In Our Big Van Down By the River

We are not moving much these days. The vineyard has said that they don’t need me anymore. Andrew is still working there doing the more physically draining job of wire lifting. As the plants are not larger and taller the job requires someone with a bit of height as well as strength. Andrew loves it. He has a pedometer on his i-phone and clocks in 10-20 km a day walking around the vineyard.

We did move about a kilometer away where we are closer to the river, a swimming hole and homeschool friends. We can gather water right next to our truck. We can even park our car right next to our truck. You see, unlike most, our car is not 4 wheel drive but our home is. So, our home can go more places than our car can.This spot is much more popular. At the other spot we only had a few visitors over the month. Over here, we have daily visitors. Apparently this spot fills up over the summer with the beer-drinking quad bike crowd and a caravan did get burned up by some locals making merry last year. That is why we didn’t come here til I finished work so I could stay home with the kids.

There are wild plums and fennel growing everywhere and another tree with something that looks a bit like apples but might be persimmons. I have already made some plum butter. Yummy! I got sort of an ‘un-recipe’ for ‘self-pitting plum butter’ from Excellent recipe because wasn’t looking forward to pitting all those tiny little plums. I had to count the plums before they go in to make sure you take the right amount out. Tamara and I counted. Lost count at around 275. Counted again. We stewed 290 plums. Dang, actually, we stewed 291. Missed one and found that last pit later. I also took the recipe to a lazier/tarter level and left the skins in as well. Now I need to find some good Fennel recipes.

As part of embracing my ‘hunter-gatherer’ I am learning to identify more and more weeds. Slow going but very rewarding when I figure out one more weed with my few weed id books and my handy/dandy i-phone app. This week I found and identified, for the first time, ‘pineapple weed’ and ‘travelers joy’. I can make tea out of pineapple weed but seems best to avoid travelers joy as it seems like it is poisonous, most of the time.