Cricket Song Farm

Cricket Song Farm

Thursday, April 26, 2012

BURR EARL, it's cold here

                                                          Lilacs in bloom in Roosevelt

Everyone always asks me how I handle the weather in Roosevelt.  I just smile and say it is a lot colder where I come from.  Their usual response is,  "You live in Southern Utah where it's warm.   We are a lot colder than you."    So I came up with a great idea.    I will take pictures at the house in Roosevelt the morning I leave (April 23rd) and in the afternoon when I get to Beryl I will take photos of the same kind of trees and bushes and then I will compare the two.

                                   Lilacs in Beryl, not even a beginning of a blossom in sight.
                                 They haven't ever bloomed in the 16 years we've had the farm.

Apple blossoms in Roosevelt

Can't grow any fruit trees in  (Burr Earl)  Beryl.  It freezes every month of the year.

Elm trees at the house in Roosevelt

                                                       Elm trees in the front yard at Beryl

So my conclusion is that I must be crazy to live in a place like this.  I should just sell the farm and move to Roosevelt, buy a house  and raise my gardens there where the growing season is longer...................
but the next morning what did I see as I
was walking down the lane to farm

                                                  The sun is about to come up over the BUTTE

                             The reflection of the sunrise in the western mountains of Hamblin Valley

The pink reflection in the gathering rain clouds to the south 

The sun is up, time to get busy.

I see this every morning and the sunsets every night are even better.  Guess I won't be a sellin the farm!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sprouts 101

Purchase sprouting grains, seeds, or beans of choice.  This is my favorite mix.  It can be purchased at your local Health Food Store.  Any organic seeds can be used.  Radish, wheat, broccoli, clover, sunflower, alfalfa, beet, etc.  Try mung or garbanzo beans.  I like this mix because it gives you a good variety of seeds and beans. 

Scoop 1/4 to 1/2 cup of beans or seeds into a bowl of cool water.  Let soak for 24 hours.  I use this amount for 2 people.  You can do more at a time because the sprouts will refridgerate well up to 7 days.

                                               Beans and grains beginning to ferment.


   After soaking 24 hours drain off water and put seeds in a sprouter container or use a glass jar with a screen, nylon, or a cheese cloth stretched over the opening.

  I like these sprouter boxes.  You can stack as many high as you wish.  There are also dividers included so several different kinds of seeds can be sprouted at once.   This sprouter allows you to rinse easily, draining the water through  holes in the bottom. 

Rinse seeds 3 or 4 times a day.  I am lucky if I remember to do it just once.

Drain off the water and lay the jar on it's side.

                                                                     DAY 1

                                                                    DAY 2

                                                                       DAY 3

   DAY 4----   rinse a final time.  Use the sprouts in salads, stir-frys, sandwiches, add to your home-made bread.  I like to just eat them right our of the jar.  This is one of my favorite ways to eat the sprouts.  Place sprouts on a spinach wrap, add some avacado, tomato and sea salt.


                       NOW  REFRIDGERATE TO INHIBIT MORE GROWTH and to keep sprouts fresh.

Sprouts are an extremely good source of vitamins and minerals.  The nutritional value of the grain or seed is greatly increased through sprouting.  The seed is alive and provides your body with a true source of wellness, health, and long life.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Every year at this time I re-evaluate what I have or have not done to make a difference in taking care of this beautiful planet we call HOME.  No, I am not an environmentalist, but I do all I can to leave a small footprint on this beautiful Earth.  I am conscious about my actions, purchases, and how I live my days.  Do I act in a responsible way towards the bounties the earth gives us?  Do I say a prayer of thanksgiving for the many tiny miracles I witness every time I stop long enough to notice them?   Am I grateful for nature, and do I find joy and wonder in every moment and every discovery?  Am I mindful of the beauty around me, or is my mind just full of the every day to day pressures that surround us all?  Let's all just stop; take a deep breath, and look around us and marvel.  Are each of us doing what we should in our STEWARDSHIP over our little plot we inhabit here on Earth?

I am sharing a few suggestions to lighten our foot-print, only a few because there are so many things we can do. Please fill fee to add your ideas or comments.

  Re-cycle and Re-use     ------- Use it up  
                                                                   Wear it out.
                                                                    Make it do,
                                                                    Or do with-out.

Support or donate to your local charity or thrift store.

My favorite past-time ever----YARD  SALE  !

