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The first time I visited Wheaton Labs, I drove through a massive blizzard and arrived to see a winter wonderland, alive with the sparkle and glow of the snow-laden Montana wilderness.  Don't get me wrong, the Lab is incredible year-round, full of the verdant fecundity of nested hugel beds and cultivated woodland charm.  But for my money, winter is the time when it really shines.  The wofatis are in their element, emitting the heat of summer under their snowy blankets.  The wildlife is alive with crisp vigor.  You can work steadily, all the short day long, in the shining winter sun without overheating.  And every day ends with a warm drink and community.  Hard to beat!

If that's not enticing enough, the bootcamp has lined out this year's schedule of Half Assed Holidays - days of annual upkeep, fun, artistry, and taking things just a scosche easy.








Sofia is making a bowl by burning out
the inside of the bowl


Indoor projects


winter-harvested sunchokes


the snow can hide the tipi door


we saw cat footprints in the snow and
eventually (months) managed to get this feral
cat to come this close for bits of salmon


The snow melts and freezes a few times


winter is a great time to whittle up a spoon


we tend to make a lot of shelves in winter


allerton abbey in winter


we do a lot of timber stuff in the winter


From "christmas stocking day" last year


the first sign of spring

Awesome Sushi

Here's the calendar for this year.  If you want a cozy place to overwinter, it's a perfect time to ease into the bootcamp.

Half assed holiday schedule for the 2022-2023 winter season:

thu nov 24 - Thanksgiving Day

fri nov 25 - wood box day (half day)

- try to replace plastic bins with wooden crates and boxes
- maybe try to make a box that will almost hold water
- maybe even try to make some dovetail joints
- some boxes will be quick and some will be very nice
- unlike wooden spoon day - wood boxes will remain with the bootcamp

thrs dec 1 - day of light - a half day of improving the lighting in and around our nest

- add mirrors
    o on walls
    o in window wells
    o lots of creativity
- add lights that are more efficient by lighting people more than the room
- add solar night lights outside - find artistic themes
- different sorts of prisms in the windows
- add indoor night lights
- make full room lights that can be turned on at the source that add HUGE light to the room
- light experiments
- possible candle lit dinner
- an evening campfire (bun warmer or pavilion)
- maple foods
    o maple meringue cookies
    o maple rolls
    o maple cookies
    o spaghetti with each person adding about a tablespoon of maple syrup (tip of the hat to Elf)
    o horchata sweetened with maple syrup
    o fresh bread served with whipped maple butter
- hot spiced cider

wed dec 7 - wooden spoon day - half day

- we all carve wood kitchen utensils
- maybe one cutting board
- make lots of soup that people eat with wooden spoons!
      o make bread bowls for soup
- ice cream to test the strength of wooden spoons

fri dec 9 --  christmas decorating day - a half day of

- setting up a tree and all the decorating
- popcorn
       o +maple syrup to make popcorn balls
- make a wreath
- convert a cubbie into a "nativity" featuring wheaton labs stuff
- christmas movie

wed dec 14  - christmas stocking day - a half day of

- making christmas stockings (for current and future boots)
- baking
- further cool decorations
- christmas movie

wed dec 21  - christmas baking day - a half day of baking

- and a christmas movie

sat dec 24  - christmas eve - half day of (i need ideas)

- I will go into missoula and get chinese take out for everybody
- egg nog
- fudge
- confections
- add an ornament to the tree
       o must be something that can be used for many years
       o says your name plus "christmas 2022"

sun dec 25 - fancy foodening

wed dec 28  - day of fire - a half day of improving fire stuff

- build indoor and outdoor firewood racks
- do all rocket spots have
       o a kindling cracker
       o a poker
       o an ash bucket
       o ample fire starting paper and a propane torch
       o a nearby fire extinguisher
       o good firebricks for the wood feed
- find quick and easy ways to upgrade rocket mass heaters
- make improvements to the bun warmer space
- evening with the bun warmer
      o plus a tiny camp fire in the middle (with our little camp fire contraption)
      o smores
      o hot dogs
      o hot drinks (tea, spiced cider, etc.)

