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Thursday, February 10, 2011

whats going on

Grandpa, handsome as ever
 As of today our shitake patch is "dormant". The shrooms never came so I contacted the manufacturer and they said we needed to "hit the reset button", meaning let it dry out for two weeks, refrigerate it for 3-4 days and then soak it in ice cold water for 24 hrs. Then we can try to grow mushrooms again. I don't know why it didn't work the first time-Hope something happens this time around. Its currently in the dry-out stage. If there was some kind of dance I could do for the mushroom gods to ensure a good harvest I'd be doing it right now.

We will get to crack open our beer this Sunday. Expect a post.

The vanilla extract is still brewing. Its gotten a nice dark amber color but is still a little weak. It still smells more like alcohol than vanilla. I am going to let it set for another couple weeks-might even throw in another vanilla bean or two. Its on the right track though.

On Monday evening, my sister and I made a beautiful batch of homemade beeswax body lotion. It turned out way better than I had expected and I've been slopping it on constantly. I'm OBSESSED.  I will get a post up and a link to the directions this soon. I hope to look for a good recipe for homemade deodorant this weekend as well. I've been having allergic reactions to the one I'm using now and I'm tired of shopping around and having half a dozen different brands in my medicine cabinet. A family member has also been making her own laundry detergent and I am intrigued. She gave me some good tips. (Thanks Melanie!)

Two things have been on my mind practically non stop the last few weeks. The first is the bees. Greg and I have decided that we will be adding two more hives to our little apiary this spring. One will go on my parent's property with the other two hives and the other will be placed at my grandparents. My grandpa (now 90) was a beekeeper in the old days and I think he will get a kick out of having a hive back on his land. He's not in the shape to keep up with a hive these days but he happily agreed to letting me. It will be interesting to see how they do. My grandpa puts in an extensive garden (much too big for him to keep up with himself) so i think the bees shouldn't have a problem finding food. I am hoping that since I will be driving out there once a week anyway, I will have time to help with garden chores as well. I might even ask him to let me put out a few of my own veggies. I would love to grow some eggplants and broccoli and have a packet of heirloom carrots that I got last summer stashed in a drawer. Every time I open that drawer I hear the seeds calling, "plant us please!" Its torture to have a green thumb and and none of your own soil. "renting" family members' land to grow your food is less than ideal but I will have to make due for now. I still haven't found a willing person to let me raise chickens in their backyard and free ranging apartment chickens are frowned upon here in BG. Codes Shmodes.

My lease for my apartment is up at the end of April. It would be awesome if I could find a little place outside of town to rent fairly cheap. Anybody know of anything or anybody know anybody who knows sombody?


  1. I'll keep my ears open for something. You may want to look at portage. We did when we were looking for a new place and there were a few small houses.

  2. Loved the update! Wish I lived closer, you could use my soil! But no chickens...