It has been a while since I have taken the time to type a note, no excuse other than I have been very busy here at the cabin.
Garden is choking on zucchinis which, despite being prolific and healthy, bring me almost to the point of nausea—way too many. I have a food grade 5 gallon bucket in the fridge (yes, I have electricity) filled with apple cider vinegar, dill, and habanero peppers that I unceremoniously dump chunks of zucchini and cukes in. As other excess veggies come from my garden, they will also find their way into the bucket. Our forebearers used this technique for generations, and at some point, I will fill you in on the well-known character Johnny Appleseed, but later. Nothing is wasted here, and everything will end up in a pot at some time or another.
Other points of interests: I promised Frank, one of my favorite readers, photos of my wood-fired hot tub. I am not very tech savvy but will attempt to include a couple of photos with a few comments. As you can see, the heart of this hot tub is a wood-fired boiler I purchased cheap from a miner in Negaunee for $100. This long-retired behemoth was languishing in this guy’s cellar. The only stipulation I required from the miner, who was thrilled to get a $100 for this idled hunk of scrap metal, was that he had to help get this monster up the steep and narrow stairs from his basement to my pickup truck. I enlisted my teenage son, and the three of us, grunting and groaning, finally got this damn thing in my truck.
It may be of some interest to those of you who are mechanically inclined, (which I am not) but at this point in time I had no proof that my crazy idea would work as a source of heat for my proposed hot tub. I digress, but some of you might remember from a sixth-grade history class about Fulton’s Folly, but if not, look it up.
The next issue I needed to resolve was what to use as the tub itself. A trip to the nearest Tractor Supply store was roughly 60 miles away, but worth the trip, as I scored a very durable 300-gallon, heavy-duty vinyl cow trough for around $200 bucks. When I got back to the cabin, with some help from a couple of local kids, we assembled all of the necessary parts in the backyard and fired it up. IT WORKED!!!!
Later, I had a local contractor build an insulated cedar box around this whole affair, as I hope you can see from the photo. As a sidenote, because it doesn’t require electricity to function, I do not have any noisy and obnoxious jets on the tub to contend with, just the relative silence of ice clinking in my brandy snifter and the entrancing light from the stars above.
Thanks for your continued interest—until next time,