Sunday, February 8, 2009


Well the above is proof that I am starting my first attempt at grape based wine. I purchased a relatively low cost kit that contains both grape juice and toasted oak bits as well as finings to help clarify the wine. If this goes well I may have to consider planting grape vines. I know there are a few great cultivars coming out of the U of M these days.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Don't call it a comeback!

Well I have returned to the blog. I know you may have been wondering if I had given up on this . We no I was just taking a bit of a break and now I am back.
So winter continues here at the farm. We have had a particularly cold winter so far, even by Minnesota standards. That means apart from the driveway clearing and tening the chickens not much farming, hobby or otherwise, was getting done as of late. I have spent a bit of time working on things inside the house like organizing the pantry and actually even started to work on the library again. I have also been doing lots of reading on all maner of foody, hippy and ecogeek subjects. I plan to post some short reviews on many of the books I have been simultaneously not finishing as I am finnaly able to take them off that list.
Also I am going to be starting a few more wine, beer and mead projects in the near future and plan to post on them as well. So stay tuned.

Proof of work on the pantry!


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Growing power

Earlier this fall while out with a friend that I never thought would be interested in things of an organic and small farmy nature. He brought up the subject of Growing Power in Milwaukee. I became aware of the place by following Youtube links on auquaculture. I realy like the idea of aquaculture and the bootstrap nature of the place really impresed me. I guess I should give you the links now so you can get to know the system they have developed there.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

snow place like home.

Well no changes here at the farm this week. It is still cold and we seem to have snow every other day or so. Not much to blog about I am afraid. I have been slowly chopping up and removing solidified snow drift from part of the driveway. It appears that the wonderful fence around the chicken yard makes a great snow fence which causes the drift formation. Alas one solution to one problem causes another problem elsewhere. I think I may experiment with more snow fences during the remainder of this winter to help me figure out the best place for hedges as well.
Until then it makes for a great new years exercise program. Gotta stay in shape in the off season you know.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Weather Report

Well we finally got temps above freezing yesterday. It melted most of the snow which is both a blessing and a curse. I like the snow for it's ability to insulate plants and septic systems but am less fond of it for it's ability to blow into driveways and roads. I think we may get some more snow later today. Just an inch but that might be just the thing to insulate the ground and plants but not so much you can't drive over it. Provided the winds remain reasonable.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy solstice all.

Well it has been cold and snowy here for the past two days and we just stayed in for the most part. They say we might have a colder and snowier winter this year. I believe them. I did a bit of futile shoveling yesterday the wind blew it all back last night. I did get a chance to add some insulation to the coop as well. It has been a bit of a slow work in progress out in the coop but it is progress.
I gave the chickens the last of the test plot of wheat I grew this summer yesterday. I understand that is a tradition in some Slavic cultures. We also bought a box of clementines at the grocery store on Friday. I decided to simmer a handful of the peels with some cloves and cardamom pods and a cinnamon stick. Man the house smells great.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Well I bottled up 3 gallons of dandelion wine from 2007 summer last night along with a 5 gal batch of honey nut brown beer that had been siting on the table for the last year or so. I am really excited about the taste of the beer. I have dubbed it the forever beer. I also bottled up the last of the gift bottles of the nocino. All this may not help much with the economy these days but having over 8 gallons of alcohol in the cellar is still very reassuring.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Looks like we may be looking at a furnace upgrade soon. I would like to get a boiler and retrofit the house for radiant heat but if we do that we will have to wait till spring. More likely we will be just upgrading to a higher efficiency furnace this spring if we can hold off till then. That gets me thinking about efficiency but I think that will be the subject of a future rant.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Another neat blog

I have read this blog before but I for some reason forgot to add it to the list of recommended blogs
So here I present Holy Scrap Hot Springs. An great resource for those interested in living a more eco-friendly self sufficient life with a southwestern maker twist.

Hope you enjoy.

Me....I just shoveled snow again.

Monday, December 1, 2008

DIY sunflower biodeisel

No I am not yet even crazy enough to attempt this yet but since updated his blog on that subject this seemed like the perfect time to give his blog a tip of the proverbial hat. is a great resource whether you are into wilderness living, making maple syrup or home power generation this blog has something for you.