Friday, January 07, 2011

New year update, January 2011

I’m still breathing heavy from my trek out to the chicken coop. Ron said the trail would be open. He neglected to consider what the wind has been up to since he blew the snow out yesterday. He blows the snow out, and secretly enjoys either the process or the neatness of a cleared expanse, and the wind blows it back in. Oof da. My socks are wet. And my cheeks are red. And I’m enjoying that exhilarated feeling of braving 3.7 degree weather.

The hens are wintering over in the snuggest coop this side of the Mississippi. Ron spent some quality time last fall pouring concrete, pounding nails into stud walls, insulating and cladding the structure in steel siding. Lovely coop.

Ron’s also spending considerable quality time in the vinegary. He’s just recently bottled more mugwort. The last bottling sold out so quickly all we could do in the latter part of the year was to tell visitors about it. The ginger vinegar went nearly as fast. He started infusing a new batch yesterday.

Other vinegars that are back in stock include: anise hyssop, basil, dill, mint, and cilantro. Brand new on the shelf: lemon balm and Cuban oregano. We’ve been anticipating a lemon vinegar for some time. The lemon balm grew lush and thick this last summer. I harvested it at peak and froze it for later infusion. So, later is here and the lemon balm infused in rhubarb vinegar is ready.

Ron’s wine making classes have been well attended. “Students” make their wine here (some use their own fruit while others use canned fruit or kits), come back to rack off (drain the liquid from the mash) and later to bottle their finished product. It’s been a popular fall activity; some bestowed their new wine as Christmas gifts. Speaking of Christmas, we went to a holiday wine-tasting party with friends back in December. We had just over a dozen wines to sample and more than half of them were “domestic” wines, made by our friends. A home-grown raspberry was ranked number one. Just a reminder: if you are a wine maker in mid-Minnesota, consider getting your wine supplies here. We carry everything a hobby wine or beer maker could want.

See you soon.


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