OCTOBER Report ~ Strawbale Studio 10-2020

OCTOBER Report ~ Strawbale Studio 10-2020

OCTOBER Report ~ Strawbale Studio 10-2020 829 622 Strawbale Studio


Below are details of October’s Activities:

  • Natural Building Projects
  • Sustainable Skills
  • Guests, Consultations
  • Contributions, Enrichment
  • PHOTOS from the month !

It was a beautiful, colorful month, with the landscape changing daily, as leaves turned to orange, gold, red and brown, then fell, covering the pathways.

Projects were many: firewood split, sheet mulch gardens created, thatched roof restoration, winter greenhouse planted, and much more, outlined below !

Foraging & Crafting was a strong flow of energy and joy. So much abundance and “resource-full-ness” ! Maitake ! Shiitake ! Autumn Olive ! Woodcarving. Supper by the woodstove in Strawbale Studio.

MORE below:

OCTOBER GOOGLE PHOTO ALBUM  View Album as a slideshow

  • October 3, 2020 Full Moon Zoom – co-host Jack Chase !
  • October 19, 2020 Shane’s Birthday !
  • October 21, 2020 Propane back on – furnace & hot water first time since 315/2020!
  • October 25, 2020 First purchase from a food store since 3/15. Folks picked things up 3x for me.
  • October 31, 2020 Zoom Full Moon on Halloween – also a “blue moon”. Co-host Jack Chase.



  • Shane Norris Helped 15hrs/ week with projects at Strawbale Studio during Oct. along with crafting: wood carving, fermenting, foraging, + more
  • Levi Ryfiak Assisted 1x/ week with grounds + woodcarving during October
  • Paul Beaudet, harvested apples, brought parts, repaired 3 wheelbarrows Cambry Baker from East River Farm, toured Strawbale Studio Oct 9, 2020
  • She is studying Environment and Youth Education.
  • Matt McCoul Helped with kitchen stove, fire, Social Ecology
  • Scythed to the wood chip pile. Teaching Shane Oct 11, 20
  • Kelly Thiede Mushroom walk & supper 10/25/2020 ish
  • Angela & Jo Jo – walk and supper 10/28/20
  • Gene Vilenni, brings sander to use on painting Main House.

New Connections:

  • Dorothy Horse Farm: manure.Conneced by Liz E. River Farm
  • Owner of the Herb Apothecary in Oxford. With Shane.
  • Wez Ligon re hemp fiber. Round bale to experiment with building.


  • $215 donation from John Gumina, Angela’s Dad – SEEDS
  • Matt McCoul: Teach scythe & help clear path to Meadow woodchips.
  • Angela Holmes: food, sign, hat.
  • Chris McClellan: computer and insurance for Aine
  • Paul Beaudet, harvest apples, brought parts, repaired 3 wheelbarrows
  • Roberta Urbani: support with financial clarity.
  • Shane & Levi – grounds and maintenance worktrade !


  • 10/10/2020 Lauri Pinkelton shared her ideas on her Van Tiny House.
  • 10/13/2020 Cedar Playhouse for Harriet and Sandy
  • 10/27/2020 Joseph and Maura on a Strawbale Music Studio. Phone call re plaster.
  • 10/31/2020 Eric Douglas re plasters on his Detroit Greenhouse.

Previous Consultations:

  • Joseph & Maura. Consultation on their SB Recording Studio Project
  • Zoom Call & 7-24-20 visit/tour of Strawbale Studio buildings.
  • Skyline Strawbale Drying Shelter. Shanna and Liz. Call, text, 8-1-20 visit & planning session
  • Tall Trees Strawbale Retreat Barn. Kate / Terry Kelly . Phone call. Will Meet.
  • Patel Playhouse – earlier in the month. Photos, links, emails.
  • Harriette and Sandy re Cedar Playhouse & strawbale wall.


Class Presentations:

  • Continuing NVC and sustainable skill details along the way.



