summer kitchen- counter space

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by SquashNut, May 30, 2006.

  1. SquashNut

    SquashNut Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,431
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    Idaho
    I am still working on my summer kitchen.
    It was a wood shop. I am supposed to split the work areas into space for canning and the rest will be for raising seedlings under shop lights. i want to put formica on the kitchen counters. But I am not sure how much to cover with the formica.
    What is the an acceptable area for canning. I have a 7x2 sink area, (2 sinks) a 3x4 roll around table, 3x4 desk( formica topped), and a L shaped work bench that is 40 square feet.
    In addition I have one area that I can either use as a counter 3x4 feet or tear out and put a small freezer there.
    Does this sound like enough room for a canning kitchen?
    I can also use any area under the l shaped work bench to raise veggie plants, with the shop lights hanging under the counters.
    How much counter space is normal for a good canning kitchen, I don't want to short myself and make it more work than it is now.
    Any suggestions appreciated.
     
  2. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

    Messages:
    1,751
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Location:
    Ky
    good for you!! you will love it. what is the rest of your post?
     

  3. SquashNut

    SquashNut Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,431
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    Idaho
    Ok i fixed my post any ideas?
     
  4. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    635
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Location:
    NC
    It seems like it's hard to have enough space for a canning kitchen.
    Some things I have done and would suggest:
    Have it as open as possible to let out the heat
    have 2 basins outside for washing and rinsing things,
    have lots and lots of racks for letting things drain and dry outside
    have a garden hose handy and use it for everything
    be able to rinse the floor with a hose when done (mine is all outside, so cleanup can be wet without worrying about flooring)
    Have 2 stoves (i have one RV propane stove and one Coleman gas camp stove)
    (I have a wood fired canner to keep fuel costs down and speed the process up. I'll send you pictures of it if you ask...it's made of 2 55 gallon drums and holds 40 something quarts at a time)
    have more shelves for storing big pots and cases of canning jars and lids
    have lots of big mixing bowls and several cutting boards and a bunch of knives and 5 gallon buckets hanging from the tables such that when a cutting board is scraped off, the scraps fall right into the bucket
    stools for sitting on
    a radio
    have friends over to help and give them beer and some of the bootie
     
  5. SquashNut

    SquashNut Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,431
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    Idaho
    the barrel canners sounds great, but the small town goverment we have here out lawed burn barrels.
    I can use my trash burner inside the shop though.
    we are putting in shelves for canning jars as well as alot of mine are in milk crates, so we will be stacking them under and around the cuboards.
    Up here we will have to store the full ones in the house for the winter.
    I use the top part of the broiler pans that come with new stoves as a drain rack over my sinks and have several colanders. But have found anything less than a good sized dish pan to be a waste of time as far as bowls go.
    I like the idea of hose washable floors. cann't do that here though. I think we are going with painted floors and resturant mats.
    I found a 3 burner propane stove last week. We are going to set it up on a rolling table so it can be taken out side.

    I saved the square of plywood that has formica on it , from installing a sink for one of my cutting boards.
     
  6. MoonShine

    MoonShine Fire On The Mountain

    Messages:
    1,455
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I wanna see it,please! I can outside,over a fire,in a washtub...I can do 20 some quarts at a time,depending on how thick I have lined the tub with cloth. Your set up sounds interesting :)
     
  7. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    635
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Location:
    NC
    moonshine,
    i haven't gone through the process that would enable me to post pictures here. pm me your email address and i'll send you some photos.
    Also, i posted a long description of it here last year. I think it was lost in the big crash, so i have included the description below:


    plans for a homemade wood fired canner

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    hi all
    I have been canning on the porch using coleman fuel and a 7 quart canner for years. The time involved in processing and the cost of the fuel has been bugging me for years, too.
    I read about using a 55 gallon drum as a boiling water bath canner for tomatos, pickles, jams, etc. I came up with a plan and made it and it has worked very well for me, so i figured i'd send the idea out in case somebody else wants to make one.
    I got 2 55 gallon steel drums and a piece of stove pipe for a chimney. I used a set of torches to do the cutting, but a sawzall or any metal cutting tool would suffice. I also welded on hinges to the fire door, but just leaning a piece of metal along the opening would work fine, too.
    It took me about 3 hours of drawing the lines on the metal and cutting to complete it.
    i cut one drum lengthwise such that there was a hole about 18 '' wide the whole height of the drum. I set it on the ground with the cut open side down. That is the fire box. I cut a hole at the top on one end to insert a 4" stove pipe. I then cut a hole in the rest of the top of the firebox such that the second drum which holds the water (also cut lengthwise) can set neatly into the firebox drum (and parallel to it). That was definately the only difficult cut, as it involved a curve. Smoke comes out of the gap between the two drums when the fire is first started, but once the chimney heats up, air is drawn in from the gaps and there is no problem with smoke in your face. As the chimney takes up about 6 inches of the top of the firebox, the hole i cut in which i set the top drum was offset by about 6", leaving the last 6" of the far end of the top drum hanging over open air. I cut the drum such that the threaded cap on the top can be used to drain out the water when I'm done using it. Then i cut the side off the firebox so i could load it with wood. The top drum was cut lengthwise, too, but not quite in half. The bottom (which holds the water) needs to be about 3 or so inches deeper than the top in order for it the water to be deep enough to cover the jars. I got racks from a dead oven to set into the bottom of the basin, but anything strong and flat will do (I was planning on using an ironing board from the thrift shop). The remainder of the top drum works well as a lid. The canner holds 40 quarts. I load it one jar at a time with those tongs designed to pick up canning jars. It made me dizzy. I wore leather gloves and would recommend long sleeves, too.
    It takes about an hour from when I start building the fire for the canner to go from ambient temperature to having processed 40 quarts for 15 minutes. It takes almost a wheelbarrow full of dry wood to get the job done. I'd suggest having enough jars on hand to process more than one canner full, as most of the work is in getting it hot and processing additional batches is really not much more work. The transfer of heat from the fire to the drum above it is excellent and the smoke exits above my head. All in all, it works really well.
    I wrote this post with the intention of including pictures that i have taken, but have been unable to figure out how to attach them. If anyone is interested in seeing the pictures, either email me and I'll send them or tell me how to post them here.
    k, that's it.
    ray
     
  8. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    635
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Location:
    NC
  9. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    635
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Location:
    NC
    and a couple more
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. SquashNut

    SquashNut Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,431
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    Idaho
    That is a nice set up you have. I know now that I will be using all the counter tops in the wood shop for canning and reserving only the floor space under them for plant propagation.
    With only the sink area , I would not be able to get much done.
    That is a cool boil bath furnace you have.
    But I was right they would not let me use it in town. I will use my trash burner though.
    Thanks for the pictures of your summer kitchen. My inside kitchen is very small . That is the reason for the summer kitchen.
     
  11. MoonShine

    MoonShine Fire On The Mountain

    Messages:
    1,455
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I nearly forgot to post back on this thread!
    Ray,that set up is awesome....it's simple enough that I can completely understand it, yet so genius! I think I'll build one...no kidding!

    Thanks for posting the pictures and the good explanation of everything :) :) :)