So Succulent Gardens

  (Columbia Station, Ohio)
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Lavender Martini Recipe--------- Think spring!

Lavender Martini
1 ounce lavender simple syrup
2 ounces vodka
splash of soda
1Combine vodka, syrup, and soda into a martini shaker with plenty of ice. Shake for 20 second or until well mixed.
Pour into martini glass, add a sprig of lavender.

Lavender Simple Syrup

Lavender simple syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup lavender flower buds
Heat 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar until sugar is disolved.
Add 1/4 cup of lavender flowers and allow to simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
If desired, add a few blueberries for color or use food coloring.
Drain syrup into a sealable glass jar - through a filter in order to remove the flowers. Let it cool, and then put in the fridge.
Add syrup to tea, cocktails, or use as a syrup.



When will my Dog learn - that is not a kitty - How to De-skunk your dog.

One again my sweet golden retriever Amber chase a skunk and was sprayed.  When will she learn it is not a kitty.  I am becoming and expert on skunk smell removal.  In the past months, I have tried it all...  Poor dog.

This is what has worked for me the best.

Mix this solution in a bucket and not a spray bottle
1 quart hydrogen proxide
1/3 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons shampoo.

It will bubble a bit, and do not get in the dogs eyes,


Apply with a sponge.   I left it on for a few hours and then gave her a bath.

And now she smells delightful...



Old-Fashioned Raspberry Jam - NO PECTIN RECIPE

The raspberry harvest has begun.....  So far we have made turnovers, liquor, vinegar, biscotti and now jam....  I am not a fan of pectin and found this recipe that was outstanding!   I have  read that it will work with other berrys since there is enough natural pectin in the seeds.

Old-Fashioned Raspberry Jam

by Eleanor Topp and Margaret Howard
The Complete Book of Year-Round Small-Batch Preserving

The intense raspberry flavor of this jam makes it a longtime favorite. Warming the sugar beforehand keeps the jam boiling evenly and ensures success.

Yield: Makes 4 cups

4 cups granulated sugar
4 cups raspberries

1. Place sugar in an ovenproof shallow pan and warm in a 250°F (120°C) oven for 15 minutes. (Warm sugar dissolves better.)

2. Place berries in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a full boil over high heat, mashing berries with a potato masher as they heat. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.This dog digs raspberries.

3. Add warm sugar, (lavender flavor if you have it) return to a boil, and boil until mixture will form a gel (see tips, below), about 5 minutes.

4. Ladle into sterilized jars and process as directed for Shorter Time

Processing Procedure .



2 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp. table salt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. powder dishwasher soap
Mix all together.
Please wear protective eye, hand and body protection. 
This is not a selective and harms all the plants it touches so take care.
Excess salt is not biodegradable, so overuse use will eventually be detrimental to surrounding areas.

Any Questions?  email me at:    hello-AT-blossomfarm-DOT-com

Click her to go to our our facebook page



Stained Glass Jello Or BROKEN GLASS JELLO


I recently made STAINED GLASS JELLO for a church coffee hour and thought the kids would love them.  AND THEY DID!  Extremely easy and very good.

Click on the link for instructions, it will take you to a great blog called the food librarain


HOMEMADE Herbal Cough Drops and Syrup Recipe

Make an old-time cough remedy by mixing horehound tea with honey.  Make an infusion by steeping 1 ounce of fresh or dried horehound leaves in a pint of boiling water. Allow it to steep only 10 minutes.
Strain off the leaves, then measure the quantity of liquid remaining. Add twice as much honey as liquid, mix well, and bottle.
To soothe a cough, take 1 teaspoon at a time, about 4 times a day!! Taken from: Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Herbs

1 cup fresh horehound leaves
I cup water
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup or honey
Put the horehound in a small non reactive sauce pan and add the water.  Bring to a boil and simmer, covered,
for 20 minutes. Allow to cool, then remove the horehound and squeeze out all of the liquid. Add the sugar and
corn syrup or honey to the pan, stir with a wooden spoon while bringing to a boil, then turn the heat down to a
gentle simmer. If bubbles threaten to overflow the pan, reduce the heat slightly and stir.  Boil to the hard-crack stage. If you have a candy thermometer, this is in the range of 330°F.  Keep
a shallow cup of cold water nearby. Stir the liquid occasionally, and watch how it falls from the spoon. When it forms a thread, begin testing for hardness by allowing a drop of the mixmixture to fall into the cup of cold water. Don't trust your fingers to examine the now hardened drop in the cup: bite it. If it's at all gooey or sticks to your teeth, keep cooking. When it's hard enough to crack when you bite it, remove the pan from the heat immediately.
If the mixture crystallizes, just add a cup of water and an extra tablespoon of corn syrup or honey to the pan, scrape all of the crystalline chunks into it, and begin again.
Lightly butter a candy mold, cookie sheet, or other heatproof baking pan, and pour in the hot mixture. If
you're using a flat-bottomed pan, score the surface of the candy after it has cooled enough to become firm. This
will help in breaking it apart, which should be done as soon as the candy can be handled.  After individual "drops" are
formed, sift granulated or powdered sugar over them to keep them from sticking together Store in a moisture-
proof container.

