Friday, September 30, 2011

Tropical Traditions Winner Announced!!

The winner of the Tropical Traditions Organic Coconut Peanut butter is....

kim said... 59

i'm a fan of Enchanted Tree on FB


Congratulations Kim!! i will send you an email later today. You will have 48 hours to respond to my email or a new winner will be chosen! Thank you all who entered!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Everybody loves Kale :)

Okay, maybe not everybody....but my family loves kale! We eat it several times a week, it is my favorite leafy green. When my fall crop first started coming in the chickens completely shredded it. They too love kale. i had to finally fence off this area of the garden. As soon the chickens no longer had access to it, it began to come in beautifully.

Chickens are not the only ones who love kale. i believe this guy is a type of bollworm. Destructive little bugger. These are the same worms i found in my corn (corn earworms) and on my tomatoes (tomato fruit worms). i'm pretty sure i found one eating a potato too.

This snail was really pigging out. This leaf was almost skeletized (Is that really not a word?). i figured there was enough to share, and left him alone.


Aphids love kale as much as humans do! A mild soap spray should take care of a few aphids, but if the infestation is really bad you would probably be better off just pulling the plants. These guys were really bad on several of my plants, but hadn't spread to them all yet...so i ripped out the ones that were heavily infested. It makes a good treat for the chickens.

These cabbage worms can be hard to spot, because they blend in with the green of the leaves. It's those little poop drops that give them away. i typically pick these guys off by hand, and toss them in the chicken coop. This picture is a good reminder of why you should always wash your veggies well...even when it's organic.

i ended up pulling quite a bit of my kale due to the aphids and cabbage worms. When i tossed it down in the goat pens, the chickens and goats totally devoured it. i have another row of Lacinato kale coming up, and i think i'm going to plant another couple rows just for the chickens and goats. It tolerates pretty cold temperatures and will continue to grow for most of the winter. It makes a great supplement to my animals who don't get a lot of fresh green foods during the winter.

i'm still in the process of planting more fall vegetables, and cover crops. i'm looking into floating row covers to prevent some of these kale pests. Floating row covers are a lightweight, partially opaque fabric that prevents moths and other flying insects from accessing your veggies. It's thin enough that your plants can still breath and get enough sunlight to grow. i'm hoping to use it on my broccoli plants as well. No one likes to find little green worms in your broccoli!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The problem with collecting acorns....

My daughter has inherited my acorn collecting addiction. Every day, she goes outside and collects all the acorns off the back hill. She has been filling her kitchen pots and pans with them pretending to make acorn pies and soups and casseroles.

i collect acorns every year to decorate my nature table, for art projects and just sitting around in baskets or bowls. i LOVE acorns. i usually leave them outside a couple of days to dry out. Miss Sage however, didn't....she brought them all right inside. i didn't really think about it....until...


They started hatching!! Almost all of our acorns were infected with acorn maggots. Yuck!! This isn't the first time i've come across acorn maggots. i've occasionally had one or two hatch out, which is why i always leave them outside a few days before bringing them in. i've never seen so many freaking maggots!! i think ALL of the acorns were infected, we had hundreds of them. Yuck!

So how does the maggot get in there?? This really cool video from national geographic shows the whole process! As gross as the maggots were, the kids were fascinated to learn all about the Acorn weevil maggots and how they got in there. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our first Monarch release.

Remember those monarch eggs we found at the end of August? The eggs hatched, and the little caterpillars munched and munched.


We continued to give them fresh milkweed leaves, and they continued to grow.


They munched and crunched until they were ready to transform, and then they formed their chrysalis among the milkweed leaves.

i moved our chrysalis onto a stick, because i was afraid the remaining caterpillars would eat the leaves that it was on. i remove them by gently pulling on the silk that holds them to the milkweed. Then i add a dot of hot glue to the stick and attached the silk/stem with tweezers. Someday i'll take a picture of the process. It's really not difficult to do. Then i put the chrysalis tree on our nature table. i hot glued a few acorns on it as well, just as decorations.

When the butterfly is ready to emerge the chrysalis turns transparent and the orange and black of the wings can be seen. Sometimes the chrysalis will turn very dark before the butterfly emerges, so don't automatically assume it is black death if the chrysalis turns black.


Usually we get to watch the butterfly emerge, and i am right there taking pictures. This time however, i totally missed it. Came in the house and saw the butterfly already hanging upside down drying her wings.

We brought her outside to stretch her wings.