sat dec 31   -]Putting Away Christmas + Movies Day

- black eyed peas, greens and corn bread
- spaghetti

hot springs day - mixed in somewhere.  Surprise half day


tues jan 10  - national houseplants day (half day)

- overhaul all of the houseplants
- modify stuff to be houseplant pots
- coleus seeds
- plant edible stuff, maybe herbs
- add plant shelves and grow lights
- experiment with self watering stuff

fri jan 13 - proenneke day  (half day)

 - small roundwood projects all with hand tools
       o coat hooks (cut forked branch style)
       o coat hooks (dry pegs in green half-round of wood)
       o a kitchen chair (probably pretty big and blocky)
       o repair projects
       o sawbuck

wed jan 18 - quilt day
- collectively make one quilt for one thing
    o maybe a window quilt
    o maybe a curtain for somthing
    o maybe a bed quilt
- each person has their own square or two to be added to the quilt
- they can add messages with laundry markers
- each boot can add their name
- somewhere it says "bootcamp 2022"
- ravioli served so it looks like a quilt
fri jan 20th   - fermentation day (half day)

- water keifer
- kim chi
- miso
- kraut
- sourdough
- keifer

(i need ideas to flesh this out)

wed jan 25 -  pina colada day (half day)

- blended drinks (with umbrellas), pizza and the house is 80 degrees
     o beach music
     o drink from pineapple cups
- improve the dock
     o add tropical somethings
- improve the library
- movie featuring pina coladas or beaches
     o shrek (plays the pina colada song)
     o pirates of the caribbean
     o lilo and stitch
     o fantasy island
     o swiss family robinson
     o guardians of the galaxy

thurs feb 2 - groundhog day (half day)

- the movie - duh
- music "I got you babe" by sonny and cher
- pancakes for dinner
- if 6 more weeks of winter - build more shelves
- if spring comes 6 weeks early - seed stuff

wed feb 8 - dye day dye dye dye (half day)

 - just one natural dye color for each year
 - a white t-shirt (or similar) for everybody
 - dingy sheets and other house fabrics could go in
 - everybody can bring their own stuff too
 - thai food
 - fruit punch color matches the color of the dye


Wed feb 15 - cat house day

 - build a cat house
 - eat lasagna
 - maybe a movie featuring a cat

Wed feb 22 art day

- signs and labels
- maybe tiny rock jacks to hold up outdoor signs
- food that would be served at an art gallery
          o foods impaled with toothpicks
          o foods served on a cracker
          o grapes

wed mar 1 - fukuoka day

- make seed balls
- upgrade the free shelf stuff
- sushi

wed mar 8 - pulley day

 - projects with pulleys
    o laundry racks
    o window quilts
    o food drying racks next to the ceiling that can be lowered
    o pulley-based ceiling storage
    o more things like Bob.
    o maybe some experiments with manual log skidding winches
    o maybe some gravity lights in the pantry

wed mar 15 - roundwood furniture day

 - making furniture out of roundwood, like the picnic table and the couch balcony.
    o chairs
    o stools
    o tables

wed mar 22 - repair cafe day

   



If you want to dive in deeper consider joining the Wheaton Labs bootcamp for hands on Half Assed Holiday experience! : https://permies.com/link/hahbootcamp
COMMENTS:
 
Jordan Holland
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I suppose as long as y'all only half-ass one thing at a time, Ron Swanson will be ok with it. You might even get him to help you with those wooden boxes.
never-half-ass-two-things.png
Half ass
Half ass
 
Gemma Boyd
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Beau Davidson wrote:

The first time I visited Wheaton Labs, I drove through a massive blizzard and arrived to see a winter wonderland, alive with the sparkle and glow of the snow-laden Montana wilderness.  Don't get me wrong, the Lab is incredible year-round, full of the verdant fecundity of nested hugel beds and cultivated woodland charm.  But for my money, winter is the time when it really shines.  The wofatis are in their element, emitting the heat of summer under their snowy blankets.  The wildlife is alive with crisp vigor.  You can work steadily, all the short day long, in the shining winter sun without overheating.  And every day ends with a warm drink and community.  Hard to beat!

