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Logo of AdAgrA 2018: Something Better

Country Living: Making the Move

Jerry Wernick


If you are thinking of moving to the country, this introductory class is for you. We will be looking at the basics of how to make a successful move to your country home. 


In 1980, Jerry and Linda Wernick moved to their country property overlooking Glacier National Park in northern Montana. They built a country home using native stone and timber and produce all their utilities from natural resources. Their extensive gardens and greenhouses produce an abundant food supply in an alpine environment. 



  • January 18, 2018
    9:30 AM


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Kind Father in heaven we are so thankful you made this beautiful world for us and that you gave each one of us life through your creative power we're so sorry the mess we've made of our home in many ways and for the sin that has come about we want to get back as much as we can to the beautiful natural life style that you intend to force in the beginning help us today as we discuss things together as we. We present what you've been able to do for some of your people Lord help it to be instructive to be helpful especially to be in the courage moment help us to be an encouragement to each other give us wisdom now we pray in your name in that. Yesterday we presented about six hours on how to have a a fun enjoyable inexpensive country hall that's what we're all about. We only have one hour to put six hours into so we're going to have to go very quickly we had a bunch of handouts but yesterday did pretty well people cleaned us out but there's a few up here for and I'll mention those if you want to get some of the things. Lyndon I live in northern Montana. We are placed overlooks Glacier National Park for those of you are familiar with Montana so it's a very Alpine area it's I think it's gorgeous but it's also snowing. You'll see some of the pictures and we feel from everything we could read in God's word in the spirit of prophecy we understood that. God's people are to be our you need to connect with the world but not absorb the whole worldly lifestyle and it's best for us if we have our own into pen. Wouldn't country homes but within reach of being able to witness to people but our homes need to be not just in the country they need to be completely independent in the basics of life. I'm going to buy you know mangoes as long as I can and bananas and so on I've tried to grow bananas it wasn't successful. But the day will come when we can't do that and we still need to be able to help other people so I would say once you know our philosophy our philosophy is to have a home that's convenient hopefully attractive fun for the children and all of that and yet it would continue to work just like it is if you can buy anything I want you know our philosophy there that kind of guided us what we're trying to do I had a whole talk prepared but I think we should suspend with that we found out yesterday most people are more interested in pictures than what I'm having to say so we're going to go right into we call our program living naturally covers these topics how to find good land. What is good land how to build your own home using as many native materials as possible in still have attractive so it's inexpensive when you're done you should know we never had much money. And that's partly because we quit working in regular society after well five years we saved her money and bought her land and I worked three more years as we were both teachers. And. Teachers make a nice income but it's not a Usually you spend everything you make to keep life going and so it was hard to save money on that to buy land building your own home independent utilities how to have hot water. Regular water electricity how to heat your home all of those things without having to be connected to anything without using any propane or natural gas or any of that Alpine gardening we call it Alpine gardening because we live in an area where it's really cold a lot of the year and finally family business is that you can do on your land so bad can stay home with the family as much as possible and you can still make a living. We look for land all over the West we love the West we love snow capped peaks and all that it's not for everybody you know a lot of people I grew up in the Midwest so the principles are the same but it might be a little different we look for places where it was the land was not to be used it was not overuse there were people but not too many people and when we took one trip. One summer with friends and you have to do that you got to go on the ground to find the land and we found five or six valleys like this. For some reason or other they were kind of forgotten the reason this valley was kind of like it was Canada is to the left and it's kind of a boxed in Canyon up there Valley in there was one Canadian family living in that whole valley up there and then it was over the mountains to something else and so it was it was not a thoroughfare it it's cold it's beautiful but it's cold. You can get frost any month of the year and the Originally there were four hundred people living in this valley in the pioneer days which was early one thousand eight hundred up to about one hundred thirty five we talked to some of the original homesteaders they all thought they were going to be wealthy ranchers except they found out they couldn't grow anything just easily so most of them left. And it kind of left the valley eventually in one nine hundred ten Glacier National Park was formed it takes up half the valley about where you see the little prairie out there right in front of it this way is a river beautiful river and that is the border of the park so from there over the never be any development which is nice on this side it's all National Forest mixed in with some private land we were looking for valleys like that it's we're about forty miles from the nearest town but thousands of people come through our valley in the summer in very short season so you still have all the witness and ministry opportunity you would want and most of the people that come are interested in the natural world. Which is a lead towards the creator so it's worked well that way. So we look for land Valley first then we came back and looked around for a piece of property and we found when you're looking for land the best piece of property you're using not on the market not always but we know three of us now in our valley avenues people who have found their land when the land was not on the market you ask around. He may work with a realtor because he knows somebody but the land isn't actually advertised remember that especially if you're looking for a land that has resources on it so this is a picture from the top of the hill of the land we actually buff. Has beautiful view. And there were some timber on that's another reason we bought it if you buy land that just has no woods how you going to heat your place how you going to build and so on this is just another view that from the top of our place looking out across that. This is the river that goes between and we the guy that we bought from wanted to sell us river property to but it was more money of course we didn't want the river you might say well why not over that's water well river water is always in the lowest spot obviously and you can't use it I mean unless you have a big palm you can make power with it unless you build a dam of some sort and it tends to be controlled because it's a fishery This one happens to be part of the National Wild scenic river program which is wonderful it will be developed and we use it for recreation and rafting canoeing it's wonderful but I wouldn't want to live on it because you can't build right next to it it can flood a little bit occasionally but we asked the guy we want to have a deeded easement to the river so we can get there for recreation so we got there so it's like we owned river but we don't have to pay for it we're back just a quarter mile from the river on a little road is where our land is. This is the road to town. To town is down that road and then through that little canyon you see there forty miles from our place it's a gravel road some of it's paved to get closer to town and town isn't big it's about three or four thousand people but that's the nearest town. That's why this valley was left it's just too far to commute especially in the winter for people few people have tried it. You want to buy land that most people find a little difficult to live on. That will make it cheaper you'll never be crowded and generally of good neighbors because they're pretty plucky people or they wouldn't be there. So but you got to drive that road and that discourages a lot of people. There's a little store halfway up the valley