planning and plotting…

we’ve been silent for a bit… and not just in support of Japan.  what have we been up to? well.

one of us moved. one of us has a new work studio. and the other of us is busy planning out her backyard fantasy garden… more to come soon on that.

we will be back posting away as we all settle into our new digs and get going with the gardening… the calendar says it’s spring but the weather doesn’t seem to be cooperating!

here’s a little sneak peek at the studio to hold you over!

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growing things in england.

I would like to introduce Mia.

She will be guest blogging about her growing adventures in England with updates throughout the season giving us a peek into her botanical experiments as she grows vegetables and flowers. Enjoy!

Hello. My name is Mia. I am 8 years old and I live in England.

I have been growing all sorts of plants, like corn, tomatoes, marigolds, beetroot, garlic and potatoes.

I had lots of fun planting them. This is a picture of garlic, tomato and beetroot. The tomato and beetroot started as a seed which we put into the soil and kept the seed trays covered and put them on the window ledge.
You have to keep them covered until they grow.

This is a picture of my corn. At the start the seed looked like popcorn.

This is a picture of my marigolds.

These are my potatoes. They are on the window ledge chitting. After they sprout we can plant them.

jam WOW!

part of my craftiness is that i love to cook.  i didn’t grow up in a cooking household… though my mother would argue that she did chef it up on occasion.  my culinary adventures have mostly been in my adult life and i am intrigued with the science of baking, canning and pickling…  this leads me to wednesday night and jam.

my friend stacey has been my cooking class cohort.  we’ve taken winter soups, pickling and upcoming is a fish class but late one night, both having a bout of insomnia we found ourselves emailing back and forth about this jam making class… so we signed up.

we showed up, never quite sure what to expect… and there we were.  learning to make jam!  it is relatively easy and i totally recommend taking the class with Laena from anarchy in a jar. She was totally inspiring with her experimentation with flavor combinations… and she just made it all look so darn easy. ( sign of a true pro ) and the best part was sampling her jams while the jars we had made went into the hot bath to seal… WOW! i am still in a jam, cheese and bread haze…. i can’t say enough except run, don’t walk to her next jam making class!!

A big thank you to Ted and Amy Supper Club for hosting the evening…

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Philadelphia International Flower Show

My sister, an avid gardener and landscaper by profession, attended the flower show in Philly this past weekend, running now through the 13th. Since she is our official upstate New York correspondent I asked her to do a write up on the show. Enjoy:

The theme was Paris in spring. There were certainly displays that followed that theme, but then there were ones like the bayou scene, where it’s hard to make the connection, except maybe that cajun’s speak french. There was a giant bottom section of the Eiffel tower as you entered, which was pretty impressive, and supposedly can-can dancers, but it was so crowded in areas we were hard pressed to find them. The orchids were lovely as always and a garden lover would appreciate it on the sheer basis that there were a ton of flowers in bloom in early march. By far the most looked-forward-to for me were the shops with great deals on cut flowers, bulbs, and other plants. Roses for under eight dollars for a dozen! And I bought two Siberian tomato plants that produce tomatoes down to 39 degrees. There is a lot to see and two days would really give you time to enjoy all that it has to offer but a few hours is sufficient to get the idea. And forget about the Reading Terminal Market across the street which is a huge enclosed market with meat, fish, cheese, breads, produce, chocolates, pastries, not to mention the eateries there where you can sit at the counter and enjoy any number of international foods ranging from Thai to Greek.

The city itself offers great historical hot spots, such as the Liberty Bell and Betsy Ross’ house, among others. Even the old architecture and row houses are impressive. For garden lovers this is a worthwhile trip. Put this one on your bucket list for sure.

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fresh eggs.

the other day i came home & a friend handed me a couple of fresh eggs from the farm upstate… there is just something about eggs from chickens that were not bought in some store.

this past fall i learned that if the eggs that are laid are unwashed they do not need to be refrigerated as the icky looking coating protects the egg.. it is only when that is washed off ( like the super clean eggs you find in a store ) that the egg will spoil if left unrefrigerated… so stop washing those freshly laid eggs!

here’s a bit about ”unwashed eggs” from the site ‘seeds of nutrition’ :

You want to be sure that the “Bloom” is left on. What is the “Bloom”? It is a natural antibacterial protective covering that the hen deposits on the egg as she is laying it.
That protective coating protects the egg until it is used. Bacteria has a hard time penetrating a dry shell, but will have a much easier time if the shell is wet because the shell is porous.

Commercially grown eggs are washed and bleached. Not only that; the chickens are cage confined and never see the day of light. And because of these conditions their feed is loaded with antibiotics to keep the chicken healthy. These chickens also have a very short life span.

“Unwashed Eggs” are eggs that are gathered, brought into the house and lightly wiped off with a dry cloth, paper towel, a loofa pad, or scrubby. Absolutely no water comes in contact. If the hens laying box is kept clean and egg gathering is frequent for the most part the eggs will be clean and no need to deal with feathers, hay stuck on, or chicken poop.