ta da! peonies are out!

Yes, so in the end spring decided to arrive. Abalone Pearl is the first of the peonies to open. So pretty!

Abalone Pearl Peony

Abalone Pearl Peony

It’s been a busy time for us, but we did get the tomatoes in. This year, most will be in the front yard bed where the crazy pumpkins were last year.

Tomato bed, front yard

Tomato bed, front yard

New this year is a resting spot in the garden. I bought this chaise at the end of the season last year, and it’s a nice place to recover! Right next to the rosa rugosa, and the nice strawberry flowers.

Chaise in the "u"--espalier apples surround it.

Chaise in the “u”–espalier apples surround it.

Everyone is working really hard –the goats eating new shoots as fast as they can, and we’re also weeding like crazy trying to get ahead of the game.

Roppongi finding good stuff--outside the garden fence!

Roppongi finding good stuff–outside the garden fence!

Roppongi likes to stick close to the fence while we’re weeding–she really appreciates all the good stuff we throw over at her. 2 foot tall dandelions yum!

It’s a beautiful time of year here and we’re so happy to be back outside!


pumpkins! 2012 bumper crop
September 13, 2012, 12:31 pm
Filed under: gardening, the yard | Tags: , , ,

Greetings long lost friends. I can’t believe a whole month has passed without a post. Bad bad bad. Guess I’ve been busy, and this summer frankly, it’s just been too hot! Haven’t felt like doing too much of anything.

So while I drum up some more interesting news for you, here’s a garden update for you.

Here’s a shot of the potager taken August 10 from the garage roof. It’s a good year for coneflower–I decided to let them be. And check out the sweet autumn clematis on the chicken run roof. That is blooming beautifully right now, I’ll have to go and get a picture of it.

potager from garage roof aug 2012

front yard pumpkin patch!

And here’s a shot of the front yard pumpkin patch, taken from the roof of the garage. It went a bit crazy. There are 4 pumpkin plants in there (of 3 varieties: winter luxury pie, musquee de provence, melonette jaspee vendee) and one tiny zucchini plant (which gave us exactly 2 zucchinis!). I thought there was enough room for these guys, but alas, it got kind of crazy! I had 5 tomato plants in a row along the side nearest the house–but the squash eventually climbed up and suffocated them. I didn’t have the heart to cut down the pumpkins, so now we’re looking at a possibly HUGE haul of pumpkins. There are at least 3 musquee in there–and they’re at least 20 pds a piece! The other two are smaller pumpkins–and there a whole bunch of those. None of them appear to be ripe just yet, but the melonette one doesn’t have a photo out on the web, so I’m not exactly sure about that.

Please send pumpkin recipes STAT! Going to be interesting!

portrait of a groundhog considering his options
August 1, 2012, 4:14 pm
Filed under: farm, the yard, tomatoes | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Yep still loving the game cam. Check out this fantastic portrait of a tomato eater!

hmmm, this may take a while…but i’ll get there!

We’d just put up an emergency tomato protection fence, inside of the fenced lower garden area. As you recently saw, all kinds of wildlife frequent this entirely fenced area!!! ARGH. So, emergency fence went in around the tomatoes.

The night before this photo, I saw that there were new half eaten tomatoes inside this new fence–so alas, I guess he’s actually thinking–now which one was it that I liked best?

Great shot though. Look at his deft little hands. Sheesh.

pallets of PA bluestone now on site
June 20, 2012, 3:53 pm
Filed under: farm, the yard

Continue reading

strawberries come early?
May 15, 2012, 12:22 pm
Filed under: gardening, the yard | Tags: , , ,

Well asparagus and rhubarb were still kind of bust this year. But it looks like we’ll have a big crop of strawberries!!

Yesterday I actually found one that was ripe. Man was it good! Let’s hope the chippies leave some for us this year!

It seems a little early for strawberries, and I notice that some of them are kind of wonky on the bottom–must have got a touch of frost perhaps?


quinoa loaf for thanksgiving

quinoa loaf and mushroom gravy!

We had a nice thanksgiving. As per our custom, we made a loaf. This time I cobbled a new one from assorted recipes. It was a good first effort, but a bit crumbly. Mom and dad said they liked it but I think the dude and the girl preferred the heavier cheese and lentil one.

1 cup mushrooms chopped fine
1 cup onion chopped
1 cup celery chopped
2 cups cooked red lentils
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup walnuts toasted and chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes.

Assemble the loaf in a parchment lined loaf pan. Bake 45 minutes at 350.

During his visit, dad got a hankering to do something fun. What constitutes fun at the Acres? Why, how about we cut down a tree?
Dad and the dude cut down the hammock tree. It was seriously rotten and had some squirrel nests in it! Those little squirrels were evicted, poor little guys.

shredded bark made a nice soft nest inside

dude and the hammock tree--unfair matchup!!

happy end of holiday weekend PI!!
July 5, 2011, 7:54 am
Filed under: the yard | Tags: , ,

Well we had a really nice 4th of July weekend. Weather was great, and we just hung out and relaxed! Did some gardening, some goat-herding, and chicken tending. And had some good food too.

I’m extra happy as I’m one day out from finishing a round of steroids. SIGH. Yep that crazy poison ivy took me out again. I had a crazy bout on my leg (about the size of a deck of cards). I treated it holistically, and had almost waited it out. Got it probably over 2 weeks ago. It was insane. They say oozing, but this was not that–no, it was running, straining, leaking, bubbling, crazy!! Sorry, gross. Hope you’re not having your morning coffee now.

Anyhow I got through that part and was on the mend. But then I got the rash. Some crazy all over body rash. And, it was on my face. I was pretty bummed. So I went in to see the doc. Sad tale I know. Luckily I got in on Friday afternoon just before the official start of the big holiday.

She gave me a short course of prednisone. I explained that the other time I’d taken it, it had not gone well. It’s horrible really. I had a 14 day course and felt insane at the end of it!! I was glum that I couldn’t solve it myself, but alas, my body was on some haywire allergic reaction.

So here I am at the end of my treatment. It did seem to help. I’m not fixed yet, but ready to stop the drugs! We took a big hike yesterday at Hartwood, and wound up going through a TON of poison ivy. I was pretty nervous!! We all washed like crazy when we got back, and it seems we escaped unharmed. I also made the dude do a PI eradication run through our place in hopes of ending the insanity!!!

If you’ve never had the PI, you really don’t want to get it!!