Cricket Song Farm

Cricket Song Farm

Friday, May 31, 2013

SAGE


An old saying says,  "Shall a man die if he has sage in his garden?"

This statement refers to the health benefits of the humble sage.  Sage tea is a good blood tonic and is beneficial for colds and sore throats. 

Sage is one of the herbs I use excessively at the farm.  Dice the fresh sage and mix with scrambled eggs.  Incorporate it into the dough of biscuits and bread.  We also like to dip large individual sage leaves into a tempera batter and deep fry it.  Add dried or fresh sage to sour cream, cream cheese, or home-made acid set cheese.

Sage can be started by seed quite easily, but my preference to obtaining a sage plant is by laying a stem from an established plant on the ground.  Cut a small nick on the underside of the woody stem (leave the stem attached to the mother plant).  Place this cut section in a small indentation in the ground and put soil over the top of the stem.  I lay a brick or heavy object on the buried stem to keep it from pulling up from the ground.  Leave it for a couple of months ( I water this fairly often) so new roots can grow from the cut.  To transplant I wait until late summer and then cut the stem away from the parent plant and using a large shovel scoop out the new plant with as much soil intact as possible and transplant to it's new home.

Sage likes a moderately dry, chalky soil.  Lime the area well if you have acidic soil.  If your winters are cold I recommend covering with burlap and hilling with a thick leaf mulch.  I have a place in the green house for mine.  I also have success planting right next to the greenhouse to give the plant some additional warmth during the winter.

Here is a recipe for one of our favorite suppers:

GARDEN HARVEST STEW AND SAGE BISCUITS

In a large cast iron skillet, brown 1 pound hamburger.  Add fresh  pole beans and 2 cups corn cut from the cob.  Add 3 cups of pre-cooked black beans, dice 6 tomatoes, an onion, add whatever else is ripe and ready to harvest.  Pour in about 1-2 cups chicken broth or water.  Cook this down until the vegetables are tender.  Add more broth if needed, this needs to be a little "soupy".
  In the meantime make some baking powder biscuits and add a good amount of
                                                               chopped sage to the dough.
Drop biscuit dough by large spoonfuls (or use my suggestion below) onto the top of the vegetables stew and put  the cast iron skillet in the oven at about 400 degrees until the biscuits are done (12-15mins.).  To serve scoop out into individual bowls, making sure everyone gets a biscuit or two.  I have an extra large 20 inch skillet so I double the recipe for both biscuits and vegetables.

Just a note about biscuits:    Try this, instead of rolling them out and cutting into circles and re-rolling the dough to cut in circles, and then re-rolling yet again to cut the last circle,  Just pat the dough into a large, thick square and cut into equal  square pieces.  A square biscuit tastes just as good as a round one!  Actually I think they are better because you don't over work the dough.  Brush a little milk on top to help brown the biscuits.




Monday, May 27, 2013

CSA Delivery

the first CSA  delivery of the season
 
 
 
A new season is under-way at the Farm.  Our first delivery was on May 15th.  It was good to see all my loyal customers again and to meet our new patrons.
Shelly and I, and our great kids, are looking forward to growing you the most wholesome and nutritious fruits and vegetables. We pick and deliver fresh to you within hours!
 
We would like to say a special "Thank-You" to the Real Food health food store for allowing us to use their parking lot as a delivery spot.
 
Our Full Share on May 15th included:
---------------------------------------------------
1 large or 2 small Spaghetti Squash
1 Turk's Turban Squash
2 pound of Potatoes
1 Pound Rhubarb
Romaine Lettuce
10oz Mesclun mix
1 1/2 pounds of Spinach
Onions
Radishes
Wild Greens
(dandy lions and lambs quarters)
3 European Cucumbers
1/2 pint of honey
 
Our Full Share on May 22nd included:
-----------------------------------------------------------
Chard
Spinach
Red Leaf Lettuce
Green Leaf Lettuce
Snow Peas
Shell Peas
Golden Zucchini
Green Zucchini
Crook-neck Squash
Peacans
FRUIT Share:  Delicious Cherries


Full Share for May 29th
--------------------------------------------

1 very large Green Hubard Squash
large Spaghetti Squash
2 pounds potatoes
1 bundle of Rhubarb
10oz. bag of mixed greens
Chard
Broccoli
onions
radishes
4 European  Cucumbers
Sage
 
 
We are still accepting new customers.  If you are interested in a share,
 please call Jill at 435-704-4351
 
Look under the CSA tag for more CSA information
Thanks, and welcome to the farm!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Stump Collector?

