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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Seeds


Well we planted okra this year. Not my favorite vegetable but Jackson loves it and I like it in soups and stews etc. So I left some on the plant to dry for seeds. We bought Red Velvet Okra from seeds of change. What a wonderful okra, beautiful flowers and a wonderful red pod. Just a gorgeous addition to the garden. Should have taken pictures of that I guess. Now they have dried on the plants and are ready to harvest for the seeds. We will have a ton of seed so will have a great crop next year. YAY!!!


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sharing Abundance

I noticed yesterday just how many watermelon we have in the garden. I was so surprised, we only planted 3 plants. Amazing how they multiply, in what seems like, overnight. A gentleman came to the door this morning asking if he could buy a couple of our watermelon. Hmmmm we had never even given that a thought, we plant for the joy of growing food for our family, we have been enjoying the sweetness of the watermelon for a few weeks now.

So I told the man he could have a couple. Really we haven't thought about selling them and we have so many we will never eat them all. He seemed shocked. Don't people share anymore. LOL. We just have so much it felt right to be able to share a little with our neighbors. You must be able to see the watermelon from the road. I hadn't looked before, we have our corn, potatoes and watermelon in a separate plot down below the house near the road. Glad to know our watermelons are so lovely looking that someone would even consider asking if he could buy a couple.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Potatoes


Phil woke up this morning with a request. "mom can we have mashed potatoes for breakfast". OK well I don't know, how about we go down to the garden and see if we have any potatoes first. So off we went. I wasn't sure if they would be big enough yet. I think I mentioned before that the last time I grew potatoes was in Maine. BUT they were big enough and we got a lovely basket full. He was so excited as I dug them up. So now we are planning mashed potatoes for breakfast and potato soup for lunch. YUM!!!

Chickens



Oh I have some picture of a few of our chickens. One of my sons has been taking pictures for a project he is doing and I thought they were so cute I would share them. We LOVE our chickens. No they are not free range. Tried that but there are just too many wild and "tame" animals around here. Lost all of our hens one time and a couple another time. So now they are in a pen. I should take picture of that sometime. We converted a horse stall into a pen, with roosting branches and nesting boxes for them. Then we have a fenced in outside area that is under cover, it has a dirt floor but they can get outside even if the weather is not the best. Then we have 2 runs set up, enclosed of course, and we alternate opening these up. They can get outside in the sunshine and peck around in the grass all they want and when one looks like it is getting a little over pecked, we close it and open the other side. They seem to really enjoy this.

I love watching our hens. I know it sounds crazy but they are really fascinating, watching them eat, work out their own hierarchy, then bask in the sun and clean themselves. Our barn is up away from the house so if I want to get away from the computer and phone and TV I go up and sit there with my cup of tea watching the hens. Very relaxing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Meals from our Garden

OK a favorite meal of ours this summer has been Bruschetta. Even my boys (10 and 13) love it so it works for everyone here at our house. We have developed our own recipe taking into account what we love and will work in Bruschetta.

We love to sit and watch a movie and have Bruschetta instead of popcorn sometimes, or eat it as a snack in the middle of the day or as a meal. Here is our recipe:

Diced tomatoes, as many as you like
Diced cucumber, again as many as you like
1 diced sweet onion
1-2 cloves of crushed garlic, or more if you like more garlic
S&P to taste
chopped fresh basil
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 tsp lime juice

Mix it all up in a bowl and let it set for a few minutes
Toasted bread of any variety you like. Pita chips will also
work when you just can't wait for that bread to toast :-)

Enjoy!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Garden Abundance



I love harvesting from our garden. I think I have said this before but there is such a feeling of abundance in every way when I come down from the garden with so much produce. I feel so satisfied, full, at home, replenished. Just a wonderful feeling. I have been working with the tomatoes lately, cooking them down. This year I am freezing them, we have plenty of room in the freezer and the seal a meal thing works so well at getting all the air out before I freeze. Made some into spaghetti sauce and many many many more into crushed tomatoes for chili and other things. It has been HOT here lately, so I have been watering the plants a bit, but it certainly hasn't slowed down production.

Our watermelon are coming ripe now as well, so we are having fresh watermelon a few times a week.

