Monday, May 24, 2010

Catching up.

The hummingbirds have returned and are visiting our hummingbird feeders. A nesting pair of blue birds found one of bird houses to their liking and are now busily building a blue bird family.

The lily of the valley blooms are almost done, the irises have started to bloom and now that the rain has stopped the grass is GROWING. We think by Wednesday the ground should be dry enough to begin planting our garden. On Sunday I stopped by Park's Garden center in Canfield and bought some flowers for our outdoor pots and some peppers and tomatoes for the vegetable garden. Emily busily attended the planting of our flower pots and they look awesome. Thanks for a wonderful job, Emily. I need to prepare a little space for my sunflower garden. Sunflowers are important to our honeybees and the birds. I encourage everyone to make a little space for some sunflowers.

The alpacas were sheared over the weekend and we contributed our shearing 'ends' to the Gulf oil clean up efforts. Allison is working on uploading a video of the shearing. I can't wait until she is done, then I can post it here. Emily created a nice display explaining about our animals and about alpacas in general. Allison had her spinning wheel out, but lacked the time to spin due to her video project.

The rooster is getting 'cocky' and has attacked both Allison and Emily. I fear for him if he should attack me... if his attitude doesn't improve, I think I'll be making some soup soon.

The middle of last week found our bee hives covered in black ants and our poor honeybees fighting for their lives. To top that off one hive was hosting a nest of yellow jackets! We initiated a cleanup effort and removed the unwanted yellow jacket nest. I checked the hive thoroughly to ensure that there weren't any more unwanted visitors down in the comb area. Now the honeybees can go about gathering nectar and pollen in peace. Blooming for our ladies this week is the blackberries and strawberries.

I will post a few photos soon and hopefully Allison's video.
Until next time...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Farmers solving the BP Oil Spill disaster!

Please watch this video about farmers solving the BP Oil Spill Disaster! They even have an idea of what to do with the used up hay. Whoo Hooo. You guys need to be on O'Reilly!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Agland Fiber Day

Agland in Canfield,Ohio hosted a fiber day. They welcome some critters,spinners and weavers to show the fiber process from animal to yarn! Enjoy the photos below.




The ladies from the local spinning guild.

The shearer...shearing the sheep.

Allison leaves for Myrtle Beach

Allison left this past Thursday with the band for a competition and trip to Myrtle Beach. Good luck Allison and return to us safe.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ginger Ale - Part Two

Wikipedia has this to say about ginger ale. So I learned that there are two types of ginger ale: golden and dry. Hmmm... I never thought about it like that before.
Making Ginger Ale at home. Didn't know it needed to ferment!
This Ginger ale recipe looks more my speed.
OOO... I like this recipe, it includes step by step photos!

Where is the Ginger?

No, not Ginger Grant from Gilligan's Island, but the Ginger in Ginger Ale. For upset tummies my husband and I like to keep ginger ale in the house. So I went up to my local store this morning to get some. For giggles, I read the ingredient labels. Know what I found? NO GINGER in the ginger ale!
I had Canada Dry and Vernors to choose from. Reputable and National brands. Hmmm... lets see. Canada Dry is claiming it is made with REAL Ginger. However, the label does NOT list ginger as an ingredient. In the US the FDA or some government agency requires manufacturers to list ingredients on labels in order that they to speak. So water, that makes sense. High Fructose Corn Syrup, again the sweetener needs to be there. Citric Acid and Sodium Benzoate as preservatives and finally natural flavors. Oh... by the way they claim that the natural flavors includes real ginger! However (me thinks)a significant amount of ginger must not be in the product because it didn't make the label. Vernors is the same way. I'm confused, baffled and befuddled! I don't want a generic post of natural flavors, whatever that is. Just GINGER!
I have tried the ginger candy from the health food stores, but have found it to be extremely strong. Our household prefers ginger ale. I guess, I need to look into some home made alternatives using REAL GINGER... and not some natural flavors.
If you know of a home made option, please post in the comments. Thank you.