For Dragonflies And Me

  (Snover, Michigan)
Enjoy the everyday life I love to live!
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Resolutions, Getting Rid of the Winter Blahs, Get Together Ideas and Yummy Winter Time Soup Recipes!


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 year.    [Read More]
 
 

Gift Giving Ideas and More Yummy Winter Thyme Recipes


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. Enjoy friends.

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...
  [Read More]
 
 

More Garden Junque Ideas, Window Pane Mini Greenhouse, Seed Packet Calendar Box and Yummy Rhubarb Upside Down Treat

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!   [Read More]
 
 

Be Green Ideas, Nifty Bug Trap, Mailbox in the Garden and Yummy Spring Spinach Topped Tomatoes

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! 
  [Read More]
 
 

Remembrance Trees, Wedding Shower & Gift Idea's and yummy Three Cheese Herb Pasta Bake

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 Gate
1 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.

Happy Day,
Jean
 
 
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