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The Luna Project - Sustainable Living
 

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The Yurt Blog

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Follow me through a journey into self and partake in the many trials and tribulations of yurt life completely off the grid. This life that I've chosen is a frugal life learning as I go. I've learned that trusting my heart and spending time listening to the land is the best way to learn. We spend our lives trying to figure out how we can fit nature into our lives when we should be walking humbled into nature to ask how we can fit in with her.



If you go out in the woods today... PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Masters   
Monday, 23 July 2012 23:22
...you'll be in for a big surprise. Well I sure was anyway when I went for a lazy Sunday afternoon stroll through the forests at LUNA. Upon entering the Hawthorn grove, we noticed small Haw Berries on the forest floor. Taking a closer look, I also notice some of leaves starting to turn and fall from the trees. Thinking that maybe I had my days all messed up, I walked into the old forest to see Walnuts, Beech, Hickory, and Cherries falling from the trees. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is mid July...not late September right?

As you walk through the forest, things may seem all peaceful and serene, but please don't just look at the surface, the real drama is unfolding under our feet. We've had very little precipitation this spring and summer, which is following a winter with very little snow. Life dances along a very delicate line where we all need the right balance for survival. The trees right now, in my understanding, are severely stressed. They've been putting a great deal of energy into seed production. As the trees put their energy into seed creation, they weaken themselves a little buy diverting precious resources into seed growth. So this act of shedding your seeds before their ready, is a last ditch effort of their own survival. Using what energy they have left to sustain their growth and longevity. Yes, I understand it's a delicate balance and nature works through her own cycles, but it's still hard to watch.

As true as it may be that a forest environment will help ease your stress, we still need to have compassion for all those who live in the forest and rely on maintaining that fragile balance.

 

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Wild Parsnip PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Masters   
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 13:03
Here's just another reason to show your environment a little more respect.

For years Wild Parsnip has been growing along the trails here at LUNA, and I've always understood it to be a highly edible and tasty plant. The tap root of the plant, much like wild carrot is what foragers are seeking, but be warned...you must handle this plant with respect and avoid getting the sap of the plant onto your skin. Please read all the facts you find and get to know your plants before trying to harvest them. You'll read all over the web that this is a poisonous plant that should be removed and or sprayed...and here's why some people feel this...

...a group of Jr. Rangers arrived here to LUNA this morning showing severe signs of phytophotodermatitis caused by getting the juice of the plant on their skin then exposing it to sunlight. Similar to Giant Hogweed, this plant must be handled carefully and respected. These Rangers are a great group of kids and super respectful of their environment. But sometimes, we overlook the simple things which allows nature to always be the ultimate teacher.

Warrior plants will always be there to help teach us respect.

 

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Wetland Update PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Masters   
Monday, 09 April 2012 23:48

If you've been keeping up with my sporadic posts, you've most likely read that our berm and water control structures are under repair in our constructed wetland at LUNA.  I've be slowly lowering the water levels of the wetland over the past few weeks to hopefully allow those living there time to adapt.  Sadly, we've encountered yet another hiccup in the repair process.

When removing a couple of boards from the water control structure(knife gate), I noticed the water wasn't draining through the 12" tile as it should.  Through closer examination, we've found a large blockage in the tile obstructing the flow of water through the berm.  The issue, is that it's 53' into the side of the berm, and 16' down from the top.  If we're unable to clear the tile, we may be faced with a costly excavation of the tile and subsequently leaving the wetland dry for the entire year.  This is not good news for the numerous aquatic creatures who've called this piece of water home for more than 2 years now, including this spring a nesting wood duck, numerous turtles, frogs, insects, aquatic plants and countless bull frog tadpoles.  Even at the outflow, we've noticed many small freshwater shrimp swimming about in the rich overflow waters.

This week, we'll be renting a sewer camera to see what we're up against deep inside the berm.  Fingers crossed it's a simple obstruction that we're able to clear with a sewer snake.  With a clear outflow, enlarged overflow and the muskrat damage repaired, we'll be ready for the rains and a reemergence of life.  I hope the current inhabitants can forgive me as i learn through this this massive learning curve of life...lets just say that from the mistakes made on this project, the next wetlands we create will be incredible.

