Monday, November 26, 2007


Well got a few more things ready for winter this weekend. I tightened the coop up some more. I still need to finish insulating it but at least it keeps the wind out a little better. I also gathered up the last of the grass clippings from the yard. I put half in my straw/grass pile in the pole barn and the other half I put in the garden. I am attempting to start a new bed using the lasagna gardening technique. I will let you know how it is going in the spring. I also cleaned up the pole barn and the garden.
I have also been working on tightening the house up some more as well. I foil taped a few duct joints I had missed last year in the basement. I still have a bit of duct that needs to be insulated. I need to find ways to insulate and heat the house more cheaply this winter. I have been thinking about using the windows I have in the garage as a lean too greenhouse on the south west side of the house. It might make a nice buffer against the cold this winter and possibly work like a cold frame in the spring. I need to work out the design and get supplies.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving all,
I Hope you all had a wonderful day. I spent the day at my Grandparents house enjoying an awesome meal with family. I shared my thoughts on food, fuel and the future over mashed potatoes and turkey. We also visited friends that we hadn't seen in a while and shared some of Jess's wonderful sweet potato pie. We also managed to distribute eggs to most of the state. We started Tuesday with around 100 eggs in the fridge. We have manged to get down to just over 6. I hope my friends and family will enjoy the eggs.
Lastly a public list of many of the things I am thankful for today. My Wife, my Family, My health, The safe return of good friends, A good harvest, great food and the opportunity to enjoy it.
Good night

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lenny Russo article

I was going to link to an excellent article in the Star Trib today written by local food legend Lenny Russo, but I hate the way the papers are trying to hide behind user accounts and login screens. I think that they have forgotten what business they are in. Anyway I found something way better for you while looking up Chef Russo. I found a blog about a eat local challenge sponsored by the wedge co-op. I haven't been to the wedge but this site was full of little tidbits about eating local in Minnesota.

Good night,

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Well Jess and I spent much of this weekend insulating. We put plastic on the windows downstairs. I really hate doing this every year, but until the windows are sufficiently airtight we have to go through the ritual. I believe it makes a difference, possibly more than the cost of the supplies and time. We also caulked the front hall. I think this may be a real money saver. I also spent some time insulating the chicken coop.
We also began using a spreadsheet to track some of the expenditures around the house. We started tracking electric usage by month and propane as well. We are also tracking softener salt use as well.
On the food front. We microwaved one of the pumpkins that had been been taking up space on the table for a few weeks. We used some of the pulp to make a pumpkin pecan quick bread. We got the recipe from Cooks Illustrated holiday baking issue. We also roasted the seeds. We put some Chinese 5 spice powder on them and the were great.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Well I spent a few hours today insulating the chicken coop. I moved the roosts as well. The chickens are still laying eggs like crazy. I guess if you were one of those people that I told they needed tons of daylight, I was wrong. I gave the last of the garden lettuces and kales to the chickens this morning as well. I think I will need to grow more kale next year. The ornamental kales might make a good fall feed stock for the chickens. I really hope to free range the chickens next year. In addition I plan to grow more crops that can be fed to the chicks when we have surpluses. I was thinking over dinner tonight of growing soybeans again next year. I could eat the green beans as edamame and feed the late season beans to the chicks.
In other news we have spent a few days this week tightening up the house. We still have a long way to go to have the house properly insulated.
Well goodnight.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Deer hunting

Well I got back yesterday from deer hunting. My luck was not the best this year. Our party took plenty of deer and did our part to reduce the deer overpopulation in northwest Minnesota. I had a few shots at running deer but I failed to make those shots. I did let a decent 6 point buck go bye at only fifty yards. I could have made the shot but I guess I will have to meet up with him next year. We processed the deer we had and added some meat to the freezer. I really need to improve my shooting however and plan to make some more deer jerky soon.
*this picture has been edited for content.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Swiss Chard is Awsome

Well I got out to the garden this afternoon. I have been hearing words like polar vortex and below freezing in the weather forecast this weekend. I decided it was time to take in the last few plants. The swiss chard was still standing tall. I am amazed at how hardy this plant is. I have been harvesting the same patch since early summer. I decided that the best place to store the chard leaves was in the chickens. I also fed them some of the pea plants as well. I noticed that the roots of the chard were pretty good size. I decided that since they are members of the beet family that we would roast the roots. Jess helped me to clean them and roasted them with olive oil and garlic. The larger roots were too woody and fibrous but overall they made a nice dinner side dish. I also spent some time gathering the grass clipping into mounds which I just heard will blow away tomorrow. I also insulated the dog house for cooper.
On the wine and beer front I racked this summers dandelion wine and also last springs honey nut brown ale. The dandelion wine has mellowed a lot since I was told it tasted like vodka last time I racked it. The nut brown ale had been in primary since spring! I sampled it and it wasn't too bad either. RDWHAHB I guess.
Well stay warm.


Hi readers,

Just a quick note. I have started a wish list at Amazon. I decided that I would publish this as an aid to my friends and family during the upcoming holiday season. I realize that I have alot of interests and that they change frequently and that can make gift giving a challenge. I hope this list helps. All the same I feel a little inappropriate publishing this. I guess I am unused to asking for things these days. So I just want to let you all know that this list is provided for informational purposes only. To all my friends and family your love and well wishes are all the gifts I really need.

Well I will try and write tonight but I need to get going so I have something to write about.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Planning for next November

Hi All,

Not a lot to report today. Spent some of today getting chicken supplies for winter. You can really feel the cold coming soon. Something in the air or the light. Still have some greens in the garden for the chickens. I am still amazed how hardy swiss chard is. I picked some more and gave it to the chickens this afternoon. I also spent a few hours in the garden after work yesterday. I cleaned up the spent tomatoes and pepper bed. I also cleaned up the bean bed as well.
Well deer hunting next weekend. Wish me luck.