Tuesday, 3 March 2009

The Opossuble Dream

Opossums were imported during the depression as a food source, for hungry people. They don't carry rabies. They eat small rodents and clean up scraps. Supposedly they do not pose a threat to livestock as a predator, though they do carry a harmful to horses bacteria in their feces. Many farmers have disagreed with this sentiment, claiming that more than once opossums have raided their chicken houses. 

This opossum lives inside of our porch. We had planned on letting her be, but Friday night the skunk met the opossum on said porch. Now both animals are on the "hit list".  At least we don't have to deal with being mocked by animal control. 

Monday, 2 March 2009

Imagination on Fire

Proof that a dragon flew overhead according to tot. This ice formation was found on the bank to the pond. 

View from the South shore.
Off we go on a muddy muddy hike. We've taken several since this picture was taken. One such hike was to go and introduce ourselves to the elves living in the woods. Tot was very excited to try and free Arthur Spiderwick from captivity, but unfortunately the elves are still distrustful of human folk. She explained this to me on our walk. No worries though, she continued, once they realize that Mama and Blueberry are changlings, really swamp elves, then they will stop hiding. (She's talking to the house brownie in faerie right now......asking him to help her with the toysplosion mess....)

Proof that giants tore through the woods. 

I love hiking with Lil'Bug. 

Chicken Stock

Our lovely neighbors from Blue Gate farm have spoiled us since we've moved here. They've brought us jam and bread and stewing chickens. This is the chicken stock bone broth I made with the first of those delicious birds. The stock was too thin, because I added too much water. An interesting observation I made during the process was that when it came time to remove "scum", a step in the bone broth process, there was so little that it was next to impossible to remove the slight bit. Another observation was that it didn't stink. Every time I (or Dearest) have made broth/stock in the past (with store bought birds) the whole house smells awful. This time the smell was heavenly. 

I didn't make the batch to be frozen, so I used the broth to make chicken noodle soup, as stock for beans and ham, and as a base for my pumpkin soup. There was something uniquely satisfying to make these dishes with my own base ingredients, local meat, and veggies from my own garden (deep freeze).  When the chickens and spices are my own and I can claim a zero mile meal, that will be true success!

Garden, Late Winter

There are three beds, two were cultivated and one is the bed of a removed tree. These pictures are of the Western bed, where the Concord grapes and strawberries are. The previous family also planted a lot of corn and squash in these beds, so where there is a corn stalk, I will be planting a bean plant. Yum, beans. 

Actually, one of my problems is limiting to this predetermined space. My seed order has already outgrown it. Neat. I'm going to use another area for melons and squash and I think do a row or two of dry beans over with the squash as well.