Saturday, January 2, 2021
Posted by Aimee at 12:13 PM
Monday, October 12, 2020
(Altar tools: the turkey feather fan is for wafting smoke, smudging an area. The pampas grass wand is for doing a limpia of a person - brushing their aura, for lack of a better term)
The picture of the whole altar doesn’t show details, so here are a few of our seasonal items. Shed antlers, decorated with rose hips. Reminds me of a seasonal crown on Cernunnos, although he isn’t really a deity I have dealings with.
Pomegranates, of course, are a beautiful and appropriate decoration for an autumn altar. Persephone is sinking into Hades right now, to meet her husband and take on her aspect as queen of the dead. The black corn I brought back from Oaxaca, and is there simply for its beauty. The skull shot glass has apple cider in it, for visitors. And that tattered crocheted animal is a representation of the Black Rabbit of Inlé (What? You haven’t read Watership Down? Go start it right now).
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
What most volunteer squash will NOT be is palatable. Grocery store zucchini, crook necks, and other common varieties are all hybrids, and so plants that grow from their seeds will revert back to one of the (usually useless) parent types. However, they are often beautiful.
Posted by Aimee at 7:40 PM
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Sunday, September 13, 2020
I’ve been on an absolute tear in the kitchen the last two weeks. Late August/early September is the middle harvest season (Mabon is coming right up), the prime harvest season around here. Here’s a list of what I’ve done lately - as far as I can remember.
Plums. This in an on-year for the Italian plum tree, and there are hundreds and hundreds of plums. I’ve dehydrated enough to fill a gallon ziploc bag - more plums than you probably think - and the dehydrator is full of plums right now too.
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Saturday, August 22, 2020
Just a few days ago, we lost six baby chicks to drowning in the water trough. It was a tough reminder that babies need a special environment, even when the mama hen is raising them herself. They need a warm, dry place for mama to care for them, and they need a very shallow watering dish, no more than 1" deep. They also need grit, oyster shell, and high protein food. They need to have shelter that is devoid of crevasses where they can get lost (another way we have lost chicks - fallen down in between hay bales) and they need a roof to protect them from hawks and eagles. Mama hens do their best, but they are neither very smart, very fierce, nor very dextrous. I hate to imagine (but of course I have imagined) the distress of the mama hen unable to help her babies out of the water trough.
For the last several weeks - not sure exactly how long - we have been aware that the Mama Guinea hen was sitting on a nest somewhere in the pasture. She disappeared, and for a week or so we were afraid she had been eaten by something, but she made several brief appearances over the following month. She would show up in the barnyard, snarf down some food, and quickly scuttle off back into the weeds. Homero wanted to try to find the nest, but I forbade him, because I read that Guinea hens will abandon a nest if you discover it.
Yesterday morning when I went out to milk, I saw she was back with her husband. Then I heard some peeping, and sure enough, she was surrounded by a flock of tiny chicks. They were quick, and they stayed huddled together in a pretty solid mass, and Mama stayed on top of them for the most part, but I could tell there were a lot of them. I couldn't get close enough to count them, because Papa Guinea was very protective and he charged me, feathers a-fluff, when I approached. As best I can tell, there are about a dozen.
I'm not going to try to do anything. If I discover another set of surprise baby chickens, I will scoop them and the mama hen up and put them in the rabbit hutch, but I'm going to assume that the mated pair of Guinea hens can raise their own young better than I can. It's delightful to see Papa Guinea so solicitous and proud. Roosters don't give a goddamn about their offspring, but Guinea Cocks apparently do.
What we are going to do with a score or so Guinea hens, though... that is another question. Google says they taste like pheasant. Guess we will find out.
Posted by Aimee at 3:55 PM
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Friday, August 7, 2020
Sunday, August 2, 2020
These fell off within minutes. We tried again, this time incorporating a cross-bar:
Also attached with zip ties, this arrangement lasted all of 30 minutes. The problem is that her horns, like most, are basically cylindrical. The headdress tends to slip up to the tips.
Sunday, July 19, 2020
A middle stage in the making of cheddar
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
That’s about 25 pounds of mixed stone fruit from gleaner’s. After I separated the fruit that was too far gone and picked out the fruit that was still perfect for eating fresh, I was left with about ten to twelve pounds of slightly overripe fruit. The last hour or so has been devoted to bleaching, peeling, and chopping and my kitchen looked like a couple of murders had taken place (red plums!) but now I have this simmering on the stove:
Spicy stone fruit chutney. It has cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, red pepper flakes, a TINY hint of garlic, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar. It smells like heaven and it ought to be delicious with pork chops, chicken breasts, or maybe a hearty fish like halibut. It’s super pretty, too.
Friday, June 5, 2020
My goat-totin’ man, totin’ Bitsy and Bootsy, Christmas’ two doelings.
Me and Bitsy. I think I’m gonna keep this one.
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a super easy birth. She had a single big buckling, and one of his legs was back. The kids and I had put her in the mama barn when we went out for afternoon chores and saw she was straining, and then we went inside to eat dinner and watch an episode of cutthroat kitchen, our new favorite show.
Saturday, May 30, 2020
It’s been a couple of years since Flopsy had a baby. She’s elderly, arthritic, and not in the greatest of health, and I’ve tried to keep her separate from the buck so this wouldn’t happen. I don’t want to tax her system - she’s done yoeman service and doesn’t need to earn her keep any longer.