Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Floyd Friday Artisan Market- things to do in Floyd, VA

It's market season! 
Every Friday night from 5pm-9pm in downtown Floyd, VA is the Artisan Market.  


It is held under the Community Market Pavilion. Featuring local and regional artisans, selling handmade arts and crafts!  There is live music and sometimes food vendors as well. 



 This is the first year i'll be setting up at the Floyd Artisan Market every Friday selling my lampwork glass pendants, beaded jewelry, hand woven dishcloths and more. i also plan to bring any extra farm fresh eggs i have at the end of each week. . 


My glass pendants range in price from $10- $20. i also usually have a few seconds available for $5 each.  i have turtles, mermaids, goddess, dragonflies, hearts, leaves and more!


i also have beadwork and hand woven dish cloths available. i plan to offer my crocheted goods, batik bags and possibly waldorf dolls in the future. i'm still kind of feeling out the market crowd to know what items would sell best.  


There have only been two markets so far this season, and the vendors have changed a bit with each one. You can find a nice variety of products though. Concrete planters and plants, tie dyes, crocheted squid, paintings, batik work and gorgeous hand carved bowls.


Just a few of the things you may see for sale.


You can find original watercolor batik art by Deborah Carrino and original paintings and prints by Starroot. 


The Artisan Market is located across from The Floyd Country store, in the pavillion next to The Station. If you are coming out to enjoy the Friday night Jamboree  stop by and check out the beautiful work of Floyd's local artists and crafters.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Oyster Mushroom Recipes.


We've had a good flush of oyster mushrooms this spring, both from logs we plugged and just foraging. Now that we've learned how to correctly identify them, we seem to see them everywhere! This basket contains foraged oysters and a couple of shiitake we grew.


These are blue oyster just starting to fruit. These are on plugged logs. We grew several variety of oyster mushroom this year. They seem to be the easiest to grow.



First thing i did with our homegrown oyster mushrooms was make a homemade pizza. The pizza crust was made from scratch, i added homemade pizza sauce from tomatoes canned last year, homemade mozzarella cheese, homegrown spinach, asparagus and onion.  Before putting the oyster mushrooms on the pizza i sauteed them with some garlic. It was delicious!


i also used some in an omelet. In the spring, i love making meals using all homegrown foods. These are made using eggs from our hens, spinach, asparagus and sauteed oyster mushrooms. You can tell what is in season right now from the meals i'm making. :) 



We had a lot of the wild oyster mushrooms, so i made them into a vegetarian bbq.  Just cut or shred the oyster mushrooms, saute in a little oil and add bbq sauce. Served them on onion buns with swiss cheese and a homegrown salad with sliced shiitake. These were really tasty!

i also bookmarked this link that has a bunch of yummy looking recipes i can't wait to try! https://homesteading.com/oyster-mushroom-recipes/

It's been a lot of fun growing our own mushrooms, i check the logs daily for any new mushroom growth.  We just plugged more logs with shiitake, so by next year we should have more mushrooms than we know what to do with.  We have so much going on here this year, i'll try to keep up with the updates!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Family Game Night- Wild Dash by Roosterfin Games (sponsored)




This weekend we tried out a new game for family game night! Wild Dash is the imaginative card game where animals race to the finish line! It's a fun and fast paced game that is really easy to learn. Wild Dash is an educational game to improve counting, number adding, and logic skills. 

Wild Dash was Created by RoosterFin games.  Roosterfin strives to combine the fun of board games with the joy of learning. They makes games that are perfect for everyone, no matter if you are 6 or 60! Wild Dash is perfect for all ages; from kids and teens, to college students, parents, and grandparents! Founded by Joe RoosterFin, a former teacher with a degree in mathematics, these award-winning games are easy to learn, educational, and fun for the whole family! 


The game is similar to the card game War. You choose your highest number card and flip it over and hope your racer has the highest number.  However there are a few challenges to keep things interesting...like stoplight dice (roll red and you lose your card) and booster cards to increase your speed (score).


We played it last night to try it out and then played again today when my daughter had a friend over. 


i had to take a break to make dinner and my boy had homework, but the girls kept playing for almost an hour! They had a lot of fun and really enjoyed it! Winning has a bit to do with luck (getting a good hand) and strategy (knowing when to put down your highest card).  There is a lot of counting involved, so it really does strengthen math skills. 


