> jumping into life.

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It is a fortuitous coincidence that a six-gallon carboy, just cleaned after racking a batch of mead, fits perfectly into a four-gallon canning pot full of sauerkraut-to-be that needs to be weighted. In a few weeks we'll have a whole lot of sauerkraut; in about a year we'll have mead.

Soon we'll be putting J's brewing pots to use as canning pots to make pickles and strawberry jam (strawberry season is almost over!), then blueberry jam, then tomato sauce...

Last winter's experiment in local eating made it clear that if we're interested in more than beets, potatoes, carrots, beef and cheese on our plates, we need to expand our skill set as well. I started with sauerkraut because I was spending $6 a pint on it once or twice a week (I really like sauerkraut, and I really like this sauerkraut in particular), and then I noticed that cabbage was about a dollar a pound. VoilĂ , three gallons of the stuff for a mere $15. Well, thirty if you count the pot I got at the thrift store, but since I suspect I'll be using it for some time, it doesn't really count. And anyway, that's still only $3.75 a pint so I win. Once the cabbage is coming out of my garden, it'll be pretty much free.

The garden! Two peppers, each more than three inches long and several more pepper nubs; a dozen tomatoes; two dozen tiny purple green beans; enough lettuce for a salad every other day; nasturtiums everywhere, marigolds everywhere, chamomile everywhere; potatoes peeking out when we dug under the mulch; cilantro and basil and spearmint, oh my!

Also, we discovered at the library a whole new Attenborough series that we haven't seen yet, which I'd long since ceased believing was possible. Basically, it's a good life.