Friday, December 21, 2012

Annual Christmas Tour!

It is always a delight for me to see what others are doing for their Holiday decorations. I stop at my sister Michelle's house first to see what amazing ideas she came up with. This year it is more woodsy and in elegant gentle colors.

Classic Winter scene with birch trees and snow shoes

An old fish box hosts a tiny magical forest


Opulence fit for a fancy magazine:)


Who needs presents under the tree? I love this!

The tree hosts pale colored vintage ornaments and bird nests
The tree is un-sheared, which is  popular in Europe, that lends more wildness (and room for ornaments!)



A beloved mantle display- milk glass, tiny rose hips and rustic picture frames


Tiny trees are lit up inside glass lanterns.
 Another year has zoomed by, with me eager to 'hibernate' and read through my seed catalogs as I plan for a new season. I have been so lucky to be surrounded by wonderful and supportive friends and customers alike for another market year.
 
    All the best for the Holiday Season,
 
             Amanda Muis

Friday, August 3, 2012

Farm fun and some wild stuff


Beautiful heirloom tomatoes- and my first 'green zebra!'
 Having a sick day meant I could spend a few hours to do the things I have been neglecting- mainly taking photographs and blogging! Summer is in full swing- who would believe it is August already and the fruits of my labor are taking shape.

Crazy spider- that is massive/scary and has a cool zigzag web!

Monarch Caterpillars
 I found 6 of these adorable friends on my dill in the greenhouse- they have since been relocated outside into the milkweed patch.
Some beautiful flowers that will miss my market this weekend....

Instead they are going to the Charles Macdonald Concrete House Museum-   

Delightfully wonderful bane of my existence- The Potato Beetle who eats everything

My patience is paying off- sunberry's are riping

Wild apples starting to blush.

The Pond. Or more delicately put The Swamp.

 The pond is where I have
 been getting my water for the past few months while we suffered the drought. Hopefully that is over. It made me reliaze how lucky we are to have access to water- including well water- and how much we take advantage of it. Other Countries- Bermuda, Pitcairn Island to name a few HAVE to save rain water if they want to have water.  Just some food for thought. 
Life has been busy but good. Weeds are running rampant- and I'm gearing up to make more fruit leather and gasp! making art ( who finds the time?)

I wish you all well and I hope to be getting better for next week.
Cheers,
Amanda




  


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Welcome Summer!

Summer is finally here- It is a dry one no doubt, followed by some super insect populations especially aphids!- that being said, I also see plenty of lady bugs and their funky purply orange larvae. (that will be in another post.)
 Life has been going well, my gardens look good-even the weeds look good :)  although I planted plenty of things early some did not grow super fast- I still wish my carrots were ready!! ( I did harvest 2 bunches)  I did numerous plantings, grown under row cover and the later (no row cover plantings) are nearly as big as the early ones. Our dry spring is one reason for that. Next year I'm irrigating in March!

My attractive pie pans to scare off the Ravens

Evidence #1 Raven print beside my peas Yes- this is why I have no peas for sale!

Evidence #2 Pea pod is scratched open and every pea is picked out

Dusk setting in on the Farm
One of the things I love this time of year is the fertile fresh smell of the marsh rising up at dusk. Things are wild and magical and overgrown- hiding mysteries from my constant view. This morning I was able to watch the tree swallows chicks take their first flight- cautiously poking their heads out of the hole, hopping onto the side of the birdhouse and playfully taking off. When they have had a chance to strengthen their wings and learn to eat insects, they will take off back to South America.

Chamomile harvest for drying


 Peonies are in full swing and Strawberries look amazing- I didn't grow them, but my neighbor does, and he is a perfectionist at heart. It shows!   My time at the Farmer's Markets has been well spent- mainly chatting with customers, tourists and all sorts of people. I love to meet new people and learn new things from them. I hope that you find your way there too.
Amanda

Friday, April 27, 2012

Springing into the Market Season!

