We finished the porch! We love it and hope you will also. It is great for relaxing with the birds!
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At long last Goldfinch Cabin has a beautiful porch and stone patio! We look forward to providing this lovely outdoor hangout for our guests this year.
The porch construction will be complete by the end of January so keep your eye out for photos of the final product!
Along with the help of a contractor friend, both Andrew and myself (Natalie) are pitching in hours to get this thing built. We love getting our hands involved in projects like this! Andrew, of course, is actually a carpenter and stonemason by trade so this is right up his alley. I am a decent "deck hand" (pun intended) for cuts, carrying, and measuring. We are having fun and hope you all will enjoy it!
What was a previously a little-used storage area is being transformed in to a porch and grilling area!
September is a fantastic month to seek out the fungal "flowers" of Appalachia...mushrooms! We enjoy many edible mushrooms from the area, including various Lactarius species, boletes, and chantrelles. Of all of the mushrooms, chantrelles are probably our favorite!
After harvesting, we clean off any dirt with a dry brush. Sometimes we use water if necessary, but it can make the cooked product a bit "mushier" which we don't prefer. Then, we heat up some butter and toss in the mushrooms, perhaps with some garlic from our garden. Ten minutes of sauteing produces a wonderful mushroom dish that is great on its own or with fresh sourdough bread!
Safety Note: We encourage all of our guests to venture forth and explore the many mushrooms in our area, but we do recommend that before consuming any mushrooms that you consult with an expert OR reference multiple mushroom ID books to ensure a positive ID.
Pressing fresh apple juice is one of our family's favorite activities! Here in Appalachia, there are many old orchards and trees of generous friends that supply us with mountains of apples to enjoy each year.
We often head out in our pickup truck and load up all of our baskets and crates with every shape, size, and color of apple you can imagine! Sometimes, when branches are heavy with ripe apples, we will scramble up the trees and give them a light shake and get some real "apple rain"
Once we collect, we return home to press. Often friends gather to help and we all set up in the front yard for the pressing process. First we feed them through the grinder, which is a hand-cranked device that smashes the apples in to small, juicy, apple pulp. Next, we place the pulp in to a wooden press. As we compress the apple pulp, gallons of juice will flow out of the spout at the bottom. We are constantly dipping our cups under to test the results...Yum!
Apple juice can be canned, fermented in to hard cider, frozen, boiled down in to an apple syrup, or enjoyed as-is, deliciously sweet and raw nutrition straight from the source!
On a foggy July morning, my daughter Chloe and I headed up for some morning hiking on Max Patch. No long range views today, but the breeze and the surrounding fog made me feel like I was on a private Scottish Island!
I harvested yarrow flowers while Chloe munched on her favorite outdoor treat "sour grass" (Oxalice spp). We dry yarrow and keep it around for cold and flu season--The tea is pungent but effective in helping recover from fevers and colds! We also use it in our wound salve, along with calendula and comfrey from our garden. These ingredients infused in oil plus a few shavings of beeswax from our honeybees makes a great concoction to help cuts and scrapes heal all year long! The white flowers you see in the photo above are yarrow.