Living with the weather is so much a part of our life that I don’t pull it into conscious level often , but I had to explain it to a volunteer the other day and it has been rattling around every since then .
Almost everything that happens on a homestead is inter-related to the weather. Our water for both our household and the livestock and wildlife- garden and all- is very dependent on rain fall. Our energy comes from solar and (soon ) wind-power. Our garden success each year is locked into the weather . And yeesss- my old bones are really aware of it , too LOL !
One of the things I do each AM is check and record the temperature- go for a walk and check the level of the Creek and our Spring…look at the level of the livestock pond. During the colder months , it is really important to have fire wood in the dry, a goodly amount of kindling dry for starting fires- it is definitely not fun gathering it in the pouring rain ! LOL and can actually be life threatening I you can’t keep a fire going when the temperature is in the teens and below zero. Having water that is not frozen is a think ahead thing also – it is important to drain any pipes that aren’t insulated- have several containers available of drinking water if you don’t have running water.
Planning laundry and bath time is dependent on water supply levels . So much of our lives revolve around nature. We use herbal medicines- tinctures, salves, and added to our diet. We live behind a hill that is slicker than Dragon Snot when it rains heavily, so looking a weather report helps us plan our town trips.
Our home has been designed using passive solar concepts. We lived on our land in a small trailer for about three years prior to choosing the site..spent many hours walking it, sitting on a spot – learning the ways the winds and the sun and shadow traveled , until finally picking our wonderful spot! Passive design uses the angle and direction of travel of the sun and wind to help heat and cool your home. We ran the length of our home from east to west – 80 feet- and the north south line is one room deep -24feet and then the center of the house sis a covered breezeway called a dogtrot . Purdue University did a study on their use and says that they can cool a house on average by 15%. . So 100 degrees would be 85 ! It does help a lot. They are along the same principle as a wind scoop or underground wind tunnel. We also designed our air pathways through the house to give good cross ventilation all summer. one of the main reasons for the spot we picked is that it picks up the creek breezes which go up-creek in the AM and down creek in the PM . Our roof line is designed to allow the sun to heat the house in the winter and it shades it during the summer .
Everything is so interwoven It’s one of the deep joys of living back in our Hollow. We live in a real world and interact with it , but also have our own wonderful life here. Yes it is labor intensive- often “inconvenient” but we truly love it and feel Blessed.