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Grapes and Grain

Agriculture Cereal Chicken Concord concord grape concord grape jelly Concord grapes Farm Food home homemade dill pickles nature October Thanksgiving dinner Vermont

Life is really fast for me.  I have thoughts of retelling the many stories that unfold during the course of each day, but like many, don’t often get a chance to jot them down.  Once I wondered if it is just that I think of my life as so enchanted that every moment is story-worthy.  Really, most of what happens in the course of my days is not news.  But it is all important to me, and that is why I share and it is why I enjoy other’s sharings as well.

I start the day running C to school which is nearly half an hour one way.  I often stop on the way home to take photos of the sunlight filling the valley as I descend.  It’s a gorgeous round-trip ride and I do this twice a day.  I’ll miss my kiddo when she’s off to school next year, so I savor our time together.

sunrise over Bennington

I reflect on lovely rural Vermont, where you can fill your pots with dead-ripe, intoxicating-ly sweet Concord Grapes for Brussel sprouts, homemade dill pickles, free-ranged eggs and garden grown leeks.  A place that you can pass along a pie for a bucket of homemade chicken grain.  Barter music lessons for roasting chickens.  Load your hayloft in exchange for a Thanksgiving turkey.  Trade  thrives if you’re tenacious enough to inquire, and it is not only smart, but satisfying to avoid the cash economy whenever possible.

Three days ago, in the pouring rain, I filled a bucket with 20 pounds of my friend L.’s luscious grapes in less than 30 minutes.  Fifty pints of grape jelly later, we’ll sell our jars at a local CSA as well as filling our own pantry.  Labeling those jars commences this afternoon.

Bountiful Concords
Jars of Concord Grape Jelly & Apple Cranberry Jam, a sampling of our contribution to a local CSA

Later this morning, I struck out at my local grain store for an order of organic turkey grower pellets which I’d ordered.

Lucky for me, just a mile away I popped in on a neighbor farmer that produces biodiesel on his property, along with his own grown grain mixes for chickens and turkeys. Instead of me going home empty-handed from the local feed store, he set out a bucket full of freshly made poultry grower to pick up on my rounds and expected nothing in return, just a report as to how the poultry enjoy it.  You may enjoy reading more about John Williamson and State Line Biofuels here or here.

inside the State Line Farm Biofuels’ Biodiesel Barn facility
more tanks

State Line’s own mix of poultry grain, made from their own organic crops

I arrived home to find I’d missed a friend’s stop-by.  Lovely E. had played with the dogs, looked around the barn, and finding me gone left me a bag full of spring bulbs to plant this sunny October afternoon.

Last but not least, while at the local market picking up more jam jars and a case of pears for a Pear Ginger Jam recipe, I finished my morning outing with the following text from daughter SJ:

SJ:  I learned why Winky has horns!
Me:  Cool! Can’t wait to hear!!!!
SJ:  Who was her mom?
Me:Her mom was nikki or Pansy or Lily? I’ll ck when I get home
SJ: Ok. If you breed Winky’s mom with another horned ram, either all or half of her female offspring will be horned, because she’s heterozygous for the horned gene.
Me: Ok, will check who it was at home. Then we will know who is heterozygous in our flock! Cool!  BTW, Interesting Grammar discussion on NPR right now

And the day is only half done.

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