Birthdays

This past week was full of rushing here and there and the birthday celebrations of my oldest – now 14, and my youngest – now 6.  We made homemade corn dogs (hotdogs dipped in corn bread batter and fried in home-rendered lard.  There were a few presents wrapped in paper feed bags and tied with…

A Change Of Season

Winds of change have been blowing white cottony clouds low across the blue sky all week.  Hurricanes are brewing in the ocean far away. The old hens are looking molty and tattered, and one by one the huge orb weaver spiders that wove golden webs around the kitchen eaves are disappearing.    In the dry afternoons…

The Freezer of Darkness: “The Horror, the Horror”

The awful truth is that behind pretty blog pictures, homesteading isn’t all just flowers blooming…. Or new twin babies…. Or fresh-from-the-garden veggies….  Or misty mornings…. Sometimes it will be all those things for a while. And then suddenly something happens to shake you away from blissfully kneading home made freshly ground sourdough bread or tying…

Wild Muscadine Meringue Pie

Suddenly everything seems to have changed.  New flowers are blooming bright yellow in the weedy ways, Bidens and Sida, partridge pea and golden rod.   Ripe poke and beauty berries bend the slender branches waiting for the birds.   The golden and gossamer webs of the orb weavers stretch high up between the trees, and the weavers…

Sick

Everything has been taken up this week by sickness, sore throats and snot. With Ethan out of town, and my teenager off at middle school instead of homeschooling (I tried to talk him out of it), it has been a fevered blur of sipping huge steaming mugs of ginger tea, struggling through dew-soaked grass hauling…

Spinach Pesto Pizza

Last week was all rain, and all kinds of rain. There was the gray, dripping rain that blanketed everything in damp and made interesting kinds of mold sprout under the shelves in the kitchen from the ambient humidity.  There was rain that came down in silver sheets, moving towards you like a fog and obscuring…

 The Wild Garden

{Deep breath……} Right now, this is the gate to my garden, the division between what is (sometimes) cultivated, and the completely untended. It is the barrier that protects my beloved plants, mostly from the bad goats.  The pumpkin vines have curled and wound their way through, pouring into the outside.  And actually, because of this…

 Sweet and Simple Blueberry Cobbler

This is the height of the grass season, when milking and making cheese and yogurt and kefir and butter fill up my days.  Every day I skim the yellow cream from four gallons of milk, and churn three-quarters of a gallon of cream into golden butter.  Every day after milking, the cows, sleek with their…

Walmart Dream Bread

I had been traveling through several different worlds, though somehow this did not seem surprising at all, when i found myself suddenly in Walmart. It was one of the dingy aisles in the back of the store, overstuffed with the same crappy merchandise over and over to give the illusion of abundance and consumer choice. …

Saving Seeds: A Guest Post by Melissa Desa

There are many things I’ve come to learn in my short, yet full life, that are better done with others. Canning, fermenting vegetables, shelling peas, winnowing seeds, to name a few. Not only do they get done more quickly, but they are immensely more enjoyable. The work becomes more meaningful with the human connections you…

The Game

The chickens and i have this little game. Our kitchen is essentially a screened outdoor space, and it is pleasant in hot weather to leave the doors open for ventilation, especially when the stove is going.    And this is when the chickens see how unobtrusively they can tiptoe into the kitchen and gobble cat…

Black Cherry Clafoutis: A Native Florida Custard Cake

I am always unprepared for the intensity of this season, ruled by the sun and violent storms. The heat feels suffocating and damp, and when the wind blows, it is a hot wind. Every day the shining white clouds build up into flickering, violet storms piled high in the hazy sky, and where they break…