4.19.2016

Simple Granola


Looking for a fast and easy granola?
I have made many batches of granola over the years, but this time I pieced together all of my favorite recipes into what works for us. That's the thing about granola…there's no "GRANOLA LAW" dictating what has to go in. It's really about preference. I'll share my steps and our go to recipe; and I will offer suggestions for add ins.

We tend to use granola as a snack, a yogurt topping (my favorite), and as a breakfast with milk and sliced strawberries. (and we use Gluten Free oats due to our daughter's Celiac Disease)




I obsess a bit about mise en place. I find it soooo helpful to have my ingredients measured and clearly visible. Plus, I clean as I go, so my kitchen is literally tidied up sans putting dishes in dishwasher and wiping the counter.



Mix your wet ingredients. 




Mix your dry ingredients.




Mix your  wet with your dry ingredients.




I'm a messy cook. Or perhaps a bigger bowl was in order.




Spread a nice thin layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. I use my huge one, but you may need two.



Let cool before removing from the tray. This allows yummy stuck together sticky, crispy/chewy bites. (If you prefer it separated, stir while still cooling.)

Ingredients:

4 cups oats (we use Bob’s Gluten Free)

¾ c sweetened coconut

¼ c unsweetened coconut

½ t salt

1 T cinnamon

1 t vanilla extract

3 T golden flaxseed meal

1/3  c canola/coconut oil blend (Spectrum)

2/3 c local honey (organic if possible)

2 T maple syrup

optional add-ins:  sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, dried cherries, cranberries or other fruit.

If adding nuts or dried fruit, back off on the amount of coconut.

Directions:

325° oven preheated

1.    Mix dry ingredients.

2.    Mix wet ingredients.

3.     Combine wet and dry.

4.    Spread on parchment lined baking tray

5.    Cook for about twenty minutes. Stir midway if desired. 
     Watch carefully for browning to avoid burning.

6.    Allow to fully cool, then remove to an airtight container. (Love my Pyrex with lid)

Please share your favorite granola add-ins in the comments below!

Enjoy!!

4.12.2016

The Daffodil Fields

If you haven't made the journey to Parson's Reserve in Dartmouth, Massachusetts,
 put it on your to do list.



You enter the woods through an almost hidden path...


...and trek up a nicely cleared, somewhat inclined 1/3 mile path.


As you round the last bend, the forest canopy opens to a glorious field of yellow.


It's like the secret garden of your dreams.


As you catch your breath and walk the paths, every vista is filled with pure butter melting across a green stemmed landscape.


It is intoxicating.


Billowing petals wrap delicate stamens in protective blankets.


Hollow echoes of a winter just passed disperse among the Birch trees...


...and springtime's melodic trumpets fill the air with a cautious melody.


It is a walk of meditation...of reverie...of faith.



It is hopefulness and motivation.



It is Earth's elements swirling around you in an innate tribal dance.



It is your earliest memory...your ugliest cry...

It is LOVE.


4.03.2016

The Garden Sanctuary

Over the years, many people have asked me why I garden, or how I "got good at it", or where to start. And I gush a bit, because gardening has been an innate part of me since childhood. So I smile and reflect and talk about it from my heart. 



You see, nature captured my heart at a very young age. I still remember examining the velvety petals of Dad's red roses, or sitting near our neighbor Aurore's barn, watching her weed and tend her perennial border.





Dad showed me finches and cardinals and robins and titmouse. He taught me to listen to their call. 



Aurore and Dad soldered together lessons on planting vegetables and deadheading petunias. They encouraged the seed inside me and kept it nourished.



Mom gave me little juice glasses to collect smiling purple pansies and clumps of wild violets. She patiently allowed them on the kitchen table, already overflowing with supper for seven.


Nature tugs during every waking moment.
I  find myself constantly look to the Heavens and configuring moments into a frame by frame journal, abstract script imprinting my soul.




So when someone asks me to recommend or guide or encourage….



it quickly surges…



a molten path of childhood and happiness and gardens…zinnias and heirloom tomatoes….twisty garlic scapes and waves of green beans…leading to an abundance of moments in adulthood where nature  has danced upon my heart. Moments of solitude as I tend and coddle and contemplate. Moments of peace as the catbird stays close by my side. Moments of joy as I share our abundance.



I truly believe that gardening is not about talent.

It is about desire, and patience.

It is about connecting with the world around us.

It is about self-growth.

It is about living a life of essence and zeal.

It is enlightenment.

4.01.2016

Cosmos

Looking for another easy to direct sow, awesome producer in the garden?


Look no more, Cosmos are here!


I had NEVER grown Cosmos until last summer.


I planted a variety of seeds,


I love the uniqueness of this variety.


They grow quite tall, so they would make a great background planting, or would be lovely along a fence.



They produce like crazy from late summer right up til first frost.



The more you cut, the more they produce. Win-win!



They tend to have thin, rather delicate stems,so I find them pretty in with a mix of zinnias, or with a large handful, so that they can prop one another up.


