Weekend





Hattie

Trudy

Allie

Trudy

the growing chicks


We've been fortunate yet again to have a beautiful weekend.  A bit humid today after morning showers, but all-in-all, it's been nice.

With the nice weather comes another busy weekend.  Friday night we ended up mowing the grass at 8:30 p.m. which has resulted in too many mosquito bites to count.  Yes, I should have used bug spray - I didn't even think of it.

We were able to revise the second outdoor coop's netting, which is what we use to keep the chickens in and the wildlife out.  The first outdoor coop is covered with a metal roof so they have a place to go in the rain.  The second outdoor coop, however, is for sun-bathing, which they enjoy regularly, so we wanted to protect them but not use anything opaque.  A large bundle of tree netting became the perfect solution.  J put up a rope system to hold it up and then stapled it to the wooden frame.  The Coop Girls love it.

On a sad note, we lost Coop Girl Trudy Saturday night.  She was one of the older girls and likely died of natural causes.  When J went to put them in for the night he found her laying in the second outdoor coop, right where she'd been sunbathing an hour earlier.  She's been buried with her sisters who passed before her.

The garden is doing well.  We are getting loads of cucumbers and the squash is just beginning to appear every other day.  I've had a bit of a struggle with beans this year which have always grown exceptionally well for us.  I've planted 10 more plants for Fall harvest.  I've also re-planted sugar snap peas for Fall harvest since our summer supply is just about over.  I think I've finally harvested the last of the asparagus.  I don't think it's ever lasted this long into summer before.  The broccoli is getting close - maybe another week, the pepper plants are loaded with teeny tiny fruit and we began picking juicy red tomatoes on Friday.  They are so delicious!!

We canned more blueberry jam on Saturday and I'll be making a Blueberry-Cream Cheese Tart tomorrow night with the last of the blueberry stash J picked.  I'm hoping to can Pickles and Vanilla-Peaches next weekend but we'll see if we have time to do that.  As soon as my carrots are ready I also want to try Carrot Cake Jam.  I think it would be delicious stirred into yogurt or as a topping on a piece of grilled pound cake.

On the menu this week:  Chicken A'La King with rice; Grilled Burgers with Potato Salad and Grilled Corn; BBQ Pork Chops with Orzo, Salad and Marinated Cucumber Slices; Grilled Trout with Rice and Sauteed Sugar Snaps; and Beef, Pasta & Mozzarella Bake with Salad.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!  Have you done any canning yet this summer?

Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Light Shades of Green: 10 Tiny Changes You Can Make On Your Path To Green Living


Why "light shades of green"?  You hear it all the time, "go green".  Product packaging often promises "green" which is supposed to mean buy it, this is good.  Many times this is true, however, as we often see things listed "organic", "natural" and "heart healthy" when it's not necessarily so, the term "green" can be misused as well.  People often associate going green with spending big bucks and inconvenient changes.  

This series is about the small modifications, habit-changing if you will, that can lead to huge personal and planetary rewards.



10 Tiny Changes You Can Make

  1. Invest in glass food storage {w/BPA-free lids}
  2. Make your own laundry detergent.
  3. Use metal or wood cooking utensils.
  4. Buy local.
  5. Ride Your bike or walk.
  6. Keep your refrigerator and freezer at least half full.
  7. Recycle ink and toner cartridges.
  8. Compost anything you can.
  9. Grow some of your own veggies and fruit.
  10. Switch to stainless steel water bottles.



What are some of the small things you do?
Click here for more Tiny Changes.



Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Blueberry Lime Jam


As you are aware I am swimming in big, juicy blueberries right now.  That means one thing.  Time to make jam!!

When I initially came across this recipe I was hesitant, as you likely are.  But I must say that the combo of blueberries with lime is a lovely, bright-sweet flavor.  We use it on everything - yogurt, toast, cookies, cheesecake and biscuits.  Yum!


Blueberry Lime Jam
Makes approx. six 8-ounce jars

4 1/2 cups crushed Blueberries
Grated zest and juice of 1 large lime
1 package {1.75 oz} Sure Jell powdered pectin
5 cups Granulated Sugar


Prepare a boiling water bath and six 8-ounce jars.  Place the lids in a small saucepan, cover with water, and simmer over low heat.

In a large, deep pot, combine berries, lime juice and zest.  Whisk in the pectin until dissolved.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.  Add the sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam {discard}.

Ladle hot jam into prepared hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles, wipe rim, center the lid on the jar and screw the ring on until resistance is met.  Increase it to fingertip-tight.

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water, and bring to a boil.  Process for 10 minutes.  Remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars.  Cool and store.

Additional Homemade Jam Recipes:
Slow-Cooker Strawberry Jam
Strawberry-Balsamic Jam
Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam
10 Ways To Use Up Your Homemade Jam Stash

Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Weekend

cute little chick


Coop Girl Hattie

the supervisors - Oliver and Emerson

tomatoes are ripening


blueberries are almost blue

cukes!

more cukes are coming




Why is it that weekends always fly by?  It just doesn't seem fair, does it?

Despite the fact that it was much too short, we were blessed with wonderful weather.  I had the Farmer's Market Saturday morning and while I was there J picked 13 pounds of blueberries.  Yum!  So today I am making jam and pies for dessert now and later in the freezer.

