The Summer That Wasn’t

 

This summer started with so much anticipation, excitement, and exuberance. With so many big plans, I was ready to face all my projects head on and make this the best year ever. The most successful, bountiful and organized I had ever been. But then something happened.

Life.

Literally and figuratively, life prevented me from doing just about anything other than just getting through the day.

My vegetable garden went from this….

My Garden, Pre-Preggo

To this….

Over Grown, Under Picked. Fail.

Everything got overgrown, weedy, and under picked. My tomatoes got a blight, the stakes didn’t hold them up properly. The cole crops were attacked by flea beetles, practically destroying every single one. My squash were infested with cucumber beetles and squash bugs. Out of 2 zucchini plants (which, any other year would yield zucchini’s out the yin yang) produced only 2 sad zucchini. My Hubbard and patty-pan squash did nothing. Long story short? Fail.

Maebelle

Maebelle the milking goat. Oooh Maebelle. Oh, goats. I still maintain that goats are great, but they are SO. Much. Work! They require fortress like fencing, and even then it may not be enough. After months of struggling through milking Maebelle I decided it was not worth it any more. She was not improving in her attitude and I ran out of steam. That left me with 4 goats that had no purpose. And let me tell ya, I’m over having animals “for fun”. It’s a LOT of work and time and money. So Maebelle, Mac and Morris are all on their ways to new homes.

Poor Quality Pic, But This Was Marigold With Our Mini Colt

Unfortunately, we also had to say good-bye to Marigold who, at an unknown, but undoubtedly ripe-old-age passed away. I can’t say Farmer B was sad to see the goats go. He might not be the biggest fan of goats. Goats? Fail.

Our Big Barrow, Almost Ready For Bacon

I can, at the very least, say I had one solid success on the farm this year and it’s the pigs. They’ve all grown according to plan, they have escaped once or twice but never went far. The two barrows are close to slaughter weight, and Harry and Sally are preparing for a cozy winter of pig-lovin’, which, with any luck, will result in lots of healthy wee piggies this spring.

The hardest part of keeping the pigs has been the cost of feed. We did start grinding our own feed, but we still had to buy the corn, which as most of you know is at an all time high right now. Hopefully, when we harvest our own corn this year that will help decrease our feed costs. Farmer B, bless his heart, has taken on most of the feeding duties, while I’ve been out of commission. This has worn on him though, and has honestly made him a bit sour towards this adventure of mine. But I won’t give up on these pigs!

Next…

Where we stand with bees, poultry, and the farm stand!

 

The Best Salad Dressing Ever

There are two things I can’t get enough varieties of in my garden. Tomatoes and Lettuce. There are sooo many colorful and interesting cultivars, I just can’t help myself. Obviously, the end result of this obsession is heaps and heaps of lettuce and tomatoes. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. I don’t actually like salad that much. In fact, I have to force myself to eat it because I know it’s good for me. And if I don’t, and it all goes to seed, Farmer B won’t let me indulge in my lettuce love anymore.

Lots of lettuce!

So, to over-come this obstacle, I went searching for the best salad dressing ever. Just to increase the difficulty of this task, I’m ultra picky about salad dressings. I don’t like creamy ones, I don’t like fruity ones, and I especially hate any of the store-bought varieties. I also don’t want one that’s going to negate the nutritional benefits of the leafy greens I’m eating.

Farmer B’s aunt makes a really good balsamic dressing that I like very much, but it wasn’t quite hitting the mark of my absolute favorite. I wanted something more.

Then, I found a Herb and Ginger Vinaigrette in an old Anne Lindsay cookbook I had lying around. It sounded promising. I gave it a try, and WoW! Did it ever light up my taste buds. Buuut, there was just one small problem. It was just a little too sweet, and used granulated white sugar. I like things more on the tart side, and I don’t like using white refined sugar. So I adapted the original recipe to suit my tastes, and it’s PERFECT! I could eat salad with this dressing aaaallll daaay loong.

Here’s my recipe, slightly adapted from the original by Anne Lindsay:

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp each, soy sauce, fresh lemon juice, and olive oil

1 Tsp local honey (more if you like things a little sweeter)

1 Tsp ginger root passed through a garlic press

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tbsp each chopped fresh basil and cilantro

Whisk ingredients in a small bowl and serve!

This dressing is delicious drizzled over tomatoes with a little arugula and thinly sliced red onion as well. So if you struggle to enjoy salads, but really want to like them, give this dressing a whirl. I’m sure you’ll like it as much as I do.

Do you have favorite salad dressing that you just can’t live without? I’d love to hear it.

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