Snowball Effect with Wine

This is the nature of the snowball-- this post was begun in the winter and is being posted just a few days before the SUMMER Solstice. At least the snowball is starting to melt! Here is our story, begun so many months ago-- it is the classic story of what the old timers call "getting drawed off". We are pros at this, maybe it is a part of the multi-tasking homesteady nature of things here.

The Snowball Effect, With Wine. . .

We have an incredible knack for organizing our lives here on the homestead by the "Snowball Effect".  Yes, one thing inevitably, for better or worse, snowballs into our own little perfect storm.

Here is the latest series of snowballing adventures:

You can see part of the shed here, with the attached greenhouse
We have been working to transform a poorly built shed, originally a three-sided shed designed for horses made from slightly rotted reclaimed timbers and never leveled, to a lovely little combo of a Air B& B shack with an attached sugar shack and greenhouse. Here is our snowball story:

After reaching a point in the transformation of this shed that called for some flooring, and having no funds or means by which to acquire some, we decided to remove our cork flooring in our kitchen that was slated to be replaced someday anyhow.

After removing most of the cork flooring we realized we would have to remove the refrigerator in order to complete this task.

After removing the refrigerator, we realized that we hated the refrigerator in the kitchen and wanted it back in the pantry where it stayed cooler and kept our unnatural noises to a minimum.

After deciding to put the refrigerator in the pantry, we realized we would have to remove the pantry door, as the refrigerator is larger than the original one we had there.

After removing the door, we realized that some cupboards would need removal. Perfect! We will re-use them in the shed's kitchenette!

After we removed the cupboards, we realized that the space needed reorganization, so we reorganized all the empty canning jars and gave them a space of their own.

After moving the canning jars, we realized that the fermented wine was taking up too much space.

And so. . . it was time to bottle the finished wine and get the grape, elderberry, and strawberry into secondary fermenters. All because of a "snowball".  At this point, all else is put on hold while bottles are scrubbed and disinfected.

The blueberry, ready for bottling, is decanted into bottles. The bottles are corked and labled. The strawberry, grape, and elderberry-- sitting for too long with all their fruits, are strained and placed back into a clean fermenter.


Following the wine-making, we realized that our floors, without the cork (remember, the cork removal started this whole snowball) just wouldn't do. . .  so we began a project of papering our floors:


It's pretty easy to google a tutorial on DIY paper flooring, and that is just what we did. We got a nice leathery look with it that satisfies us, but without a mudroom and with the farm life just outside the door, it hasn't held up in high-traffic entries and busy areas as much as we'd hoped. Still-- it's CHEAP, it's DIY, it looks great, and we'd definitely recommend it and do it again ourselves!

Finally, back to the shed! We are working on a little kitchen area (complete with the removed cupboards from the kitchen and pantry) and laying down the recycled cork flooring. Short-term rentals are a part of our sustainable homestead business plan here. We currently have a solar powered basement apartment-- so this little shed will be our second off-grid solar rental. We haven't tried Air B&B yet, but folks we know have had good luck. What do other homestead folks do to make ends meet? Do folks have a mortgage and fuel bills or are you debt free and free of fuels that you don't generate yourself?

***AND now, that it is actually just about summer, we have LISTED on space on Airbnb and are still working on that shed!! We actually hired for barter a friend & neighbor just yesterday! We love Airbnb thus far-- highly recommended!