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evan's ant village log

 
pollinator
Posts: 759
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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Thanks, Evan.. again... and again :) My gratitude may get old, but I think I speak for a lot of 'silent' appreciation out here :) It is such a pleasure to accompany you on this adventure!
 
pollinator
Posts: 167
Location: North Texas, Dallas area suburbs, US zone 8
61
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Yeah, Evan, you know, I can only press "thumbs-up" once per post. Thanks for including us across the distance!
 
Posts: 64
Location: Reeds Spring, MO z 6-7 prev South Florida, z 10a-10b 1989-2015 prev 1981-1989 North Vermont
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I must thoroughly concur with the previous postings of great appreciation. This is quite the trilling and addicting adventure you have allowed us all to be a remote part of while we deal with our own struggles to break free from the standard grind. Thank you and keep up the good work.
 
nancy sutton
pollinator
Posts: 759
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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Oh, and I meant to mention how 'warm' that firewood looked, snuggling up to the fir trees! Silly, I know, but don't think I've seen that before, and it looked 'right' :)
 
pollinator
Posts: 243
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Dang Dude you guys have really bee busting ass. I'm so jealous but Im pretty sure our ducks are cuter than yours atleast thats what Nikki Said.
 
Lab Ant
Posts: 753
Location: ephemeral space
588
greening the desert
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Day 210

It's been raining a whole bunch! The ducks are in pond and puddle paradise. In fact there's a pretty big puddle in the uphill patio of Siesta.

Sharla and I hand-dug a bit of a drainage ditch to get that water heading around and down the hill. It's not perfect, but it's a bit better. The ducks weren't happy about it though.

Kai noticed a deciduous growie we hadn't seen before. He speculates that it's an elderberry! Nice! Good eye, Kai!
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the department of ducks hard at work
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puddle waterfall
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elderberry perhaps
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
Posts: 753
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Day 211

Last night we played Alhambra in Allerton Abbey, by candlelight. Candles courtesy of Su Ba, Alhambra courtesy of Fred. Thanks Su Ba and Fred! Chris is quite a board game enthusiast, and we thought it only right to play a game for his last night here. Chris beat us all handily, too! Good game, Vitamin C!

Dropped off both Shelby and Chris in Missoula today. Farewell friends! They're heading back to their respective Californian homes. Seems like it's gonna be pretty lonely up at the labs this winter.

We've been preparing for Sir Chops' departure from this earthly plane, and it seems like tomorrow will be the day. In Missoula today we picked up a scalding tank from Abe, (who will be leading us in the butchery,) and also acquired a ton of salt for the curing process.

Missoula's such a cool little town. They've got art painted on the transformer boxes all over the place, plus free soap, free coffee, and free-range felines at the laundromat.
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candlelit Alhambra
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zootown street art
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Midnight the laundrocat
 
pollinator
Posts: 867
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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your 'perhaps elderberry' sure looks like elder(berry), at least the one I know that grows here in the Netherlands (we call it 'vlier')
 
evan l pierce
Lab Ant
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Day 212

We picked up Abe bright and early and by mid morning we were back and the water in the scalding tank was boiling. Abe sharpened his knives while we gave Sir Chops his final scratches and words of encouragement. The first snow of the season began to fall on what will henceforth be known as Chopsgiving.

Abe stunned him with a shot to the head with his rifle, then I stuck him and we drained his blood into a dish until his heart stopped pumping. Thank you, Sir Chops, you were a good pig.

The next step was to hoist the body up, which I did using a bit of tractor time, and then the front half was dipped into the scalding tank. After the bristles were loosened up a bit, Abe, Josh, Kai, Sharla, and I all did our best to scrape away the hair and accumulated grime. We repeated the dunking and scraping with the back half, and then Abe showed me where to start with removing the guts.

We saved the heart, liver, and stomach caul, but the blood and most of the other organs we fed to the ducks, feeling unprepared to deal with them this time. After sawing the carcass in half, Abe demonstrated splitting the half into the various cuts: the ham, the boston, the ribs, etc., and I followed along as best I could with the other half.

The meat is chilling now as we decide what to cook right away, what to freeze, and what to salt cure.

Thanks for your help everyone involved, and thank you Abe for leading us in the process. When I asked Abe if I could plug his website or something, he told me to post this:

Abe Coley
Vegetarian Butcher / Life Artist
Google Voice #: 406-286-2223
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Abe's rooster greeting us
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scalding tank
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scraping process
 
steward
Posts: 3109
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
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Farewell, Sir Chops!

What did he weigh? I think salt curing the ham (prosciutto) is a great way to maximize shelf life and slow down consumption. The meat ends up being more of a flavoring agent than a staple. Just a few thin slivers flavors up a whole dish. Of course, it takes six months and you have to figure out how to keep insects away from it. . .
 
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