What’s a Walipini? . . . nope, not a new drink . . .

Gardening Walipini 01
A walipini is a greenhouse that is built into the ground to take advantage of the more stable temperatures and thermal mass of the earth. Ranging from simple to… elaborate, these structures allow you to grow all year long, in almost any climate on earth. Build your own, and take control of your food future!http://tinyurl.com/av8ljao
Because . . .
Gardening is defiant 01
so . . .
IMG_3047
(not sure where that came from originally; a friend sent it to me)
I finally learned how to make these, so this one’s for my hippie hugeller friends:
KeepCalmStudio.com-[Crown]-Keep-Calm-And-Hugel-On
I’ve been waiting, somewhat patiently, for the final shipment of things for my new creative project. I thought I was all set to go last weekend, then found that one essential product I bought is not the correct version (who knew water softeners came in more than one version?), so I placed an online order and it should be here by Friday, which means my weekend will likely be fun. In the meantime I’ve finally beat that tooth infection into submission after a brief, but worrisome, recurrence. Doesn’t pay to get off the wagon too soon, or to lack in a certain amount of humility, either. Oh, well . . . it’s all good now.
This post is short, as I need to be off the computer soon. Not to mention my overflowing FeedReader is bleating at me (silently, but powerfully) to at least skim through some of its harvest. Hope you are all having a great week and staying warmer than our -28C (with windchill) today. Glad we have enough milk in the fridge for another day or two. I’d go out if needed, of course, but I’m glad when I don’t have to.  At least we have noticeably longer days and more sunshine now. (sorry, my southern friends) The sun is coming into the apartment in the late afternoons again, which is very nice, even if it shows up all the dustbunnies . . .
IMG_3720Last Autumn, these were among the last of the wee daisies I love.
I think they might be chamomile, actually.
Just a reminder, here:
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. . . every cloud does have a silver lining . . .
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37 thoughts on “What’s a Walipini? . . . nope, not a new drink . . .

    • Yes, they are called ‘bunnies’ for a reason, I’m sure . . . 😉
      Glad you like the photos, Jenn That cloud one was just a lucky iPhone shot, but it turned out lovely, didn’t it?

  1. Queen of tantalisation ;). Water softner eh? Interesting… I love shasta daisies but HATE osteospermum daisies. I guess one invades Poland and the other one forms lovely magestic clumps of green leaves and lovely white flowers. I love order out of chaos ;). I like chamomile in the garden but can’t stand it in it’s tea form. That dry soil around that chamomile is just about where we are at here on Serendipity Farm. The soil on our walks is starting to crack as we are predominately clay around here and once the clay subsoil starts to dry out it sucks the life out of the top soil which is so much silt. My chooks are enjoying digging their way to China and making massive dust baths in the side garden but I am about to put the kybosh on their fluffy activities and haul some woodchips to the area and then toss in a pile of wood/branches in order to prevent them from doing any more damage. I wish it wasnt forecast to be 29C today…then 31C tomorrow…and 32 the day after :(. I HATE heat. Enjoy your minuses. It would seem that the grass is always greener on the other side of the world 😉

    • Ooohhhhh . . . I like my new title . . . 😉
      I wonder if your osteosperma are the ones I nurtured in Mum’s garden (SO pretty!!) until the city sent us a notice about ‘noxious weeds’ (that included the Scotch thistle that I also love and a few others, sadly) and then I found out how hard they were to get rid of . . . 😦

      I like chamomile tea, but rarely make it. My Norwegian ancestry on Mum’s side leans me toward coffee, even though my parents drank tea in the afternoon and with dinner. That dry soil is because that is a patch next to the sidewalk along a very busy street. It borders a small strip mall parking lot and the dirt is never watered or fed. I think they do mow from time to time . . .

      I can just see your chooks digging their way to China . . . they do love dust baths, don’t they? Seems to me I read somewhere that the dust is a way for them to deal with mites, etc. But you’re right; they can cause a lot of damage. I like your plan for that area.

      I’m not a big fan of extremes, temp wise, anyway. But it IS good for our internal thermostats, apparently. Not that I care when I have to go out in heat or cold . . . No grass is green around here, believe me . . . and I expect much of yours is brown and crackly just now, too. Ours is white and crackly . . . I wish that temperate temperatures were good for me; then I’d feel more justified in whinging on . . . I hope your autumn and our spring are lovely and last a long while . . .

