Friday, June 19, 2015

Transitioning to a new site

We are transitioning over to a WordPress site with the blog. This is going to give us a little more flexibility and it's actually a complete website not just a blog. Check out the latest and greatest!

The archived items will stay here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Interesting Blooms

Here are a few interesting blooms you don't see every day.

The one on the left is a persimmon tree. Not showy at all, in fact it's nearly impossible to tell that it's blooming at all. The blooms all face downward and they are well concealed with leaves. They smell a little like rotting meat too. They must rely on alternative pollinators. This asian "hana fuyu" persimmon is supposed to be self pollinating but it's always better to have multiple trees. At the moment it's the only one we have however.

This is the first time this tree has ever bloomed. It buds on new wood.

Here is an interesting bloom many people may not have seen before, it's vetch. These blooms are very small.

On the right is some volunteer honeysuckle that is in full bloom. Honeysuckle is very fragrant! I wasn't aware of this but it is said to have many herbal actions and is widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It's said to be cooling, so a good thing for fevers.

Here are some links: bearmedicinal

The hibiscus overwintered inside and is now beginning to bloom. That's a showy flower! They've got some medicinal/culinary properties too. Hibiscus tea is one common usage for the flowers.

The next bloom is valerian. It has hundreds tiny flowers and a very fragrant licorice aroma. The seeds are very tiny and resemble sea anemones. They float on the breeze like dandelions.

Beebalm or bergamot has a very interesting flower. Beebalm is also referred to as Oswego tea and can be used to make a good tasting tea which I prefer to the usual tea.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Where to begin

If you want to learn more about permaculture the best place to start is with the founder himself, Bill Mollison.

There is a free online resource from that has Bill's lectures from 1994 in Texas.

There's no better place to start learning about permaculture for zero money!

Link to the new site.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Sad Day

When I went out this morning there were ten fish floating in the pond. They were gone, it was too late. I didn't think losing gold fish would bother me much but I guess it does actually.

Because of my own stupidity they died. I left the hose running in the pond for several hours and for whatever reason, I think lack of oxygen, they didn't make it.

I'm not one hundred percent sure exactly what the cause was still but I think that since the water level was above the spill pipe the water didn't get aerated properly.

They lived through the winter, and the time that the pond didn't even have a filter. So I'm scratching my head on this one.

Later on in the day I lost one more and one isn't looking good. So there are five left, even though I only put ten in originally. Most of the big ones died.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Chorizo, chickpeas, poached eggs, FFF

Choizo w/ chickpeas & poached egg

This Friday's food forage dish was chorizo with chickpeas topped with poached egg.

The eggs came directly from our own chickens.

I used Mexican chorizo from Pine Street Market.

The chickpeas were our one cheat this week since there isn't a local source for them. We used dried beans and let them soak for a few hours first. Then into boiling water with one cinnamon stick.

Saute a diced onion and then add in the chorizo. Let this cook for a while before adding in the chickpeas. Then top the chickpeas and chorizo up with chicken stock. Let simmer for about an hour.

When ready to serve top with a poached egg. Each egg takes four minutes so don't forget to allow for the correct amount of time.

The greens are going pretty well in the raised beds now. They are on the eastern side of the house and it is about the only place that gets full sun.

Salad with truffle vinaigrette

I made a salad from lettuce growing in a raised bed we have here. This is a very good light and tangy vinaigrette for hot weather.

Truffle vinaigrette:

1 - tspn Dijon mustard
2 - tblspn honey
1- tspn white truffle oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil

Combine Dijon, honey and lemon juice in a measuring cup

While stirring, drizzle in some good olive oil to form an emulsion. Add truffle oil.

That's it!

I topped the salad with Goat's Milk cheese crafted locally from Capra Gia.

It isn't local but it's worth getting, Edmond Fallot dijon mustard, nothing can compete.

You can get it from

Georgia Olive Oil is made here in Georgia and is available from their online store if you cannot find it locally.

You can always find out what is available to you locally at Local Harvest.