Making Blackberry Wine

Blackberry wine is not only incredibly inexpensive to make, it’s fun, makes a great gift, and is an excellent product to barter with. The recipe below makes a tasty wine and is very hard to mess up. Every September I pick as many blackberries as I can, put them in ziplock baggies, and throw them in the freezer for a rainy day. This winter, rainy days were not as prevalent than in the past, so it wasn’t until last month that I got around to…

Watmough Bay, Lopez Island

Watmough Bay on Lopez Island

I set off towards the sunset, the water as smooth as glass. Every time I leave the dock I get a high, a rush, from the sense of freedom; the sense of escape. It’s a confirmation that I am not defined by my life on land. I am a boater. My home floats. The islands are waiting to feed my body and my soul and my small craft can handle whatever they throw my way. I am one with this environment. This weekend feels especially…

Early Spring Edible Nettles

edible_nettles

Foraging season has officially begun! Yaaaaaay! I’ve been anxiously watching for some sign of new growth on my morning walks. Today I was treated to two awesome sights: stinging nettle buds and indian plum sprouts! Stinging edible nettles are an early spring plant that are packed with vitamins and nutrients. Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest and Puget Sound relied on this plant for these nutrients. Not only are they healthy, they are one of the truly tasty wild plants. You can read a short…

Easy Seafood Chiopini

Dungeness Crab Cakes

We are very fortunate to live and to boat in an area where dungeness and red rock crab are readily available through a good part of the year. During the open season, we are able to catch, cook, clean and preserve enough to cary us through until the next season. While we are in open season, we feast on fresh caught crab dipped in butter or in wonderful salads while putting up the remainder for our use when fresh caught is not as available. The…

Gunkholing in the Salish Sea

gunkholing in the san juan islands video

From Wikipedia: Gunkholing is a boating and sea kayaking term referring to a type of cruising in shallow or shoal water, meandering from place to place, spending the nights in coves. The term refers to the gunk, or mud, typical of the creeks, coves, marshes, sloughs, and rivers that are referred to as gunkholes. While not necessary, gunkholers typically seek out the serenity of isolated anchorages over the crowds of marinas and popular bays, and a minimal draft is preferred, since gunkholers tend to go…

Rosario Resort – A Honeymoon Destination!

lovers pond at resario resort

An Accidental Honeymoon On Thursday evening, Sherrie & I took off from our home port in Anacortes, with the intention of spending 3 or 4 days out crabbing, salmon fishing, whale watching, visiting Garrison Bay, just cruising the San Juan Islands. On our way out, we experienced some engine heating problems (See article on Marine Engine Cooling) and so decided to beach the boat and do some diving to try to clear the problem. Our efforts were not very successful so, on Friday afternoon we…

Backyard Blackberries, Bounty or Bain?

http://sanjuansufficiency.com/wp-admin/media.php?attachment_id=2333&action=edit Foraging Wild Blackberries There are many among us who consider wild blackberries to be the bane of our existence, especially when they try to take over our yards. Here in the Pacific Northwest Costal areas, blackberries grow wild and without constraint, can take over any reasonably sunny and moist area. A lot of people expend huge amounts of time and money trying to eradicate blackberry bushes. I choose to take a more moderate approach and try to allow a generous growth for harvest while…

Black Beans & Sausage over Rice

Drying Beans In our efforts to become more self sufficient while cutting costs, we have been experimenting with ways to home prepare and dry beans, vegetables and other products so that they are durable, easily transported, easily prepared, convenient and tasty. Sometimes, we use commercial products to augment our own efforts. This is more a matter of convenience than of necessity as nearly all of these products could be (and probably are), done at home. After months of trial and error, I think we are…

Cat Tails Plant: Plants You Can Eat in the Wild

plants that we eat

Cattails are one of the most important survival plants for foragers to know. They are widely covered in edible plants books, but there are rarely details on how to prepare the cat tails plant after harvesting it. This post shows you how we prepare cattail stalks for use in a stir fry or other dish. Cattail stalk can be harvested from early spring till mid or late summer. We rely on this common edible weed as a staple food when we are on both long…

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