Pantry Cooling Project: What's Next?

Our objective with the pantry project is to improve food storage conditions. About a year ago, we started giving this a good think because after we quit air conditioning, the pantry became the warmest room in the house. Doing something about that has meant a feasibility study, analysis, researching alternatives, and formulating a plan:
  1. ✔ Moving the freezer and auxiliary fridge out of the pantry.
  2. ✔ Replacing the old upright auxiliary fridge with a chest fridge.
  3. ✔ Putting the freezer and chest fridge on solar energy. 
  4. ✔ Replacing old pantry windows with energy-efficient windows.
  5. ✔ Add insulation to the pantry walls.
  6. ➡ Cooling the air in the pantry without air conditioning.
Steps #1-5 of our plan checklist are completed (they're linked to take you to their respective blog posts). Already, they have made a difference! The pantry is no longer the warmest room in the house, but even stays a couple of degrees cooler than the kitchen, with the bonus that it isn't as humid!

Now, we're contemplating #6. As a baseline, I've been keeping track of temperature highs and lows in three places: our shaded outside back porch, the kitchen, and the pantry.

Baseline of daily highs and lows. O = outside, K = kitchen, P = pantry
Morning low on the left, afternoon high on the right. All in Fahrenheit.

The pattern is that the outdoor high is about 8 degrees or so higher than the kitchen, and the kitchen  is about 2 degrees higher than the pantry. So there is typically a ten degree difference between outdoors and the pantry. The question is, can we do better? Can we bring the pantry air temp down a little more? I listed quite a few ideas in this post, with some being more realistic for us than others. Dan has been researching and collecting more ideas, and he's ready to experiment with some of them. If something works, I'll let you know!

Pantry Cooling Project: What's Next? © August 2023
by Leigh at



Last year my elder bushes bloomed well, but birds got most of the berries. They will eat them green, which means I don't have much of a chance when it comes to getting a share of the harvest. I never mind sharing with the birds, but I want some too!

This year, I decided to try netting bags, to see if I could save some of my elderberries.

I bought them on Amazon (link here), 50, approximately 10-inch by 6-inch net bags for about $16. The netting is sturdy, seams are double folded, and each bag has a drawstring.

Size-wise, they are a little small for large clusters of elderberries, but the next larger size jumped too much in price.

I made do by either stuffing the clusters into the bags, or splitting them between two bags.

就爱加速官网 app

I thought 50 would be a lot, but in fact, they didn't go very far! So I bought another set and ended up using about 90 total.


How well they'll work, I have no idea. I suppose it depends on how much sun the individual berries require. I think they would be useful for seed savers too, to prevent cross-pollination by insects.

Making these bags would be an easy DIY project, if one could find sturdy enough netting. The netting and tulle I see in fabric stores would be too soft. But that would be the best way to have larger bags. Dan was hoping to use them on his sunflowers to protect the seed from the birds, but these are too small. Larger bags are definitely in order.

Hopefully, I'll get plenty of elderberries this year! Do you have critter problems? What are your solutions for critters who help themselves to more than their fair share?

Hoping to Save Some Elderberries © July 2023
by Leigh at


Book Review: Backyard Dairy Goats

Backyard Dairy Goats: A Natural Approach to
Keeping Goats in Any Yard by Kate Downham.

This book won me over in the introduction.
  1. The author loves goats (her favorite animal)!
  2. She mentions Pat Coleby's Natural Goat Care (one of my go-tos).
  3. She makes her cheeses with natural cultures (me too)!
Since I'm tracking in the same direction with my goatkeeping and dairying, I knew I would not only enjoy reading this book, but would glean useful tidbits from author Kate's experience and research.

What sets this book apart from most other books about keeping goats, is a keyword in the title, "Backyard." While most other books about goats assume acreage, Kate keeps her goats in her backyard. That makes this book unique, and I would say important in times such as these, when many folks are looking for ways to expand personal food security. More people have backyards than acres, and this book is perfect for them.

The book is divided into five sections: Understanding Goats, The Needs of Backyard Goats, Getting Your Goats, Day to Day Goat Keeping, and Cheesemaking and Recipes.

Understanding Goats begins with 科目二神器游戏下载-科目二神器游戏安卓版 v1.0.0_手机乐园:2021-6-5 · 科目二神器安卓版 1、多种视角自由切换,包括第三人称、俯视、第一人称等,这些视角帮助你更好地进行游戏; 2、车辆内部环境设计的非常不错,各种虚拟键位伍及对应的伈表盘都是很真实的制作 …and provides excellent reasons why keeping your own goats is good for you, the environment, and your property. This section covers goat behavior, herd dynamics, handling goats, introducing goats to the milking stand, introducing new goats to the herd, dealing with escaped goats, and how to herd goats. "Goat health and observation" covers common health issues with goats and how to prevent them.

