Thursday, October 21, 2010


Well, autumn started off great with a computer crash and my potatoes getting eaten by boars and bucks. 100 plants were down to 20 or so. They left the plants and roots uneaten but got the little tubers. I managed to salvage a row of spudless roots.

Then things got better and we had to have the entire bath replaced due to the inept construction of the original contractor. Rigged a solar shower on the roof next to the deck. It worked for a week, then it got colder.

Into the second week of remodeling had to use buckets of hot tap water to fill containers, the kids, wife and I enjoyed bathing al fresco in the evenings.

All the amenities of home

Trying a system to force dry wood by February. That is when I figure I'll just about run out of dry wood on hand. Green logs are split in half and stacked with large air spaces.

Covered on ominous looking days but opened and free to breathe and dry when nice.

The rape seed- green manure is really taking off. It's about knee high and looks like broccoli. The ducks get a good bucketful per day, well chopped.
And the row of salvaged potatoes is hanging on and some are actually flowering. What is going on underground is anybody's guess though.
Things were looking up and had some good luck in the yard with parasol mushrooms.

Most years I'd get one or two total, but this year they're coming in groups of 3. I'll harvest 2 and break up 1 and throw it around the yard for next year's crop.

Tried my hand at Matsutake hunting way up on the mountain but found nothing but poisonous Death Caps.
After taking this picture, I read " do not handle these mushrooms, if you do wash hands thoroughly". Well I'm 3 km. in and up the mountain, have 200cc of water and a 500 meter descent ahead, what would you do?

Couldn't positive ID these as Oyster mushrooms , tempting they were, darn.

Earthballs, poisonous of course. If I start a band it's going to be called Earthballs.
Looks like Matsutake

Wait it's an egg..

Death caps

After that things got better round the house with even more monstrous parasol mushrooms.

Makes about a dozen for the year so far


  1. Hi Johne, the cooler temperatures are great, aren't they ? Wow, looks like you've been really busy there ! I like the looks of yer woodstack, think I'll try something similar. And clever make-shift furo. If you ever see an abandoned steal furo pot, let me know ! I wanna incorporate into our wood deck here as an outdoor bath.

    Cheers and happy Halloween,


  2. BTW, on stacking wood, there's a town in Iwate prefecture that holds a competition for it. First prize this year went to a stack with a mushroom in it. Here's the link:

    he he he,


  3. Hi Ken,

    thanks for the link, never thought of it that way, interesting. I'll keep an eye out for a steel tub for you, we kept our original fiberglass tub, will either use it as a rotenburo or for water storage. When we re-did the bath I wanted to get a wood-fired boiler incorporated into the house but it was too expensive. So, the carpenter said just buy a maki boiler and DIY outside. Really wanted it inside but not for 20man. The boiler runs 5-7man, he said watch out for cheap used ones as they're usually used to point of failure.


  4. Nice improv. on the bath, there, and great score on the shrooms! Very informative post ;) Cheers for sharing!

  5. Yeah, John's pictures always have lots of information in them. Bunch of ideas, *stolen*.


  6. Thanks for the kind words guys, ideas are for sharing. Now if I could only produce food on your level.

  7. Another BTW, thanks for saying you'll keep an eye out for that steel tub. Have you got a wish list ? I recently made one at my online spot:

    Fun to think about (and dream about),


  8. Hey Ken,

    Yeah I saw your wishlist the other day and was thinking the same thing. I have one in my pocket memo book (my "brain" as I like to call it cause I can't remember a damn thing), don't leave home without it. It reads:
    1. rain pants
    2. game cam
    3. 2 more solar panels
    4. electric pump
    5. wind turbine
    6. pressure cooker (got it)
    7. water jugs (got em)

    Don't ask about the "to do" list

  9. So what's on the "to do" list ? He he he. Kidding.

    I'm getting to the point where I'm running out of stuff to do, as I don't have the stuff to do anything with. For example, I want to paint/stain the shed, put I don't have any paint. I want to backfill some mature trees, but I don't have the money to buy them. Etc, etc.


  10. Whoa ! Did I just see a grainy video of you chasing a doe around the field there ? Story, please.


  11. Hey Ken,

    Yeah, this is the second time this fall. It was an exhausted little buck about 2 or 3 years old I think. After the grainy video stops I went down and was actually pushing him toward the gate with foot on his rump, he'd spook and run back to the field, like 3 times. Gave up and let him find his way out. Think the carpenters building the new house visible at the end of the video got him out. Had it not been a holiday, had my entire family plus half the neighbors not been watching,and had I not had work in a few hours, I coulda bonked him on the head (legally) and made stew for months. But I would be divorced, childless, and not get anything from Santa for sure.

  12. Hi JohnE,

    No presents for deer bonkers, eh. How the times have Thanks for the story there.

    In the Spring, I got in big trouble with the wife for "putting down" one of the sick runt ducklings. I thought it was a rather clean beheading...