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Tansies

IMG_3545Tansies, the yellow flowers above, are very tall and hardy plants. Here is some interesting information about them. The story of our Tansies again includes Helen. She found a very small tansy plant on the farm, dug it up and rooted it to then create more plants. Her ability with cultivating plants out of just tiny bits of nothing is incredible. She transplanted these newly rooted plants into a row in the perennial bed and now we have an abundance of Tansy.

I don’t have much else to share this week as I was busy with the flowers. Here is a bouquet that I particularly liked.

IMG_3552But I did manage to take a few shots of some new vegetables that made their way to market this week.

Beautiful basil bunches.

IMG_3548Big old heirloom tomatoes:IMG_3543

Here is Amelia, Elizabeth’s helpful niece, packaging up the cherry tomatoes.

 

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IMG_3454I had to start with this fish-eye view of Elizabeth in one of the flower fields. Makes me feel like I’m somewhere other, like Scandanavia. I don’t even know if they have sunflowers and marigolds there, but in my mind, it is a place that is very orderly yet magical.

OK. Now that I have that off my chest, on to the Elderberries. Here is lots of information about their medicinal benefits, which are mighty! They grow all over the place so you could collect them yourself, if so inclined. Here is our Elderberry Tree – IMG_3476These flowers are just starting to turn purple. Helen harvests them while they are still white and turns them into a delicious and healthy syrup by soaking them for four days in a pot. She does this every year. Helen is from Austria, where many people harvest their elderberries. Here is her recipe, as written down by Elizabeth:

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The magic happening:IMG_3482My kids love it. And it is especially good for strengthening the respiratory system.

And now, for some other Friday shots from my day at the farm:

IMG_3484The flowers were so bountiful yesterday that Elizabeth had her hands full making bouquets with Helen. So I got to clean the eggs, which I loved. I love cleaning them maybe in contrast to how much I hate collecting them. I can NOT mess with a brooding mama hen and steal her eggs out from under! Just can not. So I got Gillen to help with that part. I guess I’m too city, still. But I can make a mean cucumber salad with these:

IMG_3462It’s actually Helen’s recipe. You just peel them, slice them really thin (I use a mandolin) and then mix them up with lots of sour cream, apple cider vinegar, some olive oil, dulce (shakeable kind of seaweed seasoning) and salt. Yum.

And here is Helen, our resident sweet, nutritious, beautiful Elder Berry, making bouquets:IMG_3474

There are new characters popping up every week. The Coneflowers (Echinacea) showed up last Friday.

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And though I picked many of them, below is the only shot I have of the newly blooming Marigolds, here making their way to our home, along with more strawberries to freeze. I love the bittersweet smell of Marigolds. IMG_3435 Last week, Helen and Elizabeth had so many fewer flowers to work with. It all changes so quickly with each new hour of sun or rain.

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And below is funny, wonderful Heather, yet another farmer whom I hadn’t introduced! IMG_3377

Next week I’ll try to make may way back into the vegetables for a bit and even include one some of our farmers’ recipes.

Unable to get my good camera fixed, for now, I decided to get a lens for my i phone. Did you know that there was such a thing? It is called the ollo clip and is not expensive. It allows you to take macro, wide-angle or fish-eyed lens pictures with one tiny devise that sits on the corner of your iphone. It only works with the iphone 4, not the 5. This is probably not new news for many of you, but for me, this is very exciting. This morning, I picked flowers with Elizabeth for a few hours and then played with my new toy. Here is where the bouquets are created, in this fish bowl corner of the barn’s outer vestibule. See Farmer Nicolas, looking mighty tiny in the doorway? Super cool lens, eh?

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And here is a bucket of those bouquets, ready for tomorrow morning at the market. Elizabeth and Helen worked their magic, with Yarrow, Larkspur, Salvia, Sunflowers and the first Zinnias:IMG_3309

Mmmm. Look what I collected to take with me –

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And here was my ride home:

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I made a video of Nicolas talking about walking onions. It will eventually make its way here. For now, it is on youtube.

IMG_3243Above, Nicolas and Mark washed lettuces for the next day’s market.

IMG_3257Aaron, a homeschooled friend of Gillen’s who works for us.

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IMG_3262Gillen T. showing off his tractor skills. And below, he is showing off Willie’s pointing potential. IMG_3229

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IMG_3250Helen, after hours of hard work cutting flowers. These are the Yarrow.

Flash from the past

I found this on YouTube, filmed by someone ten years ago. It was a fun surprise for me! I hope you enjoy it too.

So, it’s been a long long time since I’ve acted like a farmer’s wife and posted to this blog. Too busy cooking the good farmer’s food, doing his and the boys’ laundry… excuses, excuses…. Actually I’ve been pouring my creative juice into learning art. But Jesse and Eli (flower farmer Elizabeth’s son and Jesse’s good friend) have decided to start working at the farm on Fridays, which means I get to be there with them. I’ll now have ample opportunity to cut a few flowers with Elizabeth and take pictures of the farm. I’m even going to fix my good camera so you won’t have to look at anymore blurry shots from my farm dirty-iphone. But in the meantime, here are a few from this past Friday:

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Nicolas in a high tunnel filled with what farmer Mark calls “Boutique Lettuce”. Below, a few of them took their close-up.IMG_3113

Right now, for me, it is all about the flowers. A beautiful dewy Peony. Isn’t it just screaming to be painted? I thought so. I’m afraid the peonies didn’t make it to market today. They are being well loved in my art room.IMG_3078

The woman behind the flowers – Elizabeth, here with the Larkspur.

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Asparagus, the headliner (in my humble opinion) of spring. We’ve eaten it several times in risotto, but it’s also so good roasted on a cookie sheet with olive oil and salt, at 350, until it’s really toasted. IMG_3044

Just one small section of a huge table of garlic. One of Eli’s jobs on Friday was to tie several together into bunches.IMG_3052

Swiss Chard, a family favorite. I slice it up into strips, the colorful stems too, and sautee it in a big cast iron wok with garlic and olive oil. I add bragg’s or tamari to it in the last few minutes of cooking. IMG_3084

It was hard to get many close-ups of the strawberries as small hands kept popping into the screen.  IMG_3164

Nicolas showing Eli how to efficiently package the berries. Here’s a tip. If you’re freezing berries, you can freeze them spread out on a cookie sheet and then when you put them frozen into bags or glass containers, they won’t stick together so badly.

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Arugula.

 

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Captain Organic Jesse America. His wheelbarrow is filled with that boutique lettuce. IMG_3173  See you next thyme. : )  It will be much quicker that the last time.  IMG_3048