Enjoy the everyday life I love to live!
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The Season of Autumn...
This is Neil's and most of the children's favorite season... I
like it too, but I am all about Spring and Summer. I do love
Autumn for the harvest though... the smell and crunch of the
leaves under foot... the caa-caa of the Blue Jays feasting on the
sunflowers in the front garden... the sound of the wind whistling
through the leaves still hanging onto the branches... not quite
ready to sail away...watching our can shelves, freezers and root
cellars start to fill up to over flowing... Oh the bounty of
Autumn, how thankful are we! The children enjoy the slower pace
that Autumn leans into... once the fields are plowed and all that
is left is the hoop house and animal care duties, life seems to
take on a slower pace... more relaxed and peaceful. Now the boys
and Neil are in full swing of making firewood to both heat our
home and to sell at market. I love to hear the chainsaws roaring
and the smack of the axe. I get to start using the cook stove
again now... oh that smell of wood burning so close lends to a
feeling more cozy than words can describe. I love our cook
stove... it reminds me of when we would go way up North into
Canada to visit my dad's folks. They didn't have electricity or
indoor plumbing until I was about 12 years old... I loved the
smell that rose into the upstairs when grandma was frying up fresh
eggs and bacon for breakfast... covered and cozy under her
quilts... not really wanting to venture out into the cold... the
heat would start to move slowly through the old farm house
upstairs and then I would jump out of bed and quick get dressed
and run downstairs. Everyone else was always up and moving long
before I. It was a happy feeling... a cozy, homey feeling that I
had there. Now I have a cook stove of my own and although I only
use it in the cold months, I can't think of doing without it.
Posted by Neil & Jean
@ 09:24 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
"Any garden demands as much of its maker as he has to give. but
I do not need to tell you, if you are a gardener, that no other
undertaking will give as great a return for the amount of effort
put into it." Elizabeth Lawrence, 1904-1985, Gardening For
I absolutely cherish the moments that I get to be in the garden
with our children. It is quality time that I feel will make a
lasting impression on their lives and hopefully create memories
for them of special moments with mom teaching them about how God
makes all this great stuff happen! I love to see them planting
seeds, transplanting a tomato plant in the garden, tilling up the
good earth and feeling that soft, rich soil squish between their
toes! My children love to feel
that they have their own little space in the garden, to grow the
things that interest them, to experiment and to harvest what they
tended. It can be a challenge sometimes to include them. It is
often just easier to do it ourselves and just getting it done. It
will usually add on some minutes, well maybe even hours, with the
little helpers involved! But what memories you will make, what
happiness will beam in their eyes when they pull out that carrot
from the seed 'they' planted. That smile, that gleam in the eye is
worth more than all the saved minutes of just doing it our self.
I love everything about gardening...
yes even the back wrenching weeding & hoeing, the sun burnt
back of my neck and the stiff arms... I love gardening!
Here are some fun ideas to incorporate your children into your
Gardening With Your Children~
*Be sure to have child size tools for the
little folks. You can purchase such items at just about any store
that sells gardening supplies. Make them responsible for their
tools- to put them back, keep them clean, and be careful when
using. Add a name plaque where their tools belong
in the potting shed or garage, make them feel special.
*Keeping them interested is another challenge, especially
with the ones that aren't that interested. Allow them to
choose what they would like to grow. Some suggestions
would be giant sunflowers, pumpkins, decorative gourds or root
crops. Radishes and lettuce are quick growers and can be
'encouraging' to the one that needs a little boost in interest.
They are also available in multiple colors and sizes and can
really encourage interest. If you choose a root crop I would
suggest using some fun Heirloom things. Carrots for instance
offer a multitude of shapes and colors, from Cosmic Purple to
Lunar White and every shade of orange in between. Potatoes are
also a fun crop. You can purchase red, white and even blue
potatoes. Watch their eyes light up when they dig those
*If you don't have a spot for a garden, let them
Container Garden. You can use anything~ some fun
things for the little people would be a wagon planted with some
pansies, an old shoe with some Hen's & Chicks or any type of
pot. They can plant herbs, flowers or veggies. Go back to my blog
on Container Gardens in the archives to get more great ideas.
*Also in the archives you will find the blog with the
Sunflower House so your child/ren can create a secret
room or play house.
*Plant a cucumber plant; once the plant
starts to form flowers it will not take long for it to start
changing into a cucumber; once the cucumber is still small enough
to fit into the hole of a 20oz. or so plastic bottle, carefully
insert the cucumber into the hole. Make sure the bottle is clear;
once the cucumber 'fills' the bottle, pluck it off the plant and
carefully cut the bottle off! Presto, a bottle shaped cucumber.
This would work with many types of veggies, try out a few and use
different containers to make multiple shapes.
*If you grow a pumpkin plant, once the
pumpkin is about 6 inches across, carefully scratch the child's
name and a silly face into the skin being careful not to
puncture. Over time as it grows, the drawing will grow right
along with it!
*With a stick, trace the child's name into
the soil in a planting area; sprinkle lettuce, radish or carrot
seed in the name. Watch it grow!
*Be sure to take tons of pictures of your
child in the garden and even photograph the planting, growing and
harvesting process so those precious memories will not be
Veggies On The Grill
As I have mentioned often, we love to grill and it is grilling
season. I will probably be giving lots of grill time recipe's so
if you don't have a grill, now's the time to get one!
4-6 large red skin potatoes from The Garden Gate Farm, washed
& cut into chunks with skins on
1 yellow onion from Garden Gate, cut into slivers
1 clove of garlic from Garden Gate, minced
1 cup spinach leaves from Garden Gate, washed & trimmed into
bite size pieces
1 cup of Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes from Garden Gate
1 medium yellow squash from Garden Gate, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 tsp. Matt's Mix Seasoning Salt
1/4 cup fresh Thyme from The Garden Gate
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 Tbsp. butter, diced
piece of foil wrap large enough to hold all ingredients and be
folded over and sealed on top and sides.
1. In foil place all veggies; sprinkle evenly over top with
seasoning and herb; drizzle Olive oil over top; put dobs of butter
evenly dispersed over all.
2. Fold over the foil across the top and sides so it doesn't leak.
3. Place on top rack of grill and let cook about 45minutes to an
This goes great with any type of meat, so grill some awesome
T-bones from Garden Gate to go along with it, and let your taste
buds be taken to an all new level!
Posted by Neil & Jean
@ 08:15 AM EDT
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