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Showing posts from May, 2022

Stocking the Freezer: Sour Cherry Crisp (Ready to Bake)

Imagine having homemade sour cherry crumble, four pie tins full, ready, and waiting in your freezer. All you have to do is take one out, let it thaw, and then bake it on a cookie sheet. I'm still working on using up the fruit that I froze last summer, including tart cherries. So, I decided to make a few pie tins full of sour cherry pie filling and then add a crumble topping made with oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and walnuts. In all, the batch I made filled four 8-inch tinfoil pie plates. Then, each of these fits inside a gallon ziplock bag. I used a straw to remove the air from each bag. They're ready to go into the freezer. With any kind of frozen dessert that has a crumble topping, I think I'll thaw it in the fridge first. That way, the topping won't get too brown during baking. Alternatively, I think you could bake it at a low temperature (like 325 degrees F) for a half-hour and then increase the heat at the end if needed. If the top starts to get browned,

Busy Farm Weekend

  We had a busy weekend filled with farm activities. This past week, we took care of Patch the donkey while his owners were on vacation. He's a sweet animal. But it did mean a few extra chores every day. Everyone helped and we even managed to get his stall all cleaned out on Saturday before his owners returned. I've spent many hours in the garden, planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting. We also weeded around our hundred or so blueberry bushes (that was a terrible chore). Yesterday, I saw a giant orange and black bumblebee on the blue borage flowers. It was the biggest bumblebee I've ever seen. It was drifting from flower to flower, just like the smaller bees. Above is the best photo I was able to get, but it doesn't do the bee justice. I mean, he was ENORMOUS, the size of four regular bumblebees.   My husband helped me hang a vintage goose tea towel rack my sister gave me ages ago. We had to put a couple of anchors into our lathe and plaster wall, which is why I ha

We Bought a Hammock at Auction

Last weekend, we bought a practically new hammock at a local auction. First, my husband had to order straps to attach the hammock to the trees. Then the straps arrived today. My husband wasted no time getting the hammock up and testing it out. In fact, each of us took turns climbing inside it.     It's amazingly cozy. I was surprised at how relaxing it actually was stretched out there. All of us agreed this is the perfect summer spot. The trees we put the hammock between seem to be growing at precisely the correct distance from each other so that a hammock could hang there. Was it planned that way? Sure does seem like it. Look at the beautiful tree canopy above. Family and friends, come and stay with us and enjoy the hammock this summer!

A Herd of Deer Returns

The deer are here! Now that the weather is warmer, the deer have returned in groups. Today, a herd of five large deer came through our pasture and walked across the front yard. They were enormous! I'm sure I recognize this group; the two bucks with the antlers in velvet are the twin babies we first saw a couple of years ago. They were not shy at all. I was able to walk up reasonably close. They wandered over to the blueberry bushes and started tugging on the netting. I had to shoo them away. Yesterday, a young buck was trying to figure out how to nudge open the garden gate. I ran out with the broom and waved it at him.   Otherwise, we enjoy seeing them around the property when they aren't trying to eat our garden and blueberries. There are plenty of other things for them to eat around here. They nibble on the lower branches of the trees and eat our roses. There's a whole trail full of native bushes and plants. They also eat dandelions (we are never in short supply of those

Bees Can Sting Through Your Jeans

Bees can indeed sting through jeans. I did not know that.  My honeybees seemed so gentle that I haven't been using the smoker when I've gone into the hive.  Even if I have to brush some out of the way, they just go back to work and ignore me.  Well, not today!  Those angry bees swarmed out of the hive and gave me the what-for.  Not only that, they gathered around my crotch and stung me right there through the jeans.  I have 8 bee stings in my upper thighs and unmentionable area.  I had to drop everything and run away, far away, and then even farther away because they were furiously chasing me.  Then I was jumping around grabbing my crotch because it felt like they were continuing to bite me. Were they somehow inside my pants?  I ran into the garage and ripped my pants off to see.  Bees fell on the ground around me and were buzzing all over in there. Sadly, after changing my jeans and scraping the remaining bees from my person, I had to go back out there and finish feeding them

We Planted 1,000 Cloves of Garlic

Last October, we planted over 1,000 cloves of garlic in our garden. Look at how much it has grown! This garlic has its origins in five heads of garlic that our friends, Dan and Debbie, gave us from their garden a few years ago.  After receiving their gift, I broke apart the 5 heads and planted each clove in the garden. I think there were about 25 or 30 cloves back then.   The following year, I harvested that garlic and the flowers on top.  The flowers yielded thousands of tiny bulbils.  There were so many bulbils that I got tired of planting them and just broadcasted them across a patch of dirt.  I'm not sure how many grew, but it was an abundant harvest of small cloves of garlic.  Some I just left out there, and they are continuing to grow. So then, last October, I planted as many of them as I had time (over 1,000 cloves) into the garden once again.  So, I took 5 heads and turned them into a thousand heads of garlic in 3 years. This is nature's bounty. With patience, you can m