Hi Troy! In re your questions about Mead. It could not be simpler! Get a 12 pound batch of honey, mix it in with about 3 gallons of super good water. Heat that mixture up to about 160 degrees f and skim off any crap that floats .
Add the mixture into a Standard 6.5 gallon Carboy or Primary Fermenter(Aka Food safe plastic bucket) and then make up the volume to 6 gallons with more really good water. Pitch your yeast in, i use EC-1113 but any champagne yeast is good. Do not use beer yeast!!! I cannot stress that enough. Now wait.. and wait... soon it will stop bubbling, When it does, rack it into a new carboy. Try to avoid mixing in air. Wait another 2 months or so, bottle it up. Make a sweet mead at about 11.5 percent alcohol.
I am also in the pre-market phase really. There was one last year, and this year I hope it will be better, but most of my effort is going into trying to lure people into the love of farming (while learning a lot about it myself!). My organization has a demo farm (very small, more like a garden), and are planning on having workshops and weekly gatherings for people growing or interested in trying to grow produce.
Hope to keep talking about all this...what a great forum!
Well, thank you for the compliments but in all fairness I must say we DID have some great projects going, etc. We decided about 9 months ago that we were going to build and move into a Tiny House (www.tinyrevolution.us) and in doing so, move to Pink Hill, North Carolina where my wife's people are. So we have left my family farm in middle Georgia for a more coastal and sandy soil in NC. The land we settled on has NO clearing so we are beginning from square 1 which were were (fortunate???) fortunate not to have to do back on Odom's Idle Acres. We bring with us A LOT of knowledge now though.
Man, read the manifesto on our site. We were stuck in the place too and we just decided it was slavery and we had to get out. It snowballed from there. We are working so hard to be debt free (Jan. 2012 as it stands now) and sustainable. It is hard and not for everyone. But we don't have any children (yet...although we would love to) and have both traveled the world and gotten that "out of our system" although you never really are able to do that, per se.
"...we are not as concerned with what they are doing and turning the focus on our lives and what we want to do for our health and mental wellbeing and that of our son."
That is absolutely the key, my friend. My wife and I aren't building and moving into Tiny House for anyone other than ourselves. The design is ours and fits our needs with the ability to expand should we be blessed with a child. Our ultimate goal is to make a life and not a living. I have been in corporate America since college now and besides it being a rollercoaster it has always effected my mental state and my outside ambitions. I don't want it anymore and if we can get to debt free with relatively small overhead I can then focus on other things and work at a much more scaled back pace. We have been providing about 55% of our own food which cuts the bills immensely and we eat out about once a month on a "date night" or something. The one things people don't seem to get is for us "minimal" doesn't mean living in poverty or destitution. It just means really weighing purchases and outgoing expenses before committing to them. It is a conscious mindset with each choice of your day.