Jane Weeks

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since Jul 07, 2011
Southern Ontario, Canada
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Recent posts by Jane Weeks

Jane Weeks, it must be code differences but weren't you allowed the option of a tank + drainfield combination?  I've seen locally that more people are being "recommended" by the county to put in pump + mound + drainfield systems in order to protect water quality better.....somehow....in someway that I've not been properly informed. (??)  Our local pump rate is $175 USD per tank and the drainfield allows for some extra time before that needs to be done.  As Travis noted, anything to get that second tank under some kind of insulation.  Around here (south and west of you on the other side of Minnesota) in low snow years, many seem to pile up straw bales on the tank which seems to help.  With regard to grey water, we keep the kitchen sink still going to the septic tanks, but remember that any other sink/drain can, at a future time, be "judiciously redirected" as grey water with a little help from a Sawzall and some assisting friends with the know-how.

The water table here is too high for any kind of drainage system. If I had the money for a regular septic system, I'd have to have many, many truckloads of soil brought in (difficult to get to) and have a new well drilled as well, as it would be too close for modern laws. I've piled lots of straw on top of the second tank and I'll keep my fingers crossed when it gets really freezing. I hope that in the future I can redirect the grey water, as you say "with a little help from my friends."
3 months ago
I guess it's time to update my issue. In May I used my inheritance from my step-mother (who died at age 98) to get a 'normal' toilet and had two big holding tanks installed. It ended up costing over $12,000! It turned out that the contractor I hired who said that he'd installed many tanks before, was a liar. He had good reviews for other things, so I stupidly trusted him. There are very few people around here who do this sort of thing. This was obviously his first time. My property goes downhill from the house. Tank #1 is fine, but tank #2 behind #1 is only slightly buried, so I'm worried about freezing again. The plumbing and everything else is fine. One thing I really wish someone had suggested (or my brain was working better) is that I keep the grey water and use the tanks only for the toilet. It's amazing how much water is used, even though I'm really, really careful and even dump my dish water straight outside. Pump-outs cost $260 and I've already had one!
3 months ago
I don't heft bags like that, but I do walk a dog in icy conditions. I have ice grips on my boots; they're great!

BTW, I love your "Day in the life of a pioneer" story. Maybe take up writing instead of chickens?
1 year ago
I have a sally garden and this is one thing I did early on: http://www.smallbones.ca/willows-wonderful-willows/ That 'tree' has been outside for a number of years now and it's enormous!

I've made lots of baskets, but not yet from my willow. I actually reduced the size of the garden last year as I needed more places to grow veg. One of these days...
1 year ago

Stacy Witscher wrote:An ex-friend of mine would freeze extra-firm tofu, then defrost and squeeze out as much liquid as she could, then it would crumble and she would use it like ground beef. The texture was very similar but it seemed like a lot of work to me.



I do this to make fake tuna salad. Add chopped celery, green onions, mayo, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp tamari (and kelp powder if you want a fishy taste – I don't). Everybody likes it! In fact, I almost always freeze tofu first, the way your friend does. It soaks up whatever it's in better this way.
1 year ago
My seeds from them didn't even germinate last year. This year I'm trying https://www.heritageharvestseed.com/

I'm in Ontario, fortunately; but unfortunately they ship only within Canada.
It's amazing, but I'm happy to report that the ice thawed! We've had above-zero temps for quite a few days lately, three in a row last week. i really don't know if the antifreeze worked or the salt worked or if it was simply the warmer weather. It re-froze after one day, but thawed again a few days later, and now it's been free for a few days. I think it's safe to say it will remain free now. I'm keeping the dam closed when I'm not using water (most of the day) as it's well below freezing again, but not nearly as cold as it was, and the forecast calls for above-zero again soon...very strange winter.

I'm very financially challenged, but I really hope I can find a way to get a holding tank in the spring. Because of the configuration of my property, excavation will be very expensive. Then there's the tank itself, a plumber, etc., etc. Warning to all who are contemplating composting toilets instead of a septic system: it's not a whole lot of fun looking after them when you get older and it's frigid outside!

Thank-you all for your help!
1 year ago
Wow, so many creative minds!

I think that next year I'll remember to close the dam on the pipe when I won't be using water for a while in very cold weather. Just closing it when I went to bed worked fine for temps down to -20C, but this year the cold has broken all records.

Today's temp is going up to +2! It's also snowing...again.
1 year ago
Yes, according to my neighbour whose kitchen drain just opened this morning: "72 days to spring and 63 until daylight savings."
1 year ago
I did, but it didn't do anything. I also tried RV antifreeze.
1 year ago