One of the permaculture design ideas is called stacking functions, and this is an example. This woodstove not only heats our house, it functions as a cookstove and a dryer. It also warms up the wine so that we can brew into the chilly months. The woodstove has been getting a winter preview the last week. We've been soooo toasty.
Our friend Dan brought over a hydraulic wood splitter, and we were able to split a cord or two of wood, including almost all the large stumps that were lining our driveway. We are now down to the huge stackpile in our back yard, what used to be the giant elm, and that is all that is left to be split. The same day, our friend Steve brought over his drill & he and Don drilled holes and set the faucets for a couple of rain barrels. Don is considering overflow methods, and then this project will be a functioning part of our homestead.
I have canned 25 quarts of tomatoes for this winter. I have another four quarts in the refrigerator, waiting until the day comes when I make applesauce & get the canner out. The tomato plants are still producing big beautiful tasty tomatoes, but the colder weather has slowed them down. Frost is imminent, of course, and we shall see how it goes. I am hoping to make a big batch of green tomato pickles when the time comes. We also have quite a few carrots out in the garden to dig up. The big pan on the woodstove in the picture above is chicken stock soup. I made stock a few days ago, and it's been overflowing the refrigerator. Today I cut up most of the vegetables in the house & made a hefty pile of soup. I am going to fill up the freezer & we'll eat the rest.
Our friend Mike brought over a pile of dumpstered bread from his step-dad (who only likes white bread). We've had a pile of cheese to go with it. We also plowed through the pile of eggs from our friend Shannon & our friends Matt & Debbie from the farmers market. We've been chowing, on good food. We've been drinking wine also: raspberry, plum, peach. There's only a couple of farmers markets left.
I went to a knitting group last night and had a good time. There are several experienced knitters, and I am hopeful to make another pair of wearable socks, and learn how to sew a pattern. Today I went to a meeting today with the pastor of a church down the street. He is interested in starting a garden to supplement their food pantry. What a great idea! I am hopeful this will be a fruitful venture, and I like that it is only a block from my house.
Community, that's our wealth. It's wealth that expands with each interaction. It doesn't get scarce, only more plentiful. Even if the U.S. economy tanks, community can get stronger and more abundant. I count my blessings. They are many.