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Posts Tagged ‘farmers market’

Yesterday was my birthday.  Today was a family party with my Inlaws, parents and our little crew.  Everyone did an amazing job of getting just what I would love!

I received another dress from Sarah Clemens, that talented woman on Etsy!  This image is from her site, it's not me wearing it, and I don't have the cool yellow skirt, or the bloomers that are pictured, but I do have that beautiful dress!!!

Mynewdress

A Compost bucket.  It was funny because as I was unwrapping it, in my mind I was thinking this is fabulous, and would make a great compost bucket for carrying goodies out to the chickens…but I'm not saying that in case that was not the intent.  When I pulled it out and commented on how beautiful it was my MIL said with a little laugh, it's actually a bucket to bring your kitchen scraps out to the chickens!!  I then confessed what I was thinking while opening and we had a good giggle over the amazingly beautiful garbage can she gave me!  This is also not my image, it's from a site that carries it.  Isn't it beautiful!!

Mycompostbucket

One of my brother in laws stopped at the Farmer's Market in Portland ME, on his way down from there to pick up a little window box herb garden!  Two kinds of basil and thyme.  That, with a lovely jar of locally raised honey, and I was over the moon about the thoughtful and creative gift.

Finally, a delightful book!  The Farmstead Egg Cookbook.  If you have chickens, or just like eggs this is a very fun book.  There are fabulous pictures throughout, of the dishes, along with fabulous images of chickens.  A great book!  There is a recipe for Alfredo sauce that uses 3 Egg yolks and one for Chocolate Walnut Meringues that uses 3 Whites!  Perfect.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wwwzooziiscom-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=0312354584&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

Since both the grandparents were here, we left Mini with Husband's Parents and The Baby with mine, and headed out for a couple hours of time alone.  We spent the time at Barnes and Noble looking at books and magazines together and talking.  It was nice to do that without a little person, crying, fussing, or butting in…you know the typical joys of conversing with children.

A fabulous day…oh, and I forgot to mention, all this happened after a simply beautiful time at the Portsmouth Farmer's Market where I scored Potatoes!!  I've been craving those lately, and lamenting them not being in season…Thank you Robin Wake Farm.  Baby Zucchini, Fresh Garlic, Garlic Scapes with a new way to cook them, more on that when I have my local meal next week, Goat Kabob Meat, Beets, Strawberries and my most exciting find…Broccoli.  Mini has asked for Broccoli 3 times this week.  I kept trying to explain that it was not in season, so we'd have to be patient until it was.  Well, as I walked by a little stand that had just a handful of Tomatoes, some kale and one bag of broccoli!!!  I get potatoes and she gets broccoli…a good day at the market.  I also picked up a bouquet of sunflowers that I put in small vases, one to a vase all over the house.  So cheerful!

On my rapid trip towards 40, I had a very lovely day of celebration.

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Today was the Farmer's Market in Portsmouth.  I've been excited all week about getting more greens.  I snatched up some lovely beet greens and swiss chard.  Yum!  There were a lot more vendors that the opening day 2 weeks ago, and several were not really food related.  One was a basket maker.  I've been looking for good, sturdy baskets, and handmade, by a sweet lady at the Market is the deal closer.  So when I saw this basket hanging in her tent I had to have it.  Very reasonably priced for a handmade basket.  The handle is solid wood.  It's a "potato basket" and I'm sure that it will be used for potatoes, but It will also likely be my market basket for the summer.  When I was inquiring about the potato basket I spotted the smaller one that will be perfect for eggs, blue berries, picking peas, and just sitting on my buffet looking cute.

Baskes

I stopped to say Hi to Robbie from Yellow House, and he had a little package for me from a friend of his, who reads this blog.  A couple days ago I mentioned the need for aprons in my life.  Well, Debra commented that she was cleaning out her workroom and had some apron patterns that needed a new home, so gave them to Robbie to pass on.  Oh my!  I was not expecting what I got when I opened the envelope.  There are 7 patterns that are all brilliant!  I need to make up some bias tape and start making aprons!!  Thank you so much Debra!!

