Friday, August 18, 2017

Water and shade, and tons and tons of food from the garden

By the time you read this, I'll be teaching people how to make Gouda cheese. Or if you read this in the afternoon, I'll show how to make goat milk soaps and lotions. Eight people are signed up for our homesteading and wilderness retreat, and today, we spent all day cleaning, pre-cooking and getting ready. We're excited to welcome these eager people to our homestead.

I thought I'd write this blog post in between cleaning, because I have to take a break sometime, right?

Before I show you all the fruits of our labor in the garden, let me take you to Larrabee State Park close to Bellingham, where we camped, hiked, kayaked and mountain biked last week. It's beautiful there, but I wouldn't recommend spending the night since trains blow their whistles by there all night long. I didn't get much sleep.

Aside from going to Puget Sound, we also sought out water in other places.  It has been soooooo hot, and for a while, there was lots of haze from the wild fires.  The smoke has lifted, thank goodness.   

Below is a picture of Baker Lake, where we found a rope swing, which promptly hurt Kai's friend when she got some pretty serious rope burn.  Also, we've been floating on the Skagit River, which is much colder than Baker Lake or the Puget Sound.

And of course, we are seeking shade below the beautiful, huge cedars that thrive in our climate.

So now after showing you all our play pictures, let me show you work pictures.  There's lots of that going on at our homestead, of course, and all of it centers around food production and preservation.

First, the garden: It's thriving and cranking out lots of food.

We harvested our red onions, and if you want to watch my tutorials on how to harvest and cure them, you can go to my youtube channel and learn for free.

Eva likes harvesting zucchini.  She makes them into dolls.  Seriously.  She draws faces and clothes on them, and she gives them names.  I have to take a picture of this one of these days...


I'm harvesting herbs as well, to use in making medicine and teas, soaps and salves.

Also: fig jam.  I'll make a tutorial on how I make jam with the many figs our tree is cranking out soon.  Nothing gets wasted around here: if fruit turns overripe, the chickens get to eat it.

I'm going nuts with the cookbook I told you about in another post.  Below are millet maple syrup muffins I made from its recipe.  They are to die for, and really healthy, so technically, they won't make you die but live longer, I guess.

Lastly, I'm making lots of sauerkraut, beet kvass and yogurt.  I teach how to do all this in my online fermentation course.  You should totally check it out, because this is the season to learn how to ferment food and drink.  It's all so, so good for you, and much easier than you might think...

I'll leave you with two special images: One if of impending winter, so firewood has to be chopped and stored.

The other is of the newly born baby ducks our duck hatched.  They deserve a separate blog post, but for now, you'll get one picture.

Okay, I'm off to clean some more.  And then I'll make lasagne and quiche for our retreat.  Bye!


  1. We have those rock formations in CA. My daughter showed them to me at Bean Hollow State Beach near Half Moon Bay. She called them Turbidites, which was incorrect, but we got a lot of humorous mileage out of it (Turbidites from the Planet Turbid) They are really Tafoni, small honeycomb-like pits. Very cool.

    The rest of your post is just so wonderful. Some day. Some day. Before you get too famous and we get some extra dollars ahead we are going to take a road trip and you, my dear, are going to be on our itinerary. I need to see this all in person some day. Such beauty and I bet your kitchen smells wonderful right now!

    Have fun at the retreat! WIWT (wish I was there)

    1. Some day! We shall meet. I can feel it in my bones!
      The retreat was so wonderful, I feel all teary about it. The people were amazing, and I fell in love with every single one. Blog post to follow soon!

    2. Oh right! It's over with! I've been gone for the weekend to the coast and got stuck in an apparent time warp. Glad it went well!

  2. So beautiful...all of your picture - play and work!

  3. You do well Corina. You all do. I am envious.
    Both this post and the one about the retreat made me feel better as I have been hanging on for dear life most of the spring and summer. Nothing much got done around here.

    1. Ohhhhh, Ron! Are you still having a hard time over there? Awwww... things are very intense everywhere. Here, too, but I'm not necessarily writing about it in detail. Just now you are not alone with the hanging on for dear life. Lots of weird stuff going on! Sending you much love!!!

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