Carrots for Michaelmas: Musings of a Catholic Wife, Mother, and Occasional Redhead

Growing an Urban Garden
May 4, 2012, 1:57 am
Filed under: Farm Life | Tags: , ,

Head on over to Raising a Green Family (the blog by Jen and Claire of Ecological Babies) to read my post on growing an urban garden! It’s my first guest post ever and I was so excited to be asked to contribute.

“When we bought our first home two years ago, one of the things we were most excited about was turning our front yard into an urban garden. And we’ve had the best time making it happen! Currently, we’re successfully growing onions, garlic, oats, potatoes, tomatoes, fresh herbs, summer squash, lettuce, swiss chard, peppers, cabbage, and eggplant. Also, despite the raccoons best efforts, we’ve kept 3 chickens alive long enough to provide us with fresh eggs each day. Our reasons for designating our front yard for vegetable beds and a chicken coop included health, frugality, education, and love of good food (although never having to mow again was a motivating factor)…”

Read the rest about how urban gardens save you money, help you eat seasonally, and educate your kids at Raising a Green Family.

I’ve Got Greens and the Terrible Threes Growing in My Garden

Here’s what’s been going on outdoors in our neck of the woods:

Lots of park dates and outside play for this little guy. Baby girl is content to just sleep in the baby wrap with Mama while Little Bear gets his wiggles out. Although the terrible threes subsided a little bit in the past couple of weeks (perhaps due to extra time with Daddy during our trip), they were back in full force yesterday. You know the mother you see at the park that is carrying an infant and attempting to wrangle a misbehaving toddler? A toddler that is screaming, I WON’T! I DON’T WANT TO! when she asks him to throw away his trash, then succumbs to sobs when a kind park user cleans it up in his stead and he screams, “BUT I WANTED TO THROW IT AWAY! GET IT OUT OF THE TRASH SO I CAN DO IT! *SOB*”? That mother? The one that makes you say to your friend, “she has HER hands full. A little discipline? I would be mortified if MY child ever behaved like that!” Well, I am that mother. Nice to meet you. I now sympathize with all mothers of children who misbehave in public.

After a full-fledged meltdown in the car and an early nap, Benjamin surprised me by saying, “Hey, Mama. You know what? I love you.” He doesn’t usually say that out of the blue. Made the difficult morning worth it. Thankfully, he’s been good as gold today.

Our vegetable garden is exploding with wonderful things!

Bright Light Swiss Chard has to be one of the prettiest things ever!

Tomato flowers already! I can’t wait to eat tomatoes with every meal. Daniel has grown so many seedlings of different varieties.

We’ve been eating all the lettuce we can handle. Picking lettuce for salad 10 minutes before dinner time is so fun.

Cabbages are looking lovely!

My farmer.

This was our St. Patrick’s Day feast. Guinness Beef Stew made by Daniel, Spring Salads from the garden with Strawberries, and amazing Sweet Potato Fries by our friend Kaitlin.

What are you growing in your garden these days?

The Bounty of the Earth
March 1, 2012, 5:15 pm
Filed under: Farm Life, Feasting, Green Living, Husband, Seasons

My husband is a farmer without a farm. So, he has transformed our front yard into vegetable-growing-egg-laying-awesomeness. I don’t remember the last time we had to get store-bought eggs. The ones our chickens Feven, Daughter, and Gas Can lay (chicken names compliments of 3-year-old Benjamin) are amazing.

Right now we’ve growing more delicious lettuce than we could ever eat, peas, green onions, and wonderful herbs: dill, rosemary, cilantro, parsley, thyme.

I made seriously good chicken salad last night and it made the last day of February feel like summer. Oh wait, we live in Florida. The last day of February DOES feel like summer.

And strawberries are super in season so now’s the time to eat some up!

Here’s one more shot of our owl friend who likes to hang around to give the chickens a little excitement for the day.

And for sticking around until the end of the post, a sweet baby picture to tide you over until next time.

Sweet Potato Harvest
November 14, 2011, 3:48 pm
Filed under: Farm Life


Daniel did an awesome job growing sweet potatoes this year. This is part of the harvest from the second bed of potatoes he and Benjamin dug up. They are so delicious. Any favorite sweet potato recipes we should tackle? I love sweet potatoes during cool weather!

St. Anthony’s Pasta
June 18, 2011, 10:48 pm
Filed under: Farm Life, Feasting, Saints, Seasons, St. Anthony of Padua

At long last, I finally posted a new recipe on Feast! 

And hey, I noted how to make it Gluten-Free and it includes these delicious amazing tomatoes from Daniel’s garden:





Blueberries for Benjamin
June 18, 2011, 10:04 pm
Filed under: Children, Farm Life, Green Living, Tallahassee Places to Go/See/Eat

Look at that expression! My dad and I took Benjamin to a U-Pick-‘Em Organic Blueberry Farm this morning and I took this one just as Benjamin said, “Kurplink, Kurplank, Kurplunk” as his first few berries landed in his pail.

Doesn’t he look just like Daniel in this one? We started out just after 7am (which was no problem because my son wakes me with his dulcet tones every morning around 6:15am). Benjamin was very excited and taking everything very seriously.

Well…maybe not too seriously.

The blueberries were gorgeous, sweet, and cool, covered in morning dew.

