A mild mushroom free May

Its getting busy around here! Just time for a quick update on May before it’s too late and we head into July.

First things first the weather, which despite a slow start, proved to come into it’s own in the latter half of the month and we only lit the boiler once for the heating. I topped up the water on occasion but as a whole the house stays warm and the sun is heating our water, all good. The bees seemed to be absent for the pollination of the fruit trees, but I happy to report then we seem to have an abundance of them now.

The crops went in the ground without any frost trauma from the dreaded Ice Saints. The beans were treated to an extra two wheels and the support structure must look odd to passers-by, that’s if we had any. We scaled back the potato patch as despite our best efforts to eat , feed to the animals and give away, we still have a mountain to go at. And with the extra space we popped in about two hundred pumpkin plants, with the hope of pressing our own oil later this year. We have also sown oats as all creatures great and small seem to like them and we still had our own seed from two years ago. Now that I think about both the potatoes and oats were planted in April, how time flies.

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Another month or so and you wont see the wheels, wires or the posts as they disappear under the Borlotti climbers

Work moved on in the house and the partition walls and ceiling received the plaster board finish with the exception on the hall which I am finishing in reed mat. We even managed to get the first of the shower trays in place, all of the pipes are set for the radiators and I even lime rendered the first room, well the first coat at least. Lets hope we can keep the momentum going!

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A bathroom almost ready for flooring and tiling.

Goats, pigs and chickens all seem to be doing fine and provide endless entertainment for Malina who has mastered the art of chicken catching and goat feeding and pig herding, even if the resulting mess keeps the washing machine busy and results in quite a few pulled faces as the bottom of her boots soil your t-shirt as you provide her transport on your shoulders!

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Note the animals taking cover in the background, Malina is here!

And finally, the composting toilet, it’s a while since I have mentioned it, but it has by no means been neglected. The pile that we closed up in September 2013 was opened up and provided us with compost for the veg garden and the pumpkins, probably close to 1000 litres of top quality humus. Evidence of our wedding remained in the pile as baby wipes had made it into the composting toilet on the day and they don’t compost! Mind you the two hares that ended up in there along with a rat that the dogs killed had all returned to nature, only the occasional bone remained.

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An old photo and now an empty pit, well it was, I have already started to fill it up with animal manure for composting.

For the record we are now emptying four buckets every twelve days, that’s two adults, occasional visitors and a child who I’m sure produces more than anyone else, an unforeseen advantage of reusable nappies is all the extra unadulterated poo for the pile.

Oh, and no mushrooms. I have picked mushrooms every year for three years in May, but this year zilch! The local wisdom is that it’s simply too dry following a mild winter with little snow melt, looks like I’ll have to wait before I have something to accompany my scrambles eggs 🙂

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Author: Eddy Winko

Trying to leave the rat race and live a less hectic and harmful life. From the building of a straw bale house to the composting toilet diaries; read my blog https://winkos.wordpress.com/

21 thoughts on “A mild mushroom free May”

  1. No wonder that “all creatures great and small” like your oats. I’ve been eating them, uncooked just with milk, almost every morning except Sundays (full English!) for around 40 years now; I reckon it’s why I’m still here.

    1. I do like my porridge and a home made muesli is great, but eggs seems to be my staple at the moment 🙂
      We are eying up a home mill for grinding our own flour and rolling our own oats, but they aren’t cheep! Maybe once the house is finished 🙂

      1. Home grown/rolled oats would, of course, be much better but rolled oats (not ‘brand’) are very cheap here in the UK, especially from Aldi, and taste OK. I wish I could find similar corn meal here; nothing approaches the taste of the ‘home grown/milled malai’ from Romania but unfortunately we cannot lay in large stocks as it develops moths; I wonder if it could be baked at a high enough temperature to kill the eggs but low enough not to kill the taste. The commercially produced corn meal is no better in Romania than here.

      2. @grumpytyke:

        in order to have the full image of noxiousness of the mass stored & transported cereals we must consider the chemical compound & substances added it: (antifungi, biocids, anticking agents etc. to .. 😦 )

      3. You’re right Rafal – there’s also blasting with something radio-active. It’s why I’m wondering whether a bit of heat might do the trick.

      4. @grumpytyke

        well..as to temps.
        We’d need to estimate in which temperature treated item the process of denaturation starts sooner: in the moths larvae or the grain aminoacids/proteins.
        I believe there must be a natural strong reppelent.
        From my childhood I can recall a view of bags ful of grain (probably buckwheat) hanging from the attic ridge (nowadays I start suspect that the constant air flow betwen the small (?) openings in the wall was a key to a success in grain storage) together with a fetters of dried sausages. (!)

  2. Phew. It’s a relief to get an update on that composting toilet Eddy mate. I can’t tell you how much it’s been on my mind these last months. I am picturing the mummified hares in poo as I type.
    Glad it’s all coming together. Love to all. Pete.

      1. I checked out Urban Death, but when I clicked on ‘Donate’, to offer my body for their pile, they wanted cash instead! Perhaps I will send my corpse over to Poland, and you can just fling it on your heap instead mate.

      2. Wow! What a project. !
        I also browsed the site throu.
        Pity it is US based kickstarter.
        Anyway I think in PL they wouldn’t find enough “clients”.
        I’d surely donate myself 🙂

  3. “Popped in two hundred pumpkin plants?” Wow! You think big…I have, maybe 12 pumpkin plants. 😀 You’re going to press them for oil? Does that mean using something like a cider press to squeeze the heck out of them?
    Malina is cute with her little sun bonnet on. I bet she runs circles around you until night when she sleeps, well…sleeps like a baby. 😀

    1. We just got carried away 🙂 The seeds themselves are great for eating so I guess that’s what will happen with a lot of them. We will be using a hand powered expeller https://www.piteba.com/ to extract the oil from the seeds of the pumpkins and indeed lots of other things.
      I’m thinking about putting a tether on Malina 🙂

  4. Lovely!
    I’m right back from my garden where the hapeless composting chamber was bereft of the lovely 2 years old pile of humus.
    As to mushrooms it is definitely to warm and dry even for “kurki”.
    Even the birch trunk inoculated with oyster mushroom mycelium and watered almost daily is unwilling to fruit :-(.

    1. Warm and dry is right, but they will taste that much better when they do arrive later in the year 🙂 I must look at getting some mycelium one day, I have plenty of old trees here and I love mushrooms,

      1. Two that I can think of that I will be felling as they are dead are a birch and an ash, but we have various others.
        No need to sieve, nice and crumbly except at the bottom which had compacted quite a bit, but it breaks up fine. Just the damn baby wipes to remove 🙂

      2. As to Kurki’s taste I fully agree.
        I still have one package of deep frozen ones (for scrambled eggs)
        as to inoculation and mushroom I thought U might find this blog interesting.
        http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/Mushroom_log_Monday/

        btw. U were afraid of runing out of space in the compost bin.
        Have U observed ur pile to shrink significanlty with arrival of first warm period? I’d estimate mine got shrunk (in volume) ~twice.

      3. Thanks for the link, maybe next year. The pile isn’t any smaller, but it isn’t any bigger either, despite continued deposits:) I know it’s hot, very hot.

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