Hi, folks! Thanks for putting up with my absence for the last few weeks, but it turns out that a week (semi-)primitive camping, sort of, was just what the doctor ordered. I’m rejuvenated now, and ready to go!
I learned a couple of things, too: Water. Water is definitely your friend–you really can’t have too much of it stored. (But then, we knew this…) I managed to walk probably 5-10 miles pretty much every day; in a fair and just world, I’d be continuing that practice, just for the overall health benefits. (Shame on me.) And when the hot part of the day comes around, it’s okay to find a nice, shady spot, and do nothing for a little while.
Now that I’m back, though, there’s all sorts of stuff to be done. We’re beginning the early phases of building a new, bigger, better chicken coop–the two smaller ones we’ve got just aren’t cutting it. Oh, they’ll last another year–but we hope to have a permanent coop built before winter really sets in.
The chickens are doing their thing: we’re getting north of 8 eggs a day. (No, we don’t eat that many; I’ve set up a sort of “CSA” at work, with people donating for a bag of chicken feed in return for a dozen eggs every so often.) One of them has turned into something of an escape artist; she became fond of laying her eggs in “hidden” spots in the yard. We, of course, didn’t figure this out until there was a lovely clutch of nine… The dogs got those as “treat” flavoring for their food. A bit of flight-feather trimming is on the to-do list.
Then there’s the garden. Ever the fools, we planted four Roma tomato plants, among other things. Now we’ve got Romas coming out of our ears… So, lots of sauce-making, preserving, canning. I’m hoping to “steal” enough for a batch of ketchup, and to dehydrate some down to make tomato powder (it’s great on chips, or popcorn–don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it).
My sourdough starter was apparently neglected too long, and went bad; fortunately, I still have flour, and water, and am starting a new one. I’ve also found a design for a temporary, break-down, “portable” wood-fired brick oven; I’m putting together the pieces, and want badly to try it out. I’ll report back, hopefully with pictures, when that’s done. (I hope to get some wheat planted, too–just have to figure out a homemade flour mill…)
All that, on top of “normal” maintenance and upkeep, plus the joy of repairs to a 130 year old house that was neglected by past owners…
That’s how my month has been; what’s up in your neck of the woods? What shall we discuss next time?