Friday, May 30, 2014

The Flowers of May

Dear Friends,

May is drawing to a close, but she has left us a bounty of floral memories to look back upon! The parade of flowers seems to go by at the speed of light, each type lasting only a short while, but then being replaced by something just as sweet.

Strawberries are definitely something sweet that flowers leave behind!

We bought a new chamomile plant to replace last year's, and then had lots of seedlings pop up as well. Peter Rabbit's mum would be so happy.

The Horsemint {which isn't really a mint} looks like fireworks in the sky~

An elder bush surprised us by sprouting up in the daffodils right along the front walk. A gift from the little people?

Our irises were especially beautiful this year, but then we say that every year!

And what can we say about this cute little flower? Thankfully he is much longer-lasting than those other types!


Monday, May 12, 2014

It's Poke Sallet Season

Dear Friends,

Spring is being quite flirty, the thermometer going from cold to hot and back again within a few days' time. Our bodies are wondering if it's winter or summer, but thank goodness the plants know that it's time to do their thing! The poke plants around the yard are just the right size for harvesting and cooking for the family. Be sure to cook them in two changes of boiling water, to be safe! We used our poke on pizza, which everyone but Frankie liked. You can't please everyone. :)

We bought a false blue indigo plant last year and nursed it in a pot. We planted it in the ground in March, and it has rewarded us with beautiful blossoms of blue. We are excited to add another native plant to our pollinator garden.

The favas are in the same family as the false blue indigo, and their flowers are not a whit behind in beauty. We have been sneaking a few leaves here and there for salads, and are wishing we'd planted many more.

We bought an organic watermelon last week, and decided to try making pickles (sugar free) from the rind. They're not the usual pickle that we're used to, with sweet pickle spices in them, but we think they'll work great in potato salad.

We have been on a sewing spree, trying to clear out our stash and stock the Etsy shop. This skirt was a bedspread that had a big hole in the middle. Cutting around the hole left just enough to make the body of the skirt, plus a ready-made ruffle.

These two skirts are in our Etsy shop, and are quite the Prairie Princesses!

Tasha had a photo shoot with Hyrum the other day, and we "oohed and awwed" over the result~

"I have this crawling thing down pat!"

We've been harvesting wild edibles around our yard, and the maples in front had a bumper crop of helicopters with tasty seeds in them. We haven't yet processed them to make into cakes, roast, or use for hummus, but we know that it will be a time-consuming job! We went to a wild edibles class at the local nature center, and were excited to taste how good hummus made from the seeds is.

The dogwoods are blooming around town, and we hope that the two little sprigs we planted last week will someday grow to be as beautiful as these.

May you have a few nice days of balmy weather this spring, to enjoy being out in Mother Nature's Grocery Store and Apothecary!



“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. ”
― John Ruskin

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Welcome May!

Dear Readers,

May has come at last, and rainy April has left a bounty of wild things and flowers in her wake. We have finally been able to put the two tropical milkweeds outside that have been battling aphids all winter on the kitchen windowsill. We are little by little setting up a Monarch Waystation, with as much milkweed as we can get our hands on. We started some from seed, but something has been munching on them, and only one seedlings remains. Such is gardening!

Spring is such a busy, "everything has to be done at once" season, but we feel a surge of energy from the pulsing earth, and love to get our hands in the soil and take part in making this world a more beautiful place.

The dandelion blossoms and violets are in plentiful supply for only a few more days, so we've been picking as many as we can. We currently have dandelion blossoms steeping in honey and grape seed oil, and the whole dandelion plant steeping in apple cider vinegar. There are lots of  ways to enjoy its benefits! I had Tasha film me talking about dandelions yesterday, and we're working on getting the video on YouTube (finally!).

My trick for getting greens into my family's bodies is by pureeing them in my Blendtec blender, then adding them into baked goods. The vitamins and minerals are in there, and no one can taste them; I call it magic. :)
Garlic Mustard is invasive, yet welcome in salads and cooked greens.

I love the solar-powered fountain that we bought last year for the bird bath; it keeps the water mosquito-free and makes a relaxing sound whilst we work in the garden. See those violets in the background? They are stock-full of Vitamin C, and nice lung medicine, as well.

We've dusted the cobwebs off of our Etsy shop and have reopened it, featuring modest skirts for ladies, as well as selling some of our extra antique and vintage clothing. It can be hard to find pretty prints that aren't bright colors or harsh stripes, so we hope to supply some of that need!

A handmade vintage skirt for someone tall and thin!

Our first three-tiered skirt, ready for a lucky customer!