it's called the Community called Pole ridge it's not a town. It's an old country store it's still operates it was for though it was built in the pioneer days but now it just is a tourist thing ten people live in pole bridge year round. So just part of this is the only day you'll find her lean body there this is Fourth of July parade it's a real folksy thing I know the guy that's right and on the mules there it's his mule train it's what he does for a living he was a near neighbor of ours for many years. You can see the mountains in the background people think it's great but as soon as the snow comes they all run away which is kind of nice This is the entry to our place and I want you to know as you look around we've built virtually everything on here with hardly any money to lend and I did all the work ourselves with friends helping us but we didn't we didn't hire anybody we couldn't afford to hire anybody and that's another thing if you're going to have your own home unless you're independently wealthy and there's probably a few of you are that's great the rest of us are going to have to do our own work our own building and that's not all bad because you get it done the way you want it and I just want you to be incur. If you have to do your own building you can do it and you can get it done I was all thumbs I I went to college but I was totally impractical it was really sad but I needed to learn skills and I can go into the whole story in this little presentation of how we learn those skills but a lot of it was Make mistakes learn from those mistakes and don't get discouraged just because something didn't work. When introduce you to Chloe on the left and Misty on the right there are two Malamutes one belongs to our daughter and husband who are building place on our place as well we called it Tamarac Springs for two reasons Tamarac is the name of the dominant tree when we first went we thought it were they weren't good trees because when we first saw or was the first winter we saw them they lose their needles that's the only conifer that loses needles I thought they were all dead. They're the best tree around the action the kind of official name is Western large they only grow in this little area little part of Canada Western larch and they're all wonderful tree their dance their fire resistant their wonderful firewood building material and all that sort of stuff and they'll live for five hundred years. And in the other is Springs and when you look for land I encourage you don't settle for something unless you happily have to that does not have a good water source I believe there's plenty of good land for all of God's people to have a place with good water it saves you so much trouble we bought this because it had some springs on they were not developed and it was a lot of work to develop them but there hillside is to the right what you'll see in a minute and the springs come out up on the hillside Fortunately about eighty feet the hill is about two hundred feet high so I could pipe them down and so our whole place is fed with gravity spring or is actually not that much water I'll show you here in a minute how much it does. Take a lot as long as you have some flowing twenty four hours a day all year long it's wonderful what you can do with this little fountain for instance is this water that's coming a little too low and I can't really use it for power and so on so it's just piped here but that's a natural spring water there's no pond there's no pumps there's nothing recycled You can drink from it it flows over urns piped over and runs a little marsh and runs around even in our cold area because the springs are forty degrees which isn't warm but they're forty degrees year round and in the winter that's pretty warm actually the building there looks like a house isn't a house that's actually our winter greenhouse and it has very few windows on the back because this is the north side the south sides where all the glazing windows are and so on and the other building over there is our orchard greenhouse we want to be able to grow fruit but fruit grown girl grow there is a pioneers found out our gardens to the left you can see it. This is the same area but looking across to up to our home our home is up on the hill a little ways but it's still below the springs so that we have natural gravity flow into our home. We believe too that when you do a country home it should be natural but is beautiful as you can make it without spending a lot of money because when we got there we started building so on people come around our area people are very friendly there aren't that many neighbors This isn't there were no phones between the homes there still are any phones between the homes unless you have an internet phone or something and so people come around Ah I heard you have some greenhouses could I look at it would you build me this I hear you you developed a spring I don't want to my place could you help me I mean we weren't there hardly at all and you're here way out in the wilderness how you're going to make money pretty soon people came crawling literally out of the wilderness and asking would you do this and do that now you're not going to it isn't like an urban thing where you're going to do. One thing and make one hundred thousand dollars it doesn't work that way you're going to do a little of this and a little that a little something else and you network with people they were wonderful people and we came from California where we taught down there it was a pretty big town it was actually in L.A. County Fortunately it wasn't in L.A.. We counted up the last year we were there we had twenty people in our home inside our home friends and nobody wanted down there nobody wanted anybody in their house they wanted to be alone they saw people all the time I mean that was just normal the first year we were here if I remember right we counted up I think we had close to two hundred people in our little cabin because everybody comes over knocks on the door and who are you and where you from what's going on it was actually it was more social life than it was in California. This is the road up to our house these are some of those trees they're beautiful trees we're leaving all the old growth and just cutting the smaller ones underneath and this is our home up close and we build it ourselves designing ourselves one of the main features we wanted to have big windows on the front that looked out so we could see the whole natural world and it actually looks a little squished like this because of the photo notice the little door on the front that's where you put the firewood. We live on a fire on a wood economy we heat with it we do our hot water with it we cook with it all of that but you don't want it to be messy so this way you don't drag it through the house it just down the chute it slams down you can put it down then somebody Linda is down there and stacks the what works nights this is around the side and put this in here because we want in our home to have nice landscaping but we didn't have money to buy it so the rocks that you see there are just free to pick up in our area it's another wonderful thing about living and. More mountainous environment there's so few people there there's natural resources everywhere and we got a permit it's free but the Forest Service just wants to know where you're going you can pick up the rock of course we have a lot of rock on our own place too because. The bark was free somebody had done a log in job I don't know when exactly and just getting the logs in there were kind of piles of bark the fallen off we scoop them up and we'll barrels put them in our truck and there it is the ferns came from our own place because wherever there spring water there's a lot of ferns so we just transplanted them and of the drain Ians and all the ivy and everything comes from a greenhouse we figure we raise two thousand dollars a year of flowers and green and with that we used to landscape our place we wanted to look pretty if we had to buy all that were made at that kind of money you know. We sell some of them to see the little screen tearing at the bottom under the planters that's important too and that is the vent that ventilates the entire house. And it's important to have something like that everybody's always seal in their house up in all this for winter we have a big hole but it goes into our root cellar and I'll talk about that in a minute but that's what that's for the little plywood there is when it's thirty below zero I slide plywood over it's not automatic you kind of have to do some things yourself this is the walkway up to the house to the front door and more the flowers and so on but so none of you want to run to Montana real fast this is the same spot last winter OK. And that's Chloe you notice she's happy as can be She's she's a seventy pound