Farms are all about place, right?
We are located in the Appalachian foothills of southern Ohio. We’re lucky to live in a very beautiful area with a lot of natural richness. Check out the Arc of Appalachia to learn more. They do amazing work and several of their preserves are within a few miles of us.
Our focus is on the American elderberry, a native plant in this region. We have about 450 elderberry plants in the ground right now and make Elderberry syrup and Elderflower syrup from what we…
The Flower of our Labors
This year we’ve been going through the liquor at an astonishing rate.
Really, it’s mostly been me. Beth being a lightweight, and having declared her first taste of gin “nasty,” has not contributed evenly. But to each their strengths. 😂
Honestly, though, I’ve not been drinking much of the alcohol we’ve run through. I mix a drink, take a sip, dump the rest. Then I alter the proportions, mix another drink, sip, dump. It’s not gone down the drain because I’m nervous about what all that alcohol, a …
Bigger and Better?
In October we did a production run of elderberry syrup in a larger commercial kitchen. This kitchen sported a huge (100 gallons!) kettle that allowed us to produce 4x more than we normally produce in a day. The automatic filler was great too. We typically fill the bottles by hand, a process that requires a lot of concentration around hot liquid. Children aged 3-6 are introduced to the practice of pouring liquids in the Montessori curriculum, and maybe if I’d attended a Montessori preschool I wou…
In late August the elderberry bushes are nearly finished fruiting, and as the dark purple berries fade a new palette emerges across the fields: purple ironweed and goldenrod, now fully in bloom. Ironweed intrigues me perhaps because, unlike goldenrod, it is a flower I didn’t grow up with, but one I first met as an adult in southern Ohio. It’s also a plant that starts as a humble florette of spear-shaped leaves at your feet in May. Then you turn around in August to find the flower head nodding d…
Is this Elderberry?
Violets in Spring
A thousand wild violets dot the lawn, welcoming the early bees. I set the mower deck high and shave the grass above their heads. Mowing so high means I’ll have to cut it again soon, but it’s worth it to let the flowers continue their bloom.