Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Curious J Creates .............................

Curious J was here this past weekend , he spent Saturday night with us. He was in a creative mood and kept telling me he wanted to make something. So we pulled out this book I bought at the thrift store a few weeks ago , he loved it and decided our first creation should be " Funky Junk " sculpture.

I pulled out the 2 kitchen junk drawers and we begin to create. We created " Funky Junk " people. Dh created the one to the left , I created the middle man and Curious J created the happy camper on the right. I did pull 2 of the corks from my art supplies , but everything else came from the junk drawers.

Sunday was a rainy day , so we spent the day inside playing board games , video games and creating more " Funky Junk ". I created the plastic person , Curious J created the neat little sculpture to the right.

But we weren't finished creating , he saw something else in the book he wanted to make. They were called collage sculpture or time capsules and he chose to make one about his earlier years. We put a beanie baby monkey in there to represent his nickname sake , Curious George. He liked watching Curious George when he was a toddler and his exceptional curiosity made me start calling Curious J. He put a plastic link that he had as a baby and a small ball in there , but Little Froggy made claim on the ball when he saw it (LOL). We haven't sealed it yet , he may add a few more things before we seal it. I really enjoyed having him here this weekend , since he's in school we don't get to spend much time together.

~ Many Blessings ~ JoyceAnn

Monday, March 28, 2011

Downy Rattlesnake Plantain

I found this beautiful little plant a few weeks ago as I was walking through the woods. Since then I've been trying to i.d. the plant and finally did , you can read more about the " Downy Rattlesnake Plantain " over at my " Herbal Spirits " blog , click here ~ ~ .

Hope You had a Great Weekend !

~ Green Blessings ~


Friday, March 25, 2011

Cooking Up Some Dandelion Greens ....................

I'm linking up with " Farm Friend Friday " , click the button on my sidebar to learn more about this event hosted by " Verde Farm ".

I love this time of the year when the dandelions start rearing their beautiful little heads , but before they blossom .............................

grab a basket and head outside to gather some of the green leaves. If you gather the younger leaves they will be less bitter , dandelions tend to get more bitter after they bloom , but they're still edible. Be sure you identify and gather dandelion leaves only.

I always wash my greens 3 times or until they're clean and I don't see any dirt or trashy bits in the water.

~ Double Dandy Dandelion Greens ~

Dandelion Leaves ~ 1 lb

2 or 3 Garlic cloves

1 or 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6 Dandelion Blossoms

I like to cook my greens in a cast iron frying pan , fill the frying pan about halfway with water and add your greens. Bring water to a boil and reduce heat , let greens cook for about 10 minutes . Remove from heat and strain greens , let pan cool for a few minutes , dry the pan , add your extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic to pan , cook on low heat until garlic starts to get clear , add greens back to pan. Stir to coat greens with oil and garlic , heat thoroughly. Remove from heat and I like to chop the greens with a hand held chopper while they're still in the pan. Place on plate , sprinkle with dandelion blossom petals. Serve with boiled eggs and cornbread , be sure to add a few dandelion blossom petals to your cornbread batter and a dash of vinegar over your greens. Enjoy !!

Hope everyone has a Wonderful Weekend !

~ Farm Friend Blessings ~

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Glorious Day .............................................

Yesterday was a perfectly gloroius day , everything in the world seem right. The laundry was hung outside and blowing gently in the wind.

The periwinkle is blooming and looks so beautiful.

The dandelions are popping up everywhere ............

and provided lunch for me.

The yard is covered with violet blooms , so I spent the afternoon gathering the blooms to make violet syrup. It's so peaceful gathering the blossoms and seeing nature at it's best.

Baby J is growing and learning to eat , she's so much fun to watch as she explore's her new world.

The day ended with a gorgeous sunset , making you wish everyday was as blessed and glorious as this one.
~ Spring Blessings ~

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Day with .......................

Little Time ..............
Yesterday I had one on one time with him , that very seldom happens. But Little Missy spent the night with her paternal Grandma Saturday night and my daughter and her husband had to work yesterday, so Little Time got to spend the day with Nana. We spent most of the day outdoors playing with the goats and swinging to the moon.

