Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Merry Christmas To All

Just wanted to send warm, wintery blessings to all of my faithful readers, and wish all of you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and a peaceful and healthy New Year! I will be away for a while til after the New Year to try and catch up on things, and I will be closing my Etsy Shops for a week or two, or even three so I can catch my breath and just enjoy a bit of down-time! But I'll be back before you know it! Happy Holidays, dear ones!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Congratulations, Colleen T. of Hillsdale,Michigan!

Colleen has been selected to receive the Sledding Crow Hang Tags offered in my latest Blog Give-Away. (I know... I'm a day late in posting this, as I was gone all day yesterday to Vermont getting feed and food!)

Colleen raises shelties and has a lovely Cafe Press shop full of all kinds of items featuring her photographs of her beautiful shelties.  Here is her shop greeting...
"Welcome to our Sheltie store fellow dog lovers! We have items for all Sheltie lovers, but we know how hard it is to find that special Tri-color Sheltie item, so we are trying to offer all kinds of great gifts featuring Tri-color Shelties."

You may visit her shop here...

Again, congratualations Colleen, and thank you to all who entered, and to all who read my humble ol' blog! May each of you find peace and joy this holiday season. Warmest regards, Laura of Wildenblue Farm

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Recipes

As promised in my last post, here are a few recipes for the holidays that make perfect gifts... to you or yours!

Orange & Chocolate Truffles
8 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate
1/3 cup Heavy cream
1 tablespoon Espresso Powder
4 tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon grated Orange Peel
1 or 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
Cocoa Powder for dredging truffles

Melt the chocolate in the microwave carefully. Add the cream, espresso powder, butter, orange peel, and Grand Marnier. Mix all til combined, then refrigerate for an hour.
When mixture has chilled, dust your hands with cocoa powder and roll teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Dredge in cocoa powder. You may also choose to dip the truffles into melted chocolate first, then dredge in cocoa powder.

Chocolate-Raspberry Truffles (my favorite!)
In a saucepan over low heat, melt together
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
12 ounces chopped Bittersweet Chocolate
1/4 cup Butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup Seedless Raspberry Jam
2 tablespoons Chambord

Refrigerate for about 4 hours or overnight. When properly cooled, form into balls , then dredge into cocoa powder or dip into melted chocolate.

Kahlua Truffles
In a saucepan, melt together
2 cups Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Butter
1 Tablespoon Instant Coffee crystals
2 tablespoons Kahlua
Whisk til smooth, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Form into balls and dredge in cocoa powder.

Alright, enough of the truffle recipes! You can have fun with these three and adapt them to suit what you like by varying the liqeurs and flavorings you use! I will include two of my other favorite sweet-tooth recipes for holiday gift-giving, too! Enjoy!

Candied Orange Peel (use organic oranges!)
2 cups orange peel, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
Place peel into a pan and cover with water, bring to a boil , then drain.
In a saucepan, combine the drained peel with
2 cups Sugar and 1/2 cup Water

Heat and stir til sugar dissolves. Cook slowly til peel is translucent. Drain, then roll in granulated sugar. dry on a rack or on a parchment-covered cookie sheet. If you like, dip into or drizzle with chocolate.

1 cup chopped Almonds
2 cups Butter
2 cups Sugar
2 tablespoons light Corn Syrup
2 cups Chocolate Chips
6 tablespoons Water

Line a large heavy baking pan with aluminum foil. Sprinkle with half the chopped almonds, set aside. Melt the Butter in a large heavy pot over low heat. Stir in the sugar, water and corn syrup. Cook over medium-high heat til mixture boils; stir and let boil for 4 minutes. Clip a candy thermometer to pan, lower heat to medium, and stir often til thermometer registers 290 degrees... soft crack stage.
Pour into prepared pan, let stand for three minutes, sprinkle the chocolate chips on top, let stand one minute, then sprinkle with the remaining nuts, pressing them into the melted chocolate. Chill and break into pieces. This makes about 1 1/2 pounds of toffee.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Tidings and A Give-Away!

Sigh... December 1st, and still no snow. I do tend to get impatient when Christmas Time is coming and there is not even a hint of snow. I remember when we were little, we would have snow at Thanksgiving... and occasionally when we were out on Hallowe'en, we'd be spreckled with snow flurries! We had more snow then than now, that's for certain!

