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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Used Windows, Low Tech Kitchen Appliances and Hyperlinks

This morning as part of a trek to F. H. Steinbart's for brewing supplies, we went over to The Rebuilding Center on NE Mississippi to donate some used baseboard and tools that the old owner left at our house, and we picked up a single pane wooden window for me for a dollar so that I can make myself a cold frame with it. This is for hardening off seedlings that I haven't even planted yet, but as we all know, a lot of gardening is in the planning.  Speaking of planning, I'm planning a greenhouse for the backyard, and it dawned on me that this place would be a great source for used single pane windows from which an inexpensive greenhouse could be made.  We were looking at new green houses at the local building center last night and they want a few thousand dollars for one, which just isn't going to happen.  The regular price on single pane windows is two dollars, so the sale price of one dollar would be a good thing.  Unfortunately, I don't have room for storing a bunch of windows right now. I mean to safely store them.

The greenhouse is planned for this side of the summer kitchen- they are to share the same frame and roof, although the roof over the greenhouse will be out of that clear corrugated stuff, and the summer kitchen will probably be metal so that I can capture the rain off of it safely.  We don't want the fancy, meaning really expensive, outdoor kitchens that some folks spend several thousand dollars on.  I think we can run water out to it fairly easily, and I know where we can find a used sink and faucet for it (The Rebuilding Center!).

The summer kitchen will have an earthen oven in it, and a couple of rocket stoves sunk into a tiled counter.  Rocket stoves are extremely low tech, and if I knew how to include hyperlinks in this text, I would link information on them for you, because I think they are pretty cool.  At any rate, they use small pieces of wood, twigs really, which aren't good for anything else but starting a fire, and they burn pretty hot.  I don't want to be canning in the house this next summer- I plan on doing it outside.  I'm already saving all the wood ash from the stove for the rocket stoves, because ash is supposed to be the insulator of choice.  Anyway- I'm thinking about making the walls of the summer kitchen out of wattle and daub- I'm in the process of pruning the neighbor's apple trees and will have a boatload of long twigs, and lord knows, I have enough clay in the backyard.  Do I know how to do wattle and daub construction? No, but I don't think it's going to be rocket science either. I may not be able to figure out how to add hyperlinks to my blog, but I think I can figure out wattle and daub construction.  I'm fairly low-tech myself.  And handy.

Wait- I think I figured it out! Earth oven  Woo hoo! I did it! Here is one for rocket stoves.  And for those of you who don't know what wattle and daub is, I included a great link for that as well.

Well now I'm pretty satisfied- I finally figured out how to hyperlink in my posts, and I found a great source for used windows for the greenhouse today, as well as a good picture of what the frame for the summer kitchen needs to look like. 

Now I need to go find my Mastering the Art of French Cooking and get started on the Boeuf Bourguignon for dinner tomorrow. Steve's taking me out to dinner tonight. It's a date.


Toni aka irishlas said...

My husband came home one day from the landfill with two discarded windows and you would have thought he won the lottery! We are doing the same thing - making cold frames from them.
Please post lots of pics when you start on your wattle. Hats off to you for giving it a go!

Cottage Smallholder said...

I love the idea of building your own summer kitchen and greenhouse. We bought our greenhouse in kit form (much cheaper but a bit of a palaver to put together).

I've had some French windows sitting by the front drive for two years now. Perhaps this summer I'll finally make the giant coldframe!

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