Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Day at the Farm

Steve bringing in more wood for the fire.

This is one of my projects today. Removing the seed from dried cilantro that we grew this year in the garden. We only enjoyed a small harvest this year. Most of it had gone to seed by the time we made it back to the farm after the accident. But, I have LOTS of seed. It smells like summer, the smell of cilantro. Fresh like I'm in the garden. It's a great feeling considering there is lots of snow on the ground & it's in the teens. So I am harvesting the seed while a pot of vegetarian chili cooks on the stove.
I still have lettuce seeds to harvest & lemon balm & artemisia to put into jars. Artemisia (also known as wormwood) is used to help the digestive system. It improves digestion by stimulating the production of stomach acid and bile. Wormwood can be used to expel intestinal worms. It can also be used to relieve symptoms of PMS and as an insect repellant. Lemon balm is a great smelling herb, besides is antibacterial and anti viral in nature. It is also a slightly sedative herb, lowering fever, relaxing spasms and improving digestion. It is also used for depression. All that and it smells great! Make a tea with the leaves by tearing them & adding some honey. Yum!Steve is working on opening up the ceiling in our new living area for the stairs to the second floor. We are moving the stairs to the middle of the house. The existing stairs on the west side of the living area are just temporary. The new ones will allow access to the guest bedrooms & bath upstairs.
It is another big step in getting the new living area done. When the stairs are done, we can start putting up the wall that divides the future shop area & the new living area.
While we were at home for a few weeks, the weather really changed for the worse. Winter hit hard with lots of snow & sub-zero temperatures. We left the farm thinking that the plumbing would be fine until we made it back here. Well, a snowstorm hit the weekend we were supposed to come up here & we never made it. We were getting nervous about the new bathroom plumbing so we sent our neighbors, Jim & Nancy, the key to check on it. Well, it leaked. Water on the floor coming from the shower. Last night as soon as we got here we took it apart. The shower valve was where the leak was coming from. It looked fine though. This morning we looked at it some more & after it warmed up we tested it again & it worked. I guess I'll find out for sure when I take a shower in the morning. Cross your fingers. We did stop at Menards in Beliot on the way up & bought heat tape & more insulation. We'll probably drain the lines before we leave from now on in the winter. Lesson learned!
Eli & Lizzie (our Amish neighbors) stopped by today to visit. It was nice to see them again. Lizzie told me she is pregnant with number eleven & is due sometime in June. Wow. Can you even imagine?

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