Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

The farm in spring

 I was hoping to get outside for a nice, long walk around the farm while we had a break from the rain. However, I was swamped all weekend and did not get a walk. The weekend was spent helping a friend spread gravel, going to a wedding, and supervising a crew of seven teenagers who were filming a school project on the farm. They needed food, and their parents needed tea and coffee and treats while the filming was going on. This evening, as storm clouds darkened the sky and lightning flashed on the distant hills, I took advantage of the last few minutes of light to take a few pictures and track the progress of the lovely green growing things! The Bleeding Heart plant was in full bloom, and I could see those bright pink flowers from across the yard. I never pick the first few flowers from the spring garden. They do not seem to last well indoors, and seem more suited to being in the garden and not in the house.
 The raspberry vines are coming along nicely, and I saw little flower buds when I inspected them tonight. I was given a recipe for raspberry cordial, which we have been enjoying all winter long, but now I am ready to taste the real thing, picked in the early morning as we walk down to get the store running for the day.
 This picture was actually taken Saturday morning, before the clouds burned off. I love the contrast between the misty grey background and the vibrant green of the grass! The blueberries are in bloom, not full bloom yet, but I look out and see lots of creamy white blossoms.
And, just because they are so beautiful and I am so smitten with them, a picture of the eldest and two youngest farm children. In just a week, the eldest will turn eighteen, so I will have an adult child! Stay tuned for more pictures of lovely green growing things around the farm, and, in just a few short weeks, we will be announcing the beginning of strawberry season!

Monday, April 9, 2012

while we wait.....

 This time of year is one of waiting for us here on the farm. We wait for the rain to stop so we can plant next year's strawberries and mow and cultivate. We wait for the warm sunshine to bring out the bees to pollinate our fruit trees and berries. We eagerly wait for the farm season to begin again, as we truly love what we do and are eager to get back to it. Fortunately, there is plenty to occupy us in these last few weeks before summer begins! The cherry blossoms at the Capitol Mall are in full bloom, and perfectly lovely. We go every year, and enjoy the stroll under the trees as petals drift down and the warm breeze wafts a faint scent over our winter weary senses. 
My mother always joins us for this excursion, and, as her dementia progresses, we are grateful for every moment we have with her. She was helping Stuart across the street, and he was waving at all the cars which had stopped to let them cross.
There are also Easter parties to be had, and this year, we threw a big one. Once the farm season is in full swing, our days are full and tiring. With the exception of a huge Fourth of July party, we are just too tired to entertain much during June and July. This Easter party was a great time to see all of our friends, eat some really good food, and do some dancing. Pictured above are desserts made by the farmer. From the bottom left going clockwise we have chocolate tart with candied walnuts, white chocolate and lemon tart, Kentucky bourbon pie, apple blackberry pie, and walnut cake with coffee frosting and chocolate ganache. Truly delicious stuff!
I am also eagerly waiting for the flowers to return to the garden! I miss the big bouquets of fresh flowers that grace my table and kitchen all summer long. These came from Costco, and they are beautiful and have lasted well, but by this time of year, they are an expense I just can't justify. For the party, I bought four bouquets and then broke them down into smaller bouquets. This allowed me to put bouquets on each table and on the serving table without spending a small fortune!
We also had an egg hunt for the children, and as they hunted, I wandered through the orchard admiring all of the little buds starting to form on the apple and pear trees. I also said a prayer that the rain would stop so that these trees would pollinate! Last year, we had one pear on all of our trees, and almost no plums. One variety of apples did well, and the rest were a washout.  The hoop houses are up, and the little vegetable starts will go in to the ground tomorrow. The long winter is over, and our time of waiting is almost passed. In six short weeks, the winter's rest will be a dim memory,and the days will be full and busy. I can honestly say I am looking forward to it, and am excited to gear up for another year!In the mean time, there are closets to clean out and paper work to catch up on, and a thousand and one other little jobs that need to be done before strawberry season begins. Plenty to keep me busy while we wait!