Blog hop around the world

I’ve been nominated by the lovely Fran from The Road to Serendipity fame to blog hop around the world. 🙂 Fran and her husband Steve are converting their 4 acres of gardens into a food mecca, taking their journey with their 2 dogs Earl and Bezial. Fran dropped me in this asked me to hop along with her and I have no choice am deeply honoured to add to the blog hop. 😉

Why do I create what I do?

For those that are new to my blog (hello there and welcome 🙂 ) my family and I have moved to country Victoria (Australia), taken on goats, chooks, ducks, 1/2 an acre and we are doing our best to live a low to no carbon lifestyle, leaving as small a footprint on the planet as we can, reducing, reusing, repurposing and recycling (the 4 R’s). We have veggie gardens and fruit trees, all under construction and marked with learner plates but with an end objective of self-sufficiency as much as is possible. This completely influences what I make and why.

Standing at the veggie garden gate. The long bed that was there is now no more.

A small portion of the veggie gardens with a new bed under construction and the repurposed roof tiles turned upside down for pavers.

What we are creating here stems from the 4 R’s. For example, we are mid way through enclosing our back deck, an area about 1.4 metres by 17 metres and turning it into a passive solar greenhouse using recycled windows taken from a house facing demolition. The greenhouse will help to modulate the heat inside our house as well as give us an area where we can grow food that would not normally have a hope of growing in our climate (9b is our cold zone and we get frost over winter with the occasional snowfall). This deck will also be heated with a rocket stove.

The reason I have a go at making things like rocket mass heaters and passive solar greenhouses though is primarily because they are simply not available in any for to purchase from a store. There are some rocket stoves for sale but the mass heaters? I’ve not seen one. And yes, off the shelf greenhouses are available but not designed to be installed attached to a house. If I want these things I have no choice but to create them myself. 🙂

How does my creative process work?

I see and I desire. I research and I see the benefits. I work out the way it will fit into what we already have and then I work out whether we truly need it. Consumerism and the desire for more and more is something from which we have done our best to unsubscribe. When I come across these great ideas I need to work out if we are merely adding more for the sake of more or whether there is a true need for what we are about to create. If there is a place for it in our lifestyle, like there is for the rocket stove, I then get stuck into researching. Thankfully this time I put in the hours of reading and looking and following up as I have learned several crucial points in making a rocket mass heater that I would not have got right without the time spent. Generally speaking though I’m not one for doing the hardcore “how to” research. I tend towards the cursory research and then just getting stuck in and having a go. 🙂 Suck it and see brings about some most interesting results sometimes. 😉 (Here is the link to my main information portal on building our rocket mass heater.)

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

As I’m not really in competition in any way with others I can’t really compare my projects with those of others. I’m making what I make for our family and its similarities and differences in comparison to other similar projects don’t really matter. It just needs to work for us. 🙂

What am I presently working on?

I’m sure you’ve figured out the current project is the rocket mass heater. 😉 For those that don’t know what they are, they are a small stove that sets up a vertical burn, the smoke and heat is drawn into a riser which passes through a combustion chamber. The combustion chamber ensures very close to a 100% burn of all the gasses and smoke which results in less wasted fuel and greater efficiency as well as less pollution. They also use up to 90% less fuel.

At this point in our rocket mass heaters construction though it’s a bricked outline and the pipes in place but not much else. I have prepared the next pieces of the rocket stove ready to install though so hopefully I can fit it all together as a mock-up and see how it works. 🙂 Construction has halted whilst parts of the passive solar greenhouse are completed. Once they are done then we will be getting stuck in and muddy. 😀

The first run mock up of the rocket stove. We lit a piece of paper and with a little assistance it worked. Given that it's far from airtight I am STOKED!

The first run mock-up of the rocket mass heater. This will all be coated in a thick layer of cob (clay, sand and straw) and down to the bottom left of the screen is the exhaust which will hopefully store heat in the clay to slowly release over a day or 2, helping keep the temperature warmer on the deck.

Now apparently I am supposed to leave you with a quote. This bit I did not know until after I said yes to blog hopping but thankfully Fran has come to my rescue. 🙂 I found this wonderful quote and I know it will stay with me from now on.

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” Mahatma Gandhi

This is exactly what I believe and what permaculture believes too. It makes one stop and think.

Now I would like to introduce to you 2 of my favourite bloggers.