Aprons

Yesterday's post was actually not timely…sorry.  I had started the post a couple days ago, got interrupted and had something more exciting to blog about so decided to hold that one until I needed a post.  We'll yesterday I needed it. By the time I was done my day I was so soar I could barely move let alone post and edit pics.  I started the day by falling down my front stairs.  I was wearing rubber gardening shoes and they sort of stuck to each other in a grippy rubber sort of fashion and sent me down, with my tray of peppers in my hand!  I lost half the tray and those that remained were badly beaten, and no longer well labeled.  Very sad, but I knew after I got off the ground that I better keep moving or the day would certainly be shot.  Other than some bruises and a couple scraps on my legs, I have no physical signs of the tumble, but soar arms, shoulders and legs persist today.  I'm sure the whole thing could have won a prize on America's Funniest Home Videos, if that show persists.  Sliding down the stairs on my knees stopping at the bottom step and flopping face first onto the rock walk…all the while carrying my tray of peppers that cushioned the fall for my face and shoulders.  Brilliant, you couldn't have choreographed something like that.

I was able to finish the chick coop, and Jane and her brood are enjoying the great outdoors.  Jane ignored her babes for about 1/2 an hour upon entering the little run.  They ate and cuddled in their little shade hut while she scratched and gave herself a good ole' fashioned dust bath.  She is, after all, a free range chicken who spent 25 days in a cardboard box with shavings.  I know how she felt.  I had a very long winter being pregnant and dealing with complications, then having a newborn, you get a little cabin fever.  She enjoyed her alone time then joined up with her chicks when they started cheeping loudly, to go back to the duty of being a mom.  Good girl Jane.

Babycoop

I also planted the tomato plants as they were starting to lose something from being dragged in and out every day.  I put the plastic on those hoop houses that I had made the frame for a few days ago and they fared quite well overnight.  They seem much happier to be in the ground.  The peppers that survived the fall were also put in the ground.  I figured we'd give them the opportunity to sink or swim, and so far so good.  We put milk cartons over each plant last night to give them their own private greenhouse of sorts.  We had run out of hoop house space, so this solved that dilemma. 

Duck Update:  They have settled in.  Today we got eggs from all three, so that was exciting.  I have been feeding them morning and night, and preceding the food by an ole' "Chick, Chick, Chick, Chick, Chick".  Joseph said that's what he says, so I decided I'd stick with it…probably should be Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck, but Chick rolls off the tongue better.  Now, when they hear me call, they come running…well waddling along.  Very cool that we have this understanding. They go in on their own every night, also good.  I still enjoy chickens more, they are just a more domesticated animal, and welcome attention…well at least on par with an average cat.  They like to be noticed, even pet a bit, but then they go off about their independent day.  Ducks have no interest in even being noticed beyond the feeding time.  This might change, but I'm not thinking that to be likely.  That's okay, they are still fun to watch and their presence brings a nice layer to the "homestead".  Listening to them frolick in the mud, and quack as they waddled around their space, lent a relaxing tone to the day.  In another week or so, as long as things continue to go well, I'm going to stop collecting eggs and see if one of them will go broody.  I'm excited about a mama duck and her ducklings.

Chickengirl 

I simply adore this image!

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The Farmer's Market was Packed!  We were there early, in line, and I'm glad we were!  I got some lovely bags of Greens.  Salad greens (nice mix), and some spinach and swiss chard.  I picked up a few pounds of Hamburger from a grass fed farm, and the yogurt we forgot the last time we went to the farm for milk.  The choices were definitely limited, but everything that was there looked great.  It was fabulous to see that the local food market is still drawing a crowd and the farmer's still have great things to offer.

A nap, then off to the meeting.  I didn't intend to speak, and didn't, but I did want to be part of the "critical mass" to show that there is a group of us concerned, as I felt that would speak for itself.  Joseph from Yellow House is well versed on the subject so we were looking to him to speak, and he did.  He didn't have an opportunity to ask anything during the meeting, but after the meeting had a chance to talk to Ms. Shea Porter, and a couple of her assistants.  One of which wants to talk further and another is going to be added to the email list, and would like to know when the local farmers have a meeting, so if he's available he can come.  I felt all that was good, and worth going out for.  Our area has a Slow Food Chapter and the Seacoast Eat Local group is very strong, as well as a fabulous network of farmers and very involved consumers.  So hopefully with all those people involved, the NH food systems can remain strong and unadulterated…and that other states will take initiative also, so that the nation will have affordable, healthy, sustainable food systems everywhere.

I stumbled across a very cool magazine while reading other blogs, and decided to give them a try.  My Living Crafts back issues and first issue of my subscription arrived today.  I am very impressed!  Great projects in a vast variety (including wood working, knitting, various felting techniques, paper crafts and many other neat crafty medium)!  All things I dabble in, so that is fun.  I have a list of things I want to make for Mini, including a very cool knitted farm/garden play set.  I think it will be great for planting season, as a start of the season gift for her…with a little felted needle farm girl or two.

