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One of the bonus features of our new place is the 10,000 gallon catchment tank/water tank/cistern. Call it what you will, turns out it makes a great place for grabbing a 360-degree view of a good portion of our active project areas. We’ve made tons of headway just in the month that we’ve been there, but there’s still so much more to be done.

As a way to record our progress — and to invite you in to watch — I got the brilliant idea to create a “Tour in the Round” to track the changes we make. I’m going to aim to take a similar video from this spot on a semi-regular basis. Hopefully there will be visible improvements in our efforts!

I assure you, you are seeing an honest representation of the state of our yard, here; no special cleanup was done prior to recording. Buckets and tools scattered about is the state of things currently. My hope is that as time passes we’ll be able to see this property go from overgrown and unmaintained to a thriving, producing piece of land. And I hope that watching us strive toward this goal in our messy, non-linear fashion will inspire you to dig in and try growing some things at your place.

If you see anything you’re curious about, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll answer as best as I can.

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Meet the Author

Kris Bordessa

Kris Bordessa founded Attainable Sustainable as a resource for revitalizing vintage skills. Her book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living (National Geographic) offers a collection of projects and recipes to help readers who are working their way to a more fulfilling DIY lifestyle.

17 comments… add one
  • Leslie Lang Aug 1, 2014, 1:28 pm

    That was fun to see, but also made me tired! It will be fun to see what you do there. I hope the tilapia are happy in their new home.

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 1, 2014, 7:17 pm

      Leslie, All of the original tilapia have swum over the rainbow. We’re down to three small ones that hatched last year. Next time you come this way you’ll have to stop by!

  • Rachel @ Grow a Good Life Aug 1, 2014, 4:33 pm

    Wow! So much accomplished in only a month. I am looking forward to seeing the progress.

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 1, 2014, 7:16 pm

      Thanks, Rachel. Me too – I think it will be a good reminder of just how far we’ve come instead of feeling like there’s still so much to do!

  • Niki Aug 1, 2014, 7:07 pm

    Awesome work! Have you heard of the term permaculture? All/lots of that ‘garbage’ you took to the dump could have potentially been used on your own property 🙂

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 1, 2014, 7:15 pm

      Absolutely – the berms that you see are our first attempt at capturing water and slowing it down as it moves to the next level. The garbage that we hauled off was primarily man-made trash like metal and paint cans and such. Lots of logs/branches still here to break down and use!

  • Leslie Carroll Aug 1, 2014, 8:32 pm

    Unable to see your video. Wish I could. Must be an IOS issue. 

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 2, 2014, 6:28 am

      Hm. Try clicking the “youtube” icon on the video to watch directly on youtube?

  • marcia scott Aug 6, 2014, 1:49 pm

    New dirt! So Exciting! You’ve inspired us to be more productive, but we’ve decided to work inside the house this year.  I’ll have to build some grey water wicking beds outside to add any plants, we’re afraid we might run out of water.   All the moisture of Hawaii looks great – I know it creates problems too, but its soooo dry dry here.
    Your new digs have potential galore.  Have fun while you’re working! 

  • Holly @ Your Gardening Friend Aug 12, 2014, 4:44 pm

    What a great idea to get a virtual chronicle record of all your before-and-afters of your new place. It sounds and looks like you have a lot of land, and you’re maximizing it’s use (multiple lasagna beds, garden berms, chickens, ducks, tilapia, etc., etc., How exciting!! (Are those solar panels I saw, too?)

  • Susan Aug 19, 2014, 5:17 am

    Awesome project. However, I was surprised to hear in your first few sentences that you took loads of stuff to the dump. I wonder how much could have been repurposed or recycled.

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 19, 2014, 6:23 am

      I feel pretty good about my ability to determine whether or not an item has “reuse” value. Thanks for stopping by.

  • janis Sep 12, 2014, 9:26 am

    Love! Especially watching the chickens run around. Thanks for the movie

  • Toni Sep 12, 2014, 12:01 pm

    LOVE the sink in front of the open air cottage. Speaking of that open air cottage, what are the plans for it? Guest cottage? Frame for a fabulous chicken coop?

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 12, 2014, 12:32 pm

      That sink is going in my kitchen! And the youngest has dibs on the cottage… For now.

  • Ashley Hedrick Browning Sep 13, 2014, 5:19 pm

    Wow Kris! That looks like I place I need to visit 🙂 So cool to see the Hawaiian landscape and how different it is from mine and what you and I have to work with. Time flies by so fast and before you know it, you’re projects will be done and replaced by new ones! What do you do with your tilapia? Eat them? I know you are the ultimate repurposer of things, but unfortunately alot of our man made stuff has to go to the dump 🙁 Can’t wait to watch the progress!

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 13, 2014, 6:11 pm

      The tilapia have been a bit of an experiment. We’ve harvested a few, but I lost a number of them in the move. I need to rebuild the stock.

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