Malamute I don't think she could see over the snow even if she stood up. So now you know why nobody lives in our valley right. We love snow it's wonderful it's what gives us all our spring water they. Notice our snow is white in Montana. I lived in the Midwest and the snow came down white but it in stay white very long in the in the towns and cities is pretty brown and all that sort of stuff really quick. And and snow we have snow on the ground five months out of the year it's an Alpine area which means that the snow doesn't come in the MELD off instantly and you come like it did in Indiana where I kind of grew up you'd get a cold in that but a week later warmed up the snow was gone and so if you forgot something or if you laid an axe down or whatever you could find it it isn't the way it is here when it starts to snow it snows and it may settle a little bit but then it's no small and it just keeps building up and typically we get up to about three feet of snow pack which is dense snow and then it slowly starts to melt off and by April sometime it's gone. People get what's called Cabin Fever The reason is they don't have any greenhouses they just sit in there and then these sit in their little house and it's like. There's nothing to do well people ask is So what do you two up there all winter now I can tell you I'm not just sitting around although we do read more books in the winter it's nice and you can't work as much the Lord meant it that way I don't think the Lord intended you have to get out every day no matter what the weather is and drive to work. Just go with the flow that's what we do inside it looks like this that's the main room the mountains are actually a lot closer than they look because it's a wide angle OK but you can look off to the mountains in you look down you see the little fountain down there and the garden beyond and so on you can see here we tried to make it so inside and outside almost looks the same we love the natural world we want to live like if I could I'd live like Eden I can't I'd freeze to death. But you can kind of be like that OK. In this picture I explain a little bit more this is our daughter Rachelle who grew up there for nineteen years and went off to college and all that but they live back in the area now her husband is facing her there and sees more pictures of them and you see just the little top of our grandson and there's Chloe the way if you want to heat a home in a colder environment like this but I think the principle would work down here where your problem is more air conditioning. If you just have a normal house like people build it's just you know framed in dry wall in all that in all you're doing is heating the air cooling the air the airways almost nothing so as soon as the heat source or the air conditioner goes off it isn't very long and the temperature changes OK if you fill your home with what's called thermal mass I call it it's it's heat a bowl mass which basically means concrete in stone and a home like this and you have enough of it it moderates the climate in your home so it doesn't matter if you stove runs for a long time doesn't change the temperature much but when the stove goes off the temperature doesn't change much over night it just stays even it works both because we need we don't read really need air conditioning but we it does get warm in the summer and Linda has a wood cook stove and they're notorious for over heating your house in the summer it doesn't here because that fireplace we build it ourselves but it it has about forty thousand pounds of concrete and stone it's not a facade like a lot of greenhouse these are I mean fireplaces are where you just block and all that it's actually solid reinforced concrete the whole thing with just flus. Built in stone and Linda who's standing over back to us and right over here she laid all the stones. I had a mulch show you pictures of her first work because we don't know what we're doing it was terrible. She's learned to be a great Mason and I'm the hod carrier and I carry the heavy rocks and I mix the mortar and all that and later if some of you are interested you want to know all the details of what's the right mix for mortar and how long does it have to be there how do you lay stone all that we had to learn all that there was it's a lost art people used to know that kind of stuff we had to learn from scratch really and a lot of it you can read a book you can watch something on the internet but it's nothing like doing it and then you find out what you don't know. The Congo the floor under a shell there is actually a ceiling over our furnace room that's why that floor is not cold and you magine twenty below zero in Montana those huge windows to the right and it's a two story thing is the floor would be blown cold even if you were heating the place it's a warm floor the temperature is almost the same here is it is upstairs and that's because you design it so that your heating system which is all natural and just based on wood works to heat the home evenly and you've got to have a lot of concrete and and stone for that to happen and we've got to move really fast here this is Linda's cookstove you want to come up and talk about it or not OK. So a lot of you ladies are probably thought I could never do this but as an expert. The one here that's. Like he said it's one that we just recently purchased up and point I had used very inexpensive what cookstoves that were old and airy and you know what but even those. Those work those bake and do a good job the biggest problem with them is they require a lot more going in constantly which gave me a problem with this one because I tried to use it the same way with the same amount of wood and I ended up all of a sudden within ten fifteen minutes my oven was five hundred degrees and I was burning my bread and it was really bad and till I backed off and said OK a little wood goes a long ways which was wonderful and we do have information about that particular. Stove over here but I really like it in the sense that. I feel like I don't want to be a control freak but I feel like I am in control because I can go out of the woods I can get my feel whenever I want whenever I need as long as I can I get him going with me as if more than one person job but you know and other words I'm not dependent on when's the proper truck going to get up here. Get too low or whatever you know I can always cook and I love the way it cooks it's probably easier for me now to cook on the stove than a regular like trick or propane gas stove and the whole talk gets hot you regulate your temperature of what you're doing by where you put your pan and you know I've just found it's really a great way to cook. OK I will she told me we got her we got her behind her you see there's actually a microwave there. We have a hydroelectric plant runs from our springs we make our own like tricity simply that way and it will run those kind appliances but it would never run a regular huge electric stove they just take too much power you see the little thing there there's I don't have time for all the pictures that the wood comes from a little cart right there that goes into our pantry. Where the wood stored. That's the bread that she makes in that six loaves in the and there's raspberries we pick from our garden and have refrigerator runs on our little hydro she's got a Bosh maker that's her bread making area over there. These are apricot from our own trees and peaches in the background she'd already can't and woodstoves are wonderful that Misty is demonstrating the wonders of mass heating here because that we learn really fast the problem with wood stoves this is my opinion now is that. You build a fire the fire wants to burn hot quick and then it's gone so people shut the stove down so it will burn longer in the whole thing you can buy three four thousand dollars stoves that are have all these controls on some or even run by electricity and everything to try to make it burn ten or twelve hours when you do that you get an inefficient burn typically and most of the heat goes right up the chimney at least half of that's the problem while the secret to all of that is to put your stove downstairs ours is downstairs kind under that pill there there's a room down there it's a small room that's where the wood stove is makes it safer to you burn a hot clean fire give it all the air will take so a really burns and but if you did that normally hot the house would go up ten or twenty degrees and when I was out to go down ten or two hundred reason to be cold instead the smoke you see no chimney the smoke goes under the couch in concrete comes into this curve walkway. The stone walkway and that's actually the smoke flue comes all the way under there and that's why Misty's off because it's nice and warm and so you get a warm floor comes over. Right here you can see the