If that's not enticing enough, the bootcamp has lined out this year's schedule of Half Assed Holidays - days of annual upkeep, fun, artistry, and taking things just a scosche easy.








Sofia is making a bowl by burning out
the inside of the bowl


Indoor projects


winter-harvested sunchokes


the snow can hide the tipi door


we saw cat footprints in the snow and
eventually (months) managed to get this feral
cat to come this close for bits of salmon


The snow melts and freezes a few times


winter is a great time to whittle up a spoon


we tend to make a lot of shelves in winter


allerton abbey in winter


we do a lot of timber stuff in the winter


From "christmas stocking day" last year


the first sign of spring

Awesome Sushi

Here's the calendar for this year.  If you want a cozy place to overwinter, it's a perfect time to ease into the bootcamp.

Half assed holiday schedule for the 2022-2023 winter season:

thu nov 24 - thanksgiving

fri nov 25 - wood box day (half day)

- try to replace plastic bins with wooden crates and boxes
- maybe try to make a box that will almost hold water
- maybe even try to make some dovetail joints
- some boxes will be quick and some will be very nice
- unlike wooden spoon day - wood boxes will remain with the bootcamp

thrs dec 1 - day of light - a half day of improving the lighting in and around our nest

- add mirrors
    o on walls
    o in window wells
    o lots of creativity
- add lights that are more efficient by lighting people more than the room
- add solar night lights outside - find artistic themes
- different sorts of prisms in the windows
- add indoor night lights
- make full room lights that can be turned on at the source that add HUGE light to the room
- light experiments
- possible candle lit dinner
- an evening campfire (bun warmer or pavilion)
- maple foods
    o maple meringue cookies
    o maple rolls
    o maple cookies
    o spaghetti with each person adding about a tablespoon of maple syrup (tip of the hat to Elf)
    o horchata sweetened with maple syrup
    o fresh bread served with whipped maple butter
- hot spiced cider

wed dec 7 - wooden spoon day - half day

- we all carve wood kitchen utensils
- maybe one cutting board
- make lots of soup that people eat with wooden spoons!
      o make bread bowls for soup
- ice cream to test the strength of wooden spoons

fri dec 9 --  christmas decorating day - a half day of

- setting up a tree and all the decorating
- popcorn
       o +maple syrup to make popcorn balls
- make a wreath
- convert a cubbie into a "nativity" featuring wheaton labs stuff
- christmas movie

wed dec 14  - christmas stocking day - a half day of

- making christmas stockings (for current and future boots)
- baking
- further cool decorations
- christmas movie

wed dec 21  - christmas baking day - a half day of baking

- and a christmas movie

sat dec 24  - christmas eve - half day of (i need ideas)

- I will go into missoula and get chinese take out for everybody
- egg nog
- fudge
- confections
- add an ornament to the tree
       o must be something that can be used for many years
       o says your name plus "christmas 2022"

sun dec 25 - fancy foodening

wed dec 28  - day of fire - a half day of improving fire stuff

- build indoor and outdoor firewood racks
- do all rocket spots have
       o a kindling cracker
       o a poker
       o an ash bucket
       o ample fire starting paper and a propane torch
       o a nearby fire extinguisher
       o good firebricks for the wood feed
- find quick and easy ways to upgrade rocket mass heaters
- make improvements to the bun warmer space
- evening with the bun warmer
      o plus a tiny camp fire in the middle (with our little camp fire contraption)
      o smores
      o hot dogs
      o hot drinks (tea, spiced cider, etc.)

