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Ben's blog

  • First year sugaring

    Beautiful day for new beginnings.IMG_3212

    The biggest Maple we’re tapping, 3 buckets all to itself.IMG_3278Sap came right out, it was an exhilarating experience.IMG_3248We’re doing a birch tree out of curiosity.IMG_3304The next day.IMG_3393

    Of course we had “plumbing” issues and had to prop a storage tank up to avoid leakage of the precious fluid.

    IMG_3395We pulled ~50 gallons the first 24 hours. We’re scrambling to finish getting the evaporator ready; fortunately, the following days saw a lot less sap flow which will let us finish getting our last few ducks in a row.

  • Humbling cold

    Nights bellow -20°C are forecast for the next few days and I happen to be home alone. It’s humbling to be solely responsible for keeping warm. All the evening chores are mine too.

    Getting the shower ready

    1. break the ice in little pieces

    who needs Minecraft?

    IMG_29862. Scoop out the little pieces with a milk crate (holes to let water through make it easier)IMG_30193. Let things settle for clear water

    IMG_30254. Fill pots

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    5. Apply heatIMG_3165IMG_3169


    Before dusk I gave the chicken a path to their food to stretch their legs and fill up one last time before a long night.

    IMG_3026They also got home delivered warm water.

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    I really hope they’ll be all right.


    Should be enough wood for the night, emergency fire starter kit included.IMG_3164


    I “ran” electricity to the house for convenience. I’ll do it right when the ground thaws but in the meantime this will make so we don’t have to worry so much about charging and going outside to do so.

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  • 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.