"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Went for a walk in the field today. The last few days have been perfect weather. The days are warm and the nights cool. Too soon there will be a freeze and these grasses will turn amber for the winter. The trees haven't begun to turn as yet; that is my favorite part of fall. The kids and grand kids will be down this weekend. Will wonders never cease?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Italian Fare

Though my photo didn't turn out so well, I wanted to share our dinner from last night. It was really good. I made a ragu with Italian sausage and mushrooms then piled it atop soft polenta. With a side salad that I topped with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette with lemon zest, I thought it was wonderful. My husband asked, "What's that." He doesn't like anything different or new; wondered why I didn't use pasta instead of the polenta. Anyway, I've decided to start making different variations of polenta more often.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


As you have seen before, my goldfish in the goldfish pond somehow know when I am around. Maybe ground vibrations from my footfall or perhaps they can see me, which brings me to the wild fish in our other ponds. They too know when I am coming. They meet me at the edge of the pond. Teeny one inch new hatchlings swarm around the edge closest while the larger ones stay in deeper water. All are waiting for their daily feeding of fish flakes, pellets and bread. They have excellent vision. They see me and move with my motions. When bread flies over them they race for it. There is a large crop of new babies this year. I really think they would be tamed if I would swim with them. The perch are the friendliest as are the catfish. The bass are the stealth fighters; they lay in wait and strike like a missile. I don't like them. Click on the pic to see them close up. I only let people fish these ponds if they catch and release, but rarely, if that.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Well, I was feeling kind of smug this summer. I have numerous topiary birds around the farm, some potted and some in the ground. Turkeys, ducks, chickens and various exotic birds make me smile.
That is, until I saw THESE!

Oh no! Not fair! No plastic beaks and feet!

And water fountains? Ha!

Deserts and Bedouins?

Steam for the teacups?

Don't you just hate showoffs? By the way, the Montreal Gardens must have heard about me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Here Chick, Chick, Chicks

Look what I got today. It has been awhile. We raised chickens for many years; enjoyed them, their eggs and their antics. When my son went away to college, they sort of went away too. Coyotes, old age and other varmints finally killed off our flock. We never would eat them and even eating their eggs are hard when you know what's in them. Its been lonely on the farm without them. This isn't the time of year one usually starts their flock, but I couldn't wait till spring. So I got 10 pullets (girls) and will get guineas and turkeys in the spring. Turkeys are my favorites as they are so loving and have great personalities.

Taking a little nap - it is too cute!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Baking Bread

Each day, it becomes more and more evident that fall is already here. I should be making lists of things I need to do: clean out the garage, clean up the barn, throw old clothes etc. away. I could fill a binder with things I need to do but don't want to do. Instead, I think of things I'd like to do. Bake bread, make butter; real chores from days of yore. I want to try different kinds of flour - flour from kernels of red wheat, fresh if possible, and pearls of barley, oats and other grains. I've saved recipes for decades that I haven't yet tried. So, what am I waiting for? I've also been reading up on butter making. I need to find a source of raw cream where the cows are feeding on green grass or pastures. Seems this makes the most delectable butter. It is illegal to sell unpasteurized milk in the stores in our state, so I'll have to find a small dairy that still operates somewhere. Hopefully, with Jersey cows, as their milk and cream are superior in butter making. I would also love to use goat cream if I can find it. It makes the best butter ever. So, we'll see what the coming days and weeks bring. Possibly, a pilgrim Thanksgiving, only I'm not killing a turkey!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


This serving tray is one of my favorite things. It is fairly old with a nice patina on the brass handles. Of course, the lace dog is why I love it so. Can you imagine trying to tat this piece? It might be crochet. It looks like cotton thread. What do you think they served on it? In bed or atop a table? I just look at it.