You may need a weed. or dandelions, not just sunny face.


At the start of this years garden and yard cleaning season; I am thinking of all of the chemicals folks think they need. To have perfect lawn is not so perfect anymore, it come with its fair share of guilt. Doesn’t it? Round up, the most publicized weed killer, kills more than just the weeds, so we are finding out. It has been doing a number on bee populations as well. I was never one to use chemicals much anyway. Have you ever sat and watched your toddlers and young children frolicking on your freshly mowed lawn; only to have the sinking feeling come over you with a gust of hot air? Oh how lovely, look at my children rolling around in the poisons I just spread all over, is not a picture of parental bliss. Where was I going with this?

Oh, yeah, weeds. Some how we have the silly notion that nature has this all wrong, and we need to correct this mistake. . How dare Mother Nature throw weeds willy nilly all over our lawns! For crying out loud.

Weeds need love too and weeds can be beneficial; they can add fertilizer to your soil, increase moisture content, attract insects, and repel insects. Some are good to eat, some have medicinal benefits, some have both. Take the dandelion for instance, honey bees love them, they are a natural diuretic, and they can be eaten in salads or cooked. You can even use the to make dandelion wine, for goodness sake. THey help less hardy plants as well, their tough tap roots bring nutrients to the surface for neighboring plants to use.
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Dandelion greens are packed with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, C, E, & K, and calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium & copper. Dandelion greens are also about 14% protein, which is MORE protein per serving than spinach, Popeye’s favorite muscle-building food. Dandelion greens are especially beneficial for the liver and aid in flushing out toxins and remineralizing the body. It’s high beta carotene and flavonoid content also benefits the immune system and cardiovascular system. Dandelion greens are also one of the richest sources of plant-based Vitamin K and Vitamin A . If you pick them from a back yard, just make sure they have not been sprayed with any pesticides and wash in cold water before using. The leaves can also be dried and later used as a medicinal tea. So, go ahead, add a few dandelion leaves to your soup, salad, green juice, or smoothie.
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Or how about Purslane? I swear this stuff can grown in concrete! Purslane is eaten throughout much of Europe and Mexico. It contains more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable plant. It can be eaten in salad, stir-fried, or cooked like spinach. Widely used in traditional Chinese medicines to treat infections and topically to soothe and heal sores. A great companion plant for tomatoes and peppers. It breaks up hard soil and hardpan, brings nutrients and water up from deeper than crops can reach, provides healthy ground cover, stabilizing soil moisture.
PurslaneFeature

Alright, could someone please help me down form this soap box? I’m done, I’m done, I swear don’t leave me here…
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Pint Sized Gardening.


I was asked a few days back for ideas around children’s gardens and gardening with children. Do reserve a space for “their” garden, do they help with small parts of the whole shebang, or do they have specific tasks? time to pull

My children helped with the whole thing. they helped start the seeds, they helped plant; well until they got tired. or hot, or thirsty, or hungry, or a butterfly fluttered past. You get the way things worked, right?
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downMy eldest daughter adored sunflowers, many were planted at our home and in her Poppa’s garden. She could not wait to pose for a picture with the humongous flowers towering over her diminutive, but oh so coordinated person. She was all of about 26 pounds upon entering kindergarten. Tiny but make no mistake – there is not a person or thing she was afraid of and she had a patented mad-walk to prove it.I think she could have registered that, holeh.

berrilicious
Justin loved the berries, luckily they grew wild, I could never have planted enough for him. WHen we went pay per pound berry picking at a nearby field, I always thought they should weigh him as he entered and disregard the basket he carried. The blue smile and belly clutching upon exiting was a tell tale sign.

garden carrots Jenn’s favorite was carrots, and we rarely had a carrot grow to maturity, she checked them so often to see if they were ready for her soup creations. These soups [and keep in mind at this point in time she was 4 - 5 years of age], contained any number of things, though not very much of anything, an underdeveloped string bean, a carrot the size of a pen cap, a few peas, some water, and maybe some lettuce. I always was granted a taste. You can only imagine the look of guarded enthusiasm as I partook of this culinary delight.