Well, I am having another Give-Away! I have been trying to get my workshop in order (there is still SO much to be done!), and I have discovered exactly how many Rubber Stamps I possess! And whilst mom has been sewing my curtains, I've been trying to feel useful! So I will present a very primitive looking set of six Sledding Crow hang tags to one  reader, whom I will select on December 15th!

If you'd like to enter the SLEDDING CROW HANG TAG GIVEAWAY, simply send an email to, attention Hang Tag Giveaway, and include your name and address. On December 15th, I will select a winner and will mail your Hang Tags to you!

Each grubby tag measures 2 1/4" by 4 3/4". They are stamped in red, brown and black, and feature two prim Crows on a sled. They top phrase reads "Christmas Blesses Little Hearts" and the bottom says "BELIEVE". The back is stamped with a bottom row of red hearts, and "to" and "from". I have drawn a line of "stitching" all around the tags.They are tied with scraps of red checked cotton Homespun.

Well, I just had to stop in with holiday wishes to you and yours! I'll be back in a few days with recipes for homemade truffles. They make wonderful little gifts, and you'll want some, too! Til then... remember the true meaning of this season, and that the best gift is a gift not from your wallet, but from your heart!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Blessings To All

I had to stop in to wish you all a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving, and share two main reasons I've been a bit preoccupied lately...

My new granddaughter Kara, who is one week old today (congratulations Trav, Ashley and Ryan!)...

and my new grandson Tristan, who is three days old today! (Congratulations Jake, Nicole and Anthony!)

I hope to get back on track with my blog and my Etsy Shops after Thanksgiving weekend, as I haven't been very attentive to either for a few weeks. Mom has been helping me refinish furniture... she found a beautiful old pine headboard and footboard for free on the side of the road, and my dear neighbor Carol called me about a free dresser and vanity on the side of the road which my son and his wife picked up for me. I've finished the floors I had been stripping and have gotten most everything back into the two rooms I was working on. Still lots of sorting to do! Mom will come up after Thanksgiving and stitch up some curtains... red homespun in the grandbabies' room and blue for mine! (I can't sew unless I have to!) We finally got the gardens cleaned up and cut back in preparation  for winter's impending snows, and I've been trying to get my workspace in order. The barn is clean, and I'm waiting for the first real snowfall, but the weather has been unseasonably warm for that to happen!
Well, there's lots to be done tomorrow, so I'm off to bed! May you have a lovely weekend!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thank You, Janet of Meatless Mama

It has been a chaotic week, to say the least. It began with the idea of re-doing the upstairs, with the exception of my daughter's room and the bathroom. I only wanted to repaint the two bedrooms, one of which was the computer/ storage/ packing room, which became a total mess after my oldest son moved out. I want to totally redo the bedroom, and transform the computer room into a spare bedroom for the grandbabies, as Ashley is due shortly and Nicole soon after! It started with peeling off wallpaper (thanks mom and Mandy for all your help!) to sanding and stripping the beat-up pine flooring, and now everything that was in the computer room and the larger bedroom is packed and squirreled away and I know where nothing is. Bob is coming tomorrow to do the painting, and I have weeks of sorting and moving and weeding out ahead of me, and amongst all of this, I received a phone call with devastating news about a friend from the preschool I taught at.

Thus I have been away from the computer, as it's been mostly unplugged... although I am grateful to my daughter for the use of her laptop for quick check-ups now and then! When I finally got my computer hooked back up and on today, I had a note in my email from darling Janet of Meatless Mama... please view her scrumptious recipes and very informative blog at

I am grateful to be one of her chosen six for the Friendship Award. It was such an unexpected gift, to have a trying week, and to come on and find her little note to stop in to her blog! THANK YOU for brightening my November, Janet! I will now gladly choose another 6 charming blogs to bestow this award upon!

The rules of this award-

This award is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming.

These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends.

They are not interested in self-aggrandizement.

Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated.

Please give more attention to these writers.

Deliver this award to six bloggers who must choose six more and include this cleverly written text into the body of their award.

I will pass this award to six blogs that I find exceedingly charming...
~Crista and her photogenic blog

~Leslie and her beeyotiful blog

~Tina's herbal blog

~Lemon Verbena Lady's lovely blog

~Kristi's sweet blog

~La Tea Dah's wonderful blog http;//

Now see what you've helped do, Janet?! One random act of kindness will lead to many others now! Thank you, Janet, and thank you to everyone who reads all the wonderful variety of blogs created by an even more lovely variety of bloggers! Blessings from Laura of Wildenblue Farm

Saturday, October 24, 2009

It's ALL about the Pumpkin!

