Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas!

 

 


 Merry Christmas to all who celebrate.
May your day be blissed!
~daisy and crew
 
hoping for snow!


Friday, December 18, 2020

Garden Friday

 

Our homestead

Welcome to Garden Friday!
The blog has been fairly quiet
because there just isn't that much to share!
We really don't go anywhere these days,
and even most of the garden chores have slowed down.
It's been a fabulous fall
with just enough work to keep me hummin'.

 
The row covers are still working their magic.
We've had consistent temperatures in the 30's and 40's
for a good while and everything tucked underneath
has been just fine.
Things aren't growing a whole lot,
but that's expected when temperatures get this low
and the sunshine is somewhat scarce.
The carrots and leek are enjoying their protection,
but would most likely be okay left to their own devices.
I sowed some lettuce, leek and spinach last week,
not knowing if it will be warm enough to germinate.
What a wonderful surprise it will be
if it actually pops up!

 
The garden is still crankin' out the lettuce!
A couple of times a week I'll go pick a big handful
and it makes me smile to see that it barely needs rinsing because it's so clean.
The under layer of shredded leaves keeps the soil off of it.
My favorite variety is still green oakleaf,
but having ordered next season's seeds,
that may change come spring.
 
 
The Walla-Walla onions have made some progress.
This bed is uncovered and doing just fine.
I keep picturing those bulbous onions being pulled up
and ready for a turn in the iron skillet.

 
I ended up pulling all the snap peas out
and giving them to the chooks.
I never did get a pod from them,
but sampled the shoots on several occasions.
I will give them another go in the early spring
to see if I can grow some peas to snack on.

 
Some time is spent each week shredding leaves
and chipping up small twigs and branches.
Some of the leaves have been raked up
to surround the trees on the property.
The idea is to provide warmth and nutrients to the soil underneath.
I'd like to add more bulbs around these areas
and taking care of the soil can only improve their chances.

 
It feels like winter has come a little early this year,
but you won't hear me complain one bit.
After living for years in Florida where winter showed up
for only a few days and then it was right back to heat and humidity,
these cool (even cold) days just feel right.
Still hoping for snow before spring comes,
as I have not lost the love for its magical spell.

Praying that you and yours are safe-n-sound.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Black Bean Medley

 
 

 
 
We've frequented the farmers' market in nearby Denver
a few times in the last month.
It was fabulous to find a local organic farmer
selling his produce there.
This lettuce mix from Piedmont Homestead
was absolutely scrumptious and I've enjoyed adding it to 
my own lettuce blends from our garden.
If you get there early enough, 
they have additional garden offerings like carrots and peppers.
The bonus is that the bags they use for containing their wares
are compostable.
Win-win!
 
 
 
The peppers I purchased from them
were added to a cast iron pan
along with red cabbage, onions, garlic and black beans.
Just a few simple ingredients,
but oh-so satisfying.



 This combination would be tasty over baked potatoes,
rice or quinoa,
but I chose to add it to some of the salad mix
from Piedmont Homestead and topped with my honey mustard dressing.
This is such a flavorful meal 
that tastes even better the next day!

 
Black Bean Medley
 
1 15 oz. can black beans
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 red cabbage, diced
2 bell peppers, diced
1 T cumin
2 t chili powder
1/2 t salt

Add all ingredients to a pan
and cook for 12-15 minutes.
Enjoy!

Friday, December 4, 2020

Garden Friday

 
 
 
It's Garden Friday
and we are hoping to thaw out from this week's low temperatures!
 With the Winter Solstice still looming,
we've had our share of chilly mornings around here.
Let's see how the garden fared.
 
 
Well, the clover that we use as a ground cover got frosted,
but as soon as the sun was out,
it bounced right back.

 
The beet greens got a bit icy,
but with the roots nestled cozily under ground,
the frost will simply make them sweeter.

 
That's what happened to the kale 
after its close encounter with the frigid conditions.
After sampling some yesterday while picking greens for my salad,
I couldn't believe how much sweeter it was!

 
Under the row covers, I checked to see how the carrots, leek,
lettuce and snap peas were managing.
Turns out, they were just fine and amazingly,
they continue to grow despite what the thermometer reads.

 
The Walla-Walla onions, which are uncovered,
are coming along nicely.
They don't seem to mind the icy temps at all.
We also have red cabbage and parsley growing in this bed.

 
The garlic just keeps on chuggin' along.
The drip irrigation has been disconnected over this last stretch of weather,
but we will monitor the temps and reconnect it when our lows
are back in the mid-to-high thirties.


There should be plenty of garlic for the coming year.
It will be harvested in May of 2021.

 
When working out in the yard this week,
I spied this gorgeous holly shrub,
just loaded with berries.
If that doesn't scream "the holidays",
what does?
I may have to snatch a few to decorate our mantel.

 
Unbelievably, the yarrow has actually had blossoms on it this week.
It doesn't seem fazed in the least by the chill factor.

 
We still have our sweet lil' (free) bush daisy,

 
as well as our salvia blooming.
These are some hearty flowering plants.
 
 
 Yesterday, I began pruning back a lot of dead material
in a couple of the beds.
This work will continue until things are tidied up.
There is still leaf mulching and wood chipping to do as well.
Autumn is a great time to get caught up 
on some foundational chores for the garden.
 
