Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hellebore Season

Do you grow hellebores in your garden?  Such a great plant.  This one, growing in a Springfield garden, is named Pine Knot, but there are hundreds of varieties out there.

Even in the most bitter February cold, you can usually find the sweetest little clump of green under the leaves and snow.   And now we're in the bloom season, which can last on into April and May depending on the temps. 
After the blooms are gone, you have an interesting green plant for the summer garden bed.  The deep-lobed leaves make great cut foliages for your summer bouquets or try just one leaf in a vase for a little touch  of  natural drama.
And   in case you need any more reasons to fall in love with hellebores--here's a couple more things:  The deer don't like them--yay!   And slugs don't like them--double yay! 
If you want to find out more about them, check out hellebores.org for lots of info and beautiful hellebore pictures! 
Great weather forecast for this week at The Farm . . . Sunshine . . .  Seventy-degree temps.  Come out to see us when you can!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

How To Light Your Jar Candle

Ever have trouble lighting a candle when it's burned down into the jar?   Sometimes the lack of oxygen in that little space makes the flame go out.  And then there's the messy build-up of soot that can happen, too.  Thanks to Cheryl and Gail for this easy, no-mess tip.  Light a strand of (dry, of course!) spaghetti.  It will form  a very small flame that's easy to guide down into the jar.  No messy buildup and the pasta stays lit until the wick catches.   Enjoy your candles!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Garden Mascot

Spot is having a great time,watching over all these early spring  happenings in the garden and the greenhouse.   Every little breeze that stirs up a leaf or a twig--he's on it!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Corned Beef from Meg Higgins

When we got together at Christmas, Meg Higgins brought the most beautiful--and delicious--corned beef ever.  So in honor of St. Pat's Day this week, here's her recipe-- originally published in Country Living Magazine 25 years ago. 

Btw, have you ever wondered why they call it "corned" beef?  It has something to do with the way they used to brine the beef with "corns" of salt.   You really can find most everything on google now!  Okay, here it is:

1 corned beef brisket (about five pounds, which will serve 8-10)
2 sweet onions
6 whole gloves  oops, make that 6 whole cloves
6 pepper corns
2 lg. bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
Place the following in a crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours til very tender.

1/3 c packed brown sugar
1T dijon mustard

Allow meat to cool a little in juice, then move to a shallow pan.  (Save juice to cook cabbage or potatoes later.)  Cover meat with another shallow pan and weigh down with cookbooks or something heavy overnight in fridge.  This ensures neat slices.  About an hour before serving, slice meat as thin as possible and place in rows in shallow pan.  Spread with glaze and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, til glaze is bubbling.  Serve traditionally with mashed potatoes, cabbage, and carrots.   So good!

And if your spice rack needs replenishing these days, check out The Farm kitchen. . .  You'll find the ones called for above, as well as a wide variety of other spices that will wake up all your favorite recipes:-)

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Gardening Glove Season

Yay!  We'll all be needing our garden gloves soon, won't we?  Great to see  the shoots of early spring bulbs and the grass beginning to turn green again.   And of course, the weeds always think our gardens are made just for them, so a bunch of them are arriving early! 
And here's one of our fun new artists  in the shop for this year.  We love her sassy sense of humor!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Megan, the Artist

The work of Megan Adamski (daughter of Gail and Eric)  has been featured at The Farm ever since she was a little girl.   Recently Megan was one of 800 artists who participated in the annual Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, a high school art competition.   Megan and four other students were named best of the best with an American Vision Award.  At least one of the winners will go on to compete on the national level in New York.  Congratulations, Megan!  Can't wait to see what you'll be doing next!

Great composite necklaces 
featuring vintage finds by Megan.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Take Time to Smell the Flowers

Check out Gail and Cheryl here sharing a laugh over these great new flower sculptures. . .  The shop is full of fun new things for  spring.  Hope everybody gets to enjoy some sunshine over the next few days.   Happy March!