Saturday, August 31, 2013

Quick and Easy Meals- Veggie Hash

* i changed the name on this post to make it easier to find. My apologies if it comes through email again. 

 As you can probably imagine, over the last several month we have gotten into the habit of eating some not so healthy stuff.  After the fire we spent a week at The Hotel Floyd, and another week in a friend's office.  We ate out almost every day at restaurants, or ate frozen/boxed dinners.  

Once we moved into the rental house i was able to cook again, or at least i had the tools too cook. However the truth is that i was unable to really cook much of anything. All of my stores of homegrown canned and frozen food were gone, and i found myself at the grocery stores not really know what to buy.  Still in a state of shock, with depression setting in our meals consisted of a lot of grilled cheese, frozen pizza, boca burgers and pancakes/breakfast dinners. There was probably a few days that we ate cereal for dinner. 

When we moved into the RV, i found myself challenged again when it came to meals.  The camper has very little refrigerator and cupboard space. So we can keep a very limited amount of food here before it goes bad. The humidity causes the bread/buns to mold unless refrigerated, but there just isn't space in the fridge for them. i also quickly realized that i was still missing a lot of my necessary kitchen items. The house we had been in was fully furnished so i didn't need anything.  Now that i was in this RV i realized i didn't have simple things like a carrot peeler, a paring knife, casserole dishes etc.  So it took a bit of time to begin collecting all the things that i needed again.  

So even though we back at our property, we were eating a lot of crap. Now that the garden is producing well, we have really finally started to eat better. i do not have to rely on food in the fridge to create meals, i can walk outside and pick it right out of the garden. The limited space still means i need to create rather simple meals, but i have a lot more options now!

Veggie hash has became a favorite recipe.  My potatoes ended up with late blight this year so i had to dig them all early. i ended up with over 40lbs of tiny new potatoes.  New potatoes will not store well because they have such thin skin and were not hardened off, so they needed to be eaten!  We have given some away, but still have a bunch so i'm been cooking them up just about every other day.

i'm sure there are lots of ways to make a veggie hash, i didn't follow a recipe just used the veggies i had on hand.   i quartered the potatoes (i have red, purple and white) and cooked them with onions and garlic in some olive oil until they began to brown. Then i added diced peppers, zucchini and yellow squash. and continued to cook until all the veggies were tender.  Add a bit of salt and pepper or fresh herbs to taste. You can add other veggies, sweet potato, Swiss chard...what ever you've got. 

The night of this photo i served it up with a fresh garden salad, sliced cucumbers, fresh sliced peaches and green beans. Everything came from the garden except the oil to cook them, dressing for the salad and the salt and pepper. For the first time in a very long time i was almost excited to cook again. i've started looking for other simple garden meals and will share them as i come across favorites.

i'm planning a little giveaway, but haven't quite decided what i am giving away yet. i was thinking about having a garden seed giveaway, but realized i don't have a lot of extra seeds right now. Was also thinking about posting an Autumn themed bendy doll giveaway, but i'm still working on it.  Trying to play catch up on a few posts and then i'll figure out what i want to giveaway. Should be fun regardless.

*update! Giveaway has been posted!! Click here to check it out!

What's growing in your garden?  Do you have any favorite easy garden recipes to share? 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Finding Inspiration.

i've been on a bit of a crafting break ever since we moved back to the property. Part of this is because it's garden season and that tends to occupy my time. This year we've had a ton of rain, and that gave me a lot of opportunity to be creative and yet i wasn't.  Truth is, i just wasn't feeling it. i've been struggling with depression, and the space inside the RV is not great for crafting inspiration...especially with two kids in it as well.

i was really hoping that once the kids started back to school i would start feeling inspired again. i started making a few dolls and got a request for a family set. i do not typically take custom orders, but every once in a while i will.  The request was for a family set.

i love the way it turned out. The dolls were all remakes of previous dolls i have made in the past.  It was the motivation i needed to make a few other family sets.

Acorn family. This set is available for $26 shipped first class (US).

Toad Stool Gnome family set.   This set is available for $26 shipped first class (US).

