Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Needlepoint Pillow Cover

One of my favourite flowers is the Pansy.    They grow well  in my garden in the spring and fall when it's cool.    This little flower has such an array of colour and to me just seems to beam happiness !

I stitched this pillow cover (along with the help of friend) years ago and  now graces a spot on my couch where I sit to knit and read.

This pillow cover is almost life like and brings brightness and thoughts of spring even on those dreary winter days.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Irish Stew

1 lb lamb stew
white turnip

dried mint from my garden

For added nutrition, I served over baked butternut squash.... ever so delicious ~

Fishermen's Knit Afghan

I knitted this afghan about 30 years ago.  It was made with a washable acrylic by Bernat and has kept it's shape and washes well, even after all these years.

When I knit this afghan, I only knew the very basics, but learned how to do seed stitch, popcorn stitch, cables, and even the crocheted edge around the whole afghan.

This of type of afghan/blanket are back in style again as I noticed a similar one in a recent decorating magazine.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Foraging for Rose Hips

I picked wild rose hips on a recent hike.  Having never had rose hips and not knowing what to do with them I searched on the internet and found a few links to jelly recipes.   One from The Essential Herbal Blog and the other at Simply Recipes.

Rose hips have beneficial health properties.  The whole plant can be used in a variety of ways.

Wild Rose hips on the right / rose hips left from my climbing rose bush at home
Sorted / cleaned and cooking on the stove
Cook, stirring often until hips are soft enough to mash

pour mash into jelly bag and let  sit until enough juice is extracted for your recipe

Juice - with added ingredients - cooking
End result - Rose Hip Jelly

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Biodynamic Prep Day - CSA Farm

Burying manure filled cow horns
I spent a day at our local CSA Farm with my daughter learning about biodynamic farming.  We helped with the fall preparation. Biodynamic farming concept was quite new to me, unlike anything I had heard of before.  Check out the link above on what biodynamic farming is all about.

Our local CSA practices biodynamic farming and this farm is also a teaching farm with a number of apprentices.   Our day started with a seminar on biodynamic practices/concepts and then we helped with the fall preparation.

Daughter taking photos.   Whole day was foggy
The fall preparation involves taking fresh cow manure and stuffing into empty cow horns and burying them into the ground to dig up in the spring.   Over the winter the manure in the horns turns into a rich fertilizer.  In the spring they are dug up and contents removed from the horns for use.

This past spring horns were buried filled with silica/quartz.  These were dug up while we were there, emptied and contents left to dry for later use.

Silica removed from cow horns that were buried in spring and left to dry for later use

empty cow horns

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Re-Growing Food

Have you ever tried re-growing your own food?

Back in February I started the celery experiment.

I cut the end off the celery and placed in a small cup in my kitchen window.   Within a few days they started to root and in a couple of weeks they started to sprout new shoots.

Once the celery became to big for the cup they were transplanted into a pot with earth.   When it was warm enough outside and danger of frost had passed they were planted in the garden.  

Last week I was able to pick the celery, which stood over 18 inches tall.

Beautiful celery picked week of October 8th and stood about 18 inches tall.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Puff Ball Mushroom

On our Bruce Peninsula Hike we found our first puff ball mushroom.
A friend shared a small piece of the mushroom with me - which almost filled a dinner plate.

After cleaning, and cutting up in large pieces, I fried in a little bit of butter.  I didn't add any salt or pepper as I wanted to know the real taste of the mushroom.   This is mild tasting mushroom and tasted delicious just the way it was.

Inside of a puff ball mushroom


Monday, October 15, 2012

Gold Fish : Winter Retreat

This summer I tried an experiment by putting gold fish into my rain barrels to help curb mosquito larvae population.

The gold fish did a fantastic job - the barrels were clear of mosquito larvae -- a first for me.   So now that summer has ended and the rain barrels needed to be emptied so that they don't freeze and crack over the winter, I needed somewhere to put all these goldfish.

I stumbled upon the perfect solution at a garage sale early in September.   A almost new fish tank in mint condition complete with all the accessories ; pump, filter, decorations, light, heater etc.   All I needed was a net to catch the fish.   The gold fish are now in their new home -- their winter retreat !

In the spring when the rain barrels start to fill up they will move back outdoors.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Jack Frost

Jack Frost visited our home last weekend and left the most remarkable painting on the roof of my car.
Once the sun fully reached the roof it melted away. 


Friday, October 12, 2012

Just ...

I just recently finished knitting a sweater just for myself. 

According to our Knitter's Guild we should never use the word "just".  The word "just" has different meanings, however it's often used when showing our finished items at Guild meetings as I "just made this"  or "it's just a ...." sounding as we're not giving ourselves enough credit for our work. We're all guilty of saying it.  Every piece is a work of art and deserves praise and we should be proud of our accomplishments.  

Our Guild started a "Just Jar" to assist us in not using the "just" word when talking about our work.   Every time you say the "just" word you are to put a $1 into the "Just Jar".  Proceeds of the "Just Jar" goes to the raffle fund. 

I haven't made anything for myself for many years.  This pattern and wool came from Mary Maxim using 100% Acrylic worsted weight "Starlette Ragg" yarn.   I started this sweater over a year ago but it was put aside for other projects and now finished in time for fall wear this year.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Many Faces of Poison Ivy

On my recent three day hike on the Bruce Peninsula along the Bruce trail I came across alot of poison ivy.   At times, while hiking we walked through poison ivy knee deep.  We had to be careful where we put our hands as we climbed rocky sections of the trail as poison ivy not only grows as a bush like plant but also as a trailing vine.

This innocent looking plant can wreak havoc on your skin giving you itchy blisters if the oil of the plant touches your skin and takes days to heal.

Avoid touching the plant. When it's unavoidable, take care removing your clothes after contact with the plant, turning your clothes inside out so you don't touch any residue which may be lingering on your clothes.  Also, take care in cleaning your shoes and hiking poles too.

A sea of Poison Ivy - on both sides of the trail

All the low green plants here is poison ivy

In the fall, poison ivy leaves change colour

a young poison ivy plant

All the red is poison ivy.  It looks pretty - but a nasty plant if you touch it

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall Hike - Day 3

Day 3 - Bruce Penisula Hike
Map 37 Bruce Trail Guide

Day 3 (our last day of the 3-day hike trip) took us through side trails along the shores of Hope Bay - Hope Bay Forest Provincial Nature Reserve.  There were spectacular look outs with beautiful views of Hope Bay.
We hiked along the top of the escarpment and doubled back inland making this a loop hike.  We found our first puff ball mushroom on this hike.

After the hike we had a picnic lunch in the town of Wiarton - home of Wiarton Willy where they celebrate Ground Hog Day.  The last photo below is a statue in his honour.

Day 3 in Pictures

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