Big City, Little Homestead

Living rural in the city is hip and urban – and you can, too.

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Question: Would you want to countrify your city home?

Folks, you could be anywhere in the world and not have a specific service like mine or local resources to make your urban home have a real, rustic appeal (whether house, townhouse, triplex, or unit in a building) – or so you might imagine.

I just had a new idea and wondered if you would find it useful to have an e-booklet showing you different ideas and approaches to countrifying your city home. Do you want it to appear charming and actually be more rustic, wild, and wildlife-welcoming? If so, please sign up below. I’ll be making a note of whoever supports this idea. If we can generate enough interest, I’ll send you design and content questions along the way. Thanks!

#ThrowBackThursday: a creative display of random collected objects

Spring is in the air, the first migrating birds (red-winged blackbirds!) have reportedly arrived, and I’ve been remiss in giving you interesting things to read over the winter months. But take heart! I’ve been reconsidering the writing and content I’ve put forth over the years in different places, to collect what’s worth your time, and what’s still inspiring to me.

In fact, thinking of old pics and posts as “content” at all was a change in perspective for me. A few times I thought “but didn’t I share it on my blog?” Nope, oftentimes I did not – we often under-appreciate our shares and creations, unless they go viral. And one of the things I thought reshare-worthy was something I did three years ago.

This was a case – I bet you have a case too! – of having a collection of random objects you don’t know what to do with, but can’t let go. Many of mine are rusty, some of them farm-related, some not – and I had no place but a shelf in a closet and a box in my garage for them. Until I suddenly had a lightbulb about it. They’re now what I call my…

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Like “Rabbits rabbits rabbits,” but “Groundhogs, groundhogs, groundhogs.”

I love marmots sooooo much, and my Fat Sassy Groundhog Babies post is one of my more popular… so here it comes again. My Groundhog Day February 2 Birthday Fundraiser for the Vancouver Island Marmot. And I’m doing it the lazy way. One that I’m going to remember to post to the blog properly in time for it next year (yes, this year I was late, and back-dated it). Here we go, details on Facebook:

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The payoff from my green eco renovation — results you can see

A quick note to readers from outside Quebec: now that the dams are over 40 years old, our hydroelectricity is probably the cleanest in the world (this acknowledges that dams do produce GHGs and have negative environmental effects by flooding ecosystems).

Electricity is also very inexpensive for Quebec residents. We pay a low rate on the first 36 kWh per day and a premium on the remainder we use to incentivize us to conserve energy. This premium is usually applied in the winter. The premium is more than it used to be, which may be why we predominantly use electric heating.

This contextualizes the value of the kWh expressed in the article. Your mileage will vary depending on your own household energy mix; I hope it might encourage you to switch to non-petroleum/non-carbon-sourced energy for your needs.

Now that it’s been five years since I first published “Saving Electricity in Winter,” I thought it was time to do an update. After all, I’ve installed a pellet stove, added insulation to my attic, and gotten a new Ener-G-guide rating for my home through Quebec’s Reno-Climat program. I did this by participating in the Réno-Vert eco renovation scheme from Revenu Québec that assists home owners in making energy- and water-efficient upgrade to their homes.

Last year, I posted the following status update to Facebook to celebrate my results. (I’ve posted a lot of good stuff to FB that I should’ve posted here!)

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Rewilding is about converting your lawn to groundcover (bit by bit!) to native species. This fosters biodiversity. It also creates habitat for urban wildlife. Finally, you'll only trim it 2-3 times per season rather than every 7-10 days!

The green driveway gallery shows you how you can DIY a driveway conversation using my first model as an example. There are other ways to do it, and things I learned in the process and afterward. Please call me at 514-815-5163 for my landscaping service, or to discuss upgrading your driveway.

The work season is April 1st through June 30th, but I install bird strike prevention (to stop birds from crashing into windows and glass balconies) whenever the temperature is above 5ºC. Call the number above or email. It's important to do this earlier rather than later,  in time for bird migrations in late April to end of May, and late August to mid-October.


Sign up to the monthly newsletter. It'll have even more goodies than the blog (DIY, Q&A, and more!). Bonus: milkweed seeds. This perennial plant will attract bees and butterflies to your yard. 

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