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Monday, May 26, 2008

Birthdays and such

Yesterday was Jackson's birthday. Happy Birthday sweet husband, I am so blessed to have you in my life.

He was on call so that was not so good. We spent much of the day in the garden, that was good. We love working together and harvesting the food we grow, a passion we share. I made a rhubarb crisp. We grilled out in the afternoon and swam in the pool and soaked in the hot tub.
The garden is growing so well, with lots of love. Yesterday we planted another row of beets as our first row is almost ready to harvest. We planted another row of radishes and this first row is almost gone. I pulled the remaining mustard greens as they have bolted, and last but not least we planted another row of green bush beans. I can see so many things getting ready to just burst into delicious edible glory. I can't wait. Of course on Friday we are leaving for two weeks on vacation to BC. Have a friend coming over to take care of our animals, the ones we are not boarding that is. And she will benefit from a few gems from the garden. We may have a few zucchini ready before we get back, will have a few tomatoes, lettuce and greens of course, may have a few green beans and will have beets as well. A yummy treat for her as well.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Name Your Home Place

There is a contest at Maggie Reads. I don't usually play along with contests but this one hit "home". We thought long and hard about what to name our spot here on the earth, that we call home. I have two sons ages 11 and 13 and a dh of almost 15 years. We looked long and hard for this property, and are making it a real home. Neither Jackson nor I are from this area, neither of us has living parents or grandparents, so we feel like we are starting from scratch, creating a wonderful place full of love and cherished memories. We would like to live in no other place on this earth.

So our Home Place is name "Our Greener Pastures". The title of this blog, dedicated to all things home, and sharing them with the world.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I love jam, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, not too fond of grape, but otherwise I have jam on toast, jam on bread or jam on a bagel every morning with my hot chai latte. YUM!!

Jackson had some strawberries given to him at work last week, such a bonus. I enjoy those bonuses. So what did I do with them....well make jam of course. I just hate the "thickeners" used so I searched a few sites to see what other people do when making jam and found the perfect, simplest, tastiest jam ever. Just berries, sugar and a little lemon juice. Boil it at a full boil and test it occasionally by putting a small tsp on a frozen plate (that allows you to see the consistency when it is cool). When it is the consistency you like, pour it into jars and preserve it. Hot jam in hot jars will seal easily but if they don't just boil them in a water bath and you are good to do. So I have some fresh jam to use. YUM!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Self Portrait Challenge

OK, theme, "fresh" so this week it is fresh eggs. My beautiful hens give us fresh eggs each and every day. Really more than we could ever use, So here's to our faithful feathered friends, our hens, and to "fresh eggs".

One Local Summer

I saw on Danielle's blog, a link to the One Local Summer Challenge. I have never participated before but during the summer so much we eat comes straight out of our garden so it really shouldn't be that difficult to have a less than 100 mile meal once a week. Of course more difficult when we are traveling, as we do a lot this time of year, but we will see.

Rules are: "Participants will be expected to make one meal each week using locally grown ingredients (we use the typical 100 mile radius definition - your definition may vary). The permissible exceptions to this rule are oil, salt and pepper, and spices. June 1 is a Sunday this year, which makes it the perfect day to start the challenge! Make your meal and post about it on your blog (or send us an email with details if you don’t have a blog) - we’ll swing by on Sunday each week to get the details, and a post will go up here on Monday detailing the fantastic meals everyone had the week prior. "

OK so it starts June 1 and we will be with friends in BC Canada that week. They are homesteading so eating locally should be easy. Will take a picture of course but won't have any internet connection so will have to post about it when we are "back online".

Monday, May 12, 2008


OK I have always had rhubarb growing up. We had tried a few years back to buy and grow some here but it was not successful at all. My thought was that it was the region. Maybe in Maine it grows well, but in NC it might be the soil, the heat, the rainfall etc, something that prevents it from growing.

When my grandmother died, I went back to Maine for her burial, and was walking around the outside of her house just thinking about playing here when I was younger, there was a huge bunch of rhubarb, growing and spreading. I asked my aunt if I could take just a couple of small pieces to see if I could transplant them to my home in NC. She even helped me dig some up. Three small pieces, that is what I had, they barely survived the trip home, all were severely wilted, and two were to the point of no return (or so I thought). We planted them anyway, gave them some love, and what do you know, they all pulled through and have been thriving. We have three huge bunches of rhubarb. And my dh loves rhubarb, as much as I. Here is a picture of some rhubarb I picked last week, I also had some for freezing, and will have plenty more over the months to come.

And here is a picture of my solar oven, love having that back out again, and inside is a rhubarb crisp cooking. I meant to get a picture of it after it was all done, but too late for that now.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Self Portrait Challenge

OK so now I am onto making myself some lunch. I think it will have a sheep cheese and tofurkey sandwich, and will add to that some FRESH lettuce!!! YUM. So the SPC this month is "fresh" so today it is fresh lettuce right out of my garden. It doesn't get any better than that.

The Expanding Garden

We are focusing on our garden right now and I decided to take pictures of the freshness of the garden, everything coming up a new. It is so hot outside right now, not sure how long I will be out here taking photos so we will see what I get.
In this picture you can see about 2/3 of our garden, which doubled in size this year. I so enjoy looking at all the abundance from this angle, seeing everything we are growing.

OK here are some of our greens, you can see collards and mustards in this picture. Gotta love greens, and Jackson is a wiz at creating new and delicious dishes using greens, YUM!!!

And of course the lettuce, how delicious does that look. I had to plant this variety this year, it is called Drunken Woman Lettuce, can't go wrong with a name like that.

And this are our potatoes. We absolutely love potatoes so we planted like 5 raised rows this year. Will see how long it lasts us so we can gauge our planting for next year.

OK so I didn't last long in the heat. I didn't get pictures of the herbs, tomatoes, corn, peppers etc. But you get the idea.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Garden

OK we are back from the FLT Gathering, and also back from a relaxing, much needed, vacation to the beach, and back in gear.

The garden is doing so well. It is wonderful to see everything popping up and coming alive. We weeded some today, and I still need to order some seeds for mulch in the garden. We are looking at ways to use the same plots, rotate some and nourish the soil. The garden is in such a nice convenient place right now, I don't want to move it. I was reading in a magazine about planting comfrey or clover, or other crops that you let grow (in a separate location), but not to seed, then cut and use them as mulch in your garden, when the season is over you till them in. Providing some weed control during the planting season, and nourishment as they decompose in the off season. But need to read a bit more then order some seeds in bulk. We just don't have enough compost to feed the entire garden. The garden has tripled in size over the last several years.

Our greens are up and ready, however, so I was out weeding, then picked some collards and mustards to cook tonight. I have some spaghetti sauce left from last year (hopefully it will last until we have tomatoes again this year) and am going to heat a little up, add the greens and spaghetti and bake it with a little sheep cheese, yum. Also have radishes so will make a nice radish salad to go with it. Can't wait for supper.