The Needs of Backyard Goats covers shelter, different kinds of fencing, bedding, and feeding goats, including things you can do and grow yourself. All important water and minerals are covered in detail. You'll also find tips for acquiring a milking stand. This section concludes with everything a prospective goatherd needs to understand before committing to the responsibility of caring for goats.

Getting Your Goats contains information you need to know beforehand. Discusses what to check on before bringing goats to your backyard, and how to deal with potential objections from neighbors! Discusses horned goats versus no horns, dairy goat breeds, and how much milk you can expect. Tells you how to spot a good quality goat and where to look for dairy goats. The author gives you a list of questions to ask as you consider potential purchases, (something I wish I'd had when I got my first goats). Transporting goats is also discussed.

Day to Day Goat Keeping helps you sleuth your way through health observations and questions goatkeepers face, as well as basic natural "cure all remedies." You'll learn how to give an injection, how to check eye membrane color for internal parasites, and what you need to know about breeding, pregnancy, and kidding. The remainder of the section gives excellent details on milking and milk handling.

92加速安卓版 starts with information about ingredients and equipment. Quick and simple cheese recipes follow, and then you'll find a thorough discussion of how to make cultured and renneted cheeses. All the cultures discussed are natural alternatives to commercial powdered cheese starters. All the cheese recipes in this book use natural cultures. My own favorite cheeses are included, along with a good variety of cheeses I haven't tried. Yet! The recipe section finishes up with recipes for using your cheese. I'm especially looking forward to trying her Chévre pastry crust and cheesecake.

The information in this book to the point, yet personal, and well organized. It brings hope to people who might want their own homegrown source of milk, but thought they needed an actual farm to do so.  You don't!

168 pages in paperback for $10.89 (that's currently ⅓ off the list price) or free if you have Kindle Unlimited. Check it out 就爱加速官网

Book Review: Backyard Dairy Goats © July 2023
by 就爱加速官网 at


Conserving Water in the Garden: Inverted Bottles

Here's 爱加速 for conserving water in the garden - an inverted bottle waterer. I'm trying it in my African keyhole garden, because the blazing afternoon sun with no rain has been unkind to the borage and lettuce growing in it.

Jericho lettuce seems to beat the heat! Borage behind it.

I got the idea from Liz at Eight Acres, and she got the idea from someone else, and I hope you'll try it and pass it on too! Idea sharing is what makes the internet useful.


Yes, you can use plastic bottles, although Liz's experiments favored glass to plastic because plastic bottles tend to suck in as the water empties. Plus, she found the glass bottles held water longer. Even so, I'm willing to see for myself. I don't buy bottled water or soda, so we rarely have plastic bottles, but I had one that contained seltzer water (mixed with fruit juice concentrate for a yummy sugar-free soda pop), So I'm using it to experiment in  my large back porch planter.

Originally, I planted lettuce in this pot, but violets took over. They're
a good test subject because they wilt quickly when the pot dries out.

I suspect longevity will depend on the quality of the plastic. Many water bottles these days are extremely flimsy and I doubt would last long. Even so, all plastic eventually dries out and cracks.

Punching a small hole in the cap will slow the emptying of the bottle.

Actually, we rarely have glass bottles either, but I think they will last longer than plastic. This seems the absolute best way to recycle them!

Watering a sweet potato plant. This one is thriving
compared to the sweet potato plants in the garden.

An observation—the smaller (12 oz) bottle empties as soon as I put it in the ground. But the sweet potato is thriving, so I won't complain. The larger (750 ml) bottle delivers slowly. It was empty about 24 hours later. Both of these have made a wonderful difference for those poor plants.

Like the olla, this idea certainly makes watering easier and more effective. With both, water is delivered directly to the roots, so there is no surface water loss through evaporation. Compared to the olla, the bottles are quicker and easier to install; no digging required. That would make them preferable for perennials or other plants with established root systems. It would also be great for potted plants, which always dry out too quickly. On the other hand, the olla holds more water.

Be sure to read the comments as folks are sharing a lot more good ideas. I'm definitely going to expand on all of them!

Conserving Water in the Garden: Inverted Glass Bottles 
© July 2023 by Leigh at



Chalk this one up to experience. Last week, I spilled a pot of boiling canner water on my bare feet. The whole thing, as I carried it out the back door. I do my canning on my enclosed back porch, but once I'm done, I put the pot of hot water outside to cool. This helps keep at least some of the heat off the back porch. After the water cools, it's given to nearby potted plants. The water in this pot, however, spilled all over the top of my feet.

