Wild Moon Cottage is a small working homestead in the pristine Ozark Mountains. We have dairy goats, poultry, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a start of a tiny fruit orchard, several black walnut trees, wild berries and fields of wildcrafting goodness. We raise our own milk, our own eggs, much of our own medicine and food. I do laundry by hand, make my own vinegar, candles, soap, bread, cheese ........ For a living I am an artist and herbalist. My goal for myself and our homestead is to be as self sufficient and self sustaining as possible.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

sort of - off grid shower, plumbing & water

I haven't tried it yet but ... when I thought I would be buying the off-grid cabin in Willow Springs, I bought a very cheap solar camp shower from Walmart. It's basically a large, heavy plastic bag, black on one side clear on the other, holds 5 gallons. It may well heat up properly in summer but didn't heat at all yesterday, in the sun, clear side up. Today tho I will heat the water myself. I cleaned it and ran about a quart of baking soda water through it. It leaks, has almost no pressure and the hose will take some work until it stays un-kinked. Otherwise I think it will be a fine little off-grid shower. I have a lot of very thick hair but since I wash it with baking soda and rinse with vinegar the pressure will be much less problematic than if I used soap or shampoo in it. If it doesn't work for my hair I can still use the large pitcher and basin for hair washing. It should do quite fine for an all body wash and rinse.
I was going to drag the trough inside and bathe in that but it's already filled for the goats. When finances can be spared or if I can find one to trade for I will get another trough just for bathing and a claw foot tub eventually. The trough can be moved around tho while the tub cannot.

We've also discovered that the kitchen faucet leaks a stream, that can be replaced as soon as another can be found or afforded. and the bathroom drain pipe has a duct-taped hole in it larger than a quarter, it leaks a fountain but doesn't have to be used until we can get it repaired properly.

I believe when the cistern is cleaned up and kept clean it will be usable for washing and more and a hand pump might work there. I will also try to find out how deep our well is and see about a hand pump for it later on.

I cannot describe the feeling of all this. That this place is ours. Truly ours. Even having the agreement on the Burrow I also felt it wasn't ours and always felt something was wrong. There is no such feeling here. This place is me and I am this place.


the wild magnolia said...

Know this home place is yours makes working out the kinks something to look forward to.

The claw foot bath tub sounds just right.


dilli said...

many blessings to you and Nik.. you have a roof and know its yours.. making do until you can do something else aint so bad.. and yes thsoe bags used to be made better ,,, we use a spring around the hose to keep it from kinking ..

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you and Nik...Can't wait to see all your magic find its way in your new home. And it is really great to see you posting more regularly.

Kimmie said...

Quietly following along and overjoyed for both you and Nik. There is no place like home!

Zev said...

I was just looking at pictures of a solar shower from a family who lives in California:

Basically theirs is a coiled, dark hose. Seems like it works well. I think a black-painted barrel would probably work, too. In addition to all the moral reasons to stop buying from Wal-Mart, I make every effort to avoid buying stuff from there because it BREAKS! :) Hope you have good luck finding a clawfoot tub.


Rivenfae said...

It sounds wonderful! We don't even have the luxury of a shower except once a week next door. Can you tell me though how you wash your hair with baking soda, and the vinegar rinse? I would love to stop using shampoos though my hair is horrid without conditioners.

Rivenfae said...

yep we are outside Grovespring which is about10 miles from Hartville

Ladyhawke said...

Juli, place your solar bag: black side up toward the sun. The black side absorbs the heat and transfers it into the water. Radiant heat. (it's also how large solar hot water heater systems work, painted black, absorbing the suns rays)
I have the same camping solar shower from wally world and learned this the hard way. The thing worked poorly clear side up. Until a friend told me to flip my solar bag over, black side up. Big difference!
Best of luck.