Cob-rocket oven takes shape

Ray came by yesterday with more materials to finish the hybrid cob-rocket oven. He also brought along a future client of his, David Silverstone (brother of Alicia Silverstone), to see his latest creation.   It was time to flip the top part of the oven onto the base!  Ray had the guys cut notches along the outer base of the oven for hot air to come up from the bottom. 

There’s still more building up to do around the base and top, but the oven is slowly taking shape.   We all can’t wait to see and use the finished project.   By using this cob oven along with our solar oven, we hope to be less dependent on our gas stove as we continue to try and untangle ourselves from web of modern technologies. You can view more photos of “the landing” at the photo gallery.

Yesterday evening, some friends of ours brought by 6 dozen duck eggs( a week’s worth from their flock of 13 ducks ) for us to buy. We in turn sell it to our clients for a small profit.  Once you use duck eggs for baking, you’ll never go back to chicken eggs again ( apologies to our hens, no offense intended).   Using duck eggs in baking baked goods are amazingly moist. Pancakes, pound cake and any basic, “yellow” cake all have a lovely yellow color (no artificial color needed).


Can’t believe it’s almost July already!   Four years ago, in July of 2001, we first started a “garden journal” here on PTF. 

We wrote:

To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves. ~ Gandhi ~

The dog days of summer have begun. Our garden is in the ‘summer mode’ filled with beans, corn, tomatoes, squash, peppers, berries, etc.  This year we grew some heirloom Indian corn which is growing well. One variety ‘Hopi Blue’ is over 9 feet high.  We are also growing a variety of heirloom tomatoes, but for some reason, we are continuing to have problems with blight. Even so, we are harvesting a wonderful array of yellow, pink, green, purple, and etc., tomatoes of all sizes.

The bright colors make great dishes, especially salsa.With the bountiful blessings that God has provided us, we have cut down on how much we purchase at the grocery store. So much so, that we have to only purchase “staples” such as: flour, bread, rice, butter and cheese,sugar, etc.


  1. chris brandow says:

    lots of blight here this year as well. I didn’t have much problem last year, but this year, watch out!

  2. gerry medland says:

    Hi Folks,
    a truly inspiring article Anais,thank you.I am starting building my ‘duckhouse’ this coming week.I shall look forward to baking and sharing my duck eggs with my friends and neighbours!A really happy 4th to you all,we should never forget our freedom and independance!(That goes for Europe to as we aproach the 60th anniversary of end WW2!)
    kind regards

  3. Anais says:

    Hello Chris,

    Thanks for the heads up. It’s been a pretty cool couple of weeks and that doesn’t help the blight situation any.

    What are you doing to control the problem?

  4. Anais says:

    Hello Gerry

    Good luck with your duckie house, you certainly have a lot of projects going on this year… that’s wonderful!

    I can’t believe it’s been four years since starting this diary… time certainly flies.

    Wishing all the UK people our support and love during this horrendous time.