Monday, November 22, 2010

applesauce cycle

there's nothin' like a cloudy, windy autumn day with a fire burning and the smell of applesauce filling the house. 
we were lucky enough to find a bushel of apples on the cheap, so we got a few and went to town making sauce, crisp and pies.  it took a week to get over our sugar high, and now i'm making more sauce and apple cake.  it's a cyclical process, but a fruitful one...(sorry).

plain sauce. no sugar or spice or anything nice.

adding cranberries would be nice, too.

mile high apple pie

Monday, November 15, 2010

dry beans

this is how many we've shucked so far. isn't it crazy? we've got many many more to do, however.  shucking beans is looking to be an all-winter project for us.  
just made soup with those great northern beans, which turned out successful.
next i'm going to mix-up my veggie burger recipes with some great northern and jacob's cattle beans, instead of black beans and/or pinto.  have any good bean recipes to share?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

till the land

we've put down some rye for a cover crop, and some buckwheat in a few places.
speaking of tilling land, here's an interesting video on no-till farming. 
maybe one day we'll have a few work horses, and we can plough the land that way. until our plough-horses come, though, this is how it's done. 

props to conroy. his back is permanently in this position.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

wild geese: mary oliver

this is a shout out to our friendly backyard companions who are getting ready to move further south any day now.  ...such a wonderful poet, and a beautiful poem.

Wild Geese 

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

halloween dinner: pumpkin maple whoopie pies!

 our halloween dinner consisted of the fall-classic roasted root vegetables covered with fresh herbs,  butternut squash with sage and cranberries, dhal, and some amazing, original pumpkin whoopie pies with maple cream frosting.  in fact i made two maple frostings, one with butter, one with shortening.  very proud of these folks. 

want the recipe for these bad boys?


2 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup  plain yogurt
1 cup canned pumpkin 

mix the shuga and butter up nicely. add all the other wet ingredients, mix more. then add the dry ones. now mix your heart out. 
 cook 'em for 10 minutes at 350. do not over cook. let cool on cooling rack.

while the pie's are cookin', make the whoop. 
1 c confectioners sugar
4 or 5 tbs of maple syrup (to taste)
1 stick of butter or the equivalent with shortening. shortening will give a more whipped flavor, butter will make it more creamy and drizzly.

happy halloween

this being kid A's first year walking, we'll be taking him around town, trick or treating (minus the treats). he was going to be a drunken sailor, but i was recently inspired by some fabric, and now he's going to be an awesome merlin-esque wizard.  we've got into the decorative mood over a month ago, and the li'l dude has been going around trying to scare people with a loud "BOO!" followed by an evil laugh ("mwa ha ha ha!!"). actually, we have been, too.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

OT: creativity in schools

just love this. bet you will too. 

Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity | Video on

we've returned to the TED talks as of late. i gotta say, these are much better than movie watching.

Monday, October 25, 2010

tomato sauce makin'

el squeezo

disclaimer: segregation is wrong

mariana toms + 1 sly apple


can those suckers


Friday, October 22, 2010

fall on the farm

just because it's autumn doesn't mean our farm activities have decreased. to name a few... we've still got lots of dry beans to harvest, 

and the fall squashes to eat,  
 as well as our list of fall crops, which once included many leafy greens. until recently, when we were thwarted by this guy.  he ate all our fall kale, chard and cabbage.

also there's wood procurin', choppin' (props to conroy) and stackin'.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

edible weeds

stinging nettle in bloom

thought i might mention the plethora of growth in and around our garden that we didn't intend, but can still eat. it's always good to know that we're surrounded by exceptionally nutritious greens, even though we shun them more often than not. so here it is, folks. an incomplete list of some edible weeds.
-burdock root. put it in stir fry or add it to salad, either way, it's not bad. 
-dandelion. the flowers can be made into wine or jelly. the roots make a bitter tea and purportedly detoxify your liver. the young leaves aren't bad in salads.
-lamb's quarters. the (young) leaves are good in a salad.
-chicory. flowers and roots are worth a try.
-goldenrod. the flowers and leaves can be used for tea. 
-shepherd's purse. peppery.
-milk thistle. the leaves are comparable to spinach. and it regenerates the cells of your liver.
-plantain. edible and good for combating bug bites. 
-stinging nettle. careful with this one. cook those leaves like you would spinach. helps with arthritis and kidney problems.
-purslane. again, salads. and has omega-3 fatty acids. who knew?
-red clover. the flowers make a fantastic tea. it'll blow your mind. it's better and cheaper than kombucha.

Monday, October 4, 2010

cabbage looper control

these loopers are attacking our fall kale and chard in a frenzy of brassica hate.  this is completely unacceptable behavior from uninvited garden pestsbut i gotta admit, i think it might be partly my fault.  these past days and nights have been quite chilly and so we've left the fall crops snug underneath reemay to keep them warm, or so we thought. but, alas, little did we know our veggies had strange bedfellows. in fact, they were being devoured by the likes of these brutes, without abandon. 

smug looking little guy
 and that's not the worst of it.  low and behold, little looper here not only ate much of our leafy greens, he pooped on them.  
graphic, huh?

Friday, October 1, 2010

full of beans

gosh i love rainy days. and we're having a string of them these days. we're getting the remnants of tropical storm 'nicole' today.

the rain's good for the new fall crops, less good for our remaining black beans.  they were beginning to mold so conroy just finished harvesting them, and storing them.  
in fact our garage is currently full of beans.

ok, it might not look like much, but you're not shuckin' 'em. it's plenty. we've got black beans, pinto, soldier beans, great northern and squashes living in our garage right now, all in need of some attention.  that's our weekend - we're on bean duty.

Friday, September 24, 2010

harvest supper

butternut squash with butter, maple syrup (or brown sugar), a splash of milk and pinch of salt.
braised fried tofu in balsamic, garlic, pepper, rice vinegar, sesame oil and ginger.
this sauteed greens recipe on top of rice. 
and some(thing like a) marjorie standish blueberry cake
i used butter and some brown sugar outside standish's instructions
and all together this makes...
kinda smiley, huh?
try it!