Playmat

Knitting update:  I finished the bottom back of Calvert!  Not photogenic, as it just looks like a really big swatch, so I'll wait until the top back is done and I've attached them together before showing pictures.

I got the buttons for the bunting and that is now done!  It's very soft and sweet and I hope it fits her!

Bunting

Chicken update:  Everything is going very well.  I think we've made the necessary changes and the weather being so mild today really helped get them outside and minds on other things.  I'll update in a couple weeks, when feathers are growing back in, and such, unless something happens in the mean time.

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Husband found this online, and for some reason decided to send it to me…hmmm.

Rubes Cartoon for 02/02/2009

I am afraid that much of this week will be spent on taxes.  I started today, and realized my bank changed the statement layout a few months back, making it a lot more work for me to find the data I need.  I now need to go online for check imprints…grrr.  I admit, my bookkeeping methods are a bit loose…I should have been doing this monthly…I am not admitting what month I stopped that brilliant method and moved to my typical, let it pile up and do it for days during crunch time, method. 

But I did find time to start a pair of longies for the March baby.  I determined the purple pair I started a few days ago will be too big for this year, I'm going to finish them for fall, but that is a ways off, so I'm going to wait to do that for more timely, seasonally appropriate knitting.  I love this yarn, it's so cozy and the color reminds me of butterscotch, but the yarn color name is honey.  It's Claudia Handpainted Sock Yarn.  It's the same yarn for those poor socks that I have yet to finish for myself

HoneyLongies
 

The pattern came from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac

Knitters almanac

I finished Holy Cows And Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer's Guide To Farm Friendly Food
A delightful read, and just enough sarcasm to make it very entertaining.  I think the point that stuck out to me the most, was when he was discussing regulations and laws making it illegal to sell good healthy food to the public.  With other substances that are really dangerous, like drugs, it's illegal to sell and to buy.  Both parties are culpable.  However, selling raw milk, or unlicensed food only has consequences for the seller.  Furthermore, if you wanted to give away the raw milk, or walk around to your neighbors giving them the same baked goods that you'd like to sell at the market, you can, it's fine. So food is only unsafe when a dollar sign is attached and none of that dollar goes to some sort of regulatory organization.   If you have no idea what I'm talking about, or if you are interested in understanding all the issues surrounding food safety, and farm friendly foods, I highly recommend this quick, fun and informative read.

Next book I'm starting on, is The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table: Recipes, Portraits, and History of the World's Most Beautiful Fruit

Heirloom tomato

This book is incredibly beautiful.  It is coffee table quality…I don't have a coffee table, but I did obtaing this through my little library's interlibrary loan program…I've been using that a lot lately.  There are a whole lot of recipes that look delightful, and each tomato gets a full write up.  I'm going to use this to help determine which Heirloom tomatoes I'll be growing this year.  I'm sold on Amish Paste, as I grew those with great success last year, but I need a good eating tomato and variety in tomatoes is a delightful thing.

So my quandry…Shall I be a Model Citizen?  Shall I be a devoted Farm Friendly Locavore? 

Saturday is the deliberative session for my town.  Taxpayers are up in arms over several things this time around and I planned on going to see what folks have to say, and to make sure I'm informed and able to properly influence my local community.  The town Rec Department is under fire, our taxes went up 11% this year and this was not the year most folks could afford that.  The meeting is at 9:30 at the Middle School in Town.  It does require that I rise early (note the cartoon above), but I was willing to make that sacrifice.

Enter the quandry…Farmer's Market in Exeter on Saturday from 10-2.  We all know the earlier you go to those the better, and I'm sure that is true more and more the further and further we get from the actual harvest season.  I'm a pretty simple gal, so why do all the things I want to do need to conflict?  I have several more Saturdays that are empty! 

Since I'm on this subject, the Chicken School is conflicting with the Knit-Along finale at the yarn store, so I'm missing the fun at the yarn store.  February has 4 Saturdays, there are 4 events, why? Why can't they all pick their own Saturday!?

I took some pictures of the chickens today.  I meant to go out around 3pm for optimal lighting, but made it closer to 4, so most didn't come out all that great.  I liked these though.  I think some of the girls are molting, as they are getting all these fuzzy fluffy feathers popping out and it appears new feathers are coming in.  Despite this fact they are still laying well, so we'll see.

