Posted on

Good Soap.

Lettuce and Lavender Hand Milled Soap

 

When I’m not in the garden, I’m in the studio crafting vegan bodycare with herbs and veggies. Here’s my latest: ‘Lettuce & Lavender’ cocoa butter soap with poppy seeds for a little scrub and lavender, fennel, and marjoram essential oils for an intriguingly herbal scent. One of seven new blends coming soon!

Gentle, creamy, softly aromatic, handmade with natural ingredients. And palm oil-free. My idea of a good soap.

Posted on

Spring Comes to the Micro-Farm

We’ve been having unusually cold weather and still have snow on the ground, so it doesn’t quite feel like Spring even though today is the Equinox.

Last year at this time I was already planting radishes but this year…. well…. I don’t think I’ll be planting outside anytime soon!

Inside the (unheated) hoophouse though, we have Spinach ready to harvest with Lettuce, Kale, and Mâche not far behind.

spinach
spinach

And the cold-season greens are not the only ones who’ve been enjoying the advantages of the new hoophouse.

Me, the Rosemary, and the English Thyme could not have gotten through this long, cold Winter without it 🙂

hoophouse
Sheri in the hoophouse
Posted on

Winter Gardening in Western Massachusetts

inside_hoophouse

Gardening season outside is way over – I woke up to a dusting of snow today – but our Hoophouse garden is in full swing! (the hoophouse is an unheated plastic greenhouse)

These little sprouts of Beet, Lettuce, and Spinach will be dormant during Winter, but will start growing again when the sunlight comes back in early February and should be ready for eating by March.

We also have Mizuna, Tatsoi, and Kale started, as well as a few Rosemary and English Thyme plants I moved in from the garden to over-winter.

Though this ‘extended garden season’ makes getting through the cold, dark Winter much easier for me, I still can’t wait for the day I’m out there picking my first Spring salad 😉

Posted on

Lookin’ this good, everybody gonna swoon

Spring Lettuce in the garden

It’s actually almost embarrassing how in love with Lettuce I am…. 

One of the first things I can eat out of my garden in the Spring, Lettuce’s amazing variety of colors, textures, and flavors is enough to put me into a swoon.

And more than just a pretty face, Lettuce is rich in vitamin A and potassium plus has some vitamin C, calcium, iron, and copper.

(*except Iceberg Lettuce, which is very low in nutritional value)

 

Lettuce fits into my small-space garden rule which requires plants to do double-duty: Besides eating it, you can wear it 😉

A lettuce face mask helps restore skin’s natural pH, soothes rough skin, and can help heal pimples.

 

Put lettuce in a blender to pulp, then massage onto skin. For a fancier version, add a little olive oil and lemon juice. Olive oil is a great moisturizer, and lemon juice a gentle astringent that cleans and refines pores.

 

Posted on

Winter Harvest at the Micro-Farm

winter lettuce from the cold-frame

Here’s Hawkeye with fresh-picked lettuce and arugula from the cold frame on December 23rd. This is what I call living large! (Okay, the tattered basket might not qualify as “large”. New baskets are on the list!)

We’ve had snow since then and wouldn’t be getting anymore growth from the plants anyway, so that’s it for us for the rest of the Winter. Lettuce should be ready again by mid-March.

Beets, carrots and scallions are planted in the cold frame too, but this is our first try at over-wintering them so I’ve no idea what to expect.

 

All of next season’s veggie seeds have been ordered, and the Seed Savers Exchange and Johnny’s Selected Seeds orders are already here.

Just waiting now on my Baker Creek order for a special hot pepper, Scotch Bonnet Yellow, among a few other fun heirlooms.

These peppers are a standard in Caribbean cooking having what’s described as “shocking” heat with a fruity flavor. I had a taste of their amazingly delicious hot sauce when Hawk’s folks gave us a bottle they bought in the Bahamas. I’m really excited to add them to the hot pepper collection we’ve got going: Ho Chi MinhMaule’s Red Hot, and Fish.

I’m needing some herb seed too, but I haven’t got my list for Horizon Herbs ready yet (Horizon also has a nice selection of organic vegetable seed, but I’m trying to not go too crazy!).

This year, I’ll be integrating herbs into our off-site vegetable garden. Adding a variety of herbs and flowers is a great thing to do to attract pollinators to the veggie garden, and can also help with soil health. If I get to harvest them for food or medicine, that’s a bonus 😉