Monday, May 16

Pioneer summer.

My friend and neighbor Zak and I were doing some sitting around flipping through my copy of the Ultimate Guide to Homesteading. We were talking about how cool it would be learn all of this stuff, maybe not because we have to know it all right now but because this stuff may be really good to know in the future (the future where we all live on a giant piece of land and barter and trade with each other to stay self-sustaining.) Several of my friends have undertaken learning the 'basics' and I've done a little here and there (dandelion honey, bread baking with my own yeast starter)- I think it's high time we actually put this plan in action and get down to it! 
There are several great books to help along the way, like Back to Basics and the Foxfire series.

I really wanted to gather and dry my own tea, so that was researched and done yesterday. I was able to get a few bags full of raspberry leaves and nettle leaves. I picked all the leaves from the stems and laid them out to dry on sheets hung from my ceiling. Chris isn't thrilled with the sheets hanging over our head in the entryway, but it's just for a few days.

I learned two valuable lessons yesterday while foraging. One, raspberry bushes and dreadlocks DON'T mix. Two, jeans don't do much to ward off the sting of nettle!

Zak, Brenda and I sat down and made some clay dishes. It's the first step in our cooking outdoors endeavor. Dishes for eating our food on... Unfortunately the first go was a bust. I was trying to sort of bisque fire them before the actual firing in a pit, but the temperatures were probably too varied and everything broke or cracked. We'll have another go!

And this one is a cheater but I'll take it... A friend passed along a yogurt maker and I ordered some cultures off the internet. Right now there is almond milk yogurt warming in the kitchen, we'll see how well it works :)

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