From the Herb Companion Magazine


Old Fashion Potato Candy -- a School project

Every year at Christmas my Mom would make potato candy for my father, his father was from Norway and his Mother was of Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. So I believe this is from my grandmothers side of the family. 

My son was doing a report at school and need to bring in a treat.  So with a little help from me he proceeded with caution and prepared his extra credit. He was quite pleasantly surprised at the results. My mom would also would use leftover mash potatoes when she had them. Enjoy!

1 medium boiled potato, chilled
*Do not cut in a bunch of chunks it will get watery
1/2 vanilla extract *My addition
1 or 2 boxes confectioners sugar
Creamy peanut butter 

Mash the cold potato with a fork on a bowl making sure you do not have any lumps or skin add vanilla extract and start adding powdered sugar. The mixture will be runny, so keep adding sugar till you get a doughy consistency. When dough is firm, roll out into a circle about ¼- to ½-inch thick. Spread with peanut butter,
leaving a ¼-inch edge. Roll up, jelly-roll style, Refridgerate for an hour (easier cutting) and slice into ½-inch slices, allow to air dry for an hour then package and store in the fidge.

And as always, thank you for supporting our family farm!



Where has BASIL Pesto been all my life?

Believe it or not after all the years of growing basil, I have never tasted pesto. I had planted about two 50 foot rows of basil plants and was planning to make basil vinegar for sale...... but since sales have been down, I decided not to waste anymore vinegar -- until I sell one bottle.

So with about two bushel of herb, I decided to make a small batch. I think I always shied away from pesto, due to the large amount of oil and nuts.

I cut this out of the local Chronicle Telegram based in Elyria Ohio, and uses less oil and nuts then other recipes I had researched.

2 solid cups basil leaves
2 clove garlic (I use 3 since I love garlic).
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
salt and pepper to taste
Whirl in food processor then add
about 6 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Thank you for supporting an

Ps. I will be posting pixs, I accidently deleted them.... Planning to make more for the freezer...


My Scientific Experience - Crock Pot Yogurt

I found this recipe at the Washingtion Post Newspaper...  This was fresh tangy...     Use any type of milk percentage..... No fancy equipment needed.

1/2 gallon pasteurized milk make sure it is not ultra-pasteurized
1/2c active culture plain yogurt as your starter
thick beach towel or blanket

Turn crockpot on low.  Add milk; cover & cook on low for 2-1/2 hours
Unplug crock-pot. Keep lid on, and completely wrap crock-pot in large thick towel or blanket for insulation, let sit for another 3 hours.
 At the end of 3 hours, in a small bowl, whisk 1/2 cup active culture plain yogurt with 2 cup of the milk from the crock-pot and return to crock-pot.
Keeping crockpot unplugged, completely re-wrap in heavy beach towel.
Allow covered for another 8 to 10 hours.
Yogurt will have thickened but will be watery. Now you simply ladle yogurt into a paper coffee filter within a fine wire mesh strainer and allow to drain into a bowl into the bowl for about 30 minutes.   Store in a plastic covered container and will stay fresh for 7 to 10 days.
My breakfast consist of  a squirt of sugar free maple syrup and homemade low fat granola.
I have used honey or stevia to sweeten, fresh fruit, jam and fruit extracts to flavor.  If you want a smoother yogurt give a whorl in the blender.
Always keep keep a a bit yogurt for  your next batch.
If you like a thicker yogurt like greek simple allow to drain longer and for yogurt cheese strain over night in the fridge.

***I just found this post which I thought was important:
Only half of the process is listed here!!! Yogurt is a two step process, and simply heating the mixture is not enough. After the heating process, whichever method you use, you need to chill it covered in the fridge for several hours before consumption. The heat grows a Strep bacteria, the cold converts that into lactobacillus.(aka the good stuff) Also with each successive batch, your culture will be stronger, and it won't need as long to process."and simply heating the mixture is not enough.  


