Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Farmer and The Egg Lady

They said he was in the waiting room for me.

They said he had something alive with him.

I asked if it was a chicken.

They said no.

Because he has teased me that he would bring me one.

Old farmers ~ you can never tell if they are kidding.. or not.

A darling old farmer friend sat ~ in his plaid shirt holding a small red basket~ waiting.

He said he found them in the driveway.
In an abandoned nest.

Wasn't sure what kind of eggs they were, but..

he thought of the "egg lady".


I have them in my kitchen.

Don't know what kind of bird they are from but..
they are the sweetest little eggs I'll ever have.

Hope he knows how much he just melted my heart...

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I am not sure what happened to me today. Allergies finally got to me? Antihistamine induced insanity? I lost it a bit. Just a little bit.. I hope you understand my friends, but I really need to get these rambling thoughts out of my head.

It all started a week ago. There was a sign~ 16 acres with a house / barn on the border of a local park, near our suburban area. NOT that I am leaving (or thinking of leaving) my bit of suburban utopia, but I was curious.. so I called. The gentleman was nice on the phone. It was his mother's home of 98 years. He doesn't want the property subdivided. It is zoned agricultural. The price (hold on to your hat).. 1.5 million. Gasp.... Not so reasonable for a small farmer?

Then I checked out Helen and Scott Nearing's book 'The Good Life: How to Live Sanely and Simply in a Troubled World" from the library. It is a very good read. The photo above is from their garden in their first house in Vermont. I got to the principles that governed their gardening last night:
  • Live 12 months of the year from the garden.
  • Eat fresh, unprocessed food.
  • Eat a variety of food to furnish a well rounded diet.
  • Reduce canning and preserving to a minimum.
Sounds good right? We are working on it here in our garden slowly... Each year we learn and try a little more. Yes, I'd rather buy a compost spinner than an outfit from Macy's (sad but true). I love growing our food. It isn't easy. I am still learning and trying to eat local..

Then I went to the grocery store this morning. The produce section sent me over the edge.

Green Beans ~ from Guatemala
Cantaloupe ~ from Honduras
Watermelon and Mango ~ from Nicaragua
Sweet Onion, zucchini, asparagus, and cucumbers ~ from Mexico

The only cucumber I could find from the USA was plastic wrapped. I stood there waiving my cucumber and thought.. get out.. get out before they arrest you for causing a riot in produce! No one cares if the melons are from Honduras!!

I got to the checkout and the plastic wrapped cuke was still in my vegetable-less basket. I bought it and slunk to my car.

Be gentle with me.
It's Spring.

Too much reading?
I'll get myself pulled together. This week ~ going to check out an all season farmer's market. For now, I am going to pull on a coat and hat (it's sleeting) and go talk to the cold frame. Maybe if I talk nice to it the lettuce will come..

Thanks for listening..

Friday, April 16, 2010


How happy was I to find this adorable creation in my e-mail box this morning??

My niece Julia made this fantastic sculpture for me.
She was inspired after reading about the arrival of the new italian ladies..
There is something in the eyes that melts my heart...
But, then again.. Julia melts mine.

Thank you Julia..xoxo

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cold Frame

We finished the cold frame, filled, and planted some seeds in it last weekend. It is about 8 feet long, 28 inches deep and dug into the southern bank along the driveway. There is space at the one end that is just filled with river rock so I can harden off the plants that I started under the grow-light.

Seems to be working great so far. Everything is up... Radishes, lettuce, and spinach!

Hung a little thermometer in the box to see how the temps are... Hit 110 degrees in the sun last week. Maybe I should bake cookies in it instead of trying to grow lettuce? Just kidding..

It was chilly here a few nights ago..30 degrees or so when I got up, but the cold frame was toasty at 50 degrees.

Repotted the tomato starts this weekend. Started a few extra for friends, although I always seem to start too many. The seeds seem so innocent in the basement, this is until I try to find room for the plants in the garden later. I'll have tomatoes planted everywhere come May.

Been stashing all the used yogurt cups in the potting bench. Drilled holes in the bottoms to use as plant cups. Thanks Stonyfield Farms!! Moved a few of the extra plants out to the cold frame to see how they will do. I am afraid I am going to cook them, so I didn't want to take them all out yet.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!
Happy Spring Gardening!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Everyday Life

Final carrots dug from last season. Still fresh and crisp after their long winter nap.

Soil sample report back from the local agricultural extension office after sending them ~

New Spring boots.
In orange.. of course.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Italian Ladies from Georgia

Spring has come to the woods.

Managed to get some peas planted in the garden last weekend...for the first time before MAY. Maybe we'll actually get some this year?? Planning to attack the cold frames and finish them today. We built the frame and got it filled last weekend (gravel, sand, soil), then I ran out of time. It is a block-buster weekend with a forecast full of sun! After I hit the publish button, I'll be out in the drive stripping those recycled hinges and giving the windows a coat of paint...

To Be Continued...

As for the girls.. well.. the hives didn't fair so well this winter. Despite having excellent honey stores we lost a lot of hives. Yesterday we installed two new packages of bees. Sweet Italian ladies all the way from Georgia. They faired excellent on their trip North! At least they won't be shocked by 40 degrees and rain today! Calling for sun and 80 degrees ~ just like "home"!!

We tucked everyone in last night for bed. I was so excited to see them!! There just isn't anything like the hum of the girls in the garden.

Ran out to the hives first thing this morning (in my PJ's with coffee, camera, laundry to hang, and chickens in tow..) to turn them out and welcome them! Captured the first girl leaving the hive just as her front feet lifted off.

Welcome to Pennsylvania girls!