Are Solar Air Heaters Practical in Northern Minnesota?

I have crowed about our homemade solar heater in the past, but now I want to assess it a bit more objectively. Seeing so many posts on social media that hype-up a product has shamed me into a bit of unbiased reporting. As any politician (or lawyer) knows, the agenda tends to drive the data. […]

Duck Wurst

Of all the wild game I would bring home, my family liked duck worst. So I decided to make some. I had, over the years, made our own braunschweiger. It was a messy, unpleasant job, extruding raw liver through the grinder-something I finally gave up doing. But, my resident food critics informed me that wild […]

The City That Doesn’t Sleep (or feed itself)

    Boarding the train, the woman asked: “Where does this train go?” Rather incredulously, the conductor responded, “To the Big Apple! To the city that doesn’t sleep!” My daughter, Sarah, and I were boarding this same train from Peekskill, to Grand Central Station, but we were well-aware of where we were headed. We were […]

Thick and Chunky Salsa

Gone are the days of canning 30 quarts of watery salsa to be shared with (forced upon) unsuspecting guests. When the next harvest season rolled around, we generally had about half of the jars from the previous season still on the shelves. The stuff just wasn’t that good. But our good friends down the road […]

Fall is Apple Sauce-Making Time

To make putting up our harvest fun and easy, we need the proper equipment. As I have said before, it is funny how we tend to think little about spending big bucks to dine out, but hesitate to spend money on a piece of equipment that helps us to make hundreds of nutritious meals at […]

How to Make Fermented Dill Pickles

I posted earlier about how we make our own Kosher-style fermented sour dills. Last Friday, September 28th, 2018, we had temperatures in the twenties, so I went out and rescued one last batch of cucumbers before they turned to mush. Although we already had a decent supply of fermented dills in the refrigerator, I decided […]

How to Build a 50 Gallon Rotating Composter

We liked our motorized 55 gallon barrel composters enough to build 5 of them. After using them for 3-4 years now, their glamour is beginning to wear off. Automation has its virtues, but it also has its shortcomings. We found that the design, by necessity, was not uniform or consistent, so standardized directions were impossible. […]

Mom’s Creamy Cucumbers

Most summer events when I was a kid came with a bowl of cucumber slices coated in a sour cream sauce containing vinegar, sugar, salt, and dill (of course). I never understood how it was made, but I enjoyed the cool, crunchy, tangy, dilly, and slightly sweet flavor, none-the-less. My culinary skills -and interests- were […]

Fermented Dill Pickles-So Easy and So Good

Whenever I walk past our beds of dill, and happen to brush against them, I am taken back to my grandparents’ big farm kitchen in the summertime. There was usually a crock on the counter, packed with freshly-picked cucumbers, and large heads of dill. A weighted plate covered the top. My mother, when she came […]

Non-Circulating Hydroponics (the Kratky Method)

Growing greens in water containing a complete nutrient solution has had great appeal to me for 25 years. My first hydroponic system-a “seat-of-the-pants” operation- used gutters, foam board, home-made net pots, plastic tubs, and a pump with a float switch, to grow up to 400 heads of lettuce. It actually worked OK, but making 400 […]