It has been as cold as 8 degrees below zero up at Tiny House Ontario. I left the garden totally uncovered and mostly everything is now frozen off; however, there is still some fresh food available for nosh. I had cut down all the swiss chard when I left three weeks ago, because I figured it was on it’s last grow; surprising thing, is that it grew up again so I got another nice sized bag to eat.
The flat leaf Italian parsley was started late this year with a 1/2 a pack of 5 year old seeds and even with the horrible drought, it has been producing enough for me to use all summer. It is a perennial that continues to grow too, year after year, as long as the winter freeze does not kill it. The other half pack was what kept my Hamilton house in parsley for the last 5 years. A very good producer for a $3. pack of organic seeds! I cut off three good sized bundles to make 3 tabouli salads; one for me, one for my cousin S, and another for my Aunt C, so we all got a nice healthy side dish this week. There is still plenty there to make a couple of more salads but it is fun to dig under the snow to get it, so I left it.
Sage is another easy keeper. I don’t plant this from seed because one plant is PLENTY for my family. Among other things, it makes what would be a good sweet potato and coconut milk soup, really great. Sage has nice deep undertones that stay on the pallet a long time after eating. Here is the recipe that I like, because I am a GF veg*an, I simply substitute chicken broth for a gluten free veg*an soup base. I also don’t fully puree mine because I like bits – and speaking of bits this is nice with a handful of chopped peanuts on top too.
So, what I wanted to say is that I am glad that I did not dig up the swiss chard. It was a zero mile mouth full of yum!
I admire your unique lifestyle and how you live as a “snowbird”. I am from Lake Arrowhead mountains and recently moved away and oh! how I miss it. But I love where I live now and wish to have a mountain home too so your “tiny house” idea seems perfect. I too choose to live with only my fur-kid.
I was thinking about your heat dilemna — Have you considered those sealed radiator units? They plug into a 110 outlet, are only warm to the touch (no burns), work on a thermostat (so you can leave for hours), are extremely reasonably priced (under $100), and come in different sizes depending on how much area you are trying to warm up. I have seen them for sale in southern california at Home Depot, Walmart, Sears. I had one and it worked surprisingly fast and heated a bedroom 15 x 18 quickly. It was silent, and energy efficient. In the winter, I simply left it on all the time. The thermostat on the unit worked well and kept the room evenly climatized. Although not the the prettiest accessory, they are more refined looking than the radiators of old, come with remote controls, and do not bang in the night!
The other thought would be — can you benefit from A/C? I know that sounds like a crazy question now but the very latest in A/C technology has the new “mini-split” units hang high up on the wall and are about 3′ long and 12″ high and are both A/C AND HEATING and work off electricity. (Don’t know if capacity at your circuit breaker would be a factor) No need for ducting. Not central air. There is a line that runs out to the compressor which is approximately 18″ x 24″. Extremely energy efficient. Mirage, Carrier, Symphony, Samsung, LG, Frigidaire, they all make these but you have to look for the ones that provide both heat and A/C. They run about $2500 plus install and whatever elec. modification you may require.
I look forward to tracking your progress. We get a lot of people from your neck of the woods visiting down here in Mexico.