Sunday, September 4, 2011

Preparing for winter

We have had a very busy week indeed!  I have been in full food preservation mode, and spent much of the week collecting and drying things for winter.  First up, the mushrooms we found at camp.  We dried the winter chanterelles, even though everyone says not to.  It's not that they don't dry- they do!  But apparently they're a different beast afterwards.  Since the point for us is that we have little fridge and freezer space, drying food is a great way to preserve food long-term without using many resources, so I'm giving it a go anyhow.  I'll let you know how they turn out!  (Speaking of using resources, I will admit that here you see our dehydrator, which does use electricity... but we actually dry most of our mushrooms in baskets in the attic, which is quite warm during the days!  We use the dehydrator for things that take longer or when the attic isn't warm.)  On the right you can see a chicken of the woods.  We ate most of that, and dried a tiny bit that was left.  
 We brought the amazing toilet that Jon made down to the yurt!
 Doesn't it look inviting in there?  No?  But we worked so hard!  Actually, we moved everything we had done up until this point so that we could finish waxing the floors.  And now they're done, and we don't have to use any of that pink paper any more!
 Kathy, Erin, Lois, and I went foraging.  We found a ton of winter chanterelles (also known as yellow foot) and black trumpets that we dried.  And Kathy and Erin found these beech nuts too!  We're going to try eating them and see how they taste.
 It was Merry's birthday on the 30th, and in the same vein as our skirts, I wanted to make her something unique, interesting, and beautiful.  I found this soft cotton sweater, made a chrysanthemum stencil, and got to work appliqueing this mum onto the shoulder.
 It was really cute when it was done, and I think Mer loved it!
 She and Isla came up for a post-birthday visit to the farm.  We fed the turkeys comfrey and Jill-over-the-ground leaves, pet the sheep, played with Nanny's bunny statues, and also with the many felted critters that live in the house here!
 It was a lovely visit, and we all had loads of fun playing together.
 We had some other visiters the other day too!  Did I tell you that someone dug into the turkey pen and ran off with three of our turkeys?  Well, the following night Dick put out a bunch of traps, and since then we have caught 9 visitors!  8 raccoons, and one skunk.
 These guys actually managed to squeeze themselves into a cage together...
 They joined the brother coon relocation service, and off they went to a new home somewhere far from the turkeys.  We think they will be very happy there.
Sarah also came to visit!  We started planning our own wintery brews- lip balms, and salves, herbal cordials, and cough syrups for starting soon.  
It's exciting around here now that the weather has cooled down a bit!  There are many things going on, and so much still to do!

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