Sunday, 11 August 2013

Wild Fare and Local Fair

Had I mentioned we'll be taking a class trip to visit an enterprise that grows and sells wild and weedy edibles? A few of us in the class are already into it, nibbling purslane in the garden and such. A classmate and I walked along the bike trail near school one day and found a bunch of edibles - a whole patch of wheat or barley, just about ripe, sumac heads for making drink (it's supposed to taste a bit like lemonade, but I found more of a resemblance to iced tea), some catnip for our cats, and lots of chokecherries.

The juice I extracted from mine tastes different than the jelly my mother made with her chokecherries, so I shall be curious to see how my jelly turns out. Need to pick more first, though, since that picking gave only half of what I needed.

The last couple days, though, it's been the wild life out at the parents', in either sense of the word. Wild in the primitive sense, because the new pump they put in the well last year broke down a couple weeks ago, so we are hauling water in pails from the old well or the rain barrels, and hiding behind bushes when Nature calls. (Thankfully, it is isolated and forested enough that there are absolutely no worries about anyone seeing us.) Kenny, who is pretty much the only guy around here who can install the new pump, has been run off his feet busy, but he should come in a day or so. Doing four loads of laundry yesterday was an interesting process. It takes 10 buckets of water to fill the machine, and we used the same water to wash all four loads, lights first, then spun everything out and refilled the machine to do the rinsing the same way.

Wild it has also been in the busy sense, as it is Fair weekend. Baking and handicrafts can be done further ahead of time, but flowers and vegetables kind of have to be picked, arranged, scrubbed, etc., either the afternoon before or the morning of. Mom and I started Thursday evening about 7 when we got home, cut flowers until it was too dark to see which were the best ones, arranged flowers, tagged vases, and packed handicrafts and jams until we had done all we could, went to bed at something like 1 or 2 am, set the alarm for 6, scrambled to finish flower and vegetable stuff the next morning, packed the car full, and made it to town with about 5 minutes to spare on the 10:30 deadline...then came home in the afternoon and did the less rushed prep for the Saturday Flower Show, to bring the next morning. OK, it could be less intense, but we tend to enter everything we can, to help make the tables look full, and it's not like there aren't enough flowers around here. Plus, the arrangement categories are a fun chance to be creative within the guidelines - there'll be categories like 'an arrangement in a hat' or 'an arrangement using foliage only, in a cup and saucer'. The pantry ends up looking like a florist's shop by the time we're through!  

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