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Lavender

I ordered this beautiful organic Lavender from a farm in Maine if you can believe it. I love the color and it smells so nice.

I just finished up my second batch of salve with it and I like it very well. I put some up on the Farm Store Blog if anyone is interested.

I have had luck growing two varieties here and would like to add more to the gardens this year. I played around with trying to make Lavender wands this past summer, I think it will take some practice before any one gets some as gifts. The ones I made still smell very nice in my dresser and in the linen closet.

I also have some nice new Irish linen and started some embroidery to make some dryer and drawer sachet for gifts this year. I figured why not since I have the embroidery basket out and I’m working on an embroidered bread bag. I hope to have that finished soon. All I have to do is work on it, I’ve been in bed early these days so not much time to sew.

Hope your day is going well.

Karyn

Growing and changing

After all the fun rolling in, shoveling and photographing the new snow I’m back to dreaming about the kitchen garden nice and warm in the house with my cup of fresh catnip tea and homemade crackers and cheese.

I’m thinking:

Mulch covered walk ways, bark or simple straw. Raised 4′x6′ beds, 8″ deep. 2 rows of 3 each in the middle and a nice row around the fence both inside the fence and on 2 sides outside the fence.

Sage, rosemary, chamomile, dill, nasturtium, tucked in here and there and in pots too.

In these nice rows of raised beds main crops of bush beans, carrots, beets, lettuce, radish, squash, hot peppers, sweet peppers, spinach, cukes and tomatoes.

I’ll save the space up on the hill that was put in last year for pumpkins & carrots. Although the pumpkins grew wonderful all on their own last summer in the poop pile. I didn’t plant them, they just decided to grow there. This fall I saved some of the seeds from when I roasted and froze them so I’ll try putting a few back in this spring. I will also plant them because I have found so many nice ways to use these yummy veggies.

I’m not considering corn, cabbage, broccoli, peas and some of the other greens. These can be purchased reasonable and save our garden space for the more costly veggies to buy. Or things like peas, onions, and cabbage we just don’t eat much of.

Growing vertical will be important so I will need to come up with a good strong support system to use for the cucumbers, squash and others I might be able to grow upwards.

In the first stages I will need to figure out exactly how much room I DO have. This will mean getting the boys to help me wade through the snow and measure the space exactly. It will mean then putting the space down on paper and figuring out what to put where and when a space will open up to be planted for several plantings.

New will be figuring out how to use the intensive, succession and inter-planting to make the best/most of this new space.

Back last fall Maggie, of Maggie Mea Farm wrote about her method of growing potatoes in plastic barrels. This idea has stuck with me and I have been on the look out for some plastic barrels, none found just yet. I’m hoping for 4 to cut in 1/2 to make a total of 8 spaces to grow in. She always has such great ideas. Now what else would grow in those barrels?

I’m on the search for Cranberry & Blueberry bushes to plant this year. They have been on my want list for the past few years. I think I found what I am looking for at Fedco Seed Coop. They are in Maine and have a nice selection of open pollinated and organic grown GMO free seeds, tubers, shrubs and fruit trees. You can read about them here and their safe seed pledge.

Also speaking of growing, I think a part time job with our local Visiting Nurse has fallen into my lap. I won’t go into details because I don’t want to jinx anything. :)

and….I received word about the scholarship I applied for to finish up my LNA course. It has been approved and I AM DOING THE HAPPY DANCE!

And lastly we had some time to make more homemade ice cream. The recipe came from Rhonda over at Down To Earth, she has recently posted it at the Down To Earth Forum.

The last few days….

It seems to me I haven’t been around here much. Every time I turn around something has happened and I have to leave the farm. It’s putting me behind schedule and making me tired plus a bit stressed that things are going undone around here.

