Lightening our load

Nabbed from a website.

SO! We have successfully made it through a summer without air conditioning here at Old Vines. The a/c window units are still gathering dust on their shelves out in Tom’s garage. I am glad. We’ve used the whole-house fan some, but in general, it’s fortunately not been a really hot year. If we have felt the heat, a dip in our daughter’s kiddie pool or a swim in the lake have helped us deal with it.

That said, when Canning Season rolls around, I am compelled to turn on the stove and heat up the place. We know this will just have to happen. The house came with an old cookstove that can be hooked up to a propane tank: I suppose I could resort to that with my canning madness. But general cooking? Hmm, we still need to do a lot of that.

SO, again! What can we do that’s environmentally sound? How about a solar cooker? I married McGuyver, after all: I have sent him searching out this task. These things can be as simple as a cardboard box and tinfoil. He will most likely put something together that’s far more elaborate than that. And the best place to put it? Atop the chicken coop! It’s on a 35* angle facing south.

And then there’s the idea of a bread oven. We’re investigating a purchase of land adjacent to our house (mainly so no yahoo builds on it); this land is a woodland now. A wood lot. Wood. Oven. They go together. When I was a Minneapolitan, I helped a couple different friends build their own pizza ovens. I had friends who were chefs, and this was an obvious extension of their breadmaking abilities. We also plan on building one for my daughter’s school here, too. So, why not one here? Why not. Let’s just do it.

I’m sure I will keep you informed about all this nonsense.

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7 responses to “Lightening our load

  1. farmer, vet and feeder of all animals

    Hey El
    I have the bread builders book AND a couple of solar cooker books. Alas, no building of either has yet to occur—but hopefully someday.
    By the way–congrats on no a/c use. We unfortunately couldn’t get on without it this year (or we could have but…)We are now back to open windows since it is down in the 60s at night and only the mid to high 80’s during the day. Now if I could only get my neighbors dogs to shut up šŸ™‚
    Monica

  2. Hey El–Make sure to check out the book “How to build an earth oven”. Much easier to build than a big masonry oven and cheaper too. I’ll be writing a review for it this week for Groovy Green if you want to watch for that.

    I was going down the masonry oven path until I read this book and realized how much cheaper and easier it would be to do that.

  3. Cant wait to see how the oven turns out! Just catching up here on what’s been going on in your world…congratulations on your fruit harvest bounty! And the garden is beautiful…

  4. Oohhh…I want a bread oven. Or an earth oven. Make sure to keep us posted!

  5. Keep us posted on McGuyver’s solar oven… I want to do it too.
    As for the pizza oven. I was all set to do that until smarty-pants Matt informed us of the earth oven. Can’t wait to hear more about that.

  6. Monica! Hi! Yeah I can definitely see having to use the a/c in Georgia! We’re a bit cooler up here in the frigid North.

    Matt, you devil. Now I am thinking about taking my gardening trugs to the beach to hijack me some sand! In reality, I would probably do a combination of the two, especially building a cmu base for the thing to sit on (and hold firewood under). I am looking forward to reading your review.

    Robbyn! Long time! Hope you’re well down there in FL.

    Frugalmom: will do. I am looking forward to some construction, frankly…

    CC: HEY! Look what you and Cranky can do now! And you certainly have enough fellow foodistas out there that’d help you tread on some clay. It would help you get back in touch with your old hippie self.

  7. air conditioning is evil. We don’t have it at our house, but we did have it in the vacation house. And I felt weird about opening all the windows and turning it off cause there was nice furniture and it all would have been covered with that salty film. Anyway, 2 weeks was all it took. We came home and it was 92 degrees with no A/C and we thought we were going to die.

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