I brought the little red car inside so he could ride , he pretended he was going to the store. I asked him to pick up Nana a Dr. Pepper , he said "
that's hot ", he associates the drink with hot peppers (LOL). When he came back from his make believe store , I asked if he got my Dr. Pepper , he said " No " . Guess he knew I really didn't need soft drinks , although I don't drink them often , Dr. Pepper is my soft drink of choice when I do. We had a great day , so happy to have had some special time together.

~ Spring Blessings ~

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Sad Day at the Farmette ................

( Jazzlyn pictured on the left )

Jazz went into labor yesterday , but it didn't go well and she lost her baby buck. It was a devastating experience , although I know we did all we could to help her with the situation , it just wasn't meant to be.

~ Blessings ~

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Farmer's Market ..........................

I've been wanting to sell at the Farmer's Market for a few years now , but I've been so busy helping with the Grands , that I just didn't have the spare time. Now I'm only helping out 3 days a week , so this year I'm going to give it a try. I've been busy potting up herbs ......................................

bushes , shrubs and trees. Over the years , we've had plants self spreading all over the place , so instead of destroying them , I hope to sell a few of these volunteers.

We have English Ivy , Forsythia (Yellow Bell) , Nadina , Oregon Grape Holly , Vinca (Periwinkle) and Sweet Violet just to name a few of the plants. There are also many small trees growing around here that will be smothered out if not removed.

I'll also be selling wild herbs that are freshly gathered , excess garden veggies ....................................

and garlic , if it produces well this year.

~ Many Blessings & Happy St. Patty's Day ~


Monday, March 14, 2011

Nope , My Name Isn't .............................

Snoopy , but it could be .....................

I love to snoop ! I found the old chicken tractor and just had to explore , Mom said it would make a good play pen for me.

But there's so much to see and do , I don't think the play pen is a good idea at all.

My Mom keeps a close watch over me and looks out for predators , but ............

sometimes I stray to far away and start crying.

Naaana and Mom allowed me to browse a little while today , I loved running around the field.

I sure was hungry when we returned to our stalls , I had to eat before we went in.

Then it was bath time and time to head back to my nice dark and quiet Snoopy house to nap.
~ Sweet Blessings ~
Baby J

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

It's a Girl !!

Jo finally gave birth to a beautiful daughter today , she and baby are doing well. But Naaana is exhausted and a nervous wreck , so I'm heading to bed to sleep it off (LOL).
~ Blessings ~

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Guinea Fowl ~ Natural Pest Control

Click Here ~ ~ to visit other farms participating in ~ Farm Friend Friday ~.

If you've never been around guineas , you'll either love them or hate them. They're noisy and can be very loud , which is a real turn off for many. Some people say they're great watchdogs , but I consider them to be more like an alarm system. They will sound off if someone comes on the property or if there's unusual activity going on. I will admit their calls can be nerve wrecking when hubby is on the tractor and they squawk like they're under attack (LOL). But we have learn to live with their noise , since their benefits far out weigh the noise.

We bought 8 keets about 3 years ago to help with tick control , the ticks were terrible that year. I would walk outside to the dog lot and return with 10 ticks on me. I had always heard about guinea fowl being good for tick control , so we decided to give them a try. We've been very happy with the results ,we rarely see a tick in the yard anymore.

But wait , they're not only a great alarm system and tick eating bird , they love those pesty Japanese beetles. During garden season , I love watching them walk up and down the rows taking care of all the bugs & worms. Guineas will not eat your plants or scratch your plants up like a chicken. They just walk down the rows , carefully plucking away those beetles , grasshoppers and any other yummy bug they find.

I've learnt to enjoy their squawking and quirky ways. So if you've thought about adding guineas to your farm , I highly recommend them. They're the best natural pest control you can have around the farm , although sometimes they get sidetracked and spend time talking and pecking at their reflections in a window (LOL).