Cold Cucumber Yogurt Soup

It has been about a week since my daughter moved out of state, sorta missing her today.  I made cold cucumber yogurt soup and I know she would have enjoyed it.   The other two boys I live with will not eat anything green.
I also want to thank for the folks that sent me a kind word and poems....  I remember meeting someone a few months ago who told me her son after college just joined the service....  I thought how horrible for that mom, but she told me as long as my son is happy, I am happy, so that is my advice I am telling myself.  
So if you have a garden filled with cucumbers, try this soup it is surprising good.

2 cucumbers, peeled, seeds removed
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups lowfat plain yogurt
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbs. dill, chopped

1.Mash the garlic with salt and then add all the other ingredients in blender
2.Add additional salt to taste.
3.Refrigerated at least two hours before serving to allow flavors to mingle.
4.Serve chilled. 
Optional:  Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and add a teaspoon of good olive oil.  ENJOY! GAYLE



Fruit & Veggie Cleaner

1 cup distilled water
1 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon baking soda
18 drops lemon essential oil 
Combine all ingredients in a  spray bottle with a pump. Shake, spray mixture on produce, and rinse thoroughly after 5 to 10 minutes.



This was so wonderful, I just had to share the recipe, of course you can use one cup of lavender sugar in place of the regular sugar.  Need a recipe for lavender sugar?  Simply place about 1/3 cup culinary lavender flowers in a ball jar and cover with sugar, in   about 2 weeks the sugar will absorb the fragance and tast.  Strain if you do not desire the lavender buds.   Later this week I am planning to try using Splenda in place for part of the sugar.  If you need culinary lavender Click HERE
2 lemons, juiced and zested
2 cups white sugar or lavender sugar (for less sweet use 1 1/12 cups sugar)  
4 cups milk ( I used 1 %)
2 TB  Peach schnapps liqueur or other fruit based liqueur
1. In a medium bowl, stir together lemon juice and zest with sugar until smooth. Stir in milk and liqueur. Pour into a 9x9 inch dish and place in freezer, stirring once when it begins to harden, until firm, 2 hours. Or pour into the freezer canister of an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers' directions.  My ice cream maker took 45 minutes.....   AND YUM!

If you have any questions, email me at hello-AT-blossomfarm-DOT-com

This is a recipe that was adapted and change to my liking from allrecipes website.


Lavender Honey Ice Cream

The vodka helps with easier scooping.

  • 4 cups lite half and half milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lavender honey  (Click link to buy lavender honey)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 T.  Vodka

1. In a medium pan, heat the half & half milk and vanilla bean to simmer. Do not boil. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, brown sugar, lavender honey, and salt until light colored and frothy. While whisking constantly, slowly combine the hot milk with the egg mixture. Transfer the mixture back to the sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until mixture reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit,  when tested with a candy thermometer, or becomes thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat.

2. Remove the vanilla bean from the mixture and reserve. Strain custard into a large bowl. Scrape seeds from the vanilla bean into the custard, add the Vodka.  Cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

3. When cold, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's 

4. Optional:  Sprinkle with fresh English Lavender Buds.



St Johns Wort Herb Plant

Hypericum perforatum
St. Johns Wort
Height: 15"     Zone: 5     Light: sun to part shade
Description:  Historically the astringent and antibacterial leaves were used medicinally and are still used externally by herbalists to treat burns. St. Johns Wort is gaining popularity as Nature's Prozac. For centuries, northern European women wore hyperium to repel demon lovers. With the spread of Christianity the plant was associated with John the Baptist; it was said that it flowers on his birthday and bleeds red oil in August on the day he was beheaded. Yellow and red dyes are obtained depending on the mordant used.

In ancient times, the summer solstice was believed to be a magickal day. St. John's Wort was harvested on that day and used to ward off ghosts and evil spirits. It is also known as the "witches' herb" - witches used it to ward off the evil spirits, and Christians used it to ward off the witches!  

How to make  St. John's wort oil to sooth rheumatic pain as well as sprains and strains, cuts, wounds, as well as muscle and nerve aches and pains.

Simply pick the yellow flowers (dry them ) then place in a mason jar cover with olive oil, store in a cool dry place for two to three weeks.  Strain and add a vit E capsule.


KIDS WANT A PET? Perfect solution -- Sour dough Starter

As parents we all heard it before ---- if you get me this new pup, kitten or bunny, I PROMISE,  I PROMISE I will take to care it every day - that last about a week. So maybe you should allow your kids to start out with a nice huge glob of sour dough starter, if they can keep the goo alive for six to eight months they may just be old enough. They only have to feed it every 7 to 10 days and
you never know they may find the gooey glob of dough is just the companionship they need.