As much as i love making bendy dolls, i have been wanting to get away from it and find something else that i enjoy.  Something that actually pays for the time i put into making them.

Last year i really started to get into making Waldorf dolls and then lost all of them in the fire before i ever got around to putting any of them for sale. i lost over a dozen dolls, and a ton of materials that had just been purchased and hadn't even been opened.  i think i had 10lbs of wool, and around 10 yards of organic cotton fabric and a huge box of hand sprung wool yarn hair. So although i wanted to start making them again, i've been a little apprehensive.  The materials are so expensive, and i really didn't want to have to re-buy all of those materials again.A sweet friend donated some materials so that i could make Sage a doll  for her 7th birthday, and was really pleased with how it turned out. So i decided to give doll making another try. i picked up just a yard of fabric and a lbs of wool to get started.

i thought with the kids in school i would be able to sew without distraction.  i had no idea how much trouble a kitten would be. :)  Thank goodness he naps often.

i was pleasantly surprised at how quickly i remember the process.  i really do enjoy doll making, especially the hand sewing and face embroidery which really connects you with the doll. 

This was my first one using materials i just had on hand.  She is only 8" tall. i wanted to make a handful of mini-dolls to make my one yard of fabric last a bit longer, rather than just making one full size doll.  i'm still working out my pattern on these, but i do hope to offer them for sale soon.

So this has been my week. Trying to get back into it.  My only real struggle has been making the dolls a consistent size. i don't have a drawn out pattern and just sort of wing it, and so although the dolls are around 8" tall, it is not exact. i'm also having a hard time finding hair yarns that i like. i don't want to buy anything in bulk, and the art yarns are so expensive. i've been browsing the internet looking for some wool boucle that is reasonably priced.  It took me a long time to collect all the fabulous hair yarns i had before, so it's a bit depressing having to start over again. i have a feeling i'm going to have a bunch of bald for quite a while.

i'm really looking forward to getting back into doll making. i've decided i don't really care for this little size. i actually prefer the 16"-18" dolls. i really enjoy making all the extra accessories and really personalizing them. Once i get settled in our new house and begin to set up a craft space i plan to buy the materials so that i can start making the larger dolls.

i do have quite a few of the bendy dolls available for purchase, if your interested you can visit my fb page (it's the only place i sell at these days).  Once i have all these dolls finished, i will be posting them for sale as well.   i'll be sure and post more photos of them as i beining to finish and personalize each one.  i have so many other projects i want to do, but am really limited in this RV.  So for now i am just working on making a bit of money to go back into my supplies. i really look forward to having a full stocked craft space again one day.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pink Fairy Giveaway!

Just for fun and as a thank you for your continued support i'm giving away this sweet little fairy!! You can enter by leaving a comment below telling me why you would like to win and who you would give it to.   Then enter through the rafflecopter below. There are options for extra entries on the rafflecopter. You can enter by leaving your comment here or on the FB post.  Open worldwide.

Wordless Wednesday- American Dagger Moth caterpillar

This is an American Dagger moth caterpillar. It was our first time finding one of these. The caterpillar was quite big, at least 3" long and covered in fuzzy yellow fur. According to the description the fur and spines can cause a stinging sensation in some people, however my daughter carried it around with her for over an hour and never had any problems. We found this guy eating blackberry leaves, and after hanging out with him for a while we returned him to the blackberries. 

We are still waiting to find some monarch caterpillars. We no longer have our butterfly garden habitat or an aquarium, but i figure we can still raise one of two in a large pickle jar. :) 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Garden Update-End of August

Here is a little peek inside my garden. Things are winding down a lot now that it is the end of August. This years garden has been quite a challenge with the insane amount of rain we received in June and July.i'm pretty sure i ended up with every garden disease in the book. 

i somehow still managed to harvest a good amount of food, and although i was unable to can anything this year i have been working to fill up our deep freezer with garden produce.

The garden attracts all kinds of butterflies. We have been waiting for the monarchs to appear and finally spotted our first one earlier this week.  It flew from plant to plant and seemed to be sunbathing on this cucumber vine.

