Monday, August 30, 2010

Mead Glorious Mead!

So wonderful and scrumptious! About a month ago I told you all I made Mead. A drink of honey, water and yeast. Simple and easy to make. Very yummy and packs a punch. Well, today we are celebrating as we bottled out some of our 2.5 gallons of it @ 12 to 14% alcohol. Enjoy the day, as I celebrate in the rain.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I apologize...'s been a few days since I posted. I have been logging on my property, collecting food, and cobbing. All of which are tiring time consuming work. Beginning of the week I dropped 10 trees, removed the brush, cut the poles for beams and construction later on. All are stacked.

I also did multiple layers on the cob kitchen. The BBQ got a thermal layer while I experimented with putting bottle windows in the cob. It's turning out great and the BBQ cooks like a champ since it uses the rocket stove principles. However, I am very much into the research that the now deceased Vicktor Schauberger was into, as such, the thermal layer of cob was curved a bit in order to help make the fire vortex naturally and consume the wood even slightly more effectively then a normal rocket stove. In my opinion, it works very well, and is highly efficient. More studies need to be done on this approach to rocket stoves.

I also gathered, with the help of a friend or two at times a few GALLONS of Blackberries, as well as apples. Time to get canning, but instead I have to finish up the cobbing by around the first for when the fire bricks get here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


The previous caretakers of this land left me a tree well into the wires. Well, a few actually and those have been taken care of. This one has been a bit of a devil all day and I called it quits. I don't have the equipment to do this safely.

This needed to be handled ASAP, and still does IMO.

FCC Cries foul of internet speeds...

...they want to really sink their teeth into something. How about any kind of high-speed internet for rural communities since Satellite providers in the Coos County area block ports without telling customers thus not allowing them to surf the internet with FREEDOM.

Anyway, despite all that I certainly love the internet and think of it as a blessing. Just the other day I got in touch with an old friend from college, someone truly great for her people. However I will talk about that & this another day.

On top of all this, I had a great day yesterday. Between getting in touch with my friend, & the heavy work, it was a good long day.

Got up, did the orchard rounds. Went out, got a 1/2 ton of sand from Knife River Materials, and then unloaded it. Then went out, got large and medium sized rocks for the BBQ pit. Then I got back, made the pit, and BBQ'd with friends again. This was in addition to all the other work done around the property like the ever popular fence construction.

Today, I should be doing cobbing. We shall see, at the moment, I need coffee.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rain Delay....

Yesterday, just after finishing up the tune-up on "Ugly John" thunder started booming up and down the valley near here. A short time later it rained for the first time in 2 months, not long most likely less than 1/2".

So, we called the cobbing off, and took a siesta. Later that afternoon I awoke, found it was nice out and decided to BBQ. Still working on the fence.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Coffee needed here STAT!!!!

Morning. Last night before bed I checked on the cob brick, and saw that it was indeed working out well. In a foolish and rash thought, I proceeded to add the rest of yesterday's mix to the substructure foundation. I then misted it down and little with the good ol' garden hose and covered the whole thing up with the tarp.

As with cement, this needs to dry slowly for excellent strength. Luckily it is humid here year round, so this will dry slowly no matter what I do. However, I want it to be slow and steady so I will have to monitor it and make sure it works.

I also need to finish working on the truck. o_O

Monday, August 16, 2010

Squishy Cob!

No not ears of corn. I am talking cob, glorious cob! The stuff homes and parliament buildings are made out of. This morning I got my ingredients together to make my first test batch. I used a 50:50 ratio of river sand to clay sub soil.

I then added water to make it all soupy. After tromping around a good long time I started pulling in the sides of the tarp I was making it on in order to ensure good proper mixing. Once that was accomplished I slowly started adding straw that I had here already.

The straw indeed does soak up a lot of water. I then started mixing as I did above. Pulling the sides in with the tarp while it smushed around under my feet. After a while, I was sure it was well mixed.

