Thursday, May 30, 2013

When it Comes to HoneyBees...


One of our favorite things about homesteading on Pilgrim's Farm...
is beekeeping


it's a whole world of  bee cities that thrive on being busy...


in a most delightfully sweet way


to watch the honeybees as they bring alive the jungle of bush...


and in the gardens as they hum and buzz...


winging their way back and forth...
never complaining of hard work

just doing the duties that sovereign God gave to each little bee


truly, the honeybees work at making honey much harder than we do at beekeeping

and the end result is this...


we get a lot of requests for our honey...
sometimes, we have enough to sell to a few...
sometimes, not

I do have one special little jar of Pilgrim's Farm honey...
just for my readers

next week, please do look for a sweet give-away from our farm
I'll let you know more, then


If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death,
and those that are ready to be slain;
if thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not;
doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it?
and He that keepeth thy soul,
doth not He know it?
and shall not He render to every man according to his works?
My son, eat thou honey, because it is good;
and the honeycomb,
which is sweet to thy taste:
So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul:
when thou hast found it, 
then there shall be a reward,
and thy expectation shall not be cut off.
Proverbs 24:12-14

May your day or night be like honey in the grace of God.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How to Eat Green Plantain...

How beautiful a bunch of growing plantains look on the tree


and here, the photo below, shows the parts of the plantain stalk


green plantain should be cooked for eating

while my favorite way of eating a green plantain is to dice it into a pot of soup...
my husband's favorite way is a fried snack called patacones or tostones
it's a great chip for dipping into homemade salsa or plain yogurt

the only ingredients I use for making patacones is...
one plantain for every two people
a frying pan with about 1/2 inch deep coconut oil
a sprinkle of sea salt on the cutting board


while the oil heats up in the pan at medium high...
the tips of the plantain are cut off...
and the skin scored from top to bottom down to the fruit but, not into the fruit
this helps ease the skin peeling


with the thumb, the skin is pulled away from the fruit and all the way down...
peeling it all the way around the fruit, then the peel discarded or given to the goats


the plantain is cut into 3/4 inch slices


the slices are slipped into the hot oil to fry one minute on the first side...
and about 30 to 45 seconds on the second side
they should not become brown or crispy at this point


the half fried slices are taken out and put down on the sprinkled sea salt...
and are left to cool (about 2 to 3 minutes) just until they can be handled but, no longer
if they cool too much, they will not smash properly


using anything that has a flat bottom surface...
gently mash down one plantain at a time into the salt on both sides...
but, not too hard
the chips should only be flattened to half it's original size


like so...
then, transfer them back to the heated oil and fry on both sides till a golden color


put them on a paper towel to drain the oil
patacones should be crispy on the outside...
and are best eaten immediately afterwards



Thou wilt show me the paths of life:
in Thy presence is fullness of joy;
at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11


May your day or night find pleasure in the grace of God.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday Flower Power Postcard...

Where pomegranate flowers give way to fruit good to eat


May your day or night bloom in God's grace.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

And With the Rain...


This morning, it rained


there is something pretty nice about raindrops on roses



and when I went out into the garden to sow some seeds...
here, a little friend of mine called to me and asked to pose for the camera


he said, "do you think my right side is just fine?"


"how is this?"

yeah, little lizard friend..
you really sweetened my morning
do indeed, go catch you some bugs from my garden



a wee bird sitting in the mussaenda tree told me to go check the cherry trees...
that grow on a hill just below the cottage


since the last rains over a week ago, the trees have taken on new leaves


and last I looked a few days ago, they were putting out lovely pink blossoms...
which means...


suddenly, those blossoms turned into cherries!
I must admit, that surprised me to see so many, so soon


certainly, I picked all the shiny red cherries that could be reached...
and left the high ones for the birds and lizards


on my way back up, I couldn't help noticing how sweet Pip the roo...
looked under the mango tree and just had to snap his shot


today, I was going to show how we eat our green plantains...
but, truth be told, the cow ate the whole bunch that was chopped down from the tree
I promise to show you, yet...when the next bunch is ready

with a rainy day...and a cool night sure to come this evening...
a pot of vegetable and lentil soup was made, instead...


and with that...a little dove keeping watch on the cottage gate...bids, till next time


Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.
And blessed be His glorious name forever:
and let the whole earth be filled with His glory;
Amen, and Amen.
Psalm 72: 18,19

May your day or night be filled with the glory of God's grace.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Marvelous Thing...