I think my point here is ,isn’t every garden a child’s garden if we let it be. If we let go of the controls for a bit, let them dig in, as little or as much as they wish. No your rows won’t be as straight, your harvest may not be the envy of the neighborhood; heck you may have tomatoes in your squash! Sometimes I stressed more than now I think prudent..with age comes wisdom so they say. I will be planting many raised beds her at the PIcasso’s , and I am yearning for those eager little hands to help. Childhood passes so quickly,but, I don’t wanna grow up!
Will

We did have some child-like structures in our gardens over the years, like sunflower forts, pole bean tee-pees, and plants to attract butterflies, there was one year this was particularly important. 097
Fairy gardens would be fun for little ones to create, I think. Or brightly painted tires, filled with salad or salsa fix ins; easy to weed and fun to do!

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I am eager to start spring specials, put the soup pots up to rest; fill our plates with spring’s fresh bright culinary delights. Peas anyone?

Bountiful..or one bunch


It’s all relative isn’t it? Bounty.

This may not look like much to you…but, alas, it is this gardener’s crowning glory. Juicy purple goodness..my first grapes from this years seedling!!! Yippee.


cabbage green, tomatoes red and purple GRAPES.


Jack’s lantern…


There comes a time when autumn asks, What have you been doing all summer?


The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows
itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many;I grow old, I grow old,’ the garden says. Thanks for the bounty, says I.

Be well,
Jess

Some Late Spring Beauties and a “quick story”


Rural beauty and a dear friends garden.

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But hey, now that you’ve seen my lovely photos :)

Have you seen this! How much fun could this be? I know,like we don’t have enough social media frenzy. It just looks like too much fun to ignore.

A COLLABORATIVE STORY WRITING EXPERIENCE: http://www.qwikstory.com/

How Qwikstory.com Works
Qwikstory.com is a new social media site where people come together to create and write a story about a particular topic (or no topic at all). Here’s the catch – once you start a story, you have only 1,000 characters to tell your part of the story and you can’t continue the story…Cool right?
My children and I do this with songs sometimes…always silly, sometimes funny!

Let me know what you think! Please.

Semi-Wordless Wednesday.


Do you ever have any “if only” moments? You know, I would do this, I could do this, I want to do this…“if only” I were here, or there, or I had this, or that?
To that I say…”Forget all that nonsense and Bloom Where You Are Planted!” I am not certain who coined the phrase, whomever it was; Thank You. I like it.

Get busy living.

I need to be thankful for what I have rather than frustrated about what I don’t have

I am strong because I’m weak. I am beautiful because I know my flaws. I am fearless because I’ve been afraid. I can laugh because I’ve known sadness

I know who I am: I am me. I know what I am: I am strong. I know where I am going. I have great friends beside me, and wonderful family behind me, a bright future before me. The possibilities are endless!
Be Well
Jess

nothing stays still for long..


Spring is here; it is officially the first day of Spring! we have been very busy here, tilling, planting early spring veggies, starting later season crops,herd health activities (wormings and such)… and the list goes on.
I always have plenty of help and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Here Andrew is thinking and then asking: “Jessica, what do you want to do now?”

We set out to follow a bee busily collecting pollen.

As we were very near the girl’s pasture,they wanted to know what we were doing…

From there; because a 4 year old will be a 4 year old, we filled a little pool for the ducks (yup, it was that warm, in NY in March).

As the afternoon progressed, we watched as Howie tilled up the garden, as only he can…

Tie up the stakes…they need to support our peas. Thank you.

My youngest sister, my personal Master Gardener, helps me set the onions, and wrestle chickens, that’s another story…

After a long, warm beautiful day…

Have you begun spring chores? Do you have any traditional spring rites?
Enjoy this glorious day, it is supposed to be near 80 here!
Be Well,
Jess

ABC award! I really wanna say….


ABC Award


“ABC Award” is the Awesome Blog Content Award.

