How does it happen? One day everything is neat and tidy, all organized and running smoothly and the next, it looks like I let a bunch of preschoolers and monkeys loose in my kitchen. I spent nearly all of Saturday organizing the cabinets AGAIN!!!!  How did I end up with 3 opened boxes of corn starch? Most of what I did was consolidate. The good news is that I have a lot more room and I can find what I need but I suspect that this is going to be the way it is around here. I get busy, I cook with kids, I do three things at once and the mess takes over. With my kids coming home, I’m really committed to keeping better order around here but ask me next month how it’s working out for me.

We had one busy weekend. On Saturday, we attended a barn dance/wedding reception just up the street then returned home in time to walk over to the community house for a concert. Radio Free Earth ( I LOVE RFE) and Evelyn Harris from Sweet Honey and the Rock played. It was great music to sing along with and dance in the aisles to. We had the girls with us and they had so much fun. I think Phoebe danced all night. Sunday morning we went to church, then returned home to rack the wine and help friends with some cider pressing. They ended up staying for dinner and a visit. It was a lovely, productive day.

The question was raised about what we would do with a windfall of cash. Would we buy more land or what? That led to a conversation about how one is best situated for the coming hard times. The pro for buying a more isolated spot is just that. Being off the beaten path has some advantages but, for me, they are outweighed by the convenience of living in a place where I can walk everyplace that matters to me. A typical New England village like the one we live in was designed for the kind of living that will be necessary in a resource depleted world.

To get back to the wine; the grape was good, the dandelion fair and the goldenrod was fabulous. Even before it has aged enough it was good enough to drink. I got 9 bottles in total and I still have another gallon of grape to rack which will give another 5 bottles. Not a bad haul when you consider that All I had to purchase were some raisins, some sugar and the yeast. I need to sit down and do some calculating. I could substitute honey for the sugar. I can make yeast and I can dry my own raisins so, with a little fiddling I should be able to make a completely local wine. Sometime I need to add some citrus to a wine. Now my little lemon tree has 6 gorgeous lemons on it. That will do nicely. I am actually thinking that I may pick up a few more citrus trees. They won’t keep us in daily juice but they will give us enough to do a project like winemaking and the occasional treat.

I had a  Christmas apple this week. It’s the oldest known cultivated variety in New England (that’s what the sign said) so I saved the seeds. Have any of you ever grown a tree from seed? I haven’t but I want to try. We have so enjoyed our apple press and the idea of expanding our orchard is really appealing. My kids could make a decent living with an orchard and a press.

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