ADVENTURE TO ISRAEL

Eating a pita of Seasoned Lamb and Chicken--Delicious!

Eating a pita of Seasoned Lamb and Chicken–Delicious!

We went to Israel to witness where Jesus walked and where He will return to reign.  Archeology saturates this ancient land.  One can scarcely plant a tree in Israel without striking another level of antiquity.

The landscape in Israel is intriguing, from the rocky hills of the Galilee and The Golan Heights to the misty expanse of the Dead Sea.  But as our guide often said, Israel is a very small country–no larger than the state of New Jersey.

Masada plateau. Most of us rode the cable car to the top. Five hearty souls did the trek.

Masada plateau. Most of us rode the cable car to the top. Five hearty souls did the trek.

Above is a picture of the ruins of