Hot Enough For You?

We here on the East Coast are looking at another brief heat wave, with temperatures reaching into the mid- to upper-nineties, and humidity doing the same. (I very much envy you Southwest Desert types, with your dry heat.  The desert part, not so much–nor the inherent fire risk.  You pick your place, you pick your disasters…) Normally, I would just ‘lay low’ for the heat of the afternoon, but there were chores to do: I had to be out in the sun, the better to pull the honey supers off of my bee hives. This being their first year, there’s no actual honey–it’s mostly “syrup honey,” from the sugar syrup I’ve been feeding them. But the comb is now mostly drawn out, so they won’t have to do that part next year, hopefully increasing my yield.

Other afternoon tasks included getting a live-trap set, to catch the raccoon who’s been stealing feed from the chickens–before he decides he’d rather steal a chicken. I saw him and ran him off the other night, and I’ve been putting out feed and seed spiked with Flaming Squirrel Seed Oil (capsaicin oil), which puts him <ahem> off his feed for a night or two.  But it’s time to step up to slightly longer-term measures.  The jury is out as to whether it’s a trap-and-release program, or if capital punishment is in order; I’m ordinarily loathe to kill things needlessly, but a bit of “preventive maintenance” is perhaps called for.

Another achievement reached is the assembly (finally–it’s been waiting for almost two years) of a solar generator: two 100-watt monocrystalline solar panels, a charge controller, two 105 amp-hour deep-cycle marine batteries, and a 1600-watt inverter, all mounted on a modified wagon.  It’ll run any of a number of tools or appliances–and if it’s “just” keeping electronic equipment charged, it’s a bit over the top.  (The main thing we’re worried about, really, is the well pump; the inverter’s just not enough for that, unfortunately–I’d need to bump up to something over 4000 watts, not to mention more batteries, and ideally another couple of solar panels.) The generator is really more of a learning tool, though, so I can figure out what I’m doing with solar, before I bite the bullet and install panels on my workshop/barn.  It’s early days, yet, but thus far I’m liking it…

All of this, and I’m keeping a weather eye towards fall, which is fast approaching. I really ought to take some time in the next week or two to put some fall vegetables in the ground–carrots, one or another (or several) of the brassicas.  And my patch of ground for grains needs to be dealt with–it’s gotten far too overgrown; I’ll have to mow it, then give it a light tilling.  In a perfect world, I’d be able to mow and till it twice, leave it unplanted, then rinse/repeat a few times in the spring, in the hopes of having a decent patch next fall/winter.  But there are only so many years…

How are your ‘steads faring this summer, readers?  I’d love to hear, and compare notes!


About leftwingsurvivalist

I'm a survivalist and prepper with a difference!
This entry was posted in Food, Gear, homestead, News, Planning and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hot Enough For You?

  1. mtxdoc says:

    You’re keeping busy. Thanks for the blog. Perhaps consider a Simple hand pump or Bison hand pump for the well?

    • We’ve got two methods to manually pull water–one pump, one “bucket” that fits into the well casing. I’d like to be able to run the existing well pump, even if only a couple of times a day. I’ve done the math, and know how to do it via solar–but not with the generator I put together. (If I had a 1/2 hp pump, it would work–but the current pump is a 1 hp…)

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