  
We were parked at the gas pump waiting for the tank to fill.  A big 4 wheel drive, bright red truck pulled up to the pump aside of us. " Look mom, that lady is a stump collector too", my son quipped from the back seat pointing to the gnarled roots of a stump he could see sticking (no pun intended) out from above the side of the truck bed.  "What, do you mean by that?  Are you calling me a stump collector?" I asked.
"Ya mom, any time we go out into the mountains, after a load of wood you say, "We can't cut this stump up , it will look nice in the yard."  I had never thought of myself as a stump collector  before.  Isn't it funny the way your kids perceive you.  A stump collector?  Well, I thought about it, and about all the stumps I have drug home over the years.  Ya, I guess I am a stump collector, but look at the cool things my stumps have become........ 
 
 
 
a bench made from stumps and an old second-hand bed frame
placed on one side of the arbor, a
perfect place to sit after a long day's work
and watch the sun set.
 
 
 
a stump to set an old wooden faerie house on
 
 
When we moved from Nevada I left quite a collection of stumps and
old twisted trunks, I wonder if the new owners cut them up for firewood?
 
Try this:
bury a tree trunk with the roots sticking up and hang bird feeders
or birdhouses from the gnarled roots,
 
or use the roots to hold a large bird bath
and grow a beautiful flowering vine up it,
 
or hollow out the middle cavity and plant flowers in it,
 
or put a trunk out in the garden and put old lamp bulbs on it
my BULB TREE has graced my gardens for many years
 
 
 
use a trunk for a bench around the fire-pit
 
 
 
What ingenious ways have you used old tree trunks or stumps? 
 I know I'm not the only "stump collector"  who drags them home!
 
 
 

 

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Straight Line

 
 
 
 
Everyone knows that the shortest distance from point A to point B is a straight line, that is except for mom (myself) who insisted that her boys walk out the front door, down two steps and turn left.  Now follow the path around the rock garden 
 
 
out through the gate
 
 
 turn right and walk past the hutch, and picnic table to the end of the driveway
 
 
Turn right again and walk along until you come to the lane on your left that goes to the farm. Actually the lane is straight across the lawn from the front door.  So boys being the wonderful boys that they are would head up to the farm to milk, weed, transplant trees, and cheerfully do whatever project mom had on her agenda, but no way were they going to walk all the way around  when they could just go straight across the lawn, hop the fence and be on their way.
 
 
 (mom still can't make a straight line)
 
 
So off we went to get a load of rocks to make a pathway across the trampled lawn,
 but after we made a path it opened a whole new can of worms.
"Let's make an Arbor" said the mother (me). "WE (meaning the boys) can bury cedar posts and cut out dead limbs from the elm trees
 to make a roof and sides, and go get more rocks for a large walkway."
And so the work began.
 
 
Steps were placed in the sand that the wind had blown in
 and the half buried wire fence cut away
 
 
 
post holes were dug and posts planted
 
 
 
 
 
 


 (these pictures were taken at the end of the summer last year)
 
 
Nearing completion.........
need more dead limbs for the roof and sides,
and another trip for rocks.
I have a chandelier to hang for lighting,
 and some solar lights by each post would be nice.
I would love to have grapes growing over it, but alas our weather
is to harsh and cold for concord grapes or ivy.
Any suggestions of a vine or perennial what would grow in about
 a zone 4 climate (1a in the western gardening zone) to cover the arbor? 
 
 


Thursday, May 16, 2013

WELCOME HOME


I have been at the farm for over a week now.  The kidding is coming along nicely.  I have been spending long days working in the gardens. Pitch forking tumble weeds over the fence and the
 W-I-N-D  just blows them right back over.  The driveway and path to the house was burried under 6 feet of tumbleweeds, but we were able to burn and clear them away.  We have been getting beautiful rain the last few days which was desperately needed.  Things should start greening up now.



  As I  first walked into the little red house, knowing I could stay for the summer, I was met by all the familiar things that make this little house a home,....... just about anyway.


 
A vintage love seat with a 60's hand crewel- embroidered pillow sits
 in the enclosed porch.........waiting
 
 

 
A collection of swans' sit patiently waiting on a shelf,
 they have a special meaning for my youngest.
 
 
 
 
A plack on the wall reminds us of how valuable we are to each other
and how we should treat one another when we are all together again.
 
