Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mardi Gras~Spring~Renewal~Common Ground~




Many years ago when all things in my world were young-er and daring was a 'Rite of Passage'...Mardi Gras in the French Quarter was a yearly event...always from a balcony above the streets...young and daring but not that daring !

There is so much more to this holiday than the festive element many of us have come to know and love. If you don't know the history, treat yourself  and make it a study...I promise you will be forever glad you did.

A new challenge for me...design a healthier version of the one-of-a-kind  King Cake...do I dare ??

Never been to Mardi-Gras ? Go !
Never experienced The River-Walk and Jackson Square ? You must !
Don't like Hole-In-The-Wall eateries ? You will !

Are you packed ? Casual is a must !

Need a place to say ?  My favorites :)

The quaint, old, and magical...Cornstalk Inn.../French Quarter/Garden District.
The Royal Sonesta ...Bourbon Street

The Court Of Three Sisters...anything brought to your table will be yummy !

Oh...and don't forget Preservation Hall for some fine Jazz !!

  
 
                            
Let The Good Times Roll and be very aware...stay safe !

Or...you can stay home and make.... Gumbo and Po-boys :)





 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas As Seen Through The Eyes Of Dickens~


The Christmas Story...according to the Christmas Bible story, Christ came down to earth from heaven to be born at Christmas, because of his love for all humanity.

Christmas Through the Eyes of Dickens~(1812-1870)
( a cry for social justice )


Christmas in Scrooge's day...in 1843 Christmas was much less commercial. Many people went to church, and many followed the ancient tradition of making merry. however, nothing was allowed for or geared to the working class or poor classes of people
We all know the heart-tugging story of  "A Christmas Carol" by- Charles Dickens...what many may not know are some of the historical facts that inspired this classic.

The English Christmas was at a low ebb when Dickens was a youngster.
his desire was to make it understood and to change how the working poor lived from day to day. Dickens loved his city and spent his life wandering the streets, by the time he was 15 he know it well...yet never stopped exploring and writing about its restless energy.

Much of today's London was built in the 19th Century,
it was full of dark alleys and lanes, the streets were crowded, noisy, and very dirty.
Almost anything was bought and sold, the atmosphere was more akin to a modern third-world city than modern London. Many of the vendors were children-there were no child labor laws such as we have today. Many worked as young as 5-sweeping the streets.

The growth of the city exploded in the 1800's and became know as "the Fever-Patch." It was the first big industrial city in the world, and it was dirty, extremely polluted and unhealthy. disease spread quickly...there were four cholera epidemics in Dickens's lifetime. plus regular outbreaks of typhoid, scarlet fever,, and other ills. Two hundred open sewers ran into the Thames River...and more than half of the London population took their water from it for cooking, laundry, bathing and drinking.

"A Christmas Carol" was written in 1843, as was the first printed Christmas cards. However in 1843 many very old traditions were still being celebrated. Some dated from ancient pagan midwinter festivals-which were celebrated long before the first Christmas. The latter part of the 1840's began to see signs of new customs and ways that brought London out of the disgusting conditions it had become famous for.

The year after " A Christmas Carol" was published , nine London theaters staged versions of this book...it has been a favorite of stage and screen ever since. The classic being the 1951 version.

After the success of " A Christmas Carol" Dickens wrote a Christmas story each year for the next several years, including The Chimes,(1844) and The cricket On The Hearth (1845)-none were as popular as A Christmas Carol. It added a new word to the English language ("a Scrooge" is a miser...very few stories have done that.

Today's Christmas is commercial in a way Dickens could not have dreamed of...but in part and thanks to him, we still feel that Christmas should be a time for family warmth, wholesome fun, kindness to others and especially children...his vision lives on~ RIP Charles Dickens.

Merry Christmas~

The Sage Hill Farms Family~
 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

~~Thanksgiving~~Fruits Of The Harvest

From candles to gravy boats, from generations past to generations of the future...it is all Fruits of the Harvest.

Thinking of all the love and labor that goes into building families over many generation and all the loving labor that goes into a project in order to reap a rewarding harvest...it is simply one and the same from the heart.

Thanksgiving without pumpkin and turkey is hard to imagine--just as Thanksgiving without reaching out and giving back is unacceptable.

A loving family, true friends, healthy bodies and minds. an abundance of all things needed for a warm and satisfying Thanksgiving time, for these things I feel grateful ...may you share in the same feeling at your house.

Happy Thanksgiving from Sage Hill Farms~


 

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Back Ten Feet: Sue's Top Ten Tips

Anyone can do this regardless where we live...at least to some degree.

