Do you ever feel like your trying to accomplish something and for some reason the universe just doesn't want you to do it? That's where I'm at with my herb garden. For several years I've talked about putting a herb garden in a particular spot by the kitchen. What I've wanted to put in it has gone from culinary herbs to a dyer's garden to what I'm now trying to accomplish - a medicinal herb garden...but the main thing is I want the garden...right...there.
I decided a few months ago to really get down to business with the project. This year is the year. I chose a good layout, scoured books and the internet for info on different types of medicinal herbs, and have even been taking an on-line class about them.
At the beginning of the month Hon got the big tiller out and tilled up the area. Then I began the tedious job of raking out grass and weeds, laying down old brick from around here to outline it, and make a walkway through the middle. Then the rain came and I had to work around that. Even so, I was slowly making progress.
Last week I got one half of it ready for planting and added seeds. It was a wonderful feeling...until the turkeys noticed it. Next thing I knew there were turkey butt prints in the dirt from where they had taken a dust bath or ten. It wasn't just one turkey. It was Buddy, Potsy, and their eight little turkey poults. The little ones didn't do too much damage, but Buddy and Potsy made sure to scatter any seeds I had planted. It was pandemonium. Needless to say, none of those seeds have sprouted...but the weeds are doing quite well.
I've been periodically chasing the turkeys out of my garden, and Hon said he was going to put a little fence up to keep them out. I thought that settled the matter. Then today came another problem. See that picture up there in the corner? Yup, that's right. Bees. Lots and lots of bees. There's this nice little apple tree right next to my herb garden. It has delicious apples, by the way. It's now the home to a bazillion bees. They weren't there yesterday. Eldest had seen them in the woods. They must have decided they didn't like their previous location.
Earlier this morning they were checking out our chimney. I wasn't worried about it because we've had bees check it out and then move on. No big deal. Well, after deciding the chimney wasn't a good place, they moved on, but not far enough. Now, I'm not a bee expert, and I don't even know what kind they are, but in Winnie the Pooh the bees were always in a tree...not hanging off a branch in a big chaotic mass. We had a bunch of bees up in one of the big Silver Maples last year, but they were up high in the tree, and never a bother. These, on the other hand, are a problem. Even Buddy the turkey decided it wasn't worth trying to sit under the apple tree today.
I'm not sure what we're going to do about our new neighbors, but they're a little too close for comfort to the kitchen door...the patio...and my herb garden. I thought I was going to work in it tomorrow, try to clean up some of the turkey destruction, but instead I'm going to try and get a hold of a few folks that raise bees for honey and ask if they have any suggestions. Maybe I'll be real lucky and they'll just go away before I have to get rough.
So, there you have it folks. Bees like I've never seen them before...except for in those creepy science fiction movies, anyway. I'm hoping maybe tomorrow they'll decide the apple tree isn't to their liking and move on. One way or another, they have to go! Oh, and if you have any suggestions for relocating our neighbors, or if you even have an idea what kind they are, I sure would like to hear from you. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
The Chillicothe Farmers Market is a very fortunate market. We have folks from all walks of life here, whether it be buyers or sellers. We also have a wonderful group of young gentlemen from the Lighthouse Youth Center's horticulture program. I know, I know, you're used to the footloose fancy free stories I tell, but on this rare occasion I am going to highlight a group with a bit of control. It'll be hard, but in the end I'll reward myself with a bit of chocolate.
Lighthouse Youth Center is a wonderful organization here in Ohio that provides much needed services for children of all ages and their families. Services dealing with issues like abandonment, homelessness, family crisis, and learning self sufficiency. They even provide residential care and have a State supported private juvenile correctional facility. Basically, Lighthouse is a much needed organization for our community. Thousands of families each year need their help and support. At the top of every page on their website is the slogan, "Brighter lives for youth and families." It is our duty to give these up and coming individuals our support any way we are able.
Now that you've read this you're wondering what you can do. Well, that's easy. Go to the Chillicothe Farmers Market on Saturday between 8:00 a.m. and noon. While you're there, head on over to see Mr. Throckmorton and the Lighthouse Youth Center Horticulture Program's booth. They're not hard to find - opposite end of the market from the token booth on the right side. They sell a huge variety of plants - from herbs to flowers to vegetables. There's no way you can look at the plants they have and not find something. We have personally bought plants from Lighthouse for years now. They are always wonderfully cared for and maintained.
Here's the great thing about purchasing plants from Lighthouse Youth Center's Horticulture Program...the money goes towards the horticulture program. That's right! In fact, Mr. Throckmorton told me right now they're raising money to buy another greenhouse - one they will not only buy materials for, but build, too.
The young men of Lighthouse that participate at the Market on Saturday mornings are always a joy to see. They work hard and are friendly. The youth that are part of the Lighthouse Youth Center's Horticulture Program are learning valuable skills that will help them in a variety of ways. Just think of it, they are helping run a business. They are literally planting seeds, nurturing them, and learning valuable life skills.
So, there you have it, folks. While you're out and about on Saturday morning, make it a point to stop by the Market and visit with the young men of Lighthouse Youth Center's Horticulture Program. The money you spend on their plants will be invested in future programming and other needs of the horticulture program. If you'd like to learn more about Lighthouse Youth Center go to http://www.lys.org/professionalservices.html I do believe I've earned myself a bit of chocolate. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
Gesh, I tell ya, it doesn't take much to stir things up around here. I just came inside from evening chores. The last thing I do is walk around and do a head count of sheep and lambs. No big deal...usually.
