Once again, life has been so busy that I’ve neglected to write to you all. Spring has officially sprung here in Vermont, lilacs are in full bloom and the irises have started to open. I love all of the spring flowers and have enjoyed bringing a few to work each week. Looking at flowers on my desk always makes me smile!
I felt at first like I had jumped the gun on planting some things in the garden two weeks ago. May has always been a tricky month here in Vermont as you could easily have a frost. Not this year! I could have planted several things in late April as our days and nights have been rather warm. Not complaining though as we have enjoyed keeping our windows open both night and day. Last weekend we planted bean, swiss chard, lettuce, and cucumber seeds. We also put in some healthy looking, locally grown, tomato, summer squash, pepper and herb plants. We are lucky enough to be in an area that hosts quite a few spring plant sales and have picked up some great perennials as well as the veggie plants. They are all doing quite well and I’m looking forward to some early summer veggies.
Pollen is everywhere, thus the frequent use of tissues and allergy meds in our house! My eyes have been so itchy I’ve wanted to scratch them out. Don’t even get me started on the sneezing! A great friend produces local honey so we’ve been diligent in having a spoonful a day to help build up a tolerance in local pollen….something we’ve read about and feel like it does help. Read More…
I don’t know about you, but I have multiple signs of spring. We wait to hear the sound of geese flying back north. I love watching the different song birds at our feeder. Recently we saw an Evening Grosbeak! Mud season is of course a dead ringer for spring. And, a big one, maple week. Maple week means the trees are sensing something deep in their roots all the way to the tips of their branches. Spring is coming and the days are warmer. The nights might still be dipping down into the freezing temperatures, but at least the days are making us feel like we are on our way to spring.
This unfortunately doesn’t mean we are in the clear. We’ve recently had proof of that with a big storm that blew through New England and from what the weather folks are saying, we have another potential Nor’easter on the way. BUT, maple week is officially here in Vermont and that means we are all doing a small victory dance that we made it this far through winter!
Driving around the area, one finds sap buckets nailed to trees, bigger totes or collection tanks along the roads with blue, white and black tubing snaking it’s way through the trees, and steam billowing out from the tops of sugar houses. Sometimes, driving along the back roads, you can just about smell Read More…
I have always struggled to keep my rosemary plants alive over the winter months. Basically it seems a lost cause to continue to try to winter over that particular plant in the house. I can’t tell if I over-water or they just don’t get the sunlight they need. In the past I’m pretty sure they died due to over-watering. All my other plants seem to enjoy moist soil. Most herbs don’t like to keep their feet wet, but they survive with some even thriving. Rosemary, however, is a very unhappy winter visitor to my home. This year, I kept the water to the minimum. Maybe keeping them a bit too dry?
The plant dried up looking like I left it in the desert. I had been doing so well with it too! This year was “the year” I thought. I usually don’t get this far, with my rosemary plants dying before Christmas. This time, we made it to February. Everything looked okay. Then, the other day I glanced at the plant Read More…
Well the ball has been dropped again…in more ways than one. It is a new year already and I realized that my last farm post was back in November. Where does the time go?
2017 sure had some roller-coaster rides but I am happy to say everyone stayed healthy, happy and positive. Something I look to do everyday of every year. The up’s and down’s in life are all part of the ride. Some things this year made us stronger and more wise while other events were a blip on the horizon. Moving, new jobs, putting the farm back together, family events and situations. All good things! The year ended with a funny note on which I’ll end this short year-in-review.
My 6-year-old niece has had a loose tooth for a few weeks now. Something that she has talked non-stop about. Closing in on New Year’s eve, right around 10 p.m. we got a call from her. Thinking it was a “happy New Year” call we laughed to find out she had no care about that at all. Her loose tooth had fallen out while she was brushing her teeth. Her pure joy and excitement is something I hope we can all bring into our everyday lives in this new year of 2018.
May you all experience the joy of the little things in this year! Happy 2018!
