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The Color of the Day is Orange!

Orange is a bright sunny happy color! And today we had a lot of it. Not only was it a very pretty day, but we got to experiment, which is always fun even if we fail. Umpqua Valley Tractor dropped off our new employee today.

I can't decide if I like the hat or the machine better! And Eddie is already putting it to good use! (With his orange Stihl)

We live on a farm forest. It is important to us that we can be self sufficient as well as give back to the land and provide for others as the needs arise. We have a multitude of Pacific Madrone trees. They are weird and beautiful and unlike any tree you can imagine. But, they are also edible and can be used medicinally. I have been reading up on all the ways that Madrones are used. Madrones produce a berry from Fall through December. They are sweet little edible berries and range from orange to red.

The bark sheds and peels and can be used for teas as well as the leaves. The leaves stay on during the winter, I guess like an evergreen, but they do shed. They are thick and remind me a bit of a rhododendron leaf.

But today we are focusing on Orange! So Eddie and I harvested some berries today. I decided to try them raw. They are sweet, but not very palatable. They are mealy and have rather crunchy little seeds in them. No wonderful little juice pop as you bite them. They are very dry and almost leave a dry sensation in your mouth. I decided to dry a couple of flats and see if the sweetness would come out more..

As you can see, they changed to a sickly yellow color. They are now extra dry and extra non palatable. They smelled amazing as they were drying so perhaps as a potpourri or decorations. I may try making a tea with the dried berries along with the bark. Still determined for success, I thought, maybe I could make a cranberry type sauce with them.

The cooked berried turned the same sickly color and also became bitter. They never broke down. They are invincible. I threw the lot of them out to the chickens. Even their sharp little razor beaks could not puncture them. The fluid I drained off the berries, which is almost nothing, was not bad. It was an earthy sweet mild pear flavor. So again, I may try tea with berries, barks, and leaves. I will make sure to let you know how it goes. As for the billions of berries I have hanging on the trees, I am still looking for a practical and good use for them. If anyone has had any luck harvesting and producing a palatable product, please contact me! I can say that even though I didn't end up with a product that could feed us...or even the chickens, I had a good time trying.

We hope you all have a bright cheerful day! God bless! ETC Designs

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