 
 
old ornate mirrors that reflect the way we live
an old shabby door installed long before they were fashionable
lots of windows covered with lace curtains and hand crocheted doilies
 hung with balin' wire of course
 and old crystal chandeliers can be found in every room...........waiting
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The  small opening  (BELOW), cut into an exterior wall, leads from the bedroom
 into the enclosed porch area.   We put up a wall and turned it into
 a tiny 5x10 foot  floor to ceiling library filled with gardening books, and all the classics
..........waiting to be read aloud to each other when we come in for a few hours
 during the middle of the hot summer days.
 
 
Yes, it's good to be back to the Little Red House, but it won't be
HOME
until the rest of the family is here in a couple more weeks.
 
I learned a valuable lesson years ago from my oldest daughter after we had moved
yet again.
 
She said, "Home is where the family is".
 
 
Hurry back guys, the little red house and I miss you,
can't wait until you're HOME!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Walking Barefoot while Wandering

Thanks, for all the starts with "W" comments.  I had such a hard time choosing which answer I liked best.  I laughed for a good 20 minutes about having to move whine lines.  Every answer really made me stop to think about how living close to nature is a Wonderful Way to live and how blessed I am to have that opportunity. 

After an agonizing afternoon of trying to decide which answer I liked best, I finally come to the conclusion that there was not an answer I liked best,(I liked them all), but I narrowed it down to 2 and combined them, and came up with what I found most inspiring to me........


                        Walking barefoot
 (while) Wandering  the Walkway of the
Waking World surrounding you (me).



Thanks to all those who commented.  Keep following, more paintings in the works.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Unique Water Fountains Recycled from old lamps


 
I have always been fasionated with the old brass and glass bulb lamps.  About 3o years ago when I first began collecting them they could be found inexpensively, so I would tear them apart and make something else of them.   I would hang the extra large glass bulbs from trees, or stick them atop a cedar fence post in the pasture, and of course add them to my Bulb Tree that stands out in the middle of my Garden.  The brass parts would be used in art projects, or put together in other combinations to make a number of odd contraptions, bird feeders and bird baths, pots for plants etc., but my favorite idea was to make them into water fountains. 
 
 
 
Sorry, these are photos of old pictures, so they are not very clear.   This is a water fountain I made years and years ago.  I simply tore various lamps apart and utilizing the tall center hollow pipe of the lamp, I  tightened a nut on the bottom threads (leaving a space of pipe under the nut to hook the hose onto)  and begin stacking bits and pieces of different  lamps on the pipe, creating the design of the fountain I wanted.  When I reached the top of the pipe a nut would tighten all the pieces together.  Then  fasten a water pump and hose to the botton of the hollow pipe and the water would flow up the pipe and down the sides.  I liked using a larger piece for the top that would allow the water to drip off the edge. 

 

 
 
As you use these brass fountains they weather beautifully with a nice patina
 
 

 
The fountain base


 
 
 
This is what is looks like now,
the hard water has mellowed the brass
 
 
Shouldn't have torn all those lamps apart, now-a-days they are worth a small fortune, but
then again I wouldn't have enjoyed all the quirky yard decorations.
Sometimes you just can't put a price on a yard
that makes you smile, and makes people think you're a little wacky!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Battery Exhausted

Been working like a hill of ants here at the farm.  We are in the thick of kidding season with a bunch of new babies running around.  Been up all night for the past couple of weeks crawling in and out of the goat shed checking on the deliveries, making sure the babies are eating well, milking out the mom's that give more milk than the babies need.  The weeds are just about all burnt and the ground is getting tilled.  Cold frames are being moved and planted.  The peas are in, as are broccoli and cabbage.  The task of what goes where leaves me standing in the garden  muttering to myself.........".what did we plant here last year?  I can't plant squash in the same place we had cucumbers.........what did I do with the flat nose shovel? " On, and on I mutter, because I forgot to bring the plans from last year's gardens down to the farm and I am too busy to walk back the miles and miles (seems like  miles sometimes)  back to the little red house to get them.  My hands are aching from digging potato rows, not to mention I can't stand up straight, from all that shoveling and crawling in and out of the goat sheds.  I walk in a half -bent over awkward gate cause I'm an old lady out here trying to do a young whippersnapper's job.  I would be taking lots and lots of pictures, before and afters, of all the projects I've completed, and of cute new baby goats, but alas, I got me a new-fangled pocket digital camera that has a rechargeable battery and I left the battery-recharger cord for  it up north.  I turned the camera on and this is what it said BATTERY EXHAUSTED and then the screen went black.  Well, tar-nation how can I document my progress.  All this work, work, work, and it doesn't look like I've accomplished a dern thing!

