Sunday, December 12, 2010

Slowing Down Christmas Baking With The Nut Meat Chopper

Do you remember a time before food processors?  How did we chop up all those nuts for our Christmas cookies?  Most people probably used a knife and cutting board.  We used a special gadget called a nut meat chopper.

I have great memories of chopping nuts while we made Christmas cookies.  So rather than pull out the food processor and whip up the nuts in a flash, I thought maybe my kids would enjoy the slower pace of chopping the nuts with the chopper.  They loved it!

My great-grandmother Retsch, a German immigrant, gave this to my mother when I was a child, so it was neat that the kids were using something given to us by their great-great grandmother.   

The top part of the chopper, which screws onto the bottom, appears to be made of tin and most of the paint is worn away.  The part with the words "nut meat chopper" slides up and can be taken out for easier cleaning.  The handle knob is red-painted wood.  The bottom is glass with a few numbers on the base.  After some research, I found that this is a Hazel-Atlas nut meat grinder made in about the 1930s/1940s.

The Hazel-Atlas Glass Company was founded in 1902 in Washington, Pennsylvania, as a merger of four companies.  The company manufactured huge quantities of "depression" pressed glassware in a wide variety of patterns throughout the 1920s,'30s and '40s.  In 1957, Hazel-Atlas, the third largest producer of glass containers in the U.S. became a subsidiary of the Continental Can Company.

You can find these nut meat choppers being sold on Ebay.  Our nut meat chopper may not have a lot of monetary value, but the memory value it creates is priceless!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter Sets Its Teeth

In the past few days we've really begun our true winter.  The temperatures are hovering below freezing and now the snow is coming down hard and sticking.  The high tunnels are covered with snow and when I go out into them it's like entering a quiet, cool world.

The temperature inside the high tunnels is still warmer than the outside air.  For example, today it's 22-degrees outside and it's 34-degrees inside the high tunnels.  But they're not growing much - although  yesterday I did go out and pull some turnips and picked some parsley to go with our dinner.

Parsley, I've found, is a surprisingly hardy herb!  I would think that because it is used a lot in Italian cooking, and many Italian vegetables are tender (tomatoes, summer squashes, peppers), that it would be a tender plant.  It is still giving me beautiful green leaves - even in the heart of winter!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


"Isn't it curious that at this juncture in our culture's evolution, we collectively believe Twinkies, Lucky Charms, and Coca-Cola are safe foods, but compost-grown tomatoes and raw milk are not?"

I don't who wrote this, but it sure does open up some interesting discussions.

For example, I think about how it's so very easy to fall victim to advertising mentality!

 How many times have you seen the Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing commercials where kids are at a vegetable carnival?  Or the one where they hit a pinata filled with vegetables?  The children grab their vegetables, then run and dig them into the yummy dip and gobble them up.  Everything just seems so wholesome and healthy.  So, subconsciously, as I'm buying Hidden Valley Ranch dressing those commercials are in the back of my mind and I'm thinking "healthy."  I plunk some vegetables and that bottle on the table and tell my kids, "gobble away!"

Then, one day, I looked at the ingredients.  What IS disodium phosphate?  And why does salad dressing need to have potassium sorbate and phosphoric acid in it?

It becomes a toss up.  Do I want my children to eat their vegetables because they have this dip?  It really does taste good!  But do I want to put a bunch of chemicals on their organically grown vegetables?  I could make my own dip, but the kids really do like this stuff.  What a problem!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Critter Castle

Heather loves her rabbit and guinea pigs and their home seems to get more elaborate all the time.  Over the Thanksgiving weekend we worked on what will undoubtably be the last manifestation of a critter home.

She worried that the previous cage was not tall enough and the bunny couldn't stand up properly.  Now it's tall enough for him to stand up and stretch out.  She worried that the critters couldn't run around properly.  Now they have plenty of room.  And she worried that the bunny didn't like living with the guinea pigs.  Now he lives in his own suite.

And of course we had to pretty it up!

A whimsical dragonfly...

Bunny tracks...

And a scattering of flowers across the top...

And for me, the very best part is that Fitz designed it with vinyl-flooring covered trays on the bottoms that Heather can slide out and easily clean!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Cookie Recipe Swap

Does your family have a cookie recipe that just makes the holidays?  Maybe it's something SO labor intensive that you only make it once a year  :- )

Since my readers live everywhere across the US, it would be very difficult to have an actual cookie swap!    

