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Teri Carter's Library

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3C54DC7D00000578-4140672-Barack_Obama_waves_as_he_boards_Marine_One_and_departs_the_Capit-a-77_1484945371469 Photo credit: The Associated Press

The sentence I hear most from well-meaning, conservative friends since President Trump’s election is this: “We suffered 8 years under Barack Obama.”

Fair enough. Let’s take a look.

The day Obama took office, the Dow closed at 7,949 points. Eight years later, the Dow had almost tripled, closing at 21,414.

General Motors and Chrysler were on the brink of bankruptcy, with Ford not far behind, and their failure, along with their supply chains, would have meant the loss of millions of jobs. Obama pushed through a controversial, $8o billion bailout to save the car industry. The U.S. car industry survived, started making money again, and the entire $80 billion was paid back, with interest.

While we remain vulnerable to lone-wolf attacks, no foreign terrorist organization has successfully executed a mass attack here since 9/11.

Obama ordered the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

He…

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The Fox had a Meal

The long anticipated year 2012 has begun. With temperatures that remind of an early spring with ice and rain, hardly any snow.

I just bought three beautiful and sweet ducks from Sue – Silver Appleyards – a rare breed. I had them move in with the tree black Ameraucana chicken. They quake quake quaked joyfully for 2 or 3 days and veryone was happy.

The dogs had this habit of barking every evening as soon as is became dark until early morning since many weeks already … It hadn’t been like this the winter before. A bad habit, or was there something? There surely was: last evening the dogs barked and the ducks quaked … we went outside, it was pitch dark one duck was  somewhere outside, but instead of coming back, we heard it leaving further and further away.

Must have been a fox I was told, they take their prey alive. The male duck gone, the two females were standing around in silence today all day, waiting somehow. This evening no dog’s barking… obviously that beast had eaten enough for another night and obviously that beast had been luring around the house all fall already.

This farm-year has passed in a hurry…. lots of events,less good ones, better ones and really good ones.

After one year of living on this farm I know, that we have some abundance: lots of stones… lots of so called weeds… lots of wild apple trees with good apples (for juice and jelly!)…lots of cedar wood to be ‘harvested’ (for building fences and sheds)… lots of potential (for hay, and animals grazing)… and looooots of work…

Left over from this year’s harvest are: jars with apple jelly, grape jelly,  apple sauce, bottles with dandelion wine and hawthorn wine, dried herbs, pesto in ice cubes, baskets full of potatoes, red, purple and white, a big basket with garlic, baskets full of butternut pumpkins, and red and white cabbage… and, oh yeah, there is a lamb in the freezer (we still need to decide if we’ll eat our own animals, or if we better become vegetarians again…)

And there are lots of pictures I have taken!

Apple Jelly

Apple Jelly

Collect the unripe green fallen apples from the garden.

Wash them, cut out damaged parts, flowers and stem and cut them into small pieces including the core.

Fill large pot to ¾ with cut apples, cover with water and boil shortly until apples become soft but not jet mush. Let it stand about 12 hours, then fill into a strainer/cloth to separate the liquid from the apples. Fill the apple-water back into the pot and hang the cloth above it until it stops dropping.

Add spices (some fresh mint leaves or a cinnamon stick or pieces of finely chopped ginger or red rose petals) reheat the apple-water and let simmer until about half of it has evaporated.

Then take out the spices except ginger or rose petals and add sugar (about half or up to ¾ sugar to 1part water and let simmer until the liquid is of a more intense color and a drop of it put on a plate, becomes jelly.

Fill boiling hot into sterile marmalade glasses, close tight, turn them upside down for ten minutes, then turn upright again, cover with a towel to cool down slowly.

Label and be proud!

Lesson to learn: Enjoy the process as much as the result!

One of my ‘wishes come true’ on our farm are the old apple trees. They’re spread across the property, close to hedges, in corners, four around our little lake, some amidst pastures…  They were blooming beautifully in spring as if they wanted to show us where we could find them. We set up two benches underneath the one apple tree close to the house to sit beneath his branches and to look through his leaves and flowers onto the lake, and then later the branches loaded with apples hung down almost to the ground…

Then there came the cow, chewed branches and apples as high as a cow can reach and left some cow dung as a thank you. I jumped up to the sky a couple of times, called Markus who is now the owner of that beast, and finally calmed down, what else could I do…? Just some words about the cow: She ran away when the sixty two head of cattle got loaded to go to their new owner. She’d lived a solitary life in our corn fields during winter, Trevor bought her, but never could catch her, she knows every corner of this land. In summer she got a calf.  Markus bought her from Trevor and bought also a steer to lure her to the stable with his mooing. The steer, weak and skinny as if he had escaped a concentration camp, does not say one moo. He’s happy, enjoys food space and peace and doesn’t say one moo!

I am making apple jelly from the fallen apples. The green unripe ones have the most pectin and the jelly tastes heavenly. The cow and I are now competing for the apples. She has all night, I have the day… but today I tought I could pick ’em up later … later they were gone!

Lesson to learn: Take the apples as they fall, otherwise the cow’ll eat ’em all!

Garlic Harvest

We  have harvested plenty of garlic. Piet loosened them up from the ground with a fork I pulled them out and to get rid of the earth I banged them together until most of the earth came of. Later I read that you have to treat garlic like raw eggs, otherwise their toes get bruised … Well, too late, let’s see how bad they get. We took pictures, trimmed their roots, hung them up for their two weeks curing and soon we’ll take them down for storing.

Lesson to learn: don’t bang garlic!

Our first spring on this farm has arrived. A spring full of flowers, colours, scents, tadpoles, mosquitos, birds song, mosquitos, blooming trees, whistling frogs, loud voiced toads and rain, rain, mosquitos, some sunshine and then rain again. I wished nature wouldn’t be in such a hurry. I wished the grass didn’t grow so hastily, the weeds wouldn’t  overwhelm the vegetable patch almost over night and  the wind wouldn’t blow off the flower petals of the apple trees in such a fury.  I was lucky to have taken pictures of apple trees in full bloom. Will do now my best with pruning, cleaning and treating them with Biowash to rejuvenate them.