Sunday, July 29, 2018

First Farmers Market...

Gumbo Lily
Only Daughter and I did our first Farmers Market in Cowtown, USA this past week.
It was a good beginning -- not a very big crowd,
but we sold the majority of what we had for sale
which included:
Fresh Garden Lettuce
Zucchini Bread:
Double Chocolate & Lemon Rosemary
Country Eggs
Fresh Herbs
Fresh Picked Flowers
Aunt Grace's Laundry Soap
Bee Balm
We offered samples of our breads for all who passed by our stand
which really did help us to sell it.
We offered samples of herbal iced tea that I made with:
Alfalfa, Lemongrass, and Mint.
Many were tentative about trying my alfalfa tea, but after I explained
that it was similar to a green tea, they tried it.
All were surprised that they really liked it!
If alfalfa is good for cows and sheep, it's good for humans too!
Check out this link for the Benefits of Alfalfa.
I first read about it in one of my favorite herbal books:
We learned a lot at our first Farmers Market
and we plan to do it again.
Do you go to Farmers Markets?  What do you like to buy there? 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Cherry hand pies...

My tiny cherry tree -- only three feet tall -- produced about a cup of medium, tart cherries,
just enough for two hand pies.
(Pie Week)
I pitted the cherries and then took out a crust I had saved in the freezer.
The pies went together easily
and the results were "scrummy"
as Mary Berry says.
Hubby and I split one pie for dessert
and split the other pie with Morning Coffee.
A surprise summer treat!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Garden report: bigga broccoli and other stuff

I thought I'd pop in to show off my bigga broccoli!  And what's great is there are three more heads that are ready to be cut.  This head of broccoli measured 8" at its widest part!  So guess what we are going to be eating?  Broccoli salad and stir fry with broccoli.  Homegrown broccoli is so tender and mild.  We really love it.  After I cut these large heads, the plants will produce more side shoots.  They are small and usually develop continuously through the summer.


Another thing I'm growing this year is Kohlrabi.  It belongs to the same family as broccoli and cabbage -- cruciferous.  My dad always grows it and his parents and grandparents grew it too.  It's nicknamed German turnip, and now I know why my German ancestors grew it and loved it.  My dad likes it best raw.  You peel the kohlrabi and slice it into disks and then sprinkle it with salt.  It goes great with cold beer!  There are lots of recipes for kohlrabi out on the web, but I'm going to do it simply -- sautéed in olive oil and butter with a little chopped garlic, salt and pepper -- just like I would cook cabbage.   Not only is kohlrabi delicious, it's also very good for you.  It's nutrient dense with lots of vitamins and minerals.  Check it out here:  10 Surprising Benefits of Kohlrabi.  Another great thing about kohlrabi is that it's very easy to grow.  It does like cooler weather so it's best to grow it in early spring or in the fall, or if you live in the south, perhaps you can grow it as a winter crop!  I'll probably plant some more seeds now for a fall crop.

My lettuces are still doing great and I've planted them at various times so that there are lettuces that are ready to pick now and others will be ready for picking a little later.  We love garden lettuce, so I keep planting a little bit here and there all summer.  That way we are never out of fresh lettuce.

As I mentioned before, the tomato plants continue to curl and look terrible -- all except 2 plants in the fenced garden and two plants that I put down in the lower bank garden.  The garlic and onions are ok, but not looking as good as I'd like them too.  They simply need far more sun than they are getting and I think that's part of the tomato issue too.  The row of flowers I planted are doing terrific and will start blooming very soon.  There are zinnias, cosmos, bells of Ireland, and marigolds.

The squash, pumpkins, zucchini, and potatoes are going gangbusters in the bank garden and the cucumbers are blossoming.  I just love gardening.

How does your garden grow this year?

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Wild & Domestic...

The Wild Ones

Persicaria amphibia
Water Knotweed

Prickly Pear cactus blooms and Yarrow

Showy Milkweed
 Prairie Coneflower
The Domestic Ones
Non-stop Begonia, Geranium, Wave Petunias

Potato blossoms
Summer is in full-tilt now and we are feeling the hot summer days.  I'm tending to my flowers and veggie gardens, doing lots of gardenhose watering.  We've had a couple half inch showers in all of June so I can't say we haven't had any rain, but just a few miles to our south, east and north, folks have been showered with loads of rain -- inches and inches -- that they'd like it to stop.  Some have had tornadoes, tennis ball sized hail, and flooding.  I really don't want any of that.
With these sunny, warm days, we are in the hay fields working, and we've also been doing a lot of barn work.  We are breeding cows artificially and so that requires quite a bit of barn work and moving cows from pasture to pasture.  After the 6th of July, we will be done with all of the AI-ing and can turn the cows and calves and bulls out for the summer and finish up the haying.
Despite the dry spring we had, the hay looks very good.  It's the snow that made it.  Anywhere that the snow laid in deep, the grass and alfalfa is excellent.  We are making hay in draws and in ditches and feed grounds where we've not hayed in years.  That little shot of rain we got in June stimulated more growth, and it feels like it's going to be a decent Hay Year after all.  You must know that we live in arid country where our average rainfall is just 11-15" a year, and that is counting snowfall.  So the beauty of living here is that a little rain does us a lot of good!
My garden is doing just OK.  The fenced in garden is being overtaken with tree roots which makes it hard for growing anything with a deep root system.  It is also fairly shaded due to the same trees.  The garden on the bank beside it is doing terrific.  It has no tree roots and it has full sunshine.  The potatoes are there and so are the squash and pumpkins along with a couple of tomato and pepper plants.  That is where I plan to do ALL the veggie gardening next year, or I may prepare a little spot below the bank. 
So far I have picked lettuces, radishes, and zucchini.  My Kohlrabi are close to picking and the broccoli is forming heads right now.  The tomatoes look terrible -- at least the ones in the fenced garden.  Their leaves are curling.  I think it could be the tree roots or shade or the cool spring and then sudden heat or all of the above.  I'm hoping that the few tomatoes I planted on the bank will at least give me some tomatoes for eating fresh.  I'm sure my daughters will have good tomato crops so I won't worry if I have a tomato crop failure this year.  The girls are good about sharing.
Well, it's time for me to head back out to help bring cows home.  Today we have another afternoon of barn work with the cows and then back to the hay field.  Summer is good.  It always feels so short to me, so I'm enjoying every little bit of it.  The sunflowers are blooming at the side of the gravel road and my dear Hubby cut a handful for me this morning.  I have to say, I do think sunflowers are my favorite.  They say "Summer" to me.  I hope you're summer is going well.  To my fellow Americans,  I wish you a Happy Independence Day! 



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