Things are growing with tenacity here even with the forecast of 'fluffy rain' tomorrow and I am happy to announce I will be at the Historic Farmers Market starting this Saturday from 7-1 at the Brewery. Here's some pics of what's been going on at the farm.
I love my tulips-( it must be the Dutch in me)

Nothing like spring radish
 By the way- I'm now into stir frying my radish- it takes the sting out of the flavor and puts in a little sweetness. just slice and pop them into the pan with your other veggies for at least 4 minutes.

The Beet Greens are growing too!

I just discovered this moth on my mizuna- coppery red and beautiful! Anyone know the variety?
My dad also started his giant pumpkins- they are now out in tiny greenhouses and being covered over at night. I plan on growing giant tomatoes, sunflowers, corn and of course beets this year.
Hope you are well.
Amanda

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tips to keep your tulips fresh


Tips for keeping your spring flowers fresh!

Spring flowers are not meant to last forever- an reflection of the ephemeralness of the early season when we are bombarded with singing birds, colorful blooms and the waking up of the land and community.
However, by using some of these tips you can keep your blooms happier for a longer period of time.


Floral Preservative. It’s true. It works- Some people swear by a teaspoon of sugar, lemon lime soda or even vodka. If you are having guests over later in the week, use some to guarantee fresh looking blooms.


P.S. I do not sell this product, but there is a lovely store in the market that does, and I can send you in their direction.


Making sure they have fresh clean water every day, recut the stems every 2 days if feeling inclined. Daffodils are known for their murky water due to the sap in the stems.



When arranging Tulips and Daffodils together, keep daffodils separated for 2 hours in a vase while they ‘de-sap’. (The sap is what can kill off the tulip blooms) Rinse daffodil stems and arrange with tulips in fresh clean water.


The top tip of all.... Keep your flowers in a cooler part of your house. Stay away from heat ducts and direct sunlight. My trick is to move the vase around as the day goes on- the bouquet cheers me up at the sun filled breakfast table, then moved into a less sunny room until I am ready for entertaining.

A decorating note or two:


There are so many vases on the market it is hard to know what to choose, and can make many different statements.. I have a few favorites- mainly in crystal and glass, which add light and do not take away from the beauty of the flowers. I also love jam jars for their simplicity. Whatever you have can be jazzed up- with colorful ribbon, raffia or colored glass at the bottom of the vase. Arranging several bouquets and putting them together creates a smash- and so do single stem vases.
 
 
I will be back at the Historic Halifax Market starting Saturday April 28th with tulips, and a whole load of fresh greens and other produce. Hope to see you there!
Amanda

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tulips and stuff

Reminder- the Hammer's hide in the Greenhouse for some reason.

We had a lovely warm period followed by a cold snap- our tiny seedlings had to be put under Row cover and I've getting up 2-3 a night to stoke the fire of my heated greenhouse. This morning I learned that I fried the backup heater and the extension cord. Opps. There is something enjoyable about getting up in the wee hours, and enjoying the stars, the moon and the quiet. It is the getting back to sleep that is the hard part.
Needless to say I did get some planting done in my new greenhouse- all those lovely spring greens, but the watering was tricky from a rouge sprinkler and too short of hose. Another problem I have fixed.


Spring is not complete with out Purple crocuses

It's Time to plow


The first tulip of Spring, albeit miniature, It is from the set I forced- or woke up early. I love tulips and can never get enough of them- you will see why as they develop. I was a bit worried about blasting-which is the improper formation of the tulip bloom- which happens for a couple of reasons- mainly the in fluctuation of temperatures. So far so good.

The First Tulip

On another note, I went to see the screening of  To Make a Farm- a documentary following three young farmer's trying to create small scale organic operations. It was a wonderful and honest look into the reasons why they farm, what they farm and the learning curves that agriculture brings. It reminds me a lot of my own struggles and joys. Check it out if you get a chance.  http://tomakeafarm.ca/

Amanda