I must tell you: I am no survival expert. But my husband and I love the outdoors, and sustainable living is a major part of our lives.
If it’s not building a rocket stove in our backyard, it’s baking cakes on the beach. Experimenting and building our own gear is just our way of life, so when we moved off-grid, the habit came with us — and so did our love for baking. Ready for the challenge of building an off-grid oven, we started experimenting with baking techniques.
In this article, I will share with you a basic outdoor oven we built and the concept behind building an off grid-oven so that you can build one yourself.
Mud/clay, stones, bricks and tin (or metal plating) are the basic materials we use for making our ovens. My husband always says, “It’s not as hard as it looks. An oven is just trapped heat.” So we did some research about outdoor ovens, and this gave birth to our favorite trench oven. It’s simple and can be built in under an hour.
Here are the three steps:
- We dug a trench, 3 feet by 4 feet, that was about 1 to 2 feet deep.
- We put a layer of dry stones on the bottom and the sides. This trench was also used for our bonfire when our friends come over.
- We gathered our materials to build the fire: tinder, kindling and fuel. We used wood for our oven, so we placed the tinder in the bottom of the trench to cover the stones. Then we added kindling and covered it with a layer of fuel (large branches and logs). I lit the fire in the center of the trench by making a small hole in the kindling layer. Then we added another layer of logs diagonally.
We waited about 15 minutes while the fire heated up the stones. By then, logs were charred and there was no more smoke. We placed tin on top of the stove, and then began baking our bread.
Since we didn’t know the temperature, we checked it every 15 minutes to ensure the bread was cooking properly. We rotated the trays or moved the coals around to share the heat more evenly. Within 45 minutes, we had hot, steaming, whole wheat bread we couldn’t wait to cool down to eat. My husband and I can bake 80 small rolls using this baking technique.
It was simple and easy, but we wanted to build something more permanent, so we dug a trench into the side of a hill in our front yard. (See pictures at bottom and top.)
Then, we plowed the soil and placed 5-inch diameter stones on the base of the trench. We ramped the stones into the mud floor with a 4×4 post. My husband cut out the bottom of a metal drum, and then cut it down the center to use as the ceiling for our oven (see picture). We test fitted the metal drum in the trench and adjusted it until it fit snuggly.
My husband then cut a hole in the top for the chimney. After which, we started from one side and layered the drum with clay and stones. Then, we added layers of dirt to give the effect that the oven was cut into the mountainside. As impatient bakers, we put in a fire to quicken the drying process.
“Let the baking begin!” I said, excited to test our new oven.
We made the bread dough and heated the oven. When the oven was ready, we pushed the coals to the side and inserted our bread in cast iron. We couldn’t resist calling up some friends to check out our new earthen.
An off-grid oven is a simple concept. We need convection to feed oxygen to the fire that radiates heat to bake, and a chimney for smoke to escape. Whether you to want a fire inside the baking chamber, or a firebox that spends hot air into the oven, the concept is the same — cooking with trapped heat.
Think of the shape of an igloo when building your off-grid oven. The entrance of the oven should be approximately 60 percent of the height of the oven. To allow for the right conditions for convection, the oven ceiling cannot be too high, because the heat will be lost, yet not too low as the oven won’t be heated properly. A thick fire resistant material like clay, concrete or firebrick is best to store heat for long hours, especially when baking bread.
Building an off-grid oven is a fun activity, so don’t be upset if you don’t get it right the first time. With an overcharged imagination and people who love to learn new things, you can do it.
What advice would you add on making an off-grid oven? Are there other concepts you’ve tried? Share your off-grid oven device in the section below:
This Article Was Originally Posted On offthegridnews.com Read the Original Article here
NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls
New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.
The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.
The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.
“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”
How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar
The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!
This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.
So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?
Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know
Why Make Sauerkraut?
Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.
So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.
- 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- mason jar
- smaller jar
- rubber band
Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients
Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.
You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.
Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.
Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips
Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.
Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt
Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.
TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.
RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe
Step 4: Massage the Cabbage
Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.
TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.
Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar
Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.
IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.
Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar
You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.
Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.
Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band
Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.
Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily
Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.
Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures
After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.
NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.
You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.
Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut
- Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
- Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
- Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
- If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.
Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!
So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.
What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!
Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!
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This Article Was Found On pioneersettler.com Read the Original Article
9 SPRING VEGETABLES FOR YOUR GARDEN
Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!
RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide
In this article:
Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!
Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.
Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.
Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?
Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.
Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.
If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.
Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!
Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.
Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.
Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.
There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.
They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.
A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.
Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.
Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.
Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.
Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!
Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.
All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!
So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!
- 50 Gardening Tips And Tricks To Become A Successful Homesteader
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- Self-Sustaining Ideas For Living The Homesteader’s Dream
This Article Was Found On pioneersettler.com Read the Original Article
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