Winecraft: Honeysuckle Mead (Metheglin)

On hot summer days, the fragrance of honeysuckle fills the air, reminding me that it’s time to get out in the midday heat – when the blooms are at their peak – and harvest enough for wine. While I made wine, I also decided to try making a honeysuckle mead (metheglin). I’m pleased to say that it came out so good, I’m planning to make it every season!

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Musings: Unapologetically And Unabashedly Unkempt

Wild things like wild spaces

I live in the country. I haven’t always lived in the country – I’ve resided in both urban and suburban areas before – but I’m definitely rural now. And that means I don’t live under CC&Rs that dictate how often I have to mow or what color I can paint my house. It also means I can let my property be as natural as I choose: (a) untamed, (b) partially tamed, or (c) ridiculously manicured. I choose “b”.

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Winecraft: Heavenly Honeysuckle…And Blotto Bees

They’re everywhere!

It was a hot and humid day. The honeysuckle perfumed the muggy air with its seductive fragrance. I ventured out, dressed from head to toe (for sun and tick protection), to harvest honeysuckle blooms, many of which seemed to be intertwined with brambles. Soon, my nitrile gloves were ripped to shreds – but, sometimes, sacrifices must be made in the pursuit of the land’s wild bounty.

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Winecraft: Working Wildflowers

We’re surrounded by the incredible beauty – arguably, mundane beauty – of wildflowers. Some belong to what we call “weeds” (undeservedly pejorative), but each has its charm, value, and/or use. While I truly do appreciate their aesthetic appeal, I also appreciate the range of wines that can be made from the edible flowers: some delicate, some bold, and all unique.

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Haiku: Working Girl

She’s the “working girl” 😉

It’s been a banner year for the elderflowers (sadly, the same can’t be said for some other flowers and plants, like the day lilies that fizzled out early, probably due to the dry conditions), and visions of a bumper crop of elderberries – and elderberry syrup and wine – dance in my head. If those visions become reality, I have pollinators like this tiny bee to thank. And I wholeheartedly do thank them!

Enlarged for detail – look at all the pollen on her legs!

Haiku: Calming Continuity

I’m always happy to see our pollinator friends, but am particularly grateful now for the perspective they provide. When I’m mired in the seemingly inescapable “deep thoughts”, these hard-working creatures remind me that it’s important to focus on both the philosophical and the quotidian. Be well.