Well, one more week til Halloween, so I thought I'd share a few tried and true Sweet-Tooth recipes featuring Pumpkin. The first recipe was given to me over 25 years ago by my friend Rachel. It is scrumptious, and as she noted on her original recipe card, it contains 100% of vitamin A and 10% of iron per serving! My children used to love this with whipped cream straight from the oven!

Pumpkin Gingerbread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13" X 9" pan. Place the following ingredients in a large bowl...
3 1/2 cups Flour            2 cups Sugar
1 cup soft Butter            1/2 cup Molasses
1/3 cup Water            4 Eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups Pumpkin Puree            2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt            1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ginger            1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cloves            1 teaspoon Vanilla

Beat well and pour into prepared pan. Bake for about an hour or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, and enjoy!
(I think I'll head to the kitchen and make a pan of this when I'm done here!)

I always laugh at all the jokes regarding Fruit Cake, but I love the stuff! I never met a Fruit Cake I didn't like, and this one is delicious!

Pumpkin Fruit Cake
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a large bowl, combine
1 cup soft Butter            2 Eggs
1 cup Pumpkin Puree            1 cup Sugar
2 cups Flour            1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar            1 teaspoon Vanilla
Mix batter together til well-combined. Then add
2 cups dried, chopped mixed fruits... whatever you like.
(This can be an assortment of any combination of dried fruits or the pre-packaged typical fruitcake citron mixture that's available at your grocer's)
1/2 cup Golden Raisins
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts or whatever you like)

Pour into either one large loaf pan (bake this for 1 1/2 hours) or smaller mini-loaf pans. (Bake these for 50-60 minutes) til a toothpick comes out clean.
When cooled, brush about 1/2 cup of rum or flavored brandy over the loaves, if desired. Wrap in plastic wrap and let set for a week or two in the refrigerator.

Pumpkin Roll Cake
(A must-have for Sunday dinner dessert or Thanksgiving around here!)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a jellyroll pan or large cookie sheet and dust with flour. Dust a clean dishtowel with 1 tablespoon Confectioner's Sugar, set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the following ingredients...
3 Eggs            1 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Flour            2/3 cup Pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon Cinnamon            2 teaspoons Ginger
1 teaspoon Nutmeg            1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Cloves            1 Tablespoon Orange Juice
Beat thoroughly and pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes; carefully invert onto dishtowel. Sprinkle cake with 1 tablespoon Confectioner's Sugar, roll up with towel and let cool completely. Meantime, prepare icing by creaming together
1 cup Confectioner's Sugar
8 oz. Cream Cheese
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Unroll cooled cake, frost with Icing and re-roll without towel! Sprinkle with Confectioner's Sugar.

Well, that will do for now lest we have a sugar-overload. Hope all is well with you and yours as November nears. I've been trying to catch up on things, and am pleased to say I finally got around to picking the Concord Grapes. I made two batches of jelly. I got the barn cleaned for winter... and just in time. My friend Martha called me the other day and needed a home for 5 laying hens... two were just old biddies past their prime, but what's two more mouths to feed? They're sweet little things, and followed my grandson and I about the barnyard and didn't mind being petted and carried. My daughter and my mom have given me a hand peeling off wallpaper from two bedrooms upstairs. I suppose I'll have to rent the floor sander again and re-do the floors in the upstairs hallway and three adjoining bedrooms. And we've been trying to find time to get my workshop together. And I need to get the tractor out and get the frost-blackened gardens tidied up and cleaned out in preparation for winter snows. And so on! I must go bake some Pumpkin Gingerbread now, so til next time! xox ~Laura of Wildenblue Farm
PS: My daughter wanted Pumpkin Roll instead!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Roger's Rock Trail... NOT the slide!

If you're not up to another post of another hike... just skip this one! I promise I'll be back in a few days with a recipe or two and more farm-related chitchat! But a girl's gotta take advantage of a beautiful fall day before hunting season keeps her away from the woods...

This picture shows the trail about a half-hour into the hike. We started off on a pine needle-covered path that headed uphill, and came suddenly to an abrupt steep climb over and between rocks!
My ol' hiking buddy & I headed up north for a little jaunt up the trail at Roger's Rock to check out the view of the northern part of Lake George. I will tell you straight up that we did not rock climb up the slide. Here is a link to that venture posted by someone much younger and more agile than I.... bless their heart. (I am not a spring chicken and I am afraid of heights!!! These folks are not....

