Pressing Tinctures, Greenhouse Repairs, and Painted Desert Lambs
Chocolate Box Cottage Diary, Volume 2
Week 8: February 26, 2022
One way to deal with uncertainty and keep anxious thoughts at bay is to keep our hands busy.
Another way to deal with uncertainty and anxious thoughts is to pray, and I hope many of us are doing a lot of that, too.
On the hands busy side, I spent a couple of enjoyable hours pressing tinctures this week using a simple press made by a craftsman who sells on Etsy. The apothecary cupboard is restocked with echinacea and St. John’s wort tinctures for personal use, for sharing with family, and for trade and barter.
Sam and I put in 2 full days on repairs to our vintage A-frame greenhouse, with Sam as contractor and me as assistant. I am thrilled with the results! There is just one small problem, as you will see in the photos.
We welcomed new babies to the farm – and we ate well. Follow along with our week in pictures and feel free to ask questions.
An unusual cold spell for southern Oregon brought morning temps in the teens: 13-17F (-11c to -8c). No swimming today!
“I would like to lodge a complaint,” said Jasper, the handsome polydactyl cat.
Poopy eggs means it’s time to add fresh straw to the nest boxes.
A new tea blend creation: Enchanted Forest Chai.
This whole plant echinacea tincture uses leaf, bud, flower, and root in season to make better use of the plant, without waste and without killing the plant. You can find the tincture press here.
Sam tears off the old, 1980’s era greenhouse roof.
Reinforcing the framework of the greenhouse on a budget.
Tinted roof panels being installed in two overlapping layers.
Finished. for now. Somehow we ended up with one mismatched panel – it is clear, the others are tinted.
Side view of our vintage A-frame greenhouse. Or is it front view? Note custom-built door that Sam made with salvaged wood and the old hardware. Small space, endless possibilities.
Most of my Norwegian and scented geraniums died in the cold snap, even inside the greenhouse. The hanging baskets escaped and thankfully I have rooted cuttings of the ones that died. The lemon trees are unfazed.
Shrimp Pho (soup) with veggies a coconut broth and oodles of spiralized daikon noodles. Daikon is a long, white radish that spiralizes easily and is a neutral-tasting substitute for traditional rice noodles in this recipe. My favorite spiralizer, the Inspiralizer, has been discontinued. It is worth watching for on ebay.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with roasted garlic and homemade knoephla (puffy German eggs noodles) is the ultimate comfort food.
Cauliflower rice is a pain to make, I will be the first to admit it. But oh, how delicious is this dish with cauli-rice, egg, scallions, and garlic, topped with toasted almond flour and fresh parsley.
Tea station, restocked with my favorite teas, tea cups, and utensils. Watch this video for ideas for creating a tea station or coffee bar in your home?
Toby, being magnificent.
Painted Desert Lambs
Babies! Triplet lambs for this third time mama, a Painted Desert ewe.
Day old Painted Desert lambs with coats reminiscent of marbles.
Mama with her parade of Painted Desert lambs.
This girl took over the nest when the mama who built it died unexpectedly. She is a Silver Muscovy.
Looking for a new series? The Mysterious Benedict Society follows four orphans on an unusual mission. Full of vivid color, plot twists, and a sense of urgency, this one is aimed at both kids and adults and is eminently bingeable.
Once again, we’ve reached the end of another week at Chocolate Box Cottage. Thank you for visiting and if you have a few minutes, feel free to keep reading or investigate the links provided in the text. Blessings to you on your day today.
Hello, I live in Southern Oregon also and am trying to learn many things that you seem to have mastered. I want to learn how to make tinctures. Also I will probably need to build a greenhouse because of the growing season being so short here! I am so happy to have found a kindred spirit 💜
Hi Ruthie! I sometimes joke that I am “a keeper of esoteric skills,” and I am definitely still learning. It’s what makes life fun, right?