edge of the fireplace it goes into the fireplace and then straight up for twenty five feet in one foot by one foot flew and so you go through about fifty feet of concrete. By the time that smoke and it goes kind of slowly through the horizontal part it's liberated almost all its heat to the stone but it only raises the temp of the temperature in the house maybe three four degrees and then it just sits like that for the rest of the day you don't have to keep Stoke on it it doesn't overheat it's not an even our home has so much as it's about one hundred thousand pounds of concrete we poured it all ourselves so it's not not expensive and stone we go off to town we leave for a few days come home and the house is still warm it's slowly drops and I just heard from the guy that's kind of watching the place while we're gone. When we left I don't know it's probably around seventy and after nearly a week it was still fifty six in Montana winter I mean that's wonderful and we don't have to have propane or thermostats or backup or any of that sort of stuff this is the stairs going down for this whole system to work you have to have a way for the cool air in the house that is that settles at the bottom to go down somewhere if not it settles on your floors so it goes right down to the basement at the basement if you turn left it's our furnace room right there's a little wreck or him this is the rec room Linda laid all that stone with the help of our daughter and a lot of that stone came from this hole and we dug it because we dug a hole basement by hand and saved all the pretty rocks and that's a foot thick with foam behind it so that holds the heat in that room and the in the ceiling above it is also concrete which is our bedroom above that and that warms up so you have more flowers. This is the furnace room next to it and it there's a lot going on here I'll just be very quickly you see the little box there that's the end of the would shoot so it comes down stays out of the main house you just stack it there because it's stacked there in the wintertime with the wood heater going there it gets super dry and because it's super dry and warm you can hang clothes there and they dry right out. This the heater is one we designed ourselves it's just a simple box but it's made out a quarter inch steel I just had a welder it's very inexpensive you can have those done for about eight hundred dollars OK and there's a lot of details to it but the point is it's inexpensive in the last one hundred years and there's nothing fancy about it you put wood in it you light the fire and leave the door ajar give it all the oxygen it burns you know no controls no fancy this no clean and out the creosote anything like that. The fire course first thing it does is heat the air in there the air goes up and you can see a little flew up there beyond over that box that's going out of the living room and there's several more of those couple more they go to a bedroom and other places allow the warm air to go where you want Normally people do that. But it's called Forced air and they use a little pipe like this air will move. A pipe like that so you have to have a big blower it takes more energy and you've got to have filters and you know how furnace is are they're always giving you trouble in going out and so on eventually ten years or so you buy another one well you're not going to buy another one and the air will move because the fluids are large they just go up it heats the cool air comes down the steps and you get this normal cycle but you can hardly feel it this little thing right here is a box that's on top of the heater that boxes are hot water heaters it's also welded out a quarter inch steel with well casing going up the middle so the flue gases immediately from the heater go right up through the water and heats water just like that automatically so you have all the water you want in the winter we have too much hot water so we're forced to put it in a little stone hot tub in armpit you. Know and it's nice to soak in and off half etc You see here automatic washer be on there and then there's two doors we dug this by hand like I said because we didn't want to dig it all and the between those two doors is Earth that was left this room is insulated the walls are a foot thick and so they'll hold a lot of heat but beyond that we wanted to be cold so there is no insulation beyond that and there's a double door because that in in there is our root cellar OK. That's the root cellar there's two rooms and Linda has fifteen hundred jars they're not all for all the time but we can can I'm on the side down here we do our potatoes and apples stuff like that the boxes in the end are used to stack carrots and so forth so now let's go. To the question was What is the temperature in this room in the winter time since the forty's OK and that's when you need it to be as cool the warmest that ever gets is about fifty five in the middle of the summer our ground temperature is forty degrees year round and that's one of the advantages of living in the mountains you can have a cold root is basically a walk in refrigerator a lot of the year this is the other room in this is closer to the vent and it has freezers in it and but those freezer seldom come on because they're in a cold room and the coldest air is coming by them but they run on our little hydro plant too. And here in here she took like dry goods like beans and flour and all kinds of stuff like that and I can't take time yesterday we did notice there's it's dry there's no mold it's all because it's vented properly and it helps ventilate your home and humidifier your home you don't need to humid a Pfizer humidifier that. When you live naturally when you start to work with nature instead of trying to overpower nature with all kinds of gadgets you have to buy an extra power and everything life becomes simple and you know any bills I mean it may sound great it is great but you have to plan ahead and we we learned all this because we built what we call our mistake house first and we made lots of mistakes. This is I just have a few pictures of building the home this is the root cellar when we were building it and you notice we put up stack wall just retaining walls that Linden Richelle laid with stone that came from their ugly stumps but they're strong and good they're built right into the hill because we wanted that forty degree. Cold to help our root cellar beyond that you see the furnace room in that rec room that's all it's fallen behind and that's variable fall and that insulates it away from the ground that's what you want. We mixed all the concrete by hand Linda laid all the rock down there we didn't want just rock concrete everywhere stones are so much prettier and they hold a lot of heat it took time to lay the stone but the stone was free except for a little mortar it's a wonderful building material we framed it when we framed it we were actually working full time when we built it we are operating in a small independent academy that we had for about thirty or thirty five years and the students were helpful in lifting things but they weren't carpenters and they only work two hours a day but it was a good experience for them and it was a help to us but I didn't have full time to work on the house either so it was quite a race to start in the spring and get the place up and enclosed and livable and heated well before the snow came in November. We lifted everything by hand and I know you Can they got fancy cranes today and great all in all and if you've got the money to do it it's all fun and wonderful but if you don't the neighbors will come and help in a place like ours because everybody helps everybody there I had helped some of these folks they helped me a lot more than I ever helped them really the way I look at it. That's what it looked like after we'd just gotten it enclosed and and roofed but we're ready for winter when winter comes you've got to have a fuel supply and I've showed you how the wood works but you you want to have a woods we bought this because it had a mature forest on it has some for five hundred years old trees were leaving those They're wonderful I love I love ancient trees and sold their stand but surrounding that is you can see are a lot of little trees. Linda standing by our biggest tree that's my. Susan what we've called it but all the little stuff in there is kind of like growth the cups on and they need to be thin other they're too thick so we take out all the crooked ones the diseased ones the ones that are too thick so most of the trees we cut are small and when it gets cleared out look something like this we've had to build roads around and by the way this little section. Right here is kind of a hair pin turn we had need a lot of fill from that you can probably figure out where that came from that's where our basement dirt went