NOTE FROM NICK: My family has SO much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. It has been a tragic year for us. But its also been a year of miraculous preservation and recovery.
As my Mom describes in today's post, my Dad's life hung by a thread after a terrible car accident. But after his phenomenal recovery, we realized that even though God takes care of the big things, He also looks after the little things. Things like Mom and Dad's garden, which was neglected during those hot & dry weeks in the hospital.
While we are giving thanks for this story that has such a wonderful ending, I have done a lot of thinking about the times when the outcome is very different.
We realize that life on this earth doesn't always turn out the way we would choose. Not everyone survives a bad car accident as my Dad did. Sometimes we deal with terrible consequences from bad decisions that we have made. But other times it was simply out of our control, and we struggle with "Why".
I wish I could explain "why" every bad thing happens on this earth, but I can't. If we could explain all these terrible things, perhaps we would end up trying to justify them--and I don't believe there is any justification or explanation for evil.
So, what do we do when the outcome is grim? When faced with disappointing circumstances that we are unable to fix or explain, I think it helps to look back on the past and remember those special moments...the ones where Heaven came near to touch this earth and work a mighty deliverance in our behalf. These experiences give us the courage to face times when life is hard. And they teach us that even though bad things happen to good people, God is working to somehow turn each disaster into a blessing--if we will only let Him do it.
But when a tragic story has a wonderful outcome, you simply have to rejoice in it and give thanks! It reminds us that the Lord still reigns, and His hand still intervenes in the affairs of men--even the little things...
...like my parent's garden. Continue reading
Early this morning Craig and I headed to our garden to cut some fresh kale and collards for our daily green drink.
We'd almost reached the garden gate when we noticed that a battle was taking place near one of our Montmorency cherry trees in the back of the orchard. Actually, it was taking place right in the middle of the tree!
We have a bumper crop of cherries on our two Montmorency trees this year, and they've been ripening up very nicely the past couple of weeks. Since the Montmorency variety are not sweet cherries, but are sour or pie cherries, I've been picking cherries and dehydrating them almost daily. They're not tasty for eating fresh, but they're incredibly delicious when dehydrated. I've seen this variety of dehydrated cherries for sale in grocery stores at super expensive prices.
As our cherries were ripening, the yellow fruit was turning orange and red, and I imagine the local bird community was watching with baited breath, awaiting their opportune moment--when the cherries are nice and soft and ripe--to attack! This morning appeared to be "the day" for an onslaught. Continue reading
We're starting to have some springy weather, and it makes me think about fall garden chores that didn't get done! By late fall all "efficient" gardeners have cleared out old plants, pulled up tomato stakes, taken a soil sample, and prepared the garden beds by adding amendments.
This spring as our fruit trees were blossoming and leafing out, I noticed that many of the leaves on our peach tree were abnormally shaped, with red blisters on them. Craig, my husband, looked on the internet for solutions. We determined that our peach tree was suffering from peach leaf curl, a fungal disease that affects stone fruit trees. Articles that we found suggested pesticides. But while that would take care of the disease but would ruin our fruit crop for this year. I wanted to find a treatment that would be natural or organic. Most importantly I wanted a solution that wouldn't harm either us or the peaches!
Our family loves garlic--and a number of years back, we discovered "gourmet garlic"--which is another name for hardneck garlic. It’s different than the garlic that you buy at the grocery store, which usually is grown in warmer climates and is sometimes called softneck garlic.
Its that time of the year... Spring fever. And its also time to start planning the garden and choosing which seeds to start.
If you haven't already done so--NOW IS definitely THE TIME to order seeds for this summer's garden! We all need to learn to collect seeds each fall from our current garden plants (if they are Heirloom seeds). But whether or not you did that in the fall, there are doubtless new varieties that we all want to try out.
Nothing says 'Homestead' quite like a couple loaves of homemade bread baking in the oven. Know what I mean? Pull those loaves out of the oven, grab the bread knife and slice while you watch the steam rising.
So many people struggle to make a good loaf of bread. So I want to share some of my favorite recipes - ones I use all the time - to make it simple. Let me know which one is your favorite!
A few years ago I planted comfrey in one of my flower gardens. Comfrey has a lot of wonderful medicinal properties, so I thought it'd be good to have on hand. I had heard that this herb grows profusely, and sorry to say I’ve had to learn my lesson the hard way!
My husband Craig always keeps a close eye on our orchard. This spring he noticed quite a few ants crawling around on two of our cherry trees. There was a tiny bug that the ants seemed very interested in. We quickly discovered that ants have another occupation other than counter-top pests! Continue reading