"Michigan Friends...From Market to Home" TM
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"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!
Posted by Jean
@ 07:43 PM EDT
"Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written
words." Lydia M. Child
I often talk about my love for journaling and awhile back I
talked about a Cookbook Journal I had made for my daughter
Taylor. Well, I also have created several Gardening Journals to
show the progress of my gardens as the years go by. It is fun
to put the photo's in along with magazine articles or pictures
that inspired me to my newest creation. As the years move
forward seeing the growth and changes that naturally take place
in a garden are both exciting and joyful. This morning while I
should have been busy harvesting, I just couldn't resist taking
a few moments to weed the Pergola garden and walkway... it is so
relaxing for me... the cool morning with the light fog across
the fields is so inviting as I prepare for the heat of the day.
Yesterday Taylor took the boys swimming and I had some quiet
time... in my gardens... Well here we are at the end of June and
I haven't even given you a Strawberry Freezer Jam recipe...
shame on me! Well they are still in season so here is my
families favorite and if you were fortunate enough to be one of
our Winter CSA members you got this in your shares... so here's
the not-so-secret recipe! Enjoy!
Gardening Journal's can be made from any type of book you
want... you can even make a homemade one for that matter.
Pre-made scrapbooks come in so many styles you are sure to be
able to find one that suits your style- botanical, cottage,
Victorian, English or shabby chic... the choices are endless.
Ordinary composition books work well and these can be easily
personalized. You can design the covers to inspire their
contents and your gardening style. A color photocopy of a any
picture from a gardening book or magazine can be used; Just
about any type of sturdy, decorative paper, including maps and
wallpaper, can be used for the pages of your gardening journal if you decide to go homemade.
Here are the materials and instructions on how to create a home
made journal using a composition book- (SEE ATTACHED PHOTO)
Tools and Materials that would be helpful in this endeavor:
Blank composition book
Bone folder or wallpaper squeegee
2-inch-wide self-adhesive linen tape- be sure the color matches
your theme- can purchase at any craft store.
Customized Journal How-To
1. With a ruler, measure the front cover of a blank composition
book. Adding 1/2 inch to all sides, measure and cut two pieces
of decorative paper to size.
2. Apply a thin layer of glue to the front cover of the
composition book including the spine. Lay a piece of decorative
paper patterned or a photocopy of one that you have chosen side
down on a work surface, and carefully center the book's glued
cover on the paper. Turn the book over, and use a bone folder or
squeegee to smooth out any wrinkles; let dry. Carefully trim
excess paper using a craft knife. Repeat process with book's
3. Cut a piece of adhesive linen tape slightly longer than the
book's spine. Remove the tape backing, and carefully center the
tape along the spine. Adhere the tape to the spine; use a bone
folder to smooth out any wrinkles. Carefully trim excess tape
using craft knife.
As gardener's we all should have a First Aid Kit handy
in the potting shed or at least in the house. Our garden's have
many hazards all there own and we should take precautions to be
safe. It harbors insects that bite, thorns that scratch, and
other potential nuisances that may require simple first aid.
~ A basic kit should include the following: alcohol for
cleaning wounds, triple anti-biotic ointment, cotton balls,
bandages of all sizes, gauze and tape, Epsom salt for soaking,
tweezers for thorns and splinters, organic insect repellent and
sunscreen, anti-itch cream for stinging nettles and poison ivy,
Benedryl, and of course some wonderful organic hand cream to
sooth and soften your dry skin at the end of the day.
*Be sure that if anyone in your home has KNOWN allergies to bee
stings you have an epee pen on hand at all times when out of
doors. Be sure to check with your physician for info on this.
