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Wednesday 23 July 2014

Green Living

Tonight I had a stir fry with some brown rice noodles. I enjoyed the first crop of pole beans, snap peas, a huge head of broccoli, a succulent zucchini, newly cured garlic, some beet greens, and little balls of fresh green coriander.

I have been busy watering the huge garden, house painting, and accumulating a beautiful fabric stash for this winter's sewing projects, thanks to my mom, some thrifting, and two nice bloggers out there that gifted me with fabric this year.
This red currant bush produces every year. The berries taste slightly insipid but when sweetened they make yummy jam. Also jammed this summer was black currant and gooseberry. I didn't have enough strawberries and raspberries left over from fresh eating for jam this year.

By the end of this season I should have enough photos to do a

Canning and Homemade Jam Tutorial.
In short: follow the recipe and instructions in the box of Pectin. You can buy pectin at the store in the form of liquid or crystals. Do not skimp on the sugar if you want your jam to firm up enough to spread. Making jam is like making gooey candy.

*I have tried making homemade natural pectin by boiling down green apples. It did not set properly but I may try again, with more sugar.. Homemade pectin can be made in the fall and canned for the following year.

The only tricky part about canning is that multiple burners must be going to heat up the jars and lids (to sterilize) and to make sure the jam is also hot when it goes into the jars. This is why canning with a wood stove is so great, because everything can be on the stove ready to go.

I tell ya its like I have five extra kids back there.

Nemo inexpicably had the runs and I gave her some molasses with baking soda to calm her tummy.

Ken's horn injury is slowly healing. She still has to take it easy.

Firefly is such a star. She gives milk all the time!
 She is related to the King goats of Lake Hill Farm.

Mom can I have a snack PLEEEASE?

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Thursday 17 July 2014

A Bit of Sewing

Here are a few quick shots of a couple of some of the reversible shoulder bags that I've been making for the Farmer's Market.

They are comfy and slouchy and easy to flip inside out.

They were super quick and easy to make. Mostly I copied a cloth bag that my mom gave me for Christmas years ago, but I also looked at a few tutorials out there before drafting a pattern. I really enjoyed making these.

I'd like to make some specialized tags for them. People love to buy souvenirs from our island.

We named our new silkie "laying hen" Goldie Hawn. Only, just today, I got home this afternoon and my son said, "Goldie Hawn was crowing this day!"

Oh! Great!

Just what I need! Another rooster!

Apparently, hens sometimes crow. I would find it hard to believe that Goldie is actually a male but we haven't found any tiny eggs yet (she was supposedly laying) and David's dad confirmed that she/he was exhibiting cockerel behavior! Damn.

Thankfully I believe that more hens are coming along. The little chicks have integrated with the flock and everybody is getting along. The chicks stick together, though, and this morning they were all huddling together, nestled in a patch of sandy dirt. So cute.

Finally we also have a run for the big birds so that they have to stay out of the garden and they can't come and poop by our front door (they like to huddle there when it rains)

I am completely blissed out by this new Ovation guitar that I got for my birthday. It is the nicest instrument I have ever called my own, the sweet thing practically plays itself. All over the island, foxgloves are blooming and the garden is starting to give us sweet peas, cucumbers, new potatoes, raspberries, and more salad than I can eat and give away. I am feeling blessed and grateful.

Thanks for reading.


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