Not being here means I have to make up the lost time when ever I can. Today was a weekly trip to one of Daisy’s therapist so I brought along with me my seed catalogs. Seems I was just saying they are coming earlier every year. Well I have found it useful. I have most of the garden planned for the coming season. While I receives several strange looks for having my catalogs open all over the floor of the waiting room and sitting in the middle of them with colored markers drawing maps, circling things and making notes, checking old notes in the back of my gardening binder. One gentleman even walked past and had to turn around to ask me what catalogs I was looking at. Seems he is a gardener too, so I tore the address of the back of each and gave them to him to order his own. It was a good start to the gardining season and an hour well spent.

Over the weekend Sage managed to get into some sort of trouble and came back to the barn for the night with her eye lid just about ripped off. A call to the vet, 6 stitches later and me holding a bill for over $3oo Sage is all patched back together, and on the mend.

I had a chance to make more english muffins from the recipe I have been trying out. This time I used all whole wheat flour instead of the mixed I tried last time. No one noticed the difference, but I did in the nutritional value of them. I’ll post the recipe when things calm down a bit.

Christmas came and went, we had a lovely quiet day. I spent the day cooking and knitting and we enjoyed a good meal in the afternoon with family. Christmas Eve we were invited by some friends to attend Christmas Eve Mass with them. We went & the kids in their costumes for the play were all so cute. I had a chance to visit with some friends from town I haven’t seen recently and that was about it.

I’ve been praying to the snow gods for snow and today the while fluffy stuff started falling. Now usually I don’t hope for snow since I HATE and REFUSE to drive in it, don’t ski, or snowmobile. I do manage time to snowshoe and ice fish a bit later in the season but for the most part I have no use for it. This year is different it means Dick will be starting up the plow truck and going to work.

I have plans on starting a new experiment in growing some salad greens inside in the window. I have never tried  it so will let you know how that goes.

Hope you are all enjoying your days,

Karyn

What a great weekend

Time for hot chocolate with the last of the baking cools...

Time for some hot chocolate while the last of the baking cools

After the past couple of weeks running around with my head cut off I had a chance to STAY HOME! The house looked like a bomb went off and I had laundry to catch up on, our fridge looked like a display model with nothing in it, and we used every last frozen loaf of bread in the house. The freezer was emptied of all the quick frozen meals I had put away and the last 2 days no desserts to be found in the house. DESPERATE TIMES, INDEED.

It was a busy weekend for me, tiring yet rejuvenating all at the same time. Saturday I had a craft fair to work and that night a Christmas party to go to. I hadn’t even had time to bake a dessert to bring to the party. I did the unthinkable and stopped at the grocery store on my way home from the craft fair and bought pre-baked brownies, rushed home, cut them into bits sized pieces and rolled them quickly into powdered sugar and tossed them on a pretty platter, rushed out the door….

Yesterday I was up at 2am ready to set things right, while the rest of the house snoozed away…

The oven was on most of the day with bread, rolls, english muffins, bread crumbs, pie and a cake. The washer sang all day long and the clothes racks are so full I can’t fit even a napkin on one. IT’S A GOOD THING!

The house was cleaned, floors and bathrooms scrubbed to a sparkle. The christmas tree went up and Christmas cards were written and ready to mail. Now how is that for multi tasking?

Today will be another day of catching up on chores….well, right after I help clean up outside from the snow dumped overnight. I didn’t have that in my plans for today. I hope to get the curtains down, washed and put away and replace them with our winter quilted ones. Swap around the bedding for the warm cozy versions and sort through some of Daisy’s toys. And put away the clothes from yesterday.

I need to finish up a few sewing projects before Christmas. My machine has needed a new belt of a couple of weeks now. Dick the sweetie surprized me with a new one (belt not machine) and fixed the machine for me over the weekend. What a nice guy! But I think he did it so quickly because he needs some pants hemmed. Naw, that can’t be it, he just wanted to be nice.

So how this happen with all my planning that I have become so busy and overwhelmed with things to do? I have no idea, guess things just happen.

Hope your weekend was as full of good times….

Karyn

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