Gunpowder can very annoying - because it means it is hard to buy saltpetre. Or at least nanny-rules can be. I remember struggling back in SA. I want 10 grams. Not enough to blow up a mouse... but rules is rules I guess. I couldn't find any on the island - which is bizarre. I know nitrates are the new EVUL, but honestly at one stage every farmer in Tasmania, let alone Flinders island would have cured their own bacon (and probably the rest of the pig and the beef too). I was reading Deny King's biography - and bacon and potatoes were all poor people had, often. It's a shame all of that has been lost - no one milks on the island, no one makes bacon (well that I have met yet). Anyway, give me time and enough seed capital from books, and I will turn this around. I have eventually tracked down a butcher's merchant in Lonnie (Launceston) who I hope will help. They do sell sausage casings, which is great news.
The chooks provided one more egg, and I move the 'bago a length forward, in 2 stages. They were wary the first time - the second they had figured it was fresh ground and they were keen to get there (at least the brown-girls were. Mrs Black is a scaredy cat... scaredy chook, I mean.
Well they did tighten up the nanny state when some Tasmanian uni students showed how lax they were by making an anfo bomb.ReplyDelete
One of these days I must work out how to get saltpetre reliably from the dung pile. Just in case I get thrown back in time or to a parallel time dimension ruled by an evil church.
The key is putting ash in the latrine. During our Revolution and Civil War women would gather it from the old out house locations. They would throw asshes from the fireplace and then top with leaf mulch. Let brew a few months and then peel back the leaves.ReplyDelete
There's a tale that Abigail Adams told her husband, John, that if they did not find some way for pins to be brought in the country that the women would cease the rather nasty chore of harvesting salt peter from poop holes. (Parsing that story one can learn more about the American Revolution then is taught in a semester today)
The things you learn reading blogs...ReplyDelete
One of these winters I'm going to try leaching ashes for lye for soap, instead of getting it tamely from the hardware store.
How often are you going to have to move the 'bago, and how hard is it to move?ReplyDelete
Lisa S. in Seattle
Lisa I'm still playing the moving by ear, but I think every 2-3 days. I put a wheel on a long lever out behind (think wheelbarrow with an extension). It's not a major epic to move it - on my own - its own length. Barbs and I moved it a 100 yards or so, and that was an effort (but not superhuman). It's in our front field right now, and moving it every three days should take months to do it all - it's about 3 acres. We'll probably not do so, and just do the strips close to the house. (one strip +- 80 metres, 'bago 4 metres, by 1.5.)ReplyDelete
IIRC correctly the Nitrates in dung/longdrops are actually from decayed urine. (urea-ammonia-nitrate -IIRC). Pinkish crystals in horse manure piles IIRC. I need 7 grams... not enough to dig over horse piles, wash it, crystalise it out again.ReplyDelete
AbigalM - B is still planning on soap - I just have her bowls full of olives right now.ReplyDelete