Monthly Archives: January 2012
We did it, we finally tackled the mulberry tree. Or rather, we finally got around to hiring someone to tackle it. The tree guys came out, took a look, and decided it was way overgrown and our best bet would be to pollard it. We’ve seen some pretty strange-looking pollarded trees, especially on the Berkeley campus, but mulberry trees just grow so darn fast that it suits our main goals perfectly: keep the tree from taking over the yard/destroying our roof while still keep a chunk of the back yard in shade in the summer. Anyway, here’s the only “before” picture I could find:
And here is the pollarded, skeletal after:
The now-taller tree in the background is the elderberry tree that is leaning over our neighbor’s yard a tiny bit. We probably need to either pollard that one too, or maybe just cut it down entirely. Luckily, our neighbors are pretty much easy-going procrastinators like us, so there’s no rush.
And now, for a never-before-seen view of the back of our house!
Yup, our roof feels a lot less threatened now. And see that bushy green tree thing getting oh-so-much sun to the right of the house in the back of the picture? it’s our citrus tree!! And now it might actually do a little better since the mulberry tree isn’t leaning over it.
We aren’t really sure if they’re supposed to be edible, but the tree trimmers chomped down on a few during their break, so maybe we should actually get it looked into. It certainly has a lot of fruit right now…
I’ve been wanting to get more fermented/probiotic foods in my diet, but I’m not very fond of yogurt. I’ve been plotting various ways to add sauerkraut and maybe kimchi, if I can find some good sources, but in the mean time I’ve fallen in love with kombucha, probably because I can get it at almost any convenience store within a few blocks of my office. (Yeah, I work in San Francisco. Sometimes it’s more obvious then others.) Unfortunately it costs more than $2 per bottle, so it was turning into an expensive habit, despite being one of those things that can be made in bulk at home pretty cheaply.
So this weekend I dragged myself out to a kombucha making class, and dragged myself back home again with a SCOBY and starter tea, as well as a 3″ diameter mesh tea ball and a blend of black and green loose leaf teas. I went out and procured a water filter and a 1.5 gallon glass container, and I was ready to go! Step one, make sweet tea:
That 3″ mesh tea holder is huge, but it was easier to deal with than a whole bunch of tea bags:
Sweet tea in the big glass jar, starter tea and SCOBY in the smaller jar is about to join it:
And then it sits for three weeks in the corner of the kitchen:
Maybe it’ll make friends with the butternut squash. Or maybe it’ll die a horrible death. Everything I’ve been told is these things are very hard to mess up, but if anyone can find a way, I can! I guess I’ll know in a few weeks. In the mean time I need to procure some bottles for the “second fermentation”…