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.