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Showing posts from May, 2020

Spring Garden Tour

We've had intermittent rain and sun the past few days.  It's been a perfect combination of weather to cause amazing things to happen in the garden.  Let's go outside and see how our spring garden is coming along!  For about a month now, we've been harvesting and eating some of our early season produce, such as the lettuce, kale, spinach and swiss chard (see below).  Yesterday, I couldn't stop myself from picking some of the broccoli leaves.  I made a casserole with them based on an idea from a friend. It used about a dozen of the giant broccoli leaves, which I blanched for about 15 seconds and then put into ice water.  Then, I filled each leaf with a cooked meat and bulgur mixture (the mixture also had tomatoes and sharp cheddar).  Then I rolled the leaf (kind of like a tiny burrito) and lined them up in a 9x13 pan.  Once the pan was filled with the broccoli rolls, I sprinkled fresh Parmesan cheese on top and then baked the casserole in the oven at 350 degrees for a

Installing a New Storm Door

Last weekend, we deciding that installing a new storm door was absolutely necessary.  We had gotten the most mileage possible from our old storm door, using duct tape to hold the glass in place and removing the broken pneumatic cylinder.  The old storm door did little to keep anything in; the dog could push it open with her nose.  And the blasted thing slammed shut so loudly you could hear it all the way down at the garden and barn. The loud slamming actually had one benefit: it alerted us that the dog had gotten loose and was running wildly.  Multiple times our poor mailman has been seen making a mad dash from our doorstep (where he'd just left a package) back to his truck, as he frantically tried to avoid confrontation with our escaped dog.  The old door had to go, and a new one would keep the dog contained while also improving the security and appearance of the front of the house. We purchased the new door from Home Depot ( here's the model we selected ).  Options in storm d

Starting a Blueberry Farm

An opportunity presented itself and we took the plunge: we're starting a blueberry farm! This wasn't an overnight decision as we've actually spent a number of years considering and calculating and planning what it would take.  But the decision to do it now was sudden.  We hadn't even prepared our blueberry field when we bought our first 100 blueberry bushes!  The 3-year-old blueberry plants thankfully aren't root bound, and so they are doing quite well hanging out in the garden enclosure where they are safe from the deer.  Meanwhile, we are working diligently toward getting the blueberry field established. With the disruptions we are all seeing in the food supply chain, local seems to be the best option for food security.  We've been doing all we can to grow our produce right here. This year we expanded our garden and also invited a friend and their family to join us with a patch dedicated to them.  We might even have enough to sell produce to neighbors or at th

Are Antique Coffee Grinders Any Good?

After spending time using a manual wooden coffee grinder, our answer is a resounding yes that antique coffee grinders are definitely worthwhile.  No electricity is required to operate one, and they are made of durable materials that will last a lifetime. We recently discovered first-hand that antique coffee grinders are not just valuable for their artistic beauty. An antique coffee grinder remains to this day a useful device that can save your beans when its newer electric cousin suddenly goes kaput during a pandemic.  Every night, my husband grinds coffee beans (bless his heart) and fills the coffee maker (my hero).  He makes the most amazing elixir of the gods that is absolutely required to jump-start our systems in the morning.  Tragically, the other day our electric coffee grinder's motor seized.  Of course, we had no ground coffee in the house; upon doing a frantic inventory we deduced that we were only stocked with a ginormous bag of coffee beans from Costco.  So, what were w