Sumac Lemonade

     We have lots of staghorn sumac around us. It's actually invasive around my garden, but, we let it grow because of it's brilliant red color in the fall. A perk is the sumac berries to make sumac lemonade.

 I put the grandkids to kept them busy for a while :-)

     We soaked the berries for about 20 minutes in cold water. A cold water infusion helps to preserve the vitamin c content. These berries were a bit young yet. A little older and there would be more vitamin c in them.

     I then strained the juice in a fine mesh strainer to make sure I got out all the little sumac hairs. I sweetened it with stevia.

     I think they were quite apprehensive with the first sip.   ....and then I heard "mmmm this is good!" It is good! Try it.

(Please make sure it is smooth or staghorn sumac. If you don't know for sure, get help identifying it.)

.....dr momi


First Gooseberry Crop

My first crop of gooseberries after 4 years of the bugs eating
the bush down to nothing. Why they didn't eat it this year I have no idea.
I didn't do anything to prevent them.

This is a very small bowl....not enough to do anything with, except eat fresh.
My 5 year old grandson said they tasted like grapes.
At least he didn't spit them out :-) They are quite tasty.

I do believe I will be planting a couple more bushes!

.....dr momi


Mulberry Fun


    I planted a 4 foot tall mulberry tree by the chicken coop 5 years ago.  It was a tree planted by the birds in the old fenceline.  I knew they grew fast.  I never imagined it would grow this big in such a short time.

  It is loaded with fruit this year.  My husband calls it a "bear dinner bell".  The chickens think the fruit is a great substitute for a worm. But, the grandkids thought it was a mulberry piƱata!  They had a grand time gobbling up the fruit as it fell.

                              ......and they all had purple mustaches!

     A mulberry tree is a great addition to a homestead.  Planting it by the chicken coop was perfect for shade and chicken food.  All my grown children were saying "I want a mulberry tree!".  I reminded them it would be a pretty messy tree in town.
    Mulberry wine....mulberry pie......mulberry jam....just thinking out loud :-)

.....dr momi

Linked to: Homestead Barn Hop #118


Bunny Chore Helper

      I've been babysitting for two of my grandchildren this summer.  While big brother is in summer school, three year old Zoe is my helper.  We feed the rabbits at 9:00 every morning.  Can we say "non-stop talking"?  ........I love it.  She knows each bunny's name.  This grass was destined for "Sharemon" (Sherman).

.....Grandma Jean


A Medicinal Walk To The Mailbox

     I was babysitting and puppy tending, grabbed my camera, and we took a walk down the driveway to get the mail.  The driveway is 20 acres long.  The deep woods are on it's north side and open field on the south side.  My main reason for the camera was to get a shot of the horsetail growing by the mailbox, but lots of things were blooming.....

 The dandelions were thick.
......dandelion wine (medicinal of course :-)
......leaves and roots are diuretic
......a great source of potassium

The dogwood was in full bloom.
I do not use this medicinally, but
 show it to compare with elderberry.
Anything blooming right now in northern
Wisconsin is NOT elderberry....they will be the next set of blooms.

The red elderberry was in full bloom also.
This is NOT the elderberry you pick medicinally.
These blossoms and berries will give you one upset stomach.
Again, the medicinal elderberry will bloom in about 2 weeks.

.....I could have eaten the fiddleheads
of these ferns a few weeks earlier.
Just pretty now.

Here's the horsetail.
I always pick a new crop every year.
......excellent source of silica.
......any broken bones over the year,
I will be drinking horsetail tea.
......drinking the tea will grow strong fingernails too!
......dry it in bunches hanging upside down.

I also picked some comfrey from my (planted) patch.
......if I break a bone over this next year I will be drinking
comfrey tea and using it as a plaster.
.....also a great source of protein  to feed chickens over the winter.
......dry it in bunches hanging upside down.

     There are more medicinal plants coming down my driveway....a future post :-)



Future Leader Dog Lazar

Lazar....9wks old
My 10th Future Leader Dog.

Need A Funny Caption

What's your caption for this week?

