Krampusnacht

On December sixth we celebrated Krampusnacht. Krampus is a fabulous creepy Christmas character. And since we aren’t into any of the Krampus punishing bad kids, or the Santa rewarding the good kids (since kids are just kids), we dedicated our Krampusnacht to the hopeful punishment of the naughty children of commercialism, environmentally exploitative and extractive industries and slave labor practices. So, actually some particularly rich grown ups – short-sighted, immature ones. We made ginger bread people with industry names written on them, as well as skeleton ones. We ceremoniously infused some skeleton ones with the energy of banishing things that make us sad and mad that are hurtful to others and the world and gobbled up the mean people who do those things. “This cookie is for…and now I will eat the meany’s head.” We also formed and baked some tiny clay horns. Since it was the first Krampusnacht celebration we thought we can grow into the celebration with bigger horns next year!

Learn more about Krampus and Krampusnacht by using your search engine skills.

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Hard apple cider

Made two batches of hard apple cider. Collected funky leftover frozen apples from trees around town. One is prickly pear juice and mesquite pod and the other is cardamom pod and vanilla bean. Bubbling away in their jars now – tucked in out of the light by towels.

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Carpet is the worst invention

This weekend I spent quite a while cleaning the living room carpet with a rug doctor I rented at the grocery store. While I’m not a clean freak at all, and I appear to actually relish clutter, I really think carpet is the worst. Gets gnarly and you can’t shake it out. Yikes. I told the guy at the store that I didn’t need to buy any of the bottled cleaner and told a pretty unbelievable lie that I was just going to use water. The guy at the store seemed pretty chill about it but requested that I please do not use bleach in it like a repeat customer he has. This annoying customer has ruined some of his work pants. So, out of respect for the guy who rented it to me, who is super nice, just don’t put bleach in it. And bleach is probably not good for the carpet either. Natural cleaners are better for your nose.

In general a low suds soap is key. Since I went over the living room carpet eleven times I got a chance to really experience the rug doctor. The tank is pretty small so I ended up dumping the water three times per time around the room. The carpet just kept looking better and better and the water was so dirty I was compelled to do it over and over.

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Should you wish to follow in my footsteps, you will definitely need to wear earplugs. Its loud and you don’t want to end up with crabby sensory overload on top of an obsessive project.

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Obviously follow the general directions on the machine. The first few times over I used a natural enzyme cleaner to eat the nasties off the carpet. About a quarter cup per tank. I let it sit a while munching any dirty proteins.

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Then I used some laundry soap in alternating passes with oxy clean. The soap *Oasis Biocompatible* is the very best and it can go on plants. Although no plants would have appreciated the carpet cleaning water. Just one teaspoon per tank. I also added several drops tea tree essential oil and thieves essential oil blend with the laundry soap in alternating passes. With the oxy clean I mixed the powder with water prior to pouring it in the tank. With one pass I used one scoop per tank and on another I used two. Two was just fine.

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I left the two-scoops-oxy-clean-wetness over night on the carpet and then in the morning I did one pass with water and thieves oil mix and then one last pass with just water. The output water was pretty much the same level of gross the whole time, but the carpet looks really good. Between passes over the carpet I did other projects – it was okay. I’ll do this again in the future, grudgingly. Here is a pic of the nasty water is the output tank.

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Coconut oil face compress

This morning I tried a simple recipe for a steamy face rinse. Washcloth in a bowl with hot water, then pouring the water off once the cloth is hot. Melt a dab of coconut oil and spread around the cloth. Squeeze a little. I really like the feel and smell of this. Yum.

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Infused brandy

Just made two infused brandies. One has apples, hazelnuts, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, vanilla and a whole pear. Thinking of some brandied pear hand pies in my future, or maybe just a fancy party snack. The other has a romantic focus with cherries, damiana, rose buds, rose hips, vanilla bean, and cardamom.

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I’ll try and eat one radish a day

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Lettuce and arugula salad with apples and one radish. Yogurt honey mustard hemp seed dressing. Kimchi on the side.

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Cabbage worms move-out day, ladybug move-in day

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Picked these beautiful green destroyers out of the greenhouse and released ladybugs to eat the aphids.

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Blue corn atole

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Atole is traditionally served as a drink, but I like to make it a little thicker as a breakfast porridge with hemp seeds mixed in after it’s cooked. It’s about 1 unit of corn to 3 units of water, but I’m always adjusting the ratio as I cook, adding more corn meal or water. I whisk it pretty consistently the whole time it’s cooking, adding a little coconut oil and honey or agave nectar to taste. It takes about 15-20 minutes of cooking on low flame to taste right to me. Cinnamon and other spices are nice but I just like the plain corn flavor. With Yerba mate to drink it’s a fabulous breakfast.

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January 2014 greenhouse!

I’m really pleased with the hoop house this season. We got the plastic up later than we intended this fall, but a lot of work on the bracing structure reduced the ‘thwapping’ in the wind. Reducing the air exchange also helped with the warmth overnight. I diligently packing-taped any hole and we added two more 55 gallon barrels full of water for a total of four to increase thermal mass. The plants are loving it!!

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