Looking back down from where we just came from (before I got scared!)
Needless to say, we did have to manuever between, up and over many rocks on the trail we took. And I am not going to lie and say I was not afraid when we hit one steep spot in particular, and I realized that I could not retrace my steps back down on account of the fact that it was almost impossible and too steep to go backwards.
My friend told me NOT to look down, and I listened... but I really wanted to snap a picture to prove  my point. However, I daren't let go of the vise-grip I had on two rocks to reach for my camera! I was frozen briefly with panic, but quickly realized how much more humiliated I would feel when I visualized myself having to be plucked off the side of this climb via a helicopter! So the only thing I could do was keep pulling myself up! I was very relieved, and very proud of myself, when we reached the overlook!

Here is part of the trail heading back down. We had to scoot along on all fours and our backside at some points to meander through the rock passageways, as it was still quite steep in certain areas.
We did find a different way back down the trail, as you could probably have guessed because I'm typing this and am not still up on Roger's Rock! It really was a lot of fun, and I would do it again since I know what's ahead! Well, this is probably it for hiking this autumn, as big-game hunting season opens October 18th and runs til December 7th, so I'm glad we got a few in before the snow flies! Til next time!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Come along for a hike

Yesterday was a LOVELY day for a hike up Sleeping Beauty Mountain! It was cool and sunny, and the foilage was beautiful. The trails were rocky and there were a lot of switch-backs at certain points, but the view at the top was gorgeous. We ate lunch and chatted with other folks on the summit for at least two hours before we headed back down! Here are a few photographs to share...

The trail started off rocky and wet, and continued to be all the way up, with the exception of certain areas that were more or less like walking up a streambed.

Through the trees, you can just make out the peak of Sleeping Beauty.

Here, you can see the switchbacks that the leaf-covered trail makes as it zig-zags up the mountain.

This is a view from the summit looking southeast towards the mountains of Vermont and Massachusetts

And this view overlooks the northern end of Lake George... to the very left across the lake is Bolton Landing... to the right are the beginnings of the High Peaks in the Adirondack Mountain Range.

Looking again towards Vermont and New Hampshire... I believe the pointy peak towards the left is either Killington or Pico in Vermont.

Looking south towards home!

My Happy Feet!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Just wanted to share this photograph of my grandson Ryan... hope I'm entitled to bragging rights this morning! I just love this picture that my daughter-in-law sent me. She informed me the other day that he has begun to CROW! I laughed when she told me this! Whenever Ryan and I are out on a hike and we spot a crow flying overhead, I point it out to him, and tell him "Do you see the crow? They say 'Caw, Caw!" and continue on our way. I told his mommy she should be grateful we have no braying donkeys!
I am headed out shortly to hike Sleeping Beauty Mountain with a friend. I haven't done a real hike in probably three years, so I hope we make it! I've been trying to get out and enjoy the fall weather before the snow hinders me! Mom and I went kayaking the other day. It was cloudy and cool, but the colors of autumn were lovely. It looks like another gorgeous day! Hope you all are enjoying the changing seasons!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Congratulations to Leslie of Comfrey Cottages

The winner of the fresh-cut Sweet Annie Bundle is Leslie of Comfrey Cottages in Illinois! If you desire information pertaining to beekeeping, herbs, and a lovely life in general, you will want to visit her bee-yootiful blog here
A heart-warming thank you to all... this was my first give-away, and I will hold others, as it was much fun!
Leslie, your Sweet Annie will be on its way to you in the morning's mail. I hope you are pleased with it! Primitive blessings from Laura of Wildenblue Farm

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Hello again! Happy 1st day of October! It was 36 degrees when I went to bed last night, and I expected there'd be a killing frost by this morning, but I was wrong. The clouds must have kept the chilliest air at bay.
This morning was cold indeed, yet it was trying to be sunny. But the rain clouds have been moving in since my morning walk, and it has just started sprinkling again. I started the fireplace when I got back home, as it was 58 degrees in the house when I woke up. I had every intention of bringing in firewood today and firing up the wood furnace in the basement, but instead I ended up baking to warm up the end of the house not heated by the fireplace!

