Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Post-National Chocolate Cake Day!

(Yesterday's celebration was so good, I think I'm going to do it again! *laughing*)

I've been pulling some long hours on the farm lately, getting gardening areas ready for planting, trying to catch up on my rather loooooooooong list of sewing/mending projects, spring cleaning the house, taxes, and just general insanity. Grammy's been quarantining the kittens for me, which has really upped my indoor productivity levels (it's very hard to accomplish anything with wily kittens underfoot!). The only thing I have not managed to get to as of yet is my weaving project. I LOVE weaving, but it seems that this year I just have not had the time. There is a project that I have been looking forward to doing, and I think I am just going to have to put other things on hold and simply DO it. I am going to weave several large panels of blue fabric with pink hearts interspersed. Once I have enough fabric made, I am going to make myself a pretty circle skirt out of it! Won't that look cute!?! I've been wanting to start this project for ages now...

Yesterday, I managed to get one of the carrot raised beds completely filled with compost. Here on the farm, onions and carrots are the two staples that we just never seem to have enough of! So I am sacrificing one of my sweet potatoes beds for an extra carrot patch.

I spent some time yesterday transplanting lilacs, roses, yarrow, and borage. Some of the roses and lilacs have not been thriving in their original locations, so I transplanted them into the herb garden where they will get more sun and water. Yarrow, which truly does "spread joyfully" as Richo of Horizon Herbs claims, needed some thinning and relocating so that it didn't take over the herb bed. And the borage - which I have always (incorrectly, apparently) thought of as a delicate annual, has been coming up (from windblown seeds) all over the herb garden this month! So I have gently dug up the borage sprouts and replanted them in the strawberry patch. Borage is the perfect companion plant for just about anything! It improves flavor and protects against pests (especially with tomatoes and strawberries!).

The first true leaves are appearing on my artichoke sprouts, and soon it will be time to transplant all of them into larger "adult" 4 inch pots. We are currently experiencing our annual January/February 2 week warming spell. Though the nights have still remained a chilly 28 degrees or so, the days have been in the 50s and 60s! Warm enough to work outside in short sleeves!

I cooked the last of our Sweet Meat heirloom winter squash last night. I'm so sad that there won't be any more squash for another 9 months or so! But the one I cooked (which I also saved many, many seeds from) must have weighed at least 20 pounds! I could BARELY fit all of the pieces in my oven! With some of the cooked squash I made my delicious fall/winter staple meal: Squash Risotto with (our own) Cornmeal-Fried Shrimp. SO GOOD! And for dessert, I made a sour cherry pie using some of the cherries we canned last summer! Ryan said it's the best pie he's ever eaten. *grin* I don't normally brag, but I do make the world's best pie crust. When you cut into it, you can see the flaky layers that sort of remind me of phyllo dough.

Well, back to work!

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