Basic Starter Without Yeast:
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar

Mix all ingredients. Place in a loosely covered container and refrigerate for several days until mixture doubles in size. This may take 4 to 14 days. When doubled, the starter is ready to use or store in the refrigerator. "Feed" once or twice a week with 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour and 1/4 cup sugar.

Basic Starter With Yeast:
2 cup flour
2 cup warm water
1 pkg. dry yeast or 1 yeast cake

Mix all ingredients. Let stand uncovered in a warm place overnight or up to 48 hours. The longer the mixture stands, the stronger the ferment will be. After fermenting, the starter is ready to use or to store in the refrigerator. "Feed" as above.

Important to note:
Always start in a glass, pottery or plastic container.
Store the covered container in the refrigerator when the starter is done. The starter dough may smell quite sour and a liquid may form on its surface but this is normal. Stir the starter before each use. After using some of the starter, always leave at least  1 cup of starter.  To keep indefinitely, feed the starter every 7 to 10 days. Do not use the starter for 24 hours after "feeding".


Lavender Wands, Lavender Syrup, Lavender Lemonade / Tea

Lavender in many parts of the country will be bursting in full bloom, so go to the local craft store, grab yourself some 1/4 inch ribbon in colors, make yourself some lavender lemonade (recipe below) and do some crafting for christmas stocking stuffers. If you do not own any of these fragrant gems click here to order yourself a lavender lovers herb garden.

Lavender Wands
To make these you will need at least 13 (use an odd number) long stems of lavender, freshly picked from your garden on a dry day, and about 3 feet of pastel colored 1/4-inch ribbon. Make a bunch, lining up the base of the flower heads. Leave an 8 inch length of ribbon free at one end, then tie the stems together just below the heads. Gently bend back each stem until the flower heads are enclosed by the stems. Take the length of ribbon you saved and weave it under and over each stem, traveling around the bundle several times until the flower heads are covered with ribbon. Tuck in the short end of the ribbon and tie a bow with the other end. Trim the stalks and the ribbon.

2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh or dried lavender blossoms
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large, stainless steel saucepan. Remove from heat and allow to steep 30 minutes.
Strain, chill and refrigerate, tightly covered. Use to sweeten hot or cold drinks. Delicious in ice tea or lemonade.



This is a recipe from Colorado State Extension Office.
The commercial brand of Deer Repellant is quite expensive, I thought you may benefit from this tried and true recipe.   It is quite weather resistant and needs to be sprayed again in 30 to 60 days. 

They state 20 percent of whole eggs and 80 percent water is most effective against our hungry friends.  But to prevent the spray from clogging the white membrane attached to the yolk must be removed.  Or you can cheat like me and use a product such as eggbeaters to skip this messy step.

As a spreader sticker I always add after filling the sprayer with a very small squirt of dish soap.
Other home made remedies have included human hair and Irish spring soap hung in used onion and potatoes mesh bags.    But remember if the animals are hungry enough they may eat anything.....   I wish I can say that for my boys in the family.



Mint Refresher

Growing up in a family greenhouse business, my grandparents put everything on hold at 3 o'clock....  Grandpa would always serve the women employees (of age) the classic highball and Grandpa would drink his weidleman's beer.   Now I prefer to have a deep dark great lakes porter, that my waistline has to show for it,  so I have made up this refreshing low cal virgin cocktail, that makes 3 o'clock break a special time.
Since I grow and sell over 15 varieties of fragrant mint, I try a different flavor every other day in my club soda.

Mint Surprise Refresher
6 Washed Mint leaves  You choice of variety.
1 key lime squeezed, add rind in glass (or 1/2 regular lime)
1 leaf of Stevia plant OR 1 tablespoon Slenda
Muddle the above together
Then add lots of crushed ice to the top of glass with club soda water. allow ice to to mingle and serve with straw.
Enjoy a moment to reflect on the day!



Homemade HONEY --- 100 year old recipe

A fun recipe to do with the kids this summer when the fields are in full bloom with unsprayed wild clover.   Over a hundred years old from an old New Hampshire native.

2 1/2  cups white clover flowers  (No green parts)
1 cup red clover flowers    (No green parts)
Petals of four wild roses
10 cups sugar
1 teas.  alum
3 cup water

Wash blossoms and drain well.
2. Bring all ingredients except alum to a boil and stir slowly.
3. Add alum and stir 60 times (no more, no less). Turn heat off
Allow to streep for 3 hours.
4. Strain mixture through cheesecloth, reheat to boil and pour into clean sterilized 6 oz containers.

Note: If you use green parts your recipe will taste grassy.


Happy Gardening! Gayle at the Blossom Farm



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