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“Aroyu Ate the Wrong Plant”

For once the sun decided to shine in Western Washington, so I rigged up the goaters and headed into the forest for late afternoon pastoral shenanigans. ‘Roy, Aster, and Isöl sported their respective saddles. It’s worth noting that once the goats begin to associate being saddled with “getting to go on a hike”, they suddenly hold quite still and are very compliant with being tacked up. You bust out the packs and saddles and they suddenly fall into line and…

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“Today, Life is Good”

Yet another sunny, warm, perfect day idled by today. As I have been prone to doing lately, I took the goats on a pastoral hike in the cedar grove this morning. The boys wore their saddles and packs. The girls wore their ever-growing pregnant bellies. We meandered in a new direction today. I brought the saddle bags along in anticipation of a good foraging trip. If nothing else, I would fill the pack with swathes of moss. I have been…

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“Musings about Lichen”

It’s January, the sun is shining, the grass is green and growing, and the air is warm and still.  Though I miss the snow of Montana, the sight of my goats browsing the meadow’s treeline fills the void nicely.  Rüma and Tisl are now less than 60 days from kidding.  The fresh forest browse is excellent for their health.  I’m beginning to see kid bulges on their petite frames.  I tame my excitement for kids simply because there’s no telling…

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“Foraging in June 2021”

It’s the start of foraging season here on the mountain!  Horsetail and Arnica are cropping in nicely, with many others not far away from prime picking time.  We’ve harvested and dried one large batch of horsetail already.  It’s important to harvest horsetail early in the season when it’s most medicinally active!  Not to mention tender and fragrant!   We had so many folks asking for horsetail by the pound last year that we hope to put up enough to offer…

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“Counting the 2020 Harvest”

There’s something very magical about producing your own food.  I’m not the best at keeping records, but I do try.  So here’s a peek at what we managed to produce in the 2020 season.  Granted, the ‘season’ is not yet over.  We’re still contending with foodstuffs grown last year.  Our food and farming season will not begin anew until the spring! Canned Fruits: 79 gallons of apple, pear, huckleberry, aronia berry, and elderberry syrups, juices, and sauces Pickles: 13 gallons…

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“Herbal Guide: Coral Root”

I wanted to talk a little bit about the medicinal herb Coral Root.  Members of the Corallorhiza family are many, and most of them are endangered.  In our forest we’re lucky to have a variety of coral root that is not state or nationally endangered.  Coral root is an orchid.  It’s entirely parasitic.  It produces no leaves and contains no chlorophyl.  It survives by leeching nutrients from the roots of the plants around it, as well as being fed by…

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