My cucumbers got a very late start, and i wasn't sure i would ever see any cucumbers. The plants all have downy mildew, which is pretty much impossible to control organically so i almost expected them to die back before they ever got a chance to produce. Somehow they are still hanging on, although a lot of foliage has died back, the vines are still growing rapidly and cucumbers are appearing everywhere!  i panted the lemon cucumbers, picklers and slicing cucumbers and have been picking several of each per day. i may make up a batch of refrigerator pickles. i haven't decided yet, because i'm lacking fridge space. i'm thinking i might make them just to give away though.

i planted a lot of peppers this year in green, yellow and red. The plants all look great and are loaded with peppers, but i'm still waiting for the colors to turn. These yellow peppers are getting close, but they are supposed to be a golden yellow not this greenish yellow. i think that in another couple of weeks i should have lots of good looking peppers! 

The late blight wiped out almost all of my tomatoes, but somehow i still have this one plant that is loaded with big green tomatoes and so far doesn't have a spot of blight on it.  It's very strange because this plant was right in the middle of the other tomato plants that were infected with blight and have since been pulled. So how it has managed to stay blight free this long..i have no idea. i really hope that i am able to harvest those lovely tomatoes! i wish  knew the variety as it has proven to be somewhat blight resistant.  i had  actually made a point of writing down a chart of my garden so i knew exactly what and where i planted this year, but i accidentally left the paper outside and it ended up getting we and the ink smeared so now i have no idea what i planted.  

i've been working to transition my garden from summer to fall.  All the wax beans have been pulled and i planted lettuce, kale and purple bush beans in their place.  Most of my fall garden is in, and was planted in a different bed. i put in more lettuce, kale and swiss chard. i also planted 16 broccoli plants, and three different kinds of beets. My sweet potatoes (bottom of picture) in this garden are doing well, but something, either a vole or possible a chipmunk, dug under the plants and ate about 1/4 of the sweet potatoes in the other sweet potato bed. i considered digging all the sweet potatoes now, but they quite small and i have no where to store them. So i left them in the ground and have been checking daily for signs that they are still being eaten. So far there has been no knew damage. If i can keep them in the ground until the end of Sept. i will actually have a basement to store them in!

My first planting of zucchini have all died back and been pulled, but i planted zucchini/summer squash every three weeks this summer and so i have had a continuous harvest despite the vine borers, squash beetles and downy mildew.  This is one of my newest plants just beginning to produce.  You can never have too much zucchini!! ;)

This was my harvest from a few days ago. i actually picked it all for dinner. i was planning to take a picture of the meal, and put up a recipe post..but forgot to take a picture.  Anyhow, i turned all of this into a tasty stir fry. The stir fry consisted of Eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, purple beans, onion, carrots, peppers and swiss chard. i added tofu that was pan fried and then  cooked in a sauce of OJ, tamari and garlic. i let the sauce cook down to a thicken glaze, sauteed the veggies and served it all over rice.

We enjoyed fresh sliced cucumber and tomato with it, and had a large bowl of fresh sliced peaches. Most everything came from the garden except the rice, tofu and sauce ingredients. 

As i try to get back to eating better i hope to share a few more garden recipes before the season is over. i still find cooking in this RV to be a it of challenge, but i'm dealing and making do with what we've got here. Which often means i literally pick the vegetables as i'm making dinner, since i can't fit any of them in the fridge. :) 

Monday, August 26, 2013

New House Construction- Week One

Construction for the new house has begun. This past week the construction crew has been out preparing the spot and getting it all set up for the basement.  Our new house will have a full poured concrete basement.  We are not finishing it right away, but once it is finished it will be home to Kenan's glass shop. He is planning to move from the space he is renting and set up shop back at home again. It will be really nice to have him home. 

The basement will also have a cold storage/cellar type area for storing food and a family room/ rec room space. There will be french doors that walk out to the yard, very similar to our old house.

The pictures below show the progress from the last week.

Digging the basement.

Making sure it is all level.

Putting in the forms for the footers.

Pouring the concrete.

Concrete footers in place.

On Friday they added the gravel and leveled it out again. 

 Today they are back setting up the forms for the walls. The basement should be poured and curing later this week.