Just a quick update on our soap business for those of you not following us on Facebook.  We are currently undergoing a very slight name change from Cobble Hill Farm Handcrafted Soap to Cobble Hill Farm Apothecary.  Why?  We are expanding the line!!  Yes, we will be launching a line of facial and shaving products after the first of the year and I'm experimenting with a few other things.  We won't be taking away any of our current products - only adding!

My garden is producing quite the bounty that we are enjoying daily.  We are currently eating cukes {hoping to make pickles next weekend}, asparagus {still!}, scallions, lettuce, herbs, sugar snap peas, squash and we've just begun harvesting green beans, peppers and tomatoes.  The shelling peas and beets are getting close.  Our corn still has about another month to go so we've been buying a few ears at a local farm stand.  So good!

Many of you noticed in last week's "three" post I showed the radish and squash combo I planted to prevent squash bugs.  It was followed by many emails asking if it really works.  So far, yes.  This is the first year I've tried it because every single year previously the squash bugs have killed my plants.  I try to keep up with them - picking and picking, but haven't been completely successful.  So this year I figured I'd try a new tactic.  I'll let you know if it continues to work.

The chicks are growing by leaps and bounds.  They have their wing feathers so they are trying to fly.  It's adorable.  They are getting so tall we've moved them from their initial pen to a larger one so that when they use another chick as a launching pad to try and fly, they don't fly right out of the pen.  In another week or two they'll go to the coop where the Coop Girls will judge whether or not they will be accepted.  They can be a tough crowd.  I have no doubt that Hattie and Little Lizzie will have the newbies whipped into shape in no time.

On the menu this week:  Homemade Pizza and Grilled Chicken Wings with Salad featuring Blueberries and Blueberry Dressing; Honey-Soy Beef Korean Ribs with Rice and Sauteed Squash; Teriyaki Chicken with Potstickers and Sauteed Sugar Snap Peas; Seared Scallops with Risotto and Stir-Fried veggies; BBQ Pork Country-Style Ribs with Mac and Cheese and Grilled Corn-on-the-cob; and Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast with Orzo and Salad.

Hoping you're having a wonderful weekend!



Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

The Benefits of Bentonite Clay + First Aid Poultice


What Is Bentonite Clay?
According to Mountain Rose Herbs, Bentonite Clay is a quarry mined sedimentary clay composed of weathered and aged volcanic ash.

Once Bentonite Clay is mixed with water, it produces an "electric charge".  The good thing, is that Bentonite Clay carries a negative charge.  Why is that beneficial?  Because many toxins carry a positive charge.  When the clay is introduced to the positive-charged toxin, they create a bond that keeps them together, in suspension, until the pair is eliminated {when you wash them off}.

Bentonite Clay As A First Aid Remedy
It is because of this that the clay itself is invaluable to have on hand.  One great way to use it is as a poultice used for soothing burns, or to relieve itching caused by bug bites, poison ivy or poison oak.

Bentonite Clay Poultice - add 2 Tablespoons of Bentonite Clay to a small bowl.  Slowly add drops of water until you achieve a nice, thick paste.  Apply to affected area and cover with clean gauze.   *your skin will feel tight as it dries*  Let it sit on your skin for a couple of hours before rinsing off with warm water.

It is also known to be very helpful with internal issues by ingesting it, although I've never used it in this way so I can't speak to this personally.

Bentonite Clay In Soap
Bentonite Clay is also beneficial in cold-processed soap for 3 reasons:

  1. added to a shaving soap it offers the slip needed for your razor to glide smoothly over your skin leaving you without irritation 
  2. it adds an incredibly soft lather to the soap and 
  3. it's good for all skin types and pulls oils and toxins from the skin, making it particularly good for oily skin.

Soap with Bentonite Clay added also makes a great shampoo bar for people with oily hair.

If you're looking for our soap with Bentonite Clay added, we offer shaving soap as well as our Saratoga Spa soap.


In closing, I hope this clay is something you'll consider adding to your home first aid kit.  It's a great natural option to use for everyday minor injuries.


Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Local Love: Eagle's View Farm U-Pick Blueberries


So, here's the thing.  We discovered the BEST place for picking blueberries last year and it just happens to be right down the road.  The berries are amazing.  Amazing!!  You literally stand in one place and pick, turning from time-to-time, to fill up a bucket.  There's that many berries.

And their size?  Big.

Big, juicy and sweet.



Not that I want even more people to discover my blueberry honey-hole but if you haven't picked there and you live in this area, you have no idea what you're missing.  Eagle's View Farm in Galway is, by far, the best u-pick field for blueberries in this area {my opinion}.


They have limited days/hours to ensure their bushes are picked relatively evenly, so, as you can imagine, Saturday's are packed.  Their prices this year are $2.20 per pound.  When you enter their property off of Route 29 you can park anywhere in the field on your left.  It fills up quick so if you don't want to walk up the hill to get to the fields go early.


If you bring a bucket or container have it weighed for it's tare weight before you pick.  When you first get into the blueberry field the check-in is on the right {it's also the check-out stand}.  If you forgot bags I believe you can get them at the stand.  And don't forget your sunglasses and water!

Happy picking!!


Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.

Tuesday's "Three"

3 little things i'm grateful for today...

sugar snaps - one of my favorite veggies.  this is last night's harvest.


planting radish in the squash beds as a natural squash bug deterrent....


sitting back and watching the chickens {stick is used to round up the newer girls who are extremely rebellious}

what little things are you grateful for today?
happy tuesday friends!




Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I love.