April showers came late this year, and the world seems washed clean by the last drops of rain. It's a season to savor both the sun and the clouds; the warming weather draws us outside, into the garden and all the possibility it contains, while the last of the gray clouds already have us nostalgic for the cool of winter. Sweet and sour, warm and cool; it seems fitting then to welcome the season with a batch of something that embodies all of these things.
We harvested rhubarb from the demonstration garden, and, discarding the lush, poisonous leaves, cut the stringy ribs to ferment. We're making rhubarb wine! In the spirit of inquiry, we'll try two different methods, one a wild ferment set off by the wild yeasts on the skin of ginger root, and one with Pasteur Champagne yeast.
The thing about these wines is, they need to ferment for an entire year! And too, the steps for them are spread out over several days. So, you can follow us along in real time here as we take the next steps for each of the recipes, posting updates each time we rack off the wine, or add a new ingredient. Unlike most all of the recipes we post, these are two that we have not yet tested before. But we've learned a lot about fermentation over the years, and we're eager to put our skills to the test and tackle a project that we may not taste for a year, or more. Oh, but the waiting will make it all the sweeter...
FULL ARTICLE (UPDATED AS PROCESS CONTINUES): Rhubarb Wine: Two Creative Recipes for a Truly Spring Libation
When our thoughts are not abuzz with the progress of our latest fermentation, we've also been thinking a lot about bees, lately. It's the season for setting up new hives, and our package bees arrived on Friday the 1st. After a thorough series of classes with Karla, we were thrilled to feel the excitement of the beekeepers, as they took their new charges home.
Beekeeping, like gardening, or birdwatching, or cooking, teaches us how to look closely, and pay attention. It's that way with any skill, really; once we know what to look for, we can see, and understand, so much more of what is taking place in the world around us.
Keeping bees is a fascinating window, not only into honey and wax production, but also group dynamics, pollination, and seasonal weather variations, to name just a few facets! No matter how much we know, there's always more to learn. It's proven to us, over and over every season, in the garden, in the hive, and everywhere we turn our attention. Every day's a school day!
VIDEO WORKSHOP: To Bee or Not to Bee? How to Be a Successful Beekeeper with Karla
In the spirit of continual learning, we are pleased to announce a new slate of classes that we will be holding in conjunction with our local farmer's markets! We'll be holding classes on select dates at the Westside, Downtown, and Scott's Valley Farmer's Markets. We cover everything from bone broth to kombucha, water kefir to apple cider... a wealth of information to be harvested. View our current event and workshop calendar here, or check out some of our related resources below...
It's not only pollen that's in the air these days. Nope, the sweet stuff is floating around, too. I'm talking about love. Our dear Molly, who many of you know from the store, is getting married this summer! While we miss her shining face at the counter (she's left us to go to school) we are tending to our continuing friendship with trowels in hand. Renee has been starting flower seeds for weeks now, and we're finally getting them into the ground.
The flowers for Molly and Ryan's wedding will be grown right here in our demonstration garden. Sunflowers, cornflowers, strawflowers and more; all are deepening their roots and sending out new shoots to bloom. It's a labor of love, this garden, a collaboration between many people. If you see the blossoms waving as you pass by the store, let the bright flowers remind you of friendship and promises and lasting love. Want some advice on getting your own summer seeds started?
FULL ARTICLE: Seed Starting for a Preservation Garden: Backyard Organic Gardening
It’s part of our mission here at Mountain Feed to help you make delicious, sustainable, homemade food more often. Stop by and say hello on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Or, as always, you can do it the old fashioned way and come by the store to speak with one of our in-house experts.
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