THE FARM STAND TOMATOES-CHINESE LANTERNS-RUGOSA ROSES

1 09 2015

GREETINGS AND HAPPY SEPTEMBER

Bright, sunny days with clothes on the line, roosters crowing, sheep baaing and cats paying before the heat of the day comes.  Each season has its charm.  Summertime here on the farm brings a more relaxed routine, with the occasional trips to the river or reading a book on the hammock.

THE FARM STAND TOMATOES

Last night I did one third of the box and got some ready for sauce which is in the crock pot this morning and the rest went into the freezer, some sliced for Tomato-Leek Tarts which I plan to make this winter and the rest diced.  This morning I will do another third and tomorrow all will be in the freezer.

IMG_5690

Fields of corn at The Farm Stand

Fields of corn at The Farm Stand

We are so lucky in this small town to have many people who grow veggies.  My favorite place is The Farm Stand.  I buy several boxes of tomatoes to freeze each year.  Their corn is non GMO and is the best around.  I hope to get a bushel to freeze soon.  

ROSES AND ROSE HIPS

IMG_5696

The Rugosa roses have out done themselves this year and lots of rose hips are on the bush.  I am picking half today to go into the dehydrator to mix with the chickens herbs and the other half will be left for the squirrels, chipmunks and birds to enjoy.

IMG_5695

FOOD FOR A HOT DAY

Yesterday learning of the hot weather to come I made pasta salad, potato salad and deviled eggs.  I also cooked some corn to enjoy so I will have a few days of meals where the stove doesn’t have to be on.

IMG_5691

CHINESE LANTERNS

I have loved these since I was a child.  We planted them for decoration.  I have found a place in the front of my porch where they thrive.  l always leave half and pick half for fall decorations to assure more will come up next year..

IMG_5697

I hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.   Carole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





DRIED TOMATOES-THE MOHAWK TRAIL-SAMMY

8 10 2014

Bad weather was coming through my area last night and in some parts of town it did.  There was at least one micro burst in town in which cars were in trees and 100 year old trees were thrown around..   Some things on the porch were knocked over but no water in the barn.  I made sure everything was dug out before I went to bed.

DRIED TOMATOES

The tomatoes dried nicely and I will do more today.  It takes a lot of dried tomatoes  to fill a small jar.  The recipe called for blanching the dried tomatoes in wine vinegar and patting them dry before putting them into the jar.  I packed each jar with sprigs of rosemary and some basil salt and pepper, covered all with a good olive oil.  Olive oil should cover the tomatoes completely.  I will be checking the jar for a few days and adding more olive oil as needed.

IMG_3869

 This jar is for my Son in Law Rick who really appreciates things like this.

IMG_3868

THE MOHAWK TRAIL

Yesterday we took a little ride on the Mohawk Trail.  Things have changed so much there that we cold hardly recognize where we visited as children.   It was a beautiful ride though and we saw the famous Indian statue.  The Indian culture is so much apart of this area.  There are shops and Pow Wow’s are held nearby.

IMG_3856

 

 

 

  Many parts of the road were washed out during the last hurricane.

IMG_3865

 The scenery was spectacular.  So many hairpin turns.

IMG_3862

 

IMG_3864

 

SAMMY

Sammy has been coughing and sneezing so its off to the bets we go  It is his very first visit to Dr. Funk’s.  He has made this his home and found a lot of wonderful places where the other Sammy liked too.

IMG_3849

 

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you have a wonderful day.

Carole





YANKEE MAGAZINE-TOMATOES-TREE OF LIFE-TURKEY’S EVERYWHERE

6 10 2014

GREETINGS

I thought we were going to get  a frost last night but we didn’t  It was quite chilly.  I need to pick the rest of the cukes soon and get them made into pickles.  I Put the new dog house for the roosters together yesterday and now will work on their small enclosed  winter space.   In a week  I plan to move the outside hens inside so the rooster area must get done.

YANKEE MAGAZINE

IMG_3842

This months Yankee Magazine has some wonderful articles in it.  One in particular caught my eye.   The Mohawk Trail is 100 years old this year. So many wonderful times were spent on the trail.   It was a great distance from our Holyoke home in our Chevy Sedan.  My Grandfather and Uncle Roger, Mom and Dad and myself piled into the car early in the morning, a picnic lunch packed and we would enjoy the drive with many stops at local souvenir shops and look outs. My friend Francine joined us on many of the trips and when my Cousin Gary’s family came  to visit this was one of the day adventures.  Lost of things have changed on the trail but its still as beautiful as ever and the tourists still come.

