We’ve been soaking up the changing seasons here with walks on the beach, bike rides, flower picking and wood stacking amongst our usual work. I am a bit smitten with a field of beautifully decaying sunflowers. Their great big heads full of seeds ready for sowing next year (or snacking this year).
All of the marsh grasses are in bloom showcasing a soft pink hue as the sun catches them waving in the breeze. Honeysuckle has faded on the beach dunes making way for cheerful goldenrod which has always been a favorite roadside weed. And the sunsets… phenomenal.
What’s blooming in your neck of the woods?
One of the things I love most about living in Cape May is all of the natural beauty around us. Sure, we have the beach and ocean and, of course, the most fantastic sunsets. That is a given. But what many visitors don’t always see is the vast farmland that Cape May possesses. Many of the farms are on preserved acres of land. There are vineyards, alpacas, flower farms, vegetables and hens. Lots of hens.
Ryan and I joined the Egg CSA at Beach Plum Farm this year. It is a 20 week Community Supported Agriculture program where we pick up a dozen fresh eggs straight from the farm. I look forward to visiting the farm every week and subsequently the hens. These ladies run a tight ship – looking for snacks and checking out the visitors. I suppose the hen does rule the roost after all.
After a short visit with the girls, they typically lead me right to the piglets. It’s fun to see the personalities of the animals. The hens anxiously peck along keeping everyone in check while the pigs are much more laid back. They’re so darn cute with their muddy snouts and squeaky snorts. I can’t help but to think of Babe, one of my favorite movies as a kid. “That’ll do pig, that’ll do.”
Have you visited Cape May’s farmland lately?
Oh September! How did you sneak up so quickly? Quite bittersweet. I do love fall however so I’m sure I’ll be ok. We’ve been catching some fantastic sunsets lately, a bit earlier than I’m comfortable with but they sure are stunning.
Cape May celebrated Labor Day weekend with the annual Tomato Festival. We had an impromptu tomato festival of our own at home after coming into 25 pounds of ripe, locally-grown tomatoes for a steal at a farm stand.
We made pasta sauce, roasted tomatoes, tomato polenta, tomato salad and tomato omelets. We’re a bit tomato-ed out here but we’ve got enough to last us into the winter, I think. Nothing like seasoning each dish with complementary garden fresh herbs.
I’m also enjoying our newest book that we just introduced to the inventory for harvest season. Drink the Harvest has fantastic recipes for drinks made with more of your fruits, vegetables and herbs. I think mint may be up next on the chopping block over here! The new book is available at The West End Garage.
Let me also introduce this little guy. He has a bit of a moody warmth about him…just in time for the changing season. Kind of like your favorite slouchy sweater.
I love, love, love the unique brass hardware. The bottom was painted in MMS milk paint boxwood and the rest is MMS milk paint typewriter with shutter gray peeking through. I applied antiquing wax over the typewriter to really darken the color. This nightstand is available at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.
Have you ever thought about taking a floral design course before? Have you cut flowers from your garden and wished that you could do more than just haphazardly plop them in a vase? Do you have any idea how you can make the cellophane wrapped supermarket bouquet look like a million bucks?
Now is your chance to learn how from an award-winning, professional floral designer! And for the mere cost of a floral arrangement which, in turn, will be donated to our Bike MS: City to Shore team. The funds, not the arrangement. You get to take your floral arrangement home! Fresh flowers and a good cause. Does it get any better than that?
If you’re local to North Wales, PA, I hope you will consider Petal Pushers and join us for this awesome fundraiser on August 14th. Please register in advance as space is limited. As always, let me know if you have any questions.
P.S. Pennsylvania friends, I will be conducting a milk paint demo on Sunday, July 20th at 1 pm at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.
The garden is off to a great start this spring. We’ve had warm, sunny days and cool, misty nights. As a result, we’re harvesting bunches and bunches of lettuce plus a bunch of leafy kale every other day.
The more frequently it is harvested, the higher the yield. I hate to let any of it go to waste because I know once the temperatures soar these greens will bolt leaving me wishing for just one more kale infused smoothie. And I’ve tried but I’m just not into kale chips.
In order to maximize the kale harvest and make it last well into summer I’ve come up with a plan. After washing the bunch of kale and trimming the stems, I toss it into a pan and blanch it. This only takes a few minutes. I usually do it while making dinner.
Then, with tongs, I place the wilted greens into an ice-cube tray and cover with water.
Pop the tray in the freezer and we’ve got kale cubes. The cubes are ready to chill any smoothie or to toss into any soup, stir fry or side dish. I put the excess cubes in a freezer bag to make room for more. There’s another harvest right behind this one!
I recently read an interesting article about the benefits of using cooked kale vs. raw kale in smoothies. What do you think? What is your preference?
Well, June is here! The weather is on the rise, the days are long, the water cool and strawberries are the pick of the moment. These things will be celebrated, as they should be, on Saturday at the annual Strawberry Festival in West Cape May. Be sure to walk across the street and visit us at the The West End Garage. You might just stumble upon a free milk paint demonstration. Will you be in Cape May this weekend?