After last month’s post, Connie wrote to me and said this:

Best thing we can do is grow as much of our own food as possible, shop second hand and forget about the assholes.  I try not to pay too much attention to the lost souls in politics because I figure they are in their own twisted power drama and like some miserable people want everyone to be as demented and miserable as them.  Unfortunately many people get manipulated into joining them.  I’ve done this many times and it’s always been based on my fear that the world is being destroyed.  Read an excellent quote that the only thing we can be sure of improving in the universe is ourselves,  just like you are doing Sheila.   For some reason the dementos want us to be angry and frustrated and pissed off all the time and I don’t like being manipulated so I take special pleasure in laying on the grass and singing Scub dub dub!  To be happy in this realm and kind to others and the planet is the best part of life and no one can take that power away from me unless I hand it over.  That realization is the one of the most important things I think to learn about this life, how powerful we really are and how good.  Happy revolutionary gardening!

And it really got me thinking (and I still am) about my new life, especially the part about laying on the grass and singing Scub dub dub. My other friend Sylvia has reminded me that while I’m hard at work bringing the soil back to life, attending to the creatures and taking care of the trees, to stop and smell the roses.

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My friend Lynn on the east coast gave me an amazing cake recipe for our birthday week (Will 7/10 and mine 7/14) which I’ll share with you.

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Up until about 5 days ago the month of July has been a gift; no horrible heat, smoke or dust and with the weather gifting us cool easy days, continual rain! showers, IMG_1661and Moon filled nights.

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I chose to follow some really great advice.

My brother pitched in by sending me the lead picture of a rose and this incredible photo of the flower with the bee.

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I am truly grateful for all the reminders to BE in the life I’ve managed to cultivate so this post is dedicated to those persons who have done just that. Thank you Connie, Sylvia, Lynn and Steve!

100’s of pounds of apricots, most are dried, and some are for Apricot Butter

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I did this using our ‘outdoor’ stove set up

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And while I was at it, I decided to thin the patio garden and make veggie stock, vegetable stock then choke cherry syrup and cherry plum base for cherry plum chutney.

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some of the nights were cool enough to get away with making bread

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Onion Parm, Raisin Walnut and Poppy seed…

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The Apple trees are doing really well

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Last year’s carrots are providing food for the beneficial insects

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And a ‘lost’ bulb I rescued from the Yard Waste we pick up from the local town bloomed right on time for our Birthday week.

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The Sunflowers are making friends with the Scarlet Runners

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And the front walk way is looking really beautiful

 

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yes there’s a ladder in the background, I’m trying to get the painting job finished on the north side of the house

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the deck will get paint too at some point – it’s taking a beating in this environment and no ‘stain’ holds up to the heat and low humidity so it degrades pretty quickly.

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This is Potato Hill, which will get a glass bottle wall in a half moon design and become home for the Mexican Blue Oak…2017?

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I head to the over planted area inside the Gulag, over planted areawhere Bitsy hangs out

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She’s taking a time out (for a while) after attempting to kill Yoshi,

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on my head during a 2am attack a couple of weeks ago. That was fun. Bitsy is residing in the Earth Berm Greenhouse which stays a comfortable 68o – 72o all day, every day (and she has the run of the 1/4 acre enclosure). I picked this lime off of one of the citrus trees last week.

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The New Mother Hen also lives and plays in the Gulag area, and her chicks look great!

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I figured out how to stack functions using this lean-to. The hose is close by, for refreshing their water, and I usually rinse off the roof of this lean-to, which has a gutter. I’m building the shade in this area by planting fast growing willows and poplars, so what better placement than at the point where the water runs off? You can see a small hybrid poplar starting and in two years it will reach 30 feet as our other HP have.

Just behind the poplar and chickens is the Syrup Tree Field which is doing great; strawberries, vetch, camelina, and the other cover crops came up strong and the Sugar Maples, Black Birch and Butternut Walnut look fantastic. 

Meanwhile back at the birthday deal, here’s the recipe: Whoa! What?

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1 19oz can of Garbanzo beans which is 1 2/3 cup of beans if you’re using dried beans and going from scratch

4 Eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 1/2 Cup of dark chocolate, 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Powder. Pulse this in a cusinart, beans and sugar & BP first, gradually add eggs and then your melted chocolate. I chose to make two 9″ pans (so double the recipe), then made Ganache to cover the cake. I used some of my Apricot butter and picked raspberries to place on top. I got out of control and probably used 1 1/2 pounds of dark chocolate for the whole thing.

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I got so into this, I ran and picked Nasturtiums when I realised they were the same color theme as the cake. And the candle you see burning? My brother gave me pieces of his left over scented candles, so I made a few we can use outside and poured them into jelly jars.

…So the cake is beyond excellent in every way…and has no ill intended side affects after eating it.

As the sun was setting I was becoming so enamored with the tones of deep red, gold, orange I set up a birthday alter to remind myself that laying in the grass singing Scub dub dub and stopping to smell the roses and making vibrant nutritious food is the essence of life.

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Will & I imagined we were the ‘observers’ of what goes on here at CBP, but there’s a sweet gentle soul that observes all of us, one of Will’s rescues from some time back. IMG_1684 Sita made it here, in barely one piece, and now, happy and healthy watches as I make my way towards a more creative life.

Thank you my friends!

Sheila