      • Apparently that pesky Puxatawny Phil groundhog has given you guys another 60 days of winter (the bollocks) and like we want another 60 days of summer Phil! PFFT! It has been well over a month since it last rained (spit) here and the soil is cracked, parched, dry as dust and is so much lice powder for our chooks and very little else (aside from a nice coating for my floor that I sweep maniacally 3 times a day and that most helpfully just rises up in a nice cloud and then settles back down once the maniac stops sweeping…sigh…). Whinge away, you are in good company 😉

      • Oh, I missed seeing the news about Groundhog Day! Well, if we only have 60 days more, that’s a bonus! That would take us to the beginning of April. Most people don’t plant anything ’til at least the Queen Victoria long weekend at the end of May. Last year we had snow in mid-May . . . 😦
        Gotta run . . . more later. Hugs. ~ L

      • Bugger! I think I just lost that answer to your comment but I was just complaining about how your 60 days of cold equals our 60 days of more extended hot and dry but in the process we get a bit of extra time to install that rainwater tank to take advantage of our winter rain (should we get some 😉 )

      • I hate when I lose comments! I use your tip about wordpad if I’m on the computer and it’s going to be a long comment.

        I hope you have enough rain (after the tank is installed). But I think we’re in for more like 90 days more of winter here . . . maybe more. Oh, well, not much we xan do here. At least you have time to put in that tank.

      • I think my first reply was lost, Narf; we’ve had very slow ‘net for a bit now and I had to re-boot twice today after the pc froze while I was using it. Oh, well . . .

        That Punxatawney Phil is in the States, I believe. I’ll take 60 days of winter, thank you! That will make it spring by the end of April. No-one plants here before the long weekend of Queen Victoria Day. Last year we had our last snow in mid-May . . .

        You know what is good for sweeping dust? Women have used this for ages: Dampen some sawdust and sprinkle it on the floor, then sweep . . . all the dust comes together. When I was in my teens, we used a dust mop and Mum would dampen it. Sometimes she put lemon oil on it, too, and it freshened the house so nicely!

      • That’s a great idea but how do you get all of the dust from anything higher than the floor? That would be me with a damp cloth but that lemon oil is another great idea 🙂 Our topsoil is predominately silt here thanks to our close proximity to the river and our heavy clay subsoil and so when we get even the smallest breeze (let alone 2 heifer dogs running in and out of the door) it brings that topsoil straight inside and I gave up being too houseproud about a week into moving here. I would have gone mad otherwise ;). I have one of those flat fibre moppy things that I am going to use with some lemon oil to at least make the place smell lovely even if the dust is blowing in behind me as I sweep 😉

      • Oh, you’re supposed to remove the dust from higher up, too? 😉 Mum used a damp cloth with lemon oil on it. I have an ostrich feather duster (two, really; a long handled one and a short handled one). They are better than chicken feather dusters. It’s hard to dust here, though, as we have so many things out and then there are boxes everywhere as well. I do dust somewhat, though; here a bit one day, there a bit another day; eventually it’s all done.

        That’s one thing about dogs (and kids and cats, too, for that matter); they bring stuff in constantly. I suppose installing a grid in a long hallway would help; it would all fall through, or mostly, anyway. Or you could accept your fate and quit sweeping; just dampen down and stomp until you had a nice earthen floor. Of course, you must make sure the doors open outwards first . . . or do what some peoples do; live in a tent and when it piles up too much, just move the dwelling . . . no, I didn’t think those would appeal to you . . . guess you’re stuck with sweeping, then. 😉 Try dampening the fibre thingy and then add a few drops of the lemon oil. You’ll likely pick up more that way. good luck on that. And the place will smell lovely!

      • The same dog (who shall remain anonymous) that sheds his hair en mass has a problem with me mopping, sweeping, vacuuming and especially dusting. If I pull the duster out he sees red. It is apparently an affront to his personal space and he MUST kill it. The vacuum cleaner suffers a similar response but he has learned that sweeping is something that I am going to do at least 3 times a day and so he leaves me alone when I sweep BUT in saying that…he lays on the ground right in the middle of where I am sweeping pretending to be asleep (with one eye open watching me) and refuses to move his hairy carcass. He has also been known to walk through my dust pile and spread it halfway back to where I just swept it! Sigh… I could always just stuff a tissue with lemon oil up my nose and make “me” happy while the dogs revelled in their doggy smells 😉

      • Dogs are like kids, eh? We love ’em and at the same time, could cheerfully strangle ’em. Worth it in both cases, though. I would suggest you get a Roomba, but I suspect Earl and Bezial would enjoy it for a few minutes and then you’d have expensive trash to deal with . . . 😉 I’ve had dogs who would lie right where I was sweeping, too. I wonder what’s with that? Not enough attention? (ha!) You may have to feed them out on the deck, then shut the door and sweep like a madwoman . . . Of course, they will bring in more on their return . . . I have an image of you with the tissue now . . . 😉

      • I figured! Now, if you could train him to walk back and forth with dustrags attached to his ankles or else dragging behind from a harness . . . 😉

  2. I was up at 5:30 this morning and it was still dark! You can keep the extra daylight. My kids won’t go to sleep whilst the sun is still up so I am looking forward to shunting DLS off to your Northern Hemisphere types. 😉
    You are stirring us up with your tantilising hints about your big craft project. I hope your weekend is everything you desire and that the milk lasts until it warms up somewhat (you can have 15 degrees off the top of our temperatures too. 35-40C is a bit too much to bear.