Firstly, the irrepressible Lynda from Living in the Land of Oz fame. 🙂 Lynda is in Melbourne, slowly converting her suburban backyard into a food garden paradise. She turns junk into practical and beautiful structures and sculptures for her garden and is currently giving it all a big makeover. I have to say that not only is she a superb gardener but she makes gardening beautiful and I don’t mean with just ornamental plants and flowers. Her eye for colour and those decorative touches that turns the practical into the beautiful blows my mind. I would pay good money for her time in turning my hodgepodge gardens into artwork and beauty like her own garden. 🙂 Lynda has also been a tremendous support to us, both as a listening friend and also as a supplier of all sorts of goodies, from seeds and plants to contacts from whom we have been able to source some of our second-hand building materials. Basically, without Lynda, our lives would be much poorer and our house far more chaotic. 😉 She is a wonderful friend. 🙂

Lynda has more than just soil and plants in her gardens, adding beauty and character.

Practical and elegant. The colour is also gorgeous. The best bit is that Lynda made both of these herself.


Strawberries anyone? Yes, a pallet full!

Secondly, I would like to nominate a wonderful woman who I desperately wish I could meet in the flesh. 🙂 We have so many ideas and ideals that are the same and she has guided and directed me and been a wonderful friend to me too. She also inspires me in crafts that I would never have had the courage to consider trying that are now on my radar (one day I will weave and dye something). If only she lived a little closer than 14,027 kilometres (8,716 miles). Linne from A Random Harvest (plus Make it Shiny and Thought and Memory) is a master crafter, has been there done that in so many situations and achieved so many things that she is a walking encyclopaedia. If only I could download her memories and knowledge matrix style! 😀


One of her current projects, a gorgeous Bavarian Afghan rug in a wonderful scallop pattern. This is the third one she has made.


Some of the lovely bread that Linne baked which left me drooling from my little gluten-free seat in Ballan.


One of the beautiful silk scarves Linne has dyed to sell on her Etsy store.

Anyway, that’s enough from me. I hope you pop over and say hi to Lynda and Linne. Thank you for coming along with me on my little blog hop. 🙂

* All photos used with permission.


12 thoughts on “Blog hop around the world

  1. A great post Jessie 🙂 I love that crossing out in the beginning lol. You guys do fantastically and I truly wish I had had your “nouse” when younger and raising my kids.
    I did not know I was supposed to do a quote “oops” !! I am so pleased Linne is going to do one for you, I thought to ask her myself but presumed unfortunately she would have too much going on, shouldn’t have done that!! I shall also check out Lynda’s blog, it sounds right down my alley 🙂

  2. Lynda D says:

    Oh My, was that me you were talking about? Thanks a bunch and i only hope i can continue to be a positive partner on your journey. You know how you’ve been so happy to have recently been mentioned by two rather well know bloggers, well did you know that other people feel the same way when you reference them. I’m going to tell everyone today, that Jessie from rabidlittlehippy featured me today. Yeah!!!!!

  3. kmfinigan says:

    Looks like you are off to a fantastic start Jessie! Good luck with your growing journey, its so rewarding!

  4. narf77 says:

    (Lovely?!) Oh what a magnificent opening paragraph, it can only go uphill from here ma’am ;). You completely nailed it and what a wonderful post this is! Full of exciting possibilities, educational information, a fantastic segue to your (poor long suffering) excellent baton accepts and all in all a great and most unique blog hop :). I had thought of asking Linne but knew that she was snowed under as well at the moment but a bit of distraction might be just what the doctor ordered methinks and kudos for asking as she said YES ;). Thank GOODNESS you went after me as otherwise this would have fizzled and died a sad and most pathetic death but now it’s all back on track and I can’t wait to read both LyndaD’s and Linne’s posts and see where it goes from here 🙂

  5. Hello Jessie! I’m a little late getting here – and have been meaning to get here for ages as Fran mentions you so often it seems rude not to pop in and say ‘Hi!’ at the very least. I’m very impressed with what you are doing – but add in the building of something called a ‘rocket stove’ and my impressedness becomes positively airborne! Now I have to follow, just to see what other amazing contraptions you will make – and thank you for your work on behalf of our planet! That alone is fabulous!!

  6. Chel says:

    Hi Jessie, Lynda asked me to join in this blog hop and my post is due tomorrow so I thought I would check out the previous bloggers’ posts to see what on earth I am supposed to do.

    I have seen that rocket mass heater somewhere before in my travels and I am intrigued by it. So all the best with it.

    Now I guess I had better try to piece together a post for tomorrow. Sigh…I need some inspiration I think 🙂

  7. Linne says:

    Thanks for all your kind words, Jess . . . I’m still working on my post, but have found some followers with time and inclination to post after me, so watch that space . . . it’s all been quite exciting! ~ Linne

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