Looks Can Be Deceiving

It’s mid-September and, by the looks of it, my summer garden has been a huge success and looks to be still going strong.

small veggie garden

In one way it has been. Just not in the way I would have wished. Because of all the rain we’ve had this summer, I got lots and lots of foliage. But not so much in the way of actual veggies.

While “lush” is pretty, you can’t eat it.… Read more

Why Wasps, Hornets and Yellowjackets Are Good

wasp nest on porch

We have a live and let live policy when it comes to critters around here—and we have  LOTS of every kind imaginable. I’ve found that on the whole, coexistence works best. Especially when it comes to the outdoors, which is their home.

So it was no surprise that a recent visitor was aghast that we’ve allowed this bees nest to get so big. Ok, huge. What were we thinking?! Especially since this is a hornet nest and they are considered … Read more

Perfectly Crisp Kale Chips Recipe

There’s a trick to getting not-soggy, not chewy, but perfectly CRISP kale chips every time. And I’m going to share 2 of my secrets to ensure your success. But first the recipe!

1.   Start with a bunch or two of kale and rinse well. (As it so happens, I have several bunches from the garden that need using.)

2.  Use a salad spinner to dry well. [SECRET #1: You need to start with very dry kale pieces—moisture contributes to sogginess.]… Read more

In the Middle of a Snow Storm, I’m Thinking Green

Ok, between covid cabin fever and winter snowstorms, I am SO over it. To keep myself sane, I’m thinking green!

As in this kind of green. I’m dreaming and planning for my summer gardens.

vegetable garden

Over the years, my gardens have shrunk in size for lack of time to keep up with them.

I started going back to raised beds this past summer. For now, this is the perfect, manageable size.

raised beds

But I’m thinking of going one step further. I’ve been … Read more

Maple Sugaring Season Just in Time!

So it seems that tapping 2 maple trees gives us just enough syrup to get through until the next maple tap.

But I knew as soon as my family got a taste of this, I’d have to be making more. So, along with their annual garlic allotment,  I’ll be adding 2 more trees into maple production for this year.

Though, at the moment, with daytime temps in the minus digits, it’s looking like we’re still a few weeks away. It’ll … Read more

What to Do With a Bumper Crop of Asian Pears

While this year has seen some damages to some of my fruit trees–I lost all my plum trees and one cherry tree–I continue to get a bumper crop of Asian Pears.

My three trees are bearing so many pears this year that I had to pick at least half before they were fully ripe to prevent the branches from breaking from the weight. Even with that, I lost one limb in a windstorm.

So what do you do with the … Read more

Speaking of Outdoor Snacking — We’re Talking Bumper Crop

My cherry and plum trees are exploding with fruit! I can’t even begin to describe the joy this gives me.

cherries

Seriously, if you haven’t yet planted a couple of fruit trees, what are you waiting for?! It couldn’t be simpler. And then you, too, will find yourself grinning from ear to ear over the never-ending wonders of nature.… Read more