I finally got all the beer bottles cleaned up and bottled the black ale. I think the black ale is going to be good if very different to the porter. It’s fascinating how using a different yeast or hops can have such a huge affect on the taste of a beer. Perhaps it is psychological but I think my home made beer not only tastes better but is healthier than store bought beer. I need to stop by the beer lady and get some more malted barley and some of the belma hops. I need to look at building a bit of a stock pile of the beer making ingredients if I want to use it as a trade good.
Mom will be taking one of the watermelon plants and offer to help with the raised beds I want to add to the yard. While I have the wood stove going tonight it supposed to hit the 80’s this week so we should have a dry week to get some work done on the yard. Pretty standard spring time weather in SW Idaho and it can trick you if you like to garden. Generally the last frost day is May 10th and even with that you should be ready to cover your plants. This is the first gardening season that I feel I am ready to protect the plants rather than just plant and hope for the best. I have added some small trellis to my gardening inventory and they should work well not only for climbing plants but as a support structure for protecting the plants. This will be the first year I will try succession planting and getting 2-3 harvests of hot and cool weather plants.
Reworking the budget for the paycheck this week. I don’t think I was in panic mode about rising food costs let’s say I am in very concerned mode. I have been able to keep my grocery budget flat by buying loss leaders but I will have to up my food budget now and I think that shook me a bit. I prepared for rising food costs and overall I don’t have any real worries but I can’t imagine how this is affecting people who have not prepared. With food and energy prices going up there will be some “mild discomfort” to real pain felt in the pocketbook for a lot of people this summer. I am so glad that I got the wood stove and air conditioner last year as they both reduced my energy costs by a lot. Now if I can get a week of sunshine I might be able to setup the solar panels and see if they can reduce my costs a bit more. I think my shop might be better for setting up and testing some of my energy and water systems. Safer and cheaper at least since I won’t have to do any retro-fitting the house. Since the shop stands by itself I don’t have to worry about toxic gasses seeping into the house or if a fire happens in the shop my home will be safe.