Cricket Song Farm

Cricket Song Farm

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Add a little touch of SPRING to your winter


Purchase some inexpensive gloves at your local department store



Rummage through your yarn stash, and
using a large tapestry needle sew simple embroidery stitches on the cuff.
Only sew through one layer of the cuff except on the outer edge.


I used the button hole stitch for the edges.
  A DAISY stitch for the flower and french knots (wrapping 3 times for each stitch).



Add a hand spun, knitted fingerless glove over the top and you are sure to be toasty and warm while out doing chores.  I will post a pattern for the gloves and hat in a following post.
Hope everyone is enjoying the Holiday Season.
And I wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Our Family Christmas Traditions

   It's the most wonderful time of the year. 
This year, however instead of getting together and sharing all our family traditions:

* making ginger bread cookies to hang on the sagebrush tree



find a recipe here

* spending many evenings together creating one of a kind tree ornaments

( angels made from corn husks unearthed from the compost pile)

* putting on our snow boots, grabbing a hand-saw and ax,


going out the back door to chop down a big ole
  sagebrush for our tree
more pictures here

This family tradition began one year when the snow was very deep
and going into the mountains after a tree was impossible,
But I knew just what to do,
stepping out the back door we cut down a large, beautiful sagebrush.
We have had a sagebrush tree for the past 10 years or so.



Christmas 2010


* purchasing gifts for less fortunate neighbors and then trying to deliver
them without being caught
*having our Christmas night "slumber party" on the floor of the "little red house"
this tradition came about from the many years my kids slept on the floor in our little one bedroom
600 square foot house. 

Well this year is going to be a little different
My kids are strung far and wide,

Georgia
Virginia
Texas

but traditions are worth hanging on to.
I made gingerbread cookies and sent them to the boys.
We will walk out the back door (of our rented house up north)
 tonight and cut down a sagebrush for our tree,
decorating it with hand made ornaments from years past.
Sadly, we will not be spending Christmas this year down on the farm
 at the "Little Red House",
surrounded by loved ones.
That is why family traditions are so important.
No matter where you are and how far apart you my be,
 your tradition's will bring you together.




Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Storage Idea

Here is a great idea for storing your fruits and vegetables over the winter.  Simply move an old dresser into a cold room of your house and use the drawers for keeping items fresh until needed.  This old child's armour sits on my back porch/laundry room just off the kitchen where it stays nice and cold all winter long.  I would suggest separate dressers for fruit and another for vegetables, but if room is not available just keep the veges and fruit separated in different drawers.

My daughters childhood dresser serves as storage for fresh fruits and vegetables



Line the drawers with a cardboard box or newspapers


Note:  I nailed a board securely underneath the bottom of the dresser to discourage mice from getting into the produce.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tea with Trudy


One of my favorite things to do over the Holiday season is to visit my sister and spend an evening in her beautiful glass green-house.  We concoct our own specialty tea using fresh herbs picked from the potted herbs growing around us, using water heated in a kettle on the wood burning stove, a large variety of dried flowers and herbs kept in crystal jars, and sweetened with organic honey and cream.  Our husbands talk building construction, mechanics and all things manly.  We visit about children, gardens, plants and organic growing.



 more pictures and information about this gorgeous, plant filled glass green-house


Monday, December 1, 2014

back to REST

Hope everyone had a wonderful THANKSGIVING, filled with gratitude for all your blessings, good food, great company and time with family and loved ones.  We spent the holiday with my kids and managed to accomplish quite a bit.  My married kids know you had better bring your "work clothes"  when they come for a visit because there is always a work project going on.  The wood pile was a priority and after a long day of cutting, splitting, hauling and stacking in the wood shed, I think we will make it through the winter.  Projects at the farm included:  finish laying the rock in the sun room, lining the grow boxes with newly purchased galvanized sheet metal, cutting glass panels for the exterior windows, draining and bringing in all the hoses throughout the gardens.  Tearing out wire fences and digging out the metal T-Posts so we can plant a lawn in front of the Airstream this spring.  Watering the 30 newly trans-planted trees one last time so they won't winter kill, and we did find a little time to go skeet shooting down on the pond bank out in the west 40.  After a long 7 hour drive back to Roosevelt, I commented to my husband that it was too bad he had to go back to work the next day.  He smiled a tired, worn out smile and replied.
  "Yes, I get to go back to REST tomorrow!"

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The best Farm Dog EVER!

 Fifteen years ago we rescued a Golden Retriever and her nine pups.  When the puppies were weaned, we were fortunate to find them all good homes.  The kids chose this beautiful, sweet little pup to keep for ourselves and named her Eppie M. after a character in one of their favorite books.




