Day 7 of the PTJ, got to practice making tinctures with fresh material on site. I made a tincture of pine resin, St John's Wort, comfrey root, yarrow, and Oregon grape root. I've never made any tinctures before so doing five at once was cool.
Then I got back to becoming a cultured homesteader and learned how to make sourdough bread from start to finish. Austin had dough at different stages and we finished with baking a loaf in the rocket oven.
Tomorrow has a bunch of sessions with Tomas Elpel about foraging and I want to hear what he has to say.
Had a great time during Tomas' foraging sessions. We spent a lot of time tasting and looking at the plants around the lab. Most are bitter or astringent, nine bark is by far the most bitter.
After a few hours of plant exploration, the whole group ended up in Cooper Cabin and played the plant family memory game Tomas made. It sounds like it might be boring but it is fun and helps form the pattern recognition needed to learn different plants.
I had about 2 hours left before clean up time so I eavesdropped on the rocket barrels being prepped then jumped over to lend a hand on shaping a beam in the solarium. I got it roughed down bit it needs some planning still.
After dinner I broke open the other game Tom sells Wildlife Web. I got it two weeks ago but haven't tried it yet. Finally got a couple people together to learn it with me. Basically you pick animals and use their innate characteristics to survive long enough to have offspring. It was a good time once we learned how to play.
I used the last PTJ day to setup the sauna rocket heater. We brought everything we needed up the the project, got the brick platform laid out, the wall shielding up, started to level out the core... and broke a brick. So I went back down to basecamp to make a replacement.
With that fixed, we filled up around the core with sand, set the riser on top, sealed the feed with cob, and popped the barrel over top.
Making the hole for the chimney included climbing onto the roof and using the circular saw to plunge cut down through the shingles. Then we found out we didn't have enough chimney pipe and had to make another trip to grab more pipe.
Once everything was in place we started the first ever rocket heated sauna, worked perfectly. Of course the structure still needs benches, to reroute the chimney under the long bench, probably some vents, a bunch of trim work, and vestibule improvements. But none of that is very difficult, optimistically a week of work.