I have observed honeybees and a female hummingbird feeding off of my collard green flowers in my vegetable garden. I love how covered she is in yellow pollen. I wonder, if I let the collards go to seed, if they will reseed and sprout in random places. I have some random kale starts growing in my garden, and I've let some of them flower as well.


Honeycomb Frames on Etsy

Brian has an Etsy! He has designed and started to sell honeycomb hexagonal frames from reclaimed wood. One of my summer projects is to fill a set of six with photographs and paintings. Check out his Etsy! You can click on the link or search for honeycomb frames or restored wood.


Sunday morning

As I sat down to blog, I witnessed Elijah-kitty, aka slut kitty, get a nice ear rub from some passers-by. Then, a lovely little toddler toddled up my driveway, followed by one of my best friends, her toddler son, and her sister, come to visit the farm.
We fed the chickens seeds and both of the little ones were fearless about letting these dinosaur-esque creatures peck from their hands. Then, after a few minutes of chickens, the boy said, "Bees!" and they made their way over to the bee hive, opening the observation window and staring joyfully at the spider and ants living outside of the hive and the thousands of bees living inside.
As they got ready to leave, my friend said to her son, "Looks like everything's going well on the farm," and I had this moment where I saw my home from the vantage point of these children and remembered when I was a child, going to visit my uncle's dairy farm, chasing barn cats, searching for kittens, and gawking at the calves, and I felt as though my home, that Brian and I have created together, was providing some of that wonder and joy to these children. So I responded, with more meaning than they knew, "Yes, everything's going well on the farm. Thank you for visiting."


gardening notes

Last Sunday, May 15, despite drizzle and mud, I planted my garden, with more planning and more caution than last year when I believe I certainly had planted everything by early May and had absolutely no map or plan of where anything was going. This year, however, I mapped out where everything is going using a companion planting guide. The first box has kale, beets, and lettuce. the second, larger raised bed has (from left to right), a row of poona keera cucumber starts, green bush bean seeks, pencil pod golden wax bean seeds, hillbilly potato leaf heirloom tomatoes, carrot seeds, Ukranian purple plum heirloom tomatoes (of which I had one fatality and need to replant) and a row of Hungarian heart heirloom tomatoes mingling with lettuce. Salmon berries in the background are going crazy and will need to be pruned after their first fruiting. Strawberries are in flower at their skirts.
Above, I have artichoke, scallions, pea seeds, spinach, strawberries, and kale.
Here's my herb spiral. Sage, thyme, oregano, and mint are all thriving. In front of the sage is a small French tarragon start. My lemon verbena is slowly making a comeback (in container) after wintering in the basement. The tall flowers in the background are collard greens that I'm letting flower.
I also have a chamomile start going strong, from which I have already harvested these flowers.
In this bed with the overgrown collards, I have marigolds, shasta daisies, chives and leeks reappearing from last year, a row of chocolate bell peppers, a row of red habanero peppers, and another row of chocolate bell peppers. Then I want to plant another row of leeks for which I have started.
Paul Robeson tomatoes and thai hot peppers are in containers in the sun near the fence, and in the patch near the fence are the rest of my tomatoes: cherry, isis candy, black from tula, along with marigolds. Basil will be added to the tomato gardens. Lots of basil. Along the fence behind the tomatoes are climbing hidasta beans.
 My foxglove is blooming and front bed is dense with foxglove, lavender, thyme, daisies, buttercups, and other perennials.


Alicia's Shower

In March, I co-hosted, with the indispensable help of my mom, my sister, my cousin, and her friend, a bridal shower for my baby sister. Here are some of the pics, taken by my funny and talented cousin Liz, because I literally could not fit one more item into my carry-on luggage, including a camera.
Liz make whoopy-pie cupcakes that we decorated with pansies; they turned out delicious and beautiful. She also made chocolate-covered strawberries while I was making quiche, quiche, and more quiche, including one with butternut squash, caramelized onions, and goat cheese.
As a time-saver for the bride, guests self-addressed envelopes for thank-you cards that my friends and I made when we made the invitations. Then, as a memento, guests wrote messages and notes to the bride on decorative pieces of paper that I'd cut out and then modge-podged onto the collage that is framed in the background of this pic. I should have the bride send me the after picture.
Here's the beautiful bride kissing her inflatable husband, one of her gag gifts from my always hilarious cousin Liz. And here's a great pic of my sisters and I laughing at the giant underpants that Liz also ordered for Alicia, thanks to Alicia's love of an old Pee Wee's playhouse sketch about all the things you can do with giant underpants.


R.I.P. Migas2

Our black australorp was brutally killed by a racoon early Friday morning. She was my new favorite, docile and gentle with black feathers that were teal in the sunlight. I was really looking forward to seeing her as a fat, feathered hen, and we were anticipating many delicious eggs from her. Now she is no more, and our little Rhode Island Red is all alone, trying to survive against two bitchy hens who seem like they would gladly peck her to death.
While we don't name our chickens in life, this one has been named in death Migas2, after my neighbor's black australorp who was murdered by the neighbor's dog two years ago. I remember her being a dazzling chicken in the sunlight, and I chose this little bird in anticipation of seeing another chicken like the original Migas. Sadly, neither chicken lived for long.



I have not written or published about my own world of petals and roots in a long while. Here's a blurry shot of our little white house, my mister heading up to the side door. The white cherry blossoms are still in bloom, the old cherry tree in our back yard in regal beauty. But these pink, early blossoms are long since done.
Early tulips are also finished, although shaded ones or later varieties are still blooming. I've noticed that purple tulips, like purple crocuses, seem to bloom later. These pictured above are some of my earliest tulips to bloom and are now just headless stalks next to some budding lavender.
Daffodils had a wonderful run in our cold spring, although they may be finished by now.
 Pansies and violas are and have been flourishing. Lavender is starting to bloom. My foxglove is growing tall and healthy. One of the joys this spring has been wandering around my garden, discovering that which is still alive or made it through the winter: my hawthorn and ginko trees, my echinacea, Chinese hyssop, lavender, lupine, hollyhock, salmon berries, strawberries, lemon verbena (over-wintered in the cellar), goldenrod, calendula (reseeded), peppermint (reseeded), chives, a sole leek, collard greens and kales (the flowers of which the bees love), sage, oregano, a variety of thyme, pansies, and columbine.

Right now, lavender, lilac, and bluebells are blooming which means I can plant my cucumbers and beans. In the woods, I found lots of wild columbine, bleeding heart, this mysterious yellow flower:
And a dozen wild orchids: