30 January 2009

Sunset over Fujinomiya

View from Gotemba, taken on the way home from hunting:

Snow & Ice

A few pics of the road to the hunting area after snow followed by rain the night before:On the way home, Mount Fuji just after sunset:

"Boar TV"

Have you seen or heard about Estonia's "Boar TV"?
This article on Yahoo news caught my eye so I checked it out. It is worth a few minutes to check it out.
Here is the news article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090128/od_afp/estoniainternetanimaloffbeat_20090128170919
Here is the site:

SK-1 OUT !!!

Kuromiji Mountain Toothpicks

Handmade toothpicks with a twist...

Kuromiji (also Kuro Momiji, Lindera umbellata, or Black Maple) trees are small trees (less than 3 meters) that grow wild on the edges of forests. They are very expensive as the tree gives off an antiseptic, lemon flavored taste that freshens your breath.

I was making these in the woods today...Oishii !!!
Here are some for sale on the Internet:

KUROMOJI / Wooden Sweet Pick. Due to dry environments, kuromoji may warp. Soak in water and gently bend to reshape before using.
Individual sweet picks 20/box, No. 6 (18cm) $13.00 ,
Chopsticks: Large kuromoji pair; 9 1/2 inches long $6.00, Small kuromoji pair; 8 1/2 inches long $5.00

Of course our toothpicks are not the machine-made, mass-produced items you find anywhere, but hand-crafted, quality toothpicks made from “kuromoji” or spicewood (lindera). Kuromoji is a member of the camphor (linden) family, and besides its fine aroma, it is flexible and hard to break, making it an ideal material for toothpicks.In addition to regular-use toothpicks, we also make toothpicks to use like a fork for eating slices of fruit or Japanese sweets. Depending on the product, toothpicks might be packaged in a wooden box, or individually wrapped in paper, etc.Choose some of our toothpicks for your own personal use, and they make wonderful gift items as well.
Sample prices:
In wooden box
500 yen~
In bag
250 yen~

Mushroom Garden

We started our first official mushroom garden!

We "planted" mushroom spore plugs for "Shitake" mushrooms as well as "Nameko" mushrooms. The Shitake should be great on the grill, stir fried, and in nabe (stew). The Nameko are pretty sticky and are excellent in miso soup!

I selected some nice, freshly cut logs from the mountain and began drilling them.

Here is the special drill bit for the mushroom spore plugs:Drill holes about 10cm apart and 3cm deep: Mushroom spore plugs from your nearest home improvement center. We opted for a standard type for our first attempt at growing mushrooms and hope to try more each year.

Plugs covered in mushroom spore:

Pound the plugs in flush:

The logs each have 20 to 30 plugs. I made 100 plugs for each type of mushroom. We watered the logs and staged them in a damp spot behind the storage shed so they get no direct sunlight. We have to keep them horizontal for a few months and then stand them up before the rainy season begins.
I will post pictures as we progress. I am ready to eat mushrooms right now!
SK-1 OUT !!!

SK-3 in Training

SK-3 is still in "Yabanjin Training" , much to her momma's dismay!

Here she is modeling her Bass Pro Shop camie pattern overalls: Notice the inoshishi hanging in the background? (look over her shoulder, through the window, behind the shed)

Overalls and warm cap for the outdoors. She is ready with the keys to the truck!:Mini mountain climbing (dirt pile in the side yard):

Tsuno Curio Stands (Deer Antler Bases)

When a deer is harvested, nothing should ever be wasted, right? A few years back SK-1 used a shed antler to make a base for SK-2's lucky green frog. Here is the original:Using the same design, we used some shed antlers, that the tips had been chewed off of, to make bases for our mini inoshishi (wild boar) wood carvings. Now all the inoshishi have a place to stand on above the wood stove.

Time to BLOG

Sorry for the month off with no new posts! My full time job has consumed all my time and left precious little time for family time, hunting, and general yabanjin stuff. I am taking a few weeks off from work (doctor's orders) so I won't be in the woods anytime soon. I hope this gives me some time for some blogging!
I have been taking pictures of some of the activities we have been doing and I just organized these new photos so I will post some today.
Thanks for your patience, and enjoy!

SK-! OUT !!!