• Subscribe to
    Lloyd’s Blog via RSS.
Instagram
  • Check out TheShelterBlog.com
  • Tools for the
    Half-Acre Homestead
 

Bill Castle's Log Lodge in Alleghany Mountains

Going through all my digital photos of the past 17 years, pulling out photos for my book in progress, The Half Acre Homestead, I'm running across forgotten gems, like this. Bill and family created Pollywogg Holler, an inn in southeast New York state -- featured in Home Work -- entirely from trees growing on their land. Bill passed away a few years back, but Polywogg Holler lives on. It's now an eco-resort: http://www.pollywoggholler.com/

Jar of Pickled Red and White Onions


I made these a few days ago. Very simple recipe by David Chang, works with onions, carrots, cucumbers, daikon, etc. You can eat them the next day and they'll keep for a month or longer in the frig.

Drone Film of Orcas Swimming in Crystal Clear Water off San Diego

Go to the post page…



My son Will just turned me on to this group from Austin. They're playing at Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz on April 22nd.

Handmade/Homemade: The Half Acre Homestead


When I start working on a book, it's like setting out on an ocean voyage without a map. I get a theme, an idea, some kind of coherence on a subject,* then start.

When I built my first house in Mill Valley in the early '60s, my friend Bob Whiteley and I laid out the foundation lines in chalk on the ground. "What do we do now, Bob," I asked.

Bob said "This," and took pick and shovel and started digging the foundation trench.

It's been my M.O. all my life. When I don't know what to do, I start. Things (usually) sort themselves out in the process. (I know, I know, I've said all this before…)

This book is about the tools and techniques Lesley and I have evolved in building a home and growing food (and creating a bunch of things) on a small piece of land over a 40+-year period.

I started by writing it in chapters: The House / The Kitchen / Kitchen Tools / The Garden / Garden Tools / Chickens / Food / Foraging/ /Fishing / The Shop / Shop / Shop Tools / Roadkill / Critters…What we've learned; what's worked, what hasn't…

Then I went through some 50,000 digital pictures and picked out 7-800 photos, printed them out contact sheets (12-up) and started organizing them under the above categories.

Next step: starting to put pages together; I am totally excited. I have (kind of unknowingly) been gathering material for this book for decades.

Now I gotta get out of here. Not only is it a gorgeous fresh spring day, but it's my time of the year. Tauruses are feelin good…

Sir Douglas Quinitet - She's About A Mover

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDouqHENK3U

Crab Shell on Beach Today (about 3” wide)



Oh, Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me, I am small and weak,
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold
the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have
made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things
you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have
hidden in every leaf and rock.…

-Native American prayer, translated by Lakota Sioux Chief Yellow Lark in 1887

Canyon Pool in Big Sur

I'm going through all my 50,000 or so digital photos in preparation for my book The Half-Acre Homestead, picking out those on the garden, home, kitchen, and tooIs, etc, and running across some long-forgotten shots, like this one.

I built a house in Big Sur in 1967, on land owned by Boris and Filippa Veren, who ran the Craft & Hobby Book Service. I was their caretaker and they let me build my house on their 40 acres. This was their pool in the canyon, Burns Creek, about two miles north of Esalen. Creek water flowed from a pipe into the pool so no need for chlorine.

I built the house out of mostly used lumber and shakes I got from old redwood stumps or short pieces left by loggers in the woods.

Each night after I finished work in the Spring and Summer, I'd go down to swim. I'd bow to the nearby family of redwoods, then bow in each of the four directions before jumping in.


The English Cottage

This exquisite painting is from one of my treasured books, Old English Country Cottages, edited by Charles Holme, published in 1906. It's a paean to the English cottage, with wonderful pen and ink drawings by Sidney R. Jones, as well as 14 paintings (such as this one) interspersed throughout the 168 pages. I picked up a tattered copy in London in the early '70s. It's apparently been recently reprinted, but it looks as if there are copies of the original available from Abe Books for about $30-$40 (from the UK).

Right now, "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" by Otis came on Sirius radio, such a lovely song. It's 50 years old.

Beach Campground in Mendocino County

How's this for a nice campground? Wright's Beach, Sonoma State Park