Dreaming of mushroom foraging, greenhouse goodies and a more peaceful, healthful world in 2021
It's a new year and we have a new president and administration. A fresh start for the country and an opportunity to heal our deeply divided nation.
And while President Joe Biden settles into the White House, here, on the other side of the country, I'm looking at building another greenhouse.
A scurry of chipmunks found their way into my existing greenhouse and helped themselves to all the peas I had laid out to dry for this year's crop. I had been reusing descendants of the same pea plant for three years, but the pesky chipmunks left me with nothing but empty pod shells.
So, while there's so much I love about this lovely greenhouse (built by a great group of high school boys), I'm going to need something that will keep the critters out. I'm also looking to go larger this time around so there is room for my overzealous tomato plants, which tried to take over the greenhouse last year.
Other new construction will include doghouses for Samson and Yeti to match our barn. The pair have recently returned from their eight weeks of behavior training in Idaho. Samson, in particular, could use his private space.
Samson struggles with resource guarding, meaning he is often overly protective of his food or toys. Since this was making meal and play time especially stressful, I decided to enlist some professional help. I ended up selecting Method K9 in Post Falls, Idaho after reading the glowing reviews.
So, we took Samson and Yeti out there in the RV and dropped them off. Eight weeks later, I came back to participate in the final two days of training before taking my boys back home.
The trainers used the Pavlovian method with my dogs, using cues like ringing a bell to help guide their behavior. It was very interesting and impressive to see them work their magic with Samson and Yeti.
I wouldn't say my dogs behave perfectly now (these things are often a work in progress), but they are much improved. They know mom is serious if I reach for the muzzle or the leash!
So now we wait for the rain and snow to ease up before we begin construction on the doghouses and greenhouse number two.
The ample precipitation has me excited about another prolific mushroom season. I've got a freezer full of porcini from last year and have my hopes up for scoring a few chanterelles this time around.
In the studio things have slowed a bit as my apprentice Shannon and I are tending to her daughter who is recuperating from heart surgery. However, we're still plugging away and bringing back some old favorites. Fans of my Seaspray Authentic Soap (an invigorating blend of cypress, eucalyptus and sea kelp) will be happy to know that this soap is available in my shop again.
I hope the new year is treating you all well. I know this is still a tough time for many as the pandemic rages on, but I believe we are about to see some positive changes happening soon.