I inherited this neat little handwritten British recipes book that is so simple and charming. I have no idea where it came from as my English Grandmother wasn't married to a Canadian or American. Maybe someone she knew was πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ Perhaps I'll never know. It got me thinking though, how important simple things like a handwritten recipe book really are. 46 years later I'm grateful to whoever put it together.

Last week I had the joy of teaching to a group of community-supported-agriculture (CSA) members for a local farm cooperative. Everyone left super pumped about starting their own worm bins and I left super pumped about folks redirecting their organic waste back into our local soil πŸ’š

I believe these three images are all insects in the Coreidae family. Leaf-footed nymphs and I'm not sure exactly what the two adults are. If there's any enthusiasts in the Fedi feel free to ID.

Not pictured are at least 5 spider webs large enough to catch me; I hear spiders enjoy a tasty Coreidae so they're in the right place.

So much action happens in the when we're not out there pretending we're in charge of it πŸ˜†

I brushed up against one of these mini monsters last night (Saddleback Caterpillar) and my goodness did it hurt! I got lucky and didn't have a stinger break off in my skin. Going back out there this morning I see that there are loads of them all over the corn; I have no idea how we'll safely harvest it. This is the reality of organic gardening - it's not all cute bumblebees and friendly praying mantis πŸ˜…

I don't particularly like the taste or texture of Okra (I might get run out of my hometown for saying so), but look at this stunning bloom 😍 ! I would plant it just for the ornamental and pollinator value.

Heath Aster is a native perennial that has a full set of beautiful little flowers. I just discovered it at the community garden and am considering how it might be a great groundcover addition for us here at home.

I was working on cleaning beds and pruning this morning when I was quickly reminded that I could be removing the home and habitat of numerous creatures. It's a careful balance between plant care and creature care. Here are two beautiful examples, a female praying mantis and a black and yellow garden spider.

Female Praying Mantis on the move. I'm betting she's probably looking for somewhere to lay some eggs. She jumped (!!) from the tip of this Iris frond into a neighboring boxwood.

In our growing zone we have to plant fall crops right at the hottest point in the season, otherwise there's just not enough growing time before the first frost. I'm always in awe that these cool- weather loving plants just push onward (and upward, as it were). Despite the persistent heat, I can feel the edges of autumn pushing closer and closer and I'm grateful for the coming change in culinary delights.

The new demo worm bin is heading to a local corn festival tomorrow! I hope its smol cuteness enchants a few people into giving vermicomposting a try.

🌽 πŸ› ✨

We're seeding cover crop - a blend of Buckwheat, Ladino clover, and Red clover. The clover fixes Nitrogen and the Buckwheat will make Phosphorous more available for future crops. Buckwheat grows quickly and winter-kills. I'm hoping the buckwheat flowers in time to give the bees one last feast before seasons end. When the crop gets killed over winter it will then mulch the beds and provide winter habitat for other insects.

Also - smol modern farmdog hard at work πŸ’•

@winduptoy and I are recycling part of my childhood chicken coop into a quail habitat for adding a flock of Coturnix to our small urban farmstead. Search raising Coturnix and you'll find a small hutch with wire floor. No thanks πŸ’”. Our little ladies will be able to hunt for bugs, dig, roll, enjoy the earth and sun, and live their best bird lives. I'll post more images as we progress with the habitat and when the birds arrive in the spring. 🌿 πŸ₯

Bolita Azul Oaxaca, a landrace heirloom corn given to us by a kind soul looking to share and spread its beauty. The first few ears we'll save for seed and sharing; the rest we hope to make into homemade tortillas. I've been research nixtamalization - if anyone has experience with the process, I'm all ears 🌽 😜

(it's not obvious in the photo but this corn is easily 12' tall!)

Tickfoot and the sunflower stalk; a modern fairy tale rooted in reality. ✨

A delicious cantaloupe modeling closed-loop/zero waste growing...
1. Harvest πŸ‘©β€πŸŒΎ
2. Slice to eat 🀀
3. Rind and soft flesh to compost/vermicompost πŸ›
4. Seeds saved 🌱

August feels like a legit hustle to preserve as much as possible. We got a batch of crushed tomatoes processed, dehydrated slices for 'sundried' (so nice to have on a gray winter day), and about 1.5 lbs of fresh basil made into pesto for freezing.

Here's the crushed tomato recipe we use if you're looking to do the same.
nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_03/tomat

We're harvesting around 10-15 lbs of produce every other day at the moment. Growing enough to feed ourselves, store for winter, and share with others. We're doing it all organically on about 1772 ftΒ² (0.04 acre) in an urban area. We're not just feeding humans, but also a large population of insects and wildlife that have moved in as well. I share all of this because I want others to know how very possible it is to cultivate abundance for yourself and everything around you. πŸ’š 🌿

Last weekend I had the joy of helping a friend tend to her Langstroth beehives. We inspected and replaced frames, checked queens and brood, and even harvested some delicious honey and comb. 🐝 🍯

Merveilles

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