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.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Possums & Pumpkin Bread

Yesterday the Cottage roof was tested for leaks. It sprinkled, rained and poured all day. I'm very happy to report that no leaks were found :)

Because of the rain we took the day off and didn't do much besides basic chores. We did go out and try to catch the (hopefully) last of the possums. but this one is a lot more skittish and eluded us once again. The Possum tale began a few days ago ....

We had both suspected there might be a possum or raccoon hanging around the barn for a few days. The cat food was being eaten at an alarming rate but I put it off to the 3 new barn cats, Merlin (who went without much food for about a week) and Willow & Song (who are both growing kits). But then the dread morning we went out for morning chores and found my beloved Lola dead. Lola is one of the Runner ducks, now there's only Lily.

That night we set a trap to catch the culprit. I set up a cat carrier with cat food in it, set nearby with a besom to you to shut the door and hold it. It worked very well and very quickly, soon there was a smallish possum locked in the carrier. Then we saw another one.

Set up the same trap and waited, soon we had caught the second one, a pretty big one. As we were taking them to the blazer we saw a third one! We relocated the two we had several miles away and returned to catch the 3rd.

**I truly do understand and absolutely appreciate the, why I shouldn't have solved it that way. But I walk in my own shoes :)

We found the 3rd in the barn, near where we found poor Lola's body! but it hadn't harmed anyone. Catching it wasn't as easy but with the help of a rake (to shove) and a hoe (to pull) we got it in. As we were headed back to the blazer we saw a 4th *-*

We tracked the 4th to what may be a den Under the henhouse *-* and there it stayed for the night. No amount of catfood or meat could get it to come out. We've stalked it around each night since but now it runs from us. I'll get the little bastard tho, and it's little dog too!

Actually, if it has a little dog I'll probably just charge them both rent and let them stay. Like Ratilla, who's still living in the stone house. I left a passage open so she could come and eat seeds in the barn. She will have to relocate this summer tho. Ratilla is the giant rat who was living in the barn when we arrived.

Other than the great possum hunt we've just been carrying on as usual. Still unpacking and arranging. getting ready to start tilling the garden spaces :) :) :) We're also going to carefully dig down to the mound and see what it is.

Today I baking several loaves of pumpkin bread. We're going to a Gathering tomorrow and I'm taking pumpkin bread and tea :)

Pumpkin Bread

1 c cooked mashed pumpkin
2 eggs
1 to 1 1/2 t cinnamon (you can also add ground clove and/or grated nutmeg)
1/2 c oil
1/2 c water
1 1/2 c sugar (or 1 1/4 c honey and increase flour)
1/4 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
3/4 t sea salt
1 2/3 c flour (increase if using honey)

Combine pumpkin, eggs and spices and mix well. Add oil and water and mix then add the rest of ingredients and mix well. Pour into greased and floured bread pan and bake at 325 to 350 deg. for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until toothpick or wooden skewer comes out clean.

In between bread making we're also working on the back room, turning it into my workroom and a small guest area. We're storing all my ex-husband's things for now and because of Ratilla, a lot of them have to be in the house so she won't eat his speakers or make condos in his vast amount of clothing. He has a ton of stuff and I think we'll be storing it much longer than first thought so I'm figuring out ways to pile it high so I can get my work table in there too and start creating again!

And now back to work :)


the wild magnolia said...

Animals do alter our lives. :)

JoyceAnn said...

Hi Juli ~ Sounds like you've had a very busy week , glad to hear there weren't any leaks. Hope you catch that possum soon , before he causes more havoc. Ummm ~ the pumpkin bread sounds yummy , have fun at the gathering.

~ Many Blessings ~