 

 

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How does your garden grow? PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Masters   
Sunday, 25 March 2012 11:32

With passion and desire to live more sustainably, the eagerness to learn, and the shared dream of knowing there's a better future for everyone.  This is what brought a small group of passionate individuals together to discuss how we could achieve these mutual goals.

Our parents and grandparents worked hard to put food on the table, they knew where their food came from and most kept gardens of their own.  Somewhere along the line, many of us have lost that connection, but deep down inside we all secretly thirst to feel and taste that connection again.

Last night, as a small group of peers, we agreed to work together to share our skills and develop a garden at LUNA where we can all share in the bounty.  This to me feels like community at it's finest.  The thought of spending evenings in our small yurt kitchen as a group, sipping wine while washing and canning veggies is hugly attractive to me.  I'm excited to see how together we can grow while we share the hopes of having animals and vegetable gardens for all to enjoy.  2012 is going to be a great year to see how our garden will grow.

 

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Last Updated on Sunday, 25 March 2012 12:27
 
Wetlands and Muskrats PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Masters   
Monday, 19 March 2012 11:26
The task of lowering the wetland has begun. Since it's creation in 2010, the wetland at LUNA has become home to a wide variety of wetland inhabitants...one being the Muskrat. This busy little creature has been steadily digging burrows into our earthen bank. This bank is what is holding the field drainage water from entering Beaver Creek too quickly. This weekend, we've started to lower the water levels by removing boards from our water control structure...I'm hoping that once we've had the chance to mend the banks by lining them with buried fencing, water will fill the wetland basin again giving revitalized life to an old field.

Other improvements to the water course for 2012 include an additional 200 trees to be planted, 24 acres above the wetland has been decommissioned, 2 new wetlands to be built, and turtle and duck nesting platforms will be constructed. It's going to be incredible to see old farmland transform into flourishing wetlands.

 

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Deeply Rooted PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Masters   
Saturday, 03 March 2012 16:05

The roar intensifies as it approaches. It slams hard onto the soft walls of my yurt waking me from my slumber.  As it passes, it takes with it the old and the weak.  I am witness to the fall of the dead as their branches and decaying bodies hit the forest floor.

Last night and today the winds have reached speeds of 100km plus.  They come in gusts, and last night the first strong gusts woke me from a deep sleep.  After surviving a powerful micro-burst this summer on a canoe trip in Temagami, I know only too well the power of nature.  My nerves during the first few gusts had my stomach in knots, but after a short while, the approaching gusts sounded like waves crashing  on an ocean shore.  The round shape of the yurt and the fact that I built them lower in the valley, means they weather the storms well.

To my delight and amazmnet this morning, a cardinal was still singing his morning song, and the swans still pushed through the storm high overhead on their quest northward.  The power and strength of nature is truly inspiring to me. It shows that when you're deeply rooted, you have the strength and support to weather almost any storm.

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 03 March 2012 16:42
 
Spring is in the air PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Masters   
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 14:01

For those of who out there who are yearning for signs of spring...have no fear, the stillness of the winter forest has been broken. This morning on my walk to the office, the sounds of the Cardinal, and the Red-Winged Blackbird filled the morning air. In the distance, the distinctive hammering of the Pileated Woodpecker echoed in the background. Our small scale maple syrup production is well underway and the buds of the Choke Cherries are ready to leaf out. It seems early for all of this, but as we haven't had a real winter in Southern Ontario, all the forest dwellers including myself are itching for spring to arrive.

 

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Simple Things... PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Masters   
Tuesday, 25 January 2011 20:39

A cold bite to the early morning air woke me up to say that it was time throw another log on the fire. Temperature was just below -20 degrees outside and at 3am the sound of popping trees echoed through the forest.

Slipping on my boots and a tattered red checked lumber jacket, I sipped my morning coffee and ventured into the frigid air. Outside there was a thin layer of frost blanketing the meadow as I walked up to gather another days ration of wood for the fire. I paused to gaze deep into the meadow to see the morning sun glisten bits of crystal frost as they fell from the trees. To my right, the full moon is setting low in the west as the sun was breaking the east horizon and slowly warming the eastern skies

This morning I realized yet again, that taking time to appreciate these simple things can truly raise your spirits and focus one's mind.

 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 21:01
 
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