So I thought it would be fun this season to have a virtual cookie recipe swap.   Type in a copy of your favorite, traditional Christmas Cookie Recipe in the comments section below.  

Here's a recipe I only make during the holiday season.  Why?  I don't know.  I guess it wouldn't be as special if I made it through out the year.  This is a really fun recipe to make with the kids because they like all the rolling - and there aren't any eggs so even little ones who love to taste the batter can help!  

Russian Teacakes

1 c. butter
1/2 c. sifted confectioners sugar, plus more for rolling
1 tsp. vanilla
2-1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. finely chopped nuts (pecans are yummy, but walnuts taste good too)

Mix together butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  
Mix flour and salt and blend into butter mixture.  Mix in nuts.  
Chill at least 1 hour.  
Roll into 1-inch balls and bake in a 400-degree oven on ungreased baking sheets for 10-12 minutes.  While still warm, roll in sifted confectioners sugar.  Cool.  Roll in sugar again.  


And I hope to collect lots of great recipes!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Grown up Cranberry Sauce

What you need:

4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2 cups sugar
Enough Grand Marnier and orange juice to equal 1/3 cup

Preheat oven to 300-degrees.  Place cranberries in 13x9 inch baking dish; sprinkle evenly with sugar.

Bake 1 hour, stirring after 30 minutes.

Add Grand Marnier and orange juice; stir until well blended.  Pour into jars or serving dishes.  Cool completely.  Cover and refrigerate several hours or until chilled.

I bought one of those travel sized bottles of Grand Marnier at the liquor store and it gives you almost 1/3 cup and then I topped off the measuring cup with fresh squeezed orange juice.  For fun you can grate a little of the orange rind into the cranberries as well.  This looks pretty served with an orange slice on top.  

It may be too late to get the ingredients for today, but maybe you'll want to include it in your Christmas menu.  I made it a day ahead of time so that the flavors can fuse.

Of course I had to steal a taste while it was warm. :  )  This recipe takes Cranberry Sauce to a whole new level!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Small Project Finished

An elderly gentleman commissioned me to paint his child's family names on an antique milk can as a Christmas present.

Here is the finished product.  He chose the blue, white, and black base colors and told me how he wanted the lettering.  Then I did the lettering and decorations.  I think it turned out pretty well.

P.S.  Please don't tell if you know the Christies.  It's a surprise!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Year's Resolution?

Here's an interesting idea for a New Year's Resolution:

In 2011, I resolve to eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and less foods that are manufactured in plants.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Are You A "Crunchy Con"?

Do you live a Crunchy Conservative lifestyle?

I like to think that I do.

Sadly though, I find that politics and economics do tend to stick their big noses into my life far too often.  I am VERY skeptical of big business - I believe that it runs our oversized government.

Number 8 (below) is interesting  Think about that KitKat candy bar commercial "crunch crunch crunch" in split second shots - then think about sitting on your porch, a nice glass of wine in your hand, and chatting with friends - how do each of these make you feel?

Number 2.  McDonald's Happy Meal Toys.  "Nuff said.

Number 5.  Absolutely.  If you can't drink the water and you can't breathe the air then you can't live.

I could comment on each one, and I don't entirely agree with each one, but essentially, I feel that most of these are a valuable set of guidelines by which I strive to live.

Are you a Crunchy Con?

A Crunchy Con Manifesto
By Ron Dreher

1. We are conservatives who stand outside the conservative mainstream; therefore, we can see things that matter more clearly.

2. Modern conservatism has become too focused on money, power, and the accumulation of stuff, and insufficiently concerned with the content of our individual and social character.

3. Big business deserves as much skepticism as big government.

4. Culture is more important than politics and economics.

5. A conservatism that does not practice restraint, humility, and good stewardship - especially of the natural world - is not fundamentally conservative.

6. Small, Local, Old, and Particular are almost alway better than Big, Global, New, and Abstract

7. Beauty is more important than efficiency

8.  The relentlessness of media-driven pop culture deadens our senses to authentic truth, beauty, and wisdom.

9. We share Russell Kirk's conviction that "the institution most essential to conserve is the family. "

10. Politics and economics won't save us; if our culture is to be saved at all, it will be by faithfully living by the Permanent Things, conserving these ancient moral truths in the choices we make in our everyday lives.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Radishes Under Attack!

My crop of radishes is just beautiful.... then I saw the voles are going to town on them.

