Hope you'll join me on my journey , as I go back to the land and try to live a more self ~ sufficient lifestyle.
I'm a SAHN ( Stay at Home Nana ), helping my 2 daughters with childcare.
I have 4 Grandkids , 3 boys and 1 girl , they bring so much joy to my life.
I enjoy art , blogging , cooking , creating , gardening , herbs , hiking , and learning something new each day ......
Here on our little farmette , we have 2 cats (Buddy)and (Mojo) , 1 dog (Shadow) , 4 Guinea Fowl and 8 Keets , 6 hens and 2 roosters.
I'm in the process of trying to live a simple , creative , green life and leave a better world for my children and grandchildren.
Leslie over at ~ http://comfreycottages.blogspot.com/2010/02/making-homemade-vinegar-and-mothers.html ~ blogged about making vinegar last week. I accidentally made red wine vinegar a couple of years ago. I made a few batches of wine from some grapes a friend had given me , the first few batches of wine did well , but the last gallon fermented into vinegar. The pic above shows the " Mother " that developed , the vinegar was very strong tasting but has mellowed out over time. I've been thinking about it and believe it may have fermented to vinegar for two reasons , sugar content and letting it work to long. I was making what is called " Prison Wine " ( LOL) , very cheap and easy to make , you add 6 cups of sugar to a gallon jar , fill with grapes and add water. You can google prison wine if you're interested in the details of making it. After the first few batches , I decided I would try to make it with less sugar. I don't like a sweet wine , so I added 5 cups to 1 gallon and 4 cups to another. The last gallon with 4 cups is the one that fermented to vinegar , the gallon with 5 cups of sugar did wonderful. I didn't add any yeast to my wine or mother starter to the gallon that turned to vinegar. The last two gallons did ferment longer than it should have , so that and the sugar level probably caused it to develop a "Mother". At the time I had never heard tell of a vinegar "Mother " , but I did a google search to see if wine would become vinegar , since it smelled just like vinegar. I found a wealth of information , including all the health benefits from vinegar. I also found out that vinegar was known as a natural by product of wine , the name is derived from the french word " vin aigre " meaning sour wine (LOL) . Who would have thought sour wine would be so good for you , so I've been using the vinegar and it taste great now that it has aged some. I hope to make some different kinds of vinegars from the " Mother of Vinegar " , she's not very pretty and actually slimy , but she's waiting to help me make more vinegar. The link below tells you how you make red wine vinegar and some of the health benefits it has.
Next months Herbal Roots Zine will be about garlic , if you would like a chance to win a free copy , click here ~ http://www.lunaherbco.com/herbal_roots//?p=508 and leave a comment. The giveaway sign-up ends Feb. 16th at 8pm , the winner will be announced Wednesday , so hurry over and leave a comment if you would like to learn more about Garlic.
The packet will include comfrey , elecampane , horseradish , marshmallow and sunchoke roots. The giveaway ends Feb 14th at 8pm , so hurry on over and leave a comment. The winner will be announced Monday.
Yesterday , I went out to feed the chickens , so I decided I would go ahead and mark those Crane-Fly Orchid leaves I had found. Our chicken coop is near the garden and the leaves were on the other end of the garden near the woods. I found the area were I had raked the dead leaves away to take the photo , but the Crane-Fly Orchid leaves were missing. I looked around for awhile and saw other signs of an animal rooting around. As I was walking back to the house , I realized that I had saw 4 deer in that area Sunday evening when I went to close the chickens up , so I guess they ate them. Hopefully I can find another plant and put a small fence around it , I really want to see this plant in bloom.
As I was gathering chickweed Sunday I found this plant , I've often seen it on my walks in the woods , but I haven't been able to identify it until yesterday. I thought it was putty root , but after more searching I found it on the internet , it's a Crane-Fly Orchid (Tipularia discolor). I'm not sure if I've ever seen it bloom , the leaves die before it blooms , making it hard to know what kind of bloom it may be. I plan to put some rocks around these leaves , so I'll know were it was growing , this plant is growing at the edge of the woods , near the garden. The leaves appear in the Fall and stay green through Winter , the leaves start start dying as the weather gets warmer. After the leaves die , it blooms in late summer.I hope to see the bloom this year , I'm an orchid lover , so this discovery was very exciting. I don't think this plant has any medicinal properties , I didn't find any information about herbal use. I did find a great article about the Crane-Fly Orchid , it has some beautiful pics of plant in bloom. You can read about it in the next post.
Cooked Pasta ~ I had some leftover spaghetti noodles I used , since I didn't want them to go to waste.
I washed my chickweed , although the recipe said you don't have to , mine was a little dirty since it's just starting to sprout out and lying very close to the ground. I threw it into a small saucepan and added a tbsp of water and minced garlic, cook over med. heat for about 5 - 10 minutes , until wilted. In a separate bowl I added the 2 tsp of chickweed flavored olive oil I have on hand , sea salt , freshly ground pepper , lemon juice and some red pepper flakes , once the chickweed is ready , put in bowl and stir to coat chickweed. Serve over pasta , with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese and more cracked black pepper or red pepper flakes to your taste. This recipe was very good , it'll be on my menu regularly , since chickweed season is comimg soon.