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Food Challenge Gifts

Stephanie stopped by to check out our goat infrastructure. As a gesture of appreciation for goat knowledge, she brought a treasure: a half-pint of vine maple syrup—VINE MAPLE SYRUP, PEOPLE!! For those of you not in the northwest, you have to know that vine maples are usually spindly trees. Stephanie knows one that is 200 years old, and she got enough sap to share. Wow! We had to have a blindfolded taste test between my sugar maple syrup, Lucas’s big-leaf maple syrup, and Stephanie’s vine maple. The verdict? They are all delicious. Not too shabby with a swig of fresh cream, either.

But Stephanie had more marvels to share. She also brought some blue oyster mushrooms.

“If you cut off their butts and put those in some cardboard, you could grow more,” she said. Planting oyster butts—how could I resist? So I found some clean cardboard, doused it with water, and baked it in a covered dish to sterilize it. The steaming cardboard made the house smell like an old library. Tucked into a bag in the cold room and covered with an old saddle blanket, we’ll see if those oyster butts—the mycelium-rich bases of the stems—will take off and give us another crop.

Thank you, Stephanie!

And then Senia came home from a California trip with a big basket of lemons. Ka-pow! Hot beverages taken care of for months! No scurvy here!

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