Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Beets

For quite a while I have thought of beets as a vegetable that I will just tolerate.  If they're there I will eat them, but I won't go out of the way to make them either.  Now that being said, you should know that my exposure to beets has been very limited. I'm not entirely sure why I cast them aside so easily, but a few weeks ago in a hunt for something "different" for supper I came across this recipe and thought I would give it a whirl.  It has single handedly changed my opinion on beets.  The lemon juice added acidity and brightness and the feta added some salt and tang, added with the sweet, caramelized flavor of the roasted beets, it was perfect.  This will be going into the recipe box to be made over and over again and I'm searching out other beet recipes that I should try.  Any suggestions?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

2012 Garden Plans

We have big plans for this little half acre of ours, big plans.  We know that our soil is probably less than ideal and first year gardens aren't usually the most successful, but we have high hopes that it will produce enough for our meals throughout the summer with a little to spare and put away. 

In the fall we tilled a vegetable garden space in the yard and this spring we will be adding at least one raised bed in our pool area for herbs and lettuce.  What are we planting?  Well,:

-Oxheart, Pruden's Purple, Trophy, and Amish Paste Tomatoes
-Black Cherry Tomatoes

-Green Arrow Peas
-Bushy Cucumber

-Seed Savers Lettuce Mixture (Australian Yellowleaf, Pablo, Forellenschluss, Red Velvet, and others)
-Lacinato Kale
-Bloomsdale Spinach
-Genovese Basil (this will be in the main garden instead of the herb garden because I plan on growing lots!)

-Helenor Rutabaga
-Dragon and St. Valery Carrots
-Chioggia Beet
-Purple Viking Potatoes

-Ailsa Craig Sweet Onions
-Copra Yellow Storage Onions
-German White Garlic (already planted)

-Slick Pik Summer Squash
-Black Beauty Zucchini
-Burgess Buttercup, Waltham Butternut, and Anna Swartz Hubbard Squash

-Calypso and Mayflower Dry Beans
-Provider and Empress Green Beans

-Tango Celery (an experiment)
-Calabrese Broccoli (an experiment)
-Two Inch Strawberry Popcorn (an experiment that will be grown in containers)
-Pride of Wisconsin Melon (an experiment that will be grown in containers

-Titan Sunflowers (these will grow along one of our property lines for a little added privacy)

The Herb Garden:
-Garlic Chives
-Black Peppermint
-Greek Oregano
-Giant from Italy Parsley

-and I'm hoping to track down some Lemon Balm to add here too.

Phew, we're going to be busy.  While it looks like a lot, many of the seeds we are sharing with my parents.   So the variety is large but the quantity of each variety will be fairly small.  We wanted to get a good grip on what varieties we really like and what will do well in our soil. 

Have you planted any of the varities we're going to try?  I'd love to hear your experience with them! Or is there a variety you love that we should add to our wish list for next year?

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Quarry

A recent stop in my almost forgotten 251 project.  I've driven by the quarry hundreds of times but have never stopped, a few weeks ago I fixed that.  It was equal parts historical and beautiful, a winner in my book.  In the summer it turns into a swimming hole, I'll definitely be coming back then.

(Probably my favorite from that day: there's nothing like trying to make your grandmother squat underneath a rock with you for a picture :).  She is such a good sport!)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It is...

Lately I keep catching myself thinking: "This, right now, is what I've been dreaming of for so long."  And it is...and it's wonderful.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mixed Signals

The seasons seem to be having a bit of a battle as of late.  All of these pictures were taken on the same day--ice fishing and sugaring.  Yesterday my seed order came in--on the only real, snowy winter day we've had yet this year.

I know many people don't like March--they think it lasts too long and it's the only thing holding them back from true spring--but March has become one of my very favorite months.  I love the mud and the syrup.  I love the first warm breezes and the last bit of winter solitude before the rush of spring begins.  Happy March!

ETA: After much deliberation I've decided to change the name of my blog from Little Apartment in a Village to Mountains & Maple...we no longer live in our little apartment and despite the many name ideas I've tossed around over the past few months, I think everything I do comes back to where I'm from--Vermont, the land of mountains and if I could just get that new header to stop looking pixelated I'd be all set! :)