but it was all wheeled over there with wheel barrels. It saved us thousands and thousands of dollars not having to hire somebody with a backhoe and dump trucks and all the rest of it and you can you might say you can't do that actually I think was good for my health it was it was and it was quiet and when we got done it the place was in a mess when you give machinery on your place now we had this road put in with the cat but we carefully cleaned everything out and I was right there every minute so the guy didn't shove stuff all over the place because you can hand end up with a lot of time and money spent landscaping after you do a big machine like that there's there's there's place for everything but Machine big machines aren't the answer to everything in my view do everything you can by hand. Then you don't have to have a job away from your family so much you can be there with them. The question was what kind of trees do we burn for firewood and actually I would like to burn the Tamarac because it's the best firewood around but they live forever and I don't want to cut the big one so most of what we burn our software spruce and pine because they're the quickie they die a lot easier and that's what I burn a lot more because it's what I want to clean up the place but whenever I can get Tamarack I get it. And they are fire resistant trees they have thick bark they're kind of like redwoods of our area. Anyway you've got to build good roads on your place but they should be simple and you can waste a lot of money on roads if you don't do it carefully but if you do it works out well the sub gravel for a lot of this these roads actually came from our garden and I said this yesterday but one of the things we learn real quick in a country home like this this place was wonderful it had all the natural resources we needed they were just all in the wrong places. They were the rocks were in our garden the black soil was in our spring bottoms and all of that in the timber was you know some of it was shading the greenhouses so you have to move stuff around but it's that's you have it there you don't have to go on by a lot of stuff this road comes around our home is actually off to the kind of in the center and this road curves around ends up going clear the top of the hill to where Ted Michel are building that's what our wood shed looks like and we don't attach the woodshed to the house to probably notice the House stands alone all of our business buildings in our more industrial buildings and all that are down away from the house a lot of people think us terrible You got to walk five hundred feet to get your greenhouse I think it's wonderful you remember Ellen White said it's good for institutions to be in hilly places and keep the houses away from the main buildings were people got to walk a little bit. I don't need a gym membership and I suppose most of you don't need it anyway a lot a little Would you don't have to split it and that would shed holds two years supply for our home it takes about five cords a year of that kind of wood to heat our home in the winter every good homestead needs. A good water supply and this is where our springs come out they come out up the hill a little bit we dug them by hand they were Gee it was just a. Absolute jungle when I went up to where these were but they were trickling down the hill I found I fall the back started digging out and they actually seep out of thirty forty feet in an area and then it's two or three hundred feet in there's another little seat some are bigger and Anyway we made these springs by hand it took me about two or three weeks to dig one of these. Working eight ten hours a day and again people say as terrible No it wasn't terrible it was fun. For me to figure out how it all work to put the pipes in and when you're all done and last a lifetime cost virtually nothing. This is a smaller spring this is actually one feeds our house and it doesn't run that much it only runs like seven gallons a minute but that's that's about ten thousand gallons a day so we don't even have to cover it it just flows out it's pure water even if some animal haps to step in it you're not going to get sick from it but if it if you squeeze you know kind of queasy about such things you would line that was stone or whatever make a little concrete color and put a lid on it doesn't really need. Long as you're catching right at the source it does have a screen there which is it but it's not a micro filter it's just get it's basically window screen that's on. A little thread or there in the pipe you can see it going down heads down to the house from there the house only about one hundred fifty feet. This is the amount of water you can run a whole homestead on this is where several springs have come together that's not very much water but it's steady you're around if you have that much and you have a little head on it you can make your power you can water all your gardens and greenhouses and take care of your house and all of that. That amount of water so small nobody cares about you're not going to get restrictions and all the rest of it so if you can find land somewhere that has flowing water pipe down the hill you can kind of see it goes up and coming in in one of those little basins is where one of our springs are and we dug all their dishes by hand that way I didn't have to have roads and all that and I didn't have to have backhoes and all that sort of expense quickly. They want to know what we used to test for water in our land. I never tested it but somebody else did and I can tell you very briefly that story and I'm afraid we're going to run out of time folks will do the best we can but there's a series of springs along this hill the last one major one is off our land it's in the national forest behind us so some of our neighbors none of whom live there year round they were summer folks years ago they asked me if they could hire us to put in a water system similar to ours for all of them four of them went together so we did that. And it's the same waters just one spring down one of the guys back in Minnesota he took the water he went after we got done went to his cabin they have a small summer cabin and took a candy jar I think and got a full water from the kids and singing took it back home and he sent a sample into the Minnesota state lab he told me this the next summer when he came showed me the paperwork. To have it tested and I knew we'd been drinking it for years and I was sure it was great and it's soft water. It's not hard water at all there's no smell as nothing tastes wonderful but I'd never actually had it tested so he did and then after a week or so he got a call from the lab and he and they said are you Mr So and So and you gave us a sample yawn and so what we have a question about he said Well is there a problem and they said no there's no problem he said we're having a debate down here at the lab and what's the problem there well we're having a debate of where in Minnesota this water came from. And he said well why he said well it's the purest water we've. Ever tested in this lab. And he said well I got it from my cabin out in Montana and you guys said I knew it didn't come from around here anyway there's not a minute you show me that there's a tiny bit of this is all of suspended clay can't see it and you can see in our pools here pretty soon just look perfectly clear but if you boil it away there's this little talcum powder it's just clay which is actually healthy for you. There's a tiny tiny bit maybe of calcium and that's it. One of the great benefits of living in a mountain areas you get the water first. That's where it falls and it runs downhill from there all way to the ocean farther down you go the more likely you're going to have agricultural runoff pesticides herbicides contamination etc etc etc Think about that OK. When you buy land and ends up in a little power house down by the pond and that's also build out of stone and cement It's small body eight by eight and it's built into the hill so it won't freeze in the winter time and inside sorry inside the looks like this there's two small water turbans and I actually have one of the turbans right here. Inside the white part is one of these it's tiny has these little little cups you just have a high speed small stream of water come in just like a garden hose almost it's a little stronger than that and it spins this thing around and this just screws on the on the shaft on the end and it's to a permanent magnet spins that magnet and there's wires on the outside there's no moving wires at all and it produces our electricity it's utterly simple. You can buy those for about two thousand dollars. And you spread out over a lifetime you're not paying very much we have to for redundancy one will run our whole place but I usually run one nozzle on each and the one on the left