1.First,Thank the person who nominated you. In this case, 2! Can I even stand it? To garner attention from bloggers such as these is a huge compliment; I am not the best at taking compliments….Miss Manners would tell us;when a person has complimented you and note that it’s nice and courteous to return it in a short space of time, and I would have replied straight away, however, I have been dealing with a bit of a flu-ish thing. I won’t go into all of the gory, unpleasant details; let it suffice to say YUCK. I would like to send a really big thank you, they were very generous and I just really wanna say how appreciative I am to them. It means a lot that you took the time to nominate my blog for the ABC Award. I just think you’re awesome for that. I would also like to say that I had a wonderful time visiting their blogs, I think you will too.

http://allaboutlemon.wordpress.com/
http://lostupabove.wordpress.com/

2.There are no limits to how many blogs I may nominate:

Winsome Bella; Oh, the stories she tells, and the pictures she shares…you will be enthralled, give her a visit, you will not be disappointed.

96arley ,join him on his journey, you are sure to find beauty.

Pairie wisdom; if you haven’t smiled today…head on over; you will!

The Kitchen Garden; looking for a change of scenery, or a great recipe…C will fix that!

This little light; head on over to see what she is up to; if it happens to be Tuesday…it’s craft day!

3. Share some things about you but alphabetically just a word or two about you and or anything that interest you, starting with each alphabet. (Or alternatively, just write the first word you think of…or whatever makes you happy on how you’d like to represent your words)

A) Art
B) Beauty
C) creativity
D) Decorate (anything or anyone that will stay still long enough)
E) energy
F) finish ( at least one project,hee hee)
G) generous
H) happiness
I) interests (never stop looking for new)
J) joking
K) kisses
L) Love
m) more, love and kisses
N) Niceness matters
O) oops, all of the grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes, and typos, I notice AFTER I press “publish”
P) pennies from heaven
Q) quirky
R) restless
S) soups
T) thankful
U) unforgettable
V) Veronica, one of my sisters
W) What?
X) Xanadu
Y) yellow flowers, evening primrose…one of my favorites, one time I gave these to many people I love.
Z) zany; well maybe a little :)

I need to get out I am running low on photos you haven’t seen. :( I hope you enjoy these random landscape and floral shots.

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But for the grace of God go I
I must’ve been born a lucky guy
Heaven only knows how I’ve been blessed
With the gift of your love
And I look around and all I see
Is your happiness embracing me
Oh Lord I’d be lost
But for the grace of God

Thank you all for your support and for taking time out of your day to read my blog;(a song by Keith Urban).

Be well,
Jess

warm fuzzies…


I find beauty in imperfections; I like things that tell a story, old barns, linens…and I like to share. Blogging is the perfect way to share the excitement of the ~ best ~ flea market, tag sale, decorating idea, series of photographs, or farm story ever. I am loving having a place to express so much of my creativity, share my love of animals, our little cottage farm, and writings. The post previous to this was my 100th; I can’t believe it…I expect the warm fuzzies I get every time I read a comment left by lovely readers will continue for the next hundred; I hope my exuberance,delight, and appreciation for each comment will continue well into the 1000s of posts. Each comment, or e-mail ~ to me ~ is an act of kindness, a reassurance to the ~ a once reluctant blogger.

One of my favorite things is a beautifully disheveled cottage garden, not a perfectly manicured garden,… a running a muck with color and variety…herbs, flowers, and veggies all growing together in a wonderful, colorful mass kind of garden. A cozy, peaceful, pretty as a picture, place to exhale a sigh of relief or relaxation kind of garden. Some day, I will visit the cottage gardens in Devon, Herefordshire, Norfolk, the Cotswalds,and perhaps Brittany, alas for the time being; I will content myself with my cottage gardens. Here I plant roses ’round the fences, raspberries by the gates, bushes and bushes of hydrangeas; where the sleepy dogs can lie.

Down my quiet narrow lane; I will line my walk with hosta, and marigolds, with babies breath…and Coralbells. I will drape my porch in Wisteria, the front garden, packed with flowers of all sorts, daisies, foxglove, peony, cosmos, snapdragon, pansy, bachelor’s button, columbine, bleeding heart, and hollyhock, oh and bell flowers with their lovely lavender hue.

Perhaps, just perhaps, I should put the seed catalogs down. I just wanted to order grapes!

a gaggle of garden goodies:

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Be well,
Jess

A good name will shine forever…what will yours say?


It has been longer than I like since I’ve posted anything…there has been so much going on here,some good, some not so pleasant.

