PestoWe froze a bunch of fresh basil from our garden last fall, so we could make “fresh” pesto during the winter. Pesto is simple to make for a weeknight meal, and is oh-so-good on pasta. I wasn’t sure how well basil would freeze, because if you’ve ever seen what it looks like in the garden after a frost, it turns a nasty, goopy black! Smile with tongue outBut it worked fine in vacuum sealed bags.

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Kirk has been super busy with gardening. His favorite things to read, historically, were Porsche, Bugeye Sprite and bicycling magazines. He still reads those, but now added to the pile are seed, plant and irrigation supply catalogs! 😀 He added two rows of fruit trees to last year’s single row.

FruitTrees

There are, I think: apples, pears, Asian pears, peaches, nectarines and plums.

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Yesterday was such a nice day (and boy, we’ve sure been lucky to have a lot of those lately) that after I sheared the Jacob ewe, I decided to move the sheep. They’ve been stuck in their winter sacrifice area since late November, so greener pastures were a welcome sight to them!

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Washington State University - World Class Face to FaceHere is a plug for an upcoming event in Stanwood, WA that should be well worth attending. WSU’s Country Living Expo and Cattlemen’s Winterschool is an amazing array of 135 classes on all sorts of topics,a jam-packed day of learning, plus a prime rib lunch. The hardest part is choosing which classes to attend! 😛

Here is a sampling of some of the topics:

Fruit Tree Maintenance, Hands on Hay judging, Frisbee Dog Training, Growing Giant Pumpkins and Vegetables, Building Your Own Greenhouse, Native Plants for Wetland Restoration, Arc Welding- Hands on, Soap Making, Cheese Making, Growing Vegetables Year Around, Wild Game Dressing in the Field, Raising and Processing Pastured Poultry, Palatability Control Points for Direct Marketed beef, pork and lamb, Plethora of Pasture and Forage Classes, Chain Saw Maintenance, Beginning through Advanced Specialty Canning, Frisbee Dog Training, Marketing Small Businesses, Cider Making, Honey Bees, Raising Beef, Sheep, Swine, Goats, Spinning, Weaving, equine classes and more.

How can you resist? Get yourself over to the Skagit County Extension website and register asap, as I understand the classes fill fast.

CukeAndCarrots

Our garden produce is winding down for the year. We got an amazing amount of stuff, considering how little effort we put in. We have a whole basket full of potatoes in the pantry, which we are rapidly eating down. I love to make mashed potatoes with either a sweet potato or yam mixed in- a tip I learned from a past neighbor of mine, Barb, who felt that sneaking those in improved the healthiness of regular mashed spuds, while still pleasing her kids! 🙂 It improves the flavor, too, I think!

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RadioactiveHorse For the last couple of months, I’ve been taking the Livestock Advisor course that’s sponsored by Washington State University. The concept of the course is to get a broad overview of training about all types of agricultural livestock; and then to give back to the community by sharing this information in a variety of volunteer opportunities. I’m enjoying the courses, though they are a bit more basic than I’d hoped. But, you always pick up something from a class, and I’ve learned a few new things.

Last week, we traveled to WSU to do a whirlwind tour of all of their agricultural facilities.

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