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Gratitude to Our Plants and Animals

By Hannah Curcio

As the LFX continues we have had fun experimenting with pumpkins.  We have processed them for curry dishes, pies and even have eaten slices raw. We have been processing pumpkins almost weekly now. In the evenings when we often sit down together to work on cutting up pumpkins, we enjoy talking about the LFX and what meals the pumpkin will provide us. In the past we were used to only cutting pumpkins once a year for Jack-O-Lanterns, but this year, each week becomes another opportunity for pumpkin carving time!

We have also enjoyed cooking our potatoes, and extra Russet potatoes that we purchased from a farm in Tulelake. We have made mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, and have used potatoes in egg scrambles, along with eggs from our chickens. 

Our own chicken eggs are new to our diet, and will replace the Bare Ranch Eggs we have been buying through the Hub. It has been a daily Easter egg hunt, finding all of the different places where the chickens lay their eggs. Their favorite spots are under a specific sagebrush, in our stock trailer, in the garage, and in a nest in their house. The eggs are blue, tan, and tan with blue speckles. Like the pumpkins and our year-round carving, our daily egg hunt is another opportunity to celebrate another tradition year-round. 

We have a Jersey cow named Princess who is pregnant and due on March 30, and her daughter named Buttercup, is due on March 13. We are excited for their milk because we want to use it to make pancakes (and cocoa with our cellar cocoa supply, our milk and our honey). We are extra excited about this upcoming cow milk because we have been running low on goat milk. We are using our current goat milk to bottle feed a new baby goat named Mulberry. In addition to cow milk to drink, we are looking forward to making cheese and butter with our butter churn. 

This month we are excited to have Nate and Bekki Siemens’ flour on the Hub! The flour looks super official because it’s in big bags like you get at the store! 

Nate and Bekki’s local wheat

Last weekend, we met up with our friend, Paul E. Wog. He is watching our bees for the winter in central California. He brought us a quart of our sagebrush honey, it tasted super good on pancakes! It was special to have our own honey, and we like getting updates from Paul about how our bees are doing in such a warm place!

Down the Mountain Farmstead’s bees overwintering in Chinese Camp, California, under the care of beekeeper Paul E. Wog

In the hoop houses, we have volunteer tomatoes sprouting even though it is February! If all goes well, this means we could be eating tomatoes in June! 

More to come next month on what Spring brings to our LFX.