§ Our first red cherry tomatoes have ripened. They are a few weeks behind our crop from last year but no less delicious. We’re still waiting on the yellow and black cherries.

I also ate my first home grown summer squash of the season. The plant has been uncharacteristically prolific but, for whatever reason, many of its smaller fruits are suffering from blossom end rot. I tried supplementing with calcium and we will see if that helps.

§ OpenAI took its AI detection tool offline due to low accuracy. This isn’t surprising—I’ve seen a number of stories about professors rejecting student essays after they were inaccurately flagged as being AI written.

I suspect OpenAI primarily developed its AI detection capabilities for internal use, to avoid “model collapse” by filtering today’s AI generated content out of future training runs. When used this way, an overzealous classifier is totally fine. Sure, you might filter out some genuine content but that isn’t a huge deal. When the same classifier is used as the sole means to judge the authenticity of student work, however, false positives start to become a lot more impactful.

§ We got a new stove! It is a lot like our old stove except, in this one, the oven actually functions properly. The burners supposedly have a higher BTU rating too but that hasn’t had any noticeable impact, in practice.

§ I started digging a hügelkultur which I have been mistakingly calling a hinterkaifeck.

You might recall that I have been spending the summer sawing down a lot of tree branches and overgrown bushes.

The volume of branches this has produced has been challenging. Sure, making a wattle fence has been great fun but that only uses so much wood. I’ve started to annoy my city’s garbage collection service with the bags upon bags of sticks and leaves I’ve been attempting to throw out each week.

So, hey, maybe a hügelkultur would be perfect. You just bury some wood in the ground, plant things on top, and, as the wood breaks down, it feeds the growing plants above with a continuous supply of carbon.

§ Links

§ Recipes

I tried making cheese with raw—scratch that, “pet”—milk that I purchased from a local Amish grocer.

I spent a while trying to decide between a queso fresco and a farmer’s cheese before I realized that they are essentially the same thing. Mozzarella felt a bit too ambitious as an entry point.

The whole process was not as difficult as I expected. Warm up the milk, add acid, wait, scoop out the curds, drain. That is really it.

I also made ricotta with the leftover whey. I still have so much more whey left to use, though. I’ve read that you can use it in place of water in bread doughs. It is also supposed to have some unique qualities when used to soak beans. Some people make whey lemonade.

This whole experience, while fun, makes me disinclined to ever want a dairy cow. At more than seven gallons of milk per day, I would need to get way more into dairy before that ever became anything more than burdensome.

A goat on the other hand…