I just change the bearings on that after seven years. That's the only Maine I mean how good is that he doesn't get much better in that one moving part and and I have a whole pile of those bearings that in a little jug over here probably enough for fifty years I mean it's it's it's pretty simple it goes from there into a set of batteries deep cycle batteries you want deep cycle batteries you don't have to have a big one are simple R R's system is very simple it's twelve volt initially you can get them twenty four forty eight air as you go up the line they get more complicated more expensive and all that goes into a simple solid state inverter I got that used I've never had in a Virgo bad that converts it to household power from there it goes out hundreds of feet in each direction to our greenhouses and shop and over to the what was the boys in the cottage and up our the hill to our home all underground in just pipes and you've got power everywhere it's really nice when you get up to the house produces all your light runs all of our normal appliances except heavy use we don't use air conditioning we don't use it for heating and all that but blenders and vacuum cleaners and computers and you know Bosh bread mixer and all the little stuff that you use including this projector Emmy Awards anything like that and down in my shop I have all kinds of shop tools that runs. Washers it does not run a dryer it will run the tumbler part of a dryer that's a whole nother story upright don't have time for I worked with a neighbor to make a gas dryer into a wood dryer it worked great we can't do that in our place yet because of his his utility room was right above his furnace room downstairs mine isn't because I didn't know that that So it's a mistake that I made so Linda hangs her clothes outside which is better in the summer and inside in the furnace room. Fridge rater runs on it both freezers will run on it because they're intermittent it does five. I yeah and we had up to ten young people living on our place with us in our little school program teenagers almost none of them knew how to turn off lights when they showed up. And in the dead of winter it was nip and tuck sometimes if we had enough power for all our classroom I mean those tiny little things and they ran all of that it's wonderful but it does have some limit you can't just go buy some huge industrial machine or something like that if you're going to do that you've got to be hooked to the grid if that's what you want that's fine but I didn't want that. I had. You know I don't think we have time unless you folks let's do those questions when we're all done if you have some you want to stay by I'm happy to stay as long but I want to keep you away from other things you want to do but yeah it's fun. So Alpine gardening How do you grow food is nice valley and like one of my my old time neighbors said Well Jerry it's nice you came here when we were called the California kids when we came we were young about twenty seven and he said but it's nice it's beautiful here can eat the scenery. And he was right most they expected us to come the little cabin like everybody did and after one winner. Because that's well most everybody did it's so terrible how we can do anything here we were determined and to live in the country folks you've got to be determined that after your decision for Christ and your decision for your wonderful wife and husband and your kids the next one's got to be your home. And if you're determined to have a country home the Lord will work with you to have it no matter what the situation is if it's if your attitude is is what I call Titanic thinking was an iceberg do we really need to get off the boat I'm not so sure people did that on the Titanic they weren't sure if you hesitate and you're it isn't really your priority it's only if it's five and it's only if it's convenient you're probably never going to to get a country home built so for us snow came like this and was like whoa now what do we do this was taken last winter. See the fountains disappearing and so it was the garden fence out there and winners along so we realized we had to build some greenhouses are actually down here most people if they garden I'm guessing probably go to a nursery at least get their starts. You know a lot of people do that if you're going to have a whole food supply like we wanted to have you're going to need hundreds and hundreds of starts it isn't just a few you can grow in your kitchen window and so we need is something and I think all green house is good for everybody almost in any location to at least do that much for us we need it for a few other things. This is looking this is our winter green house this is where we grow all our starts we grow a lot of sub tropical fruit in there too we grow winter greens all those kinds of things we couldn't have. This is what it looked like inside on that same day. And you may think we're really decadent because we got a couple little pools in there but even convince the tax man that these once women pools because they don't have any filters they have no pumps OK that's just pure spring water there's no chemicals nothing what they're designed for is de heat the place they are the heater for it along with all the stonework and concrete and everything is built just like our home that moderates the climate in there so like on a day like this he was probably I don't know is probably forty five or fifty it isn't hot in there you can heat it that hot but it doesn't really plants don't need that in the dead of winter this is in February. It but it just stays like that. If I go home and Bill no fire at all I come back in the morning it might be one degree cooler even if it's really cold outside that's the beauty of having thermal mass in there now whenever we want to we can heat it we have a little wood heated pool heater we heat the hot tub and you can soak in there it's actually good for therapy this one we keep a little cooler but they there's four thousand gallons of water and together with all the stone and masonry and moderates the climate without that we are for our first attempts made all kinds of mistakes we had more like what you call just a you know just a plastic type greenhouse it just froze up in the winter and it overheat. Did terribly in the summer this one does neither because of the mass in it. A couple months or later looks like this this would be in late spring. The fig trees all leaf doubt now and there are several other trees and flowers are all starting to come out and they look like this for eight months. We love flowers if you wanted to you could have no flowers and you could have just all greens and other plants and everything grown in there we like flowers too and so it's our little thing to inspire our souls specially in the winter you go down the you can sit when the sun when the sun comes out it's nice. We love bird of paradise they do well in that. It's two storey so we could have big trees and this is what the figs look like there's two crops you get hundreds and hundreds of figs figs do go dormant it loses its leaves in December starts leaking out again in late February so there's a short time in there with no leaves but. If you look closely some of you have fig trees. See the figure is coming out between the main stem and the leaf every major leaf produces a fig It's incredible I mean they're one of the best trees for food you can possibly have the last few leaves don't produce figs because they don't have time they're the ones that produce the figs are there they come out in the spring and give you your spring crop so you get two crops the later crop is the larger one. It's so big I've built cat walks up through the fig tree to pick all the fix you can see me there how high it is up there pick and and I we have a little picker Linda's pushing it out to me like this and I drop it in and she reels it in there so many they fall over the place and if you non they can make a mess with their really sweet and they're really good food we also have a small Kotto tree which hasn't done very well it's produced a few little things but blossoms wonderfully it's grown a lot bigger now but it has a hard time setting and we have an olive tree that's just getting started I had a really big olive tree grew fifteen feet blossomed wonderfully never produced you learn all this stuff and I found out all of trees aren't all created equal some of them are self pollinating some are not the first one wasn't this one is. And we have a small lemon tree we've tried a lot of different citrus citrus is problematic it once a really hot dry climate we don't have that but lemons do the best we get up to maybe fifteen lemons that's the most we have gotten any year. Another root way we use this building this you see the fig tree there starting to get a few yellow leaves this is real late