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May News From the Farm

Once again, life has been so busy that I’ve neglected to write to you all. Spring has officially sprung here in Vermont, lilacs arelilacs 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…

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Rosemary for Remembrance

I have always struggled to keep my rosemary plants alive over the winter months. Basically it seems a Rosemary plantlost 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…

A Warm November

I had joked that towards the beginning of October that it was so warm that in typical fashion, the

Halloween 2017

Halloween 2017

weather would turn just in time for all the kids to have to wear their parkas on Halloween. Sure enough, the day before you could have walked around in shorts but the night of trick-or-treating, a cold wind swept through that meant bundling up in layers underneath costumes. We still had a blast with my two nieces that night and the youngest one “got” Halloween for the first time and was excited to knock on doors and say “trick-or-treat!” She had originally planned to be a unicorn but was too shy as we had all exclaimed how adorable she was in that costume. Instead she rocked the “old movie star” look, complete with pearls and a fake fur coat. Not sure where she got that style but she sure looked adorable (but we didn’t mention it for fear she would ditch that costume too!).

We threw an impromptu Halloween party for some friends and family that same weekend and had a good time catching up with people we hadn’t seen since before we moved to Maine. The highlight of the party was my homemade pumpkin puke platter…..all I did was carve a cute little pumpkin and place on a tray with dip and pretzels. Super cute, super easy!

Pumpkin Puke Platter

A few days after Halloween, we were back to the mid-60’s and I used it to my advantage on the first weekend to clean up the garden. The only thing left is the kale and brussel sprouts but I don’t think I’ll Read More…

Yard Sales, Birthdays and Gardening

Hello readers,

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

chickens enjoying the bean plants from the garden

Our chickens enjoying the bean plants from the garden.

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…

October on the Farm

Hello reader,

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 newOctober Garden Bounty 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.

Our niece with one of the girlsMoving 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…

Cooking Dandelion Greens

I was so excited when I saw dandelion greens in the local MarketFresh Dandelion Greens 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…

Collecting and Using Flower Frogs

While at a local flea market with some friends, as we always do, we let each other know what items we were searching for so we could all keep a look antique flower frogsout for each other’s collection hunts. Vintage clothing was for one, anything fitting for a country kitchen was for another and for me it was flower frogs. ¬†Everyone seemed accepting of these items and so we set off it was clear to me quite quickly that my friends had no idea what flower frogs really were when the two of them got excited about a huge green ceramic garden frog statue.

Flower frogs were made primarily in the 1930s through the 1950s (although earlier ones exist) to be used Read More…

July and Some August Garden Thoughts and Photos

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 workgarden view from the porch 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…

Late June Garden Photos

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 duringBush beans growing 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.

Read More…

Putting the Yard to Bed

It has been so WARM here in Vermont lately that it has been odd and pleasant at the same time putting the yard and garden to bed for the winter. I’m out in the yard mowing, pulling, turning over, and what-not in a t-shirt and jeans which is just unheard of around here! I even broke into a sweat turning the beds over.

Two of the beds are still producing as my fennel is still harvest-able along with the kale. My brussel sprouts are FINALLY starting to grow and I can’t wait to pull out my oven roasted maple recipe! For now though, the other beds have been stored for the winter.

garden away for winter

Read More…

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