Showing posts from March, 2017

Snow, snow, go away

T-minus 19 days till April 15th.  19 days till our honeybees arrive.  22 days till April 18th, the day we get about 20 to 25 trees removed from the front of our property by BlackHawk Works, a local company that has expertise in taking down trees in tricky locations.  The tree removal will help us with our future potential project; solar panels which will allow our house to be a bit more self sufficient as well as get rid of the moss on our roof and reduce the fire danger.

Whenever, the daytime temperatures start staying above 50 the birch sap will be flowing and we will then be collecting the sap to be boiled down into syrup.  See this article about that.

Meanwhile, at just about the same time we will be hiving our brand new Italian honeybees, direct from California.  As long as our daytime temperatures stay above 50.  If you're curious about our new beekeeping undertaking, see this article. 

Within the next weekend or two we also have a large, brand new rabbit hutch to build whic…

Using up the leftover fruit; more Alaska edibles

Between the rose hips we have in our freezer from a year past, the wild blueberries that were just gifted to us from a wonderful friend, and a bag of rhubarb that was gifted to us from yet another wonderful friend, we have a lot of fruit and vegetables to use up, especially before that birch sap goes into the freezer next month!

For more on that click on my blog Foraging from Nature; Birch Syrup
So this weekend we intend on turning all these bags into the following: Rhubarb Ginger Jam and Blueberry Lime Jam.

Please keep in mind, these are all recipes I get from online, they are not mine.  I have posted a link to the original website with each recipe. Also a side note, I didn't get to the rose hip jam even though I have a picture of it in the bag.  Obviously that will be a task for another weekend!

Rhubarb Ginger Jam
It will make about 3 lbs

2lbs trimmed rhubarb, chopped
2lbs sugar
Juice of 2 small lemons
1.75 tbsp fresh ginger
3.5 oz crystallized ginger, chopped

Preparation tim…

Foraging from nature; Bunchberries

Cornus canadensis.
Cornus canadensis is a slow-growing herbaceous subshrub growing 10–20 cm tall, generally forming a carpet-like mat. The above-ground shoots rise from slender creeping rhizomes that are placed 2.5–7.5 cm deep in the soil, and form clonal colonies under trees. The vertically produced above-ground stems are slender and unbranched. The leaves are oppositely arranged on the stem, but are clustered with six leaves that often seem to be in a whorl because the internodes are compressed. The leafy green leaves are produced near the terminal node and consist of two types: 2 larger and 4 smaller leaves. The smaller leaves develop from the axillary buds of the larger leaves. The shiny dark green leaves have 2 to 3 mm long petioles and leaf blades that are obovate. The blades have entire margins and are 3.5 to 4.8 cm long and 1.5 to 2.5 cm wide, with 2 or 3 veins and cuneate shaped bases and abruptly acuminate apexes. In the fall, the leaves have red tinted veins and turn complet…

Foraging from nature; Birch Syrup

We have been blessed on our property with a large amount of silver birch trees so this Spring time we intend to use some of them.
Some will be used in making birch beer for my husband, which I'll write about later, and some will go into making birch syrup.  In the coming years I might make birch wine as well for use in cooking but for now I've got more than enough other projects to work on and I really do not want to bite off more than I can chew.
We've actually had birch syrup before but it is most definitely an acquired taste.  It is not quite as sweet, and it is much darker than maple syrup is.
Making birch syrup is much more labor intensive then maple syrup is.  Maple syrup typically takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.  Birch on the other hand takes 100 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of birch syrup.
This means we will be cooking down our sap for quite a while.

Our first step, will be within the next month, to walk our property to assess which birch t…