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A New Year

Wow!  Folks, it's 2019!  The fall and winter have just flashed by, and I don't think I've posted here in a couple of months!  Here's a quick recap of the latter part of this past year, and now that life has slowed a teeny bit, I hope to get back to at least once-monthly updates, and more of the single-subject posts as well.

Homemade "Coffee"

My Instagram post that inspired me to write about our fig leaf-sumac tea was actually the one I wrote about making okra coffee. That spurred a lively discussion on IG, so I thought I should definitely do a blog about it as well! So...

We make coffee from our okra! The best name I've gotten so far is a toss-up between okra-joe, and [cup of] joe-kra – I lean towards the second, partly because the short version (joe-kra) gives a sense of it not actually being coffee :-)

Homemade "Lemon Green" Tea

Hi Folks,

Pride - Is Also a Good Thing?


So my last post was a philosophical rambling about why we love working for ourselves here at Solace Farm. While I was writing that, I kept taking tangents, but managed to edit that post to stay on topic – by telling myself I'd come back and post about the tangents separately :-) So...

Busy Busy - Is a Good Thing?


As usual, it's been a while since I posted. As usual, it's because I've just been too busy, and continue to have more important things to do than sit down and write. For example, right now I'm forgoing making banana muffins to do this, because it's been so long - but I really should be dealing with those mushy bananas!

Livestock News Round-up

Hi folks, it's high time for a farm update! I realized I completely skipped right over alpaca shearing this spring (among other things) – woops!

Oh Goodness

Well, I did it again - almost 2 months without a peep from me :(  I know this excuse gets old, but I've been busy, of course.  Spring is always just crazy:

-- Lambs come first, starting in early March

-- Then the goat kids (started first week of April, the last one finally kidded today!! There's something like 45 on the ground now)



This school year, I've decided to try to have a “Project Day” (really, a smallish part of an afternoon) every week for Liam. It's working out fairly well – not flawlessly, but fairly well :) Liam received a couple of books for Christmas that were particularly suited to some projects that are both fun and educational. One in particular, the Rubber Band Engineer, is one of the best books for mid-sized (and up) boys I've seen. It has directions for several varieties of catapults, rubber band guns, and even simple hydraulic tools using syringes and tubing.

It's Officially Spring

(Mostly) great news on the sheep front - they are sheared, and there are babies! Last year we didn't get the sheep sheared until sometime in May, and I had to milk them fully-coated for a month or so. I did NOT want to do that again, and for several other reasons it's just better to get them sheared before they lamb. Their beginning due date was around the 1st of March, so we were getting pretty antsy to get the shearer lined up by late February. Fortunately, everything came together suddenly after weeks of playing phone tag, and the shearer came Sunday, March 4.

A New First


When I have huge to-do lists, of things that just REALLY need to be done RIGHT NOW, I always find the motivation to do those (other) things I've been wanting to do for a long time and have never gotten around to. So, about 2 weeks ago I finally tried making liquid soap! For years I've used my plain lard bar soap to make fake liquid soap – I (or actually the boys) shred it, further cure/dry it on sheet pans in the oven for days/weeks (until I need to use the oven), then zap it in the food processor and store it for when I need it to make laundry soap powder.