Saturday, September 13, 2014

Movement Towards Higher Energy Efficiency

We built our off-grid homestead and beeswax candle workshop, powered by the sun, over a year ago
We have in floor heating and heat with an outdoor wood boiler.

We have now combined our solar energy and wood-powered in-floor heating, also powered by the sun, to create an even more efficient beeswax melting tank system.

We've taken another step for energy efficiency and have just modified our wax tanks to be even more efficient with our solar energy system. They will continue to run on solar energy and will also be boosted by our in-floor heating system that is heated by our outdoor wood furnace, also, ultimately powered by solar energy. This means less use of our battery back ups when the sun decides to stay behind the clouds and the horizon for longer periods of time between about October and February. We're heating the house and workshop anyway so it makes sense to share that heat with the wax tanks.

If you ever find yourselves up in our neck of the woods, please give us a call to schedule a tour of our tiny solar-powered workshop in the woods! We'd love to see you. And please let us know when we can send out your next order of our Scent from Nature; 100% Pure Beeswax Candles. We sell online!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

North Woods Garden Update: Late Summer

The straw bale garden is flourishing!
One of our pure beeswax 4" pillars rests nicely in the fast growing green bean plants

Our first broccoli!

We had our first green bean harvest yesterday
One of our pure beeswax candles next to our one and only melon to show its size

One melon. Now if I could only remember what kind it is and if I can only keep it alive now that the temperatures are beginning to dip.

Our cherry tomatoes are beginning to ripen!

The other tomato varieties are getting bigger. Now all we  need is for them to ripen.

The carrots would have appreciated being in the straw bales versus the shallow stair step containers

The zucchini has been the most productive of the plants. And yes, you can grow the strangest things in these straw bales. Contact me and I'll send you some Scent from Nature; 100% Pure Beeswax Candles "seed". ;o)
All in all, the straw bales won the north woods garden test. I like the look of the stair step container but it didn't do as well. I will add more drainage to the containers next year and see how they do. I plan to triple the size of the straw bale garden.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Scent from Nature Feature

Photo by limoni limoni: a flower studio

We have just been featured in a photographer's blog post. Please click here to view these beautiful photos of our product.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Exciting Announcement!

Many, many thanks to Jeff and Vaughan at Halogen Web Studios for their excellent service, product, advice, design, and most of all, patience. This has been a long process but was very much worth it! We're so happy with the website. Please check it out and let us know what you think.

North Woods Garden Update

Citronella to keep the skeeters away
My porch container garden. I will no longer refer to it as my "pot" garden. That was getting far too many raised eyebrows.

Lemongrass to keep the skeeter away. Do you see a theme here?

In addition to citronella and lemongrass, we've got rosemary, sage, lavender, lettuce, mint, lemon thyme, and bee balm.
Zucchini has been planted in the straw bales

Stair step containers contain lettuce, beets, carrots and zucchini

Four varieties of organic, heirloom tomatoes
It's looking like summer!

Straw bales have been planted!

Straw bales - zucchini, peas, beans, melon, potatoes and broccoli. I think it's broccoli. When I planted the seeds I didn't distinguish it between the Kale and now they look identical so we'll see!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spring 2014 Firsts!

Spring took a while to come and now it seems to have passed quickly with Summer taking the forefront. Here are some Spring first in our balsam and birch heaven:

Last snowfall (18 inches!)  - April 25th
1st Mosquito spotted - May 18th
1st Hummingbird returned - May 18th
Heat turned off - May 24th
Leaf out began - May 25th
Unplugged the Wood Boiler which heats our home - May 28th

North Woods Garden Update

Soaker hoses were added to the bales along with stakes to string wire for climbing plants and cattle panels on each for the same reason.

The bale continues to be conditioned with an organic fertilizer and then soaked with water.

This fun planter will look nice with our veggies growing in it. Our sled dogs are lounging in the shade in the background - Points Unknown

We noticed that a few snowshoe hare were scoping things out. I would suggest staying far away, my little furry friend.

The final stage of conditioning is to add wood ash and a bone meal blend.

After the wood ash and bone meal blend are added, the bale is soaked again. In 5 days, we can plant!

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Garden for the Bees (and People)

One of our 4Inch pillars looks so nice resting on top of the beginnings of our garden
No soil? Use bales!
We've come to realize that if we want a garden up in our north woods paradise, we have to think out of the box and use a bale! You see, we have no soil to speak of so our research brought us to the use of straw bales for planting vegetables. Not only is this value to us but the blossoms will be valued by the honey bees.

It takes 10+ days to condition the straw bales to make them ready to plant. We've been using organic fertilizer and water in various amounts on specific days. Now if we could only get some nice warm temperatures so that the bales begin to "cook". With a low of 25 degrees expected over night, I think we're a ways off! Stay tuned. And if you'd like to her more regular updates, please "like" and follow us on facebook!

Friday, May 2, 2014

We did it!

Scent from Nature has finally gone off grid! That's right, we've finally made our move to the remote north woods of Minnesota's Arrowhead Region where we're thoughtfully handcrafting our pure beeswax candles using power from the SUN! How cool (hot) is that?!

We've also decided, contrary to our most recent post, that it's important to keep separate blogs for Scent from Nature and our other business Points Unknown; Dog-Based Adventures, rather than combine them into one "lifestyle" blog. What do you think? You can always check out what we're doing with the sled dogs by visiting the Points Unknown blog.