I then made my test brick and set it down. I covered the rest of the cob I made up with the tarp to see if it will be used. I don't know and neither do you, unless you took classes at Cob Cottage.

I wonder if my test brick is too wet?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A day by the creek...

Had a friend stop by and pick me up to take me down to the river near Myrtle Point. We picked up another friend who as been physically under the weather, and shortly after a small hop, skip and jump we were there.

We gathered some rocks for the cob walls, and some river silt / sand that is good for cobbing. The rocks got placed when we got home. And the river sand was divided into some buckets to try out ratios of sand to clay for cobbing.

After words, we ate some spare ribs that were marinated in a dry rub of salt, sugar, thyme, sage, black and red pepper. Then it was parboiled to remove the excess fat, followed by a nice soaking in homemade BBQ sauce. Some ash potatoes and ribs, followed by homemade fresh ice cream. What a great easy, slow weekend.

Friday, August 13, 2010

More Seeds Planted...

On a swale like bed, on the down hill side near some artichokes, & broccoli with nasturtiums I planted bunching onions, yellow onion seeds, and beets, rather densely. It is in rich soil, and then was lightly covered with wheat straw.

I am reading about swales some more and reckon I can get one cut soon, and planted properly before the rains come. However, I know I shouldn't get ahead of myself, and I should finish up the fencing first.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Seeds planted...

As per the videos I posted, I planted seeds for cover crops and food production via a scatter method on top of the wheat straw. It made no sense to me, as per replicating nature, that seeds would get a gentle tossing of fresh compost or soil. I am ensuring the straw is moist, but not soaking.

The beds have Cabbage, turnips, spinach, onions, turnips, radishes planted weekly through Aug 30th via seed. Plants that were already here are being allowed to go to seed. Blueberries and strawberries are finally starting to ripen and I am picking roughly 1/2 a pint per week at the moment.

I still need to finish that fence. >.> Oh, a nice mix up on my part. I wanted ramp seeds for under my fruit trees. Ramps being related to the garlic family and live in shady areas. Kinda perfect for my needs. Well, I screwed up and ordered West Essex Rape Seeds, which deer seem to love & is related to kale & cabbage. It provides great green mulch, the question is where to plant it on the property since I already have a fawn, doe and a 4 pt buck visiting the property. As well as Elk in the pasture below. Any of which can come through the fence and have a nice feast.

Oh, one other thing. Hairy Vetch was planted as a cover crop through out the beds. This plant provides nitrogen into the soil freely. This is a bonus for all other plants!

Until next time!

Friday, August 6, 2010


People have been making alcohol for thousands of years. I am no exception in that line of alcohol producers now. I made a 2 gallon batch of the ancient drink called "mead" using a recipe I found on the

I used the basic recipe in the newbie guide, added a few more golden raisins then the 50 it called for and set the carboy in the closet. I am proud to say it was proudly burping away as I write this. I am hoping it will be done in time for Halloween, the one year anniversary of moving up to Coquille with my wife. :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What would you do with 25 pounds of carrots?

Well, last night I found out what my wife & I would do. I spent hours cleaning them and prepping them for carrot salad, carrot cake, pickled carrots, frozen and dehydrated carrots. Carrots are amazingly good for you, and next year I hope to grow just as much if not more.

Speaking of, for those of us on the coast we can still plant! August is still a good month for planting cabbage, turnips, spinach, onions, turnips, radishes. Just watch out for slugs, it is starting to be their season to come out with all the fog and low level clouds lately.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Just a heads up..

Part of permaculture is being part of the community, which is something South Coast Compassion Coalition does. I found this information from their website.

Coos Bay Pill Exchange

The Coos Bay Police Department will accept prescription pills from the public and issue receipts for the pills. South Coast Compassion Coalition will exchange those receipts for tickets to a concert at The Green Spot.

Still earthmoving...

I am still moving dirt around, and fixing the fence line. I was thinking today that I know another animal that does change its environment in order to help itself, and all it does and its impacts. Do you know what animal it is? Answer tomorrow.