Wordless Wednesday ~ Sept. 18/19


My wish is to stay always like this
Living quietly in a corner of nature
~ Claude Monet

Sharing for Wordless Wednesday with Comedy Plus, Image-in-ing, bethere2day, Oh My Heartsie Girl, and Cath@Home

 

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Apple Wine

A few weeks ago, I put out the call looking for locals who had apple trees with apples that they weren’t going to use.
Said we’d happily come out and pick the trees, take away the apples and return with a few bottles of apple wine.
Got a few nibbles, but mostly it was people who wanted me to make them an entire 5 gallon batch, plus pick their tree…one woman told me I could have all the half rotten ones on the ground if I picked the good apples for her.
πŸ™„

And then, I got a message from a friend of friends, a local horse woman, who had an apple tree, and hankerin’ for a few bottle of wine.
Well, with a little back and forth, we set a date, met up and I came away with a bag of roughly 50lbs of apples.
Gorgeous, sweet, crunchy eating apples…perfect for a batch of wine.
After I ate a couple. πŸ˜‰

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Way back when we were in the city, our tree there was producing 250-300lbs of apples a year.
We could only eat so many, so I started making and canning juice.
But I got tired of the old cook it on the stove top, strain it through cheesecloth method of making juice, and went to my parents and stole (with permission) my Dad’s juicer.
Now?
I make juice by running the apples through the juicer.

Big bowl of sliced apples, ready to be run through the juicer.

Once the juicing is done, the mush that comes out the other side is put into a mesh bag.
That goes into the primary fermenting pail, with the juice itself.
I want aaaaaaalllllllll the apple-y goodness going into my wine. πŸ˜‰

Cores get cooked down and strained for juice…nothing gets wasted here!

Once the cores have given up everything they had, those get tossed to the pigs.
Pigs ❀ love ❀ apples!
The juice is then added with the other juice and the mush to the primary fermenter.

From there I add sugar, pectic enzyme (if I have it on hand…with the cooked juice, the wine finishes with a creamy mouth feel with out the pectic enzyme. Some people don’t care for it, but I don’t mind it, so I don’t get frantic if I don’t have the pectic enzyme to add), k-meta and water to 6 gallons.
I let it sit for 24ish hours, then pitch the yeast and add some yeast nutrient.

That’s all there is to it.
Over the next week, I stir the pail a few times a day, and squeeze the bag of mush.
After a week or so, I pull out the bag of mush…that goes to the pigs…and depending on the specific gravity reading, I’ll either give it a few more days in the pail or rack it off to a carboy.
Once it’s on the carboy, sealed with an air lock, I let time do it’s work.
Anywhere from 2-5 months.
Honestly, I put it in a corner and forget about it.

After a while, I’ll come back to it, rack it off the stuff at the bottom (the lees), stabilize it and usually I’ll sweeten it.
Typically with some raspberry syrup…because apple raspberry wine is fan-effing-tastic!
And then, into bottles for a few more months.

All told, it’ll take anywhere from 4-12 months before it’s in the bottle and ready to drink.
Trust me though, it’s worth the wait!

Linking up with September Days at The Hearth and Soul link party hosted by April J Harris.

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Well, Shoot…

I had my incubator going with a dozen muscovy duck eggs in it.
I’d seen Donald doing the deed with his harem of ladies.
I broke open a few to see if they were fertile.
They had the tell tale bulls eye.
So I collected for a few days, ’til I had enough to go into the incubator.
I didn’t candle them at any time (should have) because I find they are really hard to see through the shell…even in the dark with a bright, bright LED light.

Muscovies take 35 days to hatch.
That would have been back on the 7th…ish.
But it was suggested to me to let them go a little longer, because sometimes eggs/chicks need the extra time.
So I did.

And then yesterday, I opened the incubator because nothing was happening.
I took it outside and cracked an egg open.
And then another.
And another.
And another.

*SIGH*

No duckling for us, because *nothing* developed.
All I had was old eggs.
3rd time trying to let duck eggs hatch.
The other 2 were with the hens and all the eggs did was go rotten.

Sorry Donald…I think you just might be the problem.
😦

So now we’re looking at replacing our drake.
Because ducks are for food, and a few eggs in the spring and fall doesn’t justify the expense of feed for them all.
There are better duck breeds to have if all we want is eggs.
But we like muscovies for meat, so I’ll find us a new drake and see if that fixes the issue.
If it does, then yay, we’ll have baby ducks to grow into Freezer Campers.
If it doesn’t, well then we have 6 ducks for the freezer.
Shoot.
😦

 

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Feature

In an effort to make sure I can continue to give y’all posts when my brain is not wanting to work, I’ve looked for a random word generator.
Y’see, WordPress used to do this with The Daily Post.
Give us a word and we could choose to use it as a prompt to create a blog post around.
And then they stopped…

I loved The Daily Post.
Some days you just don’t have the inspiration to create *something* without a little prompting.
So now I can do that for myself.
Because we should be able to do these things for ourselves, yes?
And an online random word generator is so much easier than pulling out the dictionary, flipping to a page and blindly pointing to a word…though I’ve done that too. πŸ˜‰

So today’s word is feature

Her most amazing feature is her kind, generous, beautiful spirit…that it is wrapped in the gorgeous packaging that it is, is simply a bonus.
❀

 

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Random Chicken Picture

Today is Friday the 13th.
Tonight is the full moon.
It’s also the Harvest Moon.

I am hoping that it’s nice enough tonight that I can get out and take some pictures of the moon.
Weather network tells me it’s supposed to be clear, so fingers crossed!

In the meantime, here’s a random chicken picture.

They’re both from my first ever hatching.
White one is a rooster. Handsome devil, but not likely to stay in the breeding program.
The other one, well, not sure if that’s the hen or the roo…we’ve got a few with colours like that.
I still haven’t decided which rooster I plan on keeping out of the 2 hatches.
We easily have enough hens for 2 boys, so we’ll keep a 2nd for extra hatching eggs come spring.
Next Fall, we’ll look for new blood and swap out at least one of the boys.
Or, sometime during hatching season, I’ll buy some eggs from someone and hatch out with hopes of getting a new rooster.

We’ll see when the time comes.

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Ducks in the Garden

I know, I know…

I kept saying I was going to stick the ducks in the garden when it was all done.
I said it last year.
I said it in the spring, thinking they’d help with early, pre-planting weeding.

But, it never got done.
Until now!!

Behold…ducks in my garden!

There were a little put out by this move…

Brown duck is accusatory duck. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

But then, they discovered the seeds on the long grass and started eating…

‘Kay, maybe not so bad…

They have 3 places for shelter…the 2 compost bins, which are empty, with the doors off. And a crate that they’ll all fit into if they choose to cuddle together.

Donald…yeah, well, my Hubby named him.
He’s a handsome duck.
And he likes having 5 wives. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

And then, the girls found the pool…because ducks have to have a pool!

Oh the excitement!!

Splashy splashy…

So they’ll stay in the garden for a month or so, eating weeds, bugs, and fertilizing.
Then we’ll move them back to the coop when the weather turns towards colder.

Sharing with the Simple Homestead bloghop hosted by Oak Hill Homestead.

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