  • Project Cedar Cabin Air B & B project. WT  Oct 23. Potlbelly stove repairs, move to Cedar Cabin SN, research pipes and other stoves (db) Design options for space. Drop down table. Red Chairs to Craigs List. Look for cool furniture. Quilt Ladder. Design the outdoor CT. Next Steps. Graph paper design. Stove pipe/new stove. Quilt ladder. Loft. Gene storm window.
  • Winter Greenhouse: Clear, bring plants from East River Farm, plant in beds. Water, straw mulch, wood chip paths, harvesting. WT. Angela’s plants: collard & Marigold. Tend & harvest.
  • Beauty around Greenhouse ! South side – raspberries cut, become mulch. North side: garden planting area, and vines on West Side. WT
  • Thatched Roof Restoration on Strawbale Studio – Moss removed by Deanne and Levi mostly! September: N ridge repair with Ellie. Scaffolds and ladders up, and then put away. WT
  • Compost Furnace Decommissioned.  Phase 1. Area is Cleared by Shane WT & Deanne. Phase 2 Plumber, Dennis, evaluated then, came back to remove proply glycol antifreeze. Phase 3 All pipes & fencing removed !from the Compost Furnace ! Garden soil remains !
  • North Garden: cardboard, decaying wood chips, composted horse manure, maitake mushroom, urine, strawbale with urine, leaves. WT
  • New Meadow Garden: cardboard, wood chips, WT
  • Plant Garlic cloves in Mid Meadow Old Garden DB/SN WT
  • Korean Pine trees in Mid Meadow – check the situation (needed – to scythe around plants)
  • Scythe a Path to the East wood mulch pine. Matthew and Shane.
  • Firewood processing.  Harvest downed wood, chain saw to cordwood, split, store in woodshelter and at fire locations Cut dead trees from the Piney Campground. Paul or Matt, Levi, Shane, Deanne WT  Firewood to buildings. Shane collects, cuts, splits, stacks and distributes split wood to sites.  Process / cut up wood with nails using jigsaw +.
  • Harvest wood for carving: sumak.  Next step: cherry wood harvest, Shane.
  • Waterfall Pump out and stored in water in the house for the winter.
  • Oil benches again: Bog Bench, Kids Cottage porch bench. Middle Earth bench.
  • SBS Exterior South Bench Restoration: patch earth plaster & 3 coats of oil. Deanne
  • Beautify Oak Tree Area: cut off dead limbs, move swing and windchime.
  • Beautify Strawbale Studio area:
  • Bittersweet removal by Levi. Open out North of Strawbale Studio
  • Compost Furnace area: Bittersweet and other plants and trees. Shane cleared !
  • Biomass from trimmings to a new BioChar burning area.
  • Plan a Biochar processing area. Start taking biomass there
  • Plan Cedar Cabin as Air B n B. Design ideas for interior & woodstove. Design drawing and plan for CT structure.  Next steps: order stove and pipes, quilt rack.
  • Green Lake Garage painting and completion! : worktrade by Shane + Deanne.
  • Project Ideas: Nutrient Cycling, Biochar cycle/burn. Outdoor Kitchen. Instagram. Online workshop. Air BnB,. Candle Class, Skyline, Sheryl. Karen Renaud.





  • Elderberry Syrup on outdoor rocket cooker. Shanes elderberries, he cooked up to syrup.
  • Elder syrup + vodka, DB/ SN
  • Elderberry Syrup mead. DB
  • Foraged Maitake Mushroom ~ on Shanes’ birthday -/+ ( eat. Saiute & freeze, dry & tincture)
  • Foraged plants for tincture: Yarrow, New England Aster, mint, lemon balm,
    Golden Rod tincture and Golden Rod Honey. SN / DB
  • Harvest Hops: DB/ SN. made into beer – LEVI, made into a dream pillow with lavendar. DB
  • Fruit Shiitake Mushroom: soak inoculated logs, harvest, cook, dry, tincture.
  • Apples: harvest and make apple sauce (Paul Beaudet)
  • Horse manure for earth Plaster fiber. Procured from Dorothy’s local horse farm, and sifted. DB
  • Apple Butter Canning.  Shane & Levi buy apples at Royal Oak Farmers Market. We all make apple butter over the Rocket Stove Cooker.  Hot Bath Canning by S/L.
  • Fruit Leather and Fruit Scrap Vinegar from leftovers apple parts from the apple butter, DB


  • Meals and crafts by the woodstove in the Strawbale Studio.
  • Woodcarving:  Harvest black cherry trees. Make Spoon, Honey Wand and Spreader Knife.  Chopsticks of Sumak for Shanes birthday. Steam bend. Mouse nibble walnut oil.
  • Spinning – Shane taught a class in September.
  • Knitting hats ~ Shane creates a hat for Levi and himself. Wool from Lake Orion Yarn Shop.
  • Mending ~ sewing clothes. DB
  • Special Food & Meals:
  • Mexican meal with nixtamalize tortillas. Mung bean sprout Egg Fu Yung.
  • Eggplant and squash cooked in the Strawbale Studio woodstove. Popcorn,
  • Shane’s Birthday meal in the Strawbale Studio. Db / Shane mushroom walk.
  • More special meals whose names I don’t remember ! )
  • Tamale meal, nixtamalized. Angela joins in SBS.


