Civil War.
Creative Minds Using Natural Items
In today’s world, we usually only think of dung as potential manure. However, not all people let their creativity end there. Moose droppings are very common souvenirs in Maine, Colorado, Alaska, and Canada. In some countries, flying squirrel dung may end female reproductive issues. This includes pain and menstrual cramps. Elephant dung is useful in creating paper. One elephant can create about 115 pages a day.
It seems that our fascination with all things poop will never end. In the UK, the Isle of Wight Zoo has erected a museum thats dedicated to fecal matter. The poop you will find there comes in all sizes, shapes, and textures. You will find samples from lions, skunks, and even human infants. To ensure that it is not a stinky place to be, poo is dried for up to a year. This ensures we get the thrill of viewing without the nausea of smelling.