Rocket Stove Fun

Rocket Stove

  Yesterday I worked on skinning all the milkweed I collected the other day. I only got through maybe a third of it in six hours and ended up with an entire pound of material.

  Since it's blazing hot here at the moment during our first heat wave, I set up the rocket stove outside last night and boiled my first batch in lye and soap water. I was tending the fire for nearly three hours. The water never did get to boiling, just a very light simmer.

  So tonight, I plan on lowering the pot closer to the heat. I ran out of wood last night so I gathered quite the pile of it this morning. It's so dry, it might just go up in a poof of smoke! I'm hoping it will be enough for a couple hours at least.

Milkweed Skins
I ended up watching three movies yesterday while I relaxed inside with blessed AC. Doesn't take much to cool my place down, thankfully.
Scrapping what doesn't come off with the skin

One Pound of skins

 This is what one pound of Milkweed skins looks like. It's a lot. I won't try to boil it all at once next time. It just takes to much to boil that volume of water outside.

Drying in the Sun

This morning, after they soaked in vinigar water overnight to nuetralize any lingering Lye, I picked through the liberated plant fiber and set it outside in the sun to dry. After only ten minnutes it was mostly dry and had whitened up quite a bit! I had thought that maybe I tried to cook too much at once and that was the reason for the yellowing. NOPE!!

Milkweed Fiber

I acquired a selfie stick that was on half off, so maybe tonight I'll do a vlog while I tend the fire.  I've never tried to do a live vlog. That might be fun!! 

Night Visitor
And while I was out there, in the lingering light of the evening, I watched this wild friend climb up my beach towel that I had out drying (I had a mini flood in my kitchen, whoops)! I seem to have a surplus of toads and tree flogs in my little nook. Found a baby toad in my rocket stove, chilling in the still moist ashes from last nights adventure. I only saw him because he popped out as I was scrapping away the ashes for tonight adventure. I told the wee toad that the stove is not a safe place to linger as I would have never seen him if I hadn't decided to clean out the ashes!!! He would have been cooked!!!

Momma Toad

This is the Momma Toad that I accidently stepped on one evening. I was heartbroken! She's been around the porch all season and she was quite big. She was right in from of the door and didn't move when I stepped out. The poor gal. But, her babies will always have a safe haven to grow up in and I am thinking all these baby toads I am seeing around the porch are hers. I now check before exiting now so it never happens again. I love my Toads.


Until next time...
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