in the season probably late October starting early November our garden outside is freezing down hard and pretty soon there's snow everywhere we track just before that happens we transplant in large amounts of green things like kale Swiss chard and so on and that's what is in there see the kale there mixed in with all flowers you see a few all of the on the tree in front of it and then there's green onions there's Swiss chard there's beets that will produce a lot of beet greens there's parsley and we have lettuce up stairs all those green stay fine through the whole winter they don't go bad and they don't grow much there's just not enough light even if you heat it they won't they only grow an inch or two but they don't bolt either so you can pick fresh greens all in it. We also produce lots of flowers. And there and that's what's used to help beautifying landscape our place without it you're going to a nursery to buy it or you just don't have it and Chloe's they're laying by you see we've got flowers inside the house and outside the house this is another big pot by the House and it's the kind is there to compliment the natural beauty these are wild Lupin's They grow all over the place they're in Montana and summer another thing that you use a slurring like this for is to do all your starts and it first we tried to just put the starts out in the main celeriac well in the late winter early spring when you're starting things it's probably fifty sixty in there it could be a little warmer maybe if he did a lot you get it seventy it's comfortable it's nice stuff grows but you don't get many plants to germinate at fifty degrees or sixty they want it seventy or eighty a lot of them. So we built this little Paudeen room this is the saloon mains Lariam to the right through a door there this is on the edge of the building and this is a potty room but beyond is a germination room and most big nurseries what they do is they have these heating pads and that's just more power more electricity and they work nice what we wanted something natural and so what we have is an eighty gallon tank that I bought for twenty bucks it was used so late on this side we down in our pool heater which I'll show you in a minute we heat water it's piped over here naturally it heats that tank up to two hundred degrees and heats the room to eighty we put our starts on that little thing there close the door and stuff pops out of the ground because it's warm and has a big sunny window there so we grow all our stars probably five or six hundred starts in there and tonnes of draining starts and so on you need someplace like that where you can start your stars. Back in the celerity and you wonder how you're going to heat something like this well under that little patio and we have a nice place to sit there. That's actually a furnace room underneath kind of like at the house it's a concrete ceiling so that heats up nice and warm but you don't see a flute. The flue is actually coming under the bridge and it goes into the stone walkway behind where the pictures taken and finally out a big twenty some foot chimney again that's all concrete so works the same absorbs the heat as it goes out it doesn't overheat it but this Larry won't change the temperature two or three degrees sometimes I if I heated during the day a little bit is let it go I come down the next morning it's the same temperature. Usually one or two degrees less. So it works wonderfully. There's the stairs coming down to it that's the cold air return and if you have a family greenhouse it won't work well in the winter especially unless you have a place for the cold air to sink to Otherwise it sinks to the floor and you have cold floor for all your plants you need a place on it is not big I think is about twelve by twelve yet doesn't have to be under the whole thing that's what heats the whole scenario it's actually a big tank a paid seventy dollars for a used pressure tank and we build a wood stove right into it and the details of how you do that because we did it wrong the first time I can tell you somebody if they want to ask it has a well casing inside that's the flue you can see it at the top eight inch well casing quarter inch steel going up there so you actually build your fire right in the water it heats water incredibly fast two hundred gallons and we can use that to go everywhere we run it to the hot tub or the pool there's a shower room a laundry and we heat it to only about one hundred degrees and then it's piped all through our greenhouses and we water all our sensitive plants all our starts our tomatoes the squash cucumbers beans they don't like forty degree water all summer they get water like that in the summer we don't have to use this because we have a solar collector that makes warm water for us and most of the summer but in the early season we have to use this and that's that's what we used to heat the way you get wood for that and this is how we get wood for the house as well we try to get our whole wood thing down so it's super efficient. We go into the woods around us or on our own place and get dead trees laying on the ground or surface or we thin them a little bit and we try to cut them all bought same length and nine feet were good for us because we like it eighteen inches you bring it back you stack it in a homemade jig like that. Quick quickly all lined up and then you just start saw on and in in a few minutes I saw third a cord of wood so the wood is quick and fast and it's right there we put a tarp down so it doesn't get wood mess all over there nice little gravel road and then we pick up the sawdust we it's all nice and dry because it's from dry wood we put that in barrels and we use that for our start and we also excess we use that to bury all our pipes the whole thing on a country home it's all got to be efficient every move counts and I told people often I used to think that. Going to college in getting a degree like I did in training did you know all this you know you got it that really takes a lot of brains Well actually to live in the country and do it right takes more brains don't think the country people that know what they're doing are dumb they're not it really if you just think it through and are careful the Lord will work with you so everything everything has a place on the country home including the children and everybody everybody's needed. So that's how we do it you will it over you put it down that little shoot that's another will shoot slides down right to the furnace room but that has a couple other purposes stomp your feet to keep it clean and that's where the cold air goes down on that side the stairways on the other side so everything works naturally. There's the wood downstairs It takes about two cords of wood to heat this hole so Lariam for a whole Montana winter in that incredible it's wonderful now to the Orchard Green House what time is it are we run out of time. What when we supposed quit. We're supposed to quit right now. OK folks any I just to anybody that needs to leave don't you know you hurt my feelings if you can go because but I'll continue a little more or go really fast for those of you would like to see a little more I'm sorry about that in ours just hardly enough time. This is our orchard greenhouse OK and you can't grow fruit trees in our valley without some protection we learn that real quick these are peach trees apricot trees that. Are this is in late March early April at the end down there at the end you'll see there's a bunch of snow that's outside so outside still winter. And this is what it looks like we have rolling shutters. Way just meant for people to to go I know some of you need to go that's fine. Yes. The only way we could have fruit trees is to basically have what I call a fruit bar we call it our orchard greenhouse but trees don't like to be in a greenhouse they in the summer they want to be wide open so it's open to the sky in the summer but those will roll shut you can move the whole roof in five minutes and the snow builds up on it for the winter time and it gives them a perfect garment period they don't get any snow they don't get any ice they don't get any rain in the spring time if it frosts and some of you may even experience that your trees look will not they'll last me get a late spring frost you lose all your fruit that never happens to us up there because we roll them shut on those nice and the trees like it. This is what it looks like when it's open. And that's what it looks like when it's close it's eighty eight feet long. So may want to go back it's eighty eight feet long thirty feet. Now a lot of the summer we just leave them open day and night if I close them every night in the summer we get fruit about two weeks sooner. Yes. I will tell you just seconds OK when we go through it so anyway that's the secret to what we're doing it stays like that probably five months out of the year during the winter months. In mid summer this is what you get You see all the roof above it protects them these are peach trees you see all the roller would roll over him if you need be we grow these are reliance peaches that's what they look like we also have red Haven peaches and we have another peach we're just starting contender I don't have a picture of Bartlett pears d'Anjou pears plums our biggest crop or apricot says apricot tree can produce up to three hundred pounds they're just incredible like I got to I got to stand them up everywhere you know to try to keep in there till the neighbor cuts usually when you get apricot in a store they're little tart and the reason is you can't they can't really ship Papercuts when they're truly ripe we don't know that when these guys are ripe you just touch them and they say they that you can see the dent there and they're just super sweet otherwise they're not sweet. This is back in the spring again they're just in blossom but in the front of the it is too it is too low to grow fruit trees so here is where we grow most of our tomatoes and green beans and we have raspberries right under the trees kind of. So you get a whole row there of these but the maid olds we can't roam out side because of frost and even if you cover them outside the nights are in forty degrees every night in the summer except maybe five they won't they don't set hardly at all yet a quick question with a high. The height of the building is fifteen feet at the highest point so it's just right for fruit trees. Six weeks later it looks like this in the front and Linda's picking green means to freeze tomatoes are growing on the left but not ripe yet you see the raspberries are coming on this with the resumes look like when we picked them we picked six weeks or raspberries and we once or twice a week we get a bunch like that and here she puts them up to freeze and we've learned you don't just stuffed in a bag they all go to mush she put some entrees puts them in the freezer till they're hard then put them in the bags and then they're just fresh look wonderful when are this what the tomatoes look like when they start coming on all our tomatoes are from our own seed and they are all non hybrid so we keep our seed these are Rutgers and we do three other varieties. When we do we don't heat this building in the winter because you don't want heat you want it to have a dormant period but you don't want it to go down below zero and it doesn't naturally just because of the mass and the snow on top of it at twenty thirty below zero in here will be about twenty degrees above that's perfect for dormant period. But when we do heat it is in the first month in the spring and in the last month of the season so we get an eight month season which is about what you get down here I think in a lot of places. So we have a heater but we didn't want to waste our good wood that we use at the house and we want something that can really put out so we had somebody weld this it's nine hundred pounds has a big door on it called the stump burner and this is the fuel for it and then you don't waste anything your stomps your punky wood Your bad wood there or brush or whatever you can stuff it all in that heater and I don't I would shed yet I been too lazy and I haven't built a shed for this yet but it works like this we don't use it in the winter this is back in the early season now you may think that we grow all of our food in greenhouse and we don't. Actually grow the majority of it outside and this is what you get outside this or outside garden one hundred twenty foot rows everything you see there except for potatoes are frost Hardy otherwise you will grow their. Tails in the back is a hothouse that's our little Texas we found some things just don't like our greenhouses even they wanted a hot and they wanted humid and really hot one hundred one hundred ten degrees melons squashed up like that that's what's grown in there but it would never take the Montana winter so that the main part just rolled down for the winter it's just sitting there rolled right now so they won't crush it. We have all kinds of animals in our place I'll show you some later those of you want to see so we have to have a big fans this is our bear fence deer fence rabid fans everything fans it's the second fence we've had since we've been there and this one is much better in the first notice the top actually has milled logs and did that with a chain saw and then put a little rough flashing on top that shields the whole thing from rain and snow and into last twice as long because of that one feature it's so much better bottom as a screen to keep out the little guy and the big one for the top we do get grizzly bears that dig under this maybe three four times since we've been there they'll dig a hole you can't keep them out of they want to get in they're going to get in but they're only after one thing carrots they love carrots because they're sweet they don't know that potatoes are good and all fortunately and all the rest so. We grow a lot of peace because peas are one of the two looms that we found that are frost Hardy and I don't have any pictures I didn't know we're going to do this till not too long ago and so we picked them by the five gallon bucket full and Shell and by hand we all we can and we freeze lots of them because they're like invest freeze that you can dry into and then onions do really well we had a weed problem till we got in the mulching small change just about. Or we'd probably and it's good for your ground we tell it in afterwards we use lots of grass clippings we use pine needles I was afraid of pineal first they're not that acid they break down really fast leaves anything. These are the some of the greens and so on but you see the sprinkler those are potatoes we grow eight hundred to a thousand pounds of potatoes in a year and so all from our own seat but if it frosts it kills them OK So the solution to that is are gravity fed spring water I have a main two inch pipe comes through here I put on three four five sprinklers at night if I think it's going to frost in the summer Iran's all night come on down the morning there's icicles hanging from stuff but the ice protects the plants potatoes love damp cool weather but they can't freeze they're fine and it protects them another advantage of having your own spring water. We do get strawberries but strawberries are a problem in our area because if they blossom and then it frosts are just like a fruit tree you kills the WOSM but not the plant you don't get berries so you have to have some sort of cover to start them we also get some late raspberries raspberries outside in our area are pathetic and how much they bear compared to the ones in the greenhouse but they do give us some so we grow what we can. Follow the beans are the only other lagoon we've found that is frost Hardy you can take a really good frost they're like a big lima bean so if you know about and we've never heard of them till a few years ago they're wonderful we keep our own seed and they they plant right in cold ground come right up but I have heard that they're actually native to the Middle East which is where when you think about it they grow fine in our climate lots of cabbage and broccoli of course does very well and now I just want to show you a little bit of how we preserve food these are onions when they're getting the two or notice all the the mulch is is old now but there's hardly any weeds but there are a few see the weeds try. To struggle up through it but it's too late for the weeds because they're mature we pick them we drive them we have to drive in the sun and usually we can't and you end up drying them in our great big that that great big stump burner we have a dryer over that and you can dry stuff like this and we hang them in our Paudeen room it's about thirty five to forty all winter in there they love it in there you know when everyone an onion it is gone get a couple and take you know all winter long. Potatoes are the last crop Usually we get and everything's frozen out there pretty much killed some but we're out digging that's our little grandson now who lives in the wilderness when mommy and daddy are there and with papa and grandma when they're not he's far Xenos everybody grows their own food. And we grow all kinds of potatoes I said eight hundred two thousand pounds and from that we have our own seed so you have to take a little bit out of that we wash them dry I am in the sun for one day you can't leave them out. And then they end up in the root cellar. The whole roll boxes there is full. This media was brought to you by audio for years a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more service leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.


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