sat dec 31   - half day of putting away christmas stuff plus movies

- black eyed peas, greens and corn bread
- spaghetti

hot springs day - mixed in somewhere.  Surprise half day

wed jan 4   - fermentation day (half day)

- water keifer
- kim chi
- miso
- kraut
- sourdough
- keifer

(i need ideas to flesh this out)

mon jan 9  - national houseplants day (half day)

- overhaul all of the houseplants
- modify stuff to be houseplant pots
- coleus seeds
- plant edible stuff, maybe herbs
- add plant shelves and grow lights
- experiment with self watering stuff

thu jan 12 - proenneke day  (half day)

 - small roundwood projects all with hand tools
       o coat hooks (cut forked branch style)
       o coat hooks (dry pegs in green half-round of wood)
       o a kitchen chair (probably pretty big and blocky)
       o repair projects
       o sawbuck

wed jan 18 - quilt day
- collectively make one quilt for one thing
    o maybe a window quilt
    o maybe a curtain for somthing
    o maybe a bed quilt
- each person has their own square or two to be added to the quilt
- they can add messages with laundry markerspina colada day
- each boot can add their name
- somewhere it says "bootcamp 2022"
- ravioli served so it looks like a quilt

[b]wed jan 25 -  pina colada day (half day)

- blended drinks (with umbrellas), pizza and the house is 80 degrees
     o beach music
     o drink from pineapple cups
- improve the dock
     o add tropical somethings
- improve the library
- movie featuring pina coladas or beaches
     o shrek (plays the pina colada song)
     o pirates of the caribbean
     o lilo and stitch
     o fantasy island
     o swiss family robinson
     o guardians of the galaxy

thurs feb 2 - groundhog day (half day)

- the movie - duh
- music "I got you babe" by sonny and cher
- pancakes for dinner
- if 6 more weeks of winter - build more shelves
- if spring comes 6 weeks early - seed stuff

wed feb 8 - dye dye dye dye dye (half day)

 - just one natural dye color for each year
 - a white t-shirt (or similar) for everybody
 - dingy sheets and other house fabrics could go in
 - everybody can bring their own stuff too
 - thai food
 - fruit punch color matches the color of the dye


tues feb 14 - cat house day

 - build a cat house
 - eat lasagna
 - maybe a movie featuring a cat

tues feb 21 art day

- signs and labels
- maybe tiny rock jacks to hold up outdoor signs
- food that would be served at an art gallery
          o foods impaled with toothpicks
          o foods served on a cracker
          o grapes

wed mar 1 - sushi day

- upgrade the free shelf stuff
- sushi



Thank you for writing about your winter experience, Beau! I’d love to do this. I’m working on it…
 
Andrew Welser
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Beau Davidson wrote:
fri nov 25 - wood box day (half day)

- try to replace plastic bins with wooden crates and boxes
- maybe try to make a box that will almost hold water
- maybe even try to make some dovetail joints
- some boxes will be quick and some will be very nice
- unlike wooden spoon day - wood boxes will remain with the bootcamp



Isn’t Boxing Day usually the day after Christmas? ;)
 
Beau M. Davidson
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Andrew Welser wrote:
Isn’t Boxing Day usually the day after Christmas? ;)



Touche!

Wait, but this is box day . . .

In all actuality, I believe box day coincided with boxing day in years past.  Didn't shake out that way this time around.
 
Christine Circe
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I'm super excited for Wooden Spoon Day!
 
Austin Durant
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Fermentation Day, eh? Seriously tempting!

How does one prepare (clothing wise and mentally) for such weather? The cold scares this southern-California-by-way-of-Florida dude!
 
