Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Open House! Dec 2 & 3

We hope to see many of you at our holiday open house on Friday and Saturday December 2 & 3 from 9 am to 5 pm. We'll have a selection of potted culinary herbs along with live topiaries in the greenhouse, shop specials on handmade soaps and some of our other popular items in the shop, herbal refreshments including hot mulled cider, and prize drawings. I'm hoping the weather will cooperate, although this year it might be asking a lot. We have a very nice selection of tree decorations this year, plus holiday and non-holiday arrangements, great gardening and herbal books, essential and fragrance oils, supplies to make your own body care gifts, lots of fragrant body care products and unique and garden themed gift ideas.

Also new for us this year, we'll be participating in a drop-in open house at our neighbors - Carissa Ressler at 1987 Cloverleaf Rd., just up the road from our place. The date is Saturday, December 10 from 2 - 7 pm. In addition to products from our shop, the open house will feature soy candles, hand designed jewelry, Pampered Chef goods, and fair trade scarves and other items. I'm looking forward to participating and hopefully meeting some new folks.

Lucy will be celebrating her birthday soon - her fifth! We've had her four years, since we adopted her when she was a year old. Here's my annual plea if you're considering adopting a pet. Please, pleas consider a shelter or rescue animal. There are so many animals - all ages and sizes and breeds looking, waiting, and I'm sure hoping for a good, loving home. I've had dogs my whole life and Lucy is one of the best. On some level, she seems to understand that things were bad, and then we came and they got lots better. So many adopted dogs are eager to please, in gratitude for their adoption. I also have to laugh when I see in the paper people selling or trying to sell mixed breed dogs for hundreds of dollars. I don't care what cute name you make up for them, they're still mutts. So if you're going to get a mixed breed, consider a dog or cat that really needs a home.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fall in the Garden

Originally written in late Oct:

I noticed a bumper crop of cilantro this fall.  Cilantro is a cool weather annual like lettuce.  It does well early in the season, but like lettuce, bolts when the weather gets hot.  You can sometimes delay this in the garden by providing part shade, but you can't postpone it forever - it's just the nature of the plant.  It then forms its white flower heads, which eventually become seeds.  Let some seeds fall and you'll usually get a second crop when the weather begins to cool off again at the end of the season.  It took awhile for the seed to germinate this year, but with all the moisture, it's a bumper crop.  Harvest the foliage before frost and freeze for winter use.

Outside work is winding down although there's still weeding and cutting back to do.  But now, I'm working mostly in the shop, trying to get things arranged and stocked for the holidays.  It's nice to switch back and forth.  One thing I've noticed about my work habits is that I don't like to do the same thing over and over.  I worked in an office once and it was the same thing each week - same thing on Tuesdays, same thing Thursdays - I didn't care for that.  This job is great.  Very different tasks from spring through fall and winter.  Also I like the process of growing, planting, harvesting and using the things I grow. 

Our holiday open house will be December 2 and 3 from 9 -5.  We've added some interesting gift items and some new soap scents from the "sisters."  You can read about them in the newsletter coming out in November.  It also lists other great, unique gift ideas and don't forget we have lots of supplies and containers for those who make their own products and gifts.  We've had a few D.I.Y customers already.  I'm always so impressed when people start early.

It's supposed to be a bad year for pumpkins, due to all the wet weather.  Butternut squash seems to be plentiful though.  I like it a lot, and if you roast it in the oven it gets delicious.  Thyme is a perfect herb to pair with winter squash.

Early Fall

Written earlier - our apologies to you and to Kathy that we are not as prompt in getting her Blog posts up!  SO this was probably written in mid-October:

Even though the weather feels increasingly like fall, the garden still looks like late summer.  Annual vines that were delayed, like hyacinth bean and mina, are full and looking gorgeous along with pineapple and mexican bush sage, pink and white anemones, flowers for drying like cockscomb, statice and gomprena and even late blooming roses.  I'm not a huge fan of marigolds, but they sure look nice this time of year in their fall parade of colors.  I cut back my calendula or pot marigold hard after the flood and they are re-blooming nicely.  Nasturtiums are still going strong -- I just love their bright, vibrant colors.

I'm also surprised at how many things have really rebounded.  I went through after the flood to clean things up.  I cut back lots of things, perennial and annual, and waited to see what happened.  Most things pushed out new growth and are looking good.  Of course, they're still getting plenty of moisture.  I said to John the other day that they always say one inch of moisture per week is generally sufficient for most plants to do well.  Seems like we've had the inch every other day or so this season.

I'm working on the fall/holiday newsletter that will come out in the beginning of November.  My friend Sandy, who does all of our computer work had a direct lightning strike this summer, which killed her computer.  So we have reconstructed our mailing list.  If you're reading the blog and do not receive your newsletter or wish to be switched to an e-newsletter, please let us know.  Either call with your info (leave a message if you don't get me) or let us know when you visit.  We think we've recreated the list pretty accurately, but we may have inadvertently deleted some names.  We send out 2 newsletters per year, by mid-March and mid-November, so let us know if you haven't received yours.

Lucy is happy with the cooler weather.  She loves to lie in the sun as long as the air is cool.  She can also get back into the wilderness area as things start to die back.  There are loads of interesting smells back there and she loves to check them all out.