Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Energy Independence Week, Day 4

Monday, July 7, day 4 of Energy Independence Week

So after three days of cold cereal for breakfast I thought I'd try to make pancakes again using the woodgas camp stove. In my one previous attempt I kind of scorched'em.

I fueled the stove with cut up bits of cardboard standing on end, about 1x3 inches big, and kindled it with fire-starting cubes. That worked out perfectly, it was just the right amount of fuel for the job. I keep the stove's fan on low, and regulated the heat by taking the pan on and off the stove.

It was a cool morning and I really wanted some hot coffee now. I thought I'd see if the supposedly 1000 watt inverter would run the supposedly 750 watt coffeemaker. Sort of. The inverter overheated about halfway through the 10-cup cycle and had to rest. It was drawing 85 amps from the 12v batteries. Making one pot of coffee used about as much electricity as the compost bin fan running all day long - twenty-some amp-hours.  I decided I'd better wire up my fourth solar panel.  It has a crack in the back glass but I think it still works.

I mulched and watered the hazelnut trees.  That took awhile as I can only get one or two gallons a minute through the 250 ft hose from water "tower".  That put a big dent in the water supply.  I'm down to 80 gallons or so from the 150 I started with.  

Three of the thirty seedlings had leafed out since they were planted last week.  It hadn't rained more than a trace in that time.  

The garden hose through the window seems to have created a mouse highway - I've trapped two since the start of this stunt.

Lunch was Peanut Butter and Cherry Pie Filling Sandwich.  For dinner I fired up the woodgas stove with pine lumber chunks then pan-fried together a bunch of Italian sausage, tomato, red chard, and lamb's quarters (picked fresh from the crater.)  I also mixed in the last of the solar oven vegetable stew.  

I refueled the stove a couple of times during cooking, and again after, when I put the dutch oven on full of water to heat for dishwashing.

The bike shop is stringing me along on this bike trailer.  First they said last Thursday, then this Monday, now its maybe next week....

1 comment:

Paul said...

I admire your determination.

BTW, I have developed a taste for cold cereal made of cracked grains and cut fruit that sit for days in home made yogurt. It takes no energy and is really good.