Sunday, July 31, 2011

Virtual Garden Tour

This has been our home and garden for the almost the last 7 months.  There is still so much to do, I've learned that it is an ongoing process and I am encouraged by reading blogs, websites and books about urban homesteading, gardening and raising chickens.  In the next year I plan to add goat (for dairy) and bees.

I was lucky that this house had a garden area with several raised beds and another area with established raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.  A friend gave me rhubarb when she divided hers and I planted broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, carrots, radishes, kale, tomatoes (4 varieties), tomatillos, peppers (anaheim, bell, and chocolate), basil, corn, potatoes, beans, eggplant, zucchini, squash and asparagus.  Also planted two apple trees- a honeycrisp and an espalier with 6 varieties.  I plan to copy Erica's mini orchard plans and plant cherries and pears next year.

In April my daughter, Meg, got chicks for her birthday.  Two silkies, a silver lace wyandotte and an americauna.  One of the silkies turned out to be a rooster so last week we took him to a farm where there aren't city codes prohibiting his presence and brought home four new chicks.

Below are some photos showing our first 6 months in this wonderful adventure.  Thanks for stopping by! 
Broccoli, Brussels and Cabbage- they are much bigger now...but still no veggies...hoping!!

Rhubarb leaves make great hats!

The shed is now the chicken coop- eventually this will be the goat pen area as well.

first strawberry harvest
Strawberries are best shared!

"Kristin Chenowith" the rooster before going to his new home.

The greenhouse, rainbarrels in front


The first two silkies as babies
from top to bottom: kale, radishes/turnips/carrots and cabbage

The "teenage" hens now- we are expecting the first eggs sometime in August

The girls in their yard and converted hay shed coop

overgrown herb garden- lavender in front, lemon mint and oregano.  I plan to replace the lemon mint with spearmint (mojitos!) and add rosemary

three of the four new baby chicks that replaced the rooster.  A wellsummer, black australorp, New Hampshire Red and a speckled sussex.
The strawberries are pretty well spent by now but they were so good. There are three rows of strawberries and to the left are two rows of raspberries- each row of raspberries has a blueberry bush at the east end.

The blueberry bushes have loads of green berries- hoping the sun sticks around so they will ripen!
Espaliered apple tree with 6 varieties

honey crisp apples- 9 of them! Just planted this from root stock last winter

Honeycrisp apple tree in corner of berry patch

zuchs, peppers, squash and maybe a cuke?  My labels got mixed up!


tomatoes, with some tomatillos and basil as well

corn, beans, and potatoes in the bin

the Brussels, broc, and cauliflower now- lots bigger but no "fruit" yet.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Adventures

So I've discovered that I'm not a very good blogger! Not so surprised!  I started this blog planning to post a tutorial on how I make the Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake, and while I do have photos of every step along the way still on my camera, you'll notice that there are no instructions here.  Yet. 

In January we moved from our most wonderful neighborhood ever to another house 3 miles away.  It was a very emotional experience but I am determined to make the best of it and now find myself with many gardening opportunities and a future with livestock.  Poor Tom, probably regrets  the day he found this house.  The draw for him was more land (more yardwork!) and a workshop in the old barn (yay, he gets to repair fences that are 40 years old and build chicken coops and goat pens).  Luckily, he's a great sport. 

I fully intend to get that cheesecake tutorial up here as promised but in the meantime this blog is going to take a detour from cooking and knitting projects to becoming a journal of sorts as I figure out this gardening thing.  The new yard has raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.  Some kitchen herbs, but as Spring isn't really here yet, I'm not sure what all is out there.  I recognize sage, lemon balm, oregano, thyme and lavendar.  Last week I planted 2 dwarf apple trees- one honeycrisp and another espaliered tree with 6 varieties.  I have aspargus crowns ready to go in and rhubarb coming from a friend who is dividing hers soon.

Seed catalogs have taken over the family room; I need to make final decisions, or make another trip up to Molbaks (which is almost as exciting as a yarn shop!)  I love the stories behind heirloom seeds and want to focus on rare varieties.  So much to learn.  I have no idea what was planted previously in most of the beds but plan to make it a year round garden.  Looking forward to root veggies and kale next winter. 

Here is a picture of what the garden looked like just a couple weeks ago:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

which hat to knit?

Finally made it into the new neighborhood LYS today.  I bought some wonderfully soft lime green baby alpaca today to knit into a hat...but there are so many choices!  These are the caps in the running (all photos from Ravelry):

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Irish Creme Latte Cheesecake

A popular cheesecake that I've made for many occasions. 

4 T melted butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease the bottom and sides of a 10 in springform pan with butter.  Mix melted butter, crumbs and sugar together and press into the bottom and up one inch on sides of pan.

2 1/4 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (C and H or other "pure cane" sugar)
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup Bailey's Irish Creme
2 T. instant espresso powder (look for Medaglia d'oro in the green and red jar)

In mixer with paddle beater, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add sugar a little at a time, scraping down sides of bowl frequently, until smooth.  Be sure batter is totally smooth.  Add eggs one at a time (break each into a small bowl first), scraping after each egg is added.  Beat on medium speed until mixure is smooth.  Meanwhile, dissolve espresso powder in Bailey's.  Beat in vanilla and Bailey's/espresso mixture just until blended.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 75 minutes.  Remove from oven and place on wire rack.  Let cool at room temperature. Once completely cool, remove from pan and refrigerate.