Sunday, March 8, 2009


When we came home from NZ a few things had happened. Lantanaland looked like part of the set from The Thin Red Line, eight foot high thick grass everywhere, troops moving stealthily towards their LZ, well they could've been, that grass was thick. The other one was that our trusty washing machine veteran of seven years of sharehousing, finally gave up the ghost.

The washing machine was easily replaced with a nice new water efficient one that put less strain on my limited tank based water supply. I spent most of the weekend slashing and mowing, only reinforcing my feeling that a cow, while it might be a lot of work, is much better value than mowing. Take all the gardening I did this weekend, I used liters of fuel and all I get is a better-looking Lantanaland. If I had a cow, not only would I have mown grass, but that grass would be converted to milk and cream and cheese and manure which can be converted to fruit and veg. Hughesy has kindly put me on to a few leads for the cow, so I can only hope that my mowing days will soon be limited to the house block.

So that leaves one dead washing machine. I originally had planned to strip out the motor and the barrel and turn it into another chook house. The last thing I wanted to do was just dump it and I thought a washing machine chook house would be cool. I did a bit more mowing than started to strip out the washing machine when I had one of those moments that make Lantanaland and being here and having this place just the most satisifing thing for my soul.

You see I've been wanting to build a cold smoker for a while, but I lack the materials. I dry cure my own bacon but it needs that beautiful smoky flavor to be the real deal. A old wine barrel would be ideal, but they are pretty expensive, so my long term plan was to build one out of stone, which would be cool, but not cheap and time consuming and I need that time to mow the bloody lawn.

So I'd taken out the barrel and motor and was sitting there looking at the shell, thinking of how the best way to use it for a chook pen when it hit me, here was the perfect cold smoke oven. It already had easy access through the lid a strong steel box and a hole in the bottom for the smoke intake. All I need is a firebox, some pipe, some racking and a flue. It just happens that I put some belly bacon in the cure today, the first Lantanaland bacon.

To complete a great recycling day I used the barrel to repot a jade tree of The Wife that had badly outgrown its pot. All I need to know now is who's coming for breakfast next weekend?

Lantanaland from the iPhone


  1. It's all that damn rain! Our garden (what little garden we have) has gone nuts. Hope you're not dealing with the cyclone!

  2. no just the sound of grass growing and bloody snakes eating my chooks