ice flowers

Have you ever seen ice flowers???

Through My Eyes

They bloom softly…IMG_9726 (Copy)

Forming sometime in the night.

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Quietly weaving their glory…

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Whispers of icy beauty

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Fleeting blossoms of delicate ice…

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So wonder-filled you want to touch them, but they shatter at the slightest touch.

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I love these delightful early winter gentle surprises.

 

 

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So How Was the Market?

What I have been doing for the past week… a Market at the Farm. 🙂

Simply Painting

Pumpkins lined the driveway…

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My daughter’s watercolor cards hung on a string on the fence…

cards

My art displayed on our old barn…

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Coffee and Scones for sale…

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And a lot of this and that…

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Even some architectural antiques…

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Mr. Knightly, the rooster, got in on the action…

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And I sold his portrait painting…

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And the Cute Boots! painting…

Cute Boots!

And my Sunflower painting…

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Two of my mini paintings…

Autumn Flowers

Farmer's Market Sunflowers

And one of my very favorite paintings, because it is so simple…the Window…

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Now if you want to try a super delicious fall scone recipe, my daughter just posted it on her blog…Pumpkin Pecan Scones with Maple Glaze.  They are fantastic!  We even had a wonderful friend bring incredible gluten-free scones and they were amazing!

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Befuddled

Aren’t these spider lilies beautiful?

spider liliesLike  their relation the  Surprise Lilies, they just come up out of the ground when you least expect them. What a blessing! Thought I would start this post on a positive note… 🙂

Especially on a day like this when I am overwhelmed and befuddled. I can’t even speak here of all the situations, but two of them happen to be the garden and the chickens and that is what this blog is all about.

October is right around the corner and October last year was when I got my first chickens. 14 Marans chicks and 4 Welsummer hens, 1 cuckoo Marans hen and 1 Barred Rock.

Today I have from the chicks 1 rooster and 4 hens, 1 of the  4 Welsummers, and the 1 cuckoo Marans.  I also have 2 Ameraucanas. I sure have lost a lot of chickens… 😦

I know that the 2 Ameraucanas are laying 5 to 6 eggs a week and occasionally I get a brown egg from the Welsummer and one dark brown one from one of the Marans.  This morning I penned them all up in what  Sleepinghorse terms the naughty room. And the reason for this is to find out if any of them are making nests like Emma did. I want to know who is laying and who is not, and how many eggs I should be getting a day.

Emma is the other dilemma!

I thought it best to move her and her 14 eggs and then I began to think about the fact that the embryos in those eggs are probably pretty well formed by now and wondered if it would be detrimental to move them at this stage. They should be beginning to hatch in about a week. I looked again on line and found many who had moved the eggs and the mama hen abandoned them. I would just hate this. So we decided to take the chance and let them hatch out and then move them. They are right under our bedroom window, so we should be able to easily hear any ruckus that goes on.

While I was writing this, I heard a strange noise outside and I ran to see as I am totally on alert now until the chicks hatch… It was Emma coming out for a quick bite to eat. I ran to the kitchen and got some oats and leftover tuna…

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She gobbled this up and then fluffed her feathers…

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And while she was stretching and sunning I took a peek at her eggs…

marans eggs

Still 14…

Then there is my pathetic fall garden. Every leaf of every plant that I planted from seed has been eaten up, and I don’t even know what the culprit is. So no fall garden this year, or do I go out and buy some plants?…Like I said, I am befuddled.

I guess I’ll just take one thing at a time…

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What a great idea!!!

My West Coast Garden

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It’s that time of year, actually, the earliest that I’ve planted potatoes and I’m trying something different …These take up a lot of room in the raised beds and crop rotation is proving to be a bit of a challenge, so I’m growing them in pots…Inspired by another blogger, check it out here
http://christinas-garden.blogspot.ca/search/label/potatoes

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As usual I am throwing my own twist into a recipe…Christina uses “Seasoil potting mix” I didn’t want to purchase the prepared smaller bags so..I’m making my own …We bought a yard of “100% organic Seasoil”. Yes… much easier and afforadable with your own dumptruck..we are lucky to have that..

Its been raining, so  this was  a very  heavy wet load…

I preapred the 10 gal. pots( make sure your pots are deep enough 16in or more) using some old straw that I had pulled from the raised beds to cover the drainage holes, this will add light weight drainage and hopefully…

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Garden Update

When Anna and I were sick we worked up a garden plan. We based it on what we learned watching the Back to Eden Film.  So, our garden now has new rows and  into the rows went 3 different kinds of Sugar Snap peas…2 different kinds of lettuce…2 different kinds of radishes…bok choy and spinach.

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As you can see we are using a lot of mulch…The idea behind using a very thick layer of mulch is  keeping the moisture in the ground for the plants, and  breaking down into nutritious soil nutrients, as leaves and tree bark do naturally in nature.

Here is a view of our soon to be lettuce and pea patch…

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Kale from the greenhouse…

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Tomatoes are coming right along under the grow lights…

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And so are the peppers and other miscellaneous veggies…

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This last week we trapped a skunk and a very large raccoon down by the chicken coops.  So glad they didn’t get the chickens! If this happens again I will try and get a picture…

Out in the backyard we started the new bed for the blueberries and strawberries.

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I need to hurry up and buy a few more blueberry plants. The ones I have are blooming because they are sitting by the grow lights…

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And one last thing…look what I found under a piece of flagstone…

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Love that brilliant yellow color, but it is probably supposed to be green. I’m glad I moved the rock so it can grow into what it is supposed to be.  I forgot what I planted there, so it will be a surprise. 🙂

This is just what we need to do in all our garden beds, new and old. I knew about fall cover crops, but this is the first I’ve heard about spring cover crops. Great post! Thanks!

Old World Garden Farms

No matter how healthy your vegetable plants start off in the spring – no matter how carefully you water – how perfectly it rains, or how much of the sun’s rays find their way to your garden  – your plants are only going to turn out as good as the soil you plant them in.   Period.

Vegetable crops like tomatoes, peppers, corn and cucumbers take a heavy toll on the soil’ structure and make-up.  They devour valuable nutrients as they grow to produce the very fruits and vegetables we love to eat.   Eventually, after a few years – even the best of soils will begin to break down and weaken if not replenished and re-energized.  Soil that becomes weak in nutrients will result in successively weaker crop yields that are also increasingly prone to disease and pests.

So what is the best way to keep your garden strong?…

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