Tonight when I took my nightly walk around the pond pasture I noticed behind the levy there was a clump of white wool on the ground. At first my heart did a bit of a jump, as I hadn't seen the two white ewe lambs yet. Then as I got closer I noticed it was Fella's wool - and I saw the lambs.
You see, Icelandic sheep do this thing called rooing, which is when their wool comes off on it's own in the spring. Sometimes it works well, but other times not so much. This year I let Fella roo his wool off and it worked quite well for him...except for the wool hula skirt he was sporting because that particular area of wool wasn't ready to come off. That's what I found laying on the ground.
Since it was just laying there I picked it up. Oh my goodness, you'd think the sky opened up and hurtled lightning bolts in the pasture! Tucker's head came up and he started doing this snorty thing. After that it was shear pandemonium! Tucker and Rain ran across the levy with the sheep trailing right behind. Tucker and Rain came blasting down behind the pond where I stood while the sheep kept running away. And then I realized. It was the wool I was holding. They thought I had a lamb in my hands.
I tried to convince Tucker it was just a clump of wool, letting him sniff at it, but he didn't believe me. He looked at me like I was an evil lamb snatcher. I just shook my head and walked away to visit with Crystal. The rams were eyeing me like I was a lamb snatcher, too, even when I shook the wool at them so they could see it didn't look the least bit lamb-y. Then when I bundled it back up and started walking to the gate the riot formed again. Horses must have a short memory. It's like they totally forgot what I was carrying. At that point their noise had gotten the sheep baaaing, roosters crowing, geese honking, and dogs barking. If the rabbit made loud noises I bet I'd have heard him, too. They're all nuts.
So, there you have it folks. Seems it's not very hard to get things stirred up around here, even when that's not my intention. I left the field with wool in hand, knowing next time I'll think twice about picking it up. Maybe I'll let Hon do it instead. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
Finally ~ the Chillicothe Farmers Market is up and running for the 2013 season! It was great seeing all my old friends, as in ones I've known already...which has nothing to do with the conversation I had with Don Shoemaker of Sunny Bank Farm yesterday about being old. According to him we're both 45. I think next time I see him I'll have to find out what his secret is to being 45 but looking, well, how should I put it? Oh shoot, I'll just say it - a lot older than that.
Another nice thing about the Market starting up again is meeting all the new folks. Sure, we've lost a few over the winter for a variety of reasons, but there's always new folks joining us on Saturday mornings, offering the area a variety of locally grown and/or baked products.
Yesterday morning I made the mistake of going to the Market without having had any breakfast. Okay, you got me, I knew there'd be a whole bunch of homemade goodies there that would go fantastic with my coffee from Two Roasting Joes. Not eating at home meant me having to do some sampling at the Market. Yesterday I had Pap's Hilltop Honey to my right and Ashley's Confections to my left. As much as I wanted that honey, I didn't think me sitting there, honey spoon in hand while I spun yarn, would work out very well. I figure I'd scare folks off if I had my face in a pie plate, too, so I had to think smaller. As my stomach continued to grumble I looked across the way. Hmmmmmm, someone new...with baked goods.
Next thing you know I was on my feet, heading on over to introduce myself to the wonderful bounty of baked goods...and Jaime, who is the wonderful creator of Yummies by Jaime. Why, I even used my best manners and put my shoes on before going over. I can't stand wearing my shoes when I'm at the spinning wheel, so I tend to walk around without them.
I must say, Jaime and her son are two of the nicest people I met yesterday. That's them up there in the top left corner, by the way. Don't forget to use those wonderful manners you have and wave back. They are so wonderfully friendly and kind. They also had a table full of Yummies that were just calling my name. There were peanut butter brownies, chocolate chunk cookies, and frosted snickerdoodles - which aren't to be confused with the snickerpoodle dog treats I was selling. Definitely not the same. Oh sure, you can eat the dog treats, too, but I think you'd be happier eating the people treats.
As I perused the table, something caught my eye...Meyer Lemon Cookies. Ohhhhhh, I just lurvs me some lemon cookies! A package of those were in my hand in no time. Then I saw it...one left...and because it was the last one, I knew I couldn't leave it there surrounded by all the cute little mini tangerine bundt cakes...a mini rustic blueberry pie. Nope, I kid you not! When I picked it up, it fit nicely in the palm of my hand, showing me it was made to go home with me. Notice I said home with me. No need to pig out on all the Yummies at once. I can be practical about these things.
Honestly, those lemon cookies were fantastic. They were baked just right and, I'll admit it, better than mine. When I got home in the evening I found that Hon was making a blackberry pie. I know, weird, huh?! Being the generous wife that I am, I cut my mini blueberry pie in half and offered him a piece, but he said he'll wait on the one he was baking. I was secretly jumping for joy over that, but let's just keep it between ourselves. Okay? I will tell you I was a good girl about it, though. I had only half of my blueberry pie and saved the rest until today so I had room for a piece of Hon's pie, too. I didn't want to hurt Hon's feelings. And you know what? That mini rustic blueberry pie tasted as good after lunch today as it did yesterday.
So, there you have it folks. Yummies by Jaime. She's sweet, her son's sweet, and all those desserts are most definitely sweet. Looks like I'll be back to that exercise video sooner than I thought... Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I'm the queen of our farm, although the animals wouldn't agree. My title is Head Chicken Wrangler, but most days I'm just called Mom. Life on a farm is full of family and hard work and I wouldn't have it any other way.