The Slow Road
using the worms to feed them. The worms fed on the droppings from the rabbits. The rabbits lived on items from the garden most of the year, with rabbit food fed to them when fresh food wasn’t available.
    Just as she’d not been able to take game when she went along on a couple of Jasper’s hunting trips, Millie couldn’t bring herself to butcher the rabbits. She was okay handling the carcasses after Jasper had butchered and cleaned them. Some she canned and some she sold, just as she did the fish that Jasper’s fish tanks started producing.
    After checking the town statutes, Jasper found out that chickens could be raised legally in the area of town they were in. A bit reluctantly, out of anticipation of the neighbor’s possible squawks because of the squawks of the chickens, Jasper built a moveable chicken pen and henhouse. The chickens got some of the worms, too.
    But the birds weren’t too noisy, and the thick hedges dampened the sound to each side and the solid alley fence dampened the noise to their across-the-alley neighbors. The neighbors didn’t seem to mind as long as they were able to buy the fresh eggs and chickens the Willingham’s were now producing, along with the generous gifts of fresh vegetables during the height of the garden harvest.
    Just as scheduled, the fruit trees began to bear that summer. It hurt Jasper initially to thin down the fruit as it began to show, but the experts on the internet were adamant that the process was critical for good yields and the good health of the trees. All the thinned fruit went right into the compost bins.
    That fall Jasper came home to find Millie nearly at the point of collapse from having been in the kitchen nearly constantly for several days, canning produce. He vowed to prevent that from happening again and immediately began to construct an outdoor kitchen for use during the canning season.
    There were still plenty of bricks and blocks from the building salvage project and feeling guilty about Millie’s condition, Jasper built something more elaborate than he might have otherwise. He did acquire more fill dirt and built up the area to the same height as the shelter mound. Though he ran a gas line from the propane tank to the outdoor kitchen and installed a couple of propane side burners, the main cooking apparatus was the wood stove with oven that Jasper built from plans he found on the internet. He had to buy the firebrick for the stove, but decided it was well worth the money to make it easier on Millie.
    Besides the wood stove and oven, and the side burners, Jasper piped water to the structure and put in a small sink that drained into a bucket that could be emptied into the cleanout for the sewer line at the back of the trailer, or used to water the garden. There was a large flat work surface for the food preparation activities. The entire structure had half height walls and a roof. The area between them was fiberglass screen to keep the bugs out but allow circulation.
    Fortunately he’d built the thing so the additions he decided on in the middle of the project worked right in with almost no modification of the original construction. At the south end of the brick structure Jasper mounted a large C-band parabolic dish he got for free from one of the neighbors that had switched to cable vision. He cleaned it and painted it with reflective paint.
    Above the focus point of the dish Jasper built a large multiple tray solar dehydrator. It had screened sides, enclosed at a distance with light plywood to allow air circulation all around the trays. A piece of heavy metal was suspended at the very bottom that the reflector focused the sunlight on, heating it up to provide low heat to help dry the items on the trays.
    At the north end of the outdoor kitchen Jasper built a small wood burning pit that was piped to a tall smoker assembly. They would be able to smoke and cure some of the meat they were producing. All the hickory wood that was Jasper’s cut of the

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