A Family Builds a Homestead in the Rain

Posts tagged Wine

Making Plum Wine

Making Plum Wine

  After early blossoming, the plum trees already have surprisingly sizable fruit showing, and it has me thinking about last year’s wonderfully successful venture of country winemaking. Plum was my first attempt, and it’s been one of the best among apple, mint, nettle, pumpkin, mead, pomegranate mead, jujube, and rosehip. Until last year, I was […]

Pruning Time

Pruning Time

The next time we haul a load up to the property and get any work time in, it will be spring, so this trip was my last opportunity to prune the trees and vines before they begin to bud out. The property has endured many years of neglect, and opportunistic ivy and blackberry brambles have consumed most […]

Waning Winter

Waning Winter

The first of the buds opened in January. Like a kaleidoscope of butterflies clinging to the silvery bare branch of the almond and plum trees, the blossoms arrived as a harbinger of the imminent spring. It’s been warm here– unseasonably warm. Alarmingly warm. But at times, in the evenings while my husband throws the ball […]

Gathering Nettles With Help

Gathering Nettles With Help

Our crop of stinging nettles has grown exponentially over the past few years, and we covet the bounty. We picked a pound or so today for a batch of nettle wine (recipe to come; same basic procedure as with mint wine) with some extra to dehydrate for tea. Any work in the barnyard brings a […]

Making Mint Wine

Making Mint Wine

Of the dozen or so country wines we’ve attempted, mint wine has so far been the winner overall. It’s easy to make from start to finish, with no fruit to pit or grate; straining is a piece of cake; and the flavor is superb. Perhaps due to the large proportion of apple mint I used among […]

Handmade Holidays

Handmade Holidays

I’ve always been a lousy consumer. Handmade gifts are mandatory, and I almost never think beyond them. When time is tight and hands are rarely free, though, such little accomplishments become quite large indeed. These small hat and scarf sets make a simple bottle of wine far more meaningful. They’re quick and fun to make, because […]

Love and Country Wine

Love and Country Wine

I made my first batch of country wine this summer, with my daughter in a carrier on my back and during her nap times, using drought-stifled tart plums. I’d read quite a bit about the basics, and John Seymour’s description of the simple, forgiving process appealed to me greatly. That and the self-sufficiency aspect– beer and […]

Jujubes and Country Wine

Jujubes and Country Wine

Country wine can be made from nearly anything. It’s versatile and highly forgiving, a simple transaction of alcohol for sugars. It can be made more complex, or more refined, but the simplest method will yield something that can provide a good buzz and taste somewhere on a spectrum between great and… interesting. I delight in […]

Welcome!

I'm Kelly. Writer, crafter, forager, country winemaker, cook. Mama of an awesome toddler and married to my best friend. We recently returned to the Pacific Northwest, where we're setting out to grow, make, and learn as much as we can as the future unfolds.

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