Saturday, June 27, 2015

Janie's Farm

Hay Comber ?

Great Looking Tractors

Janie's Farm

Craft Field Day - 120 Attendees?

Pig Roast - Pork was in the box

Stone House Planter
Went on a Craft Field Day Yesterday. Janie's Farm in Danforth, IL - 120 Attendees to learn how to transition from conventional to organic. Fabulous learning experience.

The Stone House picture is of more to come for Etsy sales. I love the look of grass and plants growing on roofs so I've miniaturized the houses and have two more drying now. Stay Tuned!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Apple Bagging

Cotton Fruit Bags

Paper Fruit Bags

Plastic Fruit Bags

Cotton Fruit Bag Close-up
I started my trail today. I'm testing my theory of covering fruit with a barrier that will prevent bugs from ruining the fruit.This would eliminate pesticides that are sprayed on apple and pear trees. I want to be able to eat the skin of an apple instead of always cutting it off because of possible residue.

Cotton Tubing, Wax lined paper bags and plastic freezer bags. I read a lot of home growers use the plastic bags but they were a pain to attach on the trees. I am hoping that the Cotton tubes work well as they were really easy to attach.

I am running this test at the University of Illinois Extension's office test farm in St. Charles. The trees are old orchard trees and left to their own elements. They do not receive spray or pruning so they didn't mind that I borrow them for the season.

The Cotton and Plastic are on apple trees. I found an old pear tree and the pears looked so perfect so I tried the paper on those fruits.

I will be checking in a month and each month after. Then hopefully by fall I will have proof that covering the fruit will prevent the need for sprays.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Rainy June

I was out on the balcony trying to take pictures of the seedlings I planted. A before and After type series but Willow wanted in the photos. I planted almost all of the flowers by seed and they are small but because of the rain then intense heat, they are finally growing.
Brachycome and Petunia

This photo is a before. The feathery plant is the brachycome which in bloom, looks like tiny tiny daisies. I planted purple and white. One popped out the other day - stay tuned!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Best Carrot Salad Ever!

The other day, I caught the Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network Channel. Everything Ina Garten makes looks delicious and the few I've tried work out well. But this Carrot Salad is the best ever. And so Easy too.

I have to share it with you - I only made one change to it - Please try this - you won't be disappointed.


1/3 cup golden raisins
1 pound carrots
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup sour cream (I used plain Yogurt instead)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup diced fresh pineapple (Can pineapple worked fine)


Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and then drain.

Fit a food processor with the grating blade. Cut the carrots in half and place in the feed tube so they are lying on their sides. Process in batches. Place the grated carrots in a medium bowl, add the lemon juice and toss.

For the dressing, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar and salt. Pour the dressing over the carrots and add the pineapple and raisins. Toss together and serve.

2007, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

And again, More from the Garden

Clematis - Always so perfect!

Grain this year in the garden is Oats! 

Snow Peas Blossoms - almost ready to pick
Some pictures on whats growing right now at the garden. The clematis plants are on each side of the trellis so the first thing I see. The blooms always look so perfect - almost fake.

This years Grain is Oats. Home Grown Oatmeal Cookies!

Last on the photos are Snow Peas. At the market these days, we see a lot of Sugar Snap Peas and not too many Snow Peas - still a huge favorite of mine. And the flowers are pretty too.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

More from the Garden

More Radishes - A Purple One

Yellow Flowers from Bulbs
I planted a variety pack of Radishes and it had a purple one. It was delicious. Not to strong and pretty too.

It's raining today so indoors I stay. Hope to clean up and finish some of the stone houses. Keep you posted.

Monday, June 1, 2015

New Items for Sale in Etsy

Barbara's Etsy Page

Flowers that never need watering.
Unique Bloom

Check out the flowers I am selling on Etsy. These are made with recycled material my Dad gave me from his large collection of circuit boards, copper wire and a box full of metal do-dads.