Currant Affairs


Currants: Harvesting on Zen

Amount Per
100 grams
1 cup (144 g)
1 cup (144 g)

Calories 407
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.4 g 0%
Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 12 mg 0%
Potassium 1,284 mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 107 g 35%
Dietary fiber 10 g 40%
Sugar 97 g
Protein 6 g 12%
Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 11%
Calcium 12% Iron 26%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 20%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 14%

We have three harvests in and another yet to go. Ma has our Black Currants in the dehydrator drying . We have both red and black in the “Eden” gardens and this year they are actually kicking in .

Last year with all we were dealing with having to do with my injury put us behind on harvests. The few currants we got were little more than a taste test. This year however ,it looks like we will have enough for a few months of currant raisins in our salads, maybe longer.

Catching them in time before something else gets to them , birds had already started stripping the bushes but yet after the so bitter you pucker enough to swallow your nose is a tight schedule. We watched every morning , waiting for the black to get full and black  , the red , which are much smaller , to turn semi opaque and dark red…. We did wait a little too long on a few that turned to jelly at our touch , but only a few.

The best part, of course, is that we know how they were raised, harvested and prepped as well as storage time and conditions…

Herb harvesting continues

Our first run of Sage dried and packed with Much more waiting for its turn along with Purple Sage has us using the last of last year’s Sage harvest.

Unless you harvest and dry your own , the difference between freshly dried and just last years is something you may not have a chance to enjoy , let alone home grown verses store bought which must have been packed quite some time back even when you open it directly from the stores.

Fresh is , of course , great… The only problem is a time thang …Fresh Sage in December can be a wee bit of a problem..

I was able to get into some of our freshly dried Thyme today when I was making soup. Even with my horrible sense of smell it was amazing . A little goes a long way when it is new, more as it gets older as one would imagine. We have a lot of store bought as well….You have to have something to hold down the shelf liners ….

It is a lot of work but it is also worth it.

Ma’s first batch of Lavender came down from drying in the shop’s eves to be replaced with culinary .

We had to pick up a fourth dryer as we are sorely falling behind in our herb cutting . Each morning , when we have dryer space, we get out and harvest.

Ma brought in several strands of Oregano as well. The plants finally maturing enough to be cropped , we have Italian , Greek, as well as Hot Spicy ..

Rosemary had to make a second go in the dryer taking more time but making the house smell pretty great even to me.

Our Feverfew dried. We picked only the flowers . There is what would be several hundred dollars worth with a lot of greens out there that could as yet be harvested too if we wanted. The plants tossed enough seed last year to throw out dozens of new plants…

Veggie Harvests

We got another large harvest on our Snow Peas this weekend with more flowers on . There were far too many to simply eat so we blanched then chilled set on a pan and into the freezer to freeze all separate . They will next go into bags for later.

Zukes are already starting the show up here… Yes, I know.. Big deal in the flatlands.. It is a month early for Zen however. Ma sliced up a batch today to make into “Bread and Butter fridge pickles”

Roma beans are doing better than last year but then last year was a bust so that still isn’t saying much. That is one of the new gardens so next year should be a lot better.

The corn in that garden is already three times the size it was last year..but last year…….

Pumpkins in the same garden however ARE doing quite well as are the Artichoke plants. We will have to wait and see how everyone turns out by end of season.. It usually takes until August before things kick in up here.



Gotham had their fireworks Saturday night. Seems citiots can dictate what day the Fourth of July is on… ON the bright side for us. We sat on the porch watching the show. No crowds , no driving , casual dress , no lines at the restrooms … Then we ran back inside to sit by the wood stove.

Twenty Five years ago I stood on my porch watching the fireworks then ran back inside to stand by the wood stove.. Some things never change.

We will be here for the actual Fourth. Ma works while I am on fire watch. We can actually go to the other side of the house, or better walk to the end of the drive to watch the fireworks from Hooterville to the West of us .

So long as no idiot sets off works on the mountain or windward of us its all good … There has to be a point when every moron has tried and failed to set off fireworks without setting a fire …Right?

Stupid Squirrel !

Ok .. I know a LOT of people are squirrel lovers..

” Oh!!! They are sooo cute !”


One stupid squirrel last year wiped out our entire plum crop , most of our decent tomatoes and finished the season to wipe out our Golden Delicious harvest..

Screw ” It happens ”

He came in this year and wiped out our cherry harvest…Yes.. Same squirrel.. I see him dancing at the end of the drive in the mornings. He is smart enough to know I’ll take him out as we do with all his nasty cannibalistic  cousins that we take out constantly .

This guy is too big for a pellet gun.

I had to break out the .22 … I haven’t used it in ages .

He came in Saturday while we were in town, did some more damage and ran before we got back.

I set up for him…just waiting , for hours as I had seen him run across the field.

