Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Mushroom Log Update

Last fall Jon decided to inoculate some oak logs with mushroom spores.  When we moved across the country in March, the logs went with us.  The movers were a bit skeptical about moving these logs and the driver of the truck said these logs had to be the oddest thing he has ever moved.  The logs were not covered with protective blankets during the move and were instead, tucked into the smallest cranies the movers could find in the truck.  When they arrived in West Virginia they were then placed in storage along with everything else because of the closing delay.  When they finally arrived at the new house, we placed them along the tree-line in the back woods.  After all the moving and handling, and removal of the wax by the birds, I figured the logs would probably not sprout mushrooms and eventually get absorbed by the forest floor.  They were pretty much forgotten this summer and were never watered or placed vertically into the ground according to the instructions.  To our surprise, Jon discovered some mushrooms sprouting out of the logs this week!  Take a look!

3 Days later, the mushrooms grew this much!

Our first meal with the mushrooms!

What do we do with all this squash?!

Like most things in the garden this year, we planted more seeds than we needed.  In Portland, we never had much luck with squash so this summer we planted several mounds of butternuts, acorns, and pumpkins hoping for a few of each.  Well, we received more than just a few:

19 butternuts
22 pie pumpkins
22 acorn squash

What a harvest this year!  We left them on the porch to cure for 9 days and then stored them in the basement on top of a pile of newspapers and straw.  We have a crawlspace under the basement (which keeps the basement warmer than most basements) so I don't know what the best method for storing squash is for our home?  Any suggestions?

One wheelbarrow full of zucchini and pie pumpkins.

What do we do with all this squash?!  If you have recipes for ways I can fix the pumpkins besides pies, breads, and soups, please comment below!  This fall I made Pumpkin & Orange Spiced Jam and Acorn Squash Jam.  I made a batch of each and surprisingly they were both very tasty!  It is recommended that they be served with blue cheese and on top of yogurt as a dessert.  Spread on toast is fine with me!

It's that time of year again, building a scarecrow!  It's so nice having a porch with an overhang that keeps things dry.  This scarecrow will actually be left outside all season this year!

Vacation Time!

It is good to be back home after the 3 week vacation in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  We were sent home for a family wedding and decided to prolong the visit to include camping, fishing, and time with friends and family.  It was a whirlwind of a vacation with a lot of activity, but it is good to be back checking up on things and working on projects.  I decided to veer away from the normal blog posts to include some pictures of the trip since many of my blog followers have already asked me to post a few pictures from the vacation! Enjoy!

Having some good old fashioned fun with tubing behind a boat!

Paul is determined to catch the biggest fish on the trip

but Mamma beat him to it.  My favorite kind of lure is the frog.  I bounce it off lily pads and rocks which always results in a huge splash from a large fish such as this Northern.  We released this fish back into the lake.

To get to Perent Lake you have to paddle this very long and windy creek for several hours.  Perent Lake is located in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota.  If you enjoy canoeing, this is the place to go...1.3 million acres of protected wilderness.  On our trips we have seen: moose, bear, bald eagles, loons, beavers, and more.  It is a serene place where you can go days without seeing or hearing another human being.  Depending on the lake you are on, motors and airplanes are non-existent.    

Notice the big smile?  Jon is still smiling after portaging this old aluminum canoe over a very rocky portage.

Having fun at the wedding!

About this blog

A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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