  • Alan Meditation Class: Trauma and Growth. DB & Shane
  • Compassion Course Webinar 10/13/ 2020 DB and Shane.

Travel & Exploration

  • Eastern Market, Detroit, on Saturday. Shane and Levi.
  • Grand Rapids Trip. Shane & Levi. Family & voting in the 2020 election.


  • Dotster – contacted re website name. On auto withdrawal.
  • Rental payment $300/mo. Shane & Levi trailer on land.


  • BIZ NEW REZ MORTGAGE set up 3 month Forbearance. Nov, Dec, Jan.
  • Oil Change, New Headlight, $206, db burp system
  • FIX PROPANE turned on and tested. Furnace and Hot water on. Stove capped off.
  • FIX Green Lake Restoration: Paint Garage + scrape & clear continued by Deanne & Shane.
  • BBCU personal and business checking bounced.
  • Checks from another account got on my account. This is unraveled and adjusted.
  • DTE 2+ years of billing issues resolved, pd $740 10/2920 Bert Urbani + Pashco helped!
  • DTE – get set up online, able to see and pay bills, bills by mail. Data on energy use by hour.
  • MONY – payments made through Nov.
  • Drivers Registration & year tabs on.
  • PLUMBING Oxford Plumbing Dennis, Dave & Ace. Removal of Antifreeze from Compost Furnace, Main bath, shower fixed, sink fixed. Shuts off & clean screen. Water filter assessed, removed, pipes joined.
  • Donation from Angela’s Dad: $215.
  • Deposits of Sept/Oct Rent – Shane & Levi $600.
  • Vote in Presidential Election. Send out email and facebook post.


  • Organized shelves & spaces:  cupboards, utility room and stove for propane guy. Bags, batteries
  • Herbs processed, listed on a spreadsheet, decanted, organized on the shelves alphabetically.
  • Delete messages from Iphone. Serious reduction 100+/- to open “mailbox” for messages
  • Battery drawer, organized.


  • Saw blades, phone cords & charger, food: oil, fish, sugar, tincture vodka.
  • Fish purchased by S/L at Farmers Market.

Renew & Regeneration, community:

  • Yoga 1x/ week. 10/10 Saturday Meditation Class, once.
  • Angel wings & plantain compress for tooth health.
  • Greenhouse: Water & Tend many mornings.
  • Cyber Tipi with Robin /Rosalie + “Transitions” & Mother/child relationship 10/19/20
  • Carolyn McDade Singing Zoom Gathering Oct 3, 2020 October 31, 2020
  • Play Keyboard & Sing Most mornings.


  • Black Cherry spreader, Sumak chopsticks for Shanes’ birthday.
  • Reclaim old spoon to a shorter spoon.
  • Mending
  • Cooking


  • Compassion Course Webinar Oct 13, 2020
  • Religious Naturalism – Webinar. Oct 26, 2020.
  • Karen Armstrong Video– listen to her videos on compassion.
  • Ursula GoodEnough – Religious Naturalist. Watch video.


  • Visit Lois Robbins: Meet on the porch.
  • Visit McDonalds: Jim, Stephanie, Lium Sage, Rowen, Elowen by campfire. Mushroom and coals. Jim, Rowen and I try to start fire with a spark.
  • Judy Kling I call 2x/week. Cousin Cathy.
  • Judy B-Day, Uncle Harold Face Time. Card & slipper gift Sept 29. 2020

Nature Connection:

  • East River Farm CSA: Db harvests and brings plants to SBS greenhouse.
  • Walk to Neighbors to the East.
  • Animal experiences: Owl hoot at night, In the morning: Owl & bluejay & cat.
  • Deer family from picnic area through the keva.
  • Sleeping out in cabin with the cat.


  • Present time “observation” is soothing. Gratitude. Appreciation.
  • Nobility of Spirit. Reading, listening to video ( Shane )
  • Sacred Process (Ianto, Deanne, Shane)
  • Inspiration in the morning, play keyboard and sing.
  • Recording dreams.