Notes from Windward: #66

Sarah's Update for June 17

      A number of things have happened since my last post. Planting has been done on the garden, amazing meals have been cooked, and progress has been made on Vermadise, the compost bins, the greenhouse, and the fences that will provide shelter to the sheep in the spring and summer. The arrival of the new interns has opened up an exciting number of possibilities and quickened the rate of change. I have helped add beans, peas, leeks, squash, tomato and soybeans to the garden.

Found the oiler -- where's the Tin Man?


      Jillian and I have learned some about the incubator, in hopes of maybe incubating some duck eggs at some point. As of now, we decided to let the ducks incubate out a batch of eggs until we figure out exactly how to use the incubator. So we have taken all the recent eggs laid and put them in one of the nests in hopes of shortening as much as possible the time between when the eggs are laid and when a duck begins to incubate them. This is to increase the chance of the eggs hatching. I also didn't wash the eggs because this apparently removes a protective coating over the eggs. Nonetheless, some of them are dirty when I find them and so I try to scrape off the dirt.

      I have been impressed with the quality of food that has been made here with bulk, cheap ingredients. We have all been using the grain mill regularly--making a variety of foods such as bread, cake, rolls, and my most recent creation - crackers. Today I used a slightly different cracker recipe than I used previously. This time I included garlic, rosemary, an egg, baking soda, and milk powder.

Messin' around in the garden


      I also cooked several batches in the solar oven. It took a while longer than it took to cook it in the conventional oven, but did the job nonetheless. The temperature of the oven stayed below 200 for a while, but once I lowered the tilt of the oven to make it more aligned with the sun, the temperature began to climb up to nearly 300. This may also be because as the crackers were cooking, water vapor began to accumulate on the roof of the oven. I assume the water vapor could have acted to reflect quite a bit of the sunlight and thus lowered the potential temperature of the oven. Next time, I believe it would be best to cook something with a lid in order to avoid this problem.

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