We're well into the growing season and along with the planting, weeding, and mowing we've been welcoming tour groups to the orchard, herb garden and vinegary.
Our vinegar maker has been busy setting up new batches as well as teaching wine making classes to interested folk in the area. It's rhubarb time so Ron has offered classes in making rhubarb wine. We carry a complete line of wine making equipment and supplies as well as those for beer making. So the rhubarb wine is fermenting.
Ron indicates that about 60 gallons of wine-vinegar is in the works. When these vinegars are harvested many of them will be infused with herbs since the herbs (at least some of them) are nearly in their prime. Lovage, tarragon, dill, sage, anise hyssop, and chives are ready to be picked. We didn't get the basil seeds planted early, but they're coming up and we eagerly look forward to the basil harvest.
The orchard pollination went well with the bees doing their annual duties. Some bee keepers are concerned with the loss of bees but so far they seem to be fine here. A good swarm was buzzing and collecting water at the Koi pond yesterday.
Ron and I enjoyed speaking at the Wadena area Christian Women's meeting Tuesday night. It was a challenge to give all 100 attendees a taste of the vinegars, especially since they were just finishing dinner, topping it off with ice cream. They'd lick the ice cream off their spoons and hold them out for the drops of vinegar. What a delightful group! Since Ron and I are both originally from the Wadena area we were delighted to reconnect with friends we hadn't seen in many years.
I mentioned the Koi pond just a minute ago. The Koi have happily reproduced in the ponds so we now have Koi for sale. You might think of fish and vinegar as a culinary duo but Ron's fish are like my chickens: we don't eat them!