farm life · In the kitchen · The farmgirl life

Grapes? Grapes. Grapes!

Since we moved here in May, I’ve been irritated at the 20 feet of vines growing along our front fence perimeter. The rest of the fence line was completely clear, so why did the previous owners allow this to grow so wild? About 3 months ago, we were about to pull onto the road when Tim said, ”Wait, are those grapes?” We stopped the car, got out to investigate, and sure enough – those vines were grape vines! Thanks to my handy plant identification app, I discovered that they were California Wild Grapes. Since then, we’ve left them alone until this past Monday, when it was officially harvest time.

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farm life · The farmgirl life

Harvesting, property updates, and dirty feet

Blueberry harvesting has started, and it’s obviously going to be ongoing for a while. Our smaller plants are mostly ready, but the larger plants still have a bit to go before the berries are ripe. Right now, I’m just picking, rinsing, freezing, and storing, but I plan on making some freezer jam in the near future. We eat a lot of fruit with granola and yogurt for breakfast, so I likely won’t have to buy blueberries for a very long while. I’m giving some berries to a friend, but we’ll still have more than two people ever will need. I also harvested some spinach, oregano, and lemon thyme this morning. I’m excited!

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farm life · Home · The farmgirl life

Update! Gardening! Farming! We have a name!

We moved in seven weeks ago today, and I can honestly say that life has changed drastically since then. We were overwhelmed new homeowners on an unfamiliar piece of property with no plans to utilize the greenhouse. Now, though, we are making large, grand plans for our future gardening/farming operation, as well as the addition of a new barn/loafing shed.

We have gone super-small this year since we obviously got started late, so we have two types of peppers, two types of cabbage, lettuce, spinach, fennel, broccoli, tomatoes, and several types of herbs growing in our greenhouse, in addition to our 12-bush blueberry crop that has what appears to be roughly 7,230,437 blueberries growing at the moment.

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Reflection · The farmgirl life

A shot of nostalgia… and ducks!

I’m going to confess up front that I’m riding a wave of nostalgia right now. It’s sharp, it’s somewhat piercing, and the memories are sometimes so sweet that they make me ache.

I created a Facebook group last night to spur conversation for my graduating high school class’ upcoming 20th year reunion next summer, so my mind is, for the most part, awhirl with memories of life in and around the small town of Hanover, Indiana. This morning on the hour-long ferry commute into Seattle, I pulled out the latest issue of MaryJanesFarm magazine, which is almost a spiritual text to me in its place of importance in my life, and discovered that this particular issue is all about chickens and eggs, with adorable ducks making a few appearances because Mary Jane is, obviously, a genius.

Chickens and ducks – namely the waddling waterfowl – send me right back into my spiral of whimsy.

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The farmgirl life

It’s a MaryJanesFarm-apalooza up in my house!

I am a disciple of MaryJane Butters/MaryJanesFarm. I spend time with her books, studying and reading and getting to know them like old friends. I cart each new issue of the magazine around with me for days until I’m finished with it, and then it goes on an honored place on my bookshelf and not into the recycling bin (like every other magazine subscription that I have.)

Dedication aside, I’m not a very good disciple. I don’t live an agrarian lifestyle and I only eat organic about 30% of the time. I used to sew by hand and craft a lot, but psoriatic arthritis in the fingers means my hand-sewing days are over with, at least for the foreseeable future. That’s the great thing about being a FarmGirl, though. We come from everywhere and we’re all very different.

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