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!!! Josiah’s Bootcamp Log

 
gardener
Posts: 661
Location: the mountains of western nc
164
forest garden trees foraging chicken food preservation cooking wood heat homestead
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the little orange ants look like Acanthomyops, citrus ants. smells like citronella when you dig into a colony. taste one if you see them again!
 
Posts: 333
Location: Montana
392
cat foraging hunting tiny house bike fiber arts building medical herbs woodworking homestead
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I'm the best little trailer in a pinch.
 
pollinator
Posts: 298
Location: Wheaton Labs
677
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177

So many new bugs out today, I think we hit their threshold for accumulated heat units or something because they really decide to come out today. Subsequently, the swallows are also out in force.

We are almost finished with the framing to enclose the first Wofati greenhouse, its looking like next week will be wall treatments, yippee!

While gardening today I noticed that the big leaf lupine successfully reproduced last year as there are many new seedlings. I love big leaf lupine and this makes me real happy

It was so warm today that the rocket cook top had a cold plug when I lit it for dinner. When this happens smoke waterfalls out the cracks in the top. Fascinating. Cough cough.
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Baby large leaved lupine!
Baby large leaved lupine!
 
Josiah Kobernik
pollinator
Posts: 298
Location: Wheaton Labs
677
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178

Two attempts at solar cooking this week. One in a solar oven (undercooked lentils) and one in a crockpot plugged into the solar voltswagen (delicious black beans). Beans have been tricky for me since moving back off grid, they take a lot of energy to cook and subsequently I have been eating less of them. Now that the days are longer and the sun is more frequently out, solar cooking becomes an obvious solution.

I built up a test patch of the wall treatment for interior of the first wofati greenhouse using raw sheep’s wool as insulation and cobbing over it. I think it will work nicely and am planning to begin installation tomorrow, after I go pick up the glass for the South wall. So exciting.

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Solar oven
Solar oven
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The other “solar oven”
The other “solar oven”
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Phacelia babies growing at allerton abbey!
Phacelia babies growing at allerton abbey!
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Wall treatment test patch
Wall treatment test patch
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Raw wool drying and airing out before it gets installed
Raw wool drying and airing out before it gets installed
 
Josiah Kobernik
pollinator
Posts: 298
Location: Wheaton Labs
677
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179

What a week. We got a lot done, we are all pretty tired and it shows.

Matt and I retrieved the glass for the first wofati greenhouse from Missoula. I had built up a rack for hauling the glass on one of Paul’s flatbed trailers, which was very intimidating as I have never hauled glass before and this glass in particular was very expensive. It was extremely reassuring when the glass worker who helped us load was impressed by what he called my “legit glass hauling setup”. We made it back to the lab safely and had some good conversation on the drive.

Wall treatments are underway and they’re looking good! Unfortunately we learned that Erica is allergic to the raw sheep wool while she was helping with the install. Four boots learned to work with cob for the first time. Always a plus to pass on some of the skills that I have gleaned from my time here.

Next week I dive deep into the glazing system. So many facets to factor in to sealing a building.
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Glass on trailer
Glass on trailer
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Wool, scrap wood lattice, cob.
Wool, scrap wood lattice, cob.
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Most of the walls have 6” spacing for insulation, this one had 12 inches so we used straw in half of it.
Most of the walls have 6” spacing for insulation, this one had 12 inches so we used straw in half of it.
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Hard at work
Hard at work
 
Josiah Kobernik
pollinator
Posts: 298
Location: Wheaton Labs
677
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180

There is something relaxing about brunch, and Kyle really likes pancakes, so I made pancakes both days this weekend. Saturday was coconut banana pancakes and Sunday was zucchini onion oatmeal pancakes.  

I don’t measure when I cook because I like adventure, but here is a recipe for the coconut banana pancakes with approximated measurements. Yields plenty of pancakes for four hungry boots.