This last week flew right by and here it is already Sunday afternoon. A balmy 71 degrees October 15th Sunday afternoon. I’m sitting on my porch listening to the chipmunks chirp and the chickens cluck wearing a t-shirt, jeans and flip-flops. This seems a bit odd considering this time last year we were wearing multiple layers. It all makes me wonder what is going to happen when the snow starts
coming down. My favorite time of year is fall so I hope we get some of that weather soon! Until then, I’m keeping my summer clothes in the closet.
Saturday was a busy day for us and was lots of fun! I started my morning frosting a cake I had baked Friday night after work. I can do pretty decent boarders and some swirls but one thing I would really like to learn is to do frosting flowers. Roses in particular, but any real frosting flower would be terrific to learn how to do along with realistic looking leaves. I watched a few how-to videos online but after fighting with the frosting for a good while, I gave up and resorted to my usual star-like flowers and Read More…
It’s been a few crazy months here on the farm. July and August were all about playing catch-up on the farm. Fixing up the garden with new dirt, new fencing, weeding, planting, and keeping it all growing. For having started the garden so late in the season, with the extreme warm September and October weather, the growing season was extended enough that we’ve been enjoying fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, kale, basil and peppers right up to today.
While the garden and chickens have been happy and healthy, we have been a bit stressed coming back to everything and rushing to catch up. Both of us found jobs over the summer (well, I had moved back knowing I had an offer and started a few weeks after our return) and have been working hard. Unfortunately, we are working hard at things neither of us enjoy, which has lead to a bit of frustration. We keep reminding ourselves that we moved back to Vermont for a reason. Jobs are few and far between in this area but we have kept looking and will continue to do so until we find jobs in our fields. Until then, strong coffee, pep-talks, wine on the porch, and chicken hugs keep us going.
Moving back to be near family has been lovely. Our nieces love having us closer and we enjoying being back to a steady part of their lives. The oldest who turns six this month did her first sleep over with us and it was a great success. She is a girl after my own heart and enjoys gardening and chicken tending as much as I do. She spent almost all her time with the “girls” and they received more treats than usual that day. While she claimed that she Read More…
I was so excited when I saw dandelion greens in the local Market Basket this weekend! These are a terrific leafy green that you should be eating as they are rich in minerals, super high in vitamins, have potassium and manganese and lots of other good-for-you nutrients. Bonus? If you have a “clean yard” meaning you don’t use any chemicals, you probably have an abundance of these greens in your own back acre!
As we are renting a place for the next few months, I don’t have access to those “pesky dandelions” so I was happy to see they are available at my local supermarket. One thing to know about dandelion greens is that they are bitter. The younger greens tend to be less bitter but then you are gathering little greens all over your yard. Most often the ones you Read More…
Hard boiled eggs are one of those simple yet frustrating foods to make. Boil them too long and the yolk becomes chalky and dry and has an unappetizing green or brownish color. This is especially bothersome when you are boiling lovely farm fresh eggs with that bright yellow/almost orange yolk that you want to preserve for your dishes like deviled eggs, egg salad, or just to eat as a snack. Boil them for not enough time and the yolk might not be firm enough. Good for some things like a cob salad, but not everyone wants a runny middle.
A well boiled egg will also be more likely to peel easily, while under or over boiled eggs tend to stick to the shells causing you to be Read More…
Well, I’m not sure how July snuck by me but I woke up the other morning and realized it was already August! My weekdays have been filled with work and traveling and so my weekends have been used to try to take it slow. That means reading, drinking wine (while reading), visiting with friends, going to local events, and of course working in my garden.
I have to admit the herb and rose garden took a dive this summer. The lack of rain killed quite a few of the herbs. I had been traveling and nobody thought to water the garden….my owe fault for not reminding people! The roses didn’t do so hot over Read More…
I can’t believe it’s the end of June already. I’m not sure where the month went. It’s always a bit crazy with my job during this time with all my weekends doing Relays but this June seemed to fly right by me. Lucky it was such a warm early spring that I was able to plant most of the garden before I got really crazy.