TOMATOES

I finished one box of tomatoes today and have started on the last one.  I am drying more tomatoes to put in the rosemary/olive oil mix.

IMG_3846

 It will take a lot of tomatoes to fill a jar.  And I have another pot of tomatoes, eller, garlic and onions cooking .  

IMG_3847

THE TREE

Yesterday Gary and I went up to a friend’s house to pick up some lumber that would work for the area around the rooster house.  On the way there was this remarkable tree.  The tree has lots of rot but still grows.   It reminded me of life ,going through life brings some hurt and sadness which seems to take a little of our hearts, but most of us survive that and we keep on growing.  Just like this tree.  

IMG_3843

 

Lots of turkeys around lately.  Many thanks for reading my blog on this chilly morn.  I hope you have a wonderful day.   Carole

IMG_3845

 

 

 

 

 

 





50 POUNDS OF TOMATOES-CHRISTMAS GREEN-GARY’S VISIT

2 10 2014

GREETINGS

IMG_3824

We have had a couple of dreary days of rain, But the Sun will be out later in the day.  Owen is helping me with the blog today. The leaves are really turning fast this year and the best viewing will be a week earlier than usual.

50 POUNDS OF TOMATOES

I bought over 50 pounds of tomatoes on Monday and have already started freezing them.  Today I am going to dry some in the dehydrator and put a soup mix in the crock pot.  This along with the other 2 boxes should be enough for the year.  I froze some beans, cauliflower and leeks in the last few days too.   I found a wonderful recipe online for dried tomatoes in olive oil which I plan to make in a day or two.  They sound wonderful and will make some tasty presents for the holiday season.

IMG_3812

CHRISTMAS GREEN

I got out a big order to Camp Wool last week.  She wanted a Christmas green and I have been trying to get the  color with many failures.    I did come close, so today I will send her a picture of it and see if its okay to send.

IMG_3819

I called my friend Deb to see if she had any ideas and also called the dye company for help, both suggested more yellow in the dye pot, which produced the following color..

GARY VISITS

My Cousin Gary is coming for a visit arriving by Amtrak this evening.  He will be helping me around the farm while he is here.  I hope we can make some needle felted leaves and acorns.  Cindy sent me a box of the tops yesterday and Gary is bringing some.

IMG_3823

 

Hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.  Carole

IMG_3808

 

 





CONTINUING FAMILY TRADITIONS-ANGUS-THE TWO BOY’S

23 08 2014

GREETINGS

CONTINUING FAMILY TRADITIONS

Today I canned tomatoes.   It’s a long tradition in my family.

IMG_3589

 On steamy, hot summer days in Maryland, the small gas stove in my Grandmothers basement  was lit.  The women in the family were busy cutting and peeling tomatoes right from the garden.  As a child it seemed like a day long project they were only finished when all the tomatoes were done and the jars were on the shelves in the basement.  These women, my Grandmother and her daughters knew how important it was to have food on the shelves.  They had gone through the depression.  My Grandmother fed many Hobo’s tomato sandwiches, they were appreciative and it might have been the only meal they would have had that day.

My Mother continued the practice and I can vividly see the stocked shelves in our basement..  Jars and jars of blueberries picked from the farm, peaches from our own tree, tomatoes, beans and corn from our garden, and pickles of all kinds.  She always made Mustard Pickle with a recipe that was handed down from my Dad’s Mom.  I wish I could find the recipe.

Today I am also cooking diced tomatoes in the crock pot.  Herbs,garlic and peppers from the garden are added to the tomatoes and some diced onions from the farmers market top it off.  These will be put in packets and frozen for sauces for this  coming winter.

IMG_3590

 

I am hoping to dry some peaches and more herbs.  Plan to freeze the string beans and some corn and make pickled beets.

ANGUS

IMG_3586

 

Angus went to  the vets yesterday.  He had been having all sorts of problems.  He will celebrate his `17th birthday next week along with his brother Shorty.  His blood work and tests came back in the okay range so fluids were given and he has to take an appetite enhancer.  He hates pills and will hold them in the side of his mouth for as long as 10 minutes and then you  see him spit it out!  Dr. Funk showed me how to do it.  He has to go back today for more fluids.  He was so happy to be home.  He likes living upstairs now.

