Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Weaved European Bouquet Class..........

 This summer we offered a European-weaved bouquet class.  The above design was done by Laken who is 14 years old.....  Not bad at all, she always goes for the blues.  The point of this class was to create a design in your hands where you would begin with some greenery and then weave in material from the top so that your bottom would "spray out".  And the final test, to see if you passed, was that it should stand on its own.
If it didn't you would have to weed a 150' row before being able to leave the farm.

Here Eden is giving a demonstration of the technique starting with a bit of greenery to help get the design going.  She has all her elements stripped of extra foliage and layed out, waiting to be added.

 Here everyone is back from the field, prepping their flowers and beginning to work their designs.

 We offered bran muffins, raspberries and coconut bars.  I think our bran muffins are some of the very best.  They are made with whole wheat flour and this recipe calls for a serious amount of bran which is what I want.  Here is the recipe: 1C. WW flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 1/2 cups bran.  Mix this in a bowl and set aside.  Then in separate bowl put in 3 Tbl. olive oil, 2 Tbl. brown sugar, 2 Tbl. molasses, 1 egg, 1 1/2 c. buttermilk.  Whisk this and then add to the dry ingredients.  Add 1 cup of raisins if you like, (which I do.).    Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes.  I promise you will like these, very healthy, delicious and not too sweet.  Put them in your freezer and have one frozen with coffee every morning.  You'll be regular for the rest of your life.

Eden is giving support as students put their bouquets together.

One trick is to not hold that bouquet too tight.  You must keep your hand somewhat loose so that material can be added.  It gets easier after a good amount of flowers have been added but that first part can feel a bit awkward.

These guys have got it, they are dutifully weaving in from the top and deciding where there is a "hole" and filling it.  Notice the loose hand and the nicely spraying stems at the bottom.

Fortunately everyone passed the test (some did require some creative cutting on the stems) and so I was left to weed by myself.   Thanks for coming, we had allot of fun, and everybody did a fantastic job.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Great Exodus........

 The day started with the announcement........, "Princess Buttercup is skinny!"  This came from a young boy returning from gathering duck eggs.  Instantly we hear much clamouring and getting out-of-bed commotion  followed by screaming and racing children into the early morning sunshine.....excellent....Bill and I sit back with hot coffee in front of the picture window to watch the ensuing "hunt".

Princess Buttercup is the cat.  And this would be our second batch of kittens that Bill and I have EVER had (we missed our window to have her fixed in the hectic, rush of summer flower farming), making this TWO in a summer.  The kids could hear the kittens but couldn't find them.  One kid announced that she had "laid" them in the birdhouse!  Bill and I thought the kids were nuts, if they used their common sense  they could clearly see that the cat couldn't possibly fit through the hole.  We begin to second guess our home schooling efforts.  But Laken is determined they are somewhere there..........................

 Victory at last.  That face says it all, doesn't it?  I'm totally with you there Laken, that bit of tiny preciousness is .....well.....precious.  And yep, she "laid" them on top of that arbor nestled down in the old matted clematis.

A total of 6 kittens, plenty for everyone to hold as we get them to a safer place.  I can totally relate to the special feelings that are swimming around in these kids.  It's kind of like the time we dicovered baby bunnies in the barn yard and we didn't even have a bunny.  Life is exciting.  Laken is up in the corner of the arbor excavating more babies.

Now this, as a mom, I can relate to but I'm not generally that satisfied looking when everyone is sleeping with me in bed. 

Anyone need a kitten?  They'll be ready in 5 weeks ; )

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Snippets of the last couple of weeks

This type of bouquet is infinately my favorite.  A little bit of everything and lots of variety with odd things for flare.  Eden put this together for Alisa Lewis of The Attic.  Because Eden is from a flower farm and has been playing with flowers since she was very young, it is no problem for her to walk into any yard/forest/roadside and whip something fantastically beautiful into being.  Way to go Eden....if I were ever to re-do my wedding this is what I would go with....today at least.  (We have this "what-we-would-do-if-we-were-getting-married" conversation all summer long.)  Lots of this was created from my sister's back yard .....and I am so planting blackberries.

This creation included roses and mini callas mixed in with our local flowers.  Wedding colors were white, purple and blue.

The "new" dozen roses......it looks better with more than just leather leaf fern.

This was a birthday present ordered by a customer.  We haggled here at the farm for days about what to put in this copper milk can.  He didn't want sunflowers, which would have been so easy to do with all the fall flora.  I think we pulled it off using the splashes of yellow.  Design work was done by Eden of course.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

We Had A Farm Dinner.....

 Last Sunday, our farm was part of www.sixriversmarket.com Farm-To-Table farm tour.  Our farm was the last on the tour and so we ended with a "bang" (seriously awesome dinner).  There will be another Farm-To-Table Dinner next month (September 2012) hosted at Red Wheelbarrow Farm by Dave & Emily of Sandpoint, ID and Sponsored through Di Luna's Restaurant in conjuction with SixRiversMarket.com .  To get more information you can contact Karen @ Di'Luna's Restaurant or checkout their facebook page by typing FarmToTableDinners,Sandpoint,Idaho . 
 Here is the amazing chef/owner, Karen, of Di Luna's Restaurant and SixRiversMarket.com (Left) and Gordon & Marleen Stanley of Good Shepherd Lamb Co.. Gordon & Marleen have a lamb farm here in Bonners Ferry.  They would later be cooking up their fantastic lamb Kabobs for this dinner.  The tour is a touch behind so we are visiting and politicizing about all things farming.