My miniature schnauzer, Candy Cane, is a vole killing machine.  Maybe I should let her get some quality time in the high tunnel.  The cats are doing all they can to keep down the vole and mouse population around the house.  It's a battle!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Slowly, But Surely, The Garden Goes To Sleep

I'm just about ready to put the outside gardens to bed.  I'd hoped to have it done by now, but I fell a bit behind schedule due to some substitute teaching opportunities as a Home Ec teacher (which I LOVE).

Yesterday, I spent many hours moving tractor loads of leaves to the edges of the outside garden.  I put them in about two feet thick and they will break down to about six inches thick by spring.  I hope to cut back on the weed issues that I have.  Weeds are probably the largest issue when you garden organically - and inorganically too - but, I don't use any kinds of weed killers and must pull or mow everything by hand.  I have this mental picture of how the "perfect" garden should look.  Tidy... neat... unrealistic.....

Today I will plant winter rye as a cover crop/green manure.  It should get a couple of inch or so of growth on before the serious snow sets in and in the spring it will take off.  Then I'll rototill it under as a green manure for next year's garden.  I was going to plant winter wheat, but I stopped by our local extension office and he told me that this late in the year I should plant winter rye instead.

The chickens will be disappointed when I plant the rye.   During the day, I've been keeping them enclosed in a movable run due to my predator problem, but every evening I give them an hour or so before sunset when I open the run and let them free range.  I've been letting them get into the garden and dig up all the grubs and such they can find.  I'll close the garden to them once I plant the rye.  A flock of chickens can do some damage to newly planted rye seed!  Tonight I'll throw a few handfuls of scratch feed out in the empty pig pen to encourage them to grub around out there.  I hope, with their scratching through everything, the chickens will take care of any parasites the pigs may have left behind.

Speaking of pig, last night we ate our first pork chops from our own pigs.  I simply fried them with some olive oil, garlic and a little salt and pepper.  They were absolutely phenomenal.  Tender, flavorful.. they are such a far cry from pork chops you buy in the grocery store.  While we were eating them the whole family kept saying, "mmmm."  It was amazing how good a pork chop can taste!

Yesterday, while I was working in the garden, I saw a honeybee fly by!  "What are you doing out?"  I said to her.  I walked over, and sure enough, the ladies were flying in and out of the hive.  Near the bees' hive I have placed dog dish with a rock for them to sit on as their water dish.  It was loaded with bees taking the chance to come out of the hive to have a drink during our semi-warm weather.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Freezer Space

We picked up our pork from the butcher last week.  Between the two pigs we finished with exactly 300 pounds of pork.  We have lots and lots of pork chops, shoulder steaks, picnic steaks ribs, and sweet and hot italian sausage.  Wow!

I'm very happy that we sold half of a pig because my freezers are stuffed so full I can hardly put another thing into them and we still haven't picked up the three hams and three sides of bacon that are being smoked!

Freezer space is at a premium!  

Luckily, large part of the freezers will be freed up when I take out the frozen elderberries to make elderberry jelly and maybe some elderberry wine.  

Last August the kids and I picked about three trash bags full of berries.  A friend told me that the very best way to get all those tiny berries off the stems is to freeze them.  You then bang the bags and the berries fall right off.  It's a nice change from using a fork and trying to pull off all those little BB's and it works beautifully!  

This will be a chance to test out the berry attachment of my Squeezo Strainer.  I think it'll cut out the the very messy part where I hang the mushy, cooked berries in a cheesecloth to strain into a bowl.  I have white countertops and boy do elderberries stain!

Another future project that will clear up some space is my attempt to make wine.  A friend gave me a couple of trash bags of concord grapes.  I've never made wine before, but I'm part Italian, so of course I have to give it a try.  I like a pretty sweet wine, so any wine making suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Leaves Are A Gardener's Friend

Although you may feel that leaves are a burden to rake, bag, and dispose of - they can actually be a boon to the gardener.

You can compost them as a source of "brown," high carbon material.  Alternate them with with regular green materials (such as vegetable scraps, weeds,  and grass clippings), turn the pile every once in awhile, and in the spring you'll have a nice finished compost.

Alternatively, you could use your leaves as an organic mulch.  Just add a two to three inch layer of shredded leaves (you can shred them with your lawn mower) to your flower beds.  Be sure to keep them from directly touching the stems and trunks of your plants.  This mulch will limit weeds, keep your soil moist, and as they break down and worms and microorganisms work on them they'll result in a lighter fluffier soil.

