Crow displays.

A close up of the flue connection. I made a metal collar to fit the enlarged opening and the inside of the flue pipe. I figure each piece of clay pipe weighs 55 pounds so supported the 2 sections with angle iron. I guess I put the camera away before we finished the run but just for the record the top of the clay pipe is covered with two layers of 18 gauge steel with 6″ holes for the run through the second floor. How does it work?

Not bad. Not bad at all. Zero smoke spillage and the fire kept going with the door closed! This means we can build large fires to keep the place warm at night.

The auger bin gets a second coat and is now ready for a full trial. I added some mirrors so I can tell how full the mill hopper is without climbing the stairs and a switchable outlet to turn the auger on and off.

It wasn’t long before we noticed some cracks appearing in the new flue tiles

If you look closely, you can see vertical cracks on both pieces of tile. You can also see the cause. These tile are NOT supposed to be cemented together. They need to expand and contract independently of each other as I later found out.

Yet another peeve – the Boone Electric boys cut this tree down on my property. It was no where near their easement. What could they have possibly been thinking?
On the other side of the creek, there is another stump from them. A living birch!!! What a mess and they just left it. I wonder if the Dept. of Conservation would like to know about this?

Jan 18, 2014
Lequita and Ron take a page from Crow’s book as we make some progress on clearing the fence row.

Feb 9, 2014 – It has been freaking cold so I’m gonna bake. Here you see the ciabatta about to go in.. Photos courtesy of Marian Minor. It’s good to have company on these excursions into the mysteries of earth and fire and invisible living things.

The ciabatta coming out.

The whole wheat. Probably the best open crumb ever. Flavor is good with just a little sour. These are 1 kilo loaves – the result of a 20 hour warm poolish with all of the water, all of the starter and half of the flour.

The barrel stove is just not doing the job. In it’s defence, it has been wicked cold but the problem needs to be solved to keep the greenhouse at growing temp. So Kiko says rocket mass heater – great idea. And brother suggests closing off part of the building – another great idea. The part behind me in the pic is only used for storage. So I make some “sliding” panels.

The idea is to wrap the OSB frame in plastic sheeting to create a double paned panel.

Even with the turnbuckle, I could not get the cable tight enough to keep the panels straight up and down. BUT… despite the gaps between the panels, they keep about a 15 degree difference between the two parts of the building so it’s worthwhile pursuing. I have another idea for the track

Even with the turnbuckle, I could not get the cable tight enough to keep the panels straight up and down. BUT… despite the gaps between the panels, they keep about a 15 degree difference between the two parts of the building so it’s worthwhile pursuing. I have another idea for the track

February 24, 2014 – The first produce from the greenhouse – way yum!

The new rod system. Those are shower curtain hangers on 1″ PVC. Still has a little sag but works fine.

Cold weather pastimes.

This will go on the south-facing gable end of the gantry crane enclosure. (Faces the road.)

Give someone a loaf of bread and you have fed them for a day. Give a man some leftover paint and a brush and there is no telling where it will stop.

The gantry gets a facelift. March 11, 2014 – near 80 today. Then, about sunset, the skies opened up. Huge cloud to cloud lightening, winds, barrels of rain. But I got the clear poly on the gable end before all that. Still a little painting to do which will require a sprayer.

A new coat of paint for the west doors.

Same color on the front doors. Not the red I rthought I was getting but OK. This is Mar 30, 2014. Temp about 70F. We burned about 2/3 of the brush from the fence row a couple of days ago and I consolidated the remaining piles to be ready for a final burn when the wind dies down and is coming from the west. Grennhouse is OK. Spotty germination on the beets but the onions from sets and the carrots are doing well as is the arugula.

Much has been happening in the garden. Potatoes are doing well, tomatoes and peppers are blooming, squash is coming on and I finally found some substitutes for the trees that did not overwinter. Here is a pic of one. This is a Dunstan chestnut – very prolific, highly blight resistant and on sale for 25% off! So I got 4.

This little beauty is already in flower.

The root crops are all responding to the addition of rock phosphate. I did the whole garden area last Fall and am side or top dressing the rows as they go in. Okra remains to plant then whatever else I can think of.

There is a row of peas which I thought might be too late but it has turned cold and wet here (Memorial Day weekend) so they may produce something yet.

Here is a seed cleaner temporarily converted to a flour sifter. I built the screen on a poplar frame with 20 mesh stainless. This is supposed to give 80 – 85% extraction but it is more like 75%. I think this is due to the fact that I was using freshly milled flour. Might be wise to temper it a little first.

Another shot of the seed cleaner with the catchment tub.

Potatoes and wheat ripening in the background.

Maters strung up.

Pretty good size for early June.

Beets and peas.

Greenhouse orchard with an impossible hay bale.

Terrible cut worm problem this year. I have had to replace 3/4 of the plants. This is my solution. The cardboard is from calendar backers. Strips are about 3″ by 6 “

It is possible but difficult to collar a mature plant.

Mo bettah might be to plant the seeds in the collar and cover with a little soil leaving the edge above the soli. We’ll see.

On the brighter side, June 24th and he wheat is looking good but still no indication when the Chinese threshing machine will actually get on the boat. Lots of promises but no bill of lading yet.