When I was a small child, I got second degree burns on my legs when someone accidentally poured freshly percolated coffee on my lap (this was in the days before drip coffee makers). My thighs were covered with burn blisters as a result, and this is what I feared would happen to my feet. I had to do something quickly.

The first thing I did was fill another large pot with the coldest water I could get from the faucet, and I submerged my feet in it. Did you know that insulating a burn from air stops the pain? Our tap water isn't very cold, but it stopped the pain until I lifted my feet out. I sat there as long as I could, but I still had a big clean-up job to do and needed to get to it. So I slathered the burns with aloe vera gel, got my clean-up done, and then put my feet back into the cool soaking water as fast as I could.

A little research on essential oils for burns told me I had several on hand that would help: peppermint, lavender, and tea tree. Essential oils are very strong and must be diluted, usually with a carrier oil such as olive or coconut. Instead, I used aloe vera gel.

  • 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
  • 2-3 drops each of these essential oils
    • peppermint (anti-inflammatory, analgesic)
    • lavender (anti-inflammatory, analgesic)
    • tea tree (soothes, inhibits infection)
Mix well and apply to burn generously several times a day.

Instant relief. The peppermint has an immediate cooling effect which is very soothing. Best if all, no burn blisters. 

Wearing socks and shoes was uncomfortable for a couple of days, but tolerable. I'm just thankful it wasn't worse.

Essential Oils for Burns © July 2023
by Leigh at 就爱加速官网 app


Conserving Water in the Garden: The Olla

We're in the season of popup thunderstorms. That means hot days where some places can get drenched, while others get passed over for rain altogether. Lately, we've been passed over, which means we're checking daily on the water needs of our garden and container plants. I mulch, work toward increasing moisture-conserving organic matter in the soil, and we have our rainwater tanks. Even so, I'm always on the lookout for new ideas. This book is loaded with them.

Gardening with Less Water: Low-Tech, Low-Cost Techniques; Use up to 90% Less Water in Your Garden by David A. Bainbridge. This book has a lot of interesting, inexpensive ideas for water conservation, many of them gleaned from arid parts of the world. The one you see pictured on the cover is called an olla (oy-ya).

An olla is basically a terra cotta pot. They are often used for cooking or for evaporative cooling of foods (zeer pot). In the garden, it's used to hold water for nearby plants. Mostly buried, its porous walls allow for a slow transfer of moisture to the surrounding soil. Brilliant and effective.

Ollas like the one pictured on the book cover can be purchased, or one can DIY. For a small olla, the materials list is short: an unglazed terra cotta planter, saucer to serve as a lid, and a way to plug the drain hole.

The book recommends a cork, but some people plug the drain hole with a bit of concrete. Dan cut disks from plastic coffee can lids and glued them down with RTV, a silicone product used for automotive gaskets.


Anything that would make a watertight seal would do. RTV is just what Dan had handy.

To make a larger olla, use two pots and plug the hole in only one. Glue the second pot upside-down on top of the first. The drainage hole of the top, upside-down pot is where the olla is filled with water.

Next, they're buried up to the rim.


And filled with water.


The inverted saucer becomes the lid.

This one is in my thyme bed. Thyme seems to dry out quickly with no rain.

The saucer lid keeps debris from falling into the water and is easy to remove to refill with water.

For the lid for my second olla, I cheated somewhat. The large saucer I needed was twice the price as the one with the same circumference as the top of the pot. So it doesn't fit over the pot, it fits on top of it.

This one is in the front porch trellis bed to water my Matt's wild cherry tomatoes.

As you can see, I weight it with a rock. Hey, it works!

We check the water every couple of days and fill the ollas as needed. So far, so good. My thyme hasn't dried out yet, which is a relief. My front yard herb beds tend to dry out quickly, even with a good layer of mulch. That means every little bit helps!

Obviously, the larger the olla, the less frequently it needs refilling. My recommendation is to get the largest pots you can, or make the double-pot olla (or both).

I'll close with a couple of links for more photos and ideas for olla irregation.
  • How To Use Olla Irrigation at the Water Use It Wisely website.
  • 安卓雷霆加速器最新去广告破解版下载 - QQ前线乐园:2021-5-20 · 雷霆加速器,一款可伍加速你的网络的神器,无论是加速外服游戏还是外网,速度都是杠杆的,本次分享的是破解版,直接加速,无需登录! 去除vip,免登录,去启动广告,去待机广告,绿色纯净版! 下载地址 2021-5-20 22:05:46测试软件已和谐,请使用其他软件。 at Living Center Oregon.

Conserving Water in the Garden: Olla © July 2023
by 就爱加速安卓版 at
Older Posts Home
梯子上网  513加速器下载  自由之门7.6下载  快连.vpn  神灯 加速器  佛跳墙 pc版  佛跳墙vn破解官方下载旧版  极光vp.apk