Monday, March 27, 2017

farm update

The farm has been kind of busy the past weeks with lots of stuff going on.

It is maple sap season 

The weather is kind of sporadic so when the conditions are right, not too cold or not too warm, the sap is running.  There has been a lot of windy weather and  couple of times the wind has blown the buckets off the tree.  It is a small operation, I only have two trees, but this year I added two more buckets and taps which has doubled my capacity.  Since I have read that it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup, I probably won't end up with more than a couple of pints of syrup but it is fun.

The winter greenhouse

The winter greenhouse is winding down and switching over to the spring season.  One experiment that I tried was last spring I bought a hanging basket that contained some strawberry plants.  The plan was that after spending the summer outside we would try to overwinter it in the greenhouse.  A few weeks ago I was pleased to see that it was flowering.

 and now it has one small white strawberry that is just starting to ripen.
  It doesn't look like much yet but I am encouraged to try more baskets next winter.  I have quite a bit of room for hanging baskets and some empty baskets.  Rather than buying them already planted at the nursery I will pot them up myself.

I also overwintered my rosemary and sage.  Some of my rosemary has been blooming for a while now.  These plants are two years old.  We started them from seed to be used on the tables at my daughter's and son-in-law's wedding party last summer..

The spring greenhouse

It is that time when the greenhouse gets too warm for winter greens and the plants bolt, turn bitter and go to seed.  It is also the time that the seedlings that I have started under lights in the basement are ready for transplanting from the trays that they were started in to their first pot, usually a red solo cup.  Since the bigger pots take up a lot more room as they are potted I have been gradually moving them to the greenhouse.  There have been some cold nights so I am back to running the milkhouse heater some nights but they seem to be doing well.
I started with tomatoes, peppers and herbs.  Now that more of them are moved outside I have been starting some of the other crops.  It has been damp and cloudy.  We are a ways away from the ground being ready for even early cold hardy crops much less tomatoes and peppers so they have some time to get bigger.

I am joining BNOTP for Met Monday here.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A fun project for a sad reason

My sister has been involved in a benefit for a young man who has cancer.  She is donating items for the silent auction.  The young man and his family are involved in rodeo so quite a few of the people expected to come to the benefit are 'horse folks' so she decided to do something horse related and we collected recipes for homemade horse treats.  She did the baking and I crafted  labels for her to tie onto the bags of treats.  I followed her theme and created labels that were a cowboy hat with the ingredients of the different treats listed on the back.  She made three baskets.  Here is one.
 Each basket included identical contents.  She made seven different treat recipes.  A clear bag held each treat and they were tied with a raffia bow and a cowboy hat tag was added to provide the name of the treat and a list of the ingredients used on the back.  A cute striped placemat lined the basket and a couple carrots and an apple rounded out the treats. 
The cowboy hat tag fronts and backs were cut on the cricut and assembled.  Each hat was made from six different card stocks.
She also made up baskets that held homemade cake donuts that were made by our parents.  Those baskets included two coffee cups and a selection of K cups including one called Donut Shoppe.  I also made tags for those baskets which were tied to one of the cups.  These tags resembled a disposable cup with a frosted donut along side.
Her kitties were very interested...
The benefit is raising money for a man in his early 30s who is fighting cancer for the second time.  His situation is not good and hopefully the money raised will help he and his new bride financially as well as letting them know that a concerned community is supporting them emotionally as well.

I am joining BNOTP for Met Monday here.