Saturday, June 27, 2015

A picture is worth a thousand words...

A picture is worth a thousand words......................

and luckily this Is very true!!! my S key  is broken along with a couple others ,so shifting between the keyboard and online keyboard to type has been a pain in the butt..

So for todays post I will let the photos speak for themselves :)








 



Blessings

The Cool Family

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

100 degrees

Holy smokes, is it warm in the holler! We have been hovering around 95-100 degrees that past few days, with about 70% humidity. Add to that me canning the bounty, being off grid with no A/C and limited fan use, and cooking doesn't really sound all that  inviting.

Luckily everyone has been happy with watermelon and popcorn,,hahaha, but I figure I should probably actually make something up with substance today...


The following recipe, is my new summer go to, Its amazing! We have a lot of Kale growing, and this is a great way to use it without sauteeing.



Summer Time Kale Salad



1 very large bunch of Kale
1 cup almonds
3/4 cup raisins or cranberries
1/2-1 cup diced red onion
Blue Cheese to taste, I use about  3/4 cup or so
 
 
Dressing
1/4 cup White Balsalmic Vinegar
3/4 cup Olive oil
2 tsps. Dijon mustard
pinch of salt

chop up your kale very small,,add diced onion, almonds) or walnuts), cranberries, blue cheese
whisk the dressing thoroughly , pour over salad,, let sit for an hour..

SO easy to make , healthy , delicious, and a great way to use up all that kale in your garden!!!

**** Keep in mind, I don't measure much, hahaha,I just kinda eye it, but you get the idea


 and For Dessert..............................




Blueberry Popsicles
 
1 cup Fresh Blueberries
1 cup almond milk
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt.
Raw Honey (optional, if using Plain yogurt I would definitely  add honey or they wont be sweet)

Put all ingredients in blender,,, pour into popsicles containers and freeze

My daughter and husband LOVE these.. We make them with Peaches too :)
 
 
 
I would love to hear your favorite summertime recipies!



Blessings
 
 
The Cools

                                                            

Monday, June 8, 2015

Hello June!

Is it June already!?

Time has slipped away from me, as it usually does this time of year..

I figured I would stop in and say hello and give ya quick update on whats been going on, on the homestead!
* We welcomed 4 baby chicks into the world
*gardens are growing and we are harvesting all kinds of  beautiful veggies!
 * We pulled our first 2 rounds of honey
* 17 chickens were processed last week and filled up the freezer!, and we have another 20 to do next month
* The Farmers Market has started so we have been quite busy with that as well....

Ill leave you with some eye *candy* of our June happenings....






                                 One of our many gardens, filling in nicely




                                         Norah running the booth at the market



                                             A beautiful frame of Spring honey!

                                                Extracting Honey with Dad




                                      A Freezer full of Chicken
Processing chickens


Until Next time..........................

The Cools

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Herbs and Herbal Teas








So, for the past couple weeks I have been busy harvesting and drying Herbs in an effort to blend some Herbal Teas for my shop and for the upcoming Farmers Market.

We have an abundance of Stinging Nettles throughout the Forest! ( if you are not familiar with the benefits you can read my previous HERE post to find out more!)

My first Herbal tea blend : *Cool It** A blend of Nettles, Catnip and Lavender..





Its absolutely delightful! I am so happy with the flavor and aroma. Its good as an iced tea as well as  hot tea.. a wonderful way to decompress after a long day or just to ease those nerves on those stressful days.

and of course I would recommend you pair it up with Bee Kind Family Farms Raw Honey ( which we will have available very very soon!)

Mug is made By Artist Molly Johnson Of Molly Johnson Ceramics ...




Blessings
The Cool Family




Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Glimpse of the Gardens

 
 
 
 
 
 
 






 






 
I absolutely revel in this time of year, soaking in every beautiful moment. The gardens are thriving and growing rapidly! Soon the bounty with be plentiful!!!!
I am maintaining 5 gardens right now.. I added a 5th this year ( not pictured) , in which I planted  30 additional tomato plants, more beans , carrots and bunching onions. I also have a smaller side garden which is home to Miss Norahs Garden ( I am sure she will want to share some pictures soon, maybe after she weeds it, haha)
The bugs don't seem to bad so far.. which is strange.. I have seen the cabbage moths fluttering about and have been covering my cabbage with some floating row covers

Right now we are feasting on  Chard, Kale, arugala, lettuce radish, cilantro and sugar snaps.
We should be able to pull some new potatoes, bunching onions,beets, blueberries, and carrots soon!