 "How did you train Eppie dog not to step on the vegetables or flowers?'  my daughter asked me this past summer.  I replied," I didn't"......,she just knew to stay in the narrow foot paths throughout the acres of growing veges.  There were a few times in the spring that she would get a bit confused because the freshly tilled ground all looked the same, but a simple "Eppie get out" was all that was needed and she would scurry off the freshly planted area.  She never chased the hens, sheep or goats, but would spend her morning chasing after the large long-legged Jack Rabbits that plagued the farm.  You could always tell by her bark weather she was after a rabbit or protecting her farm from coyotes or other wandering dogs.  Eppie loved her little farm.  When she was 7 years old, we moved from Beryl to Northern Utah and of course we took her with us, but she was so un-happy.  She would lay on the lawn and refuse to eat, or even greet the kids when they came home from school.  After a couple of weeks and loosing an unhealthy amount of weight, I told my husband that I was going to take her back to the farm," she is just going to lay there and die".   I loaded her up and drove the 400 mile one way trip back to the farm.  I was concerned about leaving her there, we did have caretakers living in the mobile home on the farm that would feed her and keep an eye on her.  As soon as I turned off the paved road and she heard the gravel hitting the underbelly of the car, she sat right up and began to whimper.  Pulling onto the farm road I drove to the vegetable gardens and let her out.  She ran yelping and barking, turning in circles and a big happy grin on her face verified that she wanted to stay at the farm, that this was her home.  Over the next six years Eppie would stand  guard over our little farm, watching over her goats, chickens and sheep until I came in the early spring to do the planting, lambing and kidding. She was my constant companion as I worked the fields and escorted me up and down the lane to the farm several times during the night to check in on the does and ewes during the 2 month kidding season,  She followed me through the maze of garden pathways over the next six summers, and when the fall harvest season was over I loaded up and made the trip back up north without her.  The kids missed her over the long winter, but understood that was where she was happy.  They were however, able to spent many long, happy summer days with her, hunting rabbits, kangaroo rats, and any other varmints plaguing the farm.

This picture was taken just a couple of weeks before she passed on 

The past couple of years she has spent with us up north during the winter.  We tried once again to bring her up with the family and she adjusted o,k,  I guess she knew her time was short.  She would come down to the farm with me and the kids during the summer, carefully walking the garden paths, and chasing the rabbits, but not as fast and as far now.  

The cancer began as a small lump and quickly grew into a large oozing mass on her side.  The vet said because of her age, 15 years old, she was too old to operate.  Just take her home and she will probably die of old age before the cancer gets her.  However she went down hill fast, and when she went off her feed, and was suffering, we knew it was time to let her go.  I made my husband take her to the vet, I couldn't do it, but I said my goodbyes and thanked her for being the best farm dog ever, for helping raise my kids, for being my constant companion at the farm, and for NEVER/EVER walking on the plants and flowers.

Eppie M.  you were loved and cherished.  As we take you home to your little farm and bury you among the flowers and garden paths we are so grateful to have been your humans and once again,

 THANKS FOR BEING THE BEST FARM DOG EVER!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

SECOND GROWTH CABBAGE

Harvested the last of the cabbage from the garden. 
 Cabbage can take a light frost, but when the teens are predicted you had better bring it in. 


Cabbage can be harvested in the spring, summer and fall.  The early or short day cabbages are harvested as soon as the heads are full and firm around 60 days after transplanting.  Mid season cabbages are harvested 70 to 90 days after harvesting.  My preferred cabbage to grow is the Late Flat Dutch.  This cabbage takes an entire growing season to mature, however the heads will produce over 20 pounds of cabbage each.  I plant all three varieties (early, mid, and late) and begin harvesting
 in early summer. 


new growth of smaller cabbages on the parent plant after harvesting the main head
this plant produced 6 additional heads.  Each head was about 6 inches in diameter.



The main head of this cabbage (early Dutch) was harvested in the early summer.  Cutting the cabbage head off just under the base and leaving the root and several bottom leaves in tack allows small new heads to develop on the leaf nodes.  This particular cabbage grew and additional 6 heads. 
 The second growth heads are much smaller than the initial head.  This method allows you to harvest cabbage throughout the season until winter frost kills the plant. 
 If you wish to store cabbage for use during the winter, uproot the whole plant (single original head) with as many roots intact as possible and hang it up in a root cellar or cold basement.  The heads will keep this way for several months.  If you have room in your fridge, you can store them in a plastic bag on the bottom shelf, they will keep for several months.  Check often for mold.




This is a picture of  second growth cabbage from a harvested plant.  They are small and tender.
click here for



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

FALL is my favorite time of year



The leaves have fallen off the Ash Trees,
I am slowly collecting them and piling them high in the garden to be tilled in. 
I will also be adding large barrels filled with goat manure I hauled up from the farm,
and sawdust from the firewood we have been cutting up in the back yard. A portion of the garden spot in Roosevelt is in an old gravel driveway.  I have been working
 on building up the soil and adding in loads and loads of humus over the past few years. 

these plants have been moved indoors and placed in a sunny window


I enjoy this time of year.
  The cool crisp mornings, the smell of frost in the air.  I hurriedly squirrel away
the last of the garden produce.  Digging potatoes and hauling boxes and boxes of them downstairs
into the cool basement storage room.  Carrots are next on my list. 
 They will be sliced, steamed and frozen.

