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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Getting the garden ready

The chickens love anything that scratches the soil. A lot of work got done in the garden today. It’s almost time to plant the cabbages, etc., one to two weeks from now. Ken spread 300 pounds of organic fertilizer, 50 pounds of lime, and many wheelbarrow loads of compost. All of that got nicely tilled […]

Pith helmet

Ken models my new pith helmet. I have several sun hats. The main problem with sun hats is that, vents notwithstanding, there’s not enough air circulation around the top of the head. I’m hoping that my new pith helmet, ordered from, will solve the problem. It’s a helmet rather than a hat, so the […]

The vegetable plants at 3 weeks old

The vegetable plants that we started from seed are three weeks old today — cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and celery. When they were 16 days old, we transplanted the “sponges” from the starter dome into soil and peat moss cups. We ended up with 100 baby plants in peat moss cups, too many to […]

Fake chicken and dumplings

For a while, I’ve wanted to experiment with imitation chicken and dumplings. Today was the perfect day — cold and rainy with a high of 44F. I made fake chicken with seasoned wheat gluten, cut into strips. It was far from perfect, but I think it proved the concept. Wheat gluten alone is just a […]


We had a nice, big load of compost delivered today. It looks like a lot of compost, but it’s amazing how much compost this place eats. You spread a bunch of compost and then wonder what happened to it all. This compost came from a local landscaping supply business. It’s made from leaves and brush […]

Gone to Chrome

I am constantly experimenting with Web browsers and better ways to prevent corporate snooping on the Web. This has led me — for now at least — to stop using Apple’s Safari browser and switch to Google’s Chrome browser. For one, manual cookie management in Safari (or any browser) is just too tedious. To make […]


A tiny celery plant, planted 11 days ago In a post yesterday, I said that my Wakefield cabbage plants didn’t germinate well. I was wrong. I had misread the chart on which I recorded what was planted where in the starter trays. It actually was celery that appeared to have a problem. But now I […]

Pruning the apple trees

This photo was taken last week when the weather was colder. Most of the apple trees needed to be pruned. The trees don’t show up very well in the photo, but they’re there. I have 10 apple trees, semi-dwarf, planted in the fall of 2008. The tallest of these trees is now over eight feet. […]

Tuna-nut burgers

Burgers made with tuna, ground brazil nuts, ground pumpkin seeds, and an egg I use quite a lot of canned salmon, tuna, and sardines in the abbey kitchen, but other than that I have never cooked meat here. The protein foods are fish, soy milk, soybeans and other legumes, grains, lots of nuts, some rice, […]

There. That's finally done.

Until today, there were two pesky reminders that, three years ago, the sunny acre of land that Acorn Abbey sits upon was an elderly patch of pine trees. Those reminders were two large, ugly woodpiles left over from cleaning up after the loggers. Today Ken moved them. We threw the wood into the rabbit patches. […]