homesteading

Harvesting and processing black walnuts

Processing walnuts reminds me when I was a kid… when my dad made us all help him. I mean all of us, my friends too, whenever they were over. There was a time I felt I was in danger of loosing my friends because of all the “chores” my dad made them help with. It […] Read More

2010 2nd Annual Apple Smash

The head count of the 2nd annual smash grew tremendously and along with many new families, we saw most of the Muddy Portage crew in attendance. It was great to see faces we haven’t seen in a while as well as several new friends we’ve met over the summer. There were enough people who pitched […] Read More

How I season my cast iron cookware

I have all kinds of cast iron. Today, I decided it was time to clean and re-season all of it. There are a few key pieces that sit on my stove top and I’ve decided that it was time to break out some additional pieces. Particularly, a nice sauce pan with a lid and a double dutch […] Read More

Jim and Jay’s 2009 Elderberry Wine

This year, I was able to get not one, but two batch’s of Elderberry wine going. There’s a 3-gallon batch and a 5-gallon batch both made in dramatically different styles. I’ve always wanted to make Elderberry wine, mainly because my dad always told me that it was one of his favorite wines. As a typical apprentice […] Read More

It’s officially summer when you make ice cream

On Sunday, we’ll celebrate Hannah’s birthday a little early before we go on vacation. Strawberry ice cream was our test run Friday night. We’ll do it again on Sunday with all the other kids and chocolate and butter pecan is on the agenda. We used this same ice cream maker when I was a kid. […] Read More

My man, Felix Eboigbe

When you get a voicemail that sounds like this, what else can you do but post it for everyone else’s enjoyment. This is my man Felix, a VERY incredible Nigerian sculptor. About 6 or 7 years ago, I was introduced to Felix by another entrepreneurial client who was always looking for ways to invest his money. He […] Read More

My names not Cooper, but check me out!

I have a good friend named Jay Cooper… whose mother was my 2nd grade teacher in elementary school. And yes, they had coopers in their history. With a name like that, you’d better. But I’m not sure I had any coopers in my family. To the best of my knowledge, my father would be the one […] Read More

February 2007 Ice Storm

I say ice storm because it was icy and cold and went on for a two-week stint… not that I’m complaining. I loved it. We’re talking natural tree pruning at its best. The weather conditions were ideal for enclosing EVERYTHING in a thick case of ice. It made for great pictures, although the pictures do […] Read More

10 basic things you need to make wine at home

Interested in making wine? Me too! There just aren’t enough home vintner’s anymore. It’s nice to share ideas and techniques with each other but experience makes all the difference. Here are the “Basic 10” things you will need to get started. All of these items are cheap and with basic care, will give you a […] Read More