Monday, February 05, 2007

finally feeling better -fire wood calculations

that is, i'm feeling better. the kids are still fighting off strep throat.

i loaded the porch with four wheel barrow loads of wood and tried to calculate our usage. i paced off nine ricks of wood that were in my original long pile. that is not including the the rick that i gave john and pam. we have roughly four ricks of wood left in the field and the better part of one rick on the porch. a fully loaded porch lasts between seven and twelve days. this last cold spell forced us to go through the porch of wood in eight days.

so, if this porch load lasts until next wednesday that will be half way through february. given that the last frost here in missouri is sometime during the month of may, i claim we won't have enough wood. lets see, there should be about six or seven porch loads of wood left in the field. if each porch load lasts ten days. february has two more loads, march will have three loads, april will have two loads and may will have one load. 2+3+2+1=8 by my best guess we'll be one porch load short. i have roughly half of a load that needs to be split in the field and a bunch of dried dead wood in the ravine. the last porch load will be a bit more work.

one problem has been general wood quality. we had the better part of two ricks of mulberry which is crappy to burn for heat. a large portion of the wood had been oddly cut. short stumpy pieces were on the last tier of the the entire long stack. crappy wood is always going to be an issue since we only harvest wood from our land that is undesirable. i'm really glad that i finished out the barnifactors wood with that last mulberry. mostly because the barn has a bad leak in the roof and the doors are barely hanging on their hinges. i might sell any future mulberry that i get at a reduced rick rate or for campfire wood. at the end of our road is a marina and campground. last summer people were constantly stopping by asking if they could buy some campfire wood.

we placed our onion set order today--to be shipped the last week of February. we ordered from dixondalefarms. growing onions is a bit of a fiasco. allegedly our area, which isn't calculated via the normal planting zone method, the days don't get long enough to grow a good storage onion. in the onion world there are only three types of onions long day, intermediate day, and short day onions. that means that north america is divided into three overlapping areas. we are deeply steeped in the intermediate day onion section. but, short day onions overlap well past us. to make matters worse, we want good storage onions--which only occurs in the long day varieties. did i mention that long day doesn't overlap our area?

to make matters worse, i really only truly appreciate red onions. so am i screwed? the answer is yes. but there is still hope. we might live in a micro climate that will work for long day onions. are you confused yet? i sure am. anyway, the answer to the onion puzzle is to purchase the long day onion sampler and hope for the best. but the long day onion sampler doesn't include my favorite red storage onion--so we bought some of them also. back to the trial and error gardening method.

one of our great canning successes was the salsa/relish from farmgirlfare. the real problem is we didn't put enough of the stuff up. we are down to our last three quarts. next fall there will be so much green tomato salsa/relish that we'll have it coming out our ears. if you grow tomatoes you must try this stuff. it is amazing and uses green tomatoes. so at the end of the tomato season when there are still tons of green tomatoes this is the perfect answer.

tabitha also canned a spaghetti sauce to die for. we are running out of that one also. i'm not sure the recipe--it might be off the cuff what ever was fresh at the time.

the root cellar is plaguing my sleep. i really really want to complete it. the barn is going to be so cool. we have decided to do it in strawbale. i have calculated that we'll need 150 straw bales to do the job. the local straw seller charges 4 dollars a bale. what a rip off. i need to find a better supplier.


Kristianna said...

Karl ~ I am glad to hear you are feeling better. I hope those kiddos get their strep cleared up soon. Poor kiddos and you and Tabitha, too, since it can be difficult to care for kids when you're sick yourself. I know.

One thing I wanted to mention to you...when your kids get a bit bigger they will lighten your load considerably in the way of doing/lugging wood. My boys are great about bringing wood in (most of the time) and I know they are a great help to their father.

I am not picky about onions, I just want to get some from the garden is all! I wish you success with your testing lot.

Is the root cellar difficult to work on in the freezing temps?

Pine shavings and hay and straw bales are a rip off in the Northeast, too. :-( I paid 6.95 for a bale of hay a month or so ago.

Take care.


uncle matt said...

Who's Rick?

pablo said...

I bought some straw bales last fall to mulch my pecans and I paid $4 each for them. They said the drought of last summer was to blame.

Glad you're feeling better.

tansy said...

we are fans of red onions here ourselves. we ended up getting only long day variety even though we fall in the intermediate category. i got the website from a friend who grew them last year here w/o a problem.

we are running out of our goods too...1 qt. tomato sauce left and NO ketchup left! i'll have to make 3x the amount next year as it was a big hit. also, we've already run through our sundried tomatoes. it's always a learning experience, isn't it?

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