The only hurdle we have had so far this season, is lack of rain, So I have been having to water. Luckily the days have been super sunny which allows me to use our hose . Our well is run off of Solar so I can only use the hose when the weather permits.. I have been watering by hand as well, but the rainbarrels are near empty again.

What's growing in your Garden??

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Busy

I gotta say I get a little jealous of the folks out there with methodical, well thought out, consistent, pretty blogs.
I feel like I was keeping up ok on here for awhile, but now feel like I am getting entirely to busy to take the time to sit down and do this. This is NOT to say that other bloggers aren't busy,, I honestly just think they maybe they use their time more wisely? or maybe they don't sleep? I don't know.. Whatever the case may be, I can only speak for me, and Ill tell ya its been BUSY around here!!
So I figure I would just catch ya up on whats been going on around the homestead!

Gardens:



Everything is growing beautifully in the gardens, and while we could use a little more rain to really make them explode, we are picking lettuce, kale , chard, cilantro, sugar snaps, arugala, and radish..
I have pretty much my entire garden(s) in. all 5 areas,, although I am thinking Of tilling up another tinny spot for more carrots, bunching onions, beets, and peppers.. but we will see if time allows :)

Bees:








I asked my husband the other evening " Do you feel you are keeping up with the bees?" His response was " I am at the cusp, and could fall behind any day now" ..hahaha, well I guess we know how he feels,,, busy and maybe slightly overwhelmed.  Welcome to the beginning of Bee season!

We lost quite a few hives this winter. its always a hard thing to swallow. We are fortunate to be able to rear our own queens and make our own hives though, RObb has been busy rearing queens, building mini mating nucs, and expanding the apiary. I believe he has reared around 20 successful queens thus far! (that means 20 more hives already, if all goes well!!)
We are currently at about 40 hives and really hope to reach near 80-100 this year.

The SPRING FLOW has started!!! The Tulip Poplars, Holly Trees and Black berries are all blooming. These are just some of the flowers that contribute to our honey flow. The bees are furiously building comb and getting ready to fill them up with that sweet sweet nectar!
 


Workshops, teaching and more.......

 


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We have had the wonderful opportunity to do some teaching the past couple weeks.
May 3rd we attended Eustace Conways ( you may know him from the show Mountain Men on the history channel?) Turtle Island Preserve for *Families Learning Together* to teach a beekeeping workshop! It was a wonderful day filled with teaching, learning and just chatting with so many like minded folks! We also had a diagram of our Off grid/solar set up and spoke about that as well.  They had everything from woodworking, blacksmithing, hide tanning, soap making , basket weaving, and more!!

This past Monday, we went up to our Local school to teach the 1st graders about Bees. This was our second year invited up talk to them and its always
SO much Fun! We really love the enthusiasm these kids show for honeybees, and all the great questions they ask. We feel very lucky to be able to spread the word about the importance of honeybees!

 We will also be hosting a Queen Rearing Workshop at our home on June 6-7th!


Chickens:
We have about 20 chickens ready to butcher in 2 weeks, with another 20 that will be ready in about another 2 months. We finally finished up an additional chicken tractor for the baby meat birds.
The Little kids

The big kids







So that about wraps it up..kinda sorta.. oh besides the pipe that is leaking under our home , which is on a concrete slab,which requires digging 32" down to find the pipe, taking apart the deck and replumbing that section of the  house.. sigh, we will save that post for another day... Its just so negative haha..


Blessings
The cools



 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The First Greens of Spring




pea flower :)

 
 





The first fresh Greens of spring!! and so it begins!Ohhh happy day! We are building some cold frames this year, so we can have greens years round,, because No one should go this long without a fresh salad from the garden ... We have used our hoophouse in the past, but even in the winter in can get so hot in there , so cold frames will allow us to adust the temperature easily.

Our gardens are starting to show signs of life, These are 2 of my 5 garden spots... They are slowly filling in. Our temps have been cool and while this is not so great for some of my warm weather crops, all my cool weathers are loving it!

I made up some Homemade bread in our solar /sun oven to go with our salads this evening. Perfect meal to end the day..

Blessings
The Cool Family