§ We harvested five pounds of produce from the garden this week, nearly all of which were tomatoes. The san marzano, while still suffering from blossom end rot problems, is our heaviest producer by far.

§ My barber casually referred to my collection of random interests—building a greenhouse, growing and preserving food, making bricks, etc.—as “prepper stuff.” My reaction was to distance myself from the characterization but, thinking back on it now, I don’t know if I can pinpoint exactly what exactly I felt was so wrong about it.

I guess it is the popular association of peppers with end-of-the-world disaster scenarios, weapon stockpiling, and distrustful “every man for themselves” worldviews. Self-sufficiency is great, it is the underlying motivation that can cause problems.

I am fascinated by how things work. Bread making isn’t some innate ever-present skill. It is an arduous process that had to be invented, iterated, perfected, and passed down through generations. I am not going to grow wheat and then harvest, thresh, winnow, and mill grain every time I get a craving for fresh bread. Understanding the process, however, gives me a unique appreciation that I do not think I would otherwise have.

§ I have been enjoying Dark Noise, a white noise “sound machine” application.

The killer feature is the ability to create custom sound mixes. So far, I have make myself two primary mixes: a sleep mix and a mix to play during the day as I work. My sleep mix includes sounds like “rain on tent,” “windy trees,” and “crickets” while my daytime mix has “birds,” “wind chimes,” and “creek.”

As someone who likes to have audio playing in the background throughout most of my day, I am surprised I hadn’t given Dark Noise a shot until now.

§ I’ve only recently learned about the pawpaw tree which grows “the largest edible fruit indigenous to the United States.” It is native to Ohio and its fruit is said to taste similar to a banana or mango.

They ripen only during a short window of time in late September and early October. I’ll need to try to track some down then. If it tastes good I may try to grow one next to my maypop, another surprisingly tropical midwestern fruit.

§ I got a long-neglected Shopbot CNC machine up and running at work.

The cut area is only 2x4’ which is extremely limiting compared to the 4x8’ machine I’ve used in the past. Regardless, there is something deeply satisfying about drawing something on a computer and then watching as a robot cuts it out for you in real time.

§ Links

§ Recipes