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We posted a couple months ago a short list of the yurt tasks and chores we wanted and needed to get done before winter came and put a practical pause on many of our activities. Well now winter and snow are here. How’d we do? I’d confidently and proudly say that we did SO-SO!

Put a door on the outhouse? DONE

While we have a couple remaining courses of shingles to add and a permanent-or-not window vent above the door, we successfully built a board-and-batten style door to block the frigid breeze from our nether regions.

Board and batten door on the outhouse.

Additional perk: as you can see from the number of hinges, there are actually two doors: the actual, full size door and a smaller one that latches closed so it can act as a wall in the winter, but so that the whole front can swing open wide in the summer, for the breeze and the view and also so we can get the toilet bench out if we need to.

Prepare the gardens for next spring? SORT OF

Before the snows came we put down three cubic yards of compost, but ultimately didn’t collect all that much cardboard. In short, the sheet-mulched area of the garden is smaller than dreamed of (approximately 10×20 ft), but will still hopefully provide for some great beds come spring.

AND, up by the yurt we put in one hugelkulture bed, about six feet long, for herbs and kitchen staples.

First hugelkulture bed, up near the yurt. Henry supervises.

Put walls on the shed? HAHA, MAYBE?

Honesty is the best policy: We never ended up deciding how to approach the walls — we wanted walls that matched or didn’t cover up and ruin the aesthetic of the frame. So, until spring, we are embracing the epitome of makeshift…

What is a wall, really?

Install the sink? HALFWAY THERE

While we haven’t got our foot pump and faucet attached yet, we did install the 15×15 inch bar sink and attach the drain for gray water so we can do dishes (and brush our teeth) inside. This, for Annie, was life-changing — nay, life-AFFIRMING! The drain empties into a small dry well we dug just outside the yurt. The foot pump and faucet, of course, we can finish even while it’s cold and snowy outside.

Finish chopping wood? HELL YES.

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Progress is steady and at-times slow, but we’ve done a good job getting the critical things done (warmth!) and making moves at the less-than-critical-but-highly-desired chores.

Stay tuned!

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