There’s a heart shaped stone Howie found for Maeve’s resting place at the top of the hill, where the pasture opens wide and the setting sun highlights the trees there. Maeve’s stay with us here at the farm was relatively short, she just turned 4 in May. But who of us can say whether a life is better short or long? Neither the length of the loved ones life nor it’s briefness determines the value of that stay. The purposes that Maeve came to accomplish may become more clear as time passes, but today she reminds us again that life on this earth is not only fragile but limited in time. She is a reminder that we, too, shall follow her and the others that we love to the arms of the dear Lord who so intricately fashioned us all. She has left you a precious gift in Andy.(Thank Mitchell Cohen for those comforting words) She used to love to run…she took my heart and ran with it, and she’s running still, fast and strong, a piece of my heart bound up with her, forever. My heart is delicate and will take a long time to heal; It may seem patched up, but it will mend…. in its own time. My thoughts had to return to her precious Andy; he must remain healthy. We, all of us, at Misty Maples Farm have made it our heartfelt pursuit and responsibility.

But, not all is sad..we took time to drive to New Hampshire to share a meal with one of my younger brothers. A lot of laughter and good times were had by all!

Life is full of ups and downs, in farm life sometimes it is exciting ~ sometimes disappointing ~ perhaps at these times a little sad…sometimes it feels like it’s never ending; things never stop having to be done. There is always something wherever you look. But it’s my life; and I LOVE IT! The sadness as well as the joy!


Our Maeve.


View from Hogback Mt. on our way to NH.


Now, where were we going?


Daughter with her Uncle..


Sister…


Look, I found a busy little bee.


Never good bye…always see ya soon!


Andrew and Maeve going for a walk…a couple years ago; she was always so gentle.


A moment of of innocence…Jessica, where did Maeve go?


Why did she leave, did she go down the road?


Heaven? Can Andy go see her?


“I love you, Jecasa” and the coversation turned to chickens…childhood is amazing!


Enjoy this and every day..

And so life on the farm continues, Be Well.
Jessica

A cottage garden and bees…


Cottage type gardening seems almost accidental and somewhat carefree; none exactly alike. This is why I love them! Each cottage garden is as different as the people who create them! My vegetable garden is sprinkled with flowers,cosmos, zinnias, marigolds, daisies…hummingbirds,bees, and butterflies.
I love the way a cottage garden beckons a closer look…behind the picket fence that captured the old-fashioned charm.

Creating a garden that encourages visits from tiny workers is a priority. Every garden needs pollinators and bees and butterflies are among the best…cottage type gardens are extremely important for honey bees and bumblebees(and vice versa)because of the wide variety of flowers they provide. Bees need flowers for sustenance, and flowers need bees for pollination…stings, you ask? No worries…most bees are gentle creatures that are simply in search of food and water for themselves and their young; just don’t wear perfume-y scents lest they think you are a big flower asking for pollination.

My largest garden here at the farm is located on the edge of the woods with a secluded(think briers and vines)pond nestled there,offering birds, butterflies and other creatures protection and shelter – a big plus! Because of the mysterious decimation they are going through, I am even more concerned with having flowers in my garden to draw them in.

Here are some plants in my cottage garden:
Roses, old-fashioned and rambling; delphiniums,Gladiola- if you plant these amongst other tall plants you might not have to stake them,Peonies – the more the better..one of my favorites(ants be darned),Iris – I have many varieties;flower in the spring and so always a treat.
Dianthus,smell so sweet. Geraniums fill my antique wheel barrow,and herbs, herbs, herbs. Cosmos – has a very long flowering period, their feathery foliage a big plus! Canterbury bells with tall blue pink or white flowers, and of course sunflowers, I watch the birds feast on the seeds.Climbing beans on a tee pee like structure for an architectural interest…I could go on, but you get the picture.

Do you have a cottage garden? What do you plant?


Riley cat, a beautiful old soul.


Does any one know what type of “bee” this is..or isn’t?


Andy, loves his hay!!


Lexi loves Summer.


Tiny worker, big job!


Finnegan loves me!

Be Well, bloom where you’re planted!

PS Can you help me come up with a great name for a photography studio? Oh yes, I am!