Sunday, June 29, 2014

CSA Sunday

Can you believe it's the last Sunday in June already?! Earlier this spring, I was approached by the market manager for the Bridgeport Farmers Market about writing a blog once a month during the season. How could I turn that down? We love growing our own, but we also love supporting our local farmers. For today's blog, I wrote about reasons to go local.

Another way we support local is through our CSA. One nice thing about the CSA is it allows us to be more adventurous in our own garden. A CSA usually has offerings to please a number of people. Cucumbers? Check. Squash? Check. By supporting this model, we can grow heirloom varieties of our favorites and still have some regular favorites.

And the thing that I love about our CSA in the summer is the ability to pick our box at the Fish Hawk Acres tent at the Farmers Market. We can mix and match so we can enjoy both our garden bounty and that of our local farmers. This week I picked up green beans, cukes, summer squash, lettuce, a pepperoni roll, a chocolate chip and a peanut butter cookie. Oh, and some delicious chilled strawberry soup. When you move toward more seasonal eating, you find yourself savoring every bit of each season

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Free Food

When we first bought our property 5 years ago, we were thrilled to have so many wild blackberries. Last year, we discovered wild black raspberries. And they are awesome! We noticed some ripening this week and decided to go out today to see what we could find.


We found way more canes than we found last year. They are everywhere! I'm going to start weighing the food we get so we can keep a tally. We picked 2.5 pounds (probably closer to 3 since we were eating them when we picked). This is a savings of well over $20. And aren't they pretty?


And the hens gave us 10 eggs today. It's been a good food day today!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Potatoes!

Potatoes are pretty fun to grow. In the grocery store, varieties are pretty limited. You can get a wider variety at a farmers market. Or you can get the most choices by growing your own. This year, I ordered a variety pack of organic seed potatoes.


When potato plants flower, they are setting their tubers. It's possible to carefully dig some potatoes after the plants have flowered. They are generally referred to as "new potatoes."

Today, I decided to dig some for dinner. I wasn't sure which variety I'd end up with, but I know that they are delicious.


The red are Strawberry Paw and the blue/purple are Peter Wilcox. I'm not sure about the white variery. I'm anxious to roast them up for dinner. Alongside beets and a roast chicken, it will be a very filling in season meal!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Kitchen Tour!

Today I want to give you a little tour of my kitchen. When we were shopping for floor plans, one of our big requirements was a large kitchen with a walk in pantry. With our gardening and food preservation goals, we wanted something that allowed us plenty of room to work.


Oh, how I love our island. I really don't know how we ever lived without one! And the peninsula area is so versatile. The kids can hang out there and color or do a craft while I'm working in the kitchen. And it's great for entertaining as well.


I was kind of in charge of the kitchen design. Pinterest was just a new thing when we were building, but it gave me so many ideas and a lot of inspiration. I knew I wanted a farmhouse feel. And I dig white cabinets. We chose IKEA cabinetry in St├Ąt White. It has the bead board look I was going for. We chose butcher block countertops. And the sink...oh, the sink! I love, love,  love apron front sinks. And IKEA just happens to carry one of those as well!


We added our back splash last fall. It took a little convincing to get Dan on board with the subway tile look, but I am so glad we did it. It really completed the look of the kitchen.


I am so happy with the look of the glass front cabinets. It frames out the stove and allows us to see our colorful Fiesta plates!

The pipe for the range hood was somewhat interesting. We weren't quite sure what we should do to cover it up, but I had the idea of using bead board paneling to cover. We are happy with the way it turned out!


This corner was a little tricky to work with. The cabinet is supposed to have doors, but there really isn't any clearance or wiggle room to work with for the doors to work. The solution was to leave the doors off and use it as a cookbook shelf!  I love my cookbooks!


And last, but not least, the pantry door. Believe it or not, Rust Oleum has a chalkboard paint!  I thought it would add a neat touch to the kitchen and I am thrilled with the way it turned out. The door to the left is our basement door. And there are my aprons! I love a good vintage apron :-)

I'll give you a tour of the pantry...sometime. I'm currently "on fire" as my hubs puts it with plans for reorganization of the pantry. And well, most of the house. In the coming weeks, I'll put up more tours of various parts of the house as well as some of our DIY projects.  Wait...wasn't the whole house a DIY project?

The curtain is just some burlap hung on a tension rod. And does anyone see the sign above the window? It applies to the boys in the house!

