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Christopher Weeks

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since Jun 24, 2018
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Carlton County, Minnesota, USA: 3b; Dfb; sandy loam; in the woods
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Recent posts by Christopher Weeks

I'm also growing Trace's comfrey. I received and planted a box of root cuttings mid-July. It took long enough for them to come up that I was worried I'd done something wrong (I should maybe have watered more often, it was a rough summer), but once they peaked some foliage up, they started throwing huge leaves up out of the ground and they look really healthy. I have several dozen comfrey plants from his stock growing around baby apples that I started from seed two years ago. I'd buy from him again ... except that I won't ever need to!
2 hours ago
My wife's 'coffee house' is an Old Hickory shed that we've worked to make homey. We've had it for almost exactly one year and it's been in daily use for about 10.5 months. We're satisfied with it, and were juggling too many projects at the time to build our own, but I wouldn't doubt you could do better and cheaper that way. What questions would you like answered?
7 hours ago

  - action pic of sharpening
  - closeup of a tooth that is really dull
  - another closeup of the same tooth - nice and sharp!

I was limbing a tree the other day and things weren’t going as smoothly as I thought they should and there was a little smoke coming from the cut. I decided the blade might be dull, but I don’t really know what I’m doing. I was thinking about buying a replacement blade but found some info on sharpening in the manual and then I remembered the tool-care section of PEP and found this BB. So I bought a sharpening kit and read the instructions that came with the kit and the saw (over and over, trying to make sense of them) and coupled with some stuff said above in this thread, I performed a basic sharpening all around.

I have more to learn but this was a cool start toward competence.

22 hours ago

May Lotito wrote:I am wondering if you could add a lining to it. A thin layer of knit fabric will both make it fit more snugly and add a lot of insulation.

There are another couple reasons that’s not a bad idea, actually. 1) The wrong side of entrelac is pretty ugly. 2) These art yarns often have scratchy bits of stuff and so wearing it can be itchy if you don’t have a lot of hair.

I’ve never done that, but I could use a nice fingering, pick up stitches half an inch up on the inside and try to knit a second hat of the same size. Maybe I’ll look up some lined hat patterns and see what they do.
1 day ago
Well, if hard cheese counts for both, let's do that!

I do a lot of stuff without real recipes once I've done it a few times, preferring a sort of heuristic informed and tweaked by consulting my expert sources. so this is like that, my cheese heuristic: pour a gallon of milk into a pot, while heating it slowly up to about 100F, stir in some live yogurt and some lab-cultured cheese bacteria and let it reproduce for a couple hours. Mix ten drops of rennet (vegetable rennet in my case) with a little water and stir it into your warm cultured milk. Then let the curd set in still milk. Once it has coagulated, cut it gently into chunks and let them mix around in the whey while keeping the water warm. Give the curds time to tighten up -- an hour or more. Then carefully remove the curds to a cheese-cloth-lined colander, layering with salt to help draw moisture out of the curd. Once you get it all in there, let it drain and you can add stuff. In this case I diced up kalmata olives and stirred them through the curds. Then I hang the cheese in the cheese cloth over the sink overnight before putting it in the press. I just have some PVC bits from the hardware store and some kettlebell weights to help press the water out of the cheese.

And here's the result in more pictures than you need, illustrating my cheese:

Ok, four dishes in and on the fire!

For breakfast, eggs scrambled with onions and chiles topped with a little cheese, and slices of spit-roasted vegan sausage. (The spit-cooking requirement took some thinking for this vegetarian.)

For lunch, potatoes baked under the coals, topped with beans cooked from dry in a Dutch oven, lightly mashed with salsa and cheese. (In truth, I let the Dutch oven go nearly dry and the top layer of the beans was scorched and thrown out, but the bottom layers were fine. Next time I’ll know to check the water level periodically with such a long cooking and top it off as needed.)

Probably no one will get back to me in time for it to be useful, but clarification might help others in the future. Can we take stuff out of the fire and finish it in a haybox for this? It seems like it ought to be a good permie thing to do unless managing the heat of an active fire across the entire chore is an important aspect of the BB.
Ha! I was wondering what kind of work I could do over the internet and even thinking about just passing on the whole commerce aspect until later when I might have to deal with it. But, duh...I work over the internet every day! My day job is almost wholly from home. I used to work in the office full time and then we were buying land 150 miles north and I offered them the option of keeping me as a remote employee, or not. And they did. I wasn't really sure how to document it though, so I took the liberty of applying the oft-cited "video of 2 mins or less" option for this BB even though the description doesn't include that. I hope this works for you guys.

2 days ago
I made my fourth batch of rice, this time on my Dakota pit and in an improvised haybox.

3 days ago

gir bot wrote:…thinner on the spooney end

At first I thought that meant to reduce the height of the bowl, but I’ve come to think, while carving at it, that you meant to widen the bowl and reduce the prominence of the rim. Hopefully that’s right. How’s this look? (It’s pretty different, but I’m not sure how drastically you thought it needed to be changed. )
4 days ago