~ Farm Friend Blessings ~

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Garlic ~ Goats ~ Guineas

I'm really hoping for a good year with the garlic , the garlic didn't do well last year due to drought conditions. We had more rain Sunday and we're suppose to have rain coming on Thursday. It's time to fertilize , I'll be spraying the plants with fish emulsion next week. If all goes well I hope to start selling at the Farmer's Market this year.

I think the girls have decided that they don't want kids or maybe I'm wrong and they're not pregnant. They're beginning to make me second guess myself , but I'm pretty sure their udders are filling with milk.

I decided that we didn't need 15 guineas around the farmette , so I listed the 8 that were hatched in the Fall on Craigslist last week. Last Friday I had a lady come and purchase 4 of them for tick control , she said ticks were awful at her home and last year the doctor removed a tick from her youngest daughter's eardrum and she really needed something to help get them under control. I'm happy , I know they've gone to a good home and will help rid them of their tick problem.
~ Blessings ~

Friday, March 04, 2011

~ My Grand Parents Farm & Farm Friend Friday ~

I'm participating in an event called " Farm Friend Friday " , if you would like to learn more , click on the " Farm Friend Friday " badge on my sidebar , it will take you to " Verde Farm " , the host of this wonderful event.

I grew up on my Grandparents farm , we lived across the road from them in a house that my Granddaddy help build. My Grandparents died several years ago , since then the property has fell in despair. I've heard that my 2nd cousin has bought the farm/home place and they are planning to remodel the old house. I'm not sure if they will keep the old barn and other buildings , so I made a visit and captured some pics before they became just a memory. There were 13 kids raised in the house above , my Dad was the youngest. The pic above shows a side profile of the front of the house , it's so grown up around it that I couldn't get a good picture of the front of the house. It was a beautiful house in it's day , white with black shutters and wooden shingles under the eaves of the old tin roof.

This photo shows another side view , the small edition off the back was the kitchen and back porch. Grandma had prickly pear cactus growing under the double window , I was always fascinated with it and came home a many of days with those prickly spines in my hands (LOL). I guess I always had an interest in herbs/plants.

This is a back view of the house , the back porch had a large sink for washing up after visiting the barn yard. We would always wash our hands before heading inside , I loved that sink. My Grandma was short and Granddaddy was probably of average height , he built the counters and sinks low for Grandma. My girls remember how low the kitchen counters were , they said the kitchen seemed like a playhouse because they could reach everything. The overgrown bush near the steps is a Camellia , I remember seeing Grandma take a burlap sheet and cover it in early spring when we were expecting frost. She loved her animals and plants.

This old building had 2 sheds and an area for storage. Granddaddy kept his tractors under there when I was young , after he died the car was parked under there. There was another garage/shed across from the back porch that the car was kept under. The car was only used to go to church on Sunday or to the doctor occasionally. He had an old farm truck that was used for farm chores and his trips to our small local town store.

This is the old barn , the shed on the right housed the tractor sometimes or the tobacco trailers. My Granddaddy raised tobacco , the loft was used to store tobacco and hay. On the backside of the barn , there were stalls for the cows. When I was young they had a milk cow , I remember Grandma and Momma milking her back there in one of those stalls.

To the right side of the barn was this building , I'm not sure what it was originally used for in the early years , but I remember Granddaddy kept the peafowl in the building on the right side at night. This building also had a shed built off to the side , it was used for storage. Most of the garages/sheds had small wooden nail keg/barrels attached to the inside wall , filled with straw that were nesting boxes for the hens , they were placed here and there around the farm. The old chicken coop was located behind this building but has been torn down.

This little cabin was located behind the original chicken coop and was used as Grandma's animal hospital , Grandma housed sick or hurt chickens there while she nursed them back to health. Sometimes it housed a hen and her bitties to keep them safe.
I didn't get pictures of the corn crib , garage/shed , smokehouse , the stalls at the back of the barn or the pond , because my batteries went dead. I hope to go back soon and take more pictures.
Hope you enjoyed seeing my Grandparents farm , it was a wonderful walk down memory lane for me.
~ Blessings to All ~