Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fungi, storage, and our winter garden.

Fall has settled, bringing the end to the summers harvest and marking the turn towards colder days. We have taken rest after much work in storing and prepping for the coming winter, but all has not ended. Fall is a special season filled with a renewed flavor. Hunting has become a family affair, and a time to spend quietness in the forest and enjoy the abundance that God has given in nature. Here are a few of his blessings, and some of our fall projects. 

Above is our newly discovered Oyster Mushroom. I have long aspired to learn and forage for this special treat, and this year I was glad to have an experienced guide show me how to find, identify and harvest this delicate and tasteful food. There is much fear surrounding wild mushrooms, understandably, but Gods great gifts are everywhere, and plenty. Once learning and searching for knowledge on this food, I have found it is not such a mystery, as many may believe. These mushrooms are one of the easiest to identify, and in North America there are no highly toxic look-a-likes, which renders them quite safe for the amateur forager. In addition, I have discovered that this particular shroom is very simple to grow yourself at home...and we are attempting precisely that. Below shows my 2nd eldest checking on our mycelium growth, which has taken hold very well, and will soon be ready for planting.

In the above Photo is another form of fungi that has been an elusive treasure for our family. I learned about Chaga a good year ago, and ever since researching and learning all I could, I still could not find any growth. This fall, during our hunting treks, we hit gold. This fungi grows primarily on yellow birch and is full of antioxidants. Made into a tea, it's medicinal properties and benefits and plenty.

Below is out Carrot storage. Packed in moist shredded paper, out carrots are cool, firm, and still growing. I am well pleased to see that this new method (for us) to store these carrots has shown to be a great success. With little maintenance, they should stay fresh and crisp for the winter months.

Above is a photo of our onion harvest from the late summer. Many have dried out nicely and can be trimmed and stored on shelves...but to my amazement, many are still sporting fresh greens, and still growing! This is nice as they will remain ultra fresh for longer.

Below I have added a photo of the "web" in our laundry area. I am super cheap, and using a dryer for the winter months just seems like a waste when we have a warm area near our furnace that is well able to dry our clothing. I don't see the point in paying for all that heat and air circulation, just to have it blown out of the house. Drying our clothing this way takes 12-18 hrs to dry medium weight fabrics, so it's a little more time consuming, but works well for us. 

Lastly we have started a winter garden area in our available windows. Our ginger has taken off incredibly well, and our little sprout-lings look promising. We are taking a little gamble with the beans and peas, but with Gods good hand, we may have fresh pods and beans in mid winter. Below shows a close up of a tomato plant I have started using compost...I am a little baffled. There are a few different things growing in this pot...none of which I can identify as the Tomato that I planted....any ideas?? 

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