Thursday, May 12, 2016

My Valley is Green


Because we are getting some nice rains...


our little valley is coming into her new greens


it is bringing the promise, once again, of fruits on the trees


while this mango tree sits right outside our bedroom window and the fruit still green...


we have mango trees that already have ripened fruit...
and it is good to be eating mangoes again!
I will soon be making mango tea with the extras


well, my husband has got the veranda almost done


we have two gateways in it and one gate has been made...
and then the veranda will be painted where there is still raw wood
he will be putting the extra panels to cover the openings under the house
they need a little refining right now


now, if I could just figure out how to keep the chickens off the railing 
sigh
perhaps if I hang potted plants it may discourage them



out in the yard is where I prefer my chickens to be
but, really, my dear birds...


right in the roots of the mango tree?

if they are not pooping on my decks...
they're digging down into tree roots

tis' the life of free range chickens



however! I am happy to report...
I finally am able to keep them out of my herb garden
I tacked up screen onto the posts along the top of the chicken wire and it works


no more getting into my herbs and dust bathing in my pots


before the screen was put up...
Big Red thought he found the perfect shade in my garden...
but, he got booted back out


I can pronounce my herb garden chicken free...
and put my pots on the ground...


without fearing for the lives of my precious herbs


mama hen taught them this one...
and baby puffs dust bathed real good to dig up my ginger in that there pot


so, now that I have my garden back to myself...
the herbs are growing nicely once again...
and tea is being made with the ones with the most leaves


in this case...
I used lemongrass, soursop leaves, citrus leaves...


stevia leaves and one citrus flower


my lemongrass grow outside the herb garden as they tend to grow pretty large


I pour a full pitcher of hot (not boiling) water onto the leaves...
and steep for about 15 to 20 minutes...
then, strained to take out the leaves


the stevia leaves give just enough sweetness...
without having to put in sugars
the tea is put into a bottle and kept on the counter...
and that keeps it at room temperature and easy to reach for
of course, it can be drunk either hot or cold
this tea will be gone by the end of the day



my husband has been bringing the cow into the compound of the cottage...
she has been happily "mowing" the new grass and getting good cow nutrition


the egrets keep her company much to their mutual benefits
the egrets keep Ruthie Moo Moo tick free...
and they get to eat any other bugs that spring up from Moo Moo's munching...
which disturbs the insects' once peaceful environement 


I do believe these two are a pair


I think they are rather beautiful


and this morning, I made salt fish souse for my husband's breakfast
first the cured salt fish was skinned
soaked in water for a couple of hours to take out the salt...
and deboned
then, diced tomatoes and onions were added
two cloves of chopped fresh garlic mixed in
and olive oil drizzled into the mix till well coated
tossed in a bit of black pepper and thinly sliced large cuban oregano leaf


May your day or night find grace in the Lord.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Little of This and That


He's been putting in quite the hours on the front veranda


we decided lattice will work fine along the bottom part for railing...


because as this little hen will demonstrate to you...


if we don't have a way to keep out chickies...
we will get to step on what they leave behind
not exactly good companions for front porch conversations


so, chickies...
you are seeing the last of your crossing over days to the other side of the cottage...
using our veranda as a bridge to your foraging journeys



David Goodman of thesurvivalgardener.com blog gave us some kale seeds...
a few years ago

I sowed them in seed trays then transplanted the seedlings under papaya trees...
in the vegetable garden

(they take on a lovely glow in the sunshine)


this is the result of those seeds...
and I am well pleased with them


so, of course, I am now harvesting the seed pods as they dry on the plant...
(you can see a tiny seed inside one of the pods below in my hand)


because I will be planting lots more of these

thank you, David! 



I've been working on growing my herbs


and so far, so good


even a couple of stevia seeds grew for me...


and once again, I will be harvesting the seeds for more sowing


I am a bit mystified as to what plant this is
it grew along with one of my seedlings and looked so much like a strawberry plant...


I decided to leave it alone and see what it turns out to be
it looks like strawberry but is not growing tendrils like one
if you know what it is, I'm all ears



and because we do get a dry season during the year...
my husband has set up a watering system for the garden and fruit trees

he took pvc pipes...
hooked them up to come down from the river...
(we are able to use gravity for this)


down into our garden...
put a shut off valve on it and a faucet...
fastened two long water hoses onto the faucet...


and voila!
we are able to take that very long hose wherever it's needed...


and give our trees some nice long drinks of nutritious river water
we don't have to worry the water will run out or cost us monies...
because the springs from the mountains does all the supplying...
for free

we like that



of course, with dry hot weather...
the watering system for the chickies is not forgotten

I've got three in various areas for their convenience



we've been eating quite a bit of papayas lately from our trees

this particular tree...


has got some of the biggest papayas we've had yet...
and they aren't ready to pick still



the milk supplies have not dwindled in spite of dry season
it helps to have free range goats that know where to forage


and even though she is a goat...
Darla's little doeling, Sochi, has become quite a ham


she thinks she ought to be part of the action...
to make sure she gets a bit of attention, too

the fun part of homesteading


May your day or night find peace in the grace of the Lord.