Monday, August 15, 2016

Wine Making

After planting 50 cabernet sauvignon grapes last year, we had our first harvest of roughly 7 gallons of grapes.  A merry morning was spent removing the grapes from the stems, smashing, and jarring for fermentation.  We're going to see what our wild yeast does this year.  Wish us luck!

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Odds and Ends

We have 9 turkeys still in the turkey coop.  We tried heritage turkeys this year, and of the 10 we started with, only 4 remain.  That's an expensive turkey, my friends, when only 40% survives.  We'll return to our Atwoods standby for now, as we've never lost one of them.

Three different coops hold our juvenile chickens.  There are 13 teenagers, and it's nearly time to butcher the roosters.  Soup's coop, with six chicks about a month behind the teenagers, are just working out who's a hen and who's a rooster.  Finally, Ms. Crazy Pants, a first-time mom, have five chicks less than a month old, and I can't wait until her mothering instinct settles down, as she really is crazy.

We have four actively laying egg coops.  Some of the juveniles will be introduced to these coops, so they all function at full capacity.  I must admit, part of me is ready for the chickens to be in their winter quarters, snugged up near the barn, for my convenience.  I'm tired this end-of-summer.

The vegetable garden is a mass of weeds as we pull up drip hose, etc.  We need a dose of compost this fall, so we're cleaning up earlier than usual.

Our apple orchard is fighting cedar rust, so next spring we'll be spraying with an organic spray.  There are apples this year, but not particularly attractive ones.

James has a mighty harvest of grapes.  Can he turn them into wine soon enough?  That's an excellent question.

The three big kids are finally old enough to work on tasks outside without one-on-one supervision, so they're learning to weed.  Woohoo!

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Solar Oven Revival

I've had my solar oven for a LONG time (several years at least), but I haven't used it as our family grows larger, as a whole meal is hard to fit in a solar oven.  However, we cleared the deck for scraping and painting, and this pathetic lump needed cleaning, it was a hot day, and I decided to use it!
 I used our favorite rice pudding recipe (from the Betty Crocker cookbook, with no alterations), heated my oven and pot, and let the sun do the cooking.

It was delicious, and gone the next morning.

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise, it's Purgatory Ranch.