Austin Durant
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Beau Davidson wrote:
fri jan 20th   - fermentation day (half day)

- water keifer
- kim chi
- miso
- kraut
- sourdough
- keifer

(i need ideas to flesh this out)


I'll be joining you (as a SEPPer) for Fermentation Day! I will bring sourdough starter and milk kefir grains. We'll need to locate some koji if we want to make miso (although some should be ready that we started back last summer!)

I've got tons of recipe ideas for various veggie ferments, too.

Yipee! See y'all soon!
 
paul wheaton
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wed mar 1 - sushi day



maybe this one can transform into "fukuoka day".  We can make seed balls and eat sushi!

We are trying out the idea of "pulley day".

Another idea:  log furniture day.

Stephen is suggesting "repair cafe day"


 
paul wheaton
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garden twig art day
   tomato cages
   trellis
 
paul wheaton
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maybe for next year:  indoor gardening day

 
paul wheaton
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for 2023/2024, maybe add


sauna day

indoor gardening day (before thanksgiving)

garden twig art day
  tomato cages
  trellis

repair cafe day


I do think that these two half assed holidays need to be ditched unless we have a ringer lined up:

     fermentation day

     dye day dye dye dye



 
S Rogers
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are you thinking like a week before thanksgiving? Early November?  Or maybe in October?
 
paul wheaton
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I think indoor gardening day can be in early november.
 
paul wheaton
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Can we come up with a dozen more half assed holiday ideas and then maybe add four more this year?
 
paul wheaton
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this might help

https://nationaltoday.com/november-holidays/

 
paul wheaton
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dog day:  we work on making something for dogs at the dog star

 
paul wheaton
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My grandad's birthday was november 30.

   - macadamia nuts
   - almond roca
   - cast iron
   - firewood
   - clean the shop
   - beef
   -
   -
   -
   -

??


 
paul wheaton
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Should we have a day dedicated to improving certain spaces?

   - the bun warmer
   - the spot with the floaty chairs
   - the wood shop
   - the solarium
   - the library
   - the fph
   - the berm shed
   - the red cabin
   - the love shack

 
Mike Haasl
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Chair day - fixing/making chairs
Window day - fixing windows that don't open easily or are otherwise broken
Door day - same for doors
Door knob day...
Gate day
Rock jack chair making day
Snow shoe making day
Sled making day
Wreath making day
Easter egg coloring day (natural dyes of course)
 
paul wheaton
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Hinge day - care of all hinges

 
paul wheaton
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I like gate day

 
paul wheaton
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Early November...  things are not frozen yet.  Day Temps are usually above freezing.  

 
paul wheaton
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Take the "day of light" and split it into four holidays:

   - outdoor lights
   - indoor lights
   - add mirrors for more light
   - skylight day (add a skylight somewhere)

 
paul wheaton
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early november:  apple seed day

plant all of our apple seeds.  They need cold stratification in order to germinate.

 
paul wheaton
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volcano day?
 
Coydon Wallham
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paul wheaton wrote:I like gate day


January is named for Janus, the Roman god of entrances.
 
paul wheaton
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Last year we had 21 additional half assed holidays between thanksgiving and march 22.

I am now thinking that we might add a  few more plus add a couple between the first of november and thanksgiving.  

Also, there are two on the chopping block that I think are good if we have a ringer, but we should replace if we don't have a ringer.

 
Stephen B. Thomas
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I think a Knot Day would be worthwhile. Boots learn to tie different knots, then use them to complete a specific project to show a practical use of that/those knot/s.

Temporally-speaking, the Boots here right now are low-key obsessed with knots these days (myself included).
 
Stephen B. Thomas
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paul wheaton wrote:early november:  apple seed day

plant all of our apple seeds.  They need cold stratification in order to germinate.


Would cherry pits also work on this day? We have a bunch of those that had been donated to us from a professor friend of yours, though I'm not certain the best time to scar and plant those.
 
Coydon Wallham
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paul wheaton wrote:Should we have a day dedicated to improving certain spaces?

