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Monday, November 22, 2010

Hang onto the bucket

It's about to be serious cooking time here at Stony Run, with fifteen invited guests. Heck, if you're nearby, come on over! But please watch the road reports. Many people we know will have snow tonight, maybe even us, and tomorrow night is predicted for a low of 18F.

We have never owned a dishwasher, and our kitchen sink currently does not have a drain connection. So, you may well wonder how we function for an occasion such as this.

In warmer weather, I like to go into the washer room, where there is a spigot over the laundry sink, right by the hot water heater, that dispenses very hot water. I carry a big pitcher out to that spigot for my dish water, because the pipes, though they are insulated, seem to take a long, long time getting hot enough water to the kitchen for actual use.

In wood-burning weather, our dishwater heats up on the wood heat stove in the dining room.

We use a biodegradable garden-safe dish soap.

Two dishpans, a wash and a rinse. When the water needs changing we pour it into a white bucket. This is also the compost bucket. Between us, the chickens, and the ducks, very little kitchen waste actually makes it to the bucket.

After its contents have cooled (capture all heat in the house) the bucket goes out to the mudroom and an empty one is brought in.

When opportunity arises, kitchen buckets go to fruit trees. A little straw now and then does the cosmetic number on any crushed eggshells that might otherwise be regarded as unsightly.

As these bucketfuls tend to be slightly alkaline, they are not offered to blueberries, rhodies and the like.

We clean the sink from time to time, perhaps with some Dr. Bronners or with homemade vinegar, and let it drain into a bucket under the sink. This water goes on the small lawn (about 1/8 the size of the lawn that was here when we got here).

It's very hard to fix pipes in our crawl space. Even though we expect to climb under there and do the work sometime, we might still hang onto the bucket system as it saves on irrigation.

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