Thursday, March 31, 2011

Egg Pie

I had forgotten how good a simple quiche could be.
With the acquisition of some farm fresh eggs,
I knew I had to do something different.
Egg pie seemed like a good idea.


The recipe is from Jenna Woginrich's
This is a new addition to my menu-by-the-month plan.
The pie crust recipe is also in the book.
Supper (or brunch) just couldn't be easier.



Three-Hen Quiche



olive oil
1/3 C diced onions
3 large eggs
1 C milk
salt/pepper
1/2 C-1 C grated cheddar cheese
1 pie crust



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Heat oil in skillet and saute onions. 
Add to pie crust. 
Beat eggs together with milk in a glass measuring cup. 
Add salt/pepper to taste.   
Sprinkle cheese over onions and then pour in egg mixture.
Bake 45-50 minutes, until golden. 
Enjoy!



*I added leftover sauteed mushrooms and diced roasted potatoes from the fridge to the pie pictured.
Pretty much any leftovers will do nicely.*






Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Here ya go, honey!

Remember a time when things were simpler?
When folks could make a living doing what
they loved and did it for generations?
That time still exists in Lake Wales, FL.
Welcome to Struther's Honey.


This family business has gone through 4 generations
in the same location, making golden, delicious,
unprocessed honey for those of us fortunate
enough to live nearby.



The inside of the tiny store displays not only
their scrumptious confections, but also
the history of the family business in pictures.



The kicker? 
They use the honor system to collect their income.
You simply take what you want, add up the amount,
and place it in the box.
How many places still do that?
Just this endearing practice alone
would make me continue to support them.



I feel blessed to be able to purchase a product
from folks who live their passion.
Quality control is never a concern because
they believe in what they are doing.
I'm so glad they do because I plan to
keep going back and fillin' up that box!

Wanna read more?



barnhopimage




Sunday, March 27, 2011

Making Seed Pots



I know you can buy those cute lil' peat pots that look
oh-so neat and tidy.  They appeal to an
organized gal like myself. 
But what is even more satisfying,
is knowing that I can make my own seed containers
with stuff just laying around the house.


This paper came in a package we received this week.
You can use newspaper too, if you like.
Any cup or glass will do, as long as it has a wide mouth.



Just fold the strips of paper over a couple of times lengthwise.
Total length doesn't really matter.
It's all gonna end up as compost anyway!



Set the cup or glass on the paper
with about 1" over the open end.
Roll, baby, roll!
What fun for the kids!



Tuck the top parts into the cup
and press it like a mold.
This will end up to be the bottom.



Remove the cup or glass and place the molded part
down on a flat surface.
Place the cup or glass back into the pot
and smash down with your hand.
This should give you a flat bottom.



Your pots should look somethin' like this.
I folded down the rims so that
they would stay together a bit better.



Place potting soil into the pots and plant your seeds!
I had some leftover eggshells, so I used those too.
Water lightly and keep moist until you see
green stuff popping up!

Once the seeds sprout,
you can place the entire pot into the ground. 
No need to transfer or uproot, which is great for plants
that don't like to be moved.
The whole kit-n-kaboodle will deteriorate with time,
and add nutrients to the soil.

This is a great homeschooling project. 
So easy to do and it's always wonderful
when you can make something useful yourself.
Happy sprouting, y'all!

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Making a rain barrel



One of the best things we did was add rain barrels
to our landscape.  The weather patterns here have changed over the   5+ years we have been living in Central Florida. 
No longer can we anticipate any consistent rainstorms
in the afternoon during the summer months.  
It's one of the things I miss most...



Vessels filled with the liquid gold are a sight for sore eyes.
I guess I am easily contented,
but it does my heart good to know that
there will be plenty of clean water
to indulge the plant life around here.
The bonus is that Mother Nature provides it free of charge.



The convenience of having water right next to the garden
makes it less likely that I will forget to keep the soil moist.
I enjoy physical labor, so the idea of carrying water
to its distribution place does not deter me.
Rather, it helps me feel connected to the garden,
and to those who came before me
working as farmers to provide others
with food, flowers and beauty.



Because of the HOA in our neighborhood,
we have been forced to
so it is a bit more trouble to have to tote water
from the back to water the front garden. 
No matter.  I am happy to do it,
knowing I'm not spending one penny
to keep the garden growing.


The following link is from one of my favorite
newsletters, Living the Country Life.
Rain barrels are part of our lifestyle.
How 'bout you?

Making a Rain Barrel
(I miss Paul James.)

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Better Off by Eric Brende
***


"What happens when a graduate of MIT, the bastion of technological advancement, and his bride move to a community so primitive in its technology that even Amish groups consider it antiquated?
Eric Brende conceives a real-life experiment:  to see if, in fact, all our cell phones, wide-screen TVs, and SUVs have made life easier and better-or whether life would be preferable without them."