Their frilly petals are so unique!
I will be planting again this year.
I hope you will too!


3.28.2016

Zinnias

I often get asked to recommend an easy to grow flower for small home gardens.




Without hesitation, I say Zinnias. All varieties.


Zinnias are one of the most joyful flowers in the garden.
They come in a rainbow of colors, varied petal shapes, and sizes. 



I love them for their longevity in the garden and vase…for the way they attract skippers and butterflies and hummingbirds...



….because I can crowd them and they are forgiving and produce heavily….


….because they are the last bright spot in my garden as the chill of fall creeps in….


…but most of all because they make me smile:)

2.17.2016

Garden Planning 2016 (including seed sources and resources)



When I was 10 and had a little garden patch behind my parents garage, I never dreamed that my love of velvety coleus and fascination with sticky blossomed petunias would carry me 40 years forward and would be my guiding light.


Since we have lived here in Coastal Massachusetts (also nicknamed The Farm Coast), for the past 17 years, I have always gardened. When the kids were young we had a small vegetable garden. Years later we planted an extensive perennial garden, but when I became pregnant with my second child and had a few complications early on, I was told I had to stay away. Thus the beautiful perennial garden became overrun with weeds and a few years later, was just a memory at the bottom of the sloping hill, just before the woods.


Seven years later, in 2010, we planted a large vegetable garden in the space shown above. After hours and hours of daily weeding and no end in site, we knew we had to come up with a new plan. In 2012 we built the raised bed garden. We filled the beds with an organic compost from a local horse farm. Eventually we laid down a thick weed block on the pathways. This garden has been going strong ever since. Raised beds allow for low maintenance, easy weeding, and are easy to irrigate.




I always joke that once you get the plants established, the garden just kind of grows itself.

Cosmos Double Click Mix

As I started planning Prince Snow Farm 2016, I started thinking about expanding my flower production. I did a bit of research, built a small seed collection based on what I know grows well during hot, humid Massachusetts summers, and the plan was made!


I thought it might be helpful if I shared my seed sources and other go to resources for planning.

Vegetables: I have always bought my veggie seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. This non-GMO seed company has an amazing assortment of vegetable and flower seed. 

My favorites:

Pink Brandywine Tomato
Yellow Brandywine Tomato
Dr.Wyche's Yellow Tomato
Hartman's Yellow Gooseberry Tomato
Martino's Roma Tomato
Blue Lake Bush Beans
Early Scarlet Globe Radish
Big Boston Lettuce
Boston Pickling Cucumbers
Chinese Miniature White Squash
Squash Mongogo Du Guatemala
Squash Patisson Golden Marbre Scallop
Squash Connecticut Field
Boston Marrow Squash
Big Max pumpkin
White Scallop Squash
Pumpkin Jaune Gros De Paris
Butternut Squash Squash Galeux d'Eysines 

My favorite place to purchase organic seed potatoes is Wood Prairie Farm in Maine.

I also grow a variety of herbs, mostly purchased locally. 

Flowers: I always buy a random assortment of Zinnia seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds when I order my veggies.

This year's plan: (and I'm saving $ by using my leftover veggie seeds from last year):

Knee-High White Cosmos:Snow Sonata
Kneehigh Cosmos : Sonata Mix
Dancing Petticoats Cosmos
White Seashells Cosmos
Double Click Cosmos
Little Ladybirds Cosmos
Double Butterfly Cosmos
Apricot Blush ZinniasBlue Point Bouquet Zinnias
Cabaret Zinnias
MightyLion Zinnias
Raspberry Sorbet Zinnias

Celosia Plume Mix
Black-Eyed Susan Sahara
Black-Eyed Susan Chiminee Mix
Dusty Miller New Look
Iceland Poppies Sherbet Mix
Bells of Ireland
Snapdragon
Chinese Forget-Me-Not
Snow Puff Cosmos
Purity Cosmos
Double Click Mix Cosmos
Queen Anne's Lace
Zinferella Peach Zinnia
Oklahoma Salmon Zinnia
Benary'sGinat Salmon Zinnia
Gleam Salmon Nasturtium
Dahlia Cornel

sunrich orange sunflowers
procut gold sunflowers

Starburst Panache Sunflower

assorted dahlias

And there you have it! I also cannot emphasize enough how all of these seed sellers are also a wealth of knowledge! I have taken down many notes from all of their sites to guide me on my journey.

 Floret Flowers has been EXTREMELY helpful in my planning. I have read from their blog
 daily for inspiration and ideas.

 I have also discovered a new friend close by. Debbie Bosworth is a flower farmer here in Massachusetts. She has a great blog with lots of tips! It can be found here. 

Gardening is about planning and tending and coddling….but it is about a love of nature. Gardening is my art. I express myself through what I grow. 
And I wouldn't have it any other way.

PLEASE SHARE IN THE COMMENTS WHAT YOU WILL BE PLANTING THIS YEAR!!















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