Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Next Seminar!

Just a heads up! Our next seminar will be here in a couple short weeks! 

Be prepared to taste a selection of wonderful food!

Thank you to all of you who have made our first seminars a success! We really appreciate it!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.  We are like eggs at present.  And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg.  We must be hatched or go bad." 

Spring is one of my favorite seasons.  Life is emerging from every tree, perennial, and animal.  But, the sounds of the awakening birds are what I love most.  From the very crack of daybreak there is birdsong coming from every direction.  It is what gets me moving in the mornings.  They are always on time, never late.  They know when I should be up and preparing for my day with a hot cup of coffee.  It's hard to 'wake up on the wrong side of the bed' when you hear the beautiful chorus of a variety of birds blending together perfectly.
When I got to work this morning I decided that our birdcage needed to be cleaned out and given a spring look.  So I got the vacuum, hot soapy water, fresh newspaper, fresh straw and started in on it.  It really is not too bad to clean because it is easy to get inside of it.  I did don a wide-brimmed hat to protect my hair.........just in case of, you know what!
While I was cleaning, Robyn and I discovered that one of the finches was nesting on a sweet, little, white egg.  What a lovely surprise!  So now the count down is on.  I have discovered that it takes about three weeks for a finch egg to hatch.  If it doesn't hatch then we will have to remove it so the finch will stop nesting on it.  I will definately keep you all posted.

~Take Joy, Susan 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Recipe

I just tried out a new recipe that we all loved, so I thought I would share!
(It's easy and you don't need a lot of fancy ingredients!)

Basil Lime Fizz
2 T. basil syrup
2 T. lime juice
Chilled sparkling water or club soda

Pour the syrup and lime juice into the bottom of a 12- oz. tumbler. Fill the glass about 2/3 full with ice. Pour the sparkling water as you stir with a spoon.

Basil Syrup
(3/4 cup)
1 and 1/2 cups basil leaves
1/2 sugar
1/2 cup water
1/8 t. baking soda

First blanch the basil leaves. Plunge them into a small pot of rapidly boiling water for 10 seconds, then drain and plunge them into a small bowl of ice water. Drain again and gently squeeze the excess water from the leaves.

Puree the blanched basil in a blender with the sugar, water, and baking soda until you have a dark green liquid, about 30 seconds. Pour the syrup through a fine strainer, stirring with the back of a spoon to help push it through. Keeps for 2-3 days in refrigerator.

(Recipe, thanks to Jerry Traunfeld's 'The Herbal Kitchen'...a brilliant herbal cookbook)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Chicken Adventures

Well, we did it. We are official chicken farmers! Our goal for 2010 was to put together some kind of chicken coop at each of our homes (mom converted her current barn to house her chickens and I built a small coop for my house in town). 

Tuesday was the day. We had everything checked off our lists: straw, nesting boxes, roosts, heat lamps, the right food, etc. We were ready. Early in the morning mom went and picked up her hens (6 were given to her from family friends who have had great success chicken farming) and a rooster was given to her from a good customer at the store (the most beautiful rooster you ever will see I might add).  I went and picked up two silkies and a cochin bantam (the cochin ended up going straight back- which is another story in and of itself). 

We have had such fun just sitting and watching our chickens! Mom's hens lay several eggs a day (mine haven't laid a single one yet...)

A couple added bonuses: When I clean the droppings out of the coop everyday, I scatter them around the garden. Perfect amendment! They also clean up leftovers from dinner or veggies that have passed their peak, thus eliminating our food waste. 

I am sure there will be more chicken updates to come!

My coop:                   

and Mom's coop (the outdoor part):

Mom's chickens:

And mine (try to hold back the laughter...everyone laughs when I show them my chickens!):

Patty & Darla :)

(they were very uncooperative when I tried to get a good picture! Maybe next time!)