Friday, May 22, 2015

Farm Friday

Some highlights from this past week on the farm:
  • Baked 4 loaves of bread
  • Made 3 batches of granola
  • Spent hours killing Colorado potato beetles (adults, larva, and eggs) - just part of being a chemical-free farm
  • Ordered some new essential oils - I'm determined to create a natural tick repellent
  • Got some much-needed rain - the day after we....
  • Purchased a drip irrigation system to be more purposeful with our water usage in the gardens
  • Finished getting the farmhouse ready for guests
  • Our farm stay got accepted into the Virginia Green program! (Check out the listing for The Old House at White Flint Farm here)
  • Had our first farm stay guests - two people from Tanzania (one a farmer and the other an adviser to farmers) and one from the US (a long-time Peace Corps volunteer - and fellow Quaker)
  • Attended a class on perennial plants
  • Enjoyed some amazing sunsets!
Have a great week!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Taste of Tuesday

This time of year we have scads of Asian greens in the gardens - komatsuna, senposai, mizuna, tatsoi, yukina savoy, Tokyo bekana - plus other greens such as kale. I've found a new and quick way to make a delicious side dish, although I can eat a whole pot of it!

Steamed Asian Greens with Soy Dressing

Large pot of washed Asian greens, torn into bite-sized pieces (you can use other greens, too)
Water to barely cover bottom of pot
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup soy or tamari sauce (Bragg's Liquid Amino Acids also works)
1 tablespoon ume plum vinegar (available at health food stores)

Steam greens over medium to medium-low heat for about 20 minutes or until greens are tender, stirring occasionally. While greens are cooking, whisk together the olive oil, soy or tamari sauce, and ume plum vinegar. Transfer greens to serving bowl, pour the dressing over them, and gently toss before serving.

Bon appetit!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday Morning Amazement

I found this incredible story about extreme homesteading on the Smithsonian Magazine website. A Russian family moved to Siberia in 1936 to avoid religious persecution under the Communist rule. They were 150 miles from the nearest people and lived undiscovered until 1978. For 40 years they lived only with what they had carried with them when they left and what they could grow, make, hunt, or forage.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Quote for the Day

Seen on Pinterest

Friday, May 15, 2015

Farm Friday

UPDATE:  A reader pointed out that I uploaded the wrong video in this post. The correct one is included now.
Lambs Quarters - a delicious wild edible

A few highlights from the week:

  • Baked 4 loaves of bread
  • Made 3 batches of granola
  • Made deliveries
  • Got GMO-free feed order delivered to farm
  • Greens are coming in good so I've been making lots of stir fries!
  • Discovered new delicious way to make greens (will share in a future post)
  • Worked on listing farm stay on website and various sites
  • Applied for "Virginia Green" designation for farm stay
  • Got first farm stay reservation

I've been meaning to talk about the deer that has taken up with one of our goat herds. She must have been orphaned earlier in the year and, being a herd animal, decided the goats were close enough to being deer so she joined them. Here's a quick video I shot of her (please ignore shaky camera - not sure why it was):

Have a great week!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Farm Stay

After much behind the scenes research and work, I'm finally able to announce the opening of our farm stay - The Old House at White Flint Farm! This project has been in the works for a couple of years. I've been slowly putting the pieces together and it has finally all come together. I still have a few more tweaks to make but now I know that will always be the case. Since we've had lots of family and friends stay in the house, I now realize that it's a comfortable, peaceful environment that will be appreciated by anyone staying there. Here are a few photos (most were taken by Bill):

Old photo of the house
What the house looked like when we purchased it and then right after the renovations
Back side of the house
Entry hall
Another shot of the parlor - the photo is of the original residents, Bill's great, great grandparents
Dining room
Queen bedroom
Twin bedroom
This has been a project many years in the making. Our original plan was to demolish the house. As you can see from the photo of when we purchased it, the house seemed beyond redemption. However, after seeing a similar house after its restoration, we decided to look into saving what has always been called "the old house." 

We had an engineering company tell us the foundation was solid, then we had the front balcony and porch rebuilt before further damage was done. Next, we replaced the windows, then we painted the exterior. Then it was time to do the interior, which included replacing all the horsehair plaster, rewiring, and adding the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room. 

As you can see, we tried to stick with the spirit of the Victorian era when it came to decorating and furnishing. A few pieces are original to the house. During the years when the house set unoccupied, vandals broke in and stole furniture. Fortunately, the old sofa was so hideous (I think things were living in it) and heavy, that it remained in the house. A few years ago, I took it to an upholsterer and I almost don't recognize it today.

I'm excited about our new venture (and adventure).  We'll be meeting new people and have the opportunity to share our farm and our values. It's yet another unexpected chapter in our lives.  Anyone interested in the farm stay can go to our farm website ( for details.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wellness Wednesday

Farmers Field 5
According to this article in Mashable, the British Journal of Sports Medicine recently published an editorial confirming what seems like common sense:  exercise alone will not eliminate the obesity issue. As important as exercise is, if we do not eat a sensible diet - and instead subsist on the processed foods that have become staples in diets worldwide - the obesity crisis will continue.

One of the best ways to ensure you eat a healthy, weight-friendly diet is by following some of Michael  rules for eating: 
  • Eat food, mainly plants (especially leafy greens).
  • Eat whole grains.
  • Don't eat anything your grandparents wouldn't recognize as food (hmm, maybe we need to start saying great grandparents)
  • Don't eat anything with more than five ingredients or with ingredients you can't pronounce (except something like quinoa).
  • Don't eat anything that won't rot.
  • Junk food is permissible - if you cook it yourself.
  • Leave the table a little hungry.