December 08, 2013

The Homestead Journal ~ 107~ December?! WHADDAYA mean its December?!

On The Homestead 
I realized I never posted a photo of our very expensive chimney ( What you see cost $560) Joe and the boys did an excellent job installing it. And I am warm and toasty!

Jacob made laundry soap this week. We make 5 gallons for about $1.50 

Quinten built a rocket stove. It works great 

He used a little too much fire starter!

This is one of the rubbage piles on the property.  The boys have been sorting... burn, recycle, and dump. It use to be a mobile home. There is even a couch still there. 

Of course we are using what we can. The boys built a lean-to for the animals. Hoping the goats would use it, but so far just the dogs have. 

I also made stock for soup. I lost one jar in the process and two didn't seal. but I ended up with 11 quarts. 

Abigail made tarts or mini pies. She made the crust for the canned filling. 

We had a winter storm roll in.. 

This is how it looked in the morning..

The children had fun in it.. I would have let them play longer but our boots haven't arrived yet. Ezra loved eating the snow! 

Saturday, while I was at work, the boys butchered "Billy" our pygmy goat. Jacob did a great job. The children all seem ok with the process, except one..
It was relayed to me that my want-to-be surgeon got a little sick. I guess he came in from outside looking as white as a ghost. He sat down on a chair and Joe asked if he was ok and offered a drink and said he felt nauseous. Then he stared shaking and said he had to lay down.  Joe gave him a candy and had him lay down a bit. He recouped and said he still wants to be a surgeon. I guess that's one battle he needs to over come! 

I had a slower week a work, here are a few cuties

Monday we headed out to do some errands and hit the park by the river. 

We had a nice storm roll in Friday. The roads were slick but manageable, for those that can actually drive in it. I saw a few people who needed to stay home..
But bad weather makes for beautiful photos. Luckily I was able to be the passenger and take photos on the way to work Saturday
This is our road out of the woods.. 

The sun was staring to peek through.. I had to get to work or I would have made a few stops along the way! 

Additional Photos To Share 

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  1. Great pictures of the winter wonderland. Ezra is such a cutie. I love his blonde hair. The rocket stove looks interesting. I told my husband you all were putting one together and he said they were neat. I'll have to look them up.

    How did you can your stock? I didn't know you had a pressure canner. I just canned some turkey broth the other day. I ended up with 7 quarts. It is such a wonderful feeling seeing home canned goods on your shelf. Isn't it?

    Have a great day and week. I look forward to all your updates and hope to visit you all some day on your property. It looks amazing!

  2. You made the cement block rocket stove! Glad to hear it works well!

  3. Love your updates and those are great pics!!

  4. Love your blog. So nice to see a large family that is homesteading off grid. Children working together. Thank you very inspirational to our family we just bought some not so pretty land and are working on the same dream :-)


  5. That is a big rocket stove!! I'm now wondering if cinder blocks would work better for us than the bricks. Mostly because having 2 "burners" would be very helpful. ;-)

    I have to also say - so jealous of your scenery <3 Wow, wow!! Beautiful!!

  6. I have done some research on rocket stoves made with bricks and cinder blocks. Please be aware that while they are economical, they can be dangerous. First, they are not firebrick, which are made to withstand the high temps that these stoves can achieve. They are very porous, and when water gets soaked into them from rain and even dew, it sets up a situation where the water inside is superheated. They can actually explode, just like river rock does. I had heard through the years not to use wet rock to make a circle for a camp fire due to the possibility of the rock exploding. This is the same idea. I talked to a man who used to work in a blast furnace. He was very knowledgeable about the subject and strongly cautioned me about the danger of the brick and cinder block. I had been teaching people to build rocket stoves for emergency cooking situations, but I no longer support this. I did, however, by a commercially made rocket stove for a little over a hundred dollars. I love it and know it will give me many years of service. Just something to think on.

    1. Thank you, Anonymous. I was thinking about making the cinder block one to try. Now I research it more carefully. Can you share what you bought so I can check that out, too?


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