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, March 30, 2014

3.30.14 Last days of March

Daffodils, Crocus, little buds on the redbud and lilac. We’ve been eating wild greens for well over a week now, thank the Mother! I have so missed them. Yarrow and cinquefoil abound. In the herb gardens I can see tansy, motherwort, wormwood, catnip, hyssops, sage and on and on.

We got my first order of trees for the orchard last week and got them all in. It had taken me a while to get them but I think they’re fine. All still had wick  :)  So Nik planted 3 each Pecan, Pawpaw, Black Cherry, Service Berry & Beauty Berry. The blueberries and thimbleberries will be here soon.

I have decided to start seeds much later this year than usual. Much too late for peppers or tomatoes. This will be the first year in a great many that I have not started my own peppers and tomatoes. But things go as they should. I will look to trade or buy pepper and tomato plants this year instead.

I will also be looking diligently for strawberry plants again. I bought some pretty expensive ones year before last but they didn’t come back after winter and that year was fairly mild. I hope to find more Ozark Beauties. I grew them for years and love them. They’re prolific and hardy.

I started another batch of mead yesterday. This is a sweeter batch and with pumpkin spices, for fall and Samhain.

A gallon of mead can be made for about the same cost as a good bottle of wine. In comparison you get twice or more the mead and you know exactly what’s in. Plus you have the pride of having made it yourself.

I’ve never made wine except by accident in the process of making pear vinegar once. But I intend to try this fall when we have an abundance of fruit.

The mead, which has always been my favorite fermentation, will be very self sufficient when I can get bees going and producing honey to share with us (a few years). Wild yeasts abound and are what was used for 100s of years for mead making. But I have not yet figured out a self sufficient source for the citric acid needed. Apparently oranges were used even in medieval times? Seems odd to me that oranges would be so easily come by in medieval Europe. I’ll not give up my search tho, there must be something in the Ozarks to take their place.

We have another 5 dozen eggs in the incubator. 1 doz each Barred Rock, Buff Orps and Ameraucana plus 2 doz, what I believe are, Black Australorps. I thought I was getting Black Orpintons, which I Really wanted, but Australorps are fine. We’ve had Australorps before and they were good layers. Hopefully by fall we’ll start getting our own eggs again and soon after having extra to share with the local food pantry and to sell. It’s strange being without chickens but things always happen as they should.

1 comment:

JT Croteau said...

Nice update Jewel. I can't wait til I get down there again in September to be working my land. Hopefully I can visit, I will be down there til Thanksgiving. I'm thinking of starting my own blog as well.

- Tobit