My processing kitchen

macybabyAugust 5, 2011

With the harvest getting underway, I finally got my summer kitchen cleaned up.

When we bought the place, this building was a mess. Half had been used as a chicken coop and not cleaned in years, and the other half as a work shop and then junk storage - also had not been cleaned out in years. This will be my third season having a summer kitchen, and I love it!

The door, double window and windows on the green house were removed from the house during assorted remodeling projects.

Inside I have a nice double utility sink and a hose sprayer. It's got the full power you expect from a garden hose too. The longer hose lets me fill pots on the cooktop.

The countertop has a slight slope to it so things drain into the sink. The unit on the wall is an on demand hot water heater. The cabinets are from the house. Good use of my old, worn towels too.

This use to be a display case - got cheap when they remodeled the office I work in. We put in heavy shelves to hold my pots and stuff. A few of the pots were purchased at garage sales, but the bulk came from the house when I had to replace them because I switched to induction.

This small rolling metal table was purchased for $5. Gives me some extra room for things like setting up my mixer when I need to use the attachments. The white cabinets use to be in the bathroom. The chunk of wood next to the table is the cover for the cooktop.

And the heart - the cooktop. I got the desk from a place I use to work years ago. It lost a few feet of length to make it fit. Having the cooktop at the low level is really nice. I can fit both my canners on this at the same time, and it's got plenty of power.

This is the water source. The outlet for the cooktop is behind it in the corner - the breaker box for the building is on the other side of the wall. I keep the breakers for the cooktop and waterheater off when not in use. The waterheater comes in the house for the winter too.

The door on the left goes to the coop (use to be a closet door in the house) and the door on the right goes to the greenhouse (use to be an upstairs bedroom door).

This picture showing the cooktop with the cover in place.

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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

That's a fantastic place! Really great re-use of items you no longer enjoyed in your home but needed elsewhere. I am assuming you live in a climate where it has not been at least 95 for 4 straight months? I can't imagine only opening the windows to can right now unless it was at midnight (even then, some days....)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 12:01AM
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I'm in South Dakota - we only had about three weeks of hotter weather and it's starting to get a bit back to normal. Been a strange year weather wise for sure.

This is what the place looks like from about December through March.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 8:45AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

This last picture sure shows why you can't wait to do your canning in the winter! :-)

Really great set-up Marcy. I envy your convenience and your top-notch organization.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 11:22AM
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Very cool set up. It seems like a perfect place to do some beer and wine making as well.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 12:28PM
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kriswrite(zone 8)

Ok, this is my new dream! Awesome!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 6:50PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Macy - how do you transport all your finished canned goods back to the house?

A conveyor belt set-up would be handy. :)


    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 6:58PM
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yardkat(z5 Utah)

Awesome, love it.
(I live in Utah now, but grew up in SD, and I am now and always will be a South Dakotan.)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 3:37PM
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lpinkmountain(5b/6a border PA)

Ingenious! Looks like a fun place to hang out too!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 4:19PM
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Well, since this got dragged back up - DH and I decided to insulate the bulding so we could use it in the colder months for meat processing.

That meant taking everyting out and off the walls, putting in foam insulation (so it can't get water damamge) and putting up water resistant sheething on the walls and regular sheeting on the ceiling - then re-runing some of the elctrical (it's all in conduit on top of the sheething.

We also put in a bathroom type exhaust fan right over the cooktop - that will be handy.

And when it's all done, I'm going to paint it bright yellow - Menards had a five gallon bucket of mis-mixed exterior paint for $15, and at that price I can live with yellow. I wanted exterior paint because it's subject to much harsher use than typical indoor paint is meant for - including subzero temps.

I am alos raising the sink so I can reach the bottom without bending over - about 3". We also talked about putting a cutting board instead of laminate near the sink, but we are workign to keep the cost down so that might not happen until next year.

We tore it up last weekend, and I miss it already - still have apples to deal with!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 5:01PM
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Macy I appreciate your separate canning space but I have a question/concern. Do you have a lead free garden hose? You would have to buy it special, it would have been labeled "drink safe". Otherwise hoses are made of PVC and they use lead as a stabilizer.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 2:41PM
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I have major concerns about sanitation issues related to the proximity to your chicken coop. You mentioned one of the doors goes directly to the coop. Histoplasmosis is a very serious infectious lung disease. It is caused by a fungus found in bird droppings (including chickens), and is spread by inhaling the airborne spores. Chicken feed attracts rodents and roaches, which would also affect your adjoining kitchen. I don't know what other infections are spread to humans via chickens or chicken droppings, but I think you need to have your canning kitchen completely separate from the chicken coop and much further away. Are you selling any of your canned goods?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 4:50PM
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No, I would never even consider selling any of what I can, mostly becuase I have no need of making money like that. If I wanted to, I'd have an approved kitchen, which this was never intended to be. But I appreciate your concerns.

I don't know if the histoplasmosis would be a problem with properly processed foods, as the processing kills what ever might have gotten in there. Though I'm way more concerned on possibly breathing it if there is an issue - not eating it.

BTW - I do wear a resporator when I'm cleaning the coop. We only have a very small flock (8 hens)and they free range, so the coop gets little use during the warmer months and stays relativly clean. I'm also not worried about salmonila in my eggs, and that can also be a concern. Nearest neighbor is over a mile away so not that much chance for contamination - though West Nile in wild birds is also a potential threat. Cross contamination is one reason I keep my domestic rabbits where they can never come in contact with wild cottontails. Tuleramia is also not fun.

All the edible stuff is secure in metal containers, roaches and rodents are not something I've had a problem with. It is one reason the cats have access to the buidling also. I've actually had more problems with bugs in my house than out here , but I store way more food in the house.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 5:30PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Macy, it looks charming. While maybe a little more broken up (meaning steps apart), I'm not sure you don't have about as much flat surface prep space in that canning kitchen as I have in my everyday only kitchen! I do have three very strong pull out breadboards - believe me, when canning they get used.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 8:26PM
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gardnpondr(Zone 8)

WOW that is soooo nice! I bet it's REALLY nice when you need to can and put up your veggies and stuff. You did good with your organizing it to.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 9:06PM
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Macy, I'm in love with your canning kitchen and perhaps a bit envious. I don't think I have issue with your coop proximity, either. I bring in pails of eggs every day and have so many different critters that you can't tell me that I don't leave a germ trail despite taking off boots, etc. Of course I sanitize the kitchen any time I can and assume you do the same. I have cats inside, too. So I don't suppose that your outside kitchen is much dirtier than my inside kitchen, LOL.
I think it is brilliant how you have made great use of cast away items such as doors and cabinets. I sure wish I had a spot to get away to or to heat up during the hot months if need be and spare the house. Way to go. Lori

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 12:25AM
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