The long delay in blogging was in large part due to the “inland hurricane” that southern Illinois experienced.  It knocked out power in the apartment I’m renting for nine days (some places are still without power).  I also went to my brother and his fiancee’s graduation.  But the biggest reason for there not being a post is simply frustration:

1) Feeling like I’m falling behind in getting things done, which is primarily the result of the weather.  With it being so wet, I haven’t been able to move my cabin and make the improvements to it (solar panels, drywall, ceiling, floor, etc.).

PBF106-Billy_the_Bunny2) Garden troubles: rabbits have now destroyed all of my tomato plants and the rest of the garden isn’t looking too hot, primarily because I haven’t been watering it, which is difficult without a pond slightly filling up (this was supposed to get done just before the spring rains, but there wasn’t a chance to do it because of frustration 1).

3) Sick: I got pretty sick and threw up on the floor in my kitchen awhile ago.

4) Food prospects: Generally, I eat pretty simply.  My roommates will attest to the monotony of my diet: beans, rice, grilled cheese, salad, mini-pizzas, cereal, milk.  But since I’m going to moving onto the farm in a few days and I don’t have a refrigerator, I’m sort of fretting about what I’m going to eat, since the things that make all of these foods best is the dairy (I usually put a little bit of mozarella on the beans and rice).  The possibilities will be explored in the next post, as soon as I write some more down about it, but for the time being, suggestions are very welcome, especially for things that take little time/effort to prepare (ideally without having to heat them up).

5) The scythe blade I want is unavailable (and I haven’t called the guy with a bush hog to mow), so the grass is getting incredibly tall. It’s already up to my breast chest high.

All that being said, I realize that these are all temporary things.  Eventually I’ll get the cabin moved and I’ll get that work done.  More things are sprouting in the garden or are doing sorta well in the garden, but it’s important to remember that I don’t really care about the garden that much.  All I’m shooting for is getting 25% of my food from there this year, and anyways, this farm has more of an emphasis on trees and I’ve since found a lot of paw paw trees and a mulberry one.  I’m no longer sick. Powdered milk seems pretty versatile.  And the scythe blade will be available in the second week of June. So keep your chin up, your wings in, and all that…



  1. Anna said

    Write about Neunert.

  2. Laura said

    So I have some suggestions on the food front. First, have you considered digging a small cellar/storage area in the ground? Maybe just a couple of feet deep and no bigger than a small cooler. Then covering with something to insulate it. It won’t be as cold as a fridge, but it should certainly be cold enough to keep hard cheeses from spoiling. Using grated parma and romano on a pizza is awesome. You use less cheese and get a great flavor. You could also keep some tofu in it. Silken tofu is an easy substitute for many highly spoilable dairy items. The key is just to add seasonings to mask the taste a bit. You can also stock soy milk. Most of it doesn’t need to be refrigerated until opened. So as long as you use it within a day or two of opening, it will be okay if left warm.
    The powdered milk is also a great start (not as good as real milk, but certainly usable). I believe sour cream and yoghurt might also be available in dehydrated forms.

    If you wanted to keep the cellar even colder, you could look into ice delivery. My relatives get giant blocks of ice delivered for their animals during the hot summer. I can’t imagine it costs much, just a matter of whether or not someone around you does it.

    Finally, I would recommend checking out a couple of books I found online. They are mailing about dealing with sailing voyages, but they have a common predicament of no refrigeration. They are: The Care and Feeding of the Sailing Crew by Lin Pardey and The Cruising Chef Cookbook by Michael Greenwaeld.

    • Nathan said

      Eventually, I’m going to be digging a root cellar, but I’m waiting on that until I can get my pond done and until I can get enough posts for making a roof, but I’ve got a small freezer already there, so digging it into the ground is a good idea.

      I haven’t been able to find block ice down here yet.

      I’ll take a look at those books. Thanks for all the suggestions, hopefully they’ll help me fight off scurvy and malnutrition.

  3. “5) The scythe blade I want is unavailable (and I haven’t called the guy with a bush hog to mow), so the grass is getting incredibly tall. It’s already up to my breast.”

    You got so sick that you’re down to one breast?

    Also seems like rabbit stew might solve two problems at once.

    • Nathan said

      Well what would be the proper way to say that? It’s already up to my breasts? That doesn’t sound appropriate for a fella to say.

      The rabbit stew will be a-comin’ as soon as I get a trap or get good enough with the bow and arrow to hit one. I’m going to get my parents’ old trap eventually.

      • “Chest-high” might be the descriptor you seek.

      • Nathan said

        Indeed it is.

      • Actually, I would have been more impressed if you’d chosen “aorta-high” to describe the height of the grass.

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