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.
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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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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!