TRY THIS:  Select 10 or more carrots and cut the bottom portion of the carrot off one inch from the top. Trim back the green tops to one half inch and then plant together in a pot using garden soil or potting mix. Leave just a small portion of the carrot and the green tops exposed. Place in a sunny south window.   Water frequently. The carrots will re-grow their lacy tops and make a beautiful houseplant.
Carrots purchased from a grocery store will also grow new tops.




The canning is done. I will be harvesting the last of the tomatoes from the vines hanging
 in the wood shed and making more oven dried tomatoes.

The crisp cool air reminds us that winter is on it's way. 
 Trips to the mountains after our winter wood is something else I love about fall.


Driving to the top of the world (well almost) 
 we gather in enough wood to get us through the winter.


Taking along a picnic lunch and plenty of water we spend several hours filling our
8 foot long trailer to the top.  Sure do miss the youngin's help, especially when there
 are 4 or 5 more loads to get. 
 After a long day's work out in the cold weather, nothing can compare with a nice warm fire in the wood stove and a cup of this decadent hot chocolate! 


Home-made hot chocolate mix:

4 cups dry powdered milk
2 cups powdered confectioners sugar
1 and 1/2 cups cocoa powder
1 cups non dairy creamer (try your favorite flavor)
1 12oz. pkg. of white chocolate chips 

Mix  together all ingredients except the white chocolate chips.  Splitting the batch in half, place half in a food processor.  Add half of the chips and pulse until fine.  Repeat a second time with remaining ingredients.  Stir both batches together and store in an airtight container.
  Use about 1/3c. mix in a mug and fill with hot water or milk.
 I carry it one step further and stir it with a plastic spoon I have dipped in melted chocolate.
To make the spoons use regular dipping chocolate and simply dip the spoons in the chocolate and place on a sheet of wax paper.. Make enough to get you through the winter and store in an air tight Freezer Bag.














Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My VINTAGE AIRSTREAM TRAILER

An Airstream
was listed on Craig's list years and years ago.  I just happened to see the add and called.  It was still available for sale ( it was long before they became so popular) so I loaded up the old Burbanitor with supplies for a few days and made the long, one way trip to pick it up.  I had been looking for one......to have at the farm.  My kids would spend the summers in it, giving them a place to sleep instead of on the hard, cement floor of the living room in our little one bedroom house.
I have fond memories of  silver sided classic Airstream's.  As a kid there was one abandoned near the old turkey sheds that were on the outskirts of town.  We farmed the land all around it and oft times my younger sister and I would go inside on hot sunny afternoons to escape the blistering sun while we waited to change the water in the fields. 
I can still smell the mice and rodents that occupied it, but it offered shelter on a hot day so we didn't mind too much.  


WELCOME TO MY CLASSIC VINTAGE AIRSTREAM

furnished with odd bits and treasures
 gathered over the years



a heavy, solid, ceramic vintage owl lamp serves as a door stop


 COME ON IN.........
  To the right is a comfy chair 






old table cloths and vintage curtains wrap around covering the windows
on the far side of the bed





a small magazine rack covered with an old velvet skirt sits between the bed and the couch
I purchased this vintage lamp for just a couple of dollars at a thrift store years ago


the old couch is covered with a blanket and a beautiful, fringed, tapestry



a small black fridge sits atop of an antique drop leaf table
just lift up the side for a place to eat


the kitchen is to the left
it has orange counter tops



down the hallway, behind the chair, to your left is a couch that makes into a bed 



the old bathroom needs to be remodeled
it is not in working order, for now we just use the 






A cozy place to stay when working on my little organic vegetable farm.


Click here to see my little 1960
Vintage Camp Trailer
"GYPSY ROSE"







Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cheery Geraniums on a sunny windowsill


With winter on it's way, I have removed some of the Geraniums from the garden and into the dinning room placing them under a sunny window.



This little wooden drawer filled with bright flowers will bring a breath of summer into my sewing room as I work on projects all winter long.





I keep busy all winter (when I can't be outside playing in the dirt)
making my gypsy bags, recycled clothing,
and of course drawing and oil painting.


click here for a peek at what I am up to




You can find my clothing, bags and other vintage treasures at

GYPSY MAMA'S
located on Hwy 40
 Fort Duchesne, Utah


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Green Tomato Jam


Gather the green tomatoes before they begin to ripen.  You want to use firm tomatoes for this recipe.  
 Remove stems, cut in half and remove core from each half.  Cut into quarters and chop fine in a food processor.  Pour into a large colander and let drain until all moisture is removed. 

My friend and neighbor down at the end of the road gave me this recipe.  I made a few adjustments, using 10 cups of tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in each batch.  Process in a hot water bath according to the altitude recommendations of your area.  Do you have a favorite recipe using green tomatoes?  Please share it in the comment section.

OVEN DRIED TOMATOES
Here you will find a recipe for using up all those ripe tomatoes.
I pack them in small containers and store in the freezer.
Thaw and use as needed for soups, sauces, on crusty bread, or whenever sun dried tomatoes are called for in recipes.  Make them to give as Christmas Gifts to friends and neighbors.