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Ben's blog

  • A little straw goes a long way

    They had a few mercilessly cold nights, we bring them hot water in the morning and let them stretch their legs on a little straw patch. They look relieved and happy to have made it through the night.IMG_2784

  • Wood push

    One day we’ll be ahead and have wood that’s been dried for more than a few months.IMG_2688

  • Picking up water at the stream on an icy morning

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    Not a minute after I filled my pot

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    I had to stop for the view

    IMG_2713Most nights, Nicole & I venture out to the stream to fill up.

  • IT rant

    I don’t know why it is that every time I want to download the simplest of modules I’m asked to download this great new package manager to end all package managers. Which results in this glorious 3 fold install sequence:Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 1.40.19 PM“Installing is easy, Composer will take care of all dependencies! Ooops it doesn’t but PECL will! Oops just kidding I guess we’re back to apt.”

    Not to mention all 3 package managers are independent from one another so changes in one don’t percolate to the others; thus throwing out the window their mission to resolve dependencies.

    I’m flabbergasted by this trend and its unquestioned acceptance.

  • First night in the house at -20°C

    I slept next to the stove to keep feeding it through the night; woke up 3 times, the sky was amazing. The house isn’t insulated optimally yet. I don’t like that we don’t have an alternative to the one stove for heating. It’s low tech and has a low chance of breaking down but I will be reassured when we have another one in the addition we’ll build.

    Looks like we’ll be able to spend Winters with 100% renewable fuel sourced within 2000′. Improvements will be quite welcome if we go through something like last Winter.

     

  • New Section: Maple Syrup

    We are getting ready for this coming season of Maple Sugaring. Nicole will be doing the bulk of the work. I’m in charge of getting the ducks in a row so we can hit the ground running when the sap starts flowing.

    To this effect, we purchased an evaporator and 40 buckets & spouts. This should give us 10 to 15 gallons of syrup but the season could be weird given the “winter” we’re in now.

    The model we have is a Mason Welding 2’x3′ Hobby Evaporator. It’s supposed to evaporate at ~8 gallons per hour.

    Not my picture, ours is currently wrapped up.

    270_Hobby_EvaporatorI need to brick it and get a chimney for it.

  • Egg Stash

    Some time in November I removed the fence around the chickens in preparation for the snow which damages it. Chickens never go far in the snow and they knew where home was so I felt ok letting them roam around. They enjoyed their liberty enormously and did very well coming back at dusk. Problem is they also started laying; not all picked the coop as their laying spot.

    IMG_2272So unfortunately for them, and in the absence of snow, the fence is back and much tighter so they correct this behavior.IMG_2303