We reached 900 lbs the first week of November. That’s 100 lbs shy of half a ton! It’s several hundred pounds more than last year, and we’ve still got a few sparse broccoli, carrots, cabbage, onions and beets to pick. There aren’t many of them though, and it’s a good thing as we just got an unexpected overnight snow.
For reaching this milestone, no one showed up on our doorstep awarding us a new car, but we did get a new kitchen appliance, and it’s better than a new dashboard for cooking eggs anyway. It’s a solar oven called “Sport.” Back when I started the blog I had wanted to build my own based on plans I’d received from a guy in Canada that had improved on certain aspects of the ovens currently available. But, after a few years passed, I decided to just get one. This isn’t an advertisement for the Sport oven, as types of solar ovens have different strengths. The Sport doesn’t get quite as hot as the Sun Oven, but it was noted as a “best buy” in a review by America’s Test Kitchen on CBS here. We maybe could have used the extra heat in Minnesota, but I think we’ll be ok. The makers of Sport also send ovens to improve lives of people who currently depend on burning fuel in other countries. So, I feel I’m supporting that effort as a side benefit.
Here is a picture of our new “Sport” oven, busy cooking up some mini omelettes in mid November. We had a bright sunny day to try it out, but there was a light chilly wind. I think if I need to use this in the cooler months I’d rig up an easy wind break. By noon ours was pre-heated to a steady 200 degrees, but opening it up to put the food in made it drop to below 150. It took a little while to build back up to 200, but it did cook the eggs well. For our location they recommend using the reflectors for cooking in cooler months. I’m hoping to try it again in December or January on sunny days, to see how it does. If we need it during a future emergency it would be good to know its limits.