I was going to write a nice descriptive post about the process of making dandelion wine, and maybe I will. But this weekend was so chock-full of busy-ness and activity that I can’t pull my mind together. I think I can manage a list, though. 🙂 Thank you for your indulgence.
- Weez was home all weekend, which was lovely. Three whole days together, working on the homestead.
- Got over myself and bought started veggie plants from the organic guy at the farmer’s market–tomatoes, basil, dill, lavender, cucumbers, sage.
- We planted potatoes and tomatoes in the driveway, which involved lots of shoveling dirt.
- We put together all the ingredients for this year’s dandelion wine. Hoping the magic will transform the smelly sludge into a potent elixir like it did last year!
- Bottled the Scottish 80 shilling ale from Northern Brewer. Can’t wait to try it out!
- Made huge progress on my Rose Garden Shawl from Jane Austen Knits 2012. Yay, lace knitting! (Or knitting lace, can never keep the two straight. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, count yourself lucky.)
- Weez constructed what I’m calling a chicken patio, putting down tiles along the front side of the coop. Pictures forthcoming.
- Enjoyed life enormously, used my muscles, sweated, lifted, planted, measured, tended, and loved.
I am so grateful for these days. This was our traditional “plant the garden” weekend here in the Berkshires, and it was a marvelous several days in our journey forward through the wheel of the year. I hope your weekend was equally satisfying. Blessings.
I’ve gotten so I have to spend at least one day a month on a farm, and today was that day. I went out to Jenna’s Cold Antler Farm for shearing day. I’m starting to know my way around, know how to find things, get a feel for how to pitch in without being in the way. I get such a charge out of doing simple little things, like carrying water to the chickens and rabbits. This farming thing feeds my soul.
Jenna is like a farming enabler. She’s taking the courageous step of leaving her desk job to make a go of it, farming and writing full-time. If you’ve never checked out her blog, please go give it a whirl. She’s honest and real and inspiring. She doesn’t make farming look all shiny, perfect and Martha Stewart-ish. There is dirt and mud and poop and screwing up. There is also miracle and joy.
We may never have a self-supporting farm. But this life is in my blood, I can feel it. The farming bug skipped a generation in my dad, but it seems to have come out strong in me. So far, we have chickens in the backyard, herbs and veggies and little fruit trees, home brewing and more. We’ll add to it, a piece at a time, finding joy and meaning in this life.
What a strange year we are having. Yesterday it was in the 80’s here in the Berkshires, and this morning my unheated house is 70 degrees. We haven’t had good rain in a while, so we’ve been in and out of red flag warnings (risk of fire) for weeks. After last year’s constant deluges of rain and snow I couldn’t have believed that water would be an issue here.
CoyoteCrow Farm continues to roll along. I always take on more than I should, but that’s the way of it, I suppose. I’m almost done reading Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers’ Movement, and it seems to be a common trait of those of us drawn to agricultural enterprises. Of course, I’m on a micro-homestead scale, not creating a business venture, but there is an underlying kinship.
My current list of too many projects: new chickens (yay!); a small army of seedlings (need to plant a bunch more, maybe move some outside to the little plastic-covered greenhouse); some spelt berries washed and drying, waiting to be ground into grain; some wheat berries set to sprout, then dehydrate, then grind into grain (makes the wheat more digestible for my system); a long list of herbals I’m behind on making, as well as homemade toothpaste (yes, really!). Oh, and building the chicken coop. Throw in a full-time job, two dogs and two cats, and the rest of the household, and it’s no wonder I feel quite busy.
I have the best friends in the world, I have to say. Both near and far. The love and support that surround me are tangible, and I am so very grateful to all of you. My very best friend of all is my wife, of course, but you all know how I feel about her. 🙂
May you all be similarly happy on this beautiful day. Blessed be.
It’s been a busy last few days around here. Due to some icky circumstances, I ended up with an infection in one of my toes. I ignored it on Saturday so that I could hobble around on Jenna’s farm on Saturday to “help” shear the sheep. Even though the sheep shearing wasn’t entirely the success Jenna was hoping for, we also got to see Jenna and Jasper (her Amish draft pony) haul about half a cord of wood from the back pasture to her wood splitting pile. Then, most exciting of all, I (and the others) got to help milk Bonita, her goat. Amazingly, I remembered the knack of it. I learned at summer camp when I was probably about 9 years old. I mean, I probably had one short lesson on how to milk a cow. For some reason, the knack of it has stayed with me for the last 26 years despite never having milked a cow or a goat in the meantime. But I knew exactly the feel, the motion, the smell, and I loved it. I also got to meet a really great woman named Kathy, whose three sons were helping (to varying degrees, according to age) with hauling wood.
I paid for my fun that night and the following morning, since my infected toe got more and more swollen. Yesterday, when I realized that I really couldn’t ignore it anymore, my angelic friend Mari brought me to the emergency room to have it looked at. They did stuff that involved IV antibiotics and sent me home with a toe that felt much better, and prescriptions for two different hard core antibiotics. Lucky me. But I do feel much better today.
So, on the docket for today: cleaning out the brooder/bathtub, helping stain and work on the chicken coop, gather dandelions, general house stuff that needs to be done. Stay tuned for some updated chicken pictures. I’ll take the pics once the brooder is nice and clean with new bedding laid down. You’re welcome.