country, Cucina, farming, food, Fountain of Youth, Happiness Project, Terreni D' Oro Tuesday

Eating our Garbage

When my children were younger I wanted to share the cycle of life with them in a real way. I wanted them to be able to see, feel, experience how the circle of life really works. I purchased some worms, (red wigglers), and purchase a box that would allow earthworms to procreate, as well as eat all the garbage that we generated. We would put our shredded papers in the box, coffee grounds, and the filter, apple cores, banana peels, and various other food in our worm box. We had our worm box outside. I have read that some people keep their box in the home. NO! 

When my son was 18 months old, he would take all the daily refuse for the worms to the box. The box did not smell bad, since they eat the bacteria that generates the odor from the food. What does smell is the poo from the worms. Every couple of months we would have to clean out the box, and that wasn’t a fun job. We would separate what was the “black gold” from the garbage, and save the worms. We would then have another generation of worms, and we add the black gold into our garden. We grew some of the biggest pumkins on the block, and then when we were done with Halloween, the worms had their favorite food. Honestly, after having these creatures in our life all these years, I can tell you with confidence that they love mellons, pumkins, etc. 

To this day we still have a worm farm, and we still feed our worms. Some of them are from the same parents we started with more than 18 years ago. 

This is the newest edition, it has layers, after a few months, we take it apart and sort out the gold, and start all ove with new food. This system ensures nothing goes to waste. We dont like waste doing nothing, we want to make the most of it. 

bounty, country, farming, food, Fountain of Youth, Fruit, Galleria, Happiness Project, Wine Wednesday, Winery

Harvest Season

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” William Blake

There’s something magical about harvest season when you live in wine country. It’s a current of electricity that runs through the everyone and everything. I always think of Dr. Seuss. Ya know those giant machines that come in to clean up after “It 1 and 2 and the kids? Well, there are grape. Picking machines driving on the roads at this time, and Dr Seuss is at the forefront of my thoughts…I kind of giggle like a child when they get in front of me. I can take it for a mile or so, but then I have to pass them, but not without waving like a deranged lunatic. It is just exciting!!

We don’t use machines to harvest our grapes, we have to hire people. My husband as well as our winemaker get out in the field and pick with all the other people working in our fields. Just this past week we have already processes several tons of grapes, and pressed them. So, the fermentation process is already starting for the 2017 wines. I believe the Merlot for this year has already been picked, destemed, and pressed. 

These were photos of the grapes before some of the fruit was dropped. We have to drop fruit so the healthiest grapes will get the most water, and the best sunshine. Depending on the variety, canopy may have to be cut back to get the right amount of sun, or less sun. We want to pick at just the right amount of Brix, which is the sugar content in the grapes, too high, and the wine is too sweet, you want just the right amount to make great wine.

 We try to maintain a sustainable vineyard, and keep the dropped fruit for compost. Once the grapes are pressed the must will be used for more compost to mix back into the soil and boost the soil with microbes that recondition the soil.  Our ducks are always in the vineyard taking care of the slugs, and soon we want to introduce babydoll sheep and chickens. The sheep will help with the grass and cover crops, and the chickens will take care of the insects in the vineyard. The chickens will also give us fantastic eggs to eat. It all makes for better wine every year. A wine that you can enjoy and feel good about drinking. We look forward to getting closer to becoming more biodynamic! 

country, farming, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Genaolgy, Happiness Project, Photography, Wine Wednesday, Winery

Winery Ducks

Recently, a lady brought over her rescue duck Aflac, and I want to tell you he has made friends with these two white ducks and the one black duck. These three were added recently by an unknown person. We happened to see the two white ones and the black one hanging out together. We do have several wild ducks that stop at the pond, and help the domesticated ducks finish their food at the end of the evening.

We are so happy that Aflac is adjusting to life at the winery.

country, farming, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, orchard, organic, Photography, Terreni D' Oro Tuesday

Injuries on the Farm

 

Within a few weeks we had three injuries. Our miniature donkey, Ellie, got horned by one of the goats. A horn went through her temple. We called out Dr. Steve, and when he came out the first time, I could not catch Ellie. She ran all over the pasture. I even took carrots out to her, but she was too smart. Dr. Steve has given her shots before, so getting near her with him at the farm was a no go.

Dr. Steve finally told me…Kimberly, I have another appointment. I’ll swing back by around three. I finally caught her, and put her in one of the stables. He came back, gave her a shot, and cleaned, and added a paste to her wound.

The next week Salem escaped the stall where he and his brother live. He gashed his chin open, so Sabrina had to take him to the vet. Dr. Steve only takes care of “horns and hooves”, so she drove Salem to the vet to get stitches. He had to wear a cone for a week.

The very next day, Gucci went to doggie day spa. They discovered a growth on her hind leg. I picked her up from the spa that even and took her to the emergency vet hospital. She was in a cone for three days. One of the days she acted as “winery dog” for the day.

Everyone is on the mend, and doing much better!

Collections and Obsessions, country, Design, farming, food, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday, orchard, organic

Nun Playing A Violin

Although this is a print, it is an antique print. The original was a painting from the Italian Renaissance. The painter and subject are unknown. The face of the nun appears very young. Which is not a surprise, since families often sent a daughter to the convent. Often, the families just couldn’t afford a dowery for more than one girl, and sometimes they couldn’t afford one. A young woman would go to the convent ready to serve the church. Gardening, cleaning, praying, helping the poor. Mother Superior was in charge of the fate of the young lady.

This print reminds me of an educated lady, grieving for her family. Maybe it is an evening of a full moon where the light hits the courtyard just right, and the echo of her violin playing brings tears to the eyes of the other young ladies that have come to the convent. Young ladies that miss their families, and their old way of life.

Of course, there were young ladies that came to the convent and had a better life after they were surrounded by other young ladies. There would have been young ladies that would be able to eat good food once they were in the convent. I was once told that city poor was much different than country poor. If you were poor and lived in the city it was a little tougher to obtain fresh food. If you were poor in the country one could glean from neighboring farmers, there were eggs from chickens, and one could grow some of their own food.

Looking at old images really makes me grateful to live here and now. I am so thankful, and appreciate our ancestors, each and everyone of them. The lives they had were not easy! The choices they had to make were so different, and so far removed from the world we live in today.

country, Family Friday, farming, Fountain of Youth, Genaolgy, Happiness Project

Elizabeth Lovejoy

When Elizabeth Lovejoy was born in 1837 in Boone County, West Virginia, her father, Anderson, was 23 and her mother, Elenor, was 18. She had one son and five daughters with Luke G Adkins between 1857 and 1879.

America was her first born, 1857

Elizabeth would not have any children durning the civil war.

In 1866, she had a son, Benjamin F. Adkins. Another daughter in 1867, Mary A. Adkins. Barbery E. Adkins was born in 1870. Nancy Ellen was born in 1875. In 1879, her last daughter was born, and they named her Virginia F. Adkins.

country, farming, Fountain of Youth, Fruit, Galleria, Happiness Project, Photography, Rental Property, Wine Wednesday, Winery

Finally Done

San Marcos Creek Villa is done, and here are the results of all our hard work…