Enjoy the everyday life I love to live!
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This word, 'Resolutions' is on most peoples minds in the new
year. Why do we think about this only at the New Year? Many of
us take time to reflect on what transpired over the last twelve
months of our lives... a time to think on what we would like to
continue doing and what we want to stop doing... a time to dream
and imagine what the next twelve months will hold for us. New
Years Resolutions are a common thing and many of us are looking to
make some... be it little or large. My 'resolutions' this year
are too be more faithful in praying for others, being kind in all
situations and reorganizing my office and keeping it that way! I
did a series on Organization this past summer and I think I need
to turn back to the office one! That is the space that seems to
get the best of me! I have so many things to keep straight and it
just seems I don't have enough space... haha... a whole room just
isn't enough eh? Well, this week I am gutting the room... I am
going to clean out the file cabinets and purge, purge, purge! Another goal that I want to implement is that of The
3/50 Project (www.the350project.net)
that I mentioned in my previous blog. I do a lot of shopping
& trading with my co-vendors at my markets, but I want to
support the small local businesses in my community a bit more this
Posted by Neil & Jean
@ 03:34 PM EST
There is a light dusting of snow on the ground and the air
is chilled... next Friday will herald in the first day of Winter... my
personal countdown to beloved Spring. I have Spring in the hoop house
despite what the calender says right now... but today I am not feeling
very well and thought I would do something else I love that I have been
neglecting... "For Dragonflies and Me"... an essentially all of you who
read this. The days have been growing shorter and the sunshine
diminishing more and more each day. Today is a sunny day and I will be
happy for that. Here are some great gift giving ideas for those of you
that want to do something extra special along with some ideas on drying
and freezing your herbs and of course a few recipes to use them in.
We are in the heart of the Gift Giving season and us
crafty people are always looking for that extra unique gift that we can
hand make for those special people in our lives. Gift Baskets are a fun
and super easy way to create a one of a kind gift. Although we need to
look out of the box, or should I say 'basket' and look around for
unique and original 'containers' to hold the gifts! Here a few ideas
that you can expand on... just remember, be creative and have fun, that
special person will know that you spent extra time in this gift of
love! Please remember that there are many Winter Farmers Markets going
on right now, including our farms in Downtown Farmington, The Old Winery
and we've got over 30 vendors there every Saturday that can easily help
you create many of these novel gifts...
Posted by Neil & Jean
@ 01:46 PM EST
Ryan and I were transplanting more tomatoes in the green house
yesterday... he enjoys playing in the dirt~ after all he is a
boy. He got 14 flats done and was quite pleased with himself,
especially with him earning fifty cents a flat and it didn't even
take him an hour! Work is an ethic that needs to be taught when
they are young and being able to earn a little bit on the side
isn't all that bad either. Afterward, I was watering in the hoop
house and was just standing there looking at all the neat rows of
lettuce and tomatoes and taking in the deep earthy smell... I love
to be outside, in the gardens in the fresh air... how much better
when it's with my children! We'll talk on a bit more about how to
utilize garden junque and cute-sifying your gardens today!
Posted by Neil & Jean
@ 09:45 PM EDT
Be Green Ideas, Nifty Bug Trap, Mailbox in the Garden and Yummy
Spring Spinach Topped Tomatoes
Welcome me back! Well I do apologize for being gone for awhile
here at For Dragonflies... my computer was giving me some issues
for a bit over a week and then we have been busy here planting all
the good stuff that fills our farms CSA share boxes each week and
provides the lovely spread at our market tables. But this is one
of my happy places and I am glad to return! Right now at The
Garden Gate we are very busy... raising piggies and chickens and
getting the raised beds and field planted. I love the busyness of
this time of year... it is exhilarating for me... I feel refreshed
and alive and cherish every moment I can be outdoors. We just
planted the raised beds outside the hoop house with chard &
beets today... the cherry tomatoes, lettuces and basil are growing
beautifully in the hoop house beds, the sausage garden raised beds
are full and growing beautifully! Green is good in more ways than
one. I will give you some fun ideas on how to be green that won't
tax your time or wallet!
