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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  • These Brussels sprouts, our first course @pinewoodtr, with their spectacular dipping sauce, were the stuff of crispy, salty, cruciferous dreams. Totally set the tone for the rest of the meal. So, so good.
  • Passed this scene on our driveway earlier this morning as we headed to Decatur, GA for the weekend. Going to miss the cove, but am stoked to enjoy a bit of city living. Happy weekend, friends!
  • Mountain morning ridge line fog is, to me, the best fog. Taken from our entryway porch.
  • Last Thursday, our perennially kind and generous friend Jessica Smith asked if she could stop by with a gift for us. This stunning succulent planter (in a vintage enamel pot) was what she showed up with. Turns out she's starting a new business called DIRT FLIRTS with her friend Diana. As they describe it:
  • Since this past Friday evening, @glennbenglish, Huxley and I have had the exquisite pleasure of hosting @tea_austen in our home. There has been much laughter, much eating, and much sharing of our hearts, minds, and deepest selves. As she drove away just a bit ago, it didn't feel like we were saying goodbye, but instead, see you again, hopefully sooner than later. Thank you for being such delightful company, @tea_austen, and for loving our little guy so fully (and getting a TMNT education in the process ?!). || Image is from this past Sunday, when we took Tara up to #blackbalsam for a hike and a picnic.
  • Jump in, you know these arms can fill you up.
  • Excited to try out this tasting kit @driftawaycoffee sent me. The idea is that you brew each of the four bags they provide, divided into categories of FRUITY, CLASSIC, BALANCED, and BOLD, taking notes for each one on a postcard entitled
  • It's true: in the presence of chicken and waffles, my southern drawl becomes more evident. It cannot be helped. Still thinking about this platter of awesome from last night's Sunday Supper @rhubarbavl, honoring talented friend Ronni Lundy and the release of her newest book,
  • I try to see the forest AND the trees.
  • Sunday, perfect Sunday. @glennbenglish, Huxley, and I had a wonderful day picnicking on Black Balsam with @tea_austen
  • It's a good day in western NC. Happy weekend, friends!
  • Happy #nationalsiblingsday to my two favorite homies! Love you Devan (left) and @theomadams (middle)!!! Photo from November 2012 at the Grove Park Inn here in Asheville, NC. || Not pictured, our two brothers. Love you too, Jimmy and Walker!

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seeds

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!