I lament­ed two per­son­al prep­per issues here and here. A week after the solar oven fail, I suc­cess­ful­ly made the Arroz Con Pol­lo in about five hours in the sun. My lot’s shady pro­file pre­sent­ed a chal­lenge, but I made it work. The only issue was I had to put it in the oven for about 20 min­utes to ful­ly cook the rice. I sup­pose I could have left it out­side, but it was get­ting dark. I did learn that rely­ing on the sun will be a hit or miss exer­cise. You bet­ter have a back­up plan or an alter­nate meal. Oth­er­wise, you may go hun­gry.

Sec­ond, I final­ly got that damn stump out of the ground after two more hours of chop­ping at the roots. It was a pain in the butt, but I am glad that I got the stump out myself. It was also a good work­out after which I was sore for days.

So, the next phase of my project to con­struct a 4′ X 9′ hugelkul­ture bed will com­mence. This involves dig­ging a three foot deep trench to bury the stump and limbs.


One good thing about liv­ing in Hous­ton is that the fall and win­ter are great times to work out­side. The weath­er is great and mod­er­ate. Of course, there can be “cold” win­ter days, but Octo­ber through Decem­ber are great times to be out­side. My goal is to have the bed con­struct­ed by Thanks­giv­ing then put the rest of the gar­den into the win­ter phase. Come February/March, I will be all ready to put the first crop of beans into the bed to kick start nitro­gen addi­tion to the bed. My cur­rent beds will be a com­bi­na­tion of spices, green pep­pers, and beans. Then, 2013 will be a full grow­ing sea­son for things like squash, zuc­chi­ni, onions and even sweet pota­toes. I look for­ward to the com­ing years of good food pro­duc­tion in my cur­rent and future gar­den beds.

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