When it gets hot (30c+) you make a shade cover and when the mosquitos come in you make a screen. Put the two needs together and shazam! You’ve got a burlap sack thing.
We bought a 24′ by 3′ roll of burlap cloth which makes about a two layered 8′ by 8.5′ piece. We think it keeps the bugs out (some must get in through the door though) and the two layers sewn together (on a sewing machine woooh!) block some sun from entering the yurt.
Cooking on the outdoor kitchen or fire pit is also essential for keeping the yurt cool these days.
Since the dome opens and closes some 18” we needed the material to be able to “stretch” but also not leave gaps where mosquitos could get in. Burlap is the way to go. When is deteriorates we can compost it!
A plant acting as a weight for one of the corners of the yurt shade cover/mosquito net. In the photo above you can see a pink bottle (near the chair) hanging from another corner of the burlap cover.
The cat hole, which allows Duke to go in to catch mice is just big enough for him to fit through. Seems small? The other day we saw him hop through the fence. The fence openings are only 6”x4” so why make the platform cat hole any bigger. Im thinking of transplanting around the base some plants that mice and voles don’t like.
After a good couple days of rain last week, followed by some sunshine… followed by a message from Alex saying 40lbs pounds of morels were picked near her place we got out to the cut block yesterday. It was raining, but we had mushrooming hats on. It seemed like we weren’t going to find any at first but them we found huge patches of false morels or ‘brain’ mushrooms, which can be eaten with special precautions.
In the end we got a diners worth plus a few pounds to dry; hung up over the fire place… And we had a lot of fun : )
The yurt is surrounded by grass! Oh no!
The grass is good for mulching but even better at competing for space against other plants. We’ve started by layering cardboard to block the light on the grass. Some people call this the begining of lasagna mulching or layering mulching. Its just mulching. Some people say its not the best idea because it block the flow of air and gases in the earth. But how else would you smother out grass without using energy intensive machinery?
Then on top i’m adding all kinds of other mulch (wood chips, foraged peatmoss from people who dump it in garbage bags on cut blocks*, sand, compost, leaves, hay, poop, dumpstered lettuce etc). Eventually the whole area will be either woodchip paths – for mushroom growing or food/medicine. Its pretty intensive the amount of input this approach takes. However, unlike other composts… there is no turning, no heating or much maintenance required besides adding more layers of mulch when materials become available.
Below in the beginnings of the perennial edible flower garden that i planted directly into the mulch (rather than wait months for a traditional compost to decompose) we have motherwort, st-johns wort, feverfew, pansies, yarrow and soon to come up blue vervain, skullcap and spilanthes !
And on the north side of the yurt (where the chicken yard use to be) we have 10+ kinds of greens growing: kale, lettuce, mazuna, tatsoi, corn salad, spinach you name it!
After years of being underground this may be the first time this creature has seen the day light in over a decade! What a cicada? Jed knows more about these creatures life cycle but just to give you an idea of how fast the change happened… Late last night jed saw the cicada sitting on the outside of the yurt canvas wall. Then today at about 1pm it started to metamorphosis! in the past twenty minutes it has come out of its previous body and the wings puffed up. Amazing.
Cicada on yurt canvas