Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hey everyone!  I'm writing this on my phone in the Blue Ridge Moubtains, out in Appalachia, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It is amazing out here. I'm without wifi, so this will get posted whenever I get closer to the grid. But for now, it's just enjoying the nature and working on a crew harvesting apples for cider. 

I'm down here visiting my friend Eliza who runs the orchard and knows everything there is to know about apples. What better way to learn even more bout apples than to be out in the orchards working with them, hands on, tasting and working up a sweat. So far, it's been lots of collecting of apples, often climbing way up in the tree to shake all the apples off. Then down under to collect them, separating the bad apples from the good, and after collecting a full bushel (47 pounds), adding them to a bin (holds around 20 bushels). Yesterday we set a new record with 126 bushels picked. Notice the connection between Justus showing up and a new record being set?  It's tiring work and makes you realize the work that happens on a farm and makes you think more about what all happened with your food/drink before you get it. 

This past weekend Eliza and I were at a farm in central Virginia, rather a holistic cattle herd farm. They have slowly give back to nature with no nature, moving the cows every day to keep the grass and soil fresh and letting cattle be cattle. They've done a lot which was said couldn't be done and have a herd of 289 happy cattle. 

The herd farm was having a festival with lots of skill workshops, potluckin, live music and great vibes. Super fun to meet some new great people, many who are young farmers working on getting back to nature and making this world a better place. We planted trees, learned how to leach the tannins out of acorns to make them edible, found other edible trees which are native down here and did yoga outside on the grass with live bluegrass. Needless to say, it was an epic weekend. 

This being my first time in the South, it's been awesome so far, with great people, fun accents, lots of trucks and a more rural experience than most would have. Learning about apples and how supermarkets rarely sell apples with blemishes is crazy. Ugly apples are just as good and full of flavor. Do yourself a favor and eat ugly apples!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New puppy

It's been amazing to be back home with the family, resting up after all the travels and enjoying a late summer.  We recently rescued a new puppy to replace our amazing dog of 15 years, Thor.  We found a winner in Clover, a 6 month old Weimaraner / Lab mix who is super chilled out and loves people probably more than I do.  It's been a blast to have her around, sleeping in our laps and exploring around the yard.  She's a bit of a barker in the night time, otherwise, she's fit in great.  Here are a couple pictures of my parents meeting her for the first time at the rescue home and then one of her and I relaxing on the ground.  That was after having her sleep on my lap while I watched the Seahawks win on Sunday.  Doesn't get much better than that.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The good times in the Midwest

So everyone bad talks Cleveland.  This might be a good thing, cause when you get there, you get to enjoy the big city vibes in a place that isn't that crowded, where people know each other and it's easy to get around.  It's actually not that bad of a city.  Lake Erie is warm and there's some good beaches out there.  The sports teams are highly entertaining (in both good and bad ways).  There's some fun history involved (with rich people (Rockefellers) polluting the river which caught on fire).  And most importantly, you can get $1 hot dogs on certain nights at the Indians games. 

Our amazing view for the Indians game

Me and my favorite Indian player from back in the day

Celebrate no matter win or lose

A big thank you to my cousins Kevin and Kelly for hosting myself and the rest of the Peacock clan for my time in Cleveland.  Truly some of the best hosts out there, they made sure to treat me well with the best coffee spots, bars, sports knowledge, trivia and tours of the whole city.  Quite fun to be able to come back to the US and have so much family come join in the fun of this homecoming tour.  We feasted, listened to live polka, live reggae and even stopped by to see some holy relics at the Museum of Divine Statues.  Life was good in Clevland!

The cushy life in Cleveland

One of these is extinct and the other travels a lot

Good times with the family

Round two!  Macaroons done the Cleveland way

Fun in front of the tomb of President Garfield

Enjoying the Museum of Divine Statues

With the hilarious Alonzo Boden.  Comedy night!
The Christmas Story house.  Ralphie!!!!

From good comedy with Alonzo Boden, to seeing where movies such as The Christmas Story and The Deer Hunter were filmed, it was a great trip.  See you next time Cleveland!