One of the many things I learned at the Driftless Spoon Gathering in September was what I call the “Greg Nelson Test” to check if my spoons are sturdy enough to withstand the tests of time and use. While there, Greg Nelson encouraged me to crank on those spoon cranks to see how strong they really are. I carved this one too thin in the spots that needed to be strong. It’s a useful practice, thanks, Greg!
Early in the month, I spent the whole beautiful day with my family, friends, and lots of bees making cider from apples that we picked at the farm last week.
Wild apples for cider are the best. It was a pretty fantastic harvest this year.
We ended up with 7.5 gallons of cider to ferment. We were inspired by Aaron Burr’s book Uncultivated, so some of these wild apples will ferment from their own wild yeast. As much as I enjoy making beer and wine, my wife and I feel that cidermaking taps into our goal for a more sustainable life. It simply uses fewer resources. We have the good fortune to have access to a lot of wild apple trees. Yeah, we had to bring them home in a car, but maybe that too might change someday, and I’ll have to carry the apple buckets across the field. Time will tell. By the way, just one bee sting too. A small price to pay for a beautiful day.
One of the things that I’ve been lately wondering about is how I use social media. I find connection and inspiration through platforms like Instagram. Still, sometimes I feel like I am just adding posts for the sake of more posts, so I decided to trim back a bit on what I share. I did this for a whole month in December 2018, and my productivity with carving increased. Anyway, I came up with a formula for sharing on Instagram that makes sense to me: interview, my carving, and what I’m reading (I am surrounded by books most of the week). So, I’ll be sharing more of what I read every month here too.
What I read this month:
Mortise and Tenon Magazine, issue 7
Woodland Homestead by Brett McLeod
Backyard Woodland by Josh Vanbrakle
The Nature Instinct by Tristan Gooley
Who Was Ronald Dahl by True Kelley
Shoptalk by Donald Murray
The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler
The Creative Fight by Chris Orwig
Skimming Stones by Rob Cowen
How to Write Short by Roy Peter Clark