The other morning, I noticed the rose bushes are blooming, once again
that is a marvelous thing to me



my husband was pruning another bush when he realized a bird's nest, nestled inside it


I took some vines and banana leaves and draped the bush with it...
hoping to replicate the original covering over the nest

the mockingbird, whose nest it is...
came back and is now taking care of her 3 blue with brown speckled eggs
that, too, is a marvelous thing



yesterday morning, for sure, we thought this hive was about to swarm
the bees all came out in a sudden flurry of noise and took to the air...
climbing higher and higher...
wider and wider, until...
we thought the hive was lost


my husband opened the hive from the top and checked to see what was going on
all he could find was that the new bee queen had probably gone to find a mate

we waited and hoped
and while we waited, my husband harvested approximately 7 pounds of honey...
and put another super on top to give the bees more room

and wouldn't you know it...
the bees came back...
and now they are back to normal...
calmly going about with their nectar gathering and honey making
this is indeed, a marvelous thing

we have a temporary water "moat" under the hive to keep out red ants...
that can destroy a whole hive in a matter of minutes
which is why you see the red bin to keep the hive out of the water in the black tray



the guava tree back of the cottage...
was ready for the picking


these wonderfully sweet, juicy fruit were bigger than my fist


they were good to the last bite, let me tell you
how marvelous is this



for the past few months, our papaya trees have been giving...
and giving


they are beautiful to eat just as they are...
and they make great smoothies
a marvelous thing, indeed



how nice to see the chickens and goats...
don't worry one about the other


they all live together and each go about their business...
the chickens never minding the company of the goats...
nor the goats of the chickens
"farm city" I call it
too marvelous, it is



these days, the citrus trees all around us on the homestead...
are covered in blooms
(in the photo below, you can see one of our kid goats, standing to reach some citrus leaves)


the scent of them send a fragrance out so delicate...
and yet, so heady, it can make a person giddy with pleasure...
and I do believe we may have more citrus than we could count, soon
a perfume of marvel in God's creation



those layer chicks we got a few months ago...
are giving signs that shortly, in the not-too-distant time...
they will gift us with more eggs on the homestead, please

how marvelous indeed, is the wonder of God's creation


Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously:
for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe,
though it be told you.

Thus saith the Lord of hosts;
Behold, I will save my people from the east country,
and from the west country;
And I will bring them,
and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem:
and they shall be my people,
and I will be their God,
in truth and in righteousness.

Habakkuk 1:5 and Zechariah 8:6-8

May your day or night find marvel in the grace of God.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Farminess and Homesteading...


Thought instead of my usual Saturday postcard...
I'd share a cute video by a homesteader
and don't worry...the ending is pleasant : )



May your day or night be pleasant by the grace of God.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

When the Man is not Around...


a rare occurance here on Pilgrim's Farm...
is when my husband isn't around to take care of the manly things

so, when one of the plantain trees fell over on the cottage compound fence...
and my husband had duties elsewhere for the day...


I assessed the situation and knew my wimpy woman muscles would come into play

with the tree bringing the fence down to the ground...
and the tree acting as a possible bridge to goatville on the other side...


and my dog, Shadow, with a penchant for chasing goats in a not so playful way...


"who? me?!"


but, who is otherwise great with the chickens...
"you good doggie, you"


well, this couldn't wait for my man to come home to

I did notice a bunch of plantains fell with the tree


grabbing my machete...


I went to the other side of the fence...


and what would have taken my husband to do with about 3 whacks...
took me about 50 whacks


and being careful not to whack the irrigation line to the orchard trees in the process


the plantains are still young but, edible...
and in my next week's post, I'll show you how we eat them green


the job wasn't done after the tree cutting...


the fence had to be pulled back up and that was harder than I first thought


it took some pulling and yanking and by the time I had it back up all the way...
the sweat was running into my eyes

but, there you have it...
a pause in enjoying a mission accomplished
the goats are safer and Shadow is safer


speaking of accomplishment...

After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished,
that the scripture might be fulfilled,
said, I thirst.

And he that saw it bare record,
and his record is true:
and he knoweth that he saith true,
that ye might believe.
For these things were done,
that the scripture should be fulfilled,
A bone of him shall not be broken.
John 19:28,35,36

Jesus Christ's mission when He died on the cross was accomplished in the saving of His people.

May your day or night be accomplished in the grace of God.