 Re-purpose an item when it's original task is complete.  I have used rake heads for years.  (broken rakes are a part of gardening ).  Hang them on the fence in the yard to hang your small gardening tools on.  Put one in the tool shed to hang box-end wrenches, hammers and other tools.  Place one by the back door to hang your keys on.  I have used them in the kitchen to hold cooking pots, or for drying bundles of herbs.  My fancy blue vintage glass-ware looks especially nice displayed this way.

I have always had one of these hanging in my bedroom to hang all my farm-girl bling on.  Also use it for men's ties or your smaller purses.  If you don't like the rusty look, just spray paint it in pretty colors.

Who needs new when the well worn look is soft and inviting.  I have collected someone else's cast-offs my whole married life.  There is something rewarding about rescuing an item, re-vamping it  and incorporating it into your home.

nothing new here

  COOK FROM SCRATCH------  lets get rid of the box. 

Use your home grown vegetables or veges from our CSA for the bulk of your cooking, but when you need other options try these mixes for breakfast or supper. Cooking from scratch can cut down on the trips to the store and the packaging.                   
  Many petroleum by-products are used in the packages, and only contain a small amount of food.   Buy in bulk to minimize the use of plastic, and it saves you money.

Here are a few of the basic Breakfast mixes we use.  Store in an airtight container.

                                                                 PANCAKE MIX

9 C. unbleached flour
9 C. whole wheat flour
2C. whole grain of choice (oatmeal, ground flax seed etc.)
2/3 c. baking powder  ( I don't use baking powder so I substitute with 1/4c. + 2 tbs. soda)
3 C. powdered milk
To make:  2 cups mix, 1 tbs. sugar or agave nectar, 1 C. water or milk, and 1 egg.

                                                              BASIC MUFFIN MIX

10 C. flour
1 C. sugar
4 tbs. baking powder
1/2 tbs. salt

To make:    2C. mix, 1 egg, 1tbs. oil  mix until just blended.   Bake 375-400 for 15 to 20 mins.
I always add one of the following to the mix. 

               -   add chopped onions, minced garlic and ground spice of choice
               -   add crumbled cooked bacon or sausage
               -   add 2/3c. grated cheese and 2 tbs. melted butter instead of the oil.
               -   add 1/2c/ creamed corn and reduce the liquid to 1/2c.

               - add 1c. diced apple and cinnamon
               - add 2 mashed banana and nutmeg- may need to reduce the liquid-
               - add 1/2c. berries of choice (blueberries, raspberries, currants etc.)
               - for an up-side down muffin, add fruit of choice and chopped walnuts to the  bottom of the tin, sprinkle with sweetener and melted butter, add mix over top.

RAISE A GARDEN even a few pots on the terrace if you don't have a yard


        One day I received a call from my daughter Meadow.  She was away at college, and had to throw away a cantaloupe rind in the garbage.  She called expressing her helplessness and the feeling of guilt about not being able to compost it or feed it to the chickens.   She is married now and I hope the concept will last through her life, and that she will raise a whole pile of little composters.



            Your food travels an average of 1500 miles to get to your plate, by then the nutritional value has decreased. Generally, most CSA's apply organic principles  in their farming practices which are better for the environment.





Here are just a few ideas.  Let's all do and little and together we can do a lot.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spinning with the fiber OUTLAWS

One Saturday a month the Outlaws get together and ---------SPIN, laugh, tell  TALLLLLL  tales, eat yummy food, knit, read favorite passages from a book, and  this month a few of us swapped WHIMZY JARS.

Darci gave me an old vintage canning jar with a pink glass  lid, she also stained the inside of the jar red with food coloring.  It has the old metal ring and she decorated the top with a dragonfly and flowers.


                                                   Here are a few of the items in my jar.

Lots of fun ribbons, rick-rack,  tassels and trinkets to put on my GYPSY BAGS

A hand cross-stitched bit of wisdom

I had one just like this as a kid

An old skeleton key tyed with spun wool hangs off  the side of the jar

Loved this!   I am going to pin it onto one of my straw farm hats I wear to Farmers Market.

Lots of other cool stuff


I will see you all again in October after the CSA season is over. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Years and years ago before we began growing as many acres of vegetables as we do now, we didn't need all the manure (now don't turn-up your nose about manure, this IS a blog about gardening)-------anyway, our purebred Nubian dairy goats produced more than we needed.


  Every week we would bag the well rotted, composted, manure into recycled grain sacks and haul it into market.  I sold out every week, once people tried my

                          ''GOURMET GOAT GARDEN GARNISH''

 they would stand in line for more.  It is great to top dress any veges that are yellowing,  roses especially love it.
The task of filling the sacks usually fell to my oldest son at the time.  He used a large metal scoop shovel so of course I called him my ''SUPER DUPER POOPER SCOOPER''.

