Sunday, July 31, 2011

Party at Platte Lake

Spent part of the weekend at Platte Lake and cooked for some friends' annual Summer family gathering

cheese quesadillas and fried plantain

green chili and cheese tamales

a big wind storm rolled in and we all went down in the deck to check it out

getting the kayaks in

sunset on the lake

Thursday, July 28, 2011

curing Buffy

It's almost 2 months since Buffy went broody, so I'm trying something different, and exciting, to help her get beyond it.  You can't tell from the picture above, but she is sitting on a dozen fertilized eggs.  You need a rooster in your flock for hens to lay fertile eggs, which I don't have.

But my neighbor Mark (here with daughter Olivia) does - he and his wife run River Valley Poultry Farm, and he brought me one dozen fresh fertile eggs from his chickens - I traded him for some Boss Mouse feta cheese.  He raises several breeds - Isa Browns, Sexlinks (isn't that a weird breed name - it means the boy chicks come out one color and the girls another, unlike other chicks).  So in three weeks time there will be some new additions in the hen yard!  This is a great solution to both satisfy Buffy and replace the hens I lost to the fox this year and last.  Easter in August: baby chicks!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

finch undertaker

Found a dead finch in the side garden - it looked like he may have been in a fight, his face was kind of beat up.  They are so light, like holding a cotton ball, they barely weight anything.  Respectfully buried in the woods.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

sitting pretty

The girls hanging on the bench in the side garden

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday raspberries

The woods are full of wild raspberries right now

Pucci and I spent a few hours out there early this morning

the sweet harvest

I discover new things about the farm and woods every season - like this huge raspberry patch a stones throw away from the back of the big barn - I never knew it was there

Sunday, July 24, 2011

surprise echinacea

A few sizable clumps of echinacea flowers came up by the well head on the side of the house this Summer.  At first I thought they were sunflowers, which come up everywhere from the seeds in the bird feeders.  I did not plant them, but love where they decided to set up house.

sky study #45

Two views of the sunset Friday, July 22, 2011 over the West pasture

Saturday, July 23, 2011

peach update

They look like they're glowing

Friday, July 22, 2011

sky study #44

July 21, 2011

the mighty, but wily, house wren

In an effort to be top bird of their territory, house wrens will fill bird houses with fake nests to discourage other birds from nesting them.  I checked my blue bird house, in which a nice pair of bluebirds had begun to build a nest, only to find it filled to the top with sticks (see above:  the bluebird nest was on the bottom of the bird house, which I pulled out of the removable bottom).  The little bastard topped their nest with sticks (the mess inside the bird house) and it worked - I haven't seen the bluebirds for weeks, inside the bird house anyway.  I saw Mrs. Bluebird taking a bath in the bird bath this evening, so at least they're nearby.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

the mighty house wren

House wrens are little, mousey brown birds that you barely notice, but their song is beautiful and distinctive.  I have a lot around the farm, and sometimes the males perch atop the highest tree and sing all day, and sometimes all night, to woo the lady wrens.  Here is a link to their beautiful song.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


The hollyhocks I planted by the barn last year finally blossomed in fluffy, crepe paper explosions of color.  Then we had crazy thunder storms the other night that beat them down - here they are clobbered by the rain.  They'll be fine.

And they make great cut flowers

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

sweet treats

My sister Kay sent me this beautiful poster - I want to make everything pictured here!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

best Detroit weekend

Michigan cookie


Megan, my co-pilot & the coolest (and foxiest) girl in the world

David's magical fish tacos

battle of the shadow puppets

David's new taxidermy duck

we made marinated baby eggplant

trip to Randazzo's vegetable market wonderland

Betsey gets brushed

When we got back up North, I dropped Megan off at her car, which had been "decorated" by friends while we were gone - so funny

Gabe with sparkler

Friday, July 15, 2011

Holman Farm: Summer update

I spent the evening at the Holman cherry farm up on the Mission last night.  My friend Laurie really understands gardening and has a deep connection to things that grow - her love for it pours out of her and shows in her flourishing gardens and farm.  This is her flower and herb garden.

cherry bins

it's true

we hand picked this quart of pinky yellow sweets

a gigantic tub of dark sweets - they are enormous

wild sweet peas 

Laurie's son Cory cultivates a 600 foot patch of pumpkins - it looked like a runway

Laurie's pristine vegetable garden - she grows colorful and interesting varieties of vegetables and they are all so well cared for - tomatoes are carefully staked, the aisles are weed free and she knows what's going on with every single plant.  We talked about how much work a garden takes, how the plants respond to the care you give them. 

Purple cauliflower - stays purple when you cook it

A little row of edible nasturtium

Love ambassador Jenny - let's play log!  Friendliest, happiest dog you've ever met




Laurie's black rice black cherry salad

Laurie made us the perfect summer salad for dinner

Black Rice Black Cherry Salad

3½ cups hot cooked black (or any color) rice
4 cups raw spinach
¾ cup toasted walnut halves (save a few for garnish)

Mix the above ingredients in a bowl until the spinach begins to wilt.

Whisk together:

½ cup finely chopped pitted sweet black cherries
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt

Add dressing and cherries to the rice and spinach.  Top with a few basil leaves and ¼ cup Boss Mouse feta cheese.  Laurie served hers with an artichoke bruschetta with sun dried tomato - amazing!