Wednesday, February 06, 2008

thanks for the support

i really appreciate everyones compassionate responses to milk and honey. our trouble is a family affair. there has been no true resolution. i have to carry on as status quo in hopes that a resolution will be revealed.

in an effort to take my mind off the fiasco at hand we went to visit the local bee keeper. his name is thomas davidson. he came recommended by the president of the national apiary society. he has 150 working hives and sells his honey all over the ozark area.

i brought the entire family to see his shop. he was very cool. the kids explored. he had a little show and tell. we talked for quite a while. he climbed his pulpit and pontificated about the perils of insecticides. he offered natural solutions to all of the problems that he experienced. it was very interesting seeing an elderly man railing about how mainstream honey production has been poisoning us. he was preaching like this before he knew that i was part of the choir.

a breath of fresh air amidst the treacle of my past few days.

i am very excited to get bees. there are many risks but integrating this into our life is a natural step. we already use a ridiculous amount of honey and plan to use much more. our hope is to use honey in all of our preserving efforts that would normally require sugar. Putting it up with Honey by Susan Geiskopf is tabitha's latest book purchase. i estimate that we will use ten to twelve gallons of honey per year. we already use about four.

the newly discovered bread recipe from an old copy of The Tassajara Bread Book takes a cup of honey for four loaves of bread. that is a twice per week task keeping this ravenous family in bread. yearly that is 6.5 gallons of honey alone.

tabitha wants to plant some concord grape vines and transplant our wild black raspberries to our northern property line. adding a soaker hose from the strawberry raised bed will provide the whole addition with water.

we need to offset one of our largest expenditures of jelly. not only is bonne maman raspberry jelly crazy expensive but it is imported from france. the carbon footprint on that single staple is huge. if we exclude that jelly, making our goal of a daily meal within 100 miles likely by default. we eat a ton of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches around here.

during summer we also plan a weekly meal of the 100 foot challenge type.

once our garden starts to come on it should be be fairly easy. the hard part will be to make the meals exciting enough to post about them.

we plan early canning of as much of our garden as possible. the new baby will arrive in late summer and putting things up for winter will slow to a snails pace.

i also plan to build a solar dehydrator that tabitha found. i hope that tabitha doesn't expect me to build it as scantily clad as the guy in the link. overlooking the racy photos, this is a great design. i'll probably add a P.V. powered fan for more air movement. the humidity in the ozarks makes it hard to dehydrate foods. this will be how i plan to store much of our summer bounty after the baby arrives.
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