Thursday, June 28, 2012


Today I finished stacking some firewood that a friend gave me. It was even cut to 60cm and split!
So while I didn't have time to cut it to my usual 30cm length for our stove, I needed to get it stacked to start drying. I experimented with a new technique for keeping the ends squared. Here in Japan, loggers make stacks of 12 foot logs in a similar manner.
Firewood stack end

60x90x360cm... about 2 cubic meters of wood
And for the Americans:
2'x3'x12' = 72 cu. ft, or .56 cord
It's not as time consuming as making chimney stacked ends, and it is much sturdier. The angle keeps the wood from spilling out the ends, and the wood on top anchors them down snugly. 
Now I just need another 2 cords and I am all set....

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Good Side of June

Well, I don't want you to think that only bad things are happening.
There is a lot of beauty in this very cool spring and early summer.

This year's garlic looking great!

Organic roses smell heavenly

Everyone loves daisies

Japanese plums 

Everbearing strawberries pumping out three or four a day

Rice paddy looks better than last year

Cherokee Purple Tomato

Hollyhocks are so beautiful

Goumi fruits starting to ripen

Red Currants

Satsuma setting fruit.
Always look on the bright side of life!

What a Month!

Well, let's see...

Daughter had surgery on tonsils- She's fine now. 

Typhoon Guchol dumped 25cm of rain in three hours. 

Same typhoon caused an utterly massive landslide that destroyed my neighbor's house, just 30 meters away from my front door. He was trapped in the rubble for six hours. Pinned on his side with a six inch breathing space in front of his nose. Luckily the mud didn't penetrate that part of the house, and he didn't suffer any broken bones. Just a dislocated shoulder, numerous lacerations, and severe bruises. More than 50 rescue workers swarmed over the house to cut him out. Thank God he wasn't injured any worse. 
Garlic was harvested, 50+ drying in the shade under the cob oven's roof. Anna was right, planting the big cloves led to bigger garlic all around. If this keeps up, soon they will be as big as my head (which is pretty enormous already). 

Sunflower stalks are now 2 inches across the base, 2.5m tall, and still no sign of flowers. I am thinking of measuring the diameter at breast height, like trees they are so big! 

First three cherry tomatoes were eaten by crows. 

Dog had Sarcoptes Scabei canis (Scabies) mites. Then a cough, and now a sore paw. The poor little guy. Lucky our vet is quite affordable. 

Goats escaped twice and ate the middles out of the cabbage plants that weren't infested with loopers. 

Goumi fruits are ripe, and will be tested for radiation in a few days. 

Picked four enormous dandelion roots to dry, roast, and make dandelion coffee (which will be tested for radiation as well).

That is about it for now.

Neighbor's house after the mudslide

Standing on the wreckage looking up the slide.
That mud is at least six feet deep.
It carried 30-40  fifty year old cedar trees that it smashed into kindling.
Nature scares me sometimes. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chow Down On Chard

Today I got my chard tested- Clean!!
Here in Japan, they sometimes call chard "Fudanso."
Cs 134/137 not detected in chard!

Another crop I can eat.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Road to Recovery

Tonsillectomy scab third day

Our oldest had a tonsillectomy on Wednesday morning. I took the day off work to be with her, we kept the middle one out of school and we all nervously hung around the surgical waiting room for her. She came out crying, said it was like someone had cut them out with a scissors. But by evening she was feeling a lot better.
Here in Japan, they keep the patients in the hospital for a ridiculously long time. They said they will discharge her on Tuesday!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Let Us Eat the Lettuce!

Cs-137, Cs-134 not detected!
My spring crop of Sunny Lettuce has been grown, tested, came back negative (at least under 16 Bq/Kg)!
After the test, they give you back the produce. Since it was clean, I have been eating it.
It takes a long time to eat 600g of lettuce...

I am just happy to know that it passed, even if the kids aren't allowed to eat it.