By Karen K. Acevedo
As we sent this issue off to the printer, spring had not quite sprung, but we're anticipating it and all its glory.
This second issue of Hobby Farm Home celebrates the season with all kinds of ideas for home projects to try, new hobbies to undertake and ways to use what is in so much abundance around us.
As a former California resident, seasons were somewhat foreign to me until I moved to Kentucky. Now I enjoy and look forward to each and every season, and plan my year accordingly.
In "Spring Fling," (page 38) Lisa Kivirist eloquently highlights the joys of spring and offers tips and advice on how to cherish its assets. From spring purging and cleaning to indulging in the first fresh eggs and herbs of the season, Lisa inspires me to really savor each day on the farm by inventing new traditions and renewing old ones.
Speaking of tradition, what would spring be without everyone chirping about "spring cleaning?" "Everyone" includes us, so for a specific battle plan to conquer the unforgiving mess that is the shed, shop, garage or barn, read "Spring Clean" by Gretchen Olson on page 48. From personal experience, I know this is a painful and wretched process; physical labor aside, it's all the decisions that must be made--toss, donate or keep? There is almost anything I'd rather be doing than cleaning the garage, but it's something that must be done nonetheless if you intend to utilize that space to pursue an actual hobby or even just for more efficient storage. Mark your calendar for a few days in early spring, before gardening chores kick in, and as they say ... just do it!
Spring is the season of renewal and fresh perspective. If you're like me, you're always looking to learn something new. One activity I've been so intrigued by lately is learning to make my own cultured dairy products like yogurt, kefir and piima butter. It's much simpler than you think and once you understand the steps--and reasons for them--you'll be using all your cows' or goats' milk for your family's benefit. Maureen Blaney Flietner explains how she learned the process in "Create Your Own Culture" on page 68. But even better than yogurt is cheese ... of course! Kristen Kennedy took a three-day, hands-on cheese-making course in California where she learned the craft from artisan cheesemakers. Take a similar course or just buy a kit to embark on your cheese-making odyssey. Read "The Cheese Course" on page 76 for all the details.
A central theme of HFH is taking advantage of the abundance that surrounds us in the country. In this issue, Jo Stewart, a native of England and now alpaca farmer in Oregon, highlights the process of turning the wild growth of hedgerows into hand-foraged, delicious treats. Recipes for using rose hips, clover, walnuts and nettles are included in her article "From Hedge to Table" on page 62. I especially enjoyed her no-nonsense British charm and wit.
Despite the accelerated pace that comes with spring on the farm, don't forget to learn something new every day and savor the gifts of the season.
HFH Spring 2007 Table of Contents