Saturday, August 31, 2013

Harvesting, canning, and a new tie dyeing obsession

This week, I have been milking the goats to the deafening sound of rain drumming on the metal roof of the barn. Yes, it's true: the rains are back. The days are getting shorter. It feels like fall. I don't quite know how to feel about that. We are all grateful for the rain right now... but how long will that gratitude last if the grey-ness and wet-ness stretches on and on and on?

Fall means we're busy littler beavers on our homestead. Lots of harvesting is going on, and lots of eating of our homegrown food. Fall means canning and preserving, pickling and fermenting, cleaning up the garden, and lots and lots of snacking fresh from the garden. Eva loves our figs, which she likes to pick herself. She thinks their insides look like worms, which is true, but this doesn't keep her from eating them fresh like they are candy.
The other day, I coerced the male members of my family to help me make dilly beans. They helped me wash, cut, and pack seven pounds of green beans into 18 pint jars, augmented with dill and garlic from the garden, and mustard seeds, and vinegar.

Do you know why they call this squash "Crookneck"?  I would call it "Gooseneck" if I got to name veggie varieties.
Compare some of the tiny eggs that they young chickens give us to the huge duck eggs.

Canning is very, very serious business.
It has been a busy week. I taught another cheese making class, which always energizes me so much (and forces me to really clean my house, which then makes me so happy). The day after cheese class, I went to our monthly Marblemount Community Market to sell my felted hats, handspun yarn, and goat milk soap. I received the nicest compliment from a customer who bought my soap last month. He came back for more this month, proclaiming that this is the nicest soap he has ever used. Happy customers, proud Corina. The next day, I promptly made more soap, this time scented with lemon and clary sage essential oils. It looked and smelled like the most delicious lemon custard. I had to put it high up so my family wasn't tempted to dip their fingers in it and try some...
Part of the fun of doing the market is visiting with friends.  This is what community is all about!

My booth.

But it's not all work and slaving away at our farm. We've gotten addicted to a fun creative outlet involving hand painting T-shirts – tie dyeing! A few weeks ago, I bought a tie dye kit at Michael's for the kids, and wouldn't you know? I got totally hooked by it, because I already hand paint wool yarn, and now the world of cotton has opened up to me! The possibilities! Even Steve dyed one shirt, and his blue one with white bubbles turned out beautifully – looking at it feels like snorkeling in a warm ocean.
I can see opening another Etsy store with tie dye clothing. Maybe the boys can sell tie dye shirts at the market?

Not bad, ey?
And one more thing:  While I was at market, Steve and the kids ran a race in Bellingham, called Muds to Suds.  It's a 2.5 mile run, where you have to navigate obstacles such as mud pits, sawdust pits, a trailer filled with suds, tunnels and more.  The goal is to get as muddy as possible.  Do you think my kids had fun doing this?


  1. Awesome! Soap looks great and the tye-dyes are beautiful! I would still love to trade for some of your sauerkraut♥

    1. Sure, Melissa, let's trade!!! I love your stuff!


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