Sunday, August 29, 2010

Canine alternative medicine

Milos heading down the berry path.
From early spring until they are in full bloom and dry, Milos devours goldenrod leaves.  He can smell them from a distance and zone in on the first green sprouts as the snow melts.  I used to worry that he ate so much, but it never seems to harm him.  He also like to leave a steady trail of markings all along our paths - and we have quite a few in our 140 acres.

Today, I discovered that he is a genius - goldenrod leaves increase urine flow!  The tasty solution to running out before reaching the end of each walk :) While not yet popular in the United States or approved for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), goldenrod is used widely in Europe to treat urinary tract infections and help eliminate kidney or bladder stones. It is used to flush the bladder and prevent infection.

That's my boy!

Elderberry weekend

This weekend we spent working on the wild elderberries on the lot.  Its been two years since we last preserved these tasty fruits. It has been a great year for all sorts of berries and the tiny elders are no exception.  Saturday, David trekked to the bush - and brought home lots of snipped clusters. 

We spent all afternoon removing the tiny berries from the tender vines and sorting them into 2 pound bags.  In the end, there were 17 pounds of fruit.  I stored 4 pounds in the fridge for Sunday and put the other 13 into the freezer for this winter.

After breakfast on Sunday, I transferred the fruit into elderberry syrup (recipe on my RecipeBoxMemory Blog).

This was our first attempt at using the press - and it extracted every last bit of liquid from the softened berries.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

August 2010 update

The beds are full of flowers and tomatoes.  There is still a couple of onions and one cabbage to eat also.  The upper garden has been wonderful this year with lots of beans, corn, beets (not enough for me), carrots, and there are many pumpkins turning orange.

I say - year one of raised beds a success.

Friday, August 13, 2010

2010 - Berry Berry Full Summer

As I munched on yet another bowl of luscious blackberry and black rasberry mix, I realized just how abundant the summer fruit this has been. 
How to rate the summer?
Here are the top 8 ways to know it is a good berry year:
  1. You ignore those less than an inch long
  2. Your dog ignores those less than an inch long
  3. You pick you breakfast every day
  4. All the animal droppings are full of seed and have a tint of purple
  5. You have to quit freezing them so you have a corner left for some corn
  6. You have scratches all over your hands and arms
  7. Your walks take you three times as long as usual
  8. You chuckle everytime you drive by the $4 / pint signs on your way home

And  today I noticed the elderberries are getting ripe.