The Chicken Chick
Shared over at the Homestead Blog hop!
And also at From the Farm blog hop!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer is Here

Summer is definitely here! Over the last 3 years, we've known that the solstice is near based on when we can start picking our wild berries. We have black raspberries and blackberries. The black raspberries are awesome and they are slowly ripening! We picked 5 black raspberries yesterday and there are a lot more getting really close to picking.


Another thing I like watching for is wildflowers. When I was mowing yesterday, I spotted some orange flowers I've never seen before. And the first of many black eyed Susans (or what I think are black eyed Susans at least). To me, there's nothing better than some fresh picked wildflowers in a blue mason jar.


And summertime sunsets are awesome when you have nothing obstructing your view. I've now had two friends tell me we should make a coffee table book of sunset pictures. Maybe we should improve our photography skills and give it a go. What do you think?




Sunday, June 22, 2014

CSA Sunday!

With summer here and the market in full swing, we are trying something different for our CSA shares. Instead of picking up a box on Wednesday, we will pick from the Fish Hawk Acres tent what we'd like for the week. This works out swell since our garden will soon be producing! And since we can chat with Chef Dale, we can get new ideas for recipes. It's a win win.

We picked up a pound of shiitake mushrooms after hearing some delectable things to make with them. Dan loves their granola. Kole digs cucumbers. Who doesn't like carrots? And the chilled strawberry soup was divine!


PS - anyone spot something wrong with this picture?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Thanks, readers!

I was pretty excited when I opened my Grit magazine the other day and found this. Thanks for following along on our journey!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

CSA Wednesday

So, I tried something different this week. Since Fish Hawk Acres goes to our local market, I asked them if I'd be able to pick out things for my box at the market. Dale and the gang agreed and gave me the green light. I began picking some things out. The tent started to get busy and I *thought* I had picked out enough. When I got home to take a picture,  I realized I was pretty off. I did get some gorgeous kale, summer squash, beets, and lettuce though!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Wildflowers

There's nothing like fresh flowers. But, I am not one to buy them at the grocery store. I've been doing some reading on the slow flower movement and the flower industry. It's all quite fascinating, really.

And I love nothing more than being able to get things from my backyard. I was craving some new flowers in the house and so I went out back. Five minutes later, I was able to put these pretties on my windowsill.


And I love using my blue Mason jars. Oh, and milk glass. What is your favorite flower?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Plants!

So, we've been letting the chickens free range most of the day. If any of you are friends with me on Facebook, you know that our dog had a run in with one of the hens 2 weeks ago. Since then, they've been sharing time out. Lakelyn goes out for her morning run and then comes inside for the day. The chickens stay out until around 7. And the dog goes back out in the evening. So far, it's been working.

We haven't gotten a chance to put up a fence around the garden and so the hens have been in and out of it. They've been behaving pretty well (we haven't had any pest problems!), but they leveled our hills of squash. And we love our butternut. And watermelon. And cantaloupe. We had intended to plant more seeds today, but I found a vendor at the farmers market that had plants started from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I got butternut, delicata, watermelon, and cantaloupe. Delicata is one of our favorites!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Chick Update

The chicks are growing like wildfire! Last evening, we moved them out to the garage. They are all fully feathered now. When my mother in law was in town a few weeks ago, she put together a little movable pen for them to go outside. It was made with all scrap lumber!




And all of them have names now! We have Rex, Chief, Fish, Butter, Silver Stick, Gucci, Tiny, Tuffy, Ebony, Crooked Foot, and of course, Amelia. We are looking forward to them being large enough to free range with our big girls.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

We've Been A Little Busy

Life has been super crazy lately. Between family visits and a pig roast that we hosted, we've barely had time to breathe. The girls have been settling right in and production is strong. We got 7 eggs yesterday and 9 today! And I will be back to regularly scheduled programming now :-)


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

CSA Wednesday

Asparagus! And rhubarb! And lettuce! We are loving the spring offerings from Fish Hawk Acres!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Practice

When you get new chickens that you intend to allow to free range, it's a good idea to keep them in the coop for at least a week. This helps them to establish the coop as their new home so that they know to return to it at night.

We have a few things to do before we can let them free range all day, namely fence the garden. We will putting up something basic as they don't need much to keep them out (or so we hope!). The last two evenings we have been letting them out after dinner to peck around and start to learn their surroundings.



They did alright and thoroughly enjoyed their dust bath. Their fun ended when they tried to eat the sunflower seeds out of the row before I got them covered!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My Dinner View

This view will never get old. It just makes me so happy.


I'm hoping to get back to somewhat normal posts this week. We are recovering from a week visit from family and are gearing up for a picnic at our house this weekend. Summer is here!