Wild Moon Cottage is a small working homestead in the pristine Ozark Mountains. We have dairy goats, poultry, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a start of a tiny fruit orchard, several black walnut trees, wild berries and fields of wildcrafting goodness. We raise our own milk, our own eggs, much of our own medicine and food. I do laundry by hand, make my own vinegar, candles, soap, bread, cheese ........ For a living I am an artist and herbalist. My goal for myself and our homestead is to be as self sufficient and self sustaining as possible.

Monday, June 21, 2010

6.21.10 Merry Solstice!

It has been very hot here lately. In the 90's all week. Yesterday we were without power for about an hour and a half. It was no big deal for us except that I do worry about the fridge and freezer. Otherwise we just go on as usual. I enjoy it, the lack of the forced energy buzzing all around, the true stillness, everything become more real in the quiet of it.

Our outage was a very short one and caused by an overload from the heat and excess power usage. But it should be a reminder for us all, we should all be very prepared for more frequent and longer outages. We must remember to check on the elders, less healthy folks, animals who can't get away ... after that we should just relax and go about things calmly :)

Yesterday while the power was out I made chocolate raspberry muffins. I made them up and put them in the fridge until the power returned to bake them in the electric oven. I used the following recipe and added fresh black raspberries we got last Thursday at the Farmers Market.

Chocolate Cake

2 c sugar
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 eggs
1 c milk
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 t vanilla extract
1 c boiling water

Grease and flour pans. In a large bowl sift together the flour and cocoa, then add the rest of the dry ingredients. Add all wet ingredients except the water. Mix well. Stir in boiling water a little at a time, batter will be thin. Pour evenly into pans and bake at 325 to 350 deg until toothpick comes out clean. the time varies on the pan etc.

I added about 10 raspberries for each muffin and they turned out wonderfully. Very moist, decadent but still healthy with fresh eggs, whole raw goats milk, homemade vanilla extract and fresh natural raspberries.

Speaking of raspberries .... Anya ate all the leaves off one cane of ours yesterday when she was supposed to be following me to the front to eat poison ivy *~*

I've decided to start looking for propane appliances. I have considered it for a while but worrying about the fridge and freezer yesterday really bothered me. The possible loss of all that good food. Eventually I would like to figure out how to forgo any sort of power, I know there are plenty but I have to find a way that works for me.

I've been meaning to post this for a very long time, since last year i think. It's Melanie's list and she calls it Personal Ways to Disengage from the System She also has a lot of other great ideas for living a simpler life .... http://wheresimplicityleads.blogspot.com

I personally call it Ways To Live Fully ....

Grow your own fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, and seeds.
Grow herbs for medicinal, culinary, and cosmetic purposes.
Raise chickens, rabbits, bees, goats, sheep, etc. for fur, fiber, meat, eggs, dairy and honey.
Cook from scratch.
Don't buy processed foods.
Eat at home.
Buy from local growers what you can't grow yourself.
Join an organic CSA.
Buy grass-fed meats.
Reduce meat consumption.
Shop second-hand stores, flea markets, etc.
Barter, use free-cycle.
Become self-employed.
Don't invest in the market.
Loan within your community to support positive enterprises.
Don't charge interest except to cover inflation, if any.
Build passive-solar homes.
Heat with locally available fuels.
Swap seeds with neighbors, friends, family.
Use humanure.
Use graywater systems.
Collect rainwater. (Illegal where I live!)
Own your own water.
Sell your car.
Build with locally available materials (adobe, strawbales, stone, logs, etc.)
Salvage materials.
Give up gadgets (tv's, microwave ovens, dishwashers, cellphones, etc.)
Do it by hand (garden, kitchen, house, etc.).
Build a root cellar.
Learn to preserve foods.
Share excess produce.
Learn to build, repair and tinker.
Insist on home funerals and burials where legal.
Exercise and eat right.
Ferment foods.
Learn how to safely store drinking water.
Drip irrigate.
Conserve water.
Learn how to find water.
Go off grid.
Use permaculture principles, esp. create no waste.
Live in the smallest shelter that's practical.
Buy bulk grains, beans, spices, salt, etc. if they can't be grown or found locally.
Figure out what you can do without.
Learn how to make cheese, yogurt, soap, wine, herbal distillations, etc.
Raise your own sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, sorghum).
Plant for genetic diversity.
Learn how to build and maintain healthy soils.
Use a clothesline.
Learn how to identify wild edibles and incorporate into your diet, sustainably.
Forgo air conditioning.
Choose a climate suitable for human endeavors, one that doesn't require much artificial heating or cooling.
Learn to hunt, track, trap, and fish.
Learn to co-exist with the local critters (including the human ones).
Don't use airplanes.
Stay where you are.
Build strong communities.
Re-invent community canning kitchens, community grain mills, etc.
Finance nothing--no mortgages, no car loans, no lines of credit.
Don't use banks.
Help your neighbors.

I've lived much of this for some time now and, for me, there is no richer life.

I've also added some things to the list like ... Use washable whenever possible ... moon pads and sponges for moontime, cloth napkins for paper towels and napkins, handkerchiefs instead of tissues etc ...

I'm going to remake the whole list for the things I do and things I plan to do and post it somewhere permanently on my journal here. If anyone has anything to add to it I would love to hear them.

But for now I'm off to get things done. Blessed Day !


the wild magnolia said...

Excellent post! Great recipe I'll give it a try.

Happy Summer Solstice~Midsummer Day.

Kimmie said...

Hi Juli

Kimmie from Australia here. I can't seem to find your contact email. I wish to enquire about your painting "firefly night."

Could you email me please



Marisa said...

Sounds delicious!
I left you something on my blog if you would like to drop by and pick it up. Marisa

Annie said...

I'm a relatively new subscriber.. loving your blog... and new to the slowing down/living simpler world... and so I have a lot to learn like how DO you safely store drinking water?...what does self-insure mean?...build and maintain healthy soil?? how do you know it's not healthy?... super cool list.. sigh.. looks like i've got some learnin' to do!!

Juli said...

You don't have to do any of those things to live simply and fully. In fact, stressing about what you don't know or can't do takes away from the whole idea :)

I store drinking water safely by sotring it in clean sterilized food grade containers.

I do not self insure and have no insurance at all.

To build healthy soil I use only natural and organics, lots of compost and love.

You know if it's not healthy if things don't grow, if it's been treated with chemicals and toxins or if it appears dead.

We all, no matter how long we're at a thing, have a lot of learning to do :)

Family of Movers said...

I like your blog! Thanks for the good read. I have my own blog, another fellow gypsy, brick and mortar.