Oh man Evan I am doing the happy dance right now ! Thanks for doing an octagon log home ! That is exactly what I want to do as it seems the easiest quickest, way to go. Please take lots of pictures of that and tells us how it goes!
I'm so grateful for all the kind words, helpful advice and information, and just all the awesome support I've been receiving from the permies community. Two pieces of mail addressed to me arrived today. Charles Kleff sent me some Lagenaria seeds! I can't wait to grow these funky gourds! And S. Meyer sent me some cash money! Wow! Thanks y'all!
I made some progress on both my gardens and the logs for my wofati today, but when the sun was high in the sky, I found some shade and worked on carving a cup out of a block of basswood. I still have a long way to go. Both the wood and the mocotaugan, or crooked knife, came from Brian Brown, who stopped by the labs for a few days to fix all the things. Brian is a total badass and has all kinds of mad primitive skills. He also gave me some other sweet Proenneke tools and shared some of his knowledge and experience. Thanks again, Brian!
Personally I would be burning a cup out, now you have made a start on a hollow, place a few coals from a fire there and huff gently to burn and char it deeper. tip out the cooled coals and replace with new fresh hot coals occasionally. You don't want to BURN the wood up, just char and smoulder it away, so don't use too many or too big.
I wonder, have you thought about digging a root cellar? I have been thinking about doing what you are doing now, starting from scratch, planting your garden and protecting the yield as much as possible. So far you are rocking it, IMO. It is early days yet, but since you are also working on shelter now, have you considered space for food storage? Personally I have been thinking that a root cellar should be first, not to rush building the shelter although there may be incentives for building the shelter, I forget. You could live in the root cellar at first, then transition to the wapiti once you are sure your crops will be sufficient. This way you could build more gardens, enlarge the fence area, etc. (as I was writing this I thought about planting deer resistant crops outside the fence, and only the plants that need protecting inside the fence, that would also increase your usable protected garden area, FWIW)
For smaller amounts of food and liquids you could consider a zeer pot fridge, very old tech. http://practicalaction.org/zeer-pots A fellow in India also invented a small fridge made of clay that uses the same evaporative cooling technique.
Life is too short or my list is too long, not sure which.
Another beautiful day. This little chipmunk has been quite successfully evading my attempts to photograph him, until today. He's been enjoying the food scraps from my compost.
Cut a few more logs for my wofati. I'm thinking I'll need about 96 for my walls that border on earth, (that's not counting the walls that border on air, posts, beams, roof, or the wings/retaining walls.) So far I've got 76 cut to 7' lengths, a couple dozen longer ones, and maybe eight 12+ footers that could be posts.
Also made some more progress on my garden beds. I'm maybe halfway done building the raised beds in the first quarter of the area I have fenced off. I think it's looking pretty good so far, but I'm anxious to get some seeds properly planted before the rains come. It's really dry right now, so I'm keeping the beds covered with mulch, even though I'm not done building them up yet.