• Garden,  Quilts

    Quilts on My Mind

    I just got back from a hot week of facilitating strategy meetings in Hungry Mother State Park in Virginia. It is such a pretty park! It was in the 50’s and 60’s all week and in between sessions I lazed on the deck in a t-shirt, smelled the spring air and gazed at the mountains – a bee even landed in my coffee.  I kept subconsciously thinking I needed to be getting on my gardening, then remembering that it was JANUARY. The weather is crazy. I have really been missing my sewing machine, to the point that on the drive home yesterday under a brilliant blue sky, I passed under…

  • Food,  Garden

    Garlic 101

    When I was in college, I met a couple who supposedly made their living farming different varieties of heirloom garlics. Forgive me, but I thought this sounded incredibly romantic. I’m pretty sure I even wrote a poem about it, because, well, I used to write poems about everything that happened. Though I am less starry-eyed about garlic these days, I still have an above average affection for it. I can say garlic in German (knoblauch) and Spanish (ajo) and Swedish (vitlock).  I once went to a restaurant called The Stinking Rose, where the pesto is just chunks of raw garlic with some basil leaves mixed in. For desert I had…

  • Garden,  Uncategorized

    Fall Harvest Volunteer

    Today I volunteered with a big community garden and some YMCA afterschool kids. Among other things, we cleaned a giant pile of Daikon radishes for distribution to poor people and also to sell to rich people. See, I took a picture of me and a bunch of kids cleaning them and separating the greens and radishes into separate piles and then cleaning them (I’m the one with curly hair): Ok, actually, that is a drawing I did of it. Could you tell? I purposely didn’t take a picture because sometimes I get this idea that we take too many pictures and it’s a lazy artificial way to experience nice things.…

  • Food,  Garden,  Product Placement/Reviews,  Uncategorized

    Vegan Apple Cake Success

    This recipe was my second attempt to come up with some kind of vegan apple recipe to use up the half gallon of apple butter that we didn’t can (ran out of jars!!!). I suppose I could freeze the apple butter (???), but I’d rather freeze it in some kind of usable form. I got “Canning for a New Generation” by Liana Krissof as a wedding gift, as well as another book about canning. I am pretty happy with her book, it’s cute and friendly and casual and MOST IMPORTANTLY has lots of tips for the lazy, non-perfectionist person (like, you don’t have to peel everything). Yay! It’s really usable…

  • Food,  Garden,  Uncategorized

    Garden Cat

    My cat Fancy has realized that my out of control gourd patch is the perfect height for her to spy on the neighbors.  However, the more it rains the less the cats are in the garden, and the more the groundhogs and raccoons and bunnies are in the garden. And yes, it is has been raining nearly every day for a while. So, the garden is looking a little rough, but still keeps cranking out the tomatoes (which mostly go to the groundhogs, who need the lycopene, I guess?) and the habanero peppers and of course endless giant gourds, which I planted on a whim and now I am having…

  • Garden,  Uncategorized

    Garden In Review

    Garden Thoughts – September 19, 2011 I think it’s useful to review what just happened in our garden: On what we planted this year: Butternut squash – three plants again – everything was awesome. Tomatoes – Fewer cherry tomatoes. We don’t really use them. But we can handle the produce from 15 or so regular size tomatoes and 2-3 cherries. We do need to stake them and sucker them like crazy. I am thinking to cage and stake them, but stake them early and put the stake really far in when the ground is soft because everything fell over in the big storms and never got back up again. Green…

  • Beer,  Canning,  Food,  Garden,  Uncategorized

    Apple Time!

    This was really one of our first free weekends since July so we went to an apple orchard. We were going to go to a Paw Paw festival, but eh, it was an hour and a half farther away. We saw they had boxes of “seconds” or “canning” apples for $5 a half bushel. So, we bought four. Then we walked around the orchard for a few hours, not picking any, because our trunk was already full. Are we crazy? What if I told you we’d already bought a half bushel of apples at the farmers market that morning? What if you have no idea what a half bushel is? I…

  • embroidery,  Free Pattern,  Garden,  Uncategorized

    Veggies on Their Way!

    Because it’s raining too much to do much with my veggies in the garden, I’ve decided to finally finish my Veggies Extravaganza pattern series. Oh did you not know I was working on a Veggie Pattern series? That’s because I have been very lazy, ahem, secretive about it. The only hint I have given was the free “Kale On Guitar” pattern I put out in February. I’ll do some more free veggie patterns sometime soon (definitely within the next five years!). I’m stitching up the sample For Sale patterns right now. One thing that is amazing about veggies is that their little sprouts taste just like the big version of…