 I had an abundance of flowers so I set up a "Flower Bar" for the guests so that, for anyone willing, they could try their hand at creating their own bouquets to take home, complimentary. 

 I also have a wrapping station so that flowers will get home safely.

 Eden went back to school, so I had to create the bouquets for the tables.  The flowers really do all the work for me.

 Karen adding Arugula to the Salad and preparing.  All of the food was sourced locally  as much as possible. (I think Gordons Kabobs had pineapple)

 Here is a shot of all the lovely salads, our first course.

The convoy of cars arriving.

 Gordon and Marleen cooking away....

 All the dinner guest muching on bread,visiting and preparing to here some words from Mimi Fueling of Cascade Creek Farms.  They specialize in organic pork.  Lots of people brought their own wine to enjoy. 

Anyone who made a bouquet was given a $5.00 off flowers coupon if they come to my market stand in Sandpoint.  I think everyone participated and had a good time. 

 It was Ivy's birthday this day too.  Here she stands while everyone is singing Happy Birthday to her.  She looks nervous but anyone who knows Ivy, knows she wouldn't want it any other way...more and grand is always better in her world.

 Her brothers and sisters decorated for her party.  (I made the cake though.)

I found this cute little cake topper at a yard sale many years ago (It was made in  1979).  We always put it on Ivy's cake as she is the only foo-foo girl of the family...........It seems that there is always a birthday at this house. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Meet Frilly......

 I really like this fun, sunflower and its name is ...Frilly.  I saw him at conference last year at the Harris Seed booth during the trade show for the ASCFG.org and put him on my list of things to try.  We put ten of them into a giant bouquet and everything instantly went to "jazzy" and "sassy" ...very fun.

Without Frilly......

With Frilly.......
See what I mean?

 We're still swimmng in sunflowers.  My great idea of planting 15,000 sunflowers is coming to fruition all at the same time ;0. These cool nights in North Idaho totally screw up most of my succession plantings and I usually end up with a ton all at once.  It keeps the adrenalin pumping.
This is where the girls and I start getting serious muscles.  These buckets are heavy.
 We went to Simon and Marqi Ronniger's wedding last weekend.  It was beautiful.  They had these fun little spots laid our around the grass so that intimate, little,  conversions could be had.  It was beautiful, we love Simon, Marqi and Strummer and we wish them a very happy, long, and full life together.
 This is one side of my kitchen sink last week.  I harvested these from my frettfully, weedy garden.  Deep down I feel that surely these are superior in nutrition simple because they fought hard to live and produce.  (It makes me feel better.)
 This is the other side of my sink.  My Ancona ducks are laying like crazy and I am totally thrilled.  My great duck experiment is turning out wonderfully.  They provide us with egss, eat bugs, don't scratch up my gardens, and pretty much take care of themselves, we just put out some chicken food, corn, oyster shell and fill the the "kiddy" pool. 
OK....I almost promise to stop posting pictures of my duck eggs, but who knew you could get double yolkers from ducks?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's Fair Time already....

We love the fair.  For years we participated through 4-H in various sewing, cooking, crocheting, quilting and animal projects but this year we took a break.  But this morning, when we were eating breakfast, everybody was thinking up things they could enter in open class.  We are big time fair supporters and we firmly believe in entering something....anything, just to do our share to help fill up the displays and make the fair more exciting.  The above eggs were laid by our young, free-range Ancona ducks.  The kids hustled to gather some to enter in the fair.
Eden gathered a bucket of bright colored flowers and whipped up this bit of lovliness to enter in the fair.  It's a bridal bouquet.

 Genoah quickly followed suit and created a bridal bouquet herself.  She really digs the yarrows.
 We were asked to create a presentation bouquet for the "Fairest of The Fair"'.  As I walked through the garden gathering the flowers, I kept my eye out for anything white, purple and silver.  So in this bucket we have asiatic lilies, bachelor buttons, larkspur, salpiglossis (that's the one on the far left that looks like a stained glass window), ammi, agastache, phlox, gooseneck loosestrife, silver tip wheat, asparagus fern and I'm sure more. 
 Here Eden is creating the design in the shop.  (Sorry about that rusty old freezer, but it doubles as a great work table.)
And viola.....a perfect masterpiece of specialty-cuts grown locally.  Congratulations to the new "Fairest of the Fair"  we hope you enjoy your reign as it is surely well deserved.  See you all at the Fair!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July is crazy busy........

 This is some of BeeHaven's cutting crew.  We are harvesting yarrow (variety 'summer berries')  for filler in our bouquets.

This is the pick-up crew.  They haul buckets and buckets to the cool shop for a hydrating stage.

 A partial wagon getting filled up.
 These are the hot colors of July, can't wait to make bouquets.
 This beauty of a picture is a monumental moment.  When we bought this farm it did not have a fruit tree on it.   We planted several trees and, for the first time ever, Bill and I along with Eden picked this harvest of Rainer Cherries and I actually climbed into this tree and sat in it while I picked.....talk about taking me back to my youth where I spent many hours in an old cherry tree eating my hearts content.  Now our kids and grandkids will be able to do the same here...on BeeHaven Farm,  how cool is that? 
 After the market I came home to these half-naked hooligans running around the yard and causing general may-hem (sp).  So Eden and I quickly went in and finsihed this..........
Happy Birthday G!!!!