She opened and closed her wings a couple of times before she finally fluttered away. :)

i don't know why, but this year there were very few butterflies. The ones we did have came much later than usual. We only found a few monach eggs/caterpillars and when we went back to look for more all the milkweed had already died back. i'm hoping next year the butterflies will return!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Peanut butter-banana Wrap recipe and a Giveaway! CLOSED



i'm thrilled to get to work with Tropical Traditions again! They sent me a jar of their organic coconut peanut butter to try out!

Tropical Traditions Organic Coconut Peanut Butter is made from organic peanuts and organic coconut. Only two ingredients: nothing else! There are no fillers, no binders, no sweeteners, and no preservatives. The peanuts are 100% organic Valencia peanuts grown organically by family farmers in New Mexico and Texas. The dried coconut is certified organic coconut meat from the Philippines. This premium dried coconut contains no additives or preservatives, and is not sweetened. Unlike most dried coconut on the market, their dried coconut products are not treated with sulfites to keep them white. Together, these premium organic roasted peanuts and the premium organic dried coconut are ground together to make a delicious and nutritious spread!

When i first received the coconut peanut butter it was very separated, which can happen when it's hot out. If you're familiar with natural peanut butters, the natural separation is very similar. i stirred it up really well, but it was really thin and runny. It remind me more of tahini, than peanut butter. So i put it in the fridge for just a few hours to let it firm up. Then i stirred it up again, and it was the perfect consistency! It should be stored in a cool dark place, for best results. The flavor of the peanut butter is so good! It has a wonderful coconut and roasted peanut flavor. Absolutely delicious! Besides enjoying it in sandwiches and on toast, i've been making wraps with it. The one below is my favorite!

Peanut Butter Banana Wrap
Ingredients:
Whole wheat tortilla
Coconut Peanut butter
Banana
honey
coconut oil

Spread your coconut peanut butter evenly on a whole wheat tortilla. Place a banana in the center, you can cut off the ends as necessary so that you have room to fold it up. Drizzle with about 1 tbsp honey.

To fold: Bring the sides in, pressing into the peanut butter to stick in place. Now bring the bottom of the tortilla up, sort of tuck it under the banana as you gently roll it up. Place a little peanut butter on the inside of remaining edge so it seals the seam. You want to roll it somewhat tight, so that all your ingredients don't leak out.

Heat about 1/2 tsp of coconut oil in a frying pan, and place your wrap seam side down. Cook just a few minutes until golden brown, and then flip over and brown the other side. As the peanut butter heats it will melt and leak out a little bit. This can be drizzled over the wrap after you remove it from the heat.

The peanut butter will be hot and melty, so you'll want to let it cool a bit before you bite into it. This is so unbelievably delicious!! It tastes like a dessert!


Tropical Traditions gave me the opportunity to try out their Coconut peanut butter. My kids loved it. Tropical Traditions website has an entire recipe section for their coconut products, including some really yummy looking recipes using the coconut peanut butter.

Can't wait to try it?? You can purchase Tropical Traditions Coconut Peanut Butter here. Right now it is on sale for $9.99.

Win it!

Tropical Traditions has offered one reader a 16oz glass jar of their Organic Coconut Peanut Butter.


MANDATORY ENTRY CLOSED

Congrats #59!!
kim said... 59 i'm a fan of Enchanted Tree on FB

You only have to complete one to be entered, but may do all three for extra entries!
This is mandatory and must be completed before any extra entries are allowed!
Leave a comment letting me know you completed a mandatory entry, and leave your email address, facebook name and/or twitter ID so i can confirm!! Please leave a separate comment for each extra you complete.

Please include your e-mail address or make sure it is visible in your blogger profile so i have a way to contact you if you win. Otherwise a new winner will be chosen!

Additional EXTRA ENTRIES (make sure you did at least one of the mandatory above!!)
please leave a new comment for each extra entry. If you qualify for 5 entries, leave 5 separate comments.

1. Visit the recipe section at Tropical Traditions and leave me a link to one that you would like to try.
2. Be a fan of The Enchanted Tree on Facebook 1 entry

3. Follow my blog The Enchanted Tree 1 entry
4. Tweet about the contest include @Troptraditions and leave a link to your tweet. 1 entry (can tweet daily)
5. Add my button (top left column) or add me to your sidebar on your blog 3 entries (leave 3 comments)
6. Blog about the giveaway link to this post & the Tropical Traditions website. 3 entries, leave 3 comments.
7. Get an extra entry if you entered my Autumn Bendy doll giveaway! Leave a comment letting me know you entered!

