Tuesday, September 27, 2011

funky fungi

all the wet weather we've been having is spawning some really strange fungi around the base of old stumps. i promised myself i would spend my day off on monday pulling all the weeds and dead vegetable foliage in the garden. but the nice weather and all the autumn loveliness called my name. off i went to the woods with my nikon, a song in my heart and a spring in my step.

Monday, September 26, 2011

gathering eggs -- finally!!

yes, we are getting eggs from our hens!! we got 2 on saturday, one on sunday and one today. it feels like forever since we got the baby chicks in may. how gratifying to finally be getting eggs. the above photos are from sunday. jenna and i were doing a craft for her school project when it was time to let the chickens out. as you can see it is get out of the way time when we open up the barn door.  i swear they would run you over in their excitement to get outside. the eggs have been found in a different nesting box each day. we can't tell which chicken laid the eggs but the golden one shown above was very vocal when we left the barn with the egg. jenna's little brother ben is 2.5 and he was confused when we said the chickens laid the egg. the look on his face was priceless.

as always, life is good here on the farm!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

she breathed in all the possibilitties of a new day

she breathed in the cool morning air letting it fill her body with all the possibilities of a new day. off the dogs ran to the corn field hoping to round up the chickens. but it was way too early for the chickens to be out and around. she headed for the garden, noticing that the bouncy yellow/orange flowers were glowing in the golden rays of morning. the acorn squash and butternut squash glistened with dew while the zinnias danced a happy jig on the breeze. she reminded herself that the green beans and roma tomatoes would need to be picked. she was looking forward to making chili sauce with the romas and the beans would be fixed for sunday dinner.

the dogs rushed forward happy and energized by their romp in the cornfield. she wrestled them to the ground and joined in their joyful exuberance. then off they went to explore all the early morning smells lurking in the woods. she heard squirrels chattering away in the top of the beechnut tree. her feet rustled thru the first of fall's dried brown leaves. passing the giant spider's web hung between two trees, she reflected on how delicate nature was in all its glory. as the sun warmed her face she said a quick prayer for all the blessings in her life.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

we've been squashed . . .

. . . butternut squashed!! i planted 4 butternut squash plants in my garden in april and to say that they have done well would be an understatement. they bloomed like crazy and those little yellow flowers soon turned into little green squash that eventually turned a rich tan. when i planted them mom asked me what are we going to do with those? and i replied make squash pie!! i fondly remembered my grandma farmer's squash pie and since i hadn't had any for years, i planned to get my fill! and there are no worries about having enough; there must be 30 squash still on the vine in the garden!! already mom has made us two squash pies and we both ooh and aah and yum all over it!!

here's how to process the squash after picking: wash well and cut the skin off. it will be tough so use a very sharp knife. cube the squash, place in a saucepan and add an inch or so of water. steam until the squash is mushy. pour off the water and use a fork to smash it into a pulp.

here's the recipe for grandma farmer's squash pie:

1 unbaked pie crust
1 cup squash pulp
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon flour
1 egg
1 cup milk

mix all the ingredients but the milk together and then slowly add the  milk until smooth and creamy. pour into the unbaked pie shell. sprinkle with nutmeg. bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

and, the best news is that this is one dessert you can eat practically guilt-free. butternut squash is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. it is also a good source of vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium and magnesium, and a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and manganese.

excuse me while i head to the kitchen for a second piece of butternut pie!!