It has been fun watching it come together so quickly.  i will be sure to update again soon, and share the entire house building process with you. We decided to go with a modular home, because it was more affordable and will go up very quickly. They are predicting that we will be in the house by Thanksgiving, if not sooner.  Although i have always dreamed of building an alternative house, a geodome, cobb house or earthenship. However when it really came down to it, i just wanted my house back and this is the closest, most affordable and quick way to replace it. Our insuance company had us on a very tight timeline, and we had to make our decisions quickly or they would not contribute to the cost of the house.  Many folks are under the impression that if you are insured, the insurance company will basically replace your house for free. Not really true. The insurance decides what the house was worth, and then decides what it would cost to replace it. We have to submit our house plans to them, and they review how similar the new house plans are to the old. Based on that, they decided house much they are willing to contribute.

The house plan we chose has large windows that are south facing and should provide some passive solar heat. It will also have a wood burning furnace in the basement and a place for a wood cookstove upstairs which will be supplemental and mostly decorative. We are also putting in a large cistern, that will replace our old rain barrels to collect rainwater from the roof to use as garden irrigation. We are also hoping to set up a whole house generator. The interior of the house will have a lot of natural materials, hardwood, granite and slate etc. It will have a loft similar to our old house, but will also have a craft room/space for me, which will be nice.

So yeah, everything is moving right along. i look forward to sharing more of our progress in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Moving forward and new additions.

Slowly the rebuilding begins. Not just the rebuilding of our house, but the rebuilding of our life, family and homestead. Just getting back to our land has been very healing for all of us. We have slowly fallen back into our old routines, and our time spent at the rental house is barely even a memory now.

Trying to pick up the pieces of where our life left off, i sometimes feel like we have fallen backward and it will take us years, if ever,  to return to where we had been. 

After moving from our property our chickens began to get picked off one at a time. Although they were in a fenced in area, several of them were escape artists and still managed to find a way out.  At first a hawk seemed to be to blame. It actually killed several but birds inside the fenced area. It soon became apparent that our own dogs were killing them too. So i rigged up the fencing so that they no longer had access to the entire chicken yard, instead they were limited to small pen which would hopefully prevent them escaping.  This worked for a while. 

Then only a few days after we moved the RV to our property my dogs dug out of their kennel, under the fenced area and then broke done the fencing of the pen and slaughtered almost all of my birds. It was devastating. The only birds to survive were the ones who were able to get into the coop.  At the beginning of the year i had something like 30 chickens. We had hatched out several brood of chicks last summer, and i'd purchased 4 young Americana in the fall. Now, they were all dead.

At the time we moved back to the property i only had 5 hens remaining.  My black (game) hen, one black star, one Austrolorp, a Speckled Sussex and a very old Americana who hasn't laid in a couple of years. i also still had a rooster.  

i have been wanting to get a few new chickens ever since we moved back to the property. i missed the chick days at Tractor supply, and i honestly didn't want to raise day old chicks anyhow. We have no where to keep a brooder, and i didn't have the time to put into them. i started looking on craigslist, but most folks were selling basic production layers. Although i raise chickens for eggs, i also like variety in my flock and really didn't want plain domestic layers. i began to check craigslist regularly and found someone selling a large variety of 3-4 month old hens.  i was able to hand pick the hens i wanted.   

Hiding behind the fence is a Golden Campine. The Campine is a very old and rare breed which originated in Belgium. It is considered a heritage breed and is on the critically endangered list.  She is very skittish, and once she starts laying she should lay white eggs.  Also picked are a Mottled Java and 'Gran-Gran'  my old Americana. We do not eat/kill our birds when they stop lying so she is enjoying her days of retirement.

This is the Mottled Java. It is also a heritage breed and on the critically endangered list.  They are a hardy breed, they lay large brown eggs, are known as being good foragers and for going broody. Our Java is very docile and gentle bird. She will come right up and eat corn from my hands.