In this first-person account, the author shares his experience living among some mighty simple folk.  From planting, growing and harvesting their own food, to dealing with the isolation felt even within the community, to assisting with the birth of their first child, Eric Brende communicates the challenges and rewards of turning off technology.  Eric and his wife Mary tackle the everyday chores of living, with the added intensity of knowing that they are solely responsible for making things work.  Learning takes place on a daily basis for these two young adventurers.  Based on the way the book ends, it's fair to say that the 18-month experiment left a lasting mark on them.

Monday, March 21, 2011

State Park for March


Welcome to Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring!



This park offers paved and dirt bike trails, walking trails, camping, picnic areas, a playground,
boardwalks, and an hour-long tram ride.



It's green, lush, and oh so Florida.





The skyscrapers here are something to behold!



Wonderful species are found in the pools of collected water.







The air was cool and crisp on this day before spring.
Not a mosquito in sight!



Remnants of old growth make way for new greenery and
provide a home for forest life.



Lovely ferns could be found everywhere!



I believe this is a Florida maple, one of my favorites!



The enormous Cypress trunks seem like something
out of a fairy tale.



Highlands Hammock is home to the CCC Museum.
I was fascinated to learn about this amazing program. 

As one of the original four Florida State Parks, Highlands Hammock had its birth in the years of the Great Depression when local citizens resisted efforts to turn the area into agricultural lands. Later the Civilian Conservation Corps was called in and, from camps within the park, worked to restore the area, create facilities and fence the park's boundaries. Highlands Hammock opened as a state park in 1935. A commemorative statue and CCC museum recognizing the contributions of the Civilian Conservation Corps and its help in the development of the Florida public parks reside within the Highlands Hammock State Park.




So far, I think this is our favorite park. 
Fortunately for us, it is close by. 
Oh yeah, we'll be back...


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Upcoming Event



5TH ANNUAL FLORIDA
WILDFLOWER & GARDEN FESTIVAL

Saturday, March 26, 2011 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Historic Downtown DeLand West Indiana Ave.

FREE ADMISSION & PARKING

www.FloridaWildflowerFestival.com 386-738-0649

GUEST SPEAKERS
Athens Theatre

10:00 – 10:45
Growing Wildflowers in Florida
JRNewbold,
Forest Groves Inc.

11:00 – 11:45
Bees/Beekeeping
Doug McGinnis, Co-Owner,
Tropical Blossom Honey

12:00 – 12:45
Topic TBA
Tom MacCubbin,
UF/IFASExtension Agent Emeritus
and Radio and television host of “Better Lawns and Gardens”

1:00 – 1:45
Florida Wildflowers and Pollinators:
Working Together to help
Promote Awareness and Conservation
Jaret Daniels, Ph.D., Assistant Professor,
Florida Museum of Natural History

2:00 – 3:00
Wildflowers by the Seasons
Walter Taylor, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus,
University of Central Florida

3:15 – 4:00
Growing Wildflowers & Vegetables in Raised Beds
Dana Venrick, President,
Quality GreenSpecialists, Inc.

DEMONSTRATIONS

Chess Park

10:30am
Flower Arranging with
Native Plants & Wildflowers
Lucy Lombardi, Garden Club of DeLand

1:30pm
Composting
David Griffis,Director,
University of Florida IFAS Extension

ENTERTAINMENT

2:30pm Live performance by Somethin’ Else

All Day DJ Andy Ferrari

KIDS ART ZONE

All Day Provided by the Museum of Florida Art

MAINSTREET DELAND

SHOPPING & DINING

Visit our charming Downtown
restaurants, shops and boutiques!

FREE SHUTTLE TO DELAND
OUTDOOR ART FESTIVAL
SE Corner of W. Indiana & N. Florida

VENDORS

West Indiana Ave

Potted Wildflowers,

Wildflower Seeds, Plants,

Planters, Arts & Crafts,

Botanical Products, Honey,

Home & Garden & More!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Worth Waiting For...

Wait for it...









Ta-da!





I hope you're enjoying your own blooms this fine day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life

Made From Scratch by Jenna Woginrich
******

Inspired by her growing admiration for small farmers and her equally strong distaste for out-of-control consumerism, Jenna Woginrich decided to take greater control of her life-what she ate, what she wore, and how she spent her free time.  Learn a few basic country skills, she reasoned, and she would be able to produce at least some of the food and resources she used every day.

This book and Jenna's blog,  Cold Antler Farm, are two of the reasons I found a name for what I've always felt.  She introduced me to the word barnheart, which I found out had been plaguing me for years.  In this her first book, she tackles topics on beekeeping, raising chickens, mountain music and cooking country-style.  Each section is succinctly described, so that anyone who follows her instructions can be successful at these homestead tasks.  This is the type of book that really goes down easy.  In fact, you don't want it to end because you want to hear what else the author has to say. 
I can honestly say it is one of the best that I've read on the subject.  Through this book and her blog, Jenna has taught me so much about why homesteading is the right fit for me.  From the looks of it, I'm not alone!



Monday, March 14, 2011

We've Had a Visitor

Look what I discovered under the mulch! 
Remind me to always wear shoes out in the garden!