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- Homestead Albania Tour
We will help answer all inquires here at Homestead Albania. We have 47 varieties of fruit trees and vines plus a large organic garden. Our land also has a beautiful mount and trail with a beautiful view of the lake, town and surrounding mountains. Tastings will include wine (while supplies last) and a variety of raki.
Blog Posts (111)
- Early Prep for Spring
Here in northern Albania it's always a bit of a mood during February. This year the mood is blue skies and sunny days but super chilly nights and frosty mornings. Last year was cold, gloomy, and rainy. So we've taken advantage of the warm days and started the prep for garden a few weeks ahead of schedule. We harvested the remaining broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower then removed last years plants, support sticks, irrigation lines and the black plastic. We have spring garlic and onions thriving plus we have added a third row of 9 kg of onions. We are prepping the next row for potatoes. Art has extended our annual bed to transplant our blueberry and aronia bushes from the vineyard to the garden. Strategically to protect them from our chickens and we have 50 new vines to plant. Replacing the blueberry row with forty vines and planting the other ten on the far end of the orchard that will introduce a new pink grape to our four varieties. We have several plants thriving in the annual beds including lavender, mountain tea, a small bay leaf tree, rosemary, hithra (nettle), strawberries, mint, spearmint, and transplanted more chamomile. We are introducing black tea this year and maybe chickpeas again. We've also been tracking to new blooms in the garden. The asian persimmons have tiny fruits, the bright yellow cornelius cherry (thana) blossoms and the bulbs of the green plum trees. Spring is Art's favorite season here and our mornings will soon be busy inspecting each new flower on all of our trees. Art cleaned up thorny weeds in the orchard. We have inspected the trees and will do some trimming before they blossom. We've taken advantage of the nicer weather with a bike ride to the lake and a hike up the hill. Both add variety to our day to day routines and the views are equally as stunning. The lake ducks are always entertaining! We've also prepped the mulberry wood barrel and are officially aging our grape raki. Art built a beautiful wheeled cart to support the barrel. I am near the halfway point with my newest novel Twisting Hercules, a small town mystery. Coming this spring. Cheers!
- Winters on the Homestead
I, Kim, returned after a month away to a very different landscape. The mountains are capped with the fresh snow. The homestead has been trimmed of all vestiges of our fruit bounty. It's been picked for the season. Art kept very busy trimming the vines and trees, making raki from our grapes, and planting new hazelnut and plum trees while I was away. He cleaned up bramble and old trees along a fence line in the back of the orchard and made room for a few more pomegranate trees inside the orchard. Plus Art collected the remaining persimmons for a small batch of raki to brew in the spring. The garden producing a winter bounty of broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, peppers, fresh parsley, cabbage, and leeks. Over a year ago, we dropped off mulberry wood from the garden to be crafted into a barrel to age wine and raki. Art picked it up while I was gone and the pictures really don't do it justice. IT IS GORGEOUS! The finish on the wood is so smooth and shiny. Art says we may use this for raki only, we'll shall see. Next up on our agenda is to complete the cleanup of the vines and the rest of the trees. I insisted he waited to trim the large mulberry trees until I returned. It's back to rain for the week and we'll start recording the audiobook Who Is Maggie. Cheers!
- Seven years and many adventures...
