Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vintage French Salad Spinner

Feeding the kitties.

Went in the hoop house to harvest some lettuce for a salad for Naomi and myself.

I got to use the vintage french salad spinner for the first time!  I cut the lettuce leaving about 2 inches so that it can grow back.  I had actually harvested all of this last Wednesday and it had already grown back!

I ran the lettuce under water and flipped the handles over.  I spun it around a few times to get rid of the water. Then I had freshly spun and harvested's the little things that make me happy. 

Crookshanks watching the sun go down with me.

A view from my studio.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Basil, Squash, Dandelion Wine, Chicks, Morels, Crookshanks

Last Friday I transplanted Basil into the ground.

Mmmmm.  3 rows, staggered, I believe 6-8 inches apart.

I also transplanted the super delicate squash plants.  They do not like their roots disturbed so I had to be very careful pulling them out of their trays.  They were planted 2 feet apart.

I made a batch of dandelion wine.  They have to sit like this in a dark, cool place for 3 weeks.  Then I put the caps on and let it sit for 6 months.  Lets hope it works out.  The balloons have tiny holes in them so they won't explode!

Andrea brought 4 baby chicks to the farm and a month old Brahma chicken (the dino looking creature).  There are two Buff Orpingtons (that is what Honey is!) and two Ameraucanas.  The Ameraucanas will lay green eggs.  I can't wait to watch them grow into beautiful ladies!

Yesterday I thought there had been enough rain and that maybe I would find some morels.  Success!  It was like easter egg hunting for adults.  I found one and then there were about 15 more nearby.

I soaked them in water to get rid of any bugs.  I'm going to make a morel sauce to share with my Grandma!

Crookshanks wants in my studio.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bookbinding and Asparagus

I learned to bookbind yesterday at The Cocoonery, an art studio and community art space in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, run by artist, Katie Schofield.  I also created some more hand made business cards this week and some paper grass.

I have turned this old book about flowers titled, Bulbs for Beauty into a Wormfarm Cookbook where I will write in all the recipes I make while I am here.

Asparagus and sunny side up eggs for dinner.

Goodnight Moooooooon!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Morel Mushrooms and Lilac Muffins!

Yesterday Lauren and I went foraging through the woods for some morel mushrooms.  Something I have always wanted to do!  They can be found near the base of trees, especially by elm trees and dead trees.

After two hours of searching we only found two morels.  Many had been picked already and it is a possibility the season is either ending or just beginning.  I will go searching again in a couple of days.

When we got back we made lilac muffins.  The recipe can be found here.  We added a bit of vanilla extract.

They turned out amazing.  A new favorite of mine!

And for breakfast, Lauren cooked the morels with the eggs.  The texture of the mushrooms is amazing.

And today I cleaned some eggs.  Each one is so different.  So many shapes, sizes, spots, shades and dimples.  I enjoy examining each one.

Monday, May 20, 2013

29 Feet Per Square Meter

A new piece, 29 Feet Per Square Meter, 39 x 39 inches, twigs, wire, red tape. 14 chickens per square meter inside a ventilated shed is considered free range in Australia.  The USDA only requires that the animal has access to the outdoors for an undetermined amount of time each day.  That means a coop could contain 10 to thousands of chickens inside with a door to the outside the size of a doggy door that is only open for 5 minutes a day with most of the animals unaware the door is even there or open.  Free range is not always so free.

You can call the egg company you purchase your animal products from to find out the conditions of the animals.  You can get to know a farmer at a farmers market and ask her/him what the conditions are.  Maybe even visit the farm.

Honey Amongst the Lilacs

I woke up this morning to a chicken staring at me through my window.  A lovely way to rise!

Honey amongst the lilacs...she is a darling.

Crabapple blossoms!

I am starting sketches for a large book I will make out of fabric.  It will be about me and the chickens.  This will be the first page!

While I am here at Wormfarm, I have MANY goals.  But one of them is to create one handmade business card a day.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dandelion Wine and Jelly

I noticed that there were thousands of dandelions around the farm. I remembered trying dandelion jelly when I was in Reedsburg in October.  And while I searched for a dandelion jelly recipe, I came across recipes for dandelion wine.  I will be making both!

Garlic and Cows

Yesterday I cultivated the garlic, which means I broke up the soil. I brought the hoe through the rows to break up any roots of weeds. Hoeing also kills seedlings of weeds that have not appeared yet. The bed of garlic on the left has been cultivated. The bed on the right has not been.

Garlic cloves are planted in the late fall of the previous year. The hay is placed over the beds of garlic to keep them moist, protect them from the cold winter and moderate weeds. Garlic doesn't handle weeds well. We took the hay off the garlic to hoe the beds and to let the plants soak up a ton of sun. We will put the hay back over the soil of the garlic beds soon.

I can't wait for garlic scapes!

The cows came this weekend. Momma cows and their babies. They graze all day long and poop all day long nourishing the land.

Yesterday I caught this moment of a cow and a chicken contemplating one another's existence. They stood there looking at each other thoughtfully for about 5 minutes.

"You're really big..."
"You're really small..."

Monday, May 13, 2013

Kitties See the Sun

Friday I transplanted little tomato plants from open trays to their own individual cells.  There was a little over 200 tomato plants in the open tray to the right with 10 different varieties of tomatoes.  I planted them deep because the bottoms of their stems are fuzzy which will grow into more roots.  I trimmed the roots to encourage more root growth.

Today I planted onions into the ground.  They smell so good!  Jay trimmed the tops and the roots to encourage growth and make them easier to transplant.  I planted about 3 to 5 individual onion plants in the ground with 6-8 inches apart.  We can plant a clump of 3 to 5 together because they can still grow large when they are together, unlike beets and carrots.  If you don't make room for each beet or carrot then they will not grow much.

Jay opened the door this weekend to the room the cats had been staying in. They had been hesitating to adventure too far.  Today I urged them to come out into the sunshine.  They weren't too sure.

But with a little time they started to wander and play!


Fresh eggs from the ladies and chives growing randomly in front of the kitchen.  It's normal to everyone out here to have food growing outside their home...but it's super special to me.