Monday, June 14, 2010

What to do...what to do?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Naragansett turkey hen is glued to her nest. We have about a week until hatch day so things are fast approaching. We also have a cuckoo maran hen (chicken) who has gone broody and should be hatching out a varied clutch of eggs. We value the broody trait since it's so much easier to allow momma to do the work of raising chicks, keeping them warm, showing them what to eat and what to leave alone (bees!).

A very good friend stopped by today and dropped off about 20lbs of fresh-off-the-tree sweet cherries. She and her husband have an 'in' at a local orchard and get access a few days before the general public. I have three trays of pitted cherries in the dehydrator now that will be great in Donielle's homemade granola cereal. What to do with the remainder. Some I'm going to give away but the rest are going into.......what......cherry wine, of course.

I first tried winemaking last year with two Cabernet Sauvignon "kits" from Midwest Supplies. Each kit yielded about 30 bottles of wine which are now aging in the basement. Each year we have an overabundance of blackberries that grow wild in the yard. This year I've decided that I'm going to try some blackberry wine also. I bought 4 gallons of raw apple cider last year from a local orchard to try my hand at making hard cider. The results were amazing. Immediately prior to bottling I added some of our honey to give the surviving yeast a boost. This resulted in sparkling cider that turned out quite dry and very tasty. It turns out, however, that I gave away too many bottles and now I find myself wanting. This year I'll have to buy 8 gallons! Heh Heh.

In other news the garden is coming right along. I harvested nearly 60 garlic bulbs yesterday and our 'monster' cabbage grows by the day. My plan is to allow the cabbage and one zucchini plant to grow to gargantuan size and then let the kids enter them in the Fauquier county fair. The cabbage is known to grow to a 50lb head so I should be able to get a year's worth of sauerkraut out of a single head. We'll see.

Thanks for following our goings on.


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