Saturday, May 21, 2011

We have this tree...

There are fruit trees blooming in the garden right now. Below is the pink blossom of the peach tree, so very small and delicate.
The two pear trees we have are young but the crop is looking hopeful this year, more blossoms than ever before.Wait a minute, I didn't notice that little bug in the picture until just now...

The plum tree looks lovely, but not as lovely as the plums that will come later with any luck. favorite tree of all is the old crab apple. It's been growing on this farm since long before I came here, probably the turn of the last century or even before.

The first spring we spent here, more than twenty years ago now, we were all amazed when this gnarled giant burst into blossom.
Some years it only blooms partially.

Not this year though...
This year it has gone all out, the entire tree from top to bottom is covered in fragrant blossom.
The sun actually came out briefly to help celebrate it's blooming day!
To look up at it is an amazing sight and almost beyond words...wish I could really show you how big this old tree is.
You gorgeous, old thing!
Today we planted tomatoes, three long rows, one more row to go- but that's another story. I haven't had much time for sketching or painting lately, I'm missing it but there will be time later when the garden is all planted.  Oh! If you look back to the picture of the pear blossoms (and the bug) you can see the giant crab apple looming in the background! Hope you are having a lovely spring!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rainy Day Excursion

I wasn't disappointed when Saturday turned out to be a little too wet for gardening, I usually like rainy days anyway. Those rainy, spring days give you a chance to catch up on the things you may have been putting off in the mad rush to get the garden planted...or provide the perfect opportunity to have a cup of tea and spend a little time with the book you've been reading. 
In our case, Dave and I decided to take a drive in the direction of Waldoboro, where we had a quick lunch at Maine's famous Moody's Diner, and afterwards stopped by at Moose Crossing to pick up tomato seedlings. 
We grow a lot of tomatoes most years, all shapes, sizes and colors. This year we came home with nine flats and four singles. That's 58 little tomato plants in all. To some that may seem like a lot of tomatoes, but to others it's barely enough! A certain sister of mine probably plants triple that amount and uses them in various forms all year round. 
Ah well, I guess I'm going to be busy enough when the sun finally comes out again!

If you have too much sunshine in your life and enjoy those rainy days on occasion, check out this site for the soothing sounds of rain:

Gray skies over Moody's Diner today...

...but warm and cozy inside

My favorite telephone booth...

Beef and Barley Soup

Our waitress told us that there was fresh rhubarb pie on the menu today, we didn't indulge this time but Moody's does make a great pie. Now on to Moose Crossing for plants...

Hello little tomato plants!

Wish I could take all of these home with me...

Friday, May 13, 2011

{ this moment }

     {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.        Soule Mama

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day Reflection

It's been a busy week, sorry that I'm just getting around to posting about the events of Mother's Day.
One of the most surprising things to me in life has been the fact that somehow I managed to give birth to and raise three daughters. Why do I say surprising? I guess it's because there was a time, pre-children of course, when I was someone who never imagined I might one day be a mother at all, being as wrapped up in my own life as I was. When I look back at the girl I was then I can only smile and be thankful that the fates worked out as they did.

I come from a close circle of wonderful women; mothers, grandmothers, sisters and  daughters, nieces and friends. We have a few good and brave men who have ventured into the family as well, but it seems that, these days, the women far outnumber the men!

This  Mother's Day I had the treat of sharing a delicious brunch with family that was expertly prepared by my daughter, Alex, and her friend, Colin. They are wonderful cooks, believe me when I tell you that this meal was exceptional! The menu consisted of a beautiful fruit salad and poached eggs Benedict on quinoa cakes topped with fresh baby spinach, tomato slices, hollandaise sauce made from scratch, and a sprinkling of chopped, new chives from the garden.  It was a day to put veganism aside for a time and enjoy the moment!
The experience of having such a meal served to me by one of my daughters was gratifying on so many levels, just a happy thing all around. 

* daffodils*

*adding toppings to quinoa cakes*

*Alex is making  hollandaise sauce*


Quinoa Cakes

1 cup red quinoa, well rinsed
2 cups water
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
Zest of one lemon, or to taste
Fresh chopped chives, to taste

Add one cup of well-rinsed quinoa and two cups of cold water to saucepan, cover and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to low and cook until most of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and cool.
Saute onions and peppers until lightly cooked, remove from heat to cool.
Add all ingredients together and shape into cakes. If quinoa doesn't seem sticky enough to hold together add a beaten egg. Place in oven at 400* and bake on oiled cookie sheet until the cakes are firm, about 30 minutes. (depending on how hot your oven cooks)
Poach two eggs per serving.
Top with baby spinach, slices of fresh tomato and pour hollandaise sauce over all. Sprinkle with chopped chives.

Hollandaise Sauce
2 Tbls. lemon juice
4 egg yokes
Dash or two of tabasco sauce
Pinch of salt
1 stick of butter

Seperate the eggs and add yokes only to blender. Add lemon juice, salt and Tabasco sauce. Pulse once or twice only. Melt the butter until it begins to bubble and pour hot butter into blender in a steady stream, blending on high speed. Blend only until mixed, pour over poached eggs Benedict immediately and sprinkle with chopped chives if desired.

Friday, May 6, 2011

{ This Moment }

{this moment} -  "A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember." --        Soule Mama

Planting Day

We gardeners had a small window of opportunity the other day, the spring rains we've been experiencing were replaced by two glorious, sunny days. Perfect weather for getting out into the garden to turn the soil and plant our early vegetables. 
We have had some problems in recent years with deer, rabbits and groundhogs, it seems they love home-grown vegies as much as we do. As much as I love seeing our native wildlife, I do not love it when my long anticipated string beans and lettuces disappear before I even get a taste! This year a section of the garden will be surrounded by a wire fence. Hope it works!

This is my husband hard at work, the tiller has been with us for over twenty five years and is still going strong.

The compost is a little unfinished but I still managed to find enough for our spring planting.

Planting the peas.

A row of peas planted on each side of the fence, waiting for tomorrow's rain.

Things are starting to take shape: lettuce, peas, spinach, radishes and Swiss Chard are in the ground.

Edging the garden in preparation for the wire fence.

The wire fence will be set into this trench and buried by next weekend...poor Peter Rabbit will have to go elsewhere for his supper.

Buds on the pear tree.

Pears for our heirs...we have yet to get a huge crop of pears, but we are hopeful that it may be soon, maybe this year?

The shadows are getting long now, time to pack up the garden tools and go in to make dinner.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New GREEN Papers

I've been in the process of searching for a 'greener' choice in paper to use for my  notecards for several weeks now, and I think I've finally found a paper and envelopes I like. The new paper is 100% recycled/30% post-consumer/ Acid free/ Chlorine free...and the mill where the paper is made is run by electricity generated from a water powered hydroelectric dam. Pretty cool.

Knowing this makes using the paper feel so much sweeter to me. Plus, I really like the earthy look that this paper brings to my cards. They have a softer look, and if you look closely you can actually see the little fibers that make up the paper!

I'm in the process of changing all of my cards over to 'green' papers and some of them are already available at my Etsy shop.