Harvesting Mustard Greens, Sewing Tasha Tudor Work Dresses and Victorian Garden Planning

Did you know that you can freeze fresh vegetables and bring them out months later and they're as fresh as the day you picked them from the garden? It's quite right. When my darling children were young little sprites, and my time was restricted for venturing out to the village market, I'd buy all that we needed from the grocer, bring it home, divide it up and freeze it, (such things as meats, milk, dairy, fresh garden vegetables & fruits). As you know, being a mum of 4, tending a small farm and being a homemaker is much much labour. So anything to assist in bearing up daily laborious pursuits was quite welcomed. Last month I washed some collards and mustard greens. I had picked so many that I decided to freeze the remaining batches. On Monday I decided to make them in the crockpot. I also made some rice, baby lima beans and dog bread. It's nice to put something on to slow cook, especially if there's much garden work to be done for the day.

Yesterday it rained cats and dogs, so my outside activities were abandoned, and I took to inside activities, such as the sewing of another {Tasha Tudor pattern} work dress. I also had moments to work on some sketches and watercolours of a new summer garden plan, a Little Women and Mermaidling. Do you like my little gardening book? It's a William Morris wallpaper print, filled with seed packets, grid pages, a calendar diary and a few more garden planning essentials.
" You need patience. It takes twelve years to make a garden. Everything worthwhile takes time." ~Tasha Tudor

This is one of the many quotes that hangs in my writing den here at my folks. My folks have been ever so kind to forego half of their cottage to accommodate the gardener and me. So one of the additional rooms I turned into my writing den. My mum (did I tell you I'm taking British English classes) calls it The Rabbit Room, and I'm quite enticed to call it that forevermore. You infer those moments of serendipity. I quite like when that transpires.

I'm now planning (on my paper diary) our summer garden, and I'm expecting to make two small raised beds with an old fence, surrounding them. I am also planning to buy a shorter version and make a little run coming from the hen house so that the chickens can run around at leisure behind Scarlette Rose Cottage. When the dog destroyed Polly, it caused me to be quite leery of letting them roam. However, they seem to be chickens, naturally, and they have a go back and forth, which I know means they are eager to get out of the giant chicken house. Mind you, it's a huge chicken house, so there's no misfortune taking place (for anyone wondering...smile). Who am I to prevent their meandering about?
 As I was thinking more and more about garden fencing, I thought to myself how perfect would a rod iron fence be for our garden! Additionally, this type of fencing is sold in sections, and there's no permanence when the gardener and I set sail. We can simply uproot the fencing and carry it with us. I'm trying to make sure all the things I'm doing will be easy for us to take with us to our forever home. Except for the flowers, I don't think those we will end up taking; however, I feel It's sort of as If that's Jeffrey and my way of helping my folks out, just as they are doing for us. We are staying at my parents for free so that we can continue to save money for our forever home. We are paying all cash, and we want to have a boatload of money; to pay all cash, and extra money to invest in those hidden expenditures that many neglect to place into homeownership equation. 
I believe a fence (such as the one above) around the garden beds will be favourable, as this is our first garden at my folks and we had not one notion that we would need to provide fencing to keep the beasts at bay. Yes, indeed we have deer and little wild bunnies eating away at our vegetable crop. I would've never thought had I not seen it with my very own eyes. As awful as it sounds, I was so pleased to see the wildlife on our land, I just prefer they not eat the vegetation. My father insisted that while I'm about today at the garden shoppe to collect some corn for the deer feeders out in the woods by the creek. Just last week, we lost almost an entire bed (we have 3) of our tomatoes and half of our squash crop. I consoled Jeffrey (whereas he was quite unsettled about it) and explained that it's apart of life. He certainly knows this since he is a gardener by profession. However, I can understand why he would be so agitated. Leave it to my devices to see the beautiful life metaphors hanging about those little hiccups when things don't move forward according as planned.

What joyful things have you planned during this time?
"Fix, then, this in your mind as the guiding principle of all right and practical labour, and source of all healthful life energy—that your art is to be the praise of something that you love. It may only be the praise of a shell or a stone; it may be the praise of a hero; it may be the praise of God; your rank as a living creature is determined by the height and breadth of your love; but, be you small or great, what healthy art is possible to you must be the expression of your true delight in a real thing, better than the art." —John Ruskin. Pearls for Young Ladies, 1878.

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx


  1. Still working, working, working with all the focus we can muster on preparing this home to sell and move to parts unknown. We thought we had chosen an ideal town to move to, but in this year now that we've been working on remodeling that particular housing market has gone insane, so we're viewing it as meant to be. While at times I enjoy poking around looking for a new town, reality is that when we're closer to ready, I *know* we'll find where we need to be :).

    1. Kimberly, it's so lovely to see you. And it's well and good to think of things as meant to be. I couldn't agree more. I can understand the working working working. It's easier to accept one we are capable of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, you know? Sending love and light your way, dear friend! Ice missed you!


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