Cuckoo Marans lay really dark brown eggs. They are considered 'chocolate eggers' because the eggs are such a rich brown color. Cuckoo is one of the birds i just recently lost in May, so i was happy to add one back to my flock. 

i also added a Delaware to my flock. These birds are a medium size, but lay large to jumbo brown eggs.  They are also considered a critically endangered breed.  i had a special relationship with a Delaware that i'd lost in May and was happy to get another. She is a very chatty bird. Follows me everywhere and is constantly 'talking'.  Although her coloring is not all that exciting, her personality makes up for it.  i just adore her.

We really were not planning to get another cat any time soon. We have still been holding on to hope that Tom would return or be found.  When we moved back to the RV we learned that our neighbor (at the bottom of the hill) was in the hospital, was not doing well and probably would not be returning to her home. 

A few weeks after than she passed away.  She loved animals and her partner/spouse was trying to relocate some of her animals as he was unable to care for them all. We had received our first chickens from them, and also both of our beagles (Sampson, and then Rufus).  So it only made sense for us to give a home to one her kittens.  

He is tail-less, a Manx, like all of her cats and a sweet welcome addition to our family. After a week or so of being nameless, we named him Banjo.

Little by little, we are finding our way. Construction has began on the house, and we should be in our new home before the winter sets in. It is hard to explain the feeling. bittersweet, for sure.  i am learning to let go of the old and embrace the new. 

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.  ~Victor Frankl

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Orion Strong Leukemia Fund

When we experienced our house fire earlier this year, we were completely overwhelmed by the amount of support we received from the online community. Specifically the hippie/crafty mama community,and the Art glass community. Both my husband and i have been involved with these online communities for many years, and have come to think of them as family.  The outpouring of love and support we received has forever changed us and made us realize the importance of giving back.

We knew that once we were back on our feet, we would begin to pay it forward any chance that we could. 

On Saturday, June 15th, 14 year old Orion Strong was diagnosed with AML , a rare type of leukemia, with long treatments and many expenses. Orion is the son of Kharma Strong, one of my online friends and a member of the online crafting community.  

According to the fundraiser page, Orion has been an amazing light in his community and always the first to raise a helping hand when needed. He is always the first to volunteer and has helped in supporting many events and activities including the Steelhead Association dinner, Ballet Folkloriko, Guereneville Gator basketball and volleyball games and wherever there is need. Orion received the Lincoln Stewart award for this recognition by the Russian River Firefighters for this honor during his recent 8th grade graduation from Guerenville School a couple of weeks ago. Despite the surprising developments, Orion is feeling very grateful that he will again be able to help people through his disease, by allowing the doctors to use his results to help others in the future. He has consented to participate in many of the new studies and research being done on leukemia advancement. 

The family has put together an online fundraiser to help. 100% of this fundraiser is going into an account directly for ORION. The support from all of you is a constant reminder to him of the support team he has behind him. Orion is getting his second of four rounds of chemo, called induction 2. In the best case scenario  we will be at the hospital, mostly in-patient (due to him being neutropenic and unable to fight off infection) for the next six-eight months. He is receiving frequent blood transfusions and is isolated to his room. 

If you would like to donate directly to Orion's Leukemia fund you can make your donations here.
 If you would like to send cards, gifts and words of support you can mail them to this address.

505 Parnassus Ave., box 0208
Patient Orion Strong, Rm. 759
San Francisco, CA 94131

In an effort to help raise funds for Orion and his family, Kenan is auctioning of this gorgeous glass pendant. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Orion leukemia Fund.  The auction is being held on the Tiemeyer Glass FB page, and ends on Sunday 8/18.  This link should take you directly to the auction, but it is pinned to the top of the page if it doesn't.  We will be hosting another glass auction to benefit Orion in the next few weeks, and i'm planning to auction another bendy doll as well.  

Orion's birthday is next month, he will be turning 15, and i think it would be wonderful if he received b-day cards and well wishes from all over!  A simple act of kindness that could make a difference to a young boy fighting a difficult battle. 

Please take a moment to visit the YouCaring page and read his story. You can donate directly to the fund, and/or leave words of support and encouragement in the comments.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer Travels- Stone Mountain in NC

Several year ago we hiked at Stone mountain State Park in NC for the first time. It was a really beautiful hike, with a gorgeous waterfall and amazing views at the top. We enjoyed it so much that we we decided to go back this summer and visit it again.

