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Fred's photos from Wheaton Labs

 
gardener
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Location: St Paul, MN/Tularosa, NM and now a gapper at Wheaton Labs
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Hans, Kai said he wears that jacket pretty much every day and is very thankful for it. I think Jesse was going to get/make handles for the tools you sent, but i'm not sure if that's been done.

More snow pictures. With snow covering the ground for days, you really get to see just how many animals are around. Here are tracks from a rabbit and a couple of deer.

I thought the sign for Allerton Avenue looked rather nice with a cap of snow on top.
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Rabbit tracks in the snow
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Deer tracks in the snow
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Allerton Avenue sign
 
Fred Tyler
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Teepee setup Part 1

The fabric of the teepee that covers the rocket mass heater on the Lab started to deteriorate. To much sun and moisture and made the fabric weak. It started to get holes that could not be sewn or patched. Paul decided to get a new teepee to protect the cob of the mass. The new teepee is slightly larger than the old teepee, so it required new poles too. Kai and i set up the poles. A teepee is built around a tripod of the strongest poles. So first we tied them together and then moved it over the mass. Good thing the guy that sold the poles included an extra one for free. As we moved it, we lost control and when the tripod hit the berm, the top snapped off. Ouch. We tried again more carefully, and were successful.
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Kai about to tie the tripod
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Teepee tripod
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Whoops
 
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Can't wait to see it up!

It will be lovely and new and ready for glamping.
 
Fred Tyler
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Teepee setup Part 2

We got the poles set up. We used the last pole to lift the fabric into place. We used wooden pins to close the seam of the teepee. We Kai was on the ladder doing the pins, it looked like he was wearing a bit teepee dress. The door cover that came with the teepee arrived without the holes needed to mount it, so we couldn't attach it yet.
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teepee skeleton
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closing teepee seam
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Teepee with Rocket Mass Heater
 
steward
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Fred, could you post a picture of the door , showing what you mean by it not having a way to hang it?
 
Fred Tyler
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Miles, the first picture is of the top of the teepee door where they marked the spot for the holes, but didn't punch them. I asked the manufacturer if i could just punch holes where they marked them. They said it needed some stitching around the holes and they would send another one that was finished.

While i was in Missoula, i picked up some of the bikes that Freecycles donated to Wheaton Labs. They are an awesome organization that does a ton of stuff on a tiny budget. This thread tells about them and the latest fundraising push that was mentioned in the daily-ish (which is why they are sending us bikes). If you haven't already, head over to their fundraising page and be sure to mention permies in your comment to thank them for sending awesome bikes for guests and visitors to the Labs.

The snow we got earlier was still on the ground when we had a bit of rain. The rain made a nice sheet of ice on the road when the temperature dropped back below freezing at night. Everywhere that car tires had packed the snow was too slippery to bike on, so i was biking through some undisturbed snow at the edge of the road. I felt like an ice-class ship breaking through the ice as the tires crunched through the crust on top of the snow. I stopped to take off a layer and noticed the shattered ice chunks where my tires had been.
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forgot the holes
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bike donation
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winter biking
 
Fred Tyler
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The first photo is the finished teepee. It now has the stovepipe for the rocket mass heater and the new door installed. While Kai and i were installing the stovepipe on this sunny day, we noticed how nice it felt inside. It was warmer out of the wind, but even more noticeable was how good the quality of light coming through the canvas felt. If you are looking for a weekend to reduce the toxins in your life, consider coming for a stay in the teepee and sleeping on a buckwheat hull mattress kept toasty warm over the cob mass of a RMH like they are talking about in this thread.

The kitchen counters in Wofati 0.8 are unfinished wood and they started to get stained and were pretty dirty when i moved in. I started sanding them. In the second picture you can see the difference between the upper newly sanded counter and the lower counter. The wood of the lower counter has never been sanded and probably looks a little worse that the top one did. After sanding i used pure raw linseed oil to help seal the wood.

The third photo is of the beets i started fermenting in this earlier post. They came out good. They were fairly sour, but still crunchy. The water rim crock seems to have worked to keep mold from growing on the top of the brine. One disadvantage i found was the need to monitor the water level in the rim. Usually i had to add water every few days, but sometimes i had to add it daily. The other disadvantage was that the rim made it hard to wash the crock out. Even when completely upside down, i couldn't get all of the water to drain out. Overall, the lack of mold is a big plus. I'll be sure to use it again next year and see if i get the same results.
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teepee for rent
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wood counter top
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pickled beets
 
Julia Winter
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The teepee was so nice before, now it's gorgeous! Were there that many poles poking up before? It looks like a hedgehog!

I ferment beets and then save the juice. I fermented cubed beets, onion and sage leaves, and the thick deeply colored liquid is in swing top bottles in my fridge now. It's called kvass. You dilute it with water, it looks like red wine and tastes beet/sweet and salty and sour and is supposed to be super healthy, especially in the winter. You can mix it with cold water or hot water.

I eat the chunks of beet, but sometimes I don't get to eat them all before they get some mold or something and become chicken food. (I had a lot of beets this fall, gifted from gardeners who grew them but didn't like them. I fermented a bunch of really giant beets.)
 
Miles Flansburg
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Thanks Fred !
Interesting, it must be a different design than my lodge. My door has been folded over at the top and bottom and stitched to form two " tunnel pockets". Two long willow sticks are then inserted through them. The sticks help keep the cloth stretched out like a sail. The top stick is threaded through the two holes where the bottom pin of the TP cloth comes together above the door.( replacing that pin) The door cloth hangs on the inside of the door opening at the top and lays on the outside at the bottom. This keeps rain water from leaking in on the ground at the bottom of the door.

Is the stovepipe still going up through the top of the lodge? Through the smoke flap hole?
 
Fred Tyler
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I'm back at Wheaton Labs and have some more photos ready to post.

Miles - Yes the stovepipe goes up through the hole at the top of the teepee. I guess we didn't install it until the day after i took that last teepee picture.

Spring is well under way. Everything seems to be blooming, leafing out, and doubling in size when you blink.

First i have a photo of what looks like Slender Woodland Star (Lithophragma tenellum). The other woodland stars look very similar, but have slight variations on leaf and petal divisions and blossom size. These small perennials were popping up everywhere on the dry grassy hillsides.

The second photo is of a buttercup. As there are about 40 different buttercups in the Ranunculus genus that grow in Montana, i wasn't able narrow this down to the species. These are poisonous when fresh but rarely are eaten in large enough quantity. The foul taste and blisters it causes in the mouths of animals, means it is usually avoided. Some animals will eat it in desperation if all other plants have already been eaten.

The third photo is of a Yellowbell (Fritillaria pudica). The small bulb of the yellowbells is edible raw or cooked. It can also be dried for later use. There will be tiny bulblets attached to the bulb. When harvesting, you should spread those bulblets back in the hole to ensure food for the future.


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Slender Woodland Star (Lithophragma tenellum)
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buttercup
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Yellowbell (Fritillaria pudica)
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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