I was pretty excited when I got home last night, the temperature outside was 14 degrees and the temperature inside the greenhouse was 36 degrees. My compost pile, combined with a partly sunny day had kept the temperature above freezing. The bubble burst this morning as the thermometer read 13 degrees inside the greenhouse; the outside temperature was just above zero. My little eight cubic foot compost pile will not be sufficient as the only source of heat for my 250 sq. ft. greenhouse. A girl can dream.
January is still too early to be planting seeds outside of a controlled temperature environment. The free piles on the side of the road will be perused and craigslist, facebook, the local newspaper, and local bulletin boards will be carefully watched for items that will help make our farm projects better. Who knows, somebody might discard a portable wood stove or some other heater that could keep my little glass house warm.
Free piles and tag sales have been pretty good to this house over the past couple of years. One of Little Man's favorite breakfasts is waffles. Tag sale left overs yielded this slightly ancient waffle iron. It makes the perfect size waffles to be reheated in the toaster. (A huge bonus since the oven died right before Christmas.) The waffle iron cannot be left unattended as it is powered by the old fashioned fabric wrapped electrical cord. It has absolutely no safety features like automatic shut off, a temperature light or a timer. Trial and error lead to five-minutes for the perfect waffle once the temperature gauge on the top reaches bake. Eggo waffles were on sale this week at the grocery store, but the list of ingredients was longer than my arm. Good food is worth the time to make homemade waffles.
Saving seeds and freezing squash also helps save some money. With a 700+ lb yield of squash from the garden this year, I baked and froze squash in two cup bags. One bag is enough to make a rich pumpkin pie or one dinner of butternut, blue hubbard or mama mia squash. The seeds are dried and put up for spring planting. Most years, the squash is true to its breed, however, every once in a while we will get a cross breed that is a little unusual. They all still taste really good.
Although I still have to have an off-farm job, my heart is still 23 miles northeast next to the lake. While at that off-farm job today, I was told (albeit jokingly) that I was fired. Standing in the middle of the hallway, I didn't think about where my next paycheck was going to come from or if my resume was up-to-date; I was actually pretty happy thinking about all the projects I could get done on the farm. As I headed back to my desk, I was actually sad that I didn't get fired. Hmm, maybe it's time to try again working on the farm more and off the farm less.