The trail is beautiful, with lots of foliage, wildflowers and moss.  When we came a few years ago, we didn't even realize there was a waterfall until we came to it. We first hiked up to Stone mountain and then on our way down we followed the trail that took us to the waterfall. It was a pretty strenuous hike, and i remember being completely exhausted climbing down all the stairs.

When we began our hike we ended up follow the trail that went straight to the waterfall first. There is an observation deck, and warning sign posted everywhere.  This is an incredibly intense fast moving waterfall that washes over shear rock.  Anyone who has ever hopped the fence to get a closer look has to completely insane. 

It's an amazing and powerful waterfall.  It goes straight over the side of the rock, and guarantees a quick and painful death to anyone crazy enough to ignore the signs. 

The trail takes you down to the base of the fall, and you can sit on the rocks and even dip your feet in the water here.  The energy is absolutely incredible. There is just something so healing about the sound of moving water. As if it moves right through you and washes away any negative energy that has been clinging.  It leaves us feeling energized and recharged.  We continued along the path which took us along the river and through a very magical forest. The kids ran ahead of us and counted toad stools and pointed out all the fairy house.

The trail brings you to the Hutchinson homestead. The Hutchinson Homestead is complete with a log cabin, barn, blacksmith shop, corncrib, meathouse and original furnishings. They have lots of signs with information about the different buildings and history.

The Hutchinson homestead is at the base of Stone mountain. Stone mountain is a 600 foot granite dome. This is the view from the homestead. Pretty amazing.

As soon as we left the homestead we began our trek up the mountain. We quickly realized that we should have taken the trail to the top of the mountain first and then walked down to see the waterfall. 590 steps going up is a lot harder than going down.
 i like to think i'm in pretty good shape, but i had to stop several times to catch my breath.   It was a really difficult hike.

By the time we got to the top, we were all feeling like this. The view was spectacular, but we were exhausted.  We only had a few minutes to enjoy the view before we started to hear thunder, and saw a storm brewing on the horizon. 

We enjoyed the view for a few minutes and snapped some pictures, then continued on.  There are several places to stop and enjoy the unusual rock landscape and spectacular view. 


We had a great time at Stone Mountain and were really glad that we were able to return. Although we were completely wore out, we had a fantastic time.
 We've really tried to do something fun every weekend this summer. Kenan works long hours 6 days a week, but has taken off one day each week for a family day trip. We were also hoping to take a weekend trip to the beach or a trip to Atlanta to check out the new Aquarium, but we ran out of weekends.  The was summer way too short this year, and my kids have already returned back to school this week.

As much as i dread back to school, i am enjoying having a bit of personal time again. i really haven't touched any of my crafts/projects since we moved to the RV so i am hoping i'll start feeling inspired again soon.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

And so it Begins.

Yesterday we took the kids to Lake Ridge Resort to enjoy the last day of summer vacation.  We returned home to find that the construction has started!  It's a week ahead of schedule, quite a surprise! Exciting but a little bittersweet as well. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Garden Update- August 5

My garden is really taking off right now. Typically my garden peaks around the second week of July, but this most of it wasn't even planted up the middle of June. So everything is a bit behind.  There have been a lot of challenges with all the rain we had this summer.  The wet condition caused a lot of diseases, and more insect pest than usual. i really can't complain though, despite the challenges we are enjoying a wonderful harvest.

i don't really follow the rules when it comes to gardening. i tend to ignore planting times, i over plant my beds, and continue to plant stuff up until it frosts.  My yellow wax beans have been producing well, but the mexican bean beetles have really tore them up.  So i planted new beans in between the rows, and a soon as they beginning filling in i will pull the old beans. i tend to replant beans and summer squash every three weeks for a continuous harvest.

i new my tomatoes were struggling, and the minute i realized weather conditions were favoring blight, i planted cucumber and beans in with the tomatoes. It has worked out well, as one by one i have to remove tomato plants, then beans and squash are filling in so despite having to pull all the tomatoes, there will not be an empty spot. In the early spring i plant cucumbers in with my sugar peas, so as the peas begin to die back the cucs are starting to climb.  i tend to have a constant rotation of fresh veggie this ay, and am able to grow a lot more in smaller spaces.

