I Made Gouda Cheese In My Cistern: Stacking Functions

I’ve tried aging cheese in my under-the-floor root cellar but the times during the year when it is the ideal temperature are way too short. Then I recently was thinking about a place I have that has high humidity, a huge thermal mass, and in spots is over 6′ underground–my cistern. The temperature down there stays above freezing through the winter but because of the thermal mass of the water maintains its coolth much further into the season than my root cellar. So I thought I’d try it out for aging hard cheese without having to use a dedicated cheese fridge. It’s a creative way of stacking functions of already sustainable technology to make my life even more sustainable…and delicious.

My Permaculture Yard Really Surprised Me This Spring

I made it home to Dancing Rabbit and I found my fruit trees were blooming abundantly, but they still needed pruning. This is a little tour of what was happening in my yard (or warren at DR) as far as my permaculture plantings. In the last couple of years I’ve planted many new useful plants even as the established fruit trees have come into full production. One of the great things about permaculture is that minimal care is needed to maintain plantings, if it’s done right. Pruning my trees is pretty much the only care they need during the season, aside from some pest control. I don’t have to work up the soil, weed, or even water. And these trees will produce more fruit than I can even use myself.

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The Homesteader’s Favorite Big Box Store: Lehman’s Tour

While visiting family in Ohio I had the opportunity to visit Lehman’s in Kidron, an Amish retail store that sell all sorts of products that help you be more self sufficient.  I love the store because they have products that can be hard to find otherwise, unless you order them through their website.  But here you can find them all right on the shelf and see how they work in person. From cheesemaking, to wood stoves, to old timey hardware, to non electric technologies of all kinds, you can find everything here.  I don’t usually recommend buying lots of stuff, but most of these products are about self-sufficiency, so they help you reduce your dependence on buying many other products and foods.