Ale & Honey
Last year's ciser (a cider mead) is already bottled into several cases of longnecks, growlers, and such. If we get lucky enough to find an orchard that will sell us their drops, we'll make apple cider this year as well and I'll use my own hive's honey as the sugar that the yeast will use to create alcohol out of fruit and time.
Homebrewing excites me. It's not something I am especially good at or practice year round. There are plenty of beer nerds and wine geeks out there making far better fare than this farm ever will. (I'm sure far better within ten miles of me!) But just knowing how to ferment and kick back by a campfire with a brew you knew as wort is just as rewarding to me as any bread you knew as flour or chicken dinner you knew on the feather. It's being part of making something. It feels correct.
It is a rainy day here. Soon as the farm dries off I'll be harnessing up Merlin to deliver a package a few miles away. I'll be wearing a good wool cloak, just in case the wind and rain gets too wild and tears up the maple-laned mountain road. I don't wear it for costume. I wear it the way people in football stadiums wrap up in wool blankets in late November: it's warm and you're outside in a stationary position. There are all sorts of sexy outdoor techwear for hikers and climbers and such, but when you are driving a horse cart what you need is a blanket with a hood and sleeves. A style that hasn't changed in centuries for good reason. So that is the big adventure, but besides the drive down the mountain there is a garden to work in. Soon as I can go outside without getting soaked I will get to work on that kailyard and get it ready for Thursday night, which may bring our first frost already. Predictions are for a hard winter, and I am starting to believe them. Which it rains I am working on making a hunting vest with a game pouch and hood out of an old pair of canvas work pants and a thrift shop sweater. My sewing machine is broken beyond repair (stored by open window and all gears rusted over) so it will be hand sewn. If you like I'll post the rough instructions?
Do you brew? Do you garden into winter? Any advice for a new winter gardener? Any inexpensive sewing machines out there you can recoment or have one you can barter with me for a class or Indie Day? Please comment and share!