Wednesday, July 29, 2009

giant tomato

we got a huge amish paste tomato. it was so large i decided to save seed from it.

these seeds will be added to the omelay christmas seed mailer.

we canned more tomatoes today.

scooping into the cooked tomatoes.

pouring them into the jars.


this is a specialized jar lifter.

it can also provide endless hours of entertainment for small children.

going into the show canner.


this baby holds fifteen quarts.


we canned twenty six more quarts of tomatoes today. we didn't get the second batch of green tomato salsa done yet. regular tomatoes take precedence over all other canning. the green tomatoes will hold for another day. i took the day off tomorrow to get a little ahead on this canning business.

i went down and got eleven bales of hay to be sure the cows have plenty of hay laying around while we are gone to st. louis. we'll have to keep the cows confined to the inner paddocks while we are gone. the outer paddocks are electric fence only.

i have decided to use my existing used steel to re-roof the garage and adjoining pantry. this will give me the opportunity to get those roofs completed much less expensively. furthermore, i'll get a little more experience before i attempt the complex roof lines of the main house. i also plan to extend the roof of the utility room to include a solar storage tank and water heater addition. i have decided on an entirely new design for my solar storage based on newly acquired materials.

with all this canning we have been clearing out the pump-house of canning jars. it will soon be empty enough that i'll light a fire under my arse to tear off and put the new roof on the thing. it needs better insulation. i have most of the stuff to do it. i just need the time. although that opens a whole other can of worms. the pump house roof will provide partial support of my solar hot water collectors.

solar facts; at our latitude 37°, during equinox the altitude of the sun is 53°, during the winter solstice the angle of the sun is roughly 29°. if my solar collectors were angled to optimize for winter solstice they would have to be sticking up at a 61° angle. i have double the square footage of collectors i need for the size tank i have.
to even out my solar gain for domestic hot water i should angle my collectors to optimize for the winter months. during the summer months a trash can filled with water will stay above bathing temperature.

just some thoughts to help me figure everything out.
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