Stone or rock fireplaces can give your home or the area they’re built in that amazing look that makes you feel like you’re in a lodge with friends, gathered round the fire, singing songs and drinking hot cocoa.
The value they add to the look and feel of your home or space can’t be measured in only dollars and cents. It’s a feeling that you just can’t get any other way.
Our discussion here today is all about how to do it yourself. We won’t go into the simple things like how to mix your mud or other steps that are rudimentary. Instead, we will discuss the things that really matter — the stuff a lot of books, videos and even courses leave out.
Your Two Types of Stone
Mountain rock will generally be pieces that have fractured off the side of a mountain. They have all kinds of odd shapes that you’ll have to pick and choose through later as you build your fireplace, piece by piece.
They create those ultra-rustic fireplaces that look straight out of an old-time Western or an episode of Grizzly Adams that so many people loved.
The other is river rock, which will give it that Colorado, Montana or Idaho fishing lodge look with its smooth stones polished over time by ice-cold cascading waters.
If you’re using river rock, here’s a great tip: Build a decent-sized bon fire with all of your river rocks in the center to see if they pop open on you.
Some river rocks can hold moisture for years inside of them. You don’t want to build a fireplace only to have several rocks pop and burst open from the water pressure expanding inside of them.
Build your fireplace out of the ones that don’t split.
Select Your Face Type
If you’re doing mountain rock, you’ll need to select whether you want your fireplace to have the full grout look or a stacked stone look. The stacked stone effect takes a lot more time and effort and is generally only used in a few fireplaces in the southwest.
They both look good, so it’s just a matter of personal preference.
If you’re building a kitchen fireplace and want an arch, then you can place an old tire in position and build your arch on top of it. They are perfectly round and the mortar won’t stick to them. Building a round arch mold can be difficult, and this solves that easily.
You can build a platform to elevate it into place and then use curved tire chalks on either side to hold it. Once it sets, just remove it and you’ve got a great-looking arch.
Is fire brick required? No it’s not, but it is highly recommended. Here are a few reasons why:
- You’ll get more heat directed out toward your living space, because fire brick is designed to buffer heat and not actually to absorb it.
- They help safeguard your rock work, grout and walls from overheating and becoming damaged.
- It will give yous fireplace that nice finished look that’s squared off and has a traditional or herringbone brick pattern.
- It’s a whole lot easier to clean the soot off of than uneven or jagged rocks and grout.
You can choose from many different colors such as black, ivory, red, old world red, buff and antique. There are likely even more colors if you go to a specialty outlet.
Your Fireplace Has an Anatomy
There are several pieces that go into the building of the actual fireplace, and you’ll need a more detailed guide than we offer in this overview.
The basic elements that make up a fireplace are the damper, smoke chamber, smoke shelf, fire box (with fire bricks), lintel, throat, flue, roof line, flashing and cap. As discussed earlier, in this article we will be focusing on the tips that you generally never see in most of the books and videos. But, that can make or break your project.
Your Chimney Flue
Your best bet is to have a clay chimney flue liner so that it’s smooth and doesn’t collect pockets of soot that can cause chimney fires.
One easy way to do this is to build your flue from clay flue liner sections.
They are essentially large clay pipes that come in sections. Most of the time you’ll find them in two- and three-foot sections.
One way to do this easily is to prepare your flue seat (the area where the flue continues up from the smoke chamber) to accept the flue to be seated on it.
Then, build your flue on the ground or on the roof if you can and put your mortar in the seated area so that it will bind with the flue. Then, lower your fully constructed flue down your chimney from your rooftop right into place, all as one unit.
It’s SO much easier than attempting to grout and stack each clay flue section one at a time as you build them up through your chimney.
Scrape any excess mortar from where the flue stack is seated so that it’s smooth, or you’ll be making a place for soot to form.
We hope that what you’ve discovered here will put you on the path to build the mountain or river rock fireplace of your dreams.
What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:
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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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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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This Article Was Found On pioneersettler.com Read the Original Article
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