Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yurt days of summer

It all started with a septic tank back up. Four weeks ago today our septic backed up only 8 weeks after we had it pumped, we were told it looked like there may problems with our lateral lines and they may need to be replaced or repaired. Because I rent I notified my landlord, he responded by telling me he may raise the rent to cover the cost. I was a little dismayed, but what choice do I have? When you rent your at the mercy of your landlord and his/her timelines. I really love this place and it fits with my farm business model like beans and corn bread. So I have to admit because I love this place so much I tend feel certain indebtedness and it causes me not to make demands or hold my land lord accountable for fear of losing this great space. So there is fair amount I put up with in exchange.

I’m in no position to move onto my own land at this point but things like this motivate me into action that’s for sure. It’s the septic now, last winter it was no heat for three weeks during the coldest time of the winter, I finally called and got the heater fixed and paid for it out of my own pocket just because I didn’t want to be a bother, and now raw sewage is backing up out of the pipe coming out of the ground right outside our back door. Well not really… ‘cause you know I wouldn’t let that happen.

When yuz git lemons make you some lemonade! After the first week of no word from the landlord I decided to take things into my own hands so I build a sawdust toilet and a three compartment compost bin. ( ) I used to use one at my old house and loved it! Dump out the dish water and laundry mat to clean clothes. Shower and sink water drains out onto the front yard as grey water and it’s not really that bad. It made me think about all the things I take for granted. And it made me think about how dependant I have become since I moved here on a un- self-sufficient lifestyle.

So first came the composting toilet then came the yurt. Let me back up….in 2003 when I moved from Seattle to Tulsa Oklahoma I brought with me a yurt ( ) I lived in this yurt for one year. Then I moved into a house. I hung onto said yurt and put it up for intern housing here at the farm. It’s such a long story how I came to decide to move into the yurt myself, but I suppose I needed to find a way to feel empowered to feel like I had some sort of control over the way I live. I needed something that was mine. I crave the bliss of self sufficiency. And truly it is bliss, I’ve felt it and lived it for many years I just got separated from it for a little while. And I must say I am so fortunate to have a partner who feels exactly the same.

I love living in the yurt. The space is clean and simple and it has a real calming energy to it. The yurt helps us be more self sufficient. We have water pumped in from a well, we have a nice sink, and grey water pond, we have a compost toilet, an extension cord to run some lights and a fan, a wood stove to cook and heat with in the winter. It’s sort of like really uptown camping. We are trying to be as sustainable and self sufficient as possible. We’re not off grid just half off our grid.
What about the house. The house hasn’t changed a bit I spend my days making cheese in the kitchen and now I have more space to age and the farm feels like it’s a real business with a real future. There is less traffic going in and out and I feel like I’m making steps forward to getting the Kitchen certified for cheese production. Maybe its all just a pipe dream. I have many steps but I’m a walking.

So I’m not sure what will happen with the lateral lines and I’ll just take it all in stride, hope for some grace and continue to eek out a peaceful living off this beautiful land for as long as I can.

Here are some pictures Composting toilet


Cindi said...

Thanks so much for sharing your setup! The humanure toilet seems like a smarter (or at least thriftier!) idea than spending a ton of money on one of the expensive composting toilets. They have their benefits, but they're just so expensive.

Do you have any blog posts on how you set up your grey water system? We'll be looking to have a system set up for grey water as well so I'd be interested to know how you did yours, if anything became apparent to you later that would cause you to do things differently were there a 'next time', etc.

Lost City Denise said...

I like the look of your minimalism set up!
I think I'd love it in the winter, but at 100+F I'd have to stay in the pond.

Lisa said...

Yea Denise, Durring the heat of the day its pretty brutal. Its location is all shady but it still tops 100. Cant wait till fall!