ChickenFebruary

ChickenFebruary1

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I have occasion to put together a little gift for someone who sews and saw this book, for probably the 100th time, but today I gave in and bought Pretty Little Pincushions.

I pulled out a bit of Cotton Velvet, trimmed with a bronze gold wrap and bow of Organdy Ribbon, tossed in a couple of matching pins and I have a delightful little finger pin cushion perfect for the frantic craziness that is holiday crafting.  I hope this helps her during this busy time of year, next year, if she’s anything like me and asks herself 10+ times a day “Where did I put that pin cushion?”.  I love this little morsel so much I’m making one for myself, and wish I knew more folks who sewed so I could gift them as well.  My mom might get one on her package this year…

pincushion

I cut out the pieces to make mini a couple pairs of jammies.  I grew up wearing flannel PJ’s made by my mom and  think that as a child they are by far the most comfortable things to cozy up in.  PJ’s from the store were never as comfortable. I guess it’s from the chemicals they put in them to make them fire retardant, or maybe they just use really cheap fabric, but a pair of handmade flannel jammies have no equal.  My mom has already made Mini 2 pair and with the fabric I washed and dried today she and I will complete another 4 pair.  That should last her well into late spring.

I forgot to make a big deal out of tomorrow’s Farmer’s Market!!  If you are local, from 9-2 at the Atlantic Culinary Instiute in Dover, there will be another Holiday/Winter Farmer’s Market!  I’ll be there.  I NEED more of that Elk sausage!  So be sure to save me some.  They are holding Snow or Shine and I hope there is no need to miss it due to weather…I must be safe..I need to keep telling myself that.

Advent

Day 20

advent20

John 1:1-14

In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.

God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony.  John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him.  But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.  They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

When I was a child the Jesus piece from the Calendar came on Christmas Day.  Not so on our Advent Journey.  Christ’s birthday is celebrated on December 25th, but there is more to the story.  More to come.  So today, almost a week before Christmas we think of His birth.  We talked about his birth yesterday, and today the verses in John bring us deeper. The sacrifice of love, to come to a world that rejects Him, to be willing to show an unfailing love and faithfulness to ungrateful people.  Surely as humans we have a hard time putting those we love, who love us and do lovely things for us, before our own desires, before ourselves, in any way.   I think this passage is one of the most beautiful in the whole Bible.  This is the real beauty of Christianity.  A faith that is seen by many, even to many of those whom claim it as their own, to simply be a list of rules of how to live.  No, that is not Christianity.  Real Christianity is the beauty embodied in these verses.  That is the faith I embrace.

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I was delighted by the lovely weather and the crisp air of the new season.  Fall is my favorite time of year, the air is cool, the days are mostly clear, not often rainy, and not yet bitter cold.  The leaves will be changing color in full force soon, and being outside is a delight that surpasses any day I spent outside this hot summer.

Along with this weather change comes the first frost, which we got last night.  It’s a good thing I covered the tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and zucchini before going to bed.

Despite the glory of Fall it does bring some sad ends.  Today was the last day of the Farmer’s Market in Barrington.  It brought some lovely deals, like the bushel of yellow roma style tomatoes I got for $1.00 a pound.  Lovely!  While there Jessica and Abe let me know they will have their final roadside stand on Wednesday at the corner of Boulder Drive and Province Road (Mt. Misery).  They have loads of squash and potatoes left, so if you are looking to stock some items that will “winter” well, Wednesday would be a great day to venture over to their stand.

Following the Farmer’s Market Mom and I went to Warren Farm for some Pick Your Own Tomatoes.  We had a great time of picking and have an abundance of the lovely fruit for canning!  I love cooking with tomatoes, especially in the winter, so having loads of them all jarred up and waiting for the opportunity to remind us of fresh tomatoes from the Summer, is something I’m greatly looking forward to and willing to work for.  In addition to some great tomatoes at $1.00 a pound, I also got a huge bouquet of basil from their herb cutting garden. I want to make up pesto to freeze, and I have enough to make a winter’s worth.  It will be lovely on homemade bread…mmmm.

Once we got home I washed all the tomatoes,  and used the canning bucket to make up a huge batch of cooked tomatoes.  A delightful mix of red, orange and yellow varieties all mingled together in one pot.

