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.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Planting, Growing , Becoming

Today we are remembering 9/11 and for me, the best way to honor the victims (in a way we are all victims of 9/11) is to live fully and gratefully. Among other things, I planted Rue today, also called Herb of Grace. Besides it's value medicinally (the reasons I grow it), it represents regret and forgiveness. Rue is held as a sacred herb by most religions. maybe an herb of Unity and common ground.
The weather has been quite wonderful! Highs most days in the 70's. Aside from the wrongness of those temperatures this time of year, they are quite welcome. We literally went from 101 one day to a high of 80 the next. It happened over Bakers Creek weekend and was incredible. It was wonderfully chilly that Sunday morning and we were all searching for something to wrap up in.

Speaking of Bakers Creek ... Aside from always doing good business and always having a good time we've also met some really good people.

And speaking of good people ... I've had to start over on the Trade Gathering. Some of the folks from the first one I started shut me out so, I'm starting a new one from scratch. I was thrilled with the first one and I hope it continues on and does well. But this new one may turn out to be even better. I've had the opportunity to talk with fellow vendors and customers at the various Farmers markets, including Bakers, and there's a great deal of interest. We had one very small one this week and it turned out wonderfully! I think they can only get better. If anyone is in the area and interested just let me know :) I also intend to write a post on the basics of getting one up and running soon.

And speaking of Trade Gatherings ... a week or so ago I was in town doing some errands when a couple came up and asked if I was Juli, they told me that some people had heard about the Trade Gatherings and had started one up around Fordland Mo. :) Then! later that same day, on the way home I stopped at a yard sale and a woman asked me if I knew about the Trade Gatherings someone had started around Theodosia Mo. :) 2 seeds sprouting :) :) Truly, Most excellent!!

That same day was very profitable in other ways too. At the recycling center I found a bag of excellent glass booze bottles! 8 brown beer bottles, 3 whiskey bottles with good lids and one sauce bottle with good lid. Then I stopped at 3 yard sales on the way home and found ...
pruning shears (we haven't found ours since the move and really needed some)
an old, mans razor, in excellent condition. Listed as an antique but I don't think it is.
2 little bundles of gingham fabric and needles & pins
4 lovely corner spindle gingerbread house pieces for the cottage
an old heavy metal cheese grater

The great things help temper the not so great things. A few weeks ago I killed and butchered a rooster. The first time in my life I have ever taken a life that was, not only not suffering but in excellent health. I loathed it and will never come to be ok with it, tho i will continue to do it because, even if I stop eating meat again, Nik and the dogs and cats need the meat.

This first rooster fed the dogs. Nik helped with holding and I did the rest by myself. The plucking, cleaning and cutting up was easy but I've actually done those before. From beginning to end took about an hour and fed 1 med and 2 very large dogs for a day.

Another good thing is that we got a pig a week or so ago. He's a young little potbelly boar we named Mr. Pig. I intend to get him a mate as soon as I can find one (I've already named her Acorn), and try raising potbellies for meat and a little profit. I researched the possibility of raising them for food for quite some time. I knew they were from Asia and had been raised as food there so I was sure it could be done but at first most everyone I spoke with laughed at me. A friend has some and she thought they would make good food too so i persisted on and found that they can indeed make very good meat for a smallholding. The same friend gave us Mr Pig and away we went.

Here's a good source of information and a starting point if anyone else is interested.

We will not eat Mr Pig or Acorn so we can get attached to them a bit :) I have never had pigs and, altho my grandfather kept huge hogs, we weren't really allowed near them much. I knew that pigs rooted but I had no idea what wonderful natural tillers they are. Even if pig raising doesn't work out I would likely keep one or two as natural tillers. Our tiller belt broke early last spring and I have not gotten it replaced. In just a few days Mr Pig tilled up a good garden patch for me to start planting in. They also leave great compost which can over-winter and be excellent in the spring. They are very self sufficient and very much add to a self sufficient homestead.

We also discovered, not found on any site or information about pigs, that they are escape artists (at least Mr Pig is) but he always stays in the yard and works his way back to his main pen each time. We really need to find him an Acorn because I think he's a bit lonely. He lives next to the goats and chickens at night for company and seems quite happy there.

In other great news, I was able to do some trading and came out with a big box of pears, 2 large bags of cucumbers, a comfrey plant, catnip plant and horse radish plant. I've been making sweet n sour cucumbers for eating and freezing, and drying and freezing pears. I was also gifted with some mushrooms a week or so ago, I ate several and am drying the rest. It's so wonderful to have things growing again and have a house full of food. The pantry was getting pretty meager.

I also have medicinals drying ... black walnut hulls, more wormwood, hyssop, pennyroyal, black walnut leaves, a few berry leaves, elderberries, oregano, sassafras leaves, red clover and other things.

I'm making some very strong pain tincture, the vanilla is still extracting (I'm making a large amount). I have my homemade flea spray made up and another batch of homemade mosquito repellent.

I can't believe fall is almost upon on us, we have so much to do for winter preparations. But I do so love the fall!

The cottage looks, smells and truly feels like home :)

1 comment:

the wild magnolia said...

Wonderful fun post. I truly believe you live the old fashioned way. I am so happy to read your posts.

I wish you the best in everything.