The Full Buck Moon – Newsletter No 3.

The full moon of July is sometimes called Thunder Moon because of the frequent thunderstorms this month. Certainly, after a hot, humid day, I enjoy a good thunderstorm to freshen the air and bring relief from the heat. The rain is also appreciated, to give a break from the constant watering of the garden at this time of year.
Another name for the July moon is Buck Moon since July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur.

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Deer are welcome in the woods but this one is starting to come a bit too close to my vegetable garden!

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5 easy recipes using garlic scapes.

It’s June and suddenly there’s an abundance of garlic scapes in country kitchens needing to be used. “What are garlic scapes?” you ask.

As the days grow warmer, garlic bulbs planted in the fall, start to send up spiralling flower stems. These green, curly stalks are known as scapes and need to be snipped off in order to prevent the plant from blooming and sucking energy from the precious garlic bulb below.Garlic scapes

As you would expect, they taste garlicky, but with a fresher, ‘greener’ taste. They’re a great garlic stand-in, arriving just in time to save me from despair when the last of my winter storage garlic runs out and the new crop is not yet ready. Sounds good, but what is a person supposed to do with all these garlic scapes? Continue reading

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Sweet dreams are made from chamomile.

German chamomile flowersIf you’ve ever drunk herbal teas, chamomile is likely to be one of the first varieties that you tried, with its fruity, apple-like flavour. A member of the daisy family, chamomile is best known for it’s soothing, sleep-inducing properties.  Continue reading

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Whales, fishing boats, ferries, folk art and other gems. All in my own ‘neck’ of the woods.

It rained on Friday… a lot, the thunder was loud and the wind howled. Saturday morning, however, was perfect. It was sunny and calm, with a freshness in the air that was, as I said earlier, just perfect.

The birds were chirpy, and I was happy to see that we have barn swallows building a nest in the rafters. I could watch them for hours as they flit around catching bugs in the air; cheering them on as they scoop up black flies and mosquitoes for breakfast.

Barn swallow building nest

Barn swallow gathering nesting material.

Did I mention, the weather was perfect? We decided to head out for the day. Digby Neck and the smell of the sea breeze was calling, or was it the promise of Sissiboo coffee and home-baked cookies at the Digby Neck Collective yard sale? Either way, we took Hwy 217 down the ‘Neck. Not the most inspiring of names, but what the name lacks, is more than compensated for by the scenic drive that takes you through picturesque fishing villages and offers glimpses of rocky bays and sandy beaches. Continue reading

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5 Reasons to grow dandelions in your lawn.

DandelionsWeeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. – A.A. Milne.

I know that many gardeners will think me odd to talk about growing dandelions, but once you get to view this plant as something other than a weed, you’ll be happy to have this tenacious perennial in your garden.

Here are 5 good reasons to let them grow in your lawn and gardens. Continue reading

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Under her wing.

Rhode Island Red chick, day old

“Mother’s gonna keep you right here under her wing.
She won’t let you fly, but she might let you sing.
Mama will keep baby cozy and warm.” – Pink Floyd

Hardy in all weathers, Rhode Island Reds don’t seem to mind the snow or the sun and are prolific egg layers, making them a popular backyard chicken where their dark red, almost mahogany feathers make a striking contrast to green pasture. They do, however, have a tendency to go ‘broody’, and this week one of her hens proudly presented us with five ginger chicks. Continue reading

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The Flower Moon of May

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The Flower Moon of May. This months newsletter from Blueberry Hills Farm. Continue reading

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How to know when to plant.

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Using signs from nature to know when to plant vegetables. Known as phenological gardening. Continue reading

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5 things anyone can do to help save the bees.

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Our honey bees need help. Here’s a list of 5 things that anyone can do to help them. If you can’t do them all, just choose one and start today. The bees will thank you for it. Continue reading

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How to use the changeable weather to make maple syrup quicker.

“If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes”…. Mark Twain

Mark Twain may just have easily said the same of Nova Scotia this past month. In the last few weeks we have experienced sunny days, warm enough to sit out on the deck, and blue skies, bright enough to bring the robins and chipmunks out of hibernation. There have been days we’ve let the wood stove go out and opened the windows wide to let the sunshine in. But those days were interspersed with fierce blizzards and wicked ice storms. Cold grey days and nor’easterly gales have left many of us winter weary and feeling cheated of spring.

Silver Laced Wyandotte and Rhode Island Red hens

Just hanging around waiting for spring!

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