Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Equinox ~ flowers, preserves, and something new

Spring officially started at a little after one am today, we still have snow on the ground, and yet the robins have begun their spring morning melodies in earnest.  This is the vernal equinox, where you can supposedly balance an egg on end, I tried it, with no luck, maybe it only works at the exact time, which was the middle of the night for me.  This is the day when night and day are almost equal and tomorrow we'll begin to have more day than night. 

It's also the time of year to wake up and feel like growing again after winter's reprieve.  I'll be back to work at the end of this month 2 days a week, and I'm looking forward to the outdoor work of Spring after the long dark winter.  It's the time of year I'll be getting the vegetable garden up and going, and all the flower beds ammended.  Spending time outdoors working the soil in the fresh spring air is a yearly ritual I enjoy and look forward to.  

Can you believe I found the flowers in the photo above yesterday?  Weekday mornings I take my daughter to the bus stop at 7 am, it's at the end of our dirt road, Monday is also trash pick up day.  Set off to the side of the trash on the row of mailboxes sat this pot of flowers looking all cold and ratty, I knew someone had just thrown it out when it didn't look good anymore.  I picked it up and lovingly said "you need to come home with me, and  I'll clean you all up and get you warm".  Well, I sure was rewarded with the flowers recovering beautifully as you can see!  Just looking at them yesterday and today put a smile in my heart and a silent thank you for a Spring surprise! 

In other farm news, the baby bunnies have been all warm inside with me bringing the mother in for feedings.  I tried to have them outside but the second night lost another one.  Too cold for them, lesson learned never breed for the does to give birth in March.  We've been enjoying cuddling with the 3 baby bunnies and their mom Serendipity is loving all the attention too.  She's a great mother and I am proud of her, we'll be acclimating the kits over the next couple weeks to living outside.  I've been taking pictures and will do a separate rabbit post with their progress.  They are so cute and fluffy.

Last Saturday and Sunday it snowed all day so I had some time to pull out berries from the freezer and use some fruit I had that needed using up to make preserves.  I made 16 jars of strawberry, red current, pear/ginger and pineapple. I used the low sugar pectin because I still like to see and taste the fruit.  The red current is a jelly and I strained it to remove the seeds.  Last week I also got my dehydrator going with some apples, bananas, and pineapple,  we all love to stop by and lift the lid to sample them as they dry.  

So pretty, glimmering in the sun, I couldn't resist I had to open the strawberry
and pineapple and try some, and of course I added a dollop of fresh chevre...yum! 
I've discovered after several batches now that the best chevre cheese comes from the freshest buttermilk with a delicious aroma itself.  Now I'm making the buttermilk fresh the night before I make the chevre, so it's ready at the same time, then I add the fresh strained milk warm from the goat and mix in a half cup of buttermilk, and the rennet.  I let it sit covered overnight and strain it the next day, it takes about 7 or 8 hours to fully strain. I love the freshness, and it's a cheese you can eat the next day. 

Something new I've discovered is Pinterest, I kept wondering what it was all about and never looked further.  Well last week I went onto another bloggers Pinterest site and was thrilled to find it.  Of course I saw the value of it right away, and set up an account.  Now I have all sorts of boards and pins and neat stuff I want to look at further and some new things to try.  I'll be sharing it on my blog soon with the little logo where you can go on to see what I like.  I've found that it's especially useful for me to categorize what I like to help with areas in my home that I'm going to be working on.  So you may hear about my decorating forays, this is not my specialty but is something I'm working on.  The results are that I've been rearranging and decorating and nesting, using what I have with a fresh eye.  I've also been looking up stuff like root cellars, cheese cellars, pizza/ bread wood fired ovens, goats, chickens, orchards, cheese, etc.  It's addicting so I have to be careful of my time, kind of like blogging I have to monitor my time. 

There's lot's going on around here in the early Spring.  Along with decorating and Pinterest, I planted several fruit and nut trees last week.  Yesterday I gave Joon a dose of Selenium and Vitamin E, she's due to kid around the first of May.   I felt her babies kicking for the first time and now she's getting big, I'm thinking she'll have twins or triplets.   The goat fence with the new large pasture connecting the barn is a couple days away from completion.  My children are all growing and doing well in school, Jason has a car now and is driving and he's looking for a job.  Track starts for Tessa soon, and Kaley has been drawing some great pictures and reading some fun books. The puppies are both growing and learning everyday and are constant companions that make me smile and laugh all the time.  I'm thankful it's officially Spring!  Now if we can just have a few nice sunny days in a row.

Happy Spring!

Have you been on Pinterest?  What do you like about it?

2 comments:

bluetick said...

Julie,

It is so strange to hear you are still in winter with snow on the ground. Here is SC I have cut my first crop of spinach, sweet corn is planted, fall garlic is almost ready to be pulled and my zinnas are popping up everywhere.

I loved the flowers and can't believe someone threw them away they still had so much life!

Happy Spring! Tracy

Jewel said...

Tracy, I remember last year I couldn't believe the difference in our climate from you in South Carolina, you are so much warmer. I remember when you were harvesting basil, and mine was still a seedling.

Happy Spring!