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product. i was under no obligation to review it, write a positive review or host a giveaway in exchange for the free product. All opinions are 100% mine.




**Rules**
  • Giveaway ends Sept.29, 2011 at 11:59pm EST
  • Winner will be contact by email, and posted on the blog.
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email or another winner will be chosen
  • This giveaway is open to USA and Canada shipping addresses only

Friday, September 9, 2011

New for Today!

Lil' Pumpkin girl. She measures 2 3/4" without her hat. $12 shipped first class (US) other shipping options available, just ask. She can be made with custom hair/eye colors as well. Not intended for the under 3 crowd. :)

New wild haired mermaid. 3 1/4" tall. i wasn't sure how i felt about this fun yarn as hair, but my 5 year old daughter absolutely loves it! She tried to claim it for her own, and then begged me to make her one for Yule. :) This lovely mermaid is $12 shipped first class (US) other shipping options available, just ask.

Fairy and Pegasus set. $28 shipped first class (US). Other shipping options available.

Pieces are available separately $12 for the fairy, and $18 for Pegasus. Fairy measures 3 1/4" tall without hat. Pegasus measures 4" from tip of ear to front hoof, and 4" from tip of nose to tail.

Don't forget to enter for a chance to win this gorgeous Autumn Oak leaf fairy!

i'll be listing all the items on etsy, if they don't sell over the weekend. i like to list them here and facebook first, i have to raise the price a bit to cover etsy fees when i list them there. So if you want one, you'll want to snag it before i get it listed! i have lots of new things in the works and can't wait to share them!! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fundraiser for Evening Song Farm! Today Only!




'm sure by now everyone has seen pictures of the devastation that the flooding has caused in many of the New England states and along the coast. Many small farms were affected by the flooding. i was very touched by the pictures i had seen of Evening Song farms. These young new farmers, had started a successful CSA program that was only around a year old, i believe. The original info on the website has been changed, since the farm is now gone.


This is a picture of Evening Song Farms taken sometime over the past year. This is before the flood took the farm. On August 28th, rain from hurricane Irene caused the Mill River in Vermont to flood and change it's course, completely washing away the vegetable fields at Evening Song Farm. The fields are completely gone, the river now runs where they used to be, and it's unlikely that they will be able to be planted here again.




This is what used to be vegetables fields, full of beautiful organic produce, completely gone.
You can see more devastating pictures of the flooding at Evening Song here also peek around some of the other folders to get an idea of what they lost.
You can also show them support by 'liking' their facebook page and maybe leaving some words of love and encouragement on their wall. They are also accepting donations on their website.

FUNDRAISER ALERT!

The very generous Fat Toad Farm is hosting a fundraiser TODAY ONLY! They are donating all profits from their online store to help Evening Song Farm start over and recoup some of their losses. Did i mention they sell goat's milk caramel???


It comes in flavors like vanilla bean, cinnamon, coffee bean and regular....YUM! The caramel is available in giftsets, individual 8 oz jars are $8.95 and you can get a sampler size 2oz jar for $3.95.



Also, Kris from Old Gate's Farm is donating all proceeds from her Veggie Photo Notecards to the Farmer Emergency Fund. These beautiful cards were taken around her farm in Vermont, and are simple and unedited. She prints them, using both recycled paper and envelopes and package them up in a clear sleeve--perfect for gift giving.

Feel free to share this info. The Fat Toad Farm fundraiser is today only, so spread the word!

Autumn Oak Leaf Bendy Doll Giveaway!! CLOSED



With summer coming to a close, i'm in the mood to give something away!


This beautiful bendy doll is an Autumn Oak Leaf fairy. She is ready to celebrate the Autumn Equinox. She flies around and helps to transform the world into a beautiful landscape of color. She would beautiful on your Autumn nature table, or as a gift for your littles.

The Autumn Oak leaf Fairy is 3" tall.
She has fabric oak leaf wings and an acorn cap. Her cap is not removable. She contains small parts and is not suitable for littles under 3 years.

Now for the GIVEAWAY!! CLOSED
Congrats!! #75 Crib Couture liked your fb page, jessie taylor goodwin!!


MANDATORY ENTRY
Head over to my FB For Sale page or browse my sold bendy dolls and let me know your favorite!
Please include your e-mail address or make sure it is visible in your blogger profile so i have a way to contact you if you win. Otherwise a new winner will be chosen!