Sadly, here at Fitzgerald's Family Farm we don't have enough trees to get a decent pile of leaves.  We sit on what used to be potato fields and our trees aren't mature enough to drop any significant amounts.  Even if the trees were mature enough, we tend to get a lot of wind here and the leaves all blow away!

Luckily the our town collects leaves and is happy to drop them off for free at your house.  Everyone in town rakes their leaves to the curb and a truck comes along and sucks them up.  I get a couple of big loads each year.  The two loads I have sitting outside will go into the high tunnels for mulch - to keep the pathways weed free - and into the compost enclosure for next year's gardens.  

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen

Each year the Environmental Working Group releases it's list of the 12 most pesticide laden and the 15 least pesticide laden fruits and vegetables.  

This year's list has changed slightly from last year.  I'm very, very surprised to see kale and carrots on the Dirty Dozen side.  They are vegetables that are so easy to grow without pesticides!

But am possibly being optimistic?  A small grower can watch their vegetables as they grow and make adjustments to what the vegetables need so that they can grow naturally.  The big processors (notice I don't say growers) have such huge fields to oversee that they don't have that option.  Yet another reason to "Buy Fresh, Buy Local"!

Here's the handy list to print and clip as a guideline for your future grocery shopping trips.

If you are interested in more information, you can go to this website:

Happy, healthy eating!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fall Pickings

Picked fresh from the High Tunnel a few moments ago...

...Radishes and Italian Flat Leaf Parsley.

I planted the parsley in the spring and it's holding up beautifully to the colder weather.  I blogged about planting the radishes on September 15th!  I also have lots of carrots and lettuces.  I think I'll be able to do a Fall CSA next year.

I have tons and I'm giving it away.  Let me know if you'd like some!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Freezer Camp

The pigs went to "Freezer Camp" today.

Fitz and I worked last night and this morning to build a carrier on our trailer to transport them to the meat processor in Elkland, PA - about an hour away from us.  It's not pretty, but we made it with old rough-cut wood and the price was right.

Does anyone hear banjos?

After the carrier was built, we had to get the pigs into it.  We backed into the pig pen and threw some dried corn into the carrier.  Up zipped the first pig into the cage and he began happily munching away.

The second pig would not go up the ramp!  He put one foot on the ramp and then the next and would get halfway up and would turn around and trot away.  We tried to entice him by putting corn right in front of his nose and moving it away as he climbed.  No dice.  He just didn't trust that ramp.  We got him halfway up and Fitz got behind him and tried to push/lift him in.  Well forget that!  That pig screamed bloody murder and jumped away.  

Finally, we took off the ramp and put the corn just out of his reach...he climbed into the cage.  So we hurried to put the ramp (which also acts as the back door) on and as we put the pins on he shoved Fitz out of the way and sailed out over our heads.  So now we were in a quandary.  He eyed us distrustfully and no matter how much we shook buckets of corn and sweet talked him, he wouldn't even come near the cage.  

Finally, we had heard that if you put a trash can over a pig's head you can back it up where you want it to go... So we put the ramp back on, and I put corn in the bottom of a pail.  He shoved his head into the pail to eat the corn and lickety split I backed him right up the ramp and into the cage. 

We pick up the meat at the end of this week.  

Friday, October 22, 2010

The "S" Word

We had our first SNOW last night. As I look out the window there's a light dusting over everything and it's still coming down - sideways.

Looking out at this frosty wonderland, I find that while I'm happy for the chance to slow down, I'm reminded that there's so very much to finish before I put the garden to bed. It's supposed to warm a a touch today and tomorrow and Sunday actually call for weather in the low 60s!

I'm working on the outside garden now and must finish pulling the last of the carrots and beets to bring in, cut and bring in the zinnias and the dill to dry for their seeds. And finish cutting and pulling the corn stalks to feed to the pigs and the sunflowers to hang and dry for winter treats for the chickens. After that, it's time to spread the compost on the outside garden, 'till it in and plant a "green manure," I'll plant winter wheat which will start coming up very, very early next year and will be rototilled into the garden about four to six weeks before spring planting. Green manure is a very efficient way of conserving nitrogen in the soil.

Then the work begins on the garden inside the high tunnel. Can you believe we picked a watermelon out of the high tunnel in October? It was utterly sweet and delicious!