                                     Well, I have just one thing to say about all this nonsense
 
MY
 BATTERY IS EXHAUSTED!












Tuesday, May 7, 2013

CSA season 2013

A new season is always a celebration for us.  We have made it through another cold winter, everyone is healthy, the new baby lambs and goats are scampering around the field, and the ground is waking up from it's long winter nap.  I wake every morning giddy with excitement of what the day will bring.  Will it be so windy I can't stand straight and the dust is so thick I can't see, or will I be able to work all morning listening to the birds sing, and preparing the ground for seed?  Every day is an adventure and a joy.

Deliveries are as follows:

Wednesday, May 15th
 in St. George at the REAL FOOD health food store
 on 700 South just off of Bluff Street.
5:00p.m. -7:00p.m.

 Mesquite Nevada
Wednesday evenings 7:00p.m.
(if we get enough interest so contact me soon) 
 
Thursday, May 16th
Cedar City
10:00 a.m.
 
 
FARM PICK-UP
Thursday evening 7:00p.m.

 


Full Share delivery on:

May 15th
------------------------
1 large or 2 small spaghetti squash
1 Turk's Turban squash
2 pounds of potatoes
green garlic
1 pound of Rhubarb
Romaine lettuce
10 oz. bag of mixed greens
1 1/2 pounds of Spinach
onions
radishes
wild greens(dandy lions, and lamb quarters)
3 European cucumbers
1/2 pint local honey


Full Share delivery May, 22nd
-------------------------------------------
Chard
Spinach
Red leaf lettuce
Green leaf lettuce
Snow peas
Shell peas
Golden Zucchini
Green Zucchini
Crook-neck
Pecans
 
In our Spring Green Share you will receive a bounty of greens,
root crops and winter squash I  hold over from last fall,
and as Shelly's garden in sunny Leeds begin to produce
her vegetables will be added to the share.
As the season progresses I will be adding many new items to your delivery.
We are anticipating a very bounteous harvest this year.
Our Greenhouses are producing well and
our 5 acre vegetable garden is well under way.
If you are interested in a FRUIT share for the season
 Shelly has a 3 acre orchard and grows all kinds of fruits
( apples, apricots, cherries, pears, nectarines, plums, pomegranates, and grapes).
 
 
We are looking forward to a beautiful and bountiful season.
If knowing who grows your food, and how it is grown is important to you,
Please call me if you are interested in a share of our farm's produce.
435-704-4351

Contact me now to reserve your share of the tastiest, healthiest,
 freshest fruits and vegetables available.
  Thanks so much for your support.
 
Payment schedule can be negotiated if needed.


 
 
 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Recycle a jar

 
I purchased this jar of salsa at the dollar store.   It is approximately 4 inches tall and
3 inches in diameter.  After enjoying the salsa, not as good as home-made, but not bad for a buck, the jar was thoroughly cleaned and the label removed.

 
Using a soft sanding pad, remove the paint as desired.

 
Add a knob purchased from a hardware store or use one you have in the junk drawer.
The bolt that comes with the knob will need to be cut off shorter, or add washers to the bottom of the jar lid.  The bolt is much longer than needed because you are not going through the thickness of wood.  I would suggest just purchasing a shorter bolt that will fit the knob.  The cut ones won't thread on easily.

 
I have a whole row of these jars filled with dried herbs from the garden.
 
Use them in a craft room to fill with buttons, pins, and spools of thread.
 
Use smaller jars to contain beading supplies.
 
Place them in a bathroom filled with home-made bath salts, soaps and oils.
 
Add a cute label and your saved seeds from the garden.
 
Fill with dried fruit from your trees, or your favorite home-made muffin mix,
 or a dried soup mix made from your dried garden bounty.
 
 Tye a beautiful bow on it and give as a gift.
 
Fill it with something special like CHOCOLATE
or honey candy.
 
Next time you are procuring the grocery isles, think about what you can use that
 little jar of  pickled artichoke hearts for after you have eaten them.
 
Here's a thought, with Mother's Day in a few days, make a complete canister set using a large jar and progressively getting smaller jars. Buy jars that have the same color of lids if desiring a set to match , or spray paint the lids all the same color and add a beautiful knob.  Fill with staples for the pantry, or with her favorite treats or snacks.