I started a pot of Cream of Broccoli soup and a batch of Pecan-Onion Bread to have with it. Then I headed out to the Berry Garden to pick raspberries, and to the vegetable garden to plant garlic. My neighbor Gary had given me a strain of garlic developed and grown for many years by his neighbor further up the road, and I planted this along with some garlic I had picked up at the Co Op in Middlebury, Vermont. I put in over 100 cloves; not a lot according to some folks, but I ran out of garlic, so it'll have to do! And besides, it had just started to rain as I was finishing up, so I headed back into the house for some bread and soup! Here's the recipe if you'd like...

Cream of Broccoli Soup
In a large pot, over medium heat, combine 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, a whole bulb of minced garlic and a large chopped onion. Saute til the onion and garlic are softened, then add 1/3 cup of flour. Stir the flour into the onion-garlic mixture til incorporated, then add between 6 and 8 cups of vegetable (or chicken) stock. Reduce temperature to a simmer and add 2 heads of Broccoli that have been chopped into pieces. *Reserve about a quarter of the Broccoli for later if you want a chunky soup. Simmer for about 15 or 20 minutes til the Broccoli is cooked through and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the cooked mixture to a blender and puree, working in batches if necessary. *If you have reserved some chopped broccoli, dump the pureed soup back into the cooking pot and add the remaining chopped broccoli... cook for another 10 minutes. Either way, add about 1/2 cup of heavy cream to the soup and blend well. If thinner soup is desired, simply add a bit more stock or water. Serve topped with grated cheese if you like.
~Harvest blessings to all from Laura of Wildenblue Farm!~

Here is a rather poor photograph I took a few days ago of a naughty fox that has been snooping around the fields and barnyard. I am sad to say that our cat Luna has been missing for a few days, and with this cold weather bringing wildlife closer to home, perhaps a fox or coyote or owl is to blame...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Birthday Greetings to my mother

     I had to stop in to wish my mom a Happy 71st Birthday! We had lots of family here for dinner in celebration... mom made her much-loved Spaghetti Sauce, and I made Coffee Chocolate Cake for dessert.
     The coyotes have been howling up a storm... they woke me up at five this morning with all their yipping and calling. To top it off, two owls joined in the early-morning conversation, along with the 3 or 5 coyotes. As I was walking mom out to her car tonight, we heard them again. It reminded me that Halloween is but a month away!
     It has done nothing but rain here for several days, with only a few breaks in between. I took advantage of one today to pick raspberries and pack up an order for Sweet Annie and Bittersweet. I am grateful for the rain, as it has been very dry. However, we had planned on a kayak jaunt tomorrow, but it's not going to happen on account of the rain. But I will be babysitting my grandson, which is better yet!
    There are still a few more days to enter my SWEET ANNIE GIVE-AWAY! See the post below for further information!
    Well, it is near bedtime and I have a co-op order to put together first, so I must be off. I'll be back come October!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Enter my Sweet Annie Give-Away!!

My favorite non-edible herb is in full swing for harvesting here on Wildenblue Farm. It is known affectionately as Sweet Annie, due to its heavy sweet scent. Botanically it is known as Artemesia Annua. I just love harvesting and bundling up the boughs of my Sweet Annie and hanging the bunches wherever I want a primitive country feel. As it dries, I reach up and grab a handful to sprinkle on my braided rugs just before vaccuming them. It makes a bit of a pleasure of the monotonous chore!

Sweet Annie is also lovely for entwining into sweet-scented wreathes, or for use in potpourri or sweet bags. Never use Sweet Annie for culinary purposes. It is not meant to be consumed, but is used strictly for decorative purposes.

If you live in the continental United States, you may purchase Sweet Annie bundles from my Wildenblue Farm Primitives Etsy Shop, which you can click on to the left of my blog page, or on this link: They are available for a limited time due to the impending heavy frosts!

If you have the room and the desire, Sweet Annie is easily grown, but be forewarned! It self-seeds readily, and can become an invasive PEST! One of my Strawberry Beds (and Berry Garden... and gravel pathways... and Barnyard... and....) is loaded with Sweet Annie seedlings and plants, which must be removed before the seeds develop and drop, lest I have double the trouble next year!

