books

QUENCH

 

HANDMADE GATHERINGS

 

A YEAR OF PIES!

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: HOME DAIRY

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING BEES

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: CANNING & PRESERVING

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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  • I had the most profoundly memorable experience today. The cookbook club at Haywood County Library (the county adjacent to mine) hosted me, and by hosted, I mean 12 ladies selected recipes from my book
  • What better way to clear out a case of the Mondays than a giveaway?! See that lovely locally-made wooden bag dryer there on my wall? Want to win one of your own (you do, trust me)? Pop on over to small measure to enter. Link is in my profile.
  • This guy right here? While he might be growing bigger every day, the truth is that becoming a mother has helped me to grow. To be more present. To be more patient. To be more empathic. As I tell all my soon-to-be-mama friends, parenthood is the toughest work you'll ever do, with by far the biggest payoff. The lovin', and the learning, are so, so good. Happy Monday, friends.
  • Today was a good day. This view, from the top of our road, certainly helped make it so.
  • I think the 48-hour flu I've been fighting has finally succumbed to my assault of grapefruit seed extract, osha root, propolis, elderberry syrup, Oscillococinum, apple cider vinegar, rose hips, hibiscus, ginger/lemon/honey/cayenne tea, and neti pot with goldenseal tincture. I don't take getting sick sitting down. And now, a winter storm, possibly. Bring it, I say. Happy weekending, friends!!!
  • This guy.
  • I've been waiting, for a book like this, to come into my life. Whoa. Picked this up a few weeks ago at @screendoorasheville as a New Year's gift to @glennbenglish. Just started reading it myself and it couldn't possibly be more of what I need to see, right now. Completely on point, wholly attuned to what I'm presently sensing and curious about and inspired by, and infinitely humbling.
  • Warm enough today to play soccer down in our lower field, do a bit of weeding in the garden, and push a nearly-too-big 4 year-old in his
  • New year, new moons, new calendars. Right on, right on.
  • @shelterprotectsyou has been posting images of the wedding she and @sheltercollective had here in September all week. They built this altar for the ceremony, and it's still here, just past the house, on the way to the chicken coop. We pass it every day. Some days, I casually note its beauty and the way it feels like an outdoor church here in our forested cove. Other days I barely register it as I scurry about, doing this and that around the property. Today, though, in the stark, grey, drizzly setting, it was quietly regal. Happy to have had her visuals prompt me to stop, look, and listen to this physical testament to love.
  • The chickens told me they much prefer the rain this week to last week's frigid weather, thank you very much. I couldn't agree more.
  • These potatoes @tableasheville changed my culinary life. They called them hash browns, but they were unlike any I'd had before. Par-baked perhaps, smashed into halves I'm guessing, and then roasted and maybe finished with a quick fry in the skillet and scattered with large sea salt granules? Whatever the method, the result was a creamy, yellow center and a crispy, salty exterior. Quite possibly the best hash browns I've ever had.

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garden

Sowing the Seeds

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What’s that you say? We should begin with Tears For Fears? Great idea!

Alright then. That’s better. So….

While our house is many splendid things (in my humble estimation), one thing it is decidedly not is bright. As in, it’s really, really dark inside. Our house faces north, and this architectural placement comes in really handy in the summer. The rest of the time, though, this means it stays pretty continually dark inside, making our space not very ideal when it comes to starting seeds indoors (or taking interior photos, to put it lightly).

I’ve fought against this for years, tempting fate and trying to start seeds inside anyways. To say my attempts have been met with limited success would be an understatement, at best. Sure, some seeds did well despite the limited light and kind of jerry-rigged set-up, but most, well, they gave it their best shot (cue Scotty from Star Trek: “I’m giving ‘er all she’s got, Captain!”)

This year, though, I was determined to do things right. Noticing the exposed beams in the upstairs bathroom with fresh, seed-starting eyes this past winter, I realized they’d make a great spot for hanging lights. That bathroom is also, admittedly, the brightest spot in the house during the day. The sunlight it already garners, coupled with supplemental light made that room the best candidate for setting up a seed-starting operation. Fate intervened, and cut me some slack. At last!

Glenn created a table from cut up 2×2′s, topped with two 2×4 sheets of plywood for putting the starting trays on (a 4×4 sheet would’ve worked, too, but it wouldn’t have fit in our car). The bottom frame is essentially a cube, to keep it light, making it easier to disassemble when the time comes to take it down for the season. He put furniture sliders on the bottom to easily slide the table around, if need be (you could also achieve the same results with casters).

The lights are basic shop lights, hung from bronze chain. I’ll adjust the height on them up as the plants grow. I topped off several of the plant trays with plastic tops, to trap and retain moisture, in order to encourage germination.

So far, so good! There’s a good deal of green bits and bobs poking their lovely heads up from the soil. This year, I opted to go with a full garden of Sow True Seed offerings. That owes partly to their generous gift of 25 seed packets of my choosing, and largely to my having been a fan of their open-pollinated, non-GMO, heirloom selection ever since they opened for business several years ago. Also, they’re a local company and I’m a big fan of supporting local businesses.

My garden plans this year are super ambitious. I’ve whittled down some things I used to grow (turns out we don’t really eat that much eggplant after all) and upped others, like lettuce and tomatoes. I’m exited to see how it all turns out, and I’ll keep you posted over the growing season, including detailed listings of each variety of veggie I’m growing.

What about you? How does your garden grow? Let the growing frenzy commence, peeps!