The late blight that hit my tomatoes also hit my potatoes.. Most years my potatoes would already be done by now, and by the time the late blight hit they would have already died back.  They were planted late though, and so the blight attacked the foliage.  i've been out there the last couple days trying to dig my potatoes. i have to get them out of the ground as soon as possible, or the will rot in the ground if the blight gets to the tubers. So i have a lot of small potatoes this year. i am not sure if they will store well this winter, as this point i have no where to put them any way.  So far it doesn't appear that the blight has reached any of the tubers, so i think they'll be okay. i planted red, white and purple just for fun.  i really enjoy lots of color in the garden.

i planted lots of purple again this year. The Cherokee purple tomatoes are planted in a different garden, and so far they have no sign of blight. They are the only tomatoes i've been able to harvest this year. i have Amish paste and a few other varieties in that garden, so i'm really hoping the blight will somehow miss that bed and i'll get to harvest some of them.  

The purple pole beans are a favorite, i plant them every year and they will continue to produce up until the frost. i also planted cosmic carrots again. They are a reddish purple on the outside and a yellow orange on the inside. i'd like to find some that are purple all the way through.  i planted purple sprouting broccoli this spring, the plants look great, but so far it hasn't sprouted at all. 

i have a bunch of cucumbers and melons planted this year too. They are growing and flowering well but have not shown any signs that they are going to fruit. The strangely cool temperatures seem to really be affecting pollination.  We still have enough summer that i should get to harvest some if it would just warm up a bit. 

i picked up quite a few new heirloom veggie seeds from BBB seeds when they were having a half off sale last week. So i am working on pulling all my spring cold crops and planting my late summer/ fall garden. i'm putting in three different kinds of beets, kale, chard, broccoli and lots of lettuces. i really can't believe i am even saying 'late summer/fall'.  Having only been here for two months, i feel like summer is really just starting. School is starting in a  week, and i am so not ready for that.  So much change and it doesn't feel like it will slow down any time soon.

We are signing papers tonight and will soon begin the rebuilding of our home. 

It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.  ~Author Unknown

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Old Silver Apiary Feature and Giveaway! CLOSED

Old Silver Apiary is a small family run apiary located on Cape Cod. They have created a simple yet luxurious line of products using local beeswax,  local honey, local hand harvested herbs, organic oils, organic shea butter and scented only with essential oils. 

 Old Silver Apiary is run by Tara Sullivan Garvin and her family.  i've known  Tara for many years, and am super excited to feature her on my blog again.  A couple years ago, i featured some of her photography

When Tara first started learning about standard practices in conventional beekeeping  she was stunned. The "mystery" of why our bees are disappearing didn't seem to be much of a mystery at all. 2012 was the worst year for honey bees yet in the US, but she strongly believes we can turn it around and she wanted her family to have a small part in that. 

The bees of Old Silver Apiary live on an 8 acre organic farm.  At Old Silver Apiary, they only work with local bees to try to strengthen the bee population as a whole.  They practicing a biodynamic approach to disease and mite treatment, raise local queens and are experimenting with different types of hives. This winters goal is to build several top bar hives.

They get many gifts from the bees, so they decided to use them to help fund their expanding apiary. Using their own (or in a pinch local) beeswax, honey, organic oils, local herbs and butters they have created a line that they are truly proud of. They hope you'll love it as much as they do. 

Old Silver Apiary offers lip balms, salves, body butters, bathing salts and gift sets. They are all handmade in small batches.  Their products are always packaged in reusable tins or mason jars and shipped using upcycled packaging or Caremail recycled packaging.

Buy it!
 Like what you see? Want to try it out for yourself? Head over to the Old Silver Apiary Etsy shop where you can purchase some of her wonderful products!

Win it!!

Tara has generously offered a Farmer's Salve and a coconut Lime Lip balm to one lucky reader! To enter, please use the rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway