Short Read: A Snail’s Search, Part VIII

It was the kind of day that snails celebrate: not too hot, and steamy with humidity. As the very small snails gathered at the White, two were talking excitedly. A snail with a spiral shell was aflutter, repeatedly asking about the Legend. Another tiny snail was waving her antennae nonstop, proclaiming that she had heard that someone had been told that the Legend had been sighted. Sophie took the chatter in with a bemused smile, then said, “little snails, gather around – we have news about Gaston!”

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Live Beverages: Stimulating Summer Shrubs

Hello, blackberry!

Hot, sticky days seem to go hand in hand with cold, refreshing beverages. Though we keep delicious probiotic drinks like water kefir and kombucha on hand, we recently decided to expand our repertoire to include shrubs – AKA “drinking vinegar”. A combination of fresh fruit, raw vinegar, and sweetener, rounded out with the effervescence of sparkling water…it’s summer in a glass!

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Reality Check: The Melted Farmer

As someone who currently lives in a humid subtropical region, I expect some heat and humidity in the summer. I do. But what I don’t expect is days-long stretches of heat and humidity that reach 110F with the heat index and nighttime temperatures in the 80s – heat waves that necessitate “excessive heat warnings” from the weather service that basically advise rational people to stay indoors. How, exactly, does a farmer do that?

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Musings: No Shortcuts To Understanding (People)

Are you interested in understanding yourself better? As a naturally curious person, I am. While I believe that there can be value in some personality tests, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), there is also the potential for misuse – particularly in employment settings – because they can encourage “shortcuts” like labeling. When shortcuts are taken, we fail to see a complete picture of an individual…to our detriment.

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Home Hacks: Keeping The Heat Out

We may have lost a view temporarily, but at least it’s cool in here!

Summer is nearly upon us, and it’s already very hot here. The sun coming into our home’s older windows creates a greenhouse effect, which raises the temperature significantly in rooms and makes the heat pump work harder to cool them. And that means big power bills. But using an item you may already have around can keep that heat out and save money on cooling: emergency blankets.

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Farm Fowl: Weathering The Heat

We’ve been suffering the effects of a “heat dome” here for about the past week. Temperatures have been in the 90s during the day (reaching 105F+ with the heat index), and it doesn’t cool off much at night. This makes for dangerously hot weather, for people and animals. We’ve learned some tricks over the years that helps keep our flocks healthy and resilient, and are employing them now.

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Wildcrafted: Making Mugolio (Fermented Pine Cone Syrup)

As we near the official start of summer here in the northern hemisphere, baby birds are fledging, flowers are blooming, and the pine treees are putting forth beautiful cones. I’m always looking for ways to utilize the bounty of the land, so when I discovered a wildcrafted syrup called Mugolio, I knew I’d be making some!

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