   - the bun warmer
   - the spot with the floaty chairs
   - the wood shop
   - the solarium
   - the library
   - the fph
   - the berm shed
   - the red cabin
   - the love shack


Perhaps a bit of a stretch, but November 13 is GIS day in the industry. Geographic Information Systems are about representing physical places in some sort of database. The day could be dedicated to creating / fleshing out a thread at permies.com focused on one or more of those spaces, making various improvements in the process. Institutional knowledge of projects like this is extremely handy when so many are being juggled...
 
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Stephen B. Thomas wrote:I think a Knot Day would be worthwhile. Boots learn to tie different knots, then use them to complete a specific project to show a practical use of that/those knot/s.

Temporally-speaking, the Boots here right now are low-key obsessed with knots these days (myself included).


Learning to make cordage from scratch in less than half a day is feasible also.

I imagine there would knot be many opportunities for puns on such a day...
 
paul wheaton
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Stephen B. Thomas wrote:

paul wheaton wrote:early november:  apple seed day

plant all of our apple seeds.  They need cold stratification in order to germinate.


Would cherry pits also work on this day?



Yes!
 
paul wheaton
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The most difficult part:  once we have selected the new holidays, it takes about two to four hours to flesh out each holiday to be a proper holiday.  Is there a food element?  A movie element?  What else makes the day a little bit special?  Is there a ringer?  



 
paul wheaton
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For 2023/2024 - 29 additional holidays

Here is my list

wednesday november 1 indoor gardening day
wednesday november 8 apple seed day
wednesday november 15 bun warmer day

thursday november 23 thanksgiving
friday november 24 wood box day
wednesday november 29 day of light
tuesday december 5 chair repair day
friday december 8 wooden spoon day
monday december 11 christmas decorating day
thursday december 14 christmas stocking day
wednesday december 20 christmas baking day
sunday december 24 christmas eve
monday december 25 christmas day
thursday december 28 day of fire
monday january 1 Putting Away Christmas + Movies Day
thursday january 4 proenneke day
wednesday january 10 national houseplants day
friday january 12 gadget mending day
tuesday january 16 quilt day
friday january 19 sauna day
tuesday january 23 fermentation day
friday january 26 pina colada day

january 29 - february 2 gmc      

tuesday february 6 cat house day
friday february 9 art day
tuesday february 13 fukuoka day
friday february 16 pulley day
wednesday february 21 roundwood furniture day
wednesday february 28 repair cafe day
wednesday march 6 gate day

wednesday march 13 garden twig art day
wednesday march 20 dog day:  we work on making something for dogs at the dog star



feb 2 groundhog day - no groundhog day this year

A few more than last year.
 
paul wheaton
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indoor gardening day ...   a few early notes ...

make stuff from goodwill into pots with a masonry drill bit

add grow lights

possible "crops":

  - chives
  - oregano
  - basil
  - mushrooms
  - stevia
  - ginger
  - radish
  - cilantro
  - thyme
  - catnip
  - everbearing strawberry

Movie: joe's apartment!

 
paul wheaton
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apple seed day  ... a few early notes ...

maybe try to plant 100 each
 
   apple seeds
   plum pits
   cherry pits
   apricot pits

1948 johnny appleseed movie (about 28 minutes long)

apple foods for dinner!

 
paul wheaton
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bun warmer day  ... a few early notes ...

projects to improve the bun warmer space

  - add a cob hat (oven)
  - add cob bench to some of the bench stuff
  - add an insulative wrap to the back of the barrel (cape?)
  - add some proper electricity so we can do a lot more with fairy lights

food:  stuff that is cooked on the barrel (in the cob oven looking thing) of the bun warmer

 
It sure was nice of your sister to lend us her car. Let's show our appreciation by sharing this tiny ad:
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https://permies.com/t/238620/perennial-vegetables/FREE-Perma-Veggies-Book
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