- Paul: learn how to hunt with his uncle and supply us with elk.
- Paul: Fish more!!
- Paul and Lina: get a hoop house up and ready to plant a garden in early spring.
- Paul: dig one more garden bed and utilize Paul’s mom’s garden for additional gardening real estate.
- Paul and Lina: plant our own starts–and actually use them.
- Lina: learn how to sew on a sewing machine.
- Lina: spend more time with our children, outside–digging in the dirt.
- Paul and Lina: try to not buy “stuff” and barter as much as we can (it’s fun and amazing what you can get)
- Paul and Lina: plant an herb garden, utilize more herbs in cooking and vinegar making.
- Lina: plant a medicinal herb garden.
- Lina: hatch chicks from eggs and document the whole experience.
- Paul and Lina: start homeschooling our kiddos.
Amy’s Soap GardenI met Amy (and her fabulous soaps) during an Art and Crafts event last summer and fell in love with her product! The soap is of outstanding quality and there is a wide selection when it comes to colors and scents. Soaps make awesome stocking stuffers, hostess gifts and if you are like me, they make excellent linen closet deodorizers. Visit her shop http://www.amys-soap.com/ or her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AmysSoapGarden to see her inventory and treat yourself or your loved ones to some awesome soaps.
Brandy is another amazing jewelry artist. She makes all of her metals and is truly creative with her pieces. You can find her beautiful work on her website http://brandyhoullahan.com/ or on facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brandy-Houllahan/10150136950645201 Here is a sample of her beauties (the picture does not do them any justice, take a look at her website)
Sweet Caroline’s Jams and Jellies I make a lot of jams and this lady is my inspiration!! I hope that one day, my jams will come close to hers in taste and creativity. Caroline pares unique flavors together and creates magic. You can enjoy her jams on a pastry, cheese, integrate them into cooking or like I do by the spoonful. Along with jams, Caroline make Shrubs–delicious vinegar based syrup infused with fruit that when added to sparkling water (or booze) creates refreshing beverages. I tasted her blueberry basil shrub and fell in love. Read more about her and her creations on her website http://www.sweetcarolinesjam.com Sweet Caroline’s jams and jellies are available on her website or at various farmer’s markets. Check out her facebook page for her whereabouts https://www.facebook.com/SweetCarolineJams
Laarni and Tita: Handmade in Seattle
Laarni is a true bag lady! She makes ALL of her bags and they are gorgeous and very useful. Wristlets, clutches, IPad covers oh my, this lady makes them all kinds to meet all of your bag needs. Check out her website http://www.laarniandtita.com and her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LaarniAndTita to get better acqainted with her product and find out where in Seattle you can find them. I have three Laarni bags and I constantly get compliments!
Beer, beer is always a good choice of a present for the man in your life or perhaps a gift card to their tap room, and make a date out of it. Hilliard’s is a reasonably new brewery opened in 2011 in Ballard. I found them at Whole Foods and fell passionately in love with their Saison. These guys do a heck of a job. Give them a try, you won’t be sorry! http://www.hilliards.com
Since our last update, we went on our last mushroom hunt. It is incredible how nature changes. It has been cooler and wetter, and new mushrooms, unidentified but recognized to us are popping out which signal that the boletes that we love are coming to an end. We got enough for a saute (about 1.5 pounds). We have been going to the same patch for two months and during the last trip, there was a completely different feel to it, there was even a different smell in the air–no more of that bolete aroma that would get me all excited (as I knew my little gems were near). This year, we picked enough to pickle five jars of boletes, have about 8 or so bags of dehydrated mushrooms (for soups) and a bag frozen to be used in stuffing for Thanksgiving! It was somewhat challenging to get out and hunt–we have a lot of young children and they are not always up for the trip. As they get older, we hope to broaden our hunting areas and knowledge of other mushrooms to forage. It has been a good year. The growing, harvesting and preserving has officially ended. Now, we do some crafts for the Holiday season, brew some beer, read new books and enjoy all the yummy preserved foods!
Our garden has slowly fallen into its winter slumber and we will have a few months for reflecting on our 2014 experiences and planning for Harvest 2015. As we clean up the yard and mulch the garden beds, we are taking notes on what worked, what didn’t and what needs improvement. As part of that we decided to have a tab in the blog that talks about veggies and fruit that we grow, want to grow and wish we could grow. We hope to provide our readers with information, recipes and our personal reflections of many of the plants and anything else that can be grown in a backyard.
Hopefully, this will be a good educational opportunity for us and a nice, quick reference for you. I will utilize my library and the internet as resources. I will try to reference as much as I can so people don’t think that I am plagiarizing–I am researching and condensing information for you. The recipes however are all mine, hence the lack of precise measurements. I follow too many protocols at work measuring things out. I refuse to do the same at home. A dash here and a pinch there is my philosophy…if you fail…try again!
With that said, please visit our new blog section “A to Z Farm to Table”. First on the list is Asparagus!!
Here are two of self sustainable meals from the last few weeks. Elk courtesy of Paul’s uncle, salmon caught by Paul, zucchinis that kept on giving (and we love it), mushrooms that we had gathered, pickles that we had pickled, sauerkraut made by my sister and last but not least, potatoes from the garden. Love it!! The quality of pictures are not ideal–I apologize for that. Life is very fast on our homestead, there is no time for a camera, all must be done with my phone.
Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out the new tab from time to time!