A Storm’s Relief

(written on July 23, 2014)

This morning, it was 92 degrees.  Since we had been to the Farmer’s Market the day before, we decided to cook everything today.  Ice chests will preserve cooked food more safely than uncooked, so we are learning how to balance buying, refrigerating, preparation, and eating.

After the food was cooked and placed into pint jars, my favorite standard container for ice chests as well as for canning, the weather changed completely.

Wonderful clouds blew over tempestuously, and the temperature dropped, and dropped.  Gentle tiny rain was followed by a full out rainstorm.  The temperature had dropped twenty degrees in thirty minutes.

We watched the storm from our little porch, then moved inside our cabin as the storm got heavier.  I took out some hand-sewing I am working on and glanced out at the storm’s continued exciting presence.

About an hour later, it passed over, and now, a few hours later, the temperature has moved up to seventy-eight degrees.  New work has resumed within the cabin.  My husband is framing up a window in the loft.  After sitting up there together, we have decided to make it a cozy studio for me rather than a sleeping loft.

We have the flexibility to shift our plans around frequently, clearing one small space and filling up another.

We are also grateful for the cooling respite of the storm.  Its after flow of breezes complement the resumed birdsong and precipitate the gentle movement of the changing greens of all the leaves.

© 2014 Kathryn Hardage


Simple Energy

I am learning to cook in different ways in our outdoor kitchen.

I have discovered that the Wheat-Belly Bread recipes I bake will complete at different speeds and temperatures both under a hooded grill and in a solar oven.

Milk for yogurt heats and cools more quickly outdoors after dark.  I let it “cure” in an empty cooler overnight as directed.

Making “Crispy Nuts” (from the NOURISHING TRADITIONS cookbook) worked, although because of the moist air, I had to cook them for another day.

Future plans include trying the crispy nuts in the solar oven.

As we set up our new solar panels (we are still calculating the load before we buy the deep cycle marine batteries), we will transition from the ice chests to a refrigerator.

So that we can rely on local and pastured meat sources, we will add a freezer to the demand on our new solar energy.

Finally, we will add a garden with intensive production from enriched substrates (I am using the model developed by John Musser of www.AquaponicsandEarth.com) for produce to grow in.

We are looking at ways to protect our garden from the local wildlife which we so enjoy watching out here, hardware cloth below the raised beds along with the weed blocking material, chicken wire around and above the beds as well.

These are our steps to simple energy.

© 2014 Kathryn Hardage