September Butterflies

Every year in the dog days of late summer, I get dozens of spicebush swallowtail butterflies congregating on the grave road where it bends at the base of my driveway. Ages ago a gravel truck put a but rut between the road and the drainage ditch. That rut retains water. The combination of the hot…

Read More

Water the Filberts!

I get a newsletter from Chelsea Green, a homestead and resilient farmer kind of publisher. I like adding nuts into my whole wheat bread and gosh, they’re expensive. I tried planting English walnuts a decade ago and they would still be maturing if they’d lived. I am not that fond of the common black walnuts around…

Read More

A Disappointment and a Funny

I crowed about the bread conditioner and gluten and the healthy ingredients. I gave myself unwarranted confidence. Sunday I made a Sally Lunn with 2/3 whole wheat and a handful each of blueberries and walnuts, my standard. Instead of molasses, I used demara sugar. I’ve never had trouble with a Sally Lunn. This loaf came…

Read More

Cockleburs and Goldenrods!

Maybe I’m perverse, but I think the cocklebur plant is a work of wonder and the thistle in bloom is a fresh beauty. Clever of these guys to develop those stickers. The cockleburs are most impressive hitchhikers…just a brush and the little thing has ride. Look at the gnarly plant with clusters of burr-bombs all over it!…

Read More

The Last Batches

Nose flattened on the old grindstone, I got all my beverages bottled last weekend! Hooray! That’s three of the six-gallon merlot wine batches, a six-gallon Old Ale and a six-gallon Yorkshire Bitter. That came to 34 fruit juice bottles of the wine and 44 bottles of the ales. For the uninitiated, scrounging, cleaning and sanitizing…

Read More

The Sewing Marathon!

  I threaded up early and kept on until almost midnight Monday night. Take a gander at what I sewed up: This is all from one three-day weekend, in between making a devil’s food cake with fudge icing, a double rice pudding, routine meals and clean-up, laundry, yard work and enjoying music and movies. This…

Read More

Making Wine Is Healthy?

Labor Day signals the waning of summer. It sends a strong signal to me that I’d better get all my fermentation done. Fermentation does best, especially for the ale, in a warm house. I am really frugal with using heat that costs me so summer ’tis the season. Therefore today there is a batch of…

Read More

You Need A Dowser!

I mentioned my water quality and well recently. This is a true story. When I moved from sunny California back to Kentucky to build the cabin so many years ago, I needed a well – the place was all trees and county water didn’t run there. A fellow came out from Princeton (Kentucky) and asked where I…

Read More