Archive for April, 2016

Kitchen Improvements

April 7, 2016

Hi Again

Today we celebrated, not just because it was Kim’s birthday, but also because we finished installing our Rayburn wood stove.  Some jobs seem to take a long time, and this was one of those jobs!

Firstly we had to clear a path for the tractor to get to the side of the shack, pull down the old flue and remove all the lining from the area behind the old stove.  Then Kim carefully edged the tractor backwards to the kitchen wall – with about 5cm to spare on one side to the outside of the walk in pantry and on the other side to the solar hot water system.  We then winched the old stove out onto the carry all and took it away.

The Everhot Stove leaves to make way for the new Rayburn.

Everhot Stove on the tractor carryall

Then he had to repeat the process to bring the new stove into the kitchen.

The new Rayburn stove in the kitchen on it's platform awaiting installation

We decided that rather than re-lining the wall, we would install a window into the gap instead.  We also replaced our small caravan gas stove with a full size Chef gas oven.  The gas bottle will be moved outside through the wall.

New window in kitchen

We made a nice level hearth for the Rayburn and then Kim hooked the boiler up to the solar hot water system tank.  Then it was up onto the roof to put the flue down through the newly cut hole, making sure it was all sealed up securely.

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Finally today he replaced the worn fire bricks and installed a new grate.

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And then we could fire it up and check it all worked – and it worked a treat!  It did a good job of cooking tea and heating the water.  The boiler is a big one and it should produce a lot more hot water than the Everhot did.  In fact after 4 of us have had showers tonight the water temperature still reads at 72°C.  We should even be able to run a couple of radiators from it in the long run if we want to.

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With two good stoves and the walk in pantry, my kitchen is much nicer and better to work in these days.  I plan to paint the new window frame and the hearth and the job will be done.  Actually I may paint the flue black too.

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Lydia’s work has not been busy lately and she has been getting some extra days off.  She has used her free time to get more work done on her pony.  She got a riding lesson and some advice …

Lydia riding lesson

… and then got back into riding Silk again.

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After getting her going nicely in the paddock, she then started riding through the tracks up the back of our property.  Usually the puppy and I have been going with them.  I think I am a sort of two legged, mobile security blanket.  🙂

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Funnily enough, after being concerned the pony would startle and bolt or buck when on her own, Lydia’s most recent problem was that she stopped on the track and refused to move on until Okami and I caught up!

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Speaking of the puppy, she has been growing at a rate!  Okami is now 6 months old and loves life.  She adores old Lupo and has even managed to get her playing with her, in a bitey, non energetic sort of way.

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They are pretty good mates now.  It is quite different when Okami’s friend, a 6 month old staffy called Coco, comes to visit.  They tear around like mad things and totally exhaust themselves.

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We had a great year in the vegetable garden this year, with the best ever crops of tomatoes, corn and cucumbers.

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I bottled SO many tomatoes, it was fantastic.  Sam overdosed on cucumbers and we all enjoyed the fresh sweet corn with tea.

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One downside of our dry winter and long warm summer is that the rabbits have been breeding up.  We don’t usually have them on our property, but they are here this year.  Hopefully a wet winter will send them elsewhere.

Rabbit at rabbit hole

Lately I have been trying my hand at growing some fodder.  Germinated grain apparently has higher digestibility and better nutrition.  I feed it just germinated to the chooks, who happily eat it.  I also grew some longer for the cow and pony to see if they liked it too.

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The answer was a definite “Yes” from the cow, and the pony seemed to like it too.

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