After putting about 10 berries in his bucket, Benjamin decided a taste test was in order.

They must have passed the test because a whole lot of eating and very little picking followed.

(Evidence) Benjamin’s pail is the one on top.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B (AKA “The Tremendous Mouthful”)

But can you blame him? Look how beautiful they are! The flower was Benjamin’s addition: “I picked this pretty yellow flower for you, Mama.”

My 23.5 week pregnant tummy seemed rather in the way. I thought I should get at least one shot of Baby Girl since there are so many of Benjamin.

Grandaddy and Benjamin strike a pose as we head over to the scales to have our berries weighed.


Blueberry picking seems an appropriate activity during the last of the Summer Ember Days when we pause to thank God for the bounty of His Creation.

Kohlrabi Cuteness
April 19, 2011, 6:29 pm
Filed under: Children, Easter, Farm Life

Can you even handle this?

How bout this silly smile?

I love this blog post about natural dyes for Easter eggs at Boulder Locavore. I think we might dye eggs on Saturday so that they can soak in the dye overnight and be ready to display Sunday.

We’ve already got red cabbage and turmeric. We don’t have spinach but we’ve got plenty of greens in the garden so we might just try that. But we’ll need to get beets because the ones in our garden aren’t ready.

We haven’t done much planning for our Easter feast yet. What are your plans?

Spring! and My New Anti-Laundry Plan
March 27, 2011, 7:37 pm
Filed under: Children, Farm Life, Our Home

Now that the weather is lovely and warm, my new Anti-Laundry Accumulation Plan is to not put clothes on Benjamin unless it’s absolutely necessary.

This little boy has been just so sweet lately. Last month he was rather obstinate and ornery, I think partly due to my low energy because of the first trimester and the nausea that kept us cooped up inside. I’m still sleepy and pukey but we’ve been spending more time outside and he has been so precious, delightful, silly, and loving.

I’ve been meaning to take pictures of the beautiful wisteria, azaleas, camellias, and dogwoods that are blooming all over Tallahassee but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Here’s just a little taste of the sights of Spring that Benjamin picked for me yesterday (his new favorite thing is picking flowers for Mama, it’s so cute and all his idea):

Suffice it to say that Spring has been so beautiful here that I haven’t even missed the Texas Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes that covered everything around our little farm last year:

Texas wildflowers are lovely, but Spring is just Tallahassee’s season to shine. I love living here.

Daniel’s garden is thriving.

We’ll have enough peas to start eating up any day now:

And so many different kind of Tomatoes are blooming!

Daniel’s raised beds are just so pretty.

But he has a lot of “help” in the garden from this guy:

Did I mention that he’s been on a painting spree? Sweet boy.

Some Photos and Some Griping
March 20, 2011, 1:02 pm
Filed under: Children, Farm Life, Pregnancy

I’m an optimist. I get it from my Dad. We both always assume that the best case scenario is the inevitable. If things are bad, positive change is just around the corner. Whatever project we are working on will surely take the minimum amount of time…what could go wrong? This is often a helpful trait but it goes hand-in-hand with frequent disappointment when things don’t turn out as easy as anticipated.

All that to say, my morning sickness is NOT easing up. I’ve started a fun little ritual of throwing up first thing in the morning and most evenings are filled with pretty constant nausea. Blerg. Daniel and Benjamin are at Mass without me because just after I finished my makeup and was getting dressed with 2 minutes to spare, I had to run to the bathroom to vomit. Benjamin told Daniel, “um, Daddy, Mama’s saying, ‘Bleh! Bleh! to the potty!'” So I sent them off without me so I could lie down and try to rehydrate.

But enough griping. I am such a baby about feeling ill and I’m trying to remember how lucky I am to be pregnant with a healthy 10 week old little punkin’. I AM grateful and I’m trying not to be discouraged by how sick I feel.

Speaking of 10 weeks…my tummy is popping out. This was taken almost two weeks ago:

In other news, our garden is doing really well thanks to Daniel’s hard work and Benjamin’s “helping.” Benjamin mostly helps by using his little trowel to move dirt around to little hiding spots. We found a big pile of dirt in the carport where he must have thought it needed to be.

Check out this beautiful cauliflower:

I haven’t been up to taking a lot of pictures lately. Here’s an old iphone pick of our little sweet boy playing with the Tonka Dump Truck from Uncle Garrett:

And another iphone pic taken on a chilly day in front of the Brogan Museum:

In this one, apparently “Snuggle Bear” needed a snack. At least that’s what I’m told:

Farm Tour
October 26, 2010, 3:29 pm
Filed under: Children, Farm Life

Benjamin’s Uncle Garrett and I took him to the Farm Tour this weekend to see Orchard Pond Organics where we have our CSA share.

Look at how beautiful these chickens are! We eat their eggs so I’m glad to know that they’re such good looking creatures.

They have a pretty awesome chicken tractor, too.

There were some good lookin’ cows in this field (behind Garrett and Little Bear) but you can’t really see them in this picture.

And yes, that’s a chicken feather that Benjamin’s holding. Is it gross that I let him play with it?

And since the only reason you’re reading this is to see pictures of Little Bear, here’s a couple from our playdate at the park yesterday:

This is face he makes when I say "smile."