Learning About Wool

I love it when the directions to a local workshop include “then you go down the gravel road for two miles until…”

I was part of a group of fifteen people learning about different kinds of wool, from about a dozen different kinds of sheep.

We learned a little bit about the background of the breed, characteristics of the wool, good combinations to make various types of items, rugs, socks, sweaters.

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Then, we got to feel the different wools and see their characteristics.

What a fascinating new and very large vocabulary there is.

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I also watched a video from Interweave Press about wool.  Way more than I could take in – which breeds of sheep and how to spin their wool to  take advantage of the best characteristics of that type of wool to make specific items, socks, sweaters, shawls.

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Even on overload, I am totally loving my opportunities to learn new homestead skills to enjoy  more sustainable living in the beautiful surroundings of southwest Missouri.

© 2017 Kathryn Hardage



Comfort in Doing Things I Love

I am feeling such comfort today.  I have woven on two different looms.  My rigid heddle loom has a shawl project on it.  My floor loom has a series of small shoulder bags on it.

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I have watched part of a video about processing wool as I wove.  I wrote my inspirational blogs and posted them.  I did some spiritual study.  And now I have finished part of a new drawing exercise in toning with colored pencils.

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It is such an amazing feeling doing so many things that I love to do.

I am so grateful.

© 2017 Kathryn Hardage

A Multiple Baking Project

My poppy seeds kept staring at me from the cupboard.  So I decided to make a poppyseed cake.


On the facing page to that recipe was a carrot cake recipe.  Well, I had all the ingredients for that one, too, so I decided to make it as well.


The first direction for both cakes was to combine the yogurt with the flour and let it soak in overnight.
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That reminded me of the delicious yogurt biscuits I had made, so I looked up that recipe while I was at it.


Whoops!  It turns out that the biscuit illustration at the beginning of the yogurt dough recipe was for the previous buttermilk biscuit recipe.  Oh, well.  I decided to make it again anyway, even though it was intended to be a tart shell.


Here is my set-up for all three recipes.

All the recipes said to let the butter soften, which I tried to do.


Apparently, my kitchen is not warm enough.  Even the inside of the oven with a pilot light is not warm enough.  So I ended up melting the butter on top of the stove.


The cakes cooked at 300 F. for 1 1/2 and 2 hours respectively.





They are delicious!

The biscuits await in the frig.

© 2017 Kathryn Hardage

Making Sauerkraut – Kimchee

Cut up cabbage in the crock.

Cut up cabbage in the crock.

My first experience making kimchee began in a Korean market.  A customer took me from the produce section with my three heads of cabbage, garlic, carrots, and green onions and helped me choose a three pound bag of red pepper flakes.  She assured me this would be enough for the small amount I was making.  Her mother usually used ten heads of cabbage.  There were ten and twenty-pound bags of red pepper flakes to choose from there, too.

I made my “small” batch and put it into three 1/2 gallon canning jars in the refrigerator.  It took us months to eat it all up.

Several cloves of minced garlic.

Several cloves of minced garlic.

I am trying again, this time by combining aspects of the European, Mexican, Korean, and Japanese versions of sauerkraut in the “Nourishing Traditions” Cookbook.




Only 1/2 Tbl. of red pepper flakes. (Isn’t that a nice fitted wooden top my husband made?

Only 1/2 Tbl. of red pepper flakes.


(Isn’t that a nice fitted wooden top my husband made?)




A plate to cover  the cabbage.

A plate to cover
the cabbage.


A lone saucer fits inside nicely.




A quart of homemade salsa for a weight.

A quart of homemade salsa for a weight.


This was the nearest heavy weight I could find.





© 2016 Kathryn Hardage

Apple Canning Day

Today is Apple Canning Day.

I intended to use the apple peeler-corer to make dehydrated apples, but we waited a couple of weeks after buying the canning apples and man of them are too ripe (they need to be firmer) to go through the peeler-corer.


We have one-half bushel of Jonathan #2 canning apples and one-half bushel of small Yellow Delicious apples from Murphy’s Orchard in Marionville, Missouri.

In addition to those apples, we had some large tart green apples which we canned with very seedful oranges from last weeks Bountiful Basket order.  I added about a teaspoon of honey to each jar.

Most of the Jonathan apples have been canned.  After adding about a teaspoonful of honey to one batch, I decided to up the flavor with red hots I also bought at Murphy’s Orchard.

At times, we have had two canners going, each holding seven pints.


These quantities make about four cases of pints.







We are now starting on the small Yellow Delicious apples.

© 2016 Kathryn Hardage


About Potatoes and Onions


Here are some of the first potatoes I grew in containers this year.


Here are some of the onions I grew in containers.


Here is the last container of potatoes I grew this year.  For the first time, there is a pretty good sized potato.

The “harvest” is now in!

I definitely feel encouraged that this small beginning actually worked.

© 2016 Kathryn Hardage


About Leeks

Here is my container garden for leeks.


I harvested the biggest leek.


© 2016 Kathryn Hardage