Last year, we attempted to dry whole persimmons but the outcome was tossed in the compost pile. But with the purchase of a small five tray dehydrator it's been a game changer. We pick firm persimmons, peel, thinly slice, dry for just over 24 hours, rinse and repeat for the last two weeks. I'm obsessed. We have three full mature trees and we are racing the clock. Once they go soft we can't slice for drying. They are too gooey to place on the trays. They are crunchy, chewy, and sweet but not too sweet! I had to check the dietary effects and was very pleasantly surprised. Dried Persimmons are a good source of vitamin A to maintain healthy organ functioning and fiber to regulate the digestive tract. The fruits also provide small amounts of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, and calcium to protect bones and teeth. So I call this this a great snack alternative to anything sugar related. We've stored them in several large jars and I'm hoping they make it to spring but I make zero guarantees. And we are looking to buy a second dehydrator and will consider packaging these next season. Would you be interested in all natural dried persimmon slices? Our garden is in full winter mode. Hot peppers, cabbage and leeks are ready to be picked as needed. The spring onions and garlic are doing well and we have one giant pumpkin left. And we have four lemons, one orange, countless persimmons and few grapes left on the vines. Last week, we managed to squeeze the remaining wild tart pomegranates on a chilly afternoon and took a small hike up the hill. We also celebrated St. Nik's with a fireside roasted lamb. Art finally got to use his motorized rotesry set up. I'll spare you the pictures of said lamb. And this week, we celebrated seven years of marriage with a day trip up to Boge, Albania and some foraging of wild rose buds (kaça) for our tea collection. The road up above Boge was clear which is rare this late in the year so we drove up to a restaurant with an incredible view of the mountains, and had lunch. Art filmed part of the drive while I was driving. We enjoyed the snow but were happy to return home where snow is only just visible on the peaks of the mountains. It was below freezing the but views absolutely stunning. Art and I have dedicated our long winter nights to narrating and recording my novel, Who Is Maggie. We're new to this and are taking it slow but so far it's less terrifying than I originally thought. I've also looked at manuscript with a finer comb and found some areas on where I can improve upon in a future edition. But we hope to have it ready by spring. And speaking of books the cat's out of the bag. I'll be returning to Missouri to visit family and kick off a second book tour. Celebrating the release of Guide Time Inside, the fourth book in the Ember in Time Series. It's the final book of the series and closes the chapter on my first fantasy series. I look forward to seeing friends and family plus fellow readers on my journey across the pond. While I am away, Art plans to brew our fermenting grapes and make more raki on a few clear sunny days in the forecast. And of course manage all things homestead in my absence: our many chickens, dog Bobby, and our three little pigs. Yes, three. This will likely be my last post of the year but we have a busy year ahead so check back next month and we'll share our plans for 2023. Happy Holidays to your and yours. Cheers!
Other Pages (13)
Current Events Audiobook Kickstarter March 1, 2022 On March 1st , Who Is Maggie, a small Missouri town mystery novel will be released. It will be available in all book formats: ebook, paperback and hardcover. https://books2read.com/u/b5XBB7 Who Is Maggie A series of bizarre events lands Rozanne Rayvern in the emergency room. Gage Auburn, her lifelong best friend, steps up and pays a debt to help Rozanne. A headline in the local paper the following day unravels one of the bizarre events connecting Rozanne to a century old cold case. And by nightfall they find themselves at the center of small town gossip and immersed in a search for a missing girl. But to everyone’s surprise it all circles back to another closed case. Can they find the root of all the chaos before it ends an already broken Rozanne? November 15, 2021 On November 15th , book three in the Ember in Time Series, Protectors of Time. It will be available in all book formats: ebook, paperback and hardcover. Protectors of Time Ember in Time Series Book Three Six months after Itra and Danae were ejected from the Castle of Teskom, an alarming phone call sends them back and not by choice. They’re not alone aided by the support of the new alliance of descendants from the bloodlines of Zeus and Mui and the Protectors of Time. They arrive just-in-time time to defend the castle from Ember’s scorned lover Chronos. But the list of opponents seems to evolve as they uncover an ancient prophecy of a new beginning of time between the four dimensions. To begin again or tip the end. They must decide. June 1, 2021 On June 1st , we are releasing book two in the Ember in Time Series Recover or Yield. It will be available in all book formats: ebook, paperback and hardcover. Recover or Yield Ember in Time Series Book Two Danae and her brother Leon, descendants of Zeus, are thrust into a world they barely understand. A new responsibility to protect and serve the goddess Ember and the Castle of Teskom after Danae’s husband, Itra, a descendant of Mui, family failed to protect the castle from an attack lead by Poseidon and Medusa. Their first assignment, finding and retrieving a stolen artifact to restore the barrier that hides the castle from each dimension. An adventure that leads them deep underground and high above the mountains alongside a few familiar and new faces. The clock is ticking. Will they restore order or create more chaos? December 9, 2020 Released November 30th , Kim's book Castle of Teskom, the first book in the Ember in Time Series, a fantasy fiction novel set in northern Albania. It is available now in eBook, Paperback and Hardcover. https://books2read.com/u/bpw12J Castle of Teskom Ember in Time Series Book One Shiny ember rocks are fuel for time; the dull rocks are a fool’s dime. An old nursery rhyme, or so they think. Itra and Danae stumble across an ancient secret kept hidden behind a reflection in time near their Albanian home. A faded memory and cryptic messages have propelled them to risk an encounter with foes from Greek mythology, altering their perception of Albanian folklore and reality. Itra and Danae grapple with events set in motion centuries ago and must choose to protect and serve or risk having the secret exposed. Will love, loyalty, and lineage be enough to hold them together, or will they lose their way in a universe they are only beginning to understand?
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Our Services Vineyard Tour and Tasting Manuscript Formatting Homestead Albania Tour 8 US dollars $8 More Info Homestead Albania Tour Ever wonder what it's like to own and run a small vineyard. Read More 8 US dollars $8 More Info