Embrace and go for it !
Bea K.


The Back Ten Feet: Sue's Top Ten Tips:  1. First...Do no harm.  NO chemicals!!!   2. Lawn or turf grass is for framing not farming           a. Get rid of most if not all     ...

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Fall, Fairs, and Football~

September, the beginning of the " changing " of the seasonal guard :) Autumn/Fall- doesn't actually begin until the 22nd...but the temps are dropping, the leaves are showing signs of color, summer gardens are falling away, and the fall festivities are happening in towns and cities around the country. ( our County Fair begins in the coming week ) and a great one it is. I really enjoy the Harness Racing most of all.
This pretty picture is by way of my friend Judy Graber from Mineral Springs Farm-organic raised/Black Angus Beef ( yes ! )
She can be easily found on FB.
 
                  Labor Day is the big holiday for the US and Canada. 
 
Grandparents Day is the 8th-
 
if you are blessed with grandparents, get to know who they were through the years past, what it was like when they were your age, if not for them, you and I would not be :)
 
Ahhh, September birthdays...we have 7 during this month. Lots of celebrating will be happening from the 4th through the 30th !
 
New Moon on the 5th...great time to trim the hair for maximum growth.   One full moon, on the 19th-check and balance time :)   
 
The days to fly your flag if you don't fly it every day...Labor Day...2nd, Patriot Day...11th, POW and MIA Recognition Day...20th.
 
Asters are Septembers flower, do you have them in your garden ?
 
Please practice being a good land steward.....don't use dangerous chemicals, instead look for and learn about the natural ways to care for your soil, it will thank you with rich and bountiful offerings. You and your family will be healthier and future generations will have a fighting chance to enjoy mother earth too.
Wishing you and yours a most wonderful Autumn season.
 
Bea Rigsby-Kunz/Sage Hill Farms
                                                                                                                                           
 
 
 
 

 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bee Balm/Bergamot=Goodness In A Cup~


                                                     

                  Scarlet Monarda. Oswego Tea. Bee Balm. Bergamot. 

 A fruitful source of Thymol.
     
This pretty herb has become a favorite in our gardens. It has showy, bright pink flowers in large heads or whorls at the top of the stem, supported by leafy bracts, the leaflets of which are of a pale-green color tinged with red. Its square, grooved and hard stems rise about 2 feet high, and the leaves which it bears in pairs are rather rough on both sides. The whole plant is strongly impregnated with a delightful fragrance; even after the darkly-colored leaves have died away, the surface rootlets give off the pleasant smell by which the plant has earned its common name 'Bergamot,' it being reminiscent of the aroma of the Bergamot Orange.   It is known in America as 'Oswego Tea,' because an infusion of its young leaves used to form a common beverage in many parts of the United States.

 It is also sometimes called 'Bee Balm,' as bees are fond of its blossoms, which secrete much nectar. It delights in a moist, light soil, and in a situation where the plants have only the morning sun, where they will continue in flower longer than those which are exposed to the full sun. It is a very ornamental plant and readily propagated by its creeping roots and by slips or cuttings, ( needs room to spread ) we find it does great beside the Butterfly shrubs.

TIP: .....Oswego Tea blend will be available from August through the month of September...get it early, doesn't last long. Will be on the Sage Hill Farms web store beginning August 1st.
http://www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com

I trust your summer is Awesome !
 


Sunday, May 05, 2013

Spring Promises~


Spring, it comes only to retreat, and back again...seems she never tires of teasing us. However, those of us who garden have figured out ways to compensate for that which we cannot change. ( the weather :)

Spring lettuces , onion, chive, many herbs, and depending on location...a few other goodies...can be grown in cold frames, high tunnels, greenhouses, and even in open areas with the knowing that you need some form of protection on those nights that dip below what is acceptable. I love the floating row covers, they can be used simply by spreading across/down where needed...or, they can be used on a dome like frame built to keep them from touching the plants.

Remember, if you have large beds or gardening in un-raised soil...take the time to design walking paths between your rows...a thick layer of pine straw will help absorb the shock of your footprints and avoid packing the soil. Be aware...if you use wheat straw or other grain straw you will end up with unwanted weed and grass sprouts in the new spring...I highly suggest pine straw...it can be easily removed in the fall or late winter and used in other areas of need. Yes, dead leaves do work...however, they are subject to be taken away by the wind, and they don't supply nearly the protection of impact as the straw.
~
Happy Gardening ~

Bea Rigsby-Kunz
Teacher/speaker/advocate for "Truth In Labeling."
http://www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com
931-438-8328