Quick ‘n Easy

We’ve been working on a few small projects. First, I experimented with a quick no sew pillow cover. Basically, you wrap the pillow rather like you would a present and seal the edge along the back with liquid stitch. I wasn’t sure how it would hold but, after a week of hard abuse by the kids it’s still holding up. Success!

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The kids, especially Ezra, are big into patterns right now. When I happened to dig out the ol’ klutz loom and loops they dove in experimenting with making chains, necklaces for their friends, and, of course, hot pads for us to use while camping.

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 DSCN9546Another recent quick project was a poncho for Noah. Since it’s made of fleece it doesn’t need to be sewn. We measured his arm span and cut out a square (in this case 37.5 by 37.5), then fold it in half (so it looks like a triangle) and cut out a half circle about 5 inches wide in the middle (we traced an upside-down bowl). He didn’t want frilly edges so that was it- done!

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Looks like it’s about time to make dandelion jelly! Visit this previous post to see how- Foraging Blossom Jelly.

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And just because….

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And so it begins….

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The garlic bulbs we planted last fall are sending up their green shoots, and the leeks and spring onions I left mulched are quickly reviving themselves after an icy slumber. Interestingly, three kale plants down at the end also made it through. These are a nice head start to having fresh greens but I don’t think I should plan on having it happen every year.

Mostly I’m digging out dandelions and pulling small weeds the wind blew in as seed last fall. A few sections are planted: peas, lettuce, carrots, turnips, cabbage, broccoli, leek (seeds for next year and about 50 transplanted for this year), celery, swiss chard, arugula, radishes,parsley and (finally I just did it) planted a bed of asparagus from seed. It’s the three-year plan.

Soon I’ll plant a few more things, do second plantings and (after the last frost) warm weather things like beans, cucumbers, sweet corn etc.

 

We also expanded the lower garden area and Struggling_along fenced it all in (very nicely I might add).

As for the cold frame, this year I’m going to try growing watermelon in there. Hopefully, this will keep them warm enough and will give them a head start. I’ve also noticed a few tiny celery plants have sprouted in there!

And so it begins…we tuck a few tiny seeds in the ground and wait.

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Chickens, Eggs and Breakfast Meats

This little girl just loves animals! Cats, chickens, what have you, her little hands go out and she “calls” them to her, in the chicken’s case a little grain brings them running.

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The boys are excitedly locating nests that the chickens have tucked away here and there. Finding an egg is like finding treasure! If you are lucky, you’ll find one of Sunbeam’s eggs (the only chicken who lays blueish green eggs). Then, you just might have to cook it up immediately (!) lest anyone else eats it first. Supposedly they tastes better.  We’re still in the enjoying stage of having “lots” of eggs. Scrambled, poached, hard boiled…you’d be amazed how many eggs these guys go through, and at how good Noah and Ezra have gotten at cooking eggs!  We even made up a new way to cook an egg in a nest with out bread: make a circle out of sausage and add the egg in the middle.

   

While we’re on the subject of chicken and breakfast meats, if you haven’t tried  bacon wrapped chicken you need to… tonight.  We prefer smaller pieces of chicken which need about a 1/2 of a slice of bacon wrapped around it. Place in an oven safe dish and roast till done. Don’t be afraid to chop up some veggies and cook them up in the rendered bacon fat. Just don’t count on leftovers.

 

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Last Round

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Syrup season is over; truthfully, it never really got going. Just not the right kind of winter for it. Nevertheless, we didn’t do too bad considering the small-scale snowshoe out and haul it back by hand method we’re using here. It’ll be at least a few months before we’ll have to consider buying some store brought syrup to grace the kid’s pancakes.

These photos are from the last two rounds of hauling back sap. The snow has finally melted, well, except for those stubborn patches by the tree line. The soil is warming up; we planted a few cool weather crops: lettuce, sugar snap peas, kale, arugula, broccoli, a few turnips. Not too much, just a little of each to get some fresh veggies started. 

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What We’re Making

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We’re ready for Spring!

 If the weather starts warming up soon Miss Molly might even get to wear her poncho this Spring. I’ve finished the main body; just the trim and the hood to go! The cold is lingering this year, making me wonder if we might end up with a bit of a maple syrup shortage. The sap hasn’t been flowing and it’s getting rather late in the season.

DSCN8988Ezra finished his barn last week and we also made him a little stuffed bear. He saw a bear he liked, made out of a glove, so using ol’ google I found an image showing where to divide the glove to make all the parts of an animal. Looking for it now I found this page, where it is broken down into a tutorial, apparently it is from a book: Happy Gloves. It’s pretty simple. It is for a chipmunk but, sans the tail, makes a pretty decent bear too.

 

Ishmael is big into pirates right now, here he is in his “get up”. It’s hard to make out but he even drew himself a scar across his cheek (and that box be his treasure, of course).

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