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506 Posts By ben

  • 240lbs of Apples

    I’ve learned about another great imperial measure: the bushel!

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    You know you’re having fun when you use a pan as a spoon

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    The house smells so good

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    Canning

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    Nothing is wasted, the chickens looooove the by-product which is still full of yum-yums.

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  • Wood this year

    IMG_0603And there’s one more shed full, let’s make sure we don’t use any of that propane (sorry Hank). I feel like we’re ahead of the game for once but there will be no resting this Winter. I’m hoping to use the snow to sled wood from hard to get areas on the land.

  • Cemetery

     

    Ever since I saw it on the survey map, I’ve been curious to find this cemetery. It’s not on our land but right next to it.cemetery survey

     

    It’s tricky to find as it doesn’t stand out much from the rest of the forest. Lots of graves from the early 1800s, cool stuff!

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  • Soap boxes & soap

    Soapmaking is Nicole’s project but she doesn’t post anything about it. As this settles into an acquired skill, it’s time to build some proper boxes.

    A few two-bys

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     Watch your fingers, arms; pretty much any protuberance

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    Assembly required

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    Reminiscent of Breaking Bad

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    Curing

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    8 weeks curing time, I’ll post the soaps when they are done. We’ve been using them for a while now and they are my absolute favorite. They are made with our wax & honey, tallow from friends’ animals and sometimes goat milk. They last forever unlike the shit you buy in stores. Nicole is experimenting with a recipe that does not include coconut oil or olive oil, this way we’ll be able to source all ingredients locally.

    Fun fact: soap is thought to have originated on sacrificial altars when rain mixed with ashes and fat made a suspicious substance someone decided to take a shower with. Sacrifices & dumb luck created one of the biggest advancement in chemistry. Maybe we could sacrifice our way to Mars?

  • Hunting

    And the unusual places & times it takes you to.

    IMG_0438This is the main field of our land at dusk, a great reward after hiking through rough terrain. I still find many new and interesting places in the forest.

  • Honey

    All in all this has been a pretty weird bee season. Between the swarms, the bear attacks, the drone baby-boom and the lack of reserves; I lamented that no sweetness would be gained from the hard work.

    To my good surprise however, the bees finally adjusted to all this and got in a decent amount of honey. It probably helps that they already kicked out all these freeloader males.

    Lot of activity but they remained super friendly throughout my extraction of a few frames

    I only pulled 6 frames, I want to leave enough food behind for the cold days ahead

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    The cells are packed!

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    The frames gotten from the Top Bar Hive are all used, the wax is saved for soap & lip balm making.

    Sticky business

    While the frams of the Langstroth Hive are spun in an extractor in an effort to save the wax (saving bees the costly work of making more wax if you’re only interested in the honey).

     

    As I said, not a great year but happy to have gotten some loot

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    Looks great, tastes great

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