Testing Old Seeds
Many of us are still planting and adding things into the
garden. We come across a spot that we are sure could fit one
more thing in and decide to plant... what shall it be as we sort
through all the leftover seeds? Or we may have some seeds that
germinated spotty in the garden so we want to fill in and get a
full row. Succession planting keeps us busy seeding and planting
right through into late fall. With this in mind you will want to
be sure your seeds are viable~ especially if saved over from
last year. I save seeds for up to 3 years, some think that is
foolish, but I always
do a germination test and I have not had many disappointments. This sounds much
harder than it is, but anyone with water, paper towel, plastic
baggie and seeds can do it~ really! Seeds saved can be worth
sowing -- but only if they pass this germination test:
* Fold 10 seeds in moist paper towel, place in resealable bag,
mark with date put in and the date germination if viable should
take place, as well as the type of seed.
*Be sure to read on the package instructions how many days the
seed takes to germinate~ add a couple to be sure. *After the
'day's to germination' have safely passed by, open the paper
towel to see how many of the seeds germinated. *Multiply that
number by 10 to calculate the percent of germination. More than
70 percent is passing. If between 40 and 60 percent, sow
thickly. Below 40 percent, it's best to buy fresh seed.
~Be sure to keep any seed you want to save for next year in the
freezer in air tight freezer bags or plastic containers. Also
be sure to label any packages that may be tattered or where the
labels may be faded.
Cute Personalized Herb Pots... make cute gifts or are a
wonderful addition clustered together on your window sill or
table top. Personalizing them is so super easy, yet adds such a
flare to the simplest pot! Individually, they're portable and
easy to handle: Bring the basil indoors, for example, when
making pesto, instead of stooping in the garden. When you plant
the herbs, label the rims with a permanent felt-tip marker, and
use these pots year after year!
Strawberries, strawberries... oh yummy strawberries! Here is
our families favorite Strawberry Freezer Jam recipe. This is
one of the few jams I don't can... Strawberry Jam frozen is like
eating them fresh picked~ there is no comparison with canned!
Strawberry Freezer Jam
3/4 cup pectin - equivalent to 6oz. (like sure-jel)
1 1/4 cup water
4 cups whole strawberries (1 quart container)
4 cups organic raw sugar
*Following the instructions, especially with the amount of sugar
is crucial to have proper set up! DON'T SKIMP ON THE SUGAR!!!!
1. De-stem berries and then crush berries in a bowl; add sugar
and stir for 3 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Let stand for
2. Boil pectin and water for exactly one minute and 45
seconds! Start timing when the mixture is at a rolling boil.
3. As soon as the time is up add the pectin mixture to the
strawberry mixture slowly pouring in and continually stirring
for 3 minutes to dissolve sugar completely! It will be grainy
if it is not stirred long enough.
4. Pour into either freezer containers or canning jars. Leave 1
inch head space in either container.
5. Let set on your counter for 24 hours before freezing.
Heirloom Tomatoes, fresh garlic and just picked basil... this
all adds up to Brushetta at our home! Here is our families
1 loaf Persian Bread from Sunflour Bakehaus or a loaf of fresh
7-8 Roma tomatoes or 4 to 5 large ones, diced~from Garden Gate~
multi colored looks best!
2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. sea salt or earth salt
1/2 cup olive oil from The Olive Oil Store, plus extra for
brushing on bread
1/2 cup fresh snipped basil leaves from Garden Gate
Fresh Parmesan Cheese
1. In a 2 quart bowl put chopped tomatoes; sprinkle salt over
top. Let set for about 10 minutes.
2. In the mean time snip basil finely; add basil, minced garlic
and 1/2 cup olive oil to tomatoes; stir gently as not to mash
the tomatoes. Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before
serving so flavors blend.
3. Just before serving, cut bread into 2-3 inch wide pieces,
then slice diagonally; lay on a cookie sheet and brush olive oil
onto one side, flip over and brush oil on other side; place in
oven under low broiler and toast until golden, about 1-2
minutes; flip and brown other side.
4. Top bread with brushetta topping; grate fresh Parmesan over
top. Serve immediately.
Posted by Jean
@ 03:10 PM EDT
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