Archives for the month of: January, 2013

In the “Cold Snap 2” post I mention our wood box.  These are the photos I promised.  My favorite part about this design is the wood comes through the exterior wall, instead of through my living room!

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OK, and my cute little corgi beagle cross “KC”. That panel to the right of the stove is the drawer front.

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Yep it really is a drawer.  Those guides are rated at 500 lb a pair!

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The box is divided to keep the kindling separate, otherwise it always ends up on the bottom of the pile and I can’t get to it when it is time to start a new fire.

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The house is on a raised foundation so this box is waist height.  A nice upper body strength move to get logs into it – again why  the farmer don’t need no gym membership.  Stay warm!

Our house is heated with wood…and as a result of the cold temperatures we have been burning more than usual.  The wood box is getting filled up every day, not to top it off for the night but because it is empty or almost empty!  (I will take a picture and add later).  This means I am also having to empty the ashes every 3 or 4 days instead of every 10 to 14 days! 

The rules about stove pipes do not work in our favor – our stove pipe is so long that the gases that leave it are cold.  This means when the temps drop into the twenties there is an odd gas burn off somewhere in the pipe and the wood will not fully fire, leaving much more ash then when we burn and overnight temps are only dropping into the 30s. 

Keep warm!  I am so thankful that we have a ready and available supply of wood, and are in good enough shape to process it into firewood.

Even though we live in California, we live in the mountain foothills and and a cold snap here means overnight lows in the 20’s.  Such extreme temperatures mean some extra chores (breaking ice crusted water bowls) and planning for the farm.  One of the ways we protect the infrastructure related to water and irrigation is the use of buried boxes for the hose bibs and other access points.

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This shows a bury box where the valve for the orchard irrigation can be turned off in the winter, then the sprinkler system can be drained.

Not all configurations can be buried this way, so for those we use heat tape.  Here the tape plugs into an exterior weather rated electrical outlet mounted on the pump house.

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We did not know, or think of this, as portions were added so have had to do some retrofitting to protect pipes in winter.  Stay warm!

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These 2 roosters were 3 until a hawk came into the garden for lunch. These guys got wise quick an now spend their days foraging under the frost cloth hoops that have been up since frost arrived. These beds were mulched with leaves in the fall and planted with come cabbage – that is long gone and whatever remnant may have been has long since been pecked to nothing. This bed at one point had potatoes in it – maybe some treasures to find later. In the meantime I hope these guys are stirring in their own contribution and eating bad bugs.

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