Now, I have a surprise for a lucky faithful reader who is a residence of the continental United States. (I'm so sorry to exclude International Readers, but due to Postal Customs Restrictions, I cannot ship plant material outside of the United States.) If you care to send me an email, I will enter your name in a Sweet Annie Drawing! I will accept emails for ONE WEEK... til October 3rd, 2009... and on October 4th, 2009, I will draw a name and I will post the winner of a Sweet Annie bundle that evening.
To enter the drawing for a bundle of Fresh-Cut Sweet Annie... send an email with your complete name and mailing address to
I will fairly select one winner who shall receive at no charge what-so-ever a beautiful fragrant bundle of Sweet Annie. This will be fresh-picked from my garden on the day of shipping as weather permits. Because it is fresh, you must unpack it as soon as it arrives, give it a gentle shake and hang it to dry in a dry, airy spot. Please know it will be wilted or will wilt soon after delivery... this is normal! DO NOT place in water.

Here is a link on some information about Sweet Annie that you may enjoy!
Autumn blessings from Laura of Wildenblue Farm!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday, Anthony!

Here are some pictures of Anthony's third birthday celebration we had tonight... HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANTHONY!!!
love, Gramma Laura

Friday, September 11, 2009

Garden update

As anyone who lives in the North Country knows, the potential for a killing frost for the gardens becomes more likely as the days tick away towards mid-September. The plants still continue their somewhat-slowed growth, seemingly unaware of what lies just ahead. The cucumbers, Kentucky Wonder pole beans, Yin Yang bush beans, and Butternut Squash stretch their tendrily fingers, bedecked with blossom rings, ever-forward toward fences and arbors, reaching to claim more of the space they occupy in the garden.

Pumpkins are taking advantage by day of what little is left of the warmth and sunshine, still sending out blossoms of gold despite evening temperatures dipping into the mid-forties and below. Other crops are submitting to the beginning of Autumn; the Spaghetti Squash, Garlic and Potato vines have withered and dried, offering their fruits as sacrifice and testimony of the time passed.

A smattering of blushing leaves have released themselves from the grasp of the red maple branches and pinned themselves to the mossy-green cloak of lawn... they beckon the others still on the trees to let go and follow along, for they know that cold winds are not far away, waiting to dislodge them all with one frosty breath.

Catnip and especially Basil are waiting to be harvested before frost blackens their leaves and takes away any will to survive. The Catnip has been nestled in a blanket of row-cover all season long, which offers protection from our seven marauding cats. Yet it will offer little protection from a heavy frost. Thus, this becomes a chore of necessity which must be tended to within the next few days.

When mom and I built the little greenhouse last October, she commented on how the cattle panels we were using in its construction would make ideal arbors for beans and gourds to climb on. Needless to say, when the garden went in this spring, so did the cattle panels. At about $20.00 per 16' X 4' panel, it proved to be a fairly inexpensive and very sturdy trellis for peas, pole beans, gourds, cucumbers and morning glories to meander up and over. They were easy to bend in half, and I secured them in the ground by driving a steel fencepost in the center of each side and using plastic cable ties to secure the panel to the posts. They stand easily 7' tall, and I kept them about 4' apart width-wise.

I would definitely recommend them for this purpose, and will absolutely use them again next year. They withstood the weight of birdhouse gourds which I planted on one side of a trellis. On the other side, I planted scads of Kentucky Wonder pole beans. The cattle panels didn't move in the winds, nor did they buckle or cave under the weight of the crops leaning on them. Out in the back garden entryway, I covered one arch with Hop's Vine and Morning Glories... both of which grew heavily and thickly to completely engulf the cattle panel. I can still grasp the top of the arch and hang my weight from it and it does not bend. I'm very pleased with mom's idea!

I am continuing to dig potatoes and garlic, and will soon need to start digging up some Jerusalem Artichokes. When it began raining this afternoon, I headed out to transplant over 100 autumn Forget-Me-Not plants and seedlings which had taken over a good chunk of the berry garden. I have some lovely fall Raspberries that are sending out still more side shoots, and because the berries are so large and prolific, I will transplant the

new shoots to a brand-new bed to get a good start for next year. So the rampant blue seedlings must go elsewhere. I'm appreciative of the gentle rain we've received this evening, and won't mind if it continues all night, for the sake of the transplanted flowers and a few fruit trees my brother brought up that I finally got around to planting the other day!

Tomorrow afternoon, there will be a Baby Shower here for Nicole, my middle son Jake's girlfriend. Sunday, we have plans to meader about the countryside in New York and Vermont for a Cheese Tour of Washington County. I'll bring my camera!
I will leave you now with a few more photographs from the garden today, and I hope you all have a lovely weekend! Til next time...