Monday, March 25, 2013

Solar cooking in the snow

Living at the base of the mountains is great for just about everything I can think of. It's not the best for solar cooking in the winter, the clouds come in fast.

9:45 AM, temperature is good, the sun is shining and it's 18 degrees outside and my shadow looks odd.

 High noon, the oven has reached a good temperature and we are back from coffee with some friends.
The pan of water came out, the bread went in.
To be honest, I had to use the real oven for 10 minutes, the sun went behind the clouds and the sun oven started to get coated with snow. If we started the bread earlier in the day it would have been fine, we ended up with 4 inches of snow yesterday and a total of 8 inches for the weekend.

The weather will be in the 50's and 60's most of this week, so the ground will enjoy the moisture. The melting snow should fill my water barrels at least half way. The ground should still be soft enough to turn the garden soil, a good project for Saturday. Need to get ready for some tomatoes!
I've got enough pots for transplanting in case they get out of control. I like the Jiffy pods and greenhouses, I've got enough replacement pucks for a few years, it's just super convenient with my small space for indoor growing via. the kitchen. If SHTF I wouldn't care about less counter space and would put some shelving under the dining room windows.

We are starting some pepper plants this week. The chamomile and lavender is growing rapidly, as expected.
Chamomile has some nice medicinal properties so I'm happy to have it grow. It's great for calming an upset stomach but if you drink too much it can cause an upset stomach leading into it being a mild laxative. It's an mild anti-inflammatory and can help with sore throats along with mild arthritic type inflammation.
When I was a teenager, all of my friends were older (my Fathers friends) so I learned a lot about herbs and herbal medicine from one nice lady. Every once in a while I would help her with the herbal books she was writing, I could type fast. It was great to learn and gather some wisdom from her, as well as the other homesteader types.


  1. It doesn't look like it from your pictures. Are you using the back "leg" of the oven to put it at a better angle to the sun? If you aren't try it. It makes the oven much less stable but gets the sun more directed into the oven.

    1. I am using the leg. The picture of the bread I thought wasn't cooked evenly... well that bread actually came out great once I sliced it open. One side didn't brown as much, but putting the pan in "sideways" and not turning it was the reason.

      I learn something each time I use it, just have to remember to not make the same error twice.