Hi everyone out there, I know it’s been a while and; sorry but we do not have internet again as yet. I am having a cheap lunch at a local restaurant that has WIFI. There has been a lot going on though so I will let you know all of that now while I still have a chance before we head on out of here.
First, our “boxed” tomatoes did so well! They however, did all wind up cross pollinating so we wound up with some interesting plum type tomatoes. I froze a few and am now adding them to stews as we have them. They finally wilted when we had the real hard freeze in the middle of November. We will be growing the cucumbers in that box next year and I am really hoping for a bumper crop! I now have two little Purple Smudge tomato plants growing inside for winter tomatoes. Hopefully they will do well.
We put in our wood heater, it wasn’t the mass heater we wanted. It is a barrel stove, we put a concrete/vermiculite mixture; with a piece of goat panel into the bottom. It holds heat there very well, so even after hours past burning we have warm still radiating out. Also, the concrete has not degraded any I wonder if it’s because it was portland cement we used? We purchased the bag or portland from Lowes in their damaged $2 spot and the bag was almost completely full!
We finally have a flush toilet, we installed the free toilet we found over the summer; at the beginning of November. The septic we dug is doing a very good job, I hope it keeps doing well during the winter time; we will see. We will be installing a old claw foot tub that is being given to us from a member of the church my girls attend. We also have a lead on a electric water heater that just needs it’s elements replaced.
…and speaking of water heaters. The gas one we picked up at the local free store could not be repaired, however we have tried out an experiment we saw from You Tube. A few different people have tried turning old gas water heaters into wood fired ones. Well, Silver tried it out the other day while it was a good enough of a day to have a bath in our outdoor bathing area. It worked wonderfully! We heated a whole heater full in the time it took us to heat 20 gallons of water on the stove. Also with only the equivalent of two good sized logs worth of wood.
We had our “home grown Tom” turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner and he only just barely fit into my small oven. As it was he barely fit into our roasting pan, he legs hung over the side and I had to creatively foil him to cook him properly. So I know the “Jenny” will fit in our oven.
Now, we are short our car as one lovely fall day; we went out to head to the store just it seems at the wrong time. The highway department was working on the main road just off of ours and it seems it was just after they added the stone/dirt, but before they smoothed it out. A large stone tore out the whole bottom of the engine and our car is no longer driveable. We are looking for -something- we can buy and get inspected that won’t cost much, but there doesn’t seem to be any around us. We are getting rides to the store when we need it from some wonderful friends of ours. THANKS GUYS!
We fully butchered a doe a couple weeks ago from field dressed. Again, a nice person from the girls’ church had gone hunting on the first day of deer season and when she got one that day she offered it to us. I have tot ell you chili made with venison is wonderful! We also still have some nice bones hidden away in the freezer for making some nice stocks.
I want to tank anyone who has been keeping an eye out for updates and I’m sorry that it probably will be a while before I will be putting up another one. We are hoping this winter to get the internet bill caught up so we can get it back on… maybe. We actually are not sure if we want it back on, it’s something we are thinking about.
I did have a surprise for one of my fellow bloggers (and I do hope one day to catch up on my reading), I did finally find the book that talked about making your own stock feed.
The Manual of Practical Homesteading
written by: John Vivian
ISBN# 0-87857-092-6 (hardbound)
Here is the passage about making your own feed: (pg 244)
“We don’t shell the corn or strip off the sun flower seeds. It’s a waste of time, and I figure that there are some nutrients and a while lot of good roughage in the cobs, husks, and flower heads. So, once we get a truckload of corn back to the barn, we crank up the shredder/grinder and run a few ears of corn through. If it is dry enough the ears will literally explode into chicken-nibblums. Then we take a break and go through the dried-out sweet corn for culls and to pick up the drying gourds, pumpkins, and squash, which usually amount to five or more bushels. Then the grinding begins. The big shredder has powered wheels and I just run it up onto the truck bed, hang a feed sack over the discharge chute, and the kids begin feeding in grain, steady sprinklings of dolomitic limestone, plus heads of whatever small grain we may have grown that year. Also added are the gourds, pumpkins, and squash if they are dry enough.”
Now they do talk through out the book about other things that are saved at odd times to be fed over the winter or fresh out of the garden when picked for family eating. Also they also tell you how to do silage, as he had to when his grain crop would not ripen fully. He lived in eastern US so had a short growing season, so if you check out the book keep that in mind.
Now I need to say good bye for a bit again I hope everyone has a Happy Yule, Merry Christmas and a good holiday no matter which one(s) you have in the coming months. So…
BE Well, Be safe, and Blessed Be…