I was in my ” stand” waiting for him when in comes a grey squirrel.

” Dude.. Want a carrot ? ”

” What?”

Want a carrot? I know where some are…Free for the picking.”

” No way! Where ?”

” Zen”

” Screw that ! I had cousins go in there and no one ever saw them again  It’s freakin haunted er somethin”

” No Dude..Totally safe! ”

” Screw you..”

” Just look…”

” I’d better not get shot…”

” Totally safe .. They watch the other side.”


“Crap! I don’t like this… I feel eyes on my back. ”

” Carrots! ”


“Wait a minute… Carrots don’t just lay on the ground… Bunnies would eat them…Why didn’t the bunnies eat them?”


” Oh SHi!!!!”


“Freaking Stupid squirrel gave me a body double !”

He’s out there … I hear him breathing… One of these days……


Sooooo got one of the cannibalistic cousins . I couldn’t see the tail . I knew it looked small but thought maybe… It had to go as well anyway…

Mice aren’t cute . Squirrels aren’t cute. They do serious damage besides wiping out crops  All of them take out electrical as well as pulling insulation they mess up our rigs and more. Just one more reason we don’t mess with the coyotes , they help us as well as they can to keep the problem down.

Coyote kids


We have seen Mama and Limpy both lately as well as Legs but not for a bit now. We also had a new younger pair come through this morning. They watched us watch them…Something of a

“Crap! We are soooooo busted .”

” You think they’ll tell on us..”

“well Duh ! They took pictures and everything…”

” No Pit then?”

” *sigh* No Pit. ”

” But…It’s The Pit! …Everyone has heard of The Pit.”

” No Pit…..Maybe we can find a squirrel to tie us over .

” Squirrel? Again ? ”

“Many parts are edible ”

” I eat one more freakin squirrel and I’ll start chittering ”

” I would advise against that around here….”

” Good Point that .”

Final Thoughts

This was the first week dealing with construction at work which just wipes me out by the time I get home. I managed to push through enough to get ahead of the game which will last for a few weeks so long as I can simply keep moving.

The thing is , that means I have absolutely no time to grab the guitar .We have another Band thang this coming week and I haven’t had a chance to do any work.

Between catching up on things up here with Ma ,both of us running until we crash and the stupid squirrel because there is always something .. Not to mention the wind blowing like crazy…Still….We just are doing everything we can. Music is on a lower shelf though I at least sit for a bit and hit what I actually remember.. It helps but it isn’t getting the new work done. I’ll put in some time later today then hopefully it is quiet on the Fourth so I can get a little work in before I head out again on Friday.

We have a lot of herbs in need of harvest . It can only be done early , both because that is the best time and because winds get stronger as the sun rises.

Longer days at work this week so that I can hit the road Friday means little more than get up head out come home sleep and start over. Thank goodness I’ll catch some breaks.

My hands are getting worse again from work so not helping there either. I can only go so long before it simply makes me ill * chuckle* Ahhh to get old…

Zippity Zen

Walking out the door to the porch I still only have my good eye open, all but dragging my coffee cup behind me.

The Sun has yet to clear the hills to the East . Clouds are already showing the colors of morning .

Hummie hears the screen door close as I stumble out. My other eye pops open as I glare at the stairs . Hummie looks at me from the fence a few feet away and starts chatting at me.

” Mornin’ Hum.”

I stumble down the stairs to set water for the morning run before I have to start getting ready for work.

I hear a hummer fly over my head. It’s a different one than Hummie. His wings make a certain sound and this aint it. I get back up onto the porch to watch Hummie chasing another back and forth from feeder to feeder. Back and forth they fly. Hummie isn’t trying very hard. He is flying so slow he is barely making the effort to lift his legs.

A third and fourth hummer come in , joining the flyby . Meanwhile Mrs. Hum sits at the feeder watching the show. Both of us as if we were watching tennis.

Still too dark for the camera, I settle into my chair and simply enjoy the chaos .They fly in and out of the covered porch . Several times one or another will stop , hovering in front of my face.


….and off they go again.

Hum is starting to tucker out. Sitting on the fence again just below the feeder halfheartedly calling out as the kids pass over head because, of course they are his kids.

His boy spends time aping his dad; watching me through my window chattering away at me as I talk to them.

All three of the kids stop and hover in front of Ma or I as we are outside.

MA walks out the door and the kids all settle down at feeders..

” Seriously? “” You guys know she has seen you madhatting around right? ”

“Not us. We are well behaved.”

I seriously think Hummie gagged at that point.

The kids settle in as Ma tells them good morning before we sit to chat before we have to madhat around to get me ready to go.

As suddenly as it stopped the kids forget their manners , flying around inside the porch.

“Catch me if you can!”

I just chuckle and thank the gods that it is going to be

just another day on Zen Mountain




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