Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Well time has gone by as it so quickly does and we have now had some very hot and dry days! That’s Tennessee for you! We have been able to pick pok choy, butter crunch lettuce, (my favorite) spinach, a spring mix with wild flowers and more! Its is such a blessing to gather the beautiful, healthy food that will nourish another sweet family ! There are many wild trees and flowers to enjoy right now, dogwoods, mountain laurel, blackberry and more! Plants are so amazing to me! They feed us, cloth us, (cotton, flax and linen) give us medicine to heal us, feed our animals and more. Wow, we are blessed! It is so wonderful to work with them and watch them grow. We are truly working close to our Creator when we are in the dirt!
We got the tomatoes (that we started in the green house from seed) planted in the garden this week. We planted Roma tomatoes which make the best for canning pizza sauce, ketchup and salsa. This year we started our okra in the green house around the first of the month and we set the plants out in the garden yesterday. That way we will have okra a little bit earlier this year. Maybe some jambalaya and okra file` gumbo will be on the menu this spring. Okra is related to the hibiscus flower and is very healthy for you. Some dear friends of ours came out yesterday and helped us build a big beautiful trellis for our cherry tomatoes and hyacinth bean to grow and climb on. We will also plant the beautiful moon flower vine that blooms big and white in the evenings. It is so nice because we will be able to walk under the arbor into the big garden, pick our food and enjoy the beauty of it!
I’ve been transplanting zinnias and marigolds from the greenhouse out into the garden. I got African marigold this year for a salve I would like to make and marigolds are soooo good for the garden and to keep away bugs. Zinnias make beautiful cut flowers and of course look wonderful in the garden! Cecilia and Hannah have been staking the early peas and Jasmine is planting arugula. We are all trying to get plants and work in before the rain comes in the next couple of days. We will be working on getting a new chicken coop built next week. We are having to move our hens to another spot on the farm because they like to find our neighbors garden and scratch up their lettuce. Oh how they love to ramble! We have 18 hens and 1 rooster that give us plenty of beautiful brown eggs. (Not the rooster of course!) Three times a week we sale eggs to our faithful egg customers, which is more than enough to help pay for the feed and still leave plenty of eggs for us!
Well I must go transplant my basil now. We love pesto, and we eat it with almost every meal in the summertime! We hope to share a few recipes with ya’ll in the future. That’s all for now folks, gotta get back to the garden!
Blessings,
Vicki
P.S Here is a recipe we love to use when the spinach is coming in:

Mushroom and Spinach Marinate
1 gallon sized bag of baby spinach or chopped large spinach
1 ½ cup mushrooms, sliced
1 can black olives, drained and sliced
¼ cup olive oil - or more if needed
Celtic or Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
Toss spinach and mushrooms with olive oil, add black olives, pepper and salt to taste. Let marinate in warm kitchen for 1-2 hours or in fridge overnight. We like it best at room temperature. This sounds too simple to taste good, but we love it and even served it at a gourmet party and everyone raved about it.

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