Caribou Country Chamomile Wine

Making your own wine at home can be either intimidating or lots of fun. I like to make wine and I like to have fun. Most of the recipes and instructions on the internet are intimidating AND confusing.  And they try to convince you everything has to be perfect, and you have to use that floating thermometer thingydoodle to get your alcohol level just right.  Here’s a secret. I can’t get my floating thermometer thingydoodle to even float, not even a little, it just drops like an ironclad and doesn’t tell me anything useful. *whispers* So I stopped using it completely. Continue reading “Caribou Country Chamomile Wine”

Living a Steampunk Life, in Real Life

I use this blog sporadically and randomly, and with no real sort of focus or goal. My typist has her own private journal, and now we’ve decided that when she writes about activities that would suit my Steampunk era, I’ll let her cross post them here. She lives in the country, and rather enjoys doing many things the way they were done in the Victorian era – or earlier! These sort of posts may be of interest to my SL friends who don’t have access to my RL private journal. So, let’s give it a go.

Today’s Garden Harvest:

Three dozen Garlic Scapes which will be finely diced and either dried or stored in oil.

Three quarts of quite fat strawberries. More jam perhaps? Already did nine pints. Debating. Must clean them up at least.

Handful of poppy flowers. (Drying, for tea. Don’t panic, I use sparingly for sleeping.)

Handful of Borage Flowers for tea.

Big bunch of Sweet Woodruff for May Wine

Shall mince the scapes, clean the strawberries, wash the woodruff and let it air dry (stuff dries FAST on its own). I may pull down hanging bundles of oregano, chocolate mint and spearmint to crunch into jars. The catnip is a slow drying herb and needs more time to dry.

Tomorrow I hope to harvest mints, catnip, oregano, chives, sage, chamomile flowers and raspberry leaves.

Everything is growing very well! Won’t be long to peppers, radishes, lettuces, beans, raspberries… tomatoes still look a ways off.

Oh, and I tea-dyed an all-cotton peasant blouse and a pair of cotton gloves. Both were FAR too blindingly white for my taste!

Minty Fresh Assistance Needed

Amazingly, I’m posting AGAIN. Two posts on the same day! Your mind, it boggles! But I did want to bring the plight of a local farm to the attention of my flist… perhaps you can assist, and enjoy some minty goodness, too!

Here’s the info from our local paper, the Lansing State Journal.

St. Johns Mint Farm Falls Short But Raises $78,000

ST. JOHNS – The country’s oldest mint farm was peppered with revenue Saturday, but not enough to stop it from closing.

Jim Crosby, 42, said there are 59,000 bottles of farm-distilled peppermint and spearmint oil left to sell. However, he hopes the spike in clientele – roughly 1,054 new clients in 24 hours and $78,000 in profits from the last three weeks – is enough to make a legal case to keep the doors open.

Crosby is close to losing the farm to foreclosure. His lender, Greenstone Farm Credit Services, reserves the right to liquidate assets because not enough to cover the $348,000 debt was raked in, Crosby said. “In theory, they can come in and do repossession and confiscate everything. But at this point, we don’t know what we’re going to do,” Crosby said of his 140-acre farm in St. Johns.

But Crosby remains hopeful, he said, because customers from as far away as Denmark bought oils online for anything from sinus problem relief to aromatic massages.

“I’m the optimist. I know we’re going to do this,” Crosby said. The new customers encourage his faith that the farm, which his great-grandfather started in 1912, will make it, he said. “I’ve always offered a money-back guarantee, and I’ve never given money back. I never had to.”

This is a reader comment to the above story:

The farm was auctioned and bought for $348,000. The farmers have a timeframe to pay that off. They were trying to sell all their stock to do so. In 4 or 5 days, they’ve sold more than 15,500 drams of oil toward their goal. If they can show the bank that they can produce, the bank may give them more time.

According to the previous article, there were deaths in the family, leaving one farmer to take care of two farms alone. Now, his sister has joined him, and they’re trying to climb back out.

I encourage anyone who can to go to their website and order a bottle or two. Great for Christmas candy making, and natural healing properties. They’re only $5 /ea+S&H. A small price to help out a fellow human.