2 mashed bananas
1 can coconut milk
A bunch of rolled oats, maybe a cup and a half
1 cup ish of water

Stir and let sit for 15 minutes

Add 2 eggs
2 tbs oil
A bit of cinnamon
2 tsp salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1.5 tsp baking powder

Stir together and add any additional flour to bring the batter to proper hot ale consistency.

It’s important to let the rolled oats soak. Usually people mix the baking powder into the dry ingredients separately before mixing in the wet ingredients to prevent getting a clump.

Next weekend we are going to make sourdough pancakes. I’m looking forward to it already.
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Zucchini cakes on a giant cast iron skillet
Zucchini cakes on a giant cast iron skillet
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No caption necessary
No caption necessary
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Maybe brunch is relaxing because there is time to linger in conversation over the meal. Have another cup of tea.
Maybe brunch is relaxing because there is time to linger in conversation over the meal. Have another cup of tea.
 
Josiah Kobernik
pollinator
Posts: 298
Location: Wheaton Labs
677
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181

The whole boot camp took a quick garden tour this morning to check the soil moisture in hugelkultur berms and identify plants that are newly sprouting. I spotted this gorgeous Lepidoptera camouflaged in the honey berry.

Jennifer and I harvested and screened sand to make more cob for the greenhouse walls. We talked through a rough design for some rainwater catchment off the greenhouse glass and I doodled it out on the back of a receipt. I will be keeping my eyes out for the necessary plumbing to make it happen next time I go for materials.
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You can’t see me
You can’t see me
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Save that doodle!
Save that doodle!
 
Josiah Kobernik
pollinator
Posts: 298
Location: Wheaton Labs
677
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182

Matt and I wrapped up all the last little bits of framing carpentry on the greenhouse this morning and then recorded lots of video for the movie. It’s nice to work with someone who has an opinion about the camera angles and lighting. I think we got some good stuff :)

More cob. You know, cob has a very specific smell. It’s more than just the smell of wet clay, or wet sand, or wet straw. Together they have an emergent cob smell. It’s very pleasant, almost sweet.

Matt figured out how to fold a piece of sheet aluminum so that it works as a corner flashing cap. Excited to seal this puppy up.

Also, I found some weird galls on a willow tree. I wonder who makes these little willow hollows?
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Josiah Kobernik
pollinator
Posts: 298
Location: Wheaton Labs
677
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183

We couldn’t do our normal wofati greenhouse build update today so I recorded a little video and am posting it here for your enjoyment. Spoiler alert, the most exciting part is Kyle’s wooden door latch mechanism in action! Today Jen said “wow it actually is looking like a building now”. Which I think is a good sign because I have been beating my head against it for almost 9 months.



Things are growing! I harvested quinoa leaves, pennycress, pea tendrils, green garlic and walking onion for dinner. The taste of spring is finally here. The days are getting so long. I really love to linger with the twilight but for now I better get to bed.
 
Josiah Kobernik
pollinator
Posts: 298
Location: Wheaton Labs
677
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184

We did our first water run of the season today, hauling about 500 gallons from a local source on the back of our trusty water tender “Judith” or Judy. Fixing judy’s water pump was one of the first things I did here as a student during the 2019 ATC. The pump had run without pre filtration and the impeller was plugged. I learned a lot during that course. Today I took 3 new (relatively) boots to learn how to fill up. I forgot the suction hose, and we had to come back for it. Then the motor faltered and I had to emphatically jiggle the choke on and off to get it to run long enough to warm up. I pointed out the feral apple tree next to the fill site.

I believe this is fifth time I have taken fresh boots out to teach them the water hustle, something I learned that first month I was at Wheaton Labs. Despite today’s hang ups, it still went better today than in 2019 when I busted my knuckle open pulling the engine over, we didn’t get any water and then the brakes on the truck failed.

Water is life. I am satisfied to see the gardens get more water than they ever have before.

Also, I got to some more siding on the greenhouse. Looks pretty cool!
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Filling the tanks
Filling the tanks
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Spreading the water
Spreading the water
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Looking better every day
Looking better every day
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Wild fried chicken mushrooms. Excellent!
Wild fried chicken mushrooms. Excellent!
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