Thursday, July 29, 2010

Milagros Pequeños

Miracles are natural. When they do not occur something has gone wrong.

-author unknown

I was having a less than happy day today, so when I got home from work I rushed to the garden for some Horticultural Therapy...

Here are the Little Miracles that awaited...

potatoes, planted from seed in March

The first full size tomatoes! (we've been enjoying the cherry varieties for weeks now) The bigger one is an heirloom, Costoluto Genovese... Seedling from Green Planet Organics.

The smaller one is Stupice, seedling from Annie's Annuals

And onions....lots of onions (this is only about 1/4 of them, the rest are going to stay in the ground to grow bigger).  It's hard to tell the size of them, but the biggest ones are a little bigger than baseballs!

And please forgive my excitement, but here is another, more artistic shot...can't you just smell them??  Those long ones are Heirloom Italian Red Torpedo.

And here they are, my Little Miracles of the day.  Oh, and one egg, different color and size from the one we got yesterday...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Our First Egg!

This morning, I stopped in to say hello to the chickens and found one of my Cuckoo Marans

making herself a nest!

This evening, while I was making dinner, there was a ruckus in the coop and my boy said,"Sounds like someone's laying an egg!"  We rushed down to find this beautiful thing

Our first egg from one of the 35 chicks we got back in March! Yay.

Her reward (and that of any one of the chicks that would eat them, one by one out of my hand)  was the last of the peas on the vine (except for what I'm saving for seed next time)

Even the ever suspicious, Sir, my French Blue Maran rooster tried one!

It's a good day to be a farmer...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

This week in pictures

Just a few of the sights on the farm from the past week...

Baby Hales Best Cantaloupe

One lonely Fig on the tiny tree that wasn't supposed to fruit for 2.5 more years!

There are loads of frogs in the greenhouse. I made them a little pond hoping that they will stay.

One of the Woodpeckers nesting outside

Adventures in canning, part I

The joy of Dirt Bathing

When my kids were babies, I used to love to watch them sleep. I could easily hold them through an entire nap, tracing the outlines of their little noses, kissing their perfect lips and loving them to depths previously unknown... Now my first born is 18 and stands 6'5". My last born is still sweet and cuddly, but at 11 years old, she no longer qualifies for naps.

Fortunately, I now have several small, fluffy baby chicks to amuse and endear me.  They are about 12 weeks old and just discovered the joy of dirt bathing on a Summer's afternoon.   Although it seems contrary, chickens use dirt or dust baths to clean their plumage. It is vital to their health, and especially fun to watch as they roll, wiggle and flap around in the loose dirt, collecting the dirt under their feathers.


When they are done, they puff up, shake it all out and take a nap.  It is an event that I never get tired of because it reminds me of so many simple afternoons, so many years ago, spent watching my babies snooze.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

First try at canning…

Yesterday I got an obscene amount of Cucumbers and Wax Beans from Santa Cruz Local Foods so that I could try my hand at pickling. I have to admit that I was nervous (mostly because my mom kept warning me that "botulism doesn't give second chances...") that I would blow something up, put my eyes out, or kill my family and/or friends with the dreaded botulism, but I forged on.   I remembered Barbara Kingsolver writing about the joy of hearing the "ping" when the jars sealed...I figured that if I could just hear that, my loved ones would be saved from a horrible death at my inexperienced hands. 

It took all day, but in the end my girls and I were pretty proud of the results!

We're sure to do it again soon!

Oh, yeah, and I heard the pings...2 dozen of them!