    • I will keep it, thank you! For a while, anyway. I like how we share temperatures, hours of daylight, etc. I may whinge about the shrinking days in the autumn, but it’s hard to rejoice over getting those hours back . . . You may need to make blackout curtains for your kids’ rooms . . . or something. Wait ’til they are teens and need more sleep than a baby . . . 😉

      Today was a creative write-off except for something completely different from what I’ve been teasing about. But it needed doing and I’m feeling good that I did something, anyway. I’ll be posting photos in a day or two, so no more now . . .

      When I went to the library yesterday, my rolly cart was only half full of books, so I bussed straight to the grocery store (it’s just about three blocks north of us), picked up more milk, etc., and then walked home. colder than -20, and the wind was blowing. Good for me, I know . . . but I was glad to get inside, change into sweatpants and a long-sleeve T and then sit down with a hot drink . . .

      I think letting you have 15 degrees off our cold and us taking 15 off your heat is a fantastic idea . . . I find +30 is pretty hot for me, so +40 is even worse. I’ve lived with it when I was in the Okanagan years ago and we would get up before dawn and move the irrigation pipes, take care of stock, etc. Breakfast was whatever was ripening in the garden; we just wandered around and ate off the plants and bushes (and the orchard . . . mmmmm). From late morning to early evening we would take blankets and books and go down by the irrigation canals in the shade of the thickets. We would lie in the water until we were cold (it came down from the hills and was very cold); then lie on the blankets and read or talk while we warmed up again. Soon we would be too hot and back into the water we would go . . . our oldest was just four then and he liked it, too. He’d play on the blanket or nap or we’d read to him. Then, after some supper we’d move the pipes and care for stock again; plus any other farm chores that needed doing. After dark sometime it would cool off enough to get some sleep. We were living in a tent then, so that helped. We could raise the sides at the bottom and let the night air blow through . . .

      • Yes, that’s why it’s good to have kids when you are young and still full of energy yourself . . . I could do it now, if I had to, but I’d prefer the baby stage and would find it hard to return to the ever-vigilant attitude of their toddler years (and later). You know, “it’s so quiet; what are they up to now?” Mine had so much energy . . . would have been nice if we could have sold that back into the grid . . . 😉

      • More like ” It’s quiet… SHIT!” 😉 Quiet is synonymous with chaos in our house. A quiet daughter 30 minutes ago found a small girl asleep and with a whole roll of toilet paper strewn around her room. Last week it meant permanent marker all over the walls. Before that, goat medicine (not harmful to kids so stupidly left within reach) painted the walls. It’s inventive chaos, I’ll give her that. 😦

      • Oh, yes, and literally ‘shit’ sometimes. We got up a bit late one morning to find our eldest (then under one) had ‘finger-painted’ the walls, window, door and part of the floor of his room. Not the best wake-up I ever had . . . He was being creative, though . . . Have you thought of painting one section of wall and letting them write on it so long as they only write there? Blackboard paint and chalk can work well for that, too, as you can wash it off at times. Goat medicine, eh? Yep, they’re inventive. It will be a great quality when they are grown up, eh?

      • Shit is a common paint in this house unfortunately. 😦 I’m sadly very used to it.
        The kids have a blackboard table but noe, not enough. We’re working on the access to paper and pencils but when they “art” everything but the appropriate mediums I’m reluctant to extend the trust.
        Ah well.

      • Yes, artistic (and smart!) kids are extra work when young, but so rewarding later on. I know what you mean about them not sticking to the approved media, too. Maybe lock them in a shed with the materials and let them out to be hosed down later? 🙂 At least they aren’t all into drums . . .

    • Yes, I think it would take a while to create one of these. But we had a small version in the orchard when we lived in the big log house. My husband dug it. It was a bit different, though; he dug the centre out so we could stand upright while tending the plants. On either side was a wide bed and another across the far end; like a long ‘U’ shape. There was a step or two at the doorway. He built a framework and covered it with plastic. It worked very well. In those days we had to water by hand; between the greenhouses (we had a two-story pyramid greenhouse then, too; also built by my husband) and a dozen or more raised beds that were about five feet wide and over thirty feet long, it took the four of us about four hours to carry enough water. We usually watered every third day. The two adults carried two five-gallon buckets each, the older boy carried two two-and-a-half gallon buckets and the younger carried two one-gallon ice cream buckets. Height had a lot to do with the size of bucket. 🙂 It was worth it, although we never harvested the amount we would have had if we had been able to stay there and keep building up every year. Ownership makes a big difference.