I have lots of Italian flat leaf parsley, fresh dill, dill seeds, and some lettuce to give away. The catch is that you have to come and get it. We'll be home tonight and most of tomorrow. Just come on by!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

World's Easiest Chocolate Brownie Recipe

It's a cold and rainy and there's nothing better than a pan of brownies fresh out of the oven on a day like this.  The house smells of chocolate and running the oven makes the house warm and cozy!

This recipe is as easy as a box mix and so much richer - almost like fudge.  It only dirties a couple of utensils, one bowl, and the baking pan.  Can it get any better?

The recipe used to be on the back of the Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate box and then for some completely unexplained reason was replaced with a cookie recipe.  Hence the name:

Baker's Chocolate One Bowl Brownie Recipe

4 squares unsweetened chocolate
3/4 c. (1-1/2 sticks) butter
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. flour
1 c. chopped nuts, optional

1. Heat oven to 350-degrees

2. Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwavable bowl at high for 2 minutes or until butter is melted.  Stir until chocolate is completely melted (this will take a minute or two).

3. Stir sugar into chocolate.  Mix in eggs and vanilla until well blended.  Stir in flour and nuts (I never add nuts - they get in the way of the chocolate!).  Spread in a greased 13 x 9 inch pan.

4. Bake 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs.  Cool in pan (cool? - ha ha!); cut into squares.  Makes 24 fudgy brownies (24? - ha ha again!).

Enjoy!  And remember... I always love to hear how you liked, or if you disliked, a recipe!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


You want to make nice fresh salsa, but all the jalapeno peppers have these yucky looking white lines all over them.  You wonder, "Why would the grocery store sell nasty old peppers like that?"  

If you like a spicy salsa, and you see these lines, then you'll want to snatch up these peppers!These white striations are actually stress marks or "corking." 

Their appearance usually indicates that the pepper is ripe and ready to pick! They aren't harmful in any way and don't affect the flavor of the pepper, but some people (lots of chefs included!) think that corking indicates a hotter pepper.

So when you're shopping remember that the jalapenos on the right will give you a nice fiery salsa, but the jalapenos on the left will blow your lips off!

Thank you Tadd, for teaching us about "corking" at this year's Farmer's Market!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Last Of" Season

We're in the season I like to call "Last Of... Season"  Everything I pull out is the last of everything.  The other day I pulled out the last of the peppers, a few eggplants, green tomatoes, and I even found one last, lonely, butternut squash hiding.

Winter squash are lovely because they'll last for months in a cool dry place. I'll pickle the hot peppers, freeze the sweet green and red peppers, and maybe some kind of eggplant dish and fried green tomatoes?

I'm sad to see it all go, but that sadness is offset by added leisure time!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Apple Cake Recipe, mmmmmm!

Fall is apple season!

When I was a kid we would bake Apple Cake using McIntosh apples from the orchard up the street and the house would smell so good!  The recipe is very simple and oh so worth it!

Here is the delicious recipe:

Apple Cake

2/3 c. vegetable oil
1 c. sugar
1 beaten egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)

2-3 apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

Grease and flour an 8- or 10-inch square pan
Blend together everything except the apples with a spoon (my recipe says you must use a wooden spoon, but I don't know if that's completely necessary.)  Mix in chopped apples.

Pour into prepared pan.

(If I wanted to double the recipe, I would bake it in an 11x13 pan.)

Bake at 350-degrees for 50 minutes or until done. Test done-ness with a toothpick.


I never put icing or anything else on this cake as it is good enough on it's own.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Squeezo Strainer

People would Facebook or tell me they canned 25 quarts of tomato sauce one day. And I would think, "How can they possibly get that much done in one day?" After a full day of work I would end up with a few quarts. It took forever to do the blanching, chilling, peeling, and seeding required!

Then someone told me about the greatest canning appliance ever... the Squeezo Strainer. I researched it, read reviews, and looked at the history:

The Original All Metal Squeezo Strainer was designed in the early 1900’s by a young die maker from the Abruzzi region of Italy. When he came to America in 1907, he brought his design with him. After years of trying to find a manufacturer willing to take on the project, he finally built a plant in his backyard and, using an old belt-driven steam engine, began to manufacture and sell the first Squeezo Strainers with the help of his wife and three children.

That was 1919. Slowly, but surely, the Squeezo built a reputation until, by the thirties, it had become a favorite in Italian-American kitchens for making wonderful old-country tomato sauce and purees. Others heard about it, and started using it for home canning.

