Sunday, May 25, 2014

Planting the Beds

We had a low area in the hopyard that flooded pretty frequently last year. We weren't able to plant that area so we added some drainage and this year we planted it.

First we killed off the weeds with some roundup, then tilled it all in.

Here we are ready to amend the soil.

That's topsoil, coarse sand, sphagnum moss and composted manure. Once all the amendments were spread out, I tilled the area again.

After amending the soil, we mound it up a bit. This is a shot of last year's mounding.

We use weed barrier covered with wood chips so I made sure to get a few loads of chips from our local recycler.

No too bad if you can haul your own. They do charge a fee for scooping, $5 per yard bucket.

We ran up to Gorst Valley Hops to pick up our replacement and new plants... during craft brew week... Madison was ablaze with special brews.

Centennial, Cascade and Willamette Hops

Here's a pic of one of Gorst Valley Hops' hopyards.

I had some volunteers out helping plant and mulch the beds. Thank goodness.

The new hops were planted, weed barrier-ed, mulched and then new irrigation and droplines were added.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Worst Product of the Month 10-2013

Say it ain't so. It cannot be. But, but, this is not possible!!!!

Actually, this is no surprise.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, affectionately known as 'Obamacare' is the clear winner of the worst product of the month. Hopefully it will not get the award for worst product of the year, but, it is looking good for that as well.

Did you lose your insurance because of Obamacare? Did you get on the site and have a positive experience? Leave a comment on what you like or didn't like about the process.

Here is an image search of Obamacare... it doesn't look good.
Obamacare Image Search


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Giant Puffball Mushrooms - fried

We recently found a 'fairy ring' of Giant Puffball Mushrooms (Calvatia gigantea) out the in the creek bottoms. A fairy ring is a ring of mushrooms... yes, mushrooms growing in an actual circle. Our fairy ring is approximately 50 feet in diameter. Standing in the middle of the fairy ring is pretty cool... and weird.

Giant Puffball Mushrooms in the Wild

In its early stages of development, the giant puffball mushroom is edible. I put some up for sale on craigslist and a few folks did take me up on picking some for them. I'm glad that others were able to enjoy these delicious morsels.

Huge puffball growing up between some fallen branches.

Fried Puffball Mushrooms

First you trim off the bottom where it was in contact with the ground. This allows you to see whether the puffball has begun to produce spores. If it has, don't eat it... yuck! You want it white and creamy.
White and Creamy
 Next you can slice it up. I cut it to around 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Remove the outer skin, it gets kinda rubbery. Cut it up in to shapes you can appreciate. Batter up with some egg and flower or other batter mix.
Ready for Breading

Fry it up in some oil just until golden brown on both sides. Drain it on a paper towel and salt to taste. Yes.. this is delicious.

There are plenty of recipes you can enjoy with this mushroom. I'll be trying a mushroom soup tonight!