 Years have passed since then.  He along with his beautiful wife just graduated together from college with a Bachelors of Science Degree.  He was honored, and privileged, to be the student speaker at the commencement.  My  hat  (the straw one held together with  duct tape) is off to you feller.  We are so proud of you and your accomplishments.  (we think his amazing wife is his greatest accomplishment).   He has been hired by one of the top companies in the U.S.  Not bad for a farm boy from out in the middle of nowhere.

Monday, April 9, 2012


I remember watching the cartoon Popeye as a kid.  He looooooved his canned spinach.  My mother fed me canned spinach :-(    There are 1 and 1/2 vegetables I do not like.  Brussel Sprouts (1) and canned spinach (1/2)  only half because I love it raw.  We didn't grow spinach in the garden when I was young so it wasn't until I started growing my own gardens that I discovered how wonderful fresh spinach is.

Spinach is a cool weather crop.  Plant seeds as soon as the ground can be worked.  I plant in cold frames in mid-March.  Keep well mulched to retain moisture.  Spinach will produce through the spring until the hot days of summer arrive.  To extend the season keep your soil cool to discourage bolting.  Use a shade cloth or an old white sheet to cover spinach.  I use a 16 foot wire panel bent in half the long ways and throw a cloth over top and secure with clothes pins.  This will allow a couple extra weeks of harvest.  Plant seeds again in late summer and keep moist and covered.  I again plant in a cold frame.  The spinach needs a good start before winter hits.  By using a cold frame, the heat will be drawn into the soil during the day and release it during the night.  Cover the cold -frame at night with a thick quilt.  I have grown spinach all winter long using this method.

Spinach is high in vitamins A and C.  It is loaded with fiber and is DELICIOUS.  Use spinach in salads, sandwiches or in our favorite,  a spinach quiche.


2C. torn spinach
2C. sliced strawberries
1/4c. chopped, cooked bacon
1/3 c. sugared, sliced, toasted almonds

2 TBS. olive oil
1 1/2 TSP. worchestershire sauce
1 TBS. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika

Pour dressing over salad.  Toss and serve.


Saute 1 shallot in butter until limp.  Add a large handful of torn spinach and wilt.  Pour 5 beaten eggs mixed with 3 tbsp. milk over the spinach.  As the eggs cook, lift the edge to let uncooked egg on top run underneath.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Fold when firm and serve. 


Add 1 to two cups of pureed spinach to your favorite cornbread recipe.  Decrease the liquid if necessary.

Here is our all time favorite spinach recipe

SPINACH QUICHE and apple pie
I figure if you are going to all the trouble to make a pie crust, you may as well make enough to bake an apple pie and pie crust cookies.

In a large pie pan, place pie crust.  Flute the edges and puncture crust with a fork.  Grate Mozzarella (we use fresh goat cheese) over bottom of pan.  Cut cream cheese into cubes and add 1/3 of the cubes to the bottom of the pan.

While you are busy making the crust have your husband cut apples.  These are organic apples off our tree here in Roosevelt and from other organic sources so we leave the peelings on.  I also like to use different apple varieties, giving you a mouthful of different flavors and textures.

And don't forget to make the pie crust cookies to hold the kids over until the Quiche is done.

Add organic sugar and cinnamon to the excess crust and cook 350 degrees until crisp.

Chop stems off spinach but leave spinach whole.  It tends to float to the top and if you do not cut the leaves up they stay disbursed in the pie more evenly.

Place 1/2 of the washed and dried spinach in pie pan.  Add 1/3 of the cubed cream cheese.  Add remaining spinach and remaining cream cheese.
                     Beat  8 eggs (small pie pan) or 10 for a large 9" pie pan.  Pour evenly over spinach. 

                 Now, sprinkle flour, cinnamon, and sugar over the apples.  Add 1/4c. cubed butter overtop.

Place top crust on over apples.  Vent crust to allow moisture to escape.

Grate Mozarella cheese over top of quiche in a thick layer.  Brush egg white mixed with a tbs of water around the edge of quiche and over top of the apple pie.  Sprinkle sugar on top of apple pie.  Place the two pies in the oven at 350 degrees and bake apple pie 25 minutes or until crust is golden.  The spinach quich takes longer.  Cook about 50 to 70 minutes depending on your oven.  When an inserted knife comes out clean it is done.