So, today’s labour saw me putting the finishing touches to the manufacture of my steampunk-style electric hot water-cylinder workshop woodstove. I will be putting a page on the website detailing its construction, with photos of course. But as it was a rainy afternoon, I figured that I just HAD to test it.

I’m pleased to report it works fine! The only downside is that we will soon have three wood-burning stoves at La Darnoire, which means some poor unfortunate person will need to cut a lot more wood. Oh, that would be me.

The boiler stove installation is progressing nicely; I resolved the leak in the thermal store by using some silicone sealant, and now all we need is to get about 3 metres of stove-pipe. I enlarged the current hole in the lounge ceiling to take the larger 139mm diameter stovepipe (the old pipe was 100mm, and this size does not appear to be available any more). I used lime mortar to seal around the edges of the hole. Plastering upside-down is probably one of my least favourite jobs in the entire world. Lime mortar went all over the place including up my sleeves (or I should say down my sleeves as my arms were in an upright position…)

LSS harvested the remaining parsnips a couple of days ago (all except a few plants) and the next batch of parsnip wine is brewing. Nothing was wasted; once the parsnips had released their juice for the wine, LSS turned them into a parsnip lasagne (just like a normal lasagne but instead of using pasta, you use the sliced parsnips!)

I’ve also made a couple of racks to fit in our lightbulb-powered food dehydrator, so when our next crop of tomatoes is ready for harvest, we’ll be ready to dry some. If we ever get around to planting them – spring still hasn’t arrived!

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