Taste of Summer

Due to so many things out of our control, we didn’t even begin to plant our garden this year until the end of May. If you are from the south, you know this is VERY LATE!  We haven’t had a lot going on until this last week, but now that we are enjoying some of our first harvest, I thought I would share just a brief taste of summer on our little farm.
We have experienced quite a bit of loss this summer on the farm.  Between the heat and wild animals we have lost much of our flock of chickens.  But, the hens we do have are laying nicely, keeping us well stocked with fresh eggs.
If you have never tasted a farm fresh egg, it’s a flavor beyond description!  All I can do is urge you to visit your local farmers market and buy a dozen.
Or two.
To me there is nothing more old fashioned than gathering eggs and cooking with them almost immediately.
 I just feel so “Laura Ingalls”!


I am so excited about our peach trees this year.  I thinned down the early peaches so that they wouldn’t be as crowded on the branches, and they are twice the size of the peaches that we harvested last year!  I am hoping to pick these the first of next week.  They look so refreshing and inviting when I pull into the driveway everyday.


As for our vegetable garden, the tomatoes are almost ready to pick, the green beans have blooms and the peas are running up the poles, but my cucumbers have just decided to show out!  In the last week I have gathered enough cukes to begin making the first pickles of summer!
I have everything all ready to go, and plan to spend the day making pickles while sitting with Audley’s grandparents tomorrow.  Everyone in the house (even the grands) are anxiously awaiting the zing as they bite into this fresh summer treat.
{Of course we have to stop peeling and eating them as soon as I bring them in!}


What are you growing this summer?  Have you enjoyed your first taste of summer goodness?

Sunday Grace

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation…….”
I Peter 1:3 (NLT)
one of our sweet baby chicks, just hatched this week


Isn’t it just perfect that Jesus was raised from the dead in the spring?!  I find such comfort and hope at the newness of life as we watch everything bloom and give birth.
Happy Easter to you all!


Spring Fresh

It’s asparagus season!
Last year was the first time I ever tried to grow my own, and while I didn’t have much success, I have discovered asparagus is a perennial.  I was quite surprised to find quite a wonderful harvest in my raised garden bed this year.


With all of the rain we have had, my asparagus has needed no encouragement to grow.  Every three days or so I can go out and gather several stalks of this spring staple.  If my family is lucky, I might make it into the house with them.  Raw, fresh asparagus is so delicious; occasionally there just isn’t enough to share….. just don’t tell my kids!
They all love it!
Serving asparagus up raw on a veggie tray is quite tasty, not to mention unexpected.  Eat it plain, or with a homemade ranch dip.


And speaking of kids and asparagus, it wasn’t that difficult to encourage them to try it.  I didn’t start when they were little, but waited until they had exhausted all of the Veggie Tale videos and spent lots of time making fun of the characters.

I promise you, when they out grow Veggie Tales, you can get your kids to eat any veggie out there, just out of sheer spite!
I am warped that way.

Asparagus makes a lovely side dish to many dinners as well.  Grill up your favorite main course (a good pork tenderloin is always a hit) and serve up a side of dijon vinaigrette asparagus.

 Easy and fabulous.
Trim the tough ends from one pound of asparagus and add to a pot of salted, boiling water for about two minutes.  You don’t want it soggy, it needs to be on the crisp side.  Remove from the water and place on a paper towel to drain.  

In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 Tablespoons Olive Oil, 2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar, 1 heaping Tablespoons Dijon mustard, Kosher salt & pepper to taste.  If you would like, you can add fresh basil, tarragon, or rosemary to change up your flavor.

Arrange your asparagus on a serving plate and drizzle the Dijon mixture over the vegetable and serve it up.  

I added a little freshly shredded Parmesan cheese to the top of ours, just to dress it up a little.

The best part about this recipe is that you can serve this warm or cold.  We prefer it warm, but with a good salad, it is wonderful served cold.

And just for fun, try adding asparagus and fresh mushrooms to your pizza next time you fix one. Topped with mozzarella and parmesan this is so delicious!

Any way you try asparagus, you will love this taste of spring!


Season of Promise

One of the very few things that I do like about living in the country is the space for growing and planting.    It’s sometimes painful to look back over my childhood and laugh at regret the hissy fits I threw over helping Mom in the garden.  She actually taught me so much, and as I have discovered on my own over the years, there are not too many things more satisfying than raising fresh food for the table.
With spring officially here, I have been carefully attending to our fruit trees that we planted a few years back.  Last year I picked our first peaches, but this year it looks as if we might also have plums, and dare I say, apples?
Peach blossoms
The top of our Georgia Belle Peach tree
We have three peach trees which look promising for this season.  I can already taste their dripping sweetness now!
I just love these blossoms!
This is the second year we have had plum trees, and they are also showing great promise.


The blooms have been gorgeous!
The apple tree is a bit moody.  We start off with much promise every spring, and end up with only one or two apples.  But it’s blossoms alone make the tree worthwhile!
It looks so delicate, but is so strong!


the color of an apple blossom has to be my favorite!
I am hoping to get a start on my raised beds late this week.  I believe that we have had our last frost so I am anxious to plant some of our favorite summer freshness!
It’s spring break here which means sleeping in, picnics, and day trips.  I think that I can cram more spontaneous activities in a few days than most people can plan ahead of time!
It sure does make life with children fun!
What do you have growing where you are?