 
And speaking of tidying up,
this was one of three Gator loads of brush and debris
that was hauled off into the woods on one of my jobs.
There is enough left to keep me busy for a few weeks,
and I look forward to the task.
Wintertime can be sad for gardeners,
but it's also the time we need, to plan for future gardens,
stock up on seeds, and give our bodies a bit of rest.

 
As our temperatures have plummeted in recent days,
the chooks' water has been frozen solid when their coop is opened in the mornings.
A gallon-sized jar of warm water easily takes care of that.

Gandalf
 
They've also been getting some warm rice in the morning,
and extra food, which helps them maintain their body heat.
 I will be making a big batch of oatmeal for them,
so that it will be ready for their breakfast each day.
They give us so much,
it's the least we can do. 


 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Allergy-Friendly Pumpkin Pie

 
 
 
Thanksgiving Day last week was wonderful,
as it always is to someone who claims it as her favorite holiday.
 A full day dedicated to counting my blessings
suits me just fine.
Pumpkin pie is always on the dessert menu,
but this year, only Big K partook of the store-bought version.
I found a recipe that is corn, dairy, gluten and sugar free
for C and I to enjoy.
This adaptation didn't disappoint.
 

 
It started with a homemade gluten-free crust.
I'm not that big on pies,
and I don't do rolled cookies,
so I haven't had much practice with this rolling pin.
This dough came together so easily
and it helped that I made it the day before the big feast.

 
This crust is corn, dairy, and gluten free,
although there is a little bit of sugar in it.
For those staying away from oil,
this pie shell would work out just fine.
You can find the original crust recipe on Lori's
I subbed out the white rice flour and tapioca starch
for our usual Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour mix.


 

The pie filling was blended in our high speed mixer,
which took all of about 3 minutes.


The recipe came together in short order
and turned out even better than I thought it would.
Because I had never made it before,
and I was a little concerned that it wouldn't set up like traditional pumpkin pie,
I overcooked it a wee bit.
Next time, I will be sure to stick to the suggested baking time,
knowing that it will be just dandy.

If you have a loved one with multiple sensitivities,
I hope you'll give this recipe a try.
Just one more reason for gratitude.

 
 

1/4 C oats
3-4 T nut butter (I used more oats)
1 C nut milk
1/2 C + 1 T maple syrup
2 t vanilla
2 1/2 T arrowroot or cornstarch
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
2 t pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t salt

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender
or food processor.
Pour into crust.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
Makes 1 pie.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

 
 

Hoping you have many blessings to count.
God bless us, everyone.
~daisy

Monday, November 16, 2020

Birthday Wishes for Boo

 
 
 
My boy C is turning 20 today!
Where has the time gone?
 
Hoping your day is what you want it to be.
You are my heart.
love,
Momma
 

Friday, November 13, 2020

Garden Friday

 
 
Welcome to Sludgeville,
 I mean, Garden Friday!
With over 4 inches of rain in 36 hours,
our homestead is one saturated, sopping scene.

 

Just look at the waterfront property we've acquired
during this deluge.
This is the culvert that runs along our parcel,
although it looks like a bewitching brook dribbling down the hill.



 
The garden has been reaping the benefits
by getting much needed moisture.
Although we employ a drip irrigation system,
plants respond to rainfall like nothing else.
Our carrots, lettuce and other goodies are growing
by leaps and bounds.

 
There are greens galore,
including beets, broccoli, chard and tat soi.
I've been sampling each time I check on the garden.

 
The spinach is the greenest I've ever grown
and the kale is sweet and tender.
It must have to do with the dose of turkey poop given,
the cooler temperatures,
and the magic minerals that rainfall provides.

 
 Unfortunately, I've noticed that someone else
has been nipping at the leaves.
I think the chooks are helping themselves to some tasty tidbits.
 
 
It was thrilling to notice the first blooms on the snap peas.
That means that these will soon be gracing my plate.
Who am I kidding?
These never even make it into the house!
 
 
I was happy to see the garlic coming along.
This will stay in place until late spring,
when the bulbs have finished maturing.
Garlic is one of the easiest crops to grow,
and something we use almost daily.


 My lunchtime salad yesterday consisted
of fresh-picked greens.
We have colder weather coming early next week,
so the row covers will go back on where lettuce is sown.
Now that I am reaping the harvest,
I hope to be able to enjoy this bounty for months to come.

How's your fall garden doing?

Thursday, November 12, 2020

DIY Suet Feeder

 
 


 
Shortly after we moved up to North Carolina,
we rented a house with a great yard for bird watching.
These suet feeders were made out of the branches that were found
on the property.
They took only minutes to create using a paddle drill bit and some string.
We've been using them for a few years now,
but I wanted to find a way to improve them.
 Our original version of these suet feeders can be found here.
 

 
After thinking about it for a week or so
and noticing some scrap wood pieces in the garage,
an idea came together.

 
I fashioned a reservoir by screwing two pieces alongside
another piece, creating a long trough.
I used pilot holes to prevent the wood from cracking.

 
The bottom pieces were all flush.
 
 

 A length of wire was pushed through the sides
and looped around with a twist at the top.
It was filled with our own homemade suet.
You can find the easy recipe here.
 
 

The main purpose for the new feeders
was so that they didn't have to be filled quite as often.
So far, so good.
The birds have been enjoying the goodies
and entertaining us too.
With just a few scraps and a little time,
they should be pleased with the extra cold weather calories.