Saturday, June 26, 2010

From scratch.

Ryan and I were supposed to have a small, intimate country wedding
under the cherry tree in our backyard. That was the plan, but not the production. Weather did not work out and thus, we wed inside whilst the tree stood alone. But, in what I could interpret as mother nature apologizing for nasty weather on my wedding day, (go ahead and sing the Alanis -- you and I both know you want to...) our cherry tree put on a feast of cherries a few weeks ago heretofore unheard of!

I decided to reap nature's bounty and create the ultimate, from-scratch, down home country cherry pie. (Any other "country" adjectives you can think of?!?!)

Ah, like life, here is the bowl of harvested cherries. I must thank Ryan for his help, as I could only reach the bottom two limbs on the tree...

Everest, with her ultimate guidance, "supervised" the pitting of the cherries:

Pitted, sugared (organic turbinado), and ready to be pied:

My go-to homemade pie crust is a vegan, organic oil crust, courtesy of Betty Crocker:

The finished product! Served with pride to my family with some vanilla ice cream goodness.

I can't even begin to describe how I felt doing this. It was the first time I picked and pitted cherries and certainly the first time I did so after picking them from a tree in my own yard. It was a lot of time and effort, but the reward certainly seemed worth it. I felt incredibly self-sufficient -- and I think I would have even if the finished product had not been so dang delish.

The garden is coming along. The weather has been on and off nasty pretty much since our wedding (hmmm...) and pictures shall be forthcoming. I probably should not have told Ryan about our first tomato by exclaiming (while he was at work on the phone with me) "Did you know we're parents?!?!" Oh, well. As this blog is all about, I am living and learning.

Feel free to come out and see the garden. We can always use extra weeding hands!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Breaking ground

Admittedly, we got off to a late start. However, the parsonage in the country is now home to our first organic garden!

Here's the tilled patch we chose for our garden's home...

We're going to try our hand at heirloom organics. We got our seeds and seedlings from local farms, who advised certain plants that are suited for Hoosier soil and climate. We've got tomatoes: Cherokee Purple, Mr. Stripy, Hillbilly (yes, indeed) and Big Beef. We're also growing okra, beets, carrots, onions, peppers (hot and bell), eggplant, squash (acorn, spaghetti and pumpkin), cauliflower and broccoli. There are also some flowers and herbs in the mix. Especially catnip for the girls. I don't think I forgot anything, and that seems like a hearty list!

Here's Ryan working the land...

And a Hoosier country sunset!

So far, some organic tricks we're trying are companion planting (e.g. marigolds next to tomatoes) and habanero tea. We haven't applied the tea yet, and I am excited to see how the bugs react. We've had a few squash casualties, possibly from chipmunks, and other than that there hasn't been too much wildlife damage.

More good news: Murray is taking to his outdoor location very well! He even had his first robin's nest this spring. We were very proud of Murray's first family.