Caterpillar Too

Caterpillar on Milkweed Leaf

I think this is a Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillar. Another like the one of the other day. You can see some of the leaf has been eaten in the upper left corner of the photo.

Today Ben and I pulled more pipe sleeves for water lines. These will go below the concrete. By sleeving the water lines we’ll be able to easily feed in PEX lines later. We also put in a vacuum line to the outdoors so we can easily clean the van each week.

The other big thing Will and I spent time on today was thinking about building a new meat transport for the van. For years we’ve been using a old ice cream freezer but that is rather inconvenient when dealing with large roaster pigs as it is top loading. As a practice welding project Will is going to build a stainless steel refrigerator box for the van that will have a bit more capacity and be a lot easier to get meat in and out of.

There will be a period of time after we have on-farm butchering but before we have on-farm slaughter where we’ll still be taking pigs down to the Adams Farm Slaughterhouse in Massachusetts. We will be bringing back primals and whole carcasses which we’ll cut and use to make sausage. To do that we’ll need a better cold storage space for the van.

Outdoors: 61°F/34°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/60°F

Daily Spark: “The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land” -Abraham Lincoln

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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4 Responses to Caterpillar Too

  1. Patrick says:

    Building a cold box?

    You’ll need a foam-in barrier. Take a look at for a company that sells all kinds of foam and silicone for everything from toys, molds to medical prosthetics.

    I have used them for various projects and they are a great group to work with and will sell in small volume. Their starter/trial kits of various chemicals are usually a good size for small projects. Their backline support is quite good and they have never shied from working with us – a small company. They offer plenty of advice and will help you select a good foam-in solution.

    I don’t work for them but have bought from them.

    • Thank for the link. I will check them out. We’re planning to use polyurethane foam insulation, something we’ve used in other parts of the butcher shop and our cottage. Basically we’ll be making a skeleton of stainless steel, skinning it inside and out and then injecting foam into the core much like making insulated doors – something else we’re doing.

    • (joke) Did you really say “building a cold box?” to our host WJ=mr Coolth who currently shows us how to build a R=1000 triple isolated cold box=butcher shop freezer? :-) That being said, yeah, suppliers that want to ship and sell in small volume are rare, or located in China…

      • We actually looked into buying various commercial boxes and found a number of vendors but none of them fit our need and all were horrendously expensive and made of plastic. What we need is one that will optimize the usage of the space in the middle section of our van, be moveable in the future to a new van when the time comes, allow other hand carried coolers to be stored above it and big enough for even the largest roaster pigs as well as keeping it’s temperature stable for long periods. The insulation will only be R-28 plus reflective and convection seals but my tests show that is enough for deliveries by several fold.

        The box will be stainless steel for strength, durability and rust resistance. We found that plastic breaks too easily at those low temperatures and aluminum walls in the carvel ice cream freezer we have gets punctured by sharp parts. The outer bits of the carvel are also rusting as they’re plain steel.

        As a bonus, this will be good practice for learning the techniques we’ll need for building insulated doors. Will is getting very good at the welding. Right now he’s building a larger metal bending machine for doing a different set of angles. Sometimes we have to make tools to make the tools to do the job and to do that we practice making other useful things like tractor ears, dog houses and cottages to learn the craft. Other times it pays to just buy the right tool rather than reinventing the wheel. *grin*

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