EXTRA ENTRIES (make sure you did the mandatory first!!)
please leave a new comment for each extra entry. If you qualify for 5 entries, leave 5 separate comments.

1. Follow my The Enchanted Tree blog via google friend connect. 1 entry
2. Be a fan of The Enchanted Tree on Facebook. (leave your facebook name) 1 entry
3. Share this giveaway with your facebook friends! 1 entry
4. Tweet about the contest leave a link to your tweet. 1 entry (can tweet daily, for 1 extra entry daily)
5. Add my button (top left column) to your blog 3 entries (leave 3 comments)
6. Blog about the giveaway link to this post, leave a comment letting me know where to find it. 3 entries (leave 3 comments.)



**Rules**
  • Giveaway ends Sept. 23th, 2011 at 11:59pm EST
  • Winner will be chosen via Random.Org. i will then contact them by email, and post the winners name on my blog.
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email or another winner will be chosen
  • This giveaway is open to everyone!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Garden Frittata


We've been getting a lot of eggs from our new hens lately, and i've been using them to make frittatas. A Frittata is an egg-based dish similar to an open faced omelet or quiche enriched with additional ingredients. Typically it is started on top of the stove and completed in the oven. Frittatas are easy to make, and delicious. It's a great way to use up extra eggs and garden produce. i used items i had on hand, you can easily change the recipe to incorporate what ever veggies you have or want.



Garden Frittata
Ingredients
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 small/medium onion sliced thin
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic minced
1 handful of fresh spinach leaves shredded
1 small tomato or 2-3 cherry tomatoes sliced thin
2-3 tablespoons of fresh goat cheese
2-3 tablespoons fresh basil shredded
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
1.Wisk the eggs and milk in a bowl with a whisk or fork until well-beaten, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in an oven-safe skillet ( i used cast iron). Add the onions. Saute on medium-low heat until the onions begin to caramelize (turn golden brown), about 10 minutes. Add garlic and shredded spinach, stirring constantly until spinach wilts.
3. Remove onion mix from pan, and set aside in small bowl. Warm remaining olive oil on medium-low heat and make sure pan is well coated. When oil is warm, add beaten eggs to the skillet. Allow the bottom to set, but the top should still be wet. Turn off the heat.
5. Arrange the caramelized onions, garlic, spinach evenly on top of eggs. Then add the tomato slices, sprinkle with fresh basil and goat cheese.
6. Place skillet under broiler. Broil, checking often, until the top of the frittata is golden and sizzling. 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven, loosen with a spatula, slide on to serving plate. Cut into 8 equal wedges and serve immediately.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back to bendy dolls

This week i decided to make a few new bendy dolls. i have several others in the works and am going to try to post a few new ones for sale on here and on my FB page each week. i tend to post them on my FB page first, so if you want first dibs you're going to want to make sure your following on facebook!

Earlier this week i posted this sweet little witchy. She sold quickly, so she's no longer available...but i do plant to be making more seasonally themed dolls. If your interested in your own little witch, i can take a couple custom orders.

i also made this purple haired mermaid this week, and she too sold immediately. Mermaids are a favorite, and you can be sure to see more in the coming weeks.


i've been trying to clean out my FB folders and re-list the bendy dolls i have available for sale. i thought i'd list them here to make it easy.

This blond haired mermaid is available for immediate purchase.
She is $12 shipped first class (US).

This Holiday Elf is available for immediate purchase.
She is $12 shipped first class (US).

Sugar Plum Girl is available for immediate purchase.
She is $12 shipped first class (US).


Pink Princess is available for immediate purchase.
She is $12 shipped first class (US).

Purple Princess is available for immediate purchase (if i can find her crown, which is temporarily misplaced. :) ).
She is $12 shipped first class (US).

Valentine Fairy is available for immediate purchase.
She is $12 shipped first class (US).

Toadstool girl is available for immediate purchase.
She is $12 shipped first class (US).


Easter bunny girls are both available for immediate purchase.
They are $12 each shipped first class (US).

i love, love , love making these! No that it is cooling off a bit, and canning season is slowing down a bit...i will posting lots of new bendy dolls, and play sets for sale! i will take a few custom orders depending on the materials i have available. i am also open to suggestions... let me know what you'd like to see!!

Lastly, i'm working on finishing up an Autumn Fairy bendy doll and will be giving her away her on the blog! So look for that this weekend! Happy September!