Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Ladies Free Ranging Good Time

If you like pictures of chickens, then you are in for a treat!
Lot 'o chick pics!

This is what I usually see when I go to visit the girls - 2 chunky white girls (cwg) free ranging.
Really, really free ranging.
Chicks on the prairie!
Then the next thing I see - Zela! (pronounced SAY-la)
She always comes running when she sees me.
She follows me around until I sit down and then she jumps into my lap for a cuddle.
She'll stay in my lap until I leave, if I get up she waits until I sit down again and then she jumps back up to get a hug.

Zela is such a photo hog!
Can she help it if she is so beautiful?!?

There's busy (bossy) Butter!

More of the flock - Zela, some CWGs, Lavender (on the right), Butter (way in the back), Zoe, Hawky and some red girls too.

It's funny, but I can pick out Zela, Butter and Lavender's voices from the rest of the flock, even in the dark.

Really Zela? Every picture?

I love the CWGs face whiskers.

Hey! One of these things is not like the other...........


A CWG and Butter.

Gossip 'round the watercooler.

This Lady is a real snuggler, but I can't remember her name!
She's sweet, but jealous. When I'm holding Zela and not petting her, she will pull feathers out of Zela's tail until I pay attention to her!

Butter says, "See 'ya again soon and bring raisins next time."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fruit Blossoms

The fruit trees are in bloom and covered with blossoms!
So far there are just apricot and plum blossoms, but the cherry is almost blooming and the apple trees will be right behind her.
I don't know why, but I think of the trees as girls.
I suppose, because they have fluffy blossoms and make fruit.
Pine trees and oaks, maples, ect. are boy my opinion.

Above apricot blossoms.
Below plum blossoms.
Last year I had 1 apricot and 4 plums.
I hope there will be more fruit this year.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Blue Hyacinths

I love these blue hyacinths!
I planted them 2 years ago and thought they might not come back this year.
People kept telling me that hyacinths would only come back one year and then disappear, so it was a waste of time to plant them.
I plan on planting more this year. They are the brightest blue color and the scent is amazing. I can smell it from 5 feet away. Gorgeous!

And of course, Tansy with the hyacinths.

And Catty too!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Garden Update 4-20-2010

I thought I had posted these pics a long time ago.
Guess not! Am I a bad blogger or what?
You can see that the tulips are starting and lots of the perennials have started to fill in.

The garlic that I had to transplant, when I moved the beds, is doing great.
It's getting bigger and greener every day.
I probably stunted it, by moving it, a little bit, but there is always next year and I couldn't wait to move my beds!

Tulips and Tansy

Just a few pictures of tulips in my garden and Tansy.
Like most rabbits, Tansy loves the taste of tulip leaves.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Green House Plant Sale

Green House
Plant Sale

May 1st
8am - 2pm

1108 5th St SW
Willmar, Mn

From started plants to
garden art
Something for everyone
Rainbow colored tomatoes
Raspberry starts
Strawberry starts
Perennials and annuals
We will be selling over 18 varieties of heirloom tomatoes including: Green Grape, Pantanto Romanesco,Riesentraube, Sungold Select II, Black Cherry, Violet Jasper or Tzi Bi U, Tigerella, Isis Candy Cherry and Snowberry.
More than 9 varieties of hot and sweet peppers including: Ancho, Pasilla Bajio and Chinese 5 Color.
9 different varieties of Minnesota hardy raspberries.
I will be selling my garden art - glass flowers, mushrooms, glass bird baths and more!
We will have fresh free range eggs from the happy Ladies.
Fresh baked bread. A selection of jams and jellies including: White tomato jelly, Carrot jam, Red Currant jelly, Garlic-onion jam and Blueberry-Mint jam.
Plus - White Chocolate Macaroons!
Arrive early for the best selection.
I hope you can come!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Can Jam April - Herbs: Blueberry-Mint Jam

When the April CanJam was announced as herbs, I wasn't very excited.
I want to start using things from my garden for the CanJams, but chives are the only herb growing out there right now. Sure I have a tsp. of a few other herbs that are starting to sprout up, but I didn't want to chop off their little baby heads.
I just did garlic-onion jam last CanJam, so I also didn't want to use the chives.
I still have a freezer full of blueberries from our berry picking vacation, so I knew that I wanted to use blueberries, but what herb goes with blueberries?
At first, I thought about Lavender. This Lavender? No the herb lavender!
I've heard of Blueberry-lavender jam, but my Mom suggested mint (Thanks Mom!).
That's so weird - it just might work!
I just happened to have homemade mint extract in my freezer too. I made it last summer from the huge mint plant (bush) in my backyard. Sorry there aren't any pics of the mint extract process, I made it before I started taking pictures of everything.
So here it is:
Blueberry-Mint Jam
4 cups blueberries
2 cups mint extract (directions below)
1 Tbs bottled lemon juice
1 tsp butter
4 cups sugar
1 pkg no sugar needed pectin
Bring blueberries, mint extract, lemon juice and butter to a rolling boil. Boil for 10 mins and then add sugar. Return to a boil. Boil for 10 mins. Add pectin and return to a boil. Boil at a rolling boil for 1 min. Transfer to prepared jars and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 mins.
To make mint extract: Take fresh mint leaves, remove the stems and measure the mint leaves. Put mint leaves in a bowl. Add boiling water to the bowl - if you have 2 cups mint leaves add one cup boiling water, if you have 1 cup mint leaves add 1/2 cup boiling water - you get the idea. Let mint leaves steep until cool or overnight in the fridge. Strain mint leaves from liquid and pour mint extract into ice cube trays. Freeze mint extract or skip the freezing and use in the recipe above.
Blueberries and mint extract


Spoony likes the taste - yum!

With sugar and pectin.

In the jar.


Spoony! Did you eat it all?!?

Nope. He saved a few jars.
Jars fresh from the canner.

I found a few mint sprigs in the garden and sacrificed them for this picture.
Poor plant babies.

So.................what does it taste like?!?
Fresh, clean, very blueberry-ish with a nice minty aftertaste, but not overpoweringly mint. In fact, if you didn't know there was mint in this jam I don't think you could pick out the flavor. It has an intriguing flavor, but like the Carrot Jam, no one would ever think blueberry-mint jam.

Oh, also this jam took me exactly 1 hour to make from start to cans sealing on the counter.