A Week or Two in Pictures (3/27-4/10)

I’m starting this post out with a picture of my lovely girls enjoying a treat block. That block sure didn’t last long but we had fun watching them attack it! I like to give them a treat every now and then. Usually we just let them feast on the scraps we throw out from our chicken (ends of cucumber, carrot peels, etc) in addition to the layer pellets/corn we toss out.

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I planted an Ichiban eggplant in my garden bed. I love eggplant though and hope to pick up at least another variety to add to my bed. A great way to use up eggplant is to make Baba Ghanoush – it is delicious!

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My pineberries are looking good in my garden bed. Thankfully the recent burst of cold weather did not phase them as I see little berries forming! I’m awaiting on some Old North Sea strawberry plants to arrive from Baker Creek seeds any day.

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We potted up a bunch of plants for the front porch. One contains herbs I started last year (lemongrass, chives, thyme, parsley), one contains violas, two contain a mixture of Rainbow Chard and Brussels Sprouts. There’s a rosemary lurking in the back (along with my Belle watching me from inside the house, she’s never far from me). The red pot and the pot in the middle contain shallots that I got from my grandfather’s house – apparently they’ve been passed down for a few generations!

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On these pretty evenings, we’ve been working with the dogs a lot more than usual. It helps Belle run off some energy and it helps Jake (Robb’s dog) stay in shape for when duck hunting season rolls around.
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The peach tree (located within our chicken coop) is doing fabulous. I’m glad that the cold weather didn’t damage it either. I love a fresh, juicy peach picked while still warm from the sun.

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My comfrey is rocking it! I like to use it in products that I make for The Southern Belle’s Garden. In fact, most of the herbs I use I actually grow myself.

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We went for a walk on Sunday. Robb wanted to check on a couple of potential turkey hunting spots. Though he really didn’t see what he was looking for, we did spook up a couple of deer and I found my first ever shed antler! Okay, so really Robb found it but only because he was walking in front of me!

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All in all, it’s been a good couple of weeks! The next few weeks will fly by though and I don’t know how many pictures I’ll be able to snag! I enjoy letting you all have these little peeks into my life (plus it helps me remember to jot down information in my garden journal) and I hope you enjoy them as well!

Catch-up (Pic Heavy)

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Sweet Jake always makes the worst faces!
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The chickens all seemed to enjoy the live meal worms that arrived a few weeks ago.
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It was a cold, dreary day so don’t judge the outfit. 😀 We were thinking this picture has Christmas card potential!
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Strawberry plants at mom’s – they are looking good!
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Ziggy looking as regal as ever!
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Yes, I still get an Easter basket even though I’m 28 years old… don’t you?
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Easter goodies from mom! One of those chocolate bunnies was for my boyfriend.
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I’ve gotten back into the habit of drinking smoothies again for breakfast. It helps me start my day off right. My favorite blend is made with yogurt, coconut milk, orange juice, papaya, pineapple, banana, blueberries, and strawberries.
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This was our weekend project. The chickens have been tearing up the newly planted broccoli, so instead of keeping them trapped in the coop while our garden gets established, we built a fence. As you can see on the left… Lil B pays no mind to the fence, but she doesn’t tear up anything. We are in a battle of wits with Emily though (our Rhode Island Red) – she wants to still fly over the fence. We’ve clipped her wings hoping that will help and will move to netting if all else.
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This is the current dish I am crazy over – cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, olives, dill, and feta cheese with a dressing of EVOO, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice. I didn’t purposely make it photo-ready, it just happened as I chopped everything up and added it to the plate, layer by layer!

A Week In Review.

All cell phone pictures on this post. I know, I know. The quality of my cell phone pictures truly suck, but when I’ve been pet sitting all week and my good camera is at home, I have to make do with what is on my phone. I have some photos from the weekend that I will upload when I’m finally home.

My first REAL plant sale - two Early Girls and two tomatillos.
My first REAL plant sale – two Early Girls and two tomatillos.
One of the tomatillos that I did actually sell looks like a husk is already forming.
One of the tomatillos that I did actually sell looks like a husk is already forming.
My egg! This is the 6th egg we've gathered from the chickens since we put them in the coop the last Sunday in March. I found this one all on my own! On Easter Sunday no less.
My egg! This is the 6th egg we’ve gathered from the chickens since we put them in the coop the last Sunday in March. I found this one all on my own! On Easter Sunday no less.
My first plant sale! Okay, it doesn't really count since they are for my mom and she didn't pay, but hey - it's something.
My first plant sale! Okay, it doesn’t really count since they are for my mom and she didn’t pay, but hey – it’s something.
My Ziggy is working to pick out his summer swimsuit. Cats always find the weirdest places to sleep.
My Ziggy is working to pick out his summer swimsuit. Cats always find the weirdest places to sleep.

