More wedding photos

November 20, 2010

July 17th, 2010

Scott and Becca

Bridal Party

Becca's family

Our whole gang

Storm watching

Married

Decorating the car

Just Married

Happy couple

 

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July 16th, 2010

Flower prep the day before the wedding – sister Deb made six hand held  bouquets,  40 or so tabletop mason jar arrangements, two pulpit arrangements and the flower girls basket – all with flowers from my garden except for a few dozen roses that we ordered.  We used hundreds of peonies that had been sleeping in my fridge since May and June!

Florist designer - sister Deb

sorting peonies for the wedding

Scott and Becca’s wedding – July 17th, 201o

Storm watching before the wedding

Scott and Becca's rainbow

Funnel cloud over the church after the wedding

Becca's bridal bouqet

Handheld bouqets all in a row

mason jar arrangement

Made with love

Family pictures to follow soon!

My gardens on canvas

June 13, 2010

One year ago, on my 50th birthday, my children gave me one of the most special gifts I have ever received.  The kids commissioned a local, talented artist, Lynda Peterson, to paint a picture of my gardens as a birthday gift.

Lynda wanted to know when my favorite time in the gardens was, and I mentioned that I love to stroll through the gardens at dusk, after all my work is done for the day.  She came one evening to take photos of the gardens before dusk, to help her capture the light and mood that she wanted to portray on the canvas.

So here I am, strolling through the gardens with a cup of coffee, taking time to enjoy the flowers one last time before the dark chases me inside.  I believe she captured the mood and the light just perfect; she truly created a masterpiece.

Sisters

Congratulations, Jenny, on your fine achievement!  We are so proud of you! Thirteen years of hard work and now you hold a diploma – life is full of options and adventures for you.  Go girl!

Yesterday we had the wonderful fortune to hear in person, farmer and author, Joel Salatin.  The author of many sustainable farming related books, Joel was on a lecture circuit promoting his newest, soon to be published book, ‘The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer’, along with the movie ‘Fresh’, a film that focuses on new thinking about what we’re eating.

His message to farmers was inspiring and simple –

We can heal the land with sustainable and organic farming practices

Be proud of who you are and your farming profession

Love and embrace what you are doing

We appreciated hearing his encouragement and success story; we left feeling younger and more excited about farming, and inspired to follow more of our dreams.  It confirmed our belief that we can make a difference, and are making a difference, one acre at a time.

We DO love what we are doing; it is the reason we have made sacrifices in our lives to stay here on the land.  We love being connected with nature through the soil and the seasons, and feeling blessed by heavenly sunshine or rain.

We love farming with organic practices that are enriching the soil; watching the worms and beneficial bugs increase in number, feeling the soil grow ‘softer’ each year, and witnessing green, healthy crops during summers of drought.

We love the opportunity to grow our own food, to preserve and harvest the food, and sharing the work and the bounty with extended family.  We love that our children are raised as ‘farm kids’, enjoying a simple lifestyle that embraces faith, family, hard work, country sunshine and wide open spaces.

Yes, we love being lunatic farmers, every single day!

Blogs full of Spring

March 16, 2010

I have just discovered a new pastime while I wait in desperation for Spring to let me outdoors to work.  It is called Botanical, a blog directory of garden blog writers, and it well may have saved my sanity.

Imagine – a site entirely devoted to gardeners and garden blogs from around the world!  A networking site where you can read garden blogs, and then pick your favorite posts and blogs to give the authors a warm fuzzy!  And not only that, but you can find gardeners with similar interests to follow, or do a map search to locate bloggers in a specific area or country.

In the past week I visited gardens from all around the United States; then I took a trip to Ireland, Australia, England, and Canada!  It was a busy week with a tight travel itinerary, but you know I’ve always wanted to travel and just can’t seem to get off the farm – problem solved.  While Spring might be in denial here on the back 40, other gardeners are reveling in snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils and happy to share the dirt!  I have come across some GREAT posts, funny jokes, and fantastic photography, and I’d like to share a few of my favorites.  They really are worth taking a peak at, especially if, like me, you are desperate for Spring!

Farm Kids and Ole and Lena’s New Car from Two Country Gardeners

Beautiful photography from Muddy Boot Dreams

Beautiful Mysterious Blues from Garden Paradise

A book recommendation from Kitchen 55

Those Fried Onion Things recipe from Jenmenke.com

Garden Tips N Ideas from GTNI

Maple Sugaring from Flower Hill Farm

It’s Maple Syrup Time from Garden Paradise

Click the Blotanical Banner below to meet a host of garden bloggers!

Green Lotus peony ~ A gift from a garden fairy god-person

I have never met a fairy godmother, but I once was visited by a garden fairy god-person, and I have a unique and beautiful peony growing in my gardens to prove it.   The story behind this peony might seem far-fetched, but it is a true example of the enthusiasm and generosity that gardeners share.

Quite a few years back, I was cleaning house and getting rid of old magazines and nursery catalogs.  My daughter, who lived in a city 30 miles away, offered to take them off my hands and donate them to the magazine exchange at her local library.  Off they went, and I thought that was the end of that.

And then – a month or so later my phone rings.  And some stranger introduces himself and says he picked up a copy of a Klehm’s Song Sparrow Nursery Catalog that was at his library’s magazine exchange, and was wondering if it had been mine because it had my mailing address on it.  And he had noticed that I had marked a certain unusual peony in the catalog, and he tells me that he himself has that same unusual variety and is wondering if I had purchased one for myself.  When he found out that I had not actually purchased it, he asked if I would like a start from his peony.  And that’s not all….. when I mentioned that we lived 30 miles away from each other, he said it wasn’t a problem and that he could drop it off for me the next day!

It was all a bit baffling, and I was a bit nervous about this stranger coming over.  What if he wasn’t who he said he was, how could I know?  And why would he drive 60 miles to deliver a plant gift to a complete stranger?  My doubts were ungrounded, for the next day he showed up with a nice, healthy peony division for me.  We chatted gardening for a while, and then he proceeded to go on his merry way and left me to plant my new peony.

Each year when the unusual blossoms of my ‘Green Lotus’ peony are in flower,  I am most humbly reminded of the generous gardener (or garden fairy god-person) who shared it with me.   I can’t remember his name anymore, but the experience is engraved into my heart.

Have you ever been unexpectedly gifted from a gardener or fairy god-person?