We have never tried growing potatoes here before, we have been here in NC for 9 years. But this year we gave it a go. They are looking good, hoping to be able to harvest them in a couple of weeks. We will see how it goes. I have never grown sweet potatoes before...ever....so that it new for me. I love trying new things.

I saw a picture of a greenhouse type of thing, made with PVC pipe that is covered with clear plastic. In the article they planted beans and other "climbing" things in side, then as the weather warmed they took the plastic off and let the vines climb up the PVC. So if you can picture it the contraption was long and skinny. I want to try that next year so I will have to take pictures so you can see how it goes.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Changing our Blog and our garden

I have been talking with the boys today, well for the past several days. We think we would like to change the title and scope of our blog. Yes we have a ton of animals here and love this place to write about each and every one of them. But we also have so many other things going on here at our mini farm. And we need a place to share those tid bits as well. We grow organic produce, for ourselves and to share with our close friends, not in a business sort of way though. And we are looking at ways to cut our energy costs, live more green and eat better for our bodies.

So we are trying to think of a new title and will change it when we do, for now the title will stay the same but the content may be expanded.

Now we are coming to the end of our garden harvest. We have had such a great garden this year. And now we are harvesting the last of our tomatoes. We probably have a couple more weeks left on that end. It is so fulfilling to go out into the garden and bring back supper. Something about it just makes me feel like I am living such an abundant life, which I am. I love having a huge basket of tomatoes, or cucumbers or squash. We have had such great crops this year. Green beans, okra, radishes, corn, herbs, blueberries, black berries, rhubarb, our summer has just been so full of such wonderful, tasteFUL food. We have corn for our chickens, they LOVE fresh corn too. The deer ate our soy beans, second year in a row. Which is fine with us. Glad we could be of service, LOL. We try to plant more than we will need to leave some for the other critters that roam our property, and so far, that philosophy has worked out well for us. We have not had to use any type of deterrent for the pesky critters. We compost regularly, yes the chicken and rabbit "left overs" and also from the house as well. So we have a great compost heap waiting for us. Probably in a few more weeks we will be getting ready to mix the compost into our garden for next years crops.

Hopefully within a couple of years I will feel confident enough in our gardening to try a few more interesting things. We will see.

Ahhhh love the feeling.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Company in the Morning

I am not usually up early in the morning, but this morning I was up at 5:00 unable to sleep, thinking of all the things I needed to do, which is also unusual. As I was slogging along on the computer, doing the work that I needed to do for a couple of conferences, I hear the sugar gliders chirping away in their cage. We have two females, that have a large cage and jump around all night. However, I am usually asleep and rarely hear them chirping, well maybe chirping is not the word, it is more like barking...but...not the deep barking like a dog...not a chirping like a bird...somewhere in between I guess. I was nice this morning. The house didn't feel quite as empty with the chatter going on in the background.


They are now asleep, quiet, in their little pouch, huddled up together, so cute.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Our Dog Cinnamon


It has been a long time since we have posted. But Cinnamon has been so excited today that I thought it was about time I let you all in on our blessed little Cinnamon. We are so lucky to have her in our lives. We got her as a tiny pup, and time really passes so quickly. She was hit by a car last year before Christmas and I told my husband, who brought her to the emergency vets that I thought she was about 3 year old. NOT so, she was 6 we found out from our local vet. Now no comments that I don't love my pets, I do, I just don't remember all their birthdays.


Cinnamon has always been a true boxer, very energetic, although small for a boxer. But last year when she was hit by a car we were all very scared. My husband, Jackson had taken her outside and then got sidetracked and forgot to watch her, she got too close to the road and her hing end was hit. I didn't know how bad at the time all I knew was that an artery was hit because there was blood spurting everywhere, what a mess. You could see the panic and fear in Cinnamon's eyes. We almost lost her that day. I was never so grateful for the emergency vet and will never again curse their expensive treatment. She spent the weekend at the emergency vet, then we brought her to our local vet on Monday morning and she stayed there for another day.


When we brought her home we had to change her dressing on her leg every day, it was amazingly deep, I didn't know a dog had that much flesh on their lower leg. At first I never thought it would heal. Jackson had mentioned that one of the surgeons at the local hospital swears by honey on wounds. So we started using that with every dressing change and that wound healed so quickly. I was shocked. Now you would never know, except for the scar, that she had an injury. She is back to her old active self. Her limp is gone and we are so blessed to have her with us.