Monday, December 21, 2009

Pea Pod Crunk Juice

At last we've found the time to make a small batch of wine. This is our first attempt at making wine, so we're really optimistic!

We've mentioned before our love for the British sitcom The Good Neighbors (aka The Good Life) and their hilarious adventures in sustainability. One of the recurring jokes of the series is their high test home made wine that they call Peapod Burgundy.

Inspired by their antics we froze pea pods from our garden this summer. Sadly we didn't have quite enough so we had to pick up additional peas from the store but here is our improvised recipe pulled together from several wine sites.

3 lbs. pea pods (about half from our garden)
3 tiny limes (from our sad little lime tree probably equal to 1 full lime)
5 cups sugar
1 black English breakfast tea bag
1 gram Red Star Premier Cuvee dry white wine yeast
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 gallon water

We boiled the pea pods and lime peel for 30 minutes. We then strained the hot must into another container with the sugar, nutrient, lime juice and tea bag. Once all the sugar had dissolved, we funneled it into a 1 gallon jug and pitched the yeast. Since then the air lock has been bubbling away in a dark corner. We tasted the must before pitching the yeast and it has a surprisingly sweet but earthy fruity flavor something like a very sweet herbal tea.

Upon the recommendation of our good friend Pragmatiste we've christened the wine "Lady Lydia Peapod's Royal Holiday Wine" after our bulldog Lydia. It's only fitting since Peapod is her actual middle name.

Sadly the fermentation and clarification process will take a full year so we won't be able to raise a glass until the next holiday season. I'm sure it'll be worth the wait!

Monday, December 14, 2009

An Early Christmas Present

This morning I was awoken by the Gardeness showing me our first gift of the holiday season.

One of the feathered ones laid this cute little egg last night. This is the first of what we hope to be a plentiful bounty. It's so exciting!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Ahh, the smell of pine really makes the Christmas season! This weekend we made our yearly trip out to our local tree farm to cut down a yuletide pine to decorate the living room. We know there is some controversy surrounding the environmental ethics of cutting live trees, so we wanted to point out a few facts. We won't even bother arguing live vs. artificial, because buying a tree from China, which is made of petroleum products, and which will one day sit in a landfill is not even an option. We could buy a tree with a root ball and plant it, but we already have lots of pine trees and need the pasture space for our sheep instead. Besides, did you know that for every Christmas tree cut, 3 are replanted? What other reasons do we have for cutting a live tree? Our tree was grown on a local family farm that has been in operation for 39 years, and which grows 25 acres of trees. That's 25 acres of farmland being preserved from development. Land that most likely would not be suitable for other crops is being protected from erosion and creating lots of oxygen. It also provides a habitat for small wildlife creatures, which is disturbed only minimally when the time comes to harvest. When the season ends and it's time to dispose of the tree, many municipalities will pick it up and chip it, and then it's used for public works projects or it's composted. So, we get to support the local economy, support open space and agriculture, and minimize pollution all at the same time! Plus, it doesn't get much better than hiking out in the snow with saw in hand to pick out just the right tree to bring home!