24.4.15

Wild Ramps






On the north facing slopes of the woods, near the stream, ramps {or wild leeks} are growing everywhere.  We spent an afternoon digging up the wild edibles; some to transplant in our woods and some to eat. Fortunately, in our area, ramps have not been over harvested and are still prolific. {It takes up to seven years for these plants to grow, so please harvest conservatively.} This is our first year trying these plants, and I must say they are delicious!  A mix between garlic and onion, we've been adding the leaves and bulbs to eggs, potatoes, and meat garnish.  Ramps are strong though, so a little goes a long way.  

Have you ever tried ramps?  How do you use them in cooking?





23.4.15

They Knit



Mike was so excited to see Luke knitting on his square, he asked if I would teach him, too.  Cole was adamant that he did not want to knit, that he didn't care for it the first time he learned, but after a few days of watching us all knit together, he picked up his needles and cast on.  Now that we're all knitting, we've decided to make it a collaborative project, a chicken mobile to hang in our kitchen window.  I can't wait to see it all finished!


22.4.15

Fair Trade







Over the weekend, we traveled up the road again to another elderly neighbor's house.  He had stopped by to introduce himself and asked if we could help him get his garden beds cleaned up and ready for planting.  He loves his gardens, but he and his wife are eighty now and can't quite manage the raking anymore.  Mike and the boys spent the morning cleaning up last years leaves, while Chuck talked, and I dug up about a hundred raspberry plants, a patch of garlic and a few bundles of chives.   A fair trade, we decided, for a morning's work.  This work for trade is quickly becoming my favorite kind. Trading, bartering, learning from elders, passing on experiences and stories.  When we dreamed of homesteading, this idea was such an integral part of our plan, but we had no idea how fulfilling it would be to all of us.  On our way out the driveway, he asked if we would have any use for well pump and a solar powered electric fence system... um, yeah.  Now all we need are the sheep!

{The photos above are of the newly planted raspberries along our garden fence.  Our soil is extremely sandy so we're installing hugelkultur beds to help retain moisture and build the soil.}

19.4.15

Weekend


It was a weekend of reconnecting with old friends and meeting of new folks, remembering the old and sinking our toes into the new... and knitting, of course.  I hope you had a lovely weekend.




16.4.15

He Knits






It started with a knit chicken...  I cast on for it in the car one afternoon while riding to town.  No one seemed to think it looked like much of anything, which was true.  A few days went by, adding the eyes, comb, beak and wattles whenever there were a few quiet moments.  I set it on the window sill and forgot about it.  Then one afternoon, Luke gave out such a shriek from inside the house, I thought something was seriously wrong.  Turns out he thought my chicken was the greatest thing in the whole world and could I teach him to knit one?  Um, yeah!  Before he could change his mind or lose interest, I found him a pair of needles and a ball of leftover yarn from the chicken I knit.  I explained to him that working in the round on double pointed needles may be a little tricky for someone just starting out and showed him the chicken from The Children's Year.  He agreed and within five minutes had cast on for his first project.  To say he enjoys knitting is a bit of an understatement.  In the last few weeks, I've heard things like;  "Mama, have you seen my knitting bag?"  "Mama, do you want to come knit at the table with me?"  "Mama, can you check my stitches?"  Oh, my heart is full.

{Joining Ginny}
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