Reading Hardware No. 78 Apple Parer

Autumn is here…

Reading 78 Apple Parer

From the 1885 Reading Hardware catalog.  Manufactured through 1993 and brought back into production shortly thereafter by Lehman’s.  I grew up using one of these. Now, it looks like something a Steampunk engineer would create to use as many moving parts as possible.  It was a more interesting kitchen in those days and I think you’d only need to buy one of these about every three or four generations.

From the most recent Lehman’s catalog:

  • Total number of cast iron, cast bronze or steel pieces Per Apple Peeler: 31
  • Holes Drilled: 22
  • Holes Tapped: 10
  • Number of Assembly Steps: 44 (From start to packed in box)
  • Time it takes to Make One Apple Peeler: 48 Minutes
  • Our craftsman can make about 50 per week
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Victory Gardens

Springtime is just around the corner.  Now that we’re in a more hospitable growing environment, I feel obligated to get a better garden growing.  Of course, it is some work but the payoff, even for a small garden more than justifies the effort.

It’s always a good time to grow food.

In times of crisis, it is wise to have a bit laid aside.  Try canning and preserving if you have never done so.  It’s easy and rewarding throughout the year.

 

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Edwardian Camp Equipment

This is a re-post from an earlier entry.  Say what you will about British imperial policy of the 19th and 20th centuries.  They certainly worked out minimalist travel with a fair amount of style and comfort on a very personal level.  These old catalogs give some great ideas for camp living.

From The Army and Navy Co-operative Society Store, London 1907

1907-11907-21907-31907-41907-61907-71907-51907-91907-101907-11There are some excellent items here that should give some inspiration for fabricating some classic and classy gear.  From an era before the activity of “camping” was fully segregated from “regular living”.

Much more of this to come…

Edwardian Camp Equipment

From The Army and Navy Co-operative Society Store, London 1907

1907-11907-21907-31907-41907-61907-71907-51907-91907-101907-11Waiting for the plumbers gave me a few minutes to put up this post.  This is a lot more than a bunch of nifty images (but it is that as well).  There are some excellent items here that should give some inspiration for fabricating some classic and classy gear.  From an era before the activity of “camping” was fulling segregated from “regular living”.

Much more of this to come…

Backyard Chickens

I’ve been lucky as a chicken owner for quite a few years.  Very few have been stolen by predators, and we’ve had very little illness.  Right now, with a dozen chickens both old and young, I get between three and six eggs per day with the occasional bonanza of eight.  That is, if I can keep the Gopher Snakes out.  I catch the snakes when I can and take them a few hundred meters away and hope they find new homes to rob.  With limited free-ranging in a pretty poor environment they cost me no more than $10-$20 per month and a few minutes work every day.  In the winter, they need a bit more tending, especially to keep the water unfrozen.  I can’t see how suburban America has so lost it’s way that there is a fight to keep chickens in your own yard.  I recently heard a politician refer to them as “gateway livestock”.

LuckyChickenI love my dogs, but to hear people speak of chickens as annoying, smelly, and dangerous is ridiculous.  Dogs bark, and often attack people (which are the jobs we bred them for) so the double standard is apparent.

DomPulletIf you have lived with chickens, you know how excellent they are at virtually eliminating small vermin; especially ticks, grasshoppers, crickets, and even the occasional mouse or snake.  They are wonderful pest control, especially around the perimeter of the garden and their manure is a potent garden additive.

BuffOrpMaybe not as cuddly as a dog or cat, they are certainly part of our history for thousands of years.  If you are considering chickens for eggs or meat, they are a simple, inexpensive investment that takes little time or money and are a great addition to the household food supply.  Mine survive well on kitchen scraps including almost daily doses of broccoli stems, carrot tops, fruit peels, and even chopped weeds from the garden.  They work better than composting for most waste.

LuckyThey come in many varieties, builds, temperaments, and fortes, but nearly all will help out the small homesteader.