Garden Update, Natural Mole Control (try &try again)

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These are the stragglers I collected from the garden this morning. The warm weather we had last week turned these peppers nice and red. There’s about a dozen left outside, green as can be. I think I might have to embrace their greenness as the temperature is turning cold. Cabbage and kale are still growing, rather worm-bitten in places. Next year I will call it quits with Lancinato kale and stick with the curly green. The little green worms aren’t interested in the curly green but can’t seem to get their fill of Lancinato.
My fifteen year battle of the moles continues! I won’t kill them Continue reading

Celebrating Fall in New England

Trees are brilliantly colored and within a a week or 2, the “peak” leaf peeping time will be here.  Cider donuts, pumpkin patches, apple picking….all part of fall in New England.   Baked beans are  in the oven, along with pumpkins and cinnamon apples. The house is filled with a warm, spicy smell.. so good to walk into from the crisp air outside.  Summer is swept away as front gardens, doorstops and entryways are being decorated  for Autumn. There is a festive, clean feel in the air.

I notice the Bittersweet vines are ready to be cut.  The berries are still green, verging on yellow.  They will soon turn colors… peach, orange and finally popping out in red,  echoing the trees. The vines are supple and easily formed into wreaths.  It’s a simple matter of cutting a long vine with lots of berries.  Form it into a circular shape and wind it and weave  it among itself to hold it.   Leave the leaves on or take them off, whatever suits.  Weave more vines into the wreath if a thicker wreath is wanted.   Secure it with a twisty tie if there is trouble maintaining the shape  while weaving the branches in.   Birds love the berries but they are poison for people.  It’s fun to watch the berries turn colors and open and become framed by their shell.  If  not in a winding mood,  the branches can be cut and  popped into a vase or laid in a basket, that looks pretty too.

 

Pinwheel Party Favor Bags

Pinwheel Party Favor bags

Pinwheel Party Favor bags

This past summer I had a bridal shower for my daughter Emily in my home.  Of course, I wanted to make everything myself.  Lol!  Looking back, I see that I need to work on my delegating skills, not to mention that whole ‘perfectionist’ issue I have going on.  Anyway, I found some really cute bridal shower wrapping paper that fit perfectly Continue reading

Upcycling the ‘End of Summer’ mood

Upcycled trunk I found for $20.  I painted  it and use it for storage/ coffee table

Upcycled trunk I found for $20. I painted it and use it for storage/ coffee table

This morning I started pulling my Fall and Winter clothes out of the dresser in my closet .  They’re all to be washed , ironed and  laid nicely into the main dresser where my summer clothes are now.  While they are in the washing machine I’ll be starting the process of putting some of the gardens to bed.  I’ll clean them up, feed them up and tuck them under until spring.  Feeling a little sad and a bit daunted at the thought of another long winter, I reminded myself that there is a lot of  creative time in the cold.  So much time has been dedicated to the garden and in the kitchen the past few months, and I loved it .  I do have to admit it’s wearing a little thin.  This post is just a few pictures of  what I worked on in past winters, a motivation to  get those creative juices flowing and to embrace the coming seasons.

Upcycled table, painted and handles replaced

Upcycled table, painted and handles replaced

This post was shared with Mod Mix Monday

 

 

Lasagna with homemade semolina pasta

The difference between handmade pasta and store bought, prepackaged pasta is incredible.  Handmade pasta is very tender, not chewy or rubbery at all.  I’ve made lots of pasta using unbleached, organic white flour and it was good.  Recently,  I met a wonderful cook from Sicily and she told me that pasta made with semolina flour was much better.  I tried it and I am glad I did!  It really was much better!   The dough was very elastic and I was able to get it thin very easily.   The taste was better too. It was lighter, more tender and refined but kept its shape when cooked. In a recent post, I made  FreshTomato Sauce and  had it with semolina pasta for dinner that night.  Using the same dough recipe, I made lasagna noodles. It was a lot less time consuming to make the big lasagna noodles than it was making individual little noodles.  Also, you don’t cook the lasagna noodles before you assemble your dish.  I made a small square pan and cut the noodles to size.  Here’s the recipe : Continue reading

Garden Update … Harvest Kitchen

 

The gardens are looking bedraggled but they still have a ways to go.  This is harvest time and that means a lot of kitchen time.  This morning, I picked a big load of tomatoes and made another pot of sauce.  The cucumbers are dwindling  but I had enough to ferment another 2 quarts of pickles.  I am leaving the peppers, hoping for some  hot weather to turn them red. Continue reading

DIY Laundry Detergent

DIY laundry detergent!  Simple, inexpensive and good for the environment

DIY laundry detergent! Simple, inexpensive and good for the environment

I’ve been making my laundry detergent for a while now.  It gets things nice and clean.  It’s a huge money saver but mostly I do it because I  don’t want to use sulfates and all those chemicals and artificial perfumes in my house.  I also really like the idea of repurposing my milk jugs instead of consuming Continue reading

Garden Update, Fresh Tomato Sauce recipe

Fermenting cucumbers, sprouting spelt grains, kefir, zucchini, tomatoes

Fermenting cucumbers, sprouting spelt grains, kefir, zucchini, tomatoes

September is here!   Beans and cucumbers are slowing down, as are the blackberries.  Sadly, most of my summer squash, including the spaghetti squash were struck once again by my nemesis, the squash borer.  My harvest has been sparse there.  On a happier note, even though they are really late, tomatoes Continue reading