      Haven’t started the creation yet; my Aunty was up several times today. I hope to start tomorrow, though. It’s not like knitting, which I can do while visiting and also can put down at a moment’s notice. Now would be a good time to work without interruptions, but by this time of night, I’m tired and not feeling inspired. Not to mention that daylight is best for what I’m planning. Our electric lights aren’t enough. All we have in the living room (lounge) are a few lamps and none of them is all that bright.

      • Gosh that sounds lovely, you would’ve been in your element Linne 🙂 Alot of hard work but we can move mountains doing something we are committed to ay.

        Mmm, now that sounds interesting 🙂 Can’t wait to see it! Yes, we have terrible evening light too, can’t do a thing like handwork or art in the evening, unless I go downstairs on my own…there there are 6 lights with a dimmer so it goes up terribly bright but of course that just uses alot of power.

      • It was work, but we were young and strong and both of us liked doing things. We treated that place as if it were ours . . . so far as we could, anyway . . .

        No progress today, sorry.

        I think the worst thing about apartments and some houses is the lack of adequate windows. Even in the daytime, before the sun comes ’round to the west, we need lamps on for much of what we do. I’ve taken to lying on the couch leaning on my bedroll, head toward the west (and the sliding doors) while I eat and/or read. Saves on the lamps. Not that we pay for power; we’re just thrifty by habit. (except I let the tap run when washing up in the morning or brushing my teeth. Not good, I know . . .

  3. It certainly looks like chamomile – I am not a fan of its scent but love its therapeutic goodness! I also love white daisies 🙂 I wanted to get some for my garden, but none were available……. they will come.

    Glad to hear the tooth is better, and I too am looking forward to seeing a creation, it sounds so mysterious to my non-textile ears!

    Oh, the silver lining photo is just gorgeous and I would like to know how to make those ‘carry on’ things also ….. 🙂

    I hope your weekend goes very productively!! xoxo

    • I do like the tangy, not so pretty, scents of things like daisies, chrysanthemums, etc. No accounting for taste . . . 😉
      Do you like the tall ones called Marguerites, too? I love ’em all . . .

      How is it you have ‘non-textile’ ears? I am amazed . . .

      You gave me a good idea with your comment on the cloud photo. It was just my phone, but a lucky moment.

      The ‘carry on’ memes (I think that’s what they’re called these days) are easy. I’ll find the link for you.

      Have a productive weekend yourself, Pauline! ❤ ❤ ❤

      • I love Marguerites too – any of those big white daisies really, and I’m not sure why, they are just so pretty and happy 🙂

        I have so much to do and spend far too much of my ‘doing’ time on-line – someone needs to come up with a hands free version of on-line …. now theres a good idea!!

      • Oh . . . except that would be in real time . . . and online we can each join in as convenient to the rest of our lives. My phone lets me read posts while on the bus (too bumpy for accurately typing comments, though). So maybe blue-tooth online access?

  4. Now that is NEAT!!! That would be perfect, but do you think it would work in these below zero weathers? Dust bunnies, I just look the other way:-) lol…I hate those things!

    • I think if you pile snow along the back and maybe a bit over the back part of the roof (assuming it’s strong enough to not fall in), then add a few of those ceramic heaters, it should work. Sometimes even a couple of light bulbs left on (and low down) can help. The ceramic heaters are made by turning clay plant pots upside down, then lighting a candle underneath them. You can stack the pots so you have a larger mass. I’d dig a small trench under one side to let in enough air, but I don’t know if that’s necessary. Another thing that would likely help would be some ‘space blankets’; the ones you buy for a survival kit. They could be put up in the evening whenever extra cold nights are expected. Passive solar in the form of water-filled 50 gallon metal drums will work, too. And now that I’m learning about rocket stoves, I’m thinking one of those at each end of a long greenhouse, or one in the middle of a small one . . . or a combination of the above. There’s always a way . . . it’s figuring out what we can do and what we can afford that’s not always simple. I’m not so fond of the dust bunnies, either. Under furniture, I can ignore them; ours, unfortunately, are on top of furniture, due to my having a long spell of plain laziness and disinterest. If it were seasonal dust, it wouldn’t be so bad, but with the street right below, it’s neverending.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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