Honey mushrooms

Todays walk,
Found a bunch of honey mushrooms and one bears head tooth. Oooooh so yummy.

The honey mushroom is the larges living organism on the planet and can literally be a thousands of years old. This mushroom is just the fruit, but the mycelium can cover miles. They also can be bioluminescent, one of a number of mushrooms responsible for fox fire. They are good though not one my favorite, and they need to be well cooked or they can make you sick. Still eating the fruit of a thousand year old organism is cool

Making cider

Picked apples yesterday. Today I went to a friends house and we made cider all morning. This is my first time making cider. It was really easy, and so fun. His cider mill is beautiful and worked really well. We made about 28 Gallons. Enough for both of us to freeze, drink and ferment. It was really good cider and was a great morning…… I hope to do cider every season till I am too old to do it.

Owl hair Pin

My daughters are going to a Harry Potter Fest at Edinboro University. So I made them some owl hair pins. This is the first time I made something like this on the printer. I used Sketch Book Pro for iPad for draw up. Then AutoCAD to sold model it. They love them. My wife even had me make some for her.

I put it up free on Thingiverse
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1024415

River Grapes

River grapes

Just saw a post on wild grapes and realized I have not collected them in years. So I never posted pictures on them. These are really really old picture and this is good excuse to post them.

I have always loved wild grapes. They are abundant, fun to pick and stay more or less pest free. I grow grapes now and do not spray, so I loose a lot to mold, bugs, etc. Not the case with wild grapes they often are clean and beautiful. They are not as sweet, not as big, and contain larger amounts tartrate. So you need to gather more, sweeten more, and give the juice time to let the tartrate crystals drop out. In my case I would take the family out picking in the early fall freeze the grapes and process them in the winter. Freezing helps break down the fruit. I have made both wine and jam. Do not bother with wine, mostly because the jam is really good. You will loose 2 to 5 on your juice volume to tartrate. That is to say, if you want 5 cups of good juice you need 7 cups of raw, at least around here. To separate the tartrate leave the juice in the refrigerator for a couple days and it will fall to the bottom. Other then that you just process it like standard jam. One other thing if you take your kids remember Virginia Creeper looks like wild grapes and can grow in with them. Find some and show your kids so they do not mix them up. No picture show them the actual plant.