Its been raining here for a couple of days now so I did not do the farmers market yesterday.  It’s a gentle rain so that is good.  The cukes are starting to ripen and there may be enough for making bread and butter pickles later this month.  Chris will be leaving on Sunday and Ricky will be here for a few days.  He will be helping me to inventory all the family items in the house.  We will take a picture of the item and then he will write a narrative.  So many things have been handed down to me I want my family to know where these things came from.

THE BOY’S

Here is the latest photo of the boys.  They are grand roosters.  They have marvelous crows and are very friendly.  When it gets cooler they will be living with the sheep upstairs for the winter.

IMG_3591

Hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.  Carole

 

.





CHICKENS AND FAREWELL LUCY-BUMBLE BEE’S-THE FARM STAND

5 06 2014

HELLO

FAREWELL LUCY

Last night i went too night check the front coop.  Every night someone seems to be in another place and I will have to find her.  There were 9 hens and Murphy in the front coop.  Last night I only found 8 and Little Lucy has passed away in the corner.

LUCY

LUCY

 She was the last of the Golden Comet, a hybrid bird.  I will never get anymore of these.  They are bred to be egg machines and don’t live a long life.   Lucy was Hester’s sister.  She was bossy and bold and had to live apart from her sister because of it.  IN the last year she became less bossy as more hens entered the group. Her life was good.  She laid very large eggs which I think took its toll on her.  She will be missed.

BUMBLE BEE’S

II have been following A Way to Garden on Facebook, by Margaret Roach.   Yesterday she wrote about a book on Bumble Bees.  I read the article on them and found it so interesting that I want to get the book.  The book is called Bumble Bee’s of North America an Identification Guide by Leif Richardson, Princeton Press.  Bumble Bee’s have always been a curiosity to me.  The seem much calmer than other bee’s, they don’t chase you as some bee’s do, they just go about their business.

I didn’t know that they were annuals.  All bee’s in the Bumble Colony die each year except the mated females which overwinter.   THey tend not to be aggressive.  I am hoping to get this book, it’s a must read for gardeners everywhere.

THE FARM STAND

IMG_3212

 

I visited The Farm Stand today to get my tomato and pepper plants.  I got a variety of tomatoes and 6 peppers.l  I found out what I have been doing wrong with the peppers I have been planting.  I was planting them in the same manure rich soil as the tomatoes and they don’t need soil that rich.  I may get another 6 pepper plants.  . I did buy one thyme plant and 6 basil plants and will plant lots of basil seeds this coming weekend.  I use a lot of basil in soups, and sauces during the winter and almost ran out of dried this past winter.

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you had a lovely day.  Carole

 

 





CRANBERRY HEARTS-UPDATE ON CHICKS-YOU TUBE-SOME TOMATOES IN

17 05 2014

HELLO

CRANBERRY HEARTS

I made the hearts yesterday and they will be drying for a couple of weeks.  They are very popular for small gifts.

IMG_3058

 

UPDATE ON CHICKS

They are so funny and getting quite colorful now.  

New feathers coming in.

NEW feathers coming in.

 

TOMATOES

I picked up some organic tomato plants yesterday at Greenfield Farmers Co-op and got them in today.

IMG_3043

 Great weather for planting, a nice rain coming down.

Murph decided to watch the girls from inside today, He isn't fond of rain.

Murph decided to watch the girls from inside today, He isn’t fond of rain.

 I planted two by the driveway and two by the steps.  I would like to get my string beans in this week but with the show coming up next weekend  I don’t know if that’s possible.

YOU TUBE FIND

IMG_3055

 

I found this on you tube and thought it was a great idea.  What a great way to use those windows I have in the barn.   A nice greenhouse for keeping tomatoes longer or an entry way for my back door.  I think they probably would be more suitable for the greenhouse.  While living in Maryland I would have to drive by this house on my way to work and it had those types of door as a sort of temporary entrance to their house.  They used three doors 1 on each side and 1 as for the actual door.  They were probably hinged together.  I know something like that would keep a lot of cold air from entering my kitchen.  Its something I have wanted to do here and I will put it on my summer list.

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope that you had a wonderful day.     Carole

IMG_3044