Last Week:

'whadya mean it's almost christmas?!
how did we miss easter?!'

That was where I was going with the pic Tex :-)

This week's caption is by TexWisGirl over at:
She's got a picture of her nonagon house and the
pond where she gets all of her gorgeous bird pics up today.
Go check out her blog! 

Other captions were:

They look like they get their hare done at the same place.
By Patrice over at: Everyday Ruralty

"You KNOW you want to pet us!!"
By Candy C. over at: Lazy J Bar C Farm

                         I can just about see over the top! How 'bout you?
                  By Carol Pack Urban over at: Sometimes Mindless Ramblings

                                   "Simon Says...two paws up..."
                By Dicky Bird over at: Dicky Bird's Nest & Town Hall Trinkets

                           "Come doesn't look that high to me!
                  One good hop and we're out of here! On three.One,two..."
                                                  By Spiderjohn

     Thanks for playing everyone!  This is a picture of two of the angora bunnies born this summer.  They are now almost 6 months old...just about ready for their second shearing.  .....and yes, they would jump out of there in 2 seconds now :-)

.....dr momi



Gingerbread Fun

A Family Tradition

                                  They're getting better every year :-)
                                             Frosting Recipe Here

.....Grandma Jean


Need A Funny Caption

What's your caption for this week?

Last Week:

" I ran out of suck!"

Caption by Spiderjohn.
I would say that is exactly what happened John :-) !

Other captions were:

At least a child can't talk your head off this way!
by Patrice over at: Everyday Ruralty

Grandpa told him the fish will bite better if the bait is kept warm.

First, slurp. Then, burp!
by TexWisGirl over at: The Run *A* Round Ranch Report

"Now how am I supposed to get the rest of it in my mouth?!?"
by Candy C. over at: Lazy J Bar C Farm

I'm an alien!
by Sharon over at: Fitzgerald's Family Farm 

"Now that's Italian" 

"What flying spaghetti monster?
by anonymous

Thanks for playing everyone! 
This is a picture of my grandson Brayden. 
He has been featured on more than one "food" picture. 
He's such a ham.
It felt good to be back....I got to laugh all week :-)




Blessing of the Fishing Scarves

The view from our window.
(about two months ago)

     See the lake in the background?  It's where all the guys in our crew go ice fishing.  Now that deer hunting is over here in Wisconsin, all the guys thoughts are turned toward the lake freezing over.

The lake is trying hard....
        The dark blue part has no ice yet.  It's usually after the holidays before the ice is thick enough to walk on.

......and on to the story.

     I was knitting away on a scarf for myself (yes...I learned) one Sunday evening after the family supper.  This is how the conversation went....

6 yr. old grandson Ryan, "Grandma what are you making?"
                                        "A scarf."
                                        "For me?"
                                        "No this one is for me, would you like a scarf."
                                        "What colors would you like?"
                                        "Red and blue."
                                        "OK I'll get right on it."
      And that started an intense 3 weeks of making scarves for 10 grandchildren.  There was no way I could make one for Ryan and not the others.  I used up all the odds and ends yarn that I had made.
     Not being particularly experienced in knitting yet, I told the parents that these would be fishing scarves.  No one would look at what there were wearing on the lake :-).  In keeping with the theme, I put actual fishing lures (hooks removed) on the tassels of the scarves of the boys....they were so excited.  The girls scarves have fish beads on them. Yes....all the bigger kids go ice fishing.  They have a grand time fishing and playing with their cousins.
     So, tonight we had the "Blessing Of The Fishing Scarves", and the scarves were handed out to take home.

 Blessing Of The Fishing Scarves

As the Grandmother of these children I
bless these scarves in the Name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus watch over these children
as they play and fish on the lake.  May a spirit of happiness
overtake them whenever they wear these scarves.
May they catch lots of big fish!
....And someday Lord, may they become fishers of men, just like St. Peter.

....well you try to get them all to smile
and look at the camera at the same time. :-)
They all really liked the scarves....even those
without a smile on the pic. :-)



Linked To: Homestead Barn Hop #90

.....dr momi