Saturday, July 16, 2011

We took our lawn mower deck into the local John Deere dealer to have new blades put on.

And saw some really, really big machinery.

This bumper sticker made me giggle. I really love rural America.

First tomatoes!

After the mower was fixed, Donna attempted to give herself heatstroke by mowing all afternoon in super crazy hot weather....after pulling weeds all morning in crazy hot weather.

She mostly didn't succeed.

She did take a break for some Thai iced coffee and spicy peanut stirfry noodles.

Abby thinks this "being outside in the heat" nonsense is ridiculous, and watches us from the cool air-conditioned spaces.

We spent a pleasant evening at the Panora Art In The Park event, and had an excellent young helper.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Birds are the big news of the day. 21 baby birds, to be exact. Grackles, robins, warblers, etc. Our friend Jenni, wildlife rehabber, had to go out of town, and she entrusted her wee babies in Maggie's care. Here they are in the classroom.

They have to be fed every hour or so during daylight hours, so they travel where I travel. This is the sight that greets me when I open the robin cage :)

Monk's hidey spot in the prairie plants.

I took my gathering basket out to get catnip to distill...and found a giant 5 ft plant that wouldn't even begin to fit in the basket!

Dante says he didn't inhale.

I really love my still.

Our kittens are spayed, neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and ready for adoption!! Here our little torti tests the yarn for softness (it passed the test).

Lunch!! We love lunch. This is a fresh corn tortilla topped with adobo spiced black beans, queso fresco, a fried egg, and homemade chipotle/roasted garlic salsa with fried plantain slices on the side. I don't know what this is called - I think I had it at a restaurant some years ago. If anyone knows the name of the dish, please let me know!

It was WAY yummy.

The gardens are going bonkers, in the best way possible. Our first zucchini! (you really only get excited about the first one, right?) I pulled some weeds, and staked up the tomatoes (about a week too late).

Donna did tons of mowing today... Tons and tons. It is a never-ending job.....

Had us some funky weather!

Made a lot of stuff :)

Stopped to smell the roses.

We just LOVE our neighbors at Picket Fence Creamery. All the best in local/organic/farm fresh foods :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

We LOVE being part of the Downtown Des Moines farmer's market!! It's an honor to be a part of one of the nest markets in the nation (so rated, time and time again, by various groups and national publications!)

The diversity of local meats, cheeses, crafts, veggies etc is simply amazing. And there's always TONS of live entertainment. And the food...oh heavens, the FOOD. *swoon* We feasted on panna cotta with fresh berries nuts and honey. Fresh vanilla cream tarts. Vegan chorizo tacos. Tall hot breves. Freshly roasted cinnamon pecans. Beef vindaloo. Fresh mango on a stick. (being there for 6 hours gives you plenty of time to eat and eat and eat!)

Of course we got some grass-fed "happy" steak and burgers from out favorite cowgirl, the lovely Shanen Ebersole of Ebersole Cattle Company!

And swoon-worthy elderflower cordial from Jill Beebout at Blue Gate Farm :)

And the world's biggest bucket of HUGE delicious blueberries from Berry Fresh Farm!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Friday...we picked some St. johns wort for infusing into oil. This plant is pure magic! Bright yellow flowers stain your hands purple as you pick the blossoms, then turn the infused oil a lovely ruby red.

We distilled some lemon balm. up next: catnip, and bee balm... Then more peppermint and comfrey.

Donna pulled loads of orders!

And John packed loads of orders!

Dante supervised all the proceedings.

Then our favorite local herbologist friend Lynn came out and got a bunch of fresh herbs for tincturing.

The minis "helped" her gather elderflowers :)

And then we packed up for farmers market! A busy day indeed.