Knowing that the peaches were likely to no longer be around for picking after this weekend, we headed over, Mom, Mini, Hubby and myself, to get the last round of the delightful treats.  We were too late, the trees were picked clean and the drops that were selling for half price were well picked over, too.  Mini ate a peach, one of the few on the trees, as we searched, which will be her last fresh one for the season.  An end I’m sorry to see.  The bunny ears had nothing to do with peach picking, she just decided she wanted them when we left the house.  I love that kids do fabulous things like that!

We couldn’t come home empty handed so we picked a few apples.  We’ll go back for more later, but I got enough for a crisp with a couple extra for eating.

Arriving home I kicked right into high gear.  Processing about 1/2 the tomatoes, and putting them in the pot to “cook down a bit”.  I hosed off all the tomato juice and seeds from my arms, and grabbed the pot of basil, a lovely pottery bowl and Pride and Prejudice (the Colin Firth version of course) and set about pulling off the leaves. I filled the lovely mixing bowl to the top and will grind it up with the rest of the ingredients tomorrow.

I found cleaning the basil quite pleasurable, the scent was so relaxing, and the film delightful.  I love the banter between Miss Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy.  Matched intellect is a stimulating thing to witness.

Dinner was pasta with diced Roma Tomatoes, chopped onion, chopped basil and some grape seed oil lightly cooked so as to allow the veggies to be softened but still have their body.  YUMMMMY!

I didn’t do much knitting, but managed to put a few rows onto the socks on the way to and from the farms.

Days like today remind me that the more we slow down, the more pleasant life is.  Sure we were busy today, I worked hard and can’t remember being so excited to crawl into a cozy bed as I am right now, but it was all about the business of living and providing for our family, not just running for the sake of being “busy”.  Yes, today was a good day.

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I need to get out of this funk. I’m not getting hardly anything done. I didn’t even knit today. Not even a couple rows, or anything. I feel like I should pick up the needles and finish that thumb, at the very least, but I’ll probably go to bed. I did make it to the Farmer’s Market today, quite late, but not too late to get some lovely corn and frying peppers from Nippo Brook Farm. Then a few yellow sweet paste style tomatoes from Shelly.  I really like this picture…

I am going to make up a bunch of pasta sauce, then can it, when I can the peaches I plan on picking very soon. I should have picked the peaches today, and was going to, but it got to be a bit too close to the nap time for “Little Miss”. However, unless I go tomorrow, I will need to wait until Thursday, as we are going out of town for our first family vacation type thing since our little girl was born.

We are going to the Mountains for a couple days. Our favorite Bed and Breakfast, and where we spent our 2 week honeymoon, doesn’t allow children under 12. Disappointing for this occasion, but I’m fully willing to admit that I love that about the place whenever we’ve stayed before. We found another Bed and Breakfast Inn with A/C and they allow “well behaved” children of all ages.

I love staying at a Bed and Breakfast. We’ve always had great experiences and while some were much nicer than others, all were comfortable, interesting and had GREAT breakfasts. I’m salivating just thinking about the huge homestyle breakfast awaiting us on Tuesday and Wednesday morning…that I don’t have to cook!

Our plan is to take little miss to play in waterfalls, which we did our on honeymoon, and had a great time. There is one called Diana’s bath that is just amazing and such a relaxing place. I’m sure she’s going to love to explore and climb. We might take a trip to Story Land. Both my husband and I have photos from several years of our own childhoods, taken at Story Land. It is someplace most people who grew up in NH have been at least once in their lives. I’ve heard so many people my age talk about having their picture taken with Little Miss Muffet…I have that photo…several years in a row I believe. Other than that we will probably do a little browsing/shopping in North Conway, and some relaxing on the grounds of the B&B. Just a simple little getaway. I might blog from there, if they have wireless. I don’t recall if that particular one had it or not. Many I looked at do. If not, you’ll hear all about it with pics on Wednesday night.

Now, I love my little Farmer’s Market, but I must admit I had a bit of envy when I had the opportunity to go to a Farmer’s Market in CA. The street next to the Hotel we stayed in is blocked off on Saturdays for a Farmers Market. There are wall to wall vendors on both sides of the street for 4 city blocks! They have fruits and vegetables just stacked and stacked. People are everywhere with bags and carts, it was such an amazing experience. I just walked around soaking up all the sights, sounds and SMELLS! Oh, the smells. I bought peaches, plums, and grapes. We didn’t have a place to store or travel home with all the lovely items I would have loved to have bought, but the fruit was a very welcome break from all the eating out. Here are a couple images from the market.

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