Winter Coop Purchases (Week Two)

I picked up the week’s goodies from the Farmer’s Market last Saturday. The two weeks since the last market flew by, even though I still haven’t used the radishes for anything, nor the sweet potatoes. I froze what was left of the loaf of challah in hopes of making a bread pudding soon. In fact, the only item I used to completion thus far was the chocolate milk that I polished off just a few days ago. I still have some of the organic milk fro Trader Joe’s left in the fridge, so I could skip buying dairy this time around.

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I purchased:

  • Two packages of grass-fed pork chops (from a farmer in Gates Co)
  • Jar of Peach Blueberry Jam (my friend allowed me to have a taste before he whisked it home, it was delicious; from the same farmer as the pork))
  • Small package of cheese stars (from Donna’s Desserts)
  • Several small butternut squash (from ECO in Raleigh, I think)
  • Pint of grape tomatoes (see above – they were only okay. They tasted like grocery store tomatoes actually)
  • Several carrots and rutabagas (Somerset Farm)

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Originally, I had planned on fixing the pork chops for dinner that night but decided to cook a whole chicken in the crockpot and save those pork chops for next weekend. I covered the chicken in peppers, lemon, rosemary from the garden, and some garlic and let it cook all day until it was done. It was tender and juicy when I finally cracked open the lid of the crockpot. My friend brought over some of the gorgonzola cheese he purchased from Trader Joe’s so I used that to make a dressing to go over a salad. We also had brown rice and delicious yeast rolls for dinner.

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Some more photos from the weekend:

View of the swamp behind my house - it's about a year old now thanks to the damage the beavers are doing to the trees.
View of the swamp behind my house – it’s about a year old now thanks to the damage the beavers are doing to the trees.
I was out in the garden Sunday checking on my garlic and trimming my asparagus ferns when I notice my fennel poking its head up. My bronze fennel was always making an appearance on the other side of the herb garden as well. I hope the snow on Monday didn't harm it.
I was out in the garden Sunday checking on my garlic and trimming my asparagus ferns when I notice my fennel poking its head up. My bronze fennel was always making an appearance on the other side of the herb garden as well. I hope the snow on Monday didn’t harm it.
Ziggy - I looked all day for him on Sunday and found him crashed behind the pillows on the bed.
Ziggy – I looked all day for him on Sunday and found him crashed behind the pillows on the bed.
The snow falling on Monday morning. Some reports say that we got about 1/2" here.
The snow falling on Monday morning. Some reports say that we got about 1/2″ here.

Playing Catch-Up

This weekend has been about a lot of little things. I haven’t been in the garden much the past few weeks as there isn’t really much to do right now. What things that are still planted are pretty much taking care of themselves. I’m still waiting on my shipment of garlic to arrive, as well as my apricot and hazelnut trees.

Yesterday I went to my uncle’s charity golf tournament and entertained myself with free food while the raffle was going on (didn’t win anything). Afterward, my grandparents kidnapped my mom and I and took out way out in to the middle of nowhere to dig through the depilated barn of an old family friend. We pulled out a few old plows. They need fixing up but will look pretty good out in our flower beds.

Today consisted of messing around the house. It’s more fun to show you what I did in pictures, so here we go!

Painted this little shelf that mom threw together so that I could have somewhere to display my canned items in the kitchen.
Painted this little shelf that mom threw together so that I could have somewhere to display my canned items in the kitchen.
Ziggy loves being outside so much.
Ziggy loves being outside so much.
My sugar cane is taller than I am right now. It'll be time to harvest it soon (before the frost comes).
My sugar cane is taller than I am right now. It’ll be time to harvest it soon (before the frost comes).
Mom and I spent a lot of time weeding the strawberry bed and catching it back up to where it needs to be.
Mom and I spent a lot of time weeding the strawberry bed and catching it back up to where it needs to be.
I adore Fall.
I adore Fall.
Fall decorations - I love the colors of this season.
Fall decorations – I love the colors of this season.
I found some black walnuts when I was at the bookstore yesterday. I picked about a dozen up and spent today cracking open the green hulls. The nuts are on the drying rack but I have the green hulls in water to try to make some ink.
I found some black walnuts when I was at the bookstore yesterday. I picked about a dozen up and spent today cracking open the green hulls. The nuts are on the drying rack but I have the green hulls in water to try to make some ink.
This is the first acorn on the oak tree that mom planted 10 years ago from just a sapling from the woods.
This is the first acorn on the oak tree that mom planted 10 years ago from just a sapling from the woods.