Posted by Neil & Jean
@ 04:43 PM EDT
When we purchased our farm the home had been abandoned for over a year and to say the least it was a 'fixer' upper. Although as we walked through it I could imagine what I could make it to be, and so the long road of fixing is still in progress. That's o.k. though because I enjoy making things look like 'me'. We moved in the first of March almost five years ago and I had the garden's to be on paper before you could bat an eye. The veggie garden and flower beds would be first priority and then planning some hard scaping. Each year we have added new elements and I can always envision more beds and dreams.
Remembrance Trees or plants are a beautiful and potentially long lasting treasured gift. Neil's mom had purchased for each of the six children a 'remembrance' tree in memory of their father after he passed away. Unfortunately our beautiful Emerald Luster Maple tree was left at our previous home. She had wanted something for our new home and got us several much needed shrubs. This is such a wonderful idea that can be remembered for generations.
Wedding Showers can be so fun and especially with the right theme. If you are planning on hosting one, even in the dreary months of winter, make it a Garden Theme. Here are a few cute ideas to get you started!
*Invitations- You can create the cutest invitations with all the graphics, rubber stamps and stickers out there today. Especially if you have one of those nifty die cutting machines!
*Have everyone bring their favorite Recipe on a card that you send them with the invitation (then they are all the same size & coordinate). Put them in a cute Terra cotta pot as each guest arrives; have the bride-to-be pull 2 or 3 of the cards and whoever's name is on them, they win a door prize- give them a potted plant. The recipes then can be put in a book or box for the bride-to-be and will be a long lasting treasured memory.
*Place Setting Name Tags- use 10 for $1.00 seed packets- simply use address labels with a cute font and garden graphic to print each guests name on and then put on the front of seed packet to cover the company name, but not flower. Have just one of a certain seed and use that for another door prize winner.
*Door Prizes- pairs of garden gloves, hand tools- trowels, shovels, scratcher's; garden stationary, seed packets, potted flowers or any other garden themed gift you can come up with.
*Menu- You can change names of recipe's to feature the theme. For example, 'Berry Blossom Salad'- use edible flowers (if available) like pansies & nasturtiums. Rhubarb Punch or Garden Spiral Pasta Salad are a few more. Use your imagination!
A wonderful Wedding Gift for the happy couple to be is a Picnic Basket. Be sure to fill it with two of everything- linen napkins, place mats, plates, cups, flatware and pretty glasses. Don't forget to include a table cloth, candles & candle sticks and some of the couples favorite treats.
Another special gift is a small Planter of Cooking Herbs such as Basil, Parsley, Sage, Thyme, Oregano and Rosemary. Make it even more special by including a book on Herb Gardening and an Herb Cookbook.
Try this yummy meal using Garden Gates Italian Sausage and let your tastes soar....
Three Cheese Herb Pasta Bake
3 Tbsp. butter 1 tsp each- basil, dill & oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley from Garden Gate
1/4 cup Whole Wheat flour, from Garden Gate 1/2 tsp. Pink Himalayan Salt
1 tsp. mustard from 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
3 cup milk 16oz. package ofRigatoni, cooked
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese from 1 pound Italian Sausage from Garden Gate1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; saute one minute. Whisk in flour & mustard. Pour in milk; continue to whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer one minute.
2. Combine cheeses; reserve 3/4 cup and set aside. Add remaining cheese to sauce, a little at a time, stirring until cheese melts. Add herbs and seasonings.
3. Toss pasta with sauce; sprinkle with reserved cheese. Spoon into a lightly greased 13"x9" baking pan. Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Uncover and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden and bubbly.
Posted by Neil & Jean
@ 07:59 AM EDT
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