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And IF We Returned To The Passive Solar Prefab, We Might Have Found It Fall.

WHAT IF your summer construction projects were not complete on your off grid prefab home ...yet it was a must to return?
Change Is A-Comin'!

WHAT IF one moment you were jumping off the dock and living in bathing suits...
AND THE VERY NEXT DAY, in southwest Virginia, you arrived, stepping fully into fall?!?
 WHAT IF in the morning, you left the salty Bay, smelling of crabs, with sand in your shoes...
Arriving in flip flops and a sun dress... to quickly don autumn boots and jeans?!?

WHAT IF you returned and the prefab house had no internet, was still incomplete, and full of boxes?
[Still with no closets to even be able to begin to unpack?]

If that ever happened to me, I probably wouldn't even show ANY pictures of the chaos, I'd be so overwhelmed.
But IF that happened... we would be SOOOOOOO glad to be home. 
Finally! We spy the filly!!!!

It is also that time of year, folks:  
Time for finishing canning, and, end of season, it's time to heat up the pans again and make friiiied green tomatoes
Often I leave out the breading... the key here is good grease. And I'm one of those people who hoard good grease off of tasty meat dishes. I keep it in a pot, and use it with everything. With a tad of tangy good grease and simmering, you can turn plain ole greens into POT LIKKER.

And It's Time For Tomato Wine. 
I've mentioned how our Pamplin friends would really like our Deltaville friends...
One more example? Henry L. stopped by and dropped off some CRAB APPLE WINE, knowing soon we return to the land. I walked over the next day and wheedled his TOMATO WINE recipe out of him.

Henry L.'s Famous Tomato Wine Recipe
[A 5 gallon container will yield 2 1/2-3 gallons of wine]
Overview: In a 5 gallon container (plastic is fine) with a lid that air locks (see picture), you ferment it about a week / ten days before moving it to a 3 gallon jar.
  • Tomatoes: Use tomatoes that are really ripe. Chop them up (about 6 quarts for 5 gallons) and toss 'em in the bucket.
  • Sugar: About 14 pounds of sugar. Like jam making, the ratio about 1/2 fruit to 1/2 sugar.
  • 4 Oranges, chopped, rinds and all.
  • 2 cups of golden (yellow) raisins
- Add above. Fill the rest of the bucket up with boiled water (leaving a little space at the top). Stir it all up.
- The next day (after it has cooled) add 2 packets of yeast (not rapid rise). Put the top on the bucket.
[The top: Make sure the lid air locks.  Add a hole to the top, insert a tube, seal the hole area with wax.  Insert the other end of the tube into a glass of water, so that you can see the bubbles.]
- Leave the bucket alone until the bubbles slow (about 1 week/ten days).
- Once the bubbles have slowed, strain (with a wire mesh, you can use a flour sieve, it doesn't have to be fine) into a 3 gallon glass jar (you can get them at bee supply stores)... *fill to the neck* of the glass jar... and have that top have a tube that is also inserted into a glass of water.
- After that stops bubbling, let it sit about a month. No wine before its time, honeychiles.
You'll get some sediment at the bottom, that's normal, and the rest will clear up more...
Then get the plastic tube and siphon it (about 2" off the bottom to avoid sediment) into jars!
Voila! Wine!

Back yard corn.

Reading Club
  • Our friends Steve & Chris Ault of Ault's Family Farm went to visit Spikenard Farm And Bee Sanctuary last week.
    "Situated in Floyd, VA in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Sanctuary aims to restore the health and vitality of the honeybee worldwide. Since founding Spikenard Farm in 2006, Gunther Hauk and his wife Vivian have been actively spreading their vision of sustainable biodynamic beekeeping. The Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary provides on-site workshops, lectures, consulting and publications. This work is possible through the support of many foundations and individuals around the country."
    Your assignment is to read about them and think about why bees are important. Sorry, no article, I just want you to think about this! 
  • Washington Post: Mexico: The Great Egg Crisis Biodiversity and backyard hens could have helped prevent this...
Back yard chickens.

3rd Grade
  • She is LOVING the online math. But I also thought I'd break it up with a lil' Schoolhouse Rock.
4th Grade
P.s. Want to see a good movie with your children about how love can overcome discrimination? Where you can make your little girl happy with Another Horse Movie yet your son glued to the plot about The Little Indian Boy? Watch Red Fury. In fact, I'm going to watch it again. It was also a gentle way to bring up some difficult topics on prejudice, and how, when they're overcome, it makes a community even more wonderful. And then you can talk about how it's based on a true story and study history during that time!

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