The same family -- two entire generations -- made the Squeezo for nearly 60 years, constantly upgrading production and quality control as more and more Squeezos found their way into kitchens across the country. There are still plenty of old Squeezos out there hard at work! But in 1978 misfortune struck; the factory in McKeesport, Pennsylvania was destroyed by fire. For various reasons, the family was unable to rebuild the factory – they had to sell the business. Garden Way, then located in Troy, New York, was a natural choice as a buyer as they had already been selling Squeezos successfully for several years. When Garden Way went out of business, Lemra Products took over manufacturing the Squeezo with the same commitment as the original manufacturers.

In 2006, Best Products took over manufacturing the Squeezo because the owner has been selling and working with the Squeezo for 15 years. Best Products is committed to maintaining old-fashioned American quality standards -- which means it will continue to be manufactured in the United States. Best Products also recognizes that the design has been perfected over the past 90 years and there is no reason to change it.

Boy, every thing I found about this product sounded great. To buy it new cost almost $200, so I looked for it on eBay, bid on a couple and lost them, and finally won a bid. I couldn't wait for it to come in the mail!

After a quick wash, it went together lickity split:

I threw a pile of washed whole Roma tomatoes into it and started cranking. The unit comes with a wooden plunger that you use to push the tomatoes down into the screw part. I didn't have to core or peel the tomatoes, but did find that it was easier if I cut the tomatoes in half. That way they wouldn't explode when I mushed them!

The Squeezo Strainer is very heavy duty and in no time I had sauce coming out one side and the skin and seeds cranking out the other side.

And quicker yet I had big pots of tomato sauce boiling down on the stove!

I highly recommend this product. There are three screens that can be purchased for it - a berry screen, a tomato screen, and a pumpkin screen.

The one I bought came with a berry screen and pumpkin screen. I used the pumpkin screen to process my tomatoes and it worked beautifully. I found that I would pull out more sauce and pulp if I dumped the resulting skin/seed mix back into the hopper and ran it through one more time - something the directions advised - but said may not be necessary. Maybe if I were using a tomato screen the second run through would not have been needed.

Now I look forward to - rather than dread - future tomato processing. And the kids think it's great fun!

For more information or if you want to buy a new Squeezo Strainer:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Last night we had our first really hard frost.

We've had other frosts, but this was a truly heavy one. We covered the outside lettuces, but I fear to see what is inside the high tunnel. Could this be the end of the 2010 growing season? Stay tuned....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Babe" No More

The pigs have become quite large and have lost that cute little "Babe" piglet look.

Funny though, they act the same. I still chuckle when they hear me in the morning and come charging to the front of the pen for their breakfast. The squeeling/screaming has really lost it's charm though.

And, while it's cute when little piggies are pushing past to get to the feed trough, it's not so cute when it's 250 pounds of hog shoves you aside. I have to wonder what would happen if I fell down in the field? (I can guess)

Is anyone interested in buying half of a pig? They leave for the butcher on October 25th.

By the way, doesn't this lettuce look scrumptious?

The variety is black-seeded simpson that I planted outside this fall. I thought the frost got it, but it bounced back beautifully!

10 eggs
3 eggs
6 eggs
5 eggs

Monday, October 4, 2010

Coudersport Falling Leaves Festival 2010

This past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday was the Coudersport Falling Leaves Festival here in Coudersport, Pennsylvania.

We were blessed with absolutely beautiful weather - crisp, sunny, and smelling of the wonderful fall leaves (and during the festival the wonderful smell of italian sausages frying with onion and peppers and the aroma of popping kettle corn).

What a wonderful way to finish out the summer!

For the Festival I had two tents linked together - one with fresh vegetables and one with Carol Jackson's preserves...

The three day weekend was bittersweet. Although I won't miss the very hard work associated with a Farmer's Market, I will miss the regular customers and friends I met during the summer.

(That's my Mom helping out.)

Some of the other Farmer's Market vendors...

The Antique Car Show...

(Heather and John chose the car above for Fitz)

And our beautiful Maple Sweetheart, Rhea Ianson; crafts, a hay ride, chainsaw carving, and much, much more...

A small town parade is always special. When the people in the parade are your friends and neighbors it makes it so much better!

Especially when it's my own great kid!

Yup, that's John, the hard-playing boy with the very dirty knees!