Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The good, the pretty, and a bad review.

After a busy weekend where we weren't home as much as we might normally like, we have some good, some interesting, and some bad. First things first, another harvest from the bean plants has turned up a lot more beans to can. We let the beans get bigger this time, and are going to be canning them shortly. It's amazing how many beans we're going to have canned for the winter with just a few plants. If we do a full spread next year of beans we're going to have probably more beans than we need, which would be a nice change from not being able to put enough up for the winter. Next year we'll be out weeding more which will make a huge difference. The bush beans actually do a good job of out competing our weeds though, which is kind of nice. The balance between the pole beans and the bush beans really is the bush beans produce more, but are more of a pain to harvest. Sounds like a job for the Critter when he's old enough to take directions since he's closer to the ground. That's over a year off though, just planning ahead!

On the interesting side, you may remember our sunchokes that have gotten so big. The Lady of the House and I were fascinated as they went into bloom. As you can see they've gotten really tall, and are towering over the 6' tall rabbit hutch despite leaning. so far over. It's really enjoyable having surprise very pretty almost daisy like flowers popping up. The Lady of the House surmised that the flowers might be part of what ends up with the name of sunchokes. It seems like as good of a reason for the name as any. Now the funny part is that if the Lady of the House and I had done any of our normal crazy level of research that we like doing, we would have known about the flowers. The fact that all of our information about these is from friends who grow these, and enjoying eating them. It's not a problem obviously, I just thought it was fun and interesting that we were surprised by something like this. On the timing side of things it is very nice to have flowers coming up right now as it cold, the weeds are dying back, and the leaves are coming off the trees.
Now that we've covered the good and the interesting, let's look at the bad. As I mentioned in May, we got new water bottles. After only 5 months, I can say they are a bust. The threading on the cap is poorly designed, slips easily, and is already degrading. The plastic is questionable sadly, and is prone to bending in unfortunate ways. The spout has always been something of a problem as it's very small which wasn't ever really a good thing, but it seemed to work out during the summer. Over the weekend we put out water bottles on Sunda, and I came back to Dawn and her daughter's hutch on Monday, and the bottle was full. This is actually more concerning than empty for one simple reason. It means they haven't had any water. I was able to fix the water bottle by hitting the tip of the water bottle with a hammer, and getting the ball moving again, but it is now suspect entirely. Combine that with the other problems with that water bottle and I recommend not purchasing it, and instead going with another brand. 
As for what we do recommend,t his is our oldest water bottle. The 32oz. LM Animal Farms water bottles are tough. This one has been in use for 3 years. The spout has fallen in snow, ice, on rocks, in the dirt. It's still working just fine after a rinse out. The only things that have broken these bottles is falling on a stone or a corner while frozen solid. I can solidly say that the LM Animal Farms water bottles have been well worth everything we've spent on them. At least, I can recommend the ones we have, I'm not sure if the particular style is still manufactured, but specifically the translucent but not transparent plastic has worked perfectly for us.

A note, I know the e-mails for the Patreon supporters haven't gone out yet, I need to get a good photo, and those should be going out this week. Thanks for your patience!

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