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Meet the Cheeses

Some of my cheeses wanted to introduce themselves. This is Bebita. Being a mild Spanish-style cheese, she prefers to be served with quince paste. Meet Hank. He is a pepper Jack cheese, made with home-grown peppers, but he has caught a superficial case of blue mold from one of the other cheeses. Don’t stare; he’s self-conscious about it. Meet Sweet Baby Cheesus. I made him on Christmas morning. He is still a tender baby, and you can see the dimples on his sides from the colander I use as a cheese press. Below you see Agnes, next to the Baby. She is the oldest cheese, dry and tough. Her curds are flavorful, though! Maybe some of us can relate to the changes in Agnes as she has aged. He

The Sad Fate of Winter Salads

Our winter greens are… virtually non-existent. The transplanted kale is hanging in there, but rats in the big greenhouse have developed a taste for micro-greens. Nibbling up our heirloom lettuces and arugula, they were making themselves right at home. I trapped a few, but that was small potatoes. Aha! There’s a permaculture principle about letting animals do the work they are suited for. Cats are suited for eating rodents. So I left the greenhouse door open for Twinkletoes to come and go as she pleased. Well, she did come. The greenhouse is a great place to hunt rats on a rainy night. Full of loose, dry soil, it’s also a great place for a cat to… go. Now my remaining lettuces are ga

A Maple by Any Other Name

Remember how I was weaning myself off of sugar? Then Lucas appeared, holding a short piece of tapered PVC pipe. “I’m been using this to tap maple trees and get sap.” He offered me a sample. To my sugar-deprived palate, it tasted like nectar from heaven “Here you go, have a few pieces of PVC for you to try it.” Oh, Lucas, what have you started? I ran around the neighborhood with a ¾-inch drill, tapping two potential sugar maples as well as our native big-leaf maples. My daily walks gained new urgency to check my dripping trees, and I was dismayed when the bags I was using to collect sap developed tiny leaks. Still, I got half a gallon of sap the first day. It doesn’t look or taste like

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