Monday, November 29, 2010

New Ventures

We had a great Thanksgiving weekend. There is a big crafts fair in Friday Harbor that weekend that we have been going to for about the last 20 years. We set up our booth and go out to the local community Thanksgiving dinner with several artists friends. This year I added my new Christmas stockings to my products and introduced a new venture.
My friend Mary Ann is sewing vests and jackets from my handwoven fabrics. The fabrics are made from cotton chenille woven on a warp of 8/2 cotton.
Mary Ann did such a lovely job of designing and sewing the vests. We are both excited about doing this and as soon as the holidays are over I am going to be weaving more of this fabric.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Apple Orange Butter

It's COLD here. 16 degrees this morning. Not much we can do but huddle by the fire. So making up a batch of apple-orange butter seemed the thing to do. I found the recipe in a blog I read from England, The Cottage Smallholder. We have a couple of boxes of apples sitting in the bedroom to keep from freezing and I had a couple of organic oranges. She cooked hers in a slow cooker but I just set it on top of the wood range and let it cook slowly for several hours. It's really good.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

And Winter Came Roaring In

It was quite a trip to market. Arctic air was roaring down the Fraser Canyon in British Columbia and across President's Channel which we have to cross to get to Friday Harbor. It was cold and rather nasty out there Friday afternoon. We are very grateful to our Albin boat who handles this sort of thing very nicely.
We got there with all our boxes of vegetables and had a great market. In spite of snow on San Juan Island the customers turned out for Thanksgiving vegetables.
We got home Saturday afternoon to several inches of snow on the dock and at home.
Joel went out in the dark with a headlamp and picked the very last of the tomatoes in the hoophouse. We hope the mulch we put on the tender things and the snow on top of it will protect them. Meanwhile we are cozy in the house with the fire crackling. Winter is truly here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Anticipating a Freeze

The weather reports says we can expect temperatures down to 25 degrees F next weekend so that means it is time to mulch the tender plants. We cut all the dahlias down although they still had a few surviving flowers on them, mowed down the tops of the glads, and Joel hauled a couple of truckloads of maple leaves from the sides of the roads. They make great mulch and a couple of other people have been out there getting them as well. They are considered a very valuable commodity here. Tomorrow we will harvest what we want of the potatoes that are still in the ground for market and then put leaves over the rest of them.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Winter Farmers Market

The indoor winter market at the high school started the first Saturday in November. There was an abundance of luscious winter vegetables. This is such a good climate for winter vegtables. With all the brassicas like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and collards. and root vegetables like carrots, beets, parsnips, and celeriac. And storage ones like onion, garlic, and winter squash along with the surviving lettuce and celery and the good old standby hardy leeks, we made quite a show.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bright, Gaudy, and Totally Unnatural

Okay, I know I am known as an organic farmer, lover of natural colored home grown wool from our rare breed sheep, weaver with organic naturally colored cotton yarns, etc. But every once in a while I find myself falling for something wild, gaudy, plastic and totally unnatural. Like the skein of drugstore yarn in the picture above. This skein just jumped off the shelf of the drugstore and into my arms. "Do something with me" it cried. Shortly thereafter a friend gave me several skeins of a bamboo rayon boucle yarn (okay, so that isn't made from a fossil fuel) in about the same colors and a set of boas was born. I love them. They are BRIGHT, and GAUDY. And it was a huge amount of fun to make them.