Wild Dash is the card game where animals race to the finish line! Players compete to get the best score by racing with fun animal cards. Reveal your animal card, then add booster cards to propel your animals to the checkered flag at the finish line. Players: 2-6 Ages: 7 to adult
 Skills: Memory, Strategy, Logic
 Contents: 96 Cards 9 Coins 3 Cubes 1 Dice Roller and Instructions

You can find out more info about Roosterfin Games on their website  www.RoosterFin.com.  
follow them on social media

Facebook- RoosterFin Games 
Twitter- @RoosterFin 
Instagram- @roosterfin

To join mailing list visit: https://roosterfin.com/pages/contact
How to Play : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0s3VjAmeGQ



i received a product and/or compensation in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own.


Monday, May 14, 2018

Mushroom farming and foraging.

Spring is a great time for foraging fresh mushrooms! Our favorites to find are the morels, but we've slowly been learning to safely identify and forage other types as well. 


We found a couple dozen morels in the woods behind our house. It wasn't a spectacular harvest, but i'm not complaining. We enjoyed them breaded & fried and also sauteed with butter & garlic. They are one of the easiest wild mushrooms to identify. 


 Last spring we plugged a bunch of logs with mushroom spores, and have been patiently waiting for them to fruit. It usually takes about a year, but we were getting a few here and there this past fall so we were hoping for a good harvest this spring.  We got a large water trough to help soak the logs to make sure they were staying damp enough.  Within just a few days of soaking these elm oysters began fruiting!



One of my first harvest pictures of the season. Homegrown spinach, lettuce, asparagus and oyster mushroom. i also foraged morels, chickweed, lambs quarter and purslane.


We have another oyster log beginning to fruit.  It has several clusters like this on it. 


 We also have a gorgeous shiitake coming in one of the logs. So far these have just been one at a time, i'd really love to see them take off and really fruit. The shiitakes are really yummy.


We spend so much time looking at our cultivated mushroom logs that we tend to forget about the wild ones that often fruit on the stumps of the trees that we cut about 7 years. Yesterday i was walking through the goat field and saw this giant flush of oysters in the woods on the other side of the fence. They were growing from a Tulip Poplar stump.

So far it's looking like a great mushroom season! We are in the process of plugging more logs and hope to continue cultivating fresh mushrooms for years to come.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Our First Bee Hive Inspection

We performed our first inspection of the new hives this week. It was a little bit nerve racking, as we were hoping for the best, but not sure what we would find.   It has been almost 2 weeks since we installed the bee packages. Installation went okay, but we had a problem with one of the top feeders and were concerned with that hive especially. We didn't know if all the queens had been released or if they had been accepted. Sometimes the hive will kill the queen in those first days.


We were super pleased to find a lot of new drawn out comb in all of the hives. We have been feeding the bees syrup and pollen patties and it appears to be working for them. It was really pretty cool they way we could check the frames and only a bees were buzzing around, most just seemed focused on their tasks and ignored us. 


We were able to find all 4 queens! They are busy laying eggs and seem to have no problems being accepted by the hive.  Can you find the queen? She's right in the center of the photo. She has the long skinny body. She is depositing her eggs in each of the cells.


We also lots of comb filled with glistening nectar and pollen. We saw larvae, and eggs in every hive! The first two are larger hives and seem to be behind a bit, i think because they work harder in the larger hive. The two smaller hives are almost filled up already. Larva and eggs are really important to see, because in a couple of weeks all of the worker bees will die and (hopefully) be replaced with the new brood. The worker bees only live 5-6 weeks during an active season. So if there isn't eggs and larva, in a few weeks time the entire colony will collapse.  



We found capped brood (baby bees) in the 2 smaller hives.  Very excited to see that things are going so well so far!!!!! We were really worried about the first hive that had the problem with the top feeder, but it looks like they have recovered well and are doing great! So far no one has gotten stung! 

Kenan has set up an electric fence to hopefully deter the bears that have become common visitors on our land. They are the biggest threat to hives right now. We'll be doing another inspection this evening and we'll be adding  brood boxes on the smaller 8 frame / medium box hives. We are pretty optimistic that we may get a little bit of honey this first year, which isn't always a guarantee. Looking forward to our hive inspection this afternoon, we are waiting for the kids to get home from school so they can participate. This has been a fun learning experience for the whole family.  In just the two weeks we've had our hives, i've learned so much about bees i didn't know.