Japanese Anemone hybrid ‘Serenade’

  Last spring I planted two little anemones in a little leftover triangle of soil with the vague hope that they might actually survive and make an otherwise unremarkable corner remarkable. While the one on the left seems to have either succumbed to bad weather or weed competition, this little hybrid Japanese anemone has come back for the second year now. It seems to prefer putting on a show in September, which is just fine with me because that’s usually when all the other flowers in the garden are closing up shop. They are kept purely for ornamental reasons, though …

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That Time I Ended Up With 8 Kilos of Fruit Leather.

Well, it was actually 8 kilos of undried fruit leather, which is probably only a kilo once it’s been through the dehydrator. But since it takes a day per batch and I was making the stuff on a deadline, I ended up just freezing most of the mush to be processed at a later date. Anyway, I’m not running out of fruit leather anytime soon. But let’s rewind a bit! So this year was truly an epic year for berries. Whatever was happening with the weather, berries liked it. A LOT. This resulted in all our blackcurrant, redcurrant, and gooseberry bushes …

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Frank, my deer.

We seem to be on a roll with all things wild and Finnish, so here’s a little video of something else that I found in our garden in early September last year. It was very early in the morning and I had been forced out of bed to make a bottle for a fussy toddler, so I was a bit surprised to look out the window and see a large animal strolling through the berry bushes. Pleasantly surprised, though. This young male European red deer, who I promptly named Frank in my head, just seemed so mellow as he poked around amongst the ripe fruit that I had to stop and watch him for a bit. This is the only time that I’ve seen him, though I have noticed deer marks through the snow in the winter, so I suspect this wasn’t the first time he and his presumed relatives have been around. None of them have ever harmed my vegetables and trees, so they remain welcome visitors to clean up any fruit that I can’t get around to harvesting in time.

Hunting the Wild Finnish Mushroom

Now we come to the adventuring part of this year’s mushroom hunting posts. As mentioned in my previous post, I’m getting pretty good at locating and picking the “beginner mushrooms” local to our area. This means that I’ve been turning my eye to other prospects, wanting to identify different species around us and learn what other culinary options we have. Having a wider identification database is also good for keeping curious toddler hands away from toxic species, of course. The best way to learn these things is from actual experience, so I badgered a good friend of mine until she finally …

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The One Where I Gloss Over Not Posting for Almost a Year. Also, Mushrooms!

Because c’mon, the only people who are really reading this already know that juggling toddlers and various other aspects of adult life are not entirely compatible with keeping a regular writing schedule. But you know what was actually on schedule this year? Mushroom season! Yeah, great segue, I know. I try, I try. Really, though — I’m rather proud because this was the first year I went out to forage mushrooms and actually came back with a basket full of really good-looking ones! These were picked at the beginning of September, so I’m not even too late in posting about them at all 😉 I’m …

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Hedgehog Mushroom Omelette

A couple posts back, I shared a photo of some wild hedgehog mushrooms (Hydnum repandum) I collected in the forest adjacent to our house. We are lucky enough to have some very choice mushroom species grow practically in our backyard — not usually enough for more than a small meal here and there, but it always seems like a treat when most people have to go on special mushroom hunting expeditions to get them. Blob is inordinately fond of mushrooms, we found out this summer, and the hubby is not so much, so it all ends up working out well …

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Bunny Tractors

After posting about moving Daphne’s pen around as a makeshift lawnmower, I had a few people ask what our outdoor setup is like. So here are a couple pictures of my bunny tractors in a typical configuration. The oldest pens are two Trixie Natura pet runs with matching nest boxes, which I bought for the first two large Finnish angoras, Daisy and Basil. All the bunnies are kept separately except for breeding couples on honeymoon (which is rather seldom). These pens are generously sized but a bit cumbersome to move around by myself, which I have to do every other …

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August 2015 Harvest

Thought I’d stick up some photos of our harvest last month. I didn’t bother keeping track of the weights or quantities, but we are getting a fair amount of fruit this year. Berries of all kinds flourished while our apples didn’t do so well. The vegetables were something of a bust, since I was only able to plant them but most bolted or were covered up by weeds before I could reap the results. I was still able to pick more this year overall, with Blob being more mobile and easy to take outside, but probably won’t be able to …

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Field Mouse-ear

The Field Mouse-ear (Cerastium arvense) is an unassuming little flower that I only noticed this year after starting this series of blog posts. Turns out, it’s a chickweed and considered edible (boiled, tastes of spinach, like the rest of the chickweeds) if slightly on the hairy side texture-wise. According to a fascinating profile on MPG North, “astringent juice made from crushed leaves and stems is a mineral-rich tonic and a treatment for painful urination.  A tea of the foliage is analgesic to treat inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and lungs, and to treat uterine bleeding due to miscarriage.  A tea …

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Poppy Parade!

A couple years ago, I visited a friend and was amazed at the gorgeous swath of poppies she had along one side of her house. I asked her how she had managed to get so many and she said she had just scattered some random seed there earlier in the spring because she was in a hurry and didn’t want to think about where to put them. That came as a huge surprise, since it can be so difficult to start fancy poppies from seed or even from live plants bought at the garden center. To see dozens of plants …

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