A Chickee Lifestyle
A chickee is designed to allow natural flow through the home. The opening in the chickee roof top and open area at the base of the wall structure of the chickee allows for an air pressure difference inside the chickee structure. This causes a natural cooling effect.
A chickee has open walls and a thatched roof-so you have lots of fresh air, which is really good for healthy breathing. With an open view of the sky, you fall asleep to the moon and wake up to the sun. You sleep under the map of the sky and can learn a lot about astronomy.
A chickee lifestyle can be hard work. You have to collect wood and learn how to build a fire for warmth and for heating your water. You can also set-up a cistern system for collecting and heating your water.
One gallon of water goes a long way!
A washcloth bath requires approximately 1/2 gallon of H2O for each bath, or a bucket bath requires approximately a gallon of H2O for each bath.
You can reduce your water consumption. Practice water use routines that allow you to reduce your water use. For example, brush your teeth first using the cleanest water, then wet your hair and then apply shampoo/conditioner, and then wash your body. Once you wash your body, you can use the remaining water to rinse your hair.
Recommended chickee hut diet: vegetables that you can pan steam with a 1/2 cup of water; dried fruits; teas from land plants; whole grains and corn meal are good cooked in rod iron on a wood burning stove or over a fire. There are quite a few varieties of native plants of Florida that are edible and easy to prepare. Tea, coffee, and whole grains tend to require the most water to prepare.
Washing dishes in a wash pan helps reduce water use. To hand wash clothes: pre-soak clothes in a bucket with soap for 24 hours or so. This allows the soap to do a lot of the work of breaking down grime on your clothes for you. Afterward, remove the clothes from the bucket and place them on a hard surface next to your washboard. Make sure there is a good lather from the soap on the cloth before scrubbing. Check for soiled spots in the cloth that may need extra scrubbing, and set-up a rinse bucket for a final clean rinse.
The more you develop your skills for water-related tasks, the better you get at reducing your water consumption, the less water you have to collect and use.
Trash: Just remember, recycle or compost! It is a little tricky at first, but it is really pretty convenient to get into the habit of not buying packaged items. Instead, buy bulk food and drink items that you can collect using reusable cloth bags and containers.
Chickees are natural structures that are potentially completely biodegradable. This does not mean that they are not sturdy. When built properly, chickees last for up to 15 years and can withstand 100 mile per hour winds.