Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sunny and cold....

Last night it dropped down to 28 degrees, on my newly acquired inside- outside weather station.
Digital so there's misreading it. And I don't have to find my specs to see.

Lately it has been cold and dry, not having any frost on the windshields of the truck. Cold and Dry....just how I like it.

It was also a two fireplace night since we had a little more wind than normal. During breezes it seems the house cools off a lot faster than normal, even with good weatherstripping on all the windows and doors. Weatherstripping was the first thing we did after getting the house finished.
During the time we first started construction on the house, I stayed at a friends house. Seeing his construction and lack of any insulation, was the motivating factor in probably overdoing the insulation in our house.

I remember sitting in his dining room trying to have dinner one night, freezing my butt off, bundled up , all while there was a massive fire going in his fireplace in the next room.

His fireplace burned up tons of wood but the house was always fridged.

He was always complaining of how cold it was. But never did anything about gaps large enough that you could push a pencil through.

Walking around town I see large gaps in almost all the construction. Either from the wood shrinking or walls twisting out of plumb.
Weatherstripping here is stuffing old newspapers in the cracks that open up, foam is something you get on milk if you whip it.....
15 years ago you couldn't find foam weatherstripping down here at all. I had to bring it down each time we came down so that we could do all the doors and windows. We also imported 2 inch ridged foam boards on the roof of the whole house. They couldn't understand why we wanted to put those panels on top of the wood, when the wood looked perfectly good to put the tile on........

I had a few people inquire about the progress of the cabbage crop. Here is a picture of it from yesterday. The head is forming nicely, but hopefully the cold nights will not impede the growth too much.

December is not the coldest month up here, usually the end of January beginning of February will bring in nights even more chilly. At least the days are prefect, hot when you are in the sun, moderate when you are in the shade, cool crisp evenings perfect for the crackling fire. Now if we only grew nice oak for the fireplaces......

Maybe we can grow some pines that would be perfect for a Christmas Tree lot, next year? Maybe knot!


Anonymous said...

That looks pretty good, no holes in the leaves from caterpillars, healthy without aphids, you are one lucky fellow.
I tried growing it a few years ago and found it it was less work to go to Whole Foods. And less stressful.

Dee. Smyrna

Don Cuevas said...

Do you sell or (better) give cabbage to your friends?

I love freshly made coleslaw, and I still have ambitions to make sauerkraut. But not so much that storage becomes a hassle.

Don Cuevas

Tancho said...

I would consider selling it to you if you wanted several bushels. If you want to make some sour kapusta, I would be more than happy to give you all you need, at no charge, if you consider providing a jar or two of your final product, I would be honored...

Felipe said...

The bracing winter cold is what separates us Mexican men from the foreign boys. We don't need no steenking insulation!

Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

I am loving your cabbage and wishing you could send me some here in Alamos!
We now have an organic grower who comes to sell on Saturdays, lovely stuff! LL

Tancho said...

Bugs???? I hope not, so far we have been pretty lucky, especially since we have been limiting use of chemicals and pesticides...hopefully our luck will continue.
Sr Cuevas, will a batch of sour pickles also be included?
Felipe, I have to admit, I am still a soft Gringo, I haven't developed into a total Mexican as you have.. I still enjoy spoiling myself with excesses. A foie gras taste still prevails too.
Linda Lou, After seeing what megafarming production does to the land, health and life, I vowed to do what I could to try and turn my remaining years not killing myself like I did for the first portion of my life. We had lots of agribusiness clients , where I found out too much for my own good concerning chemical life.

Don Cuevas said...

Tancho, the sour cucmber pickles season is over hereabouts. I recently went through my collection of dill pickles, and had t throw most of them out, as they'd become very soft in the middle.

The "right" type of cucumbers for pickling are unavailable here, although earlier this year I found a a decent but not perfect substitute in the P√°tzcuaro mercado.

Kapusta is stuffed cabbage rolls, right?
But made with soured cabbage leaves? I'm intrigued by that, never having made or tasted it. (Now I Googled it and found that it's just different ways to cook cabbage, often with smoked or cured meats. The local chuletas ahumadas work well for that.)

I'll be in touch by email.

Don Cuevas

Tancho said...

Kapusta is the word for cabbage, if you want kraut, we would put pickled in front of it, Russian is very very basic...not really much more than a few grunts and groans...
On the cuc's, I saw some at Walmart a few weeks ago, I didn't inspect them since I still had a jar of mine around, but they looked like the Kirby's except you would have had to rummage in the pile to find small one.

Anonymous said...

Dee's right, They do look healthy. What kind, Savoy?
28 F. Does it ever snow there?
You can always blanket the cabbage overnight.

Tancho said...

Anthony, we are too close to the coast, 110 miles as the crow flies, so I don't think so, maybe if it rained during Dec-Jan, but I haven't ever see that, just frost.
Covering them would be a big chore, but possible with lots of visqueen, I believe it is Savoy, a cold climate variety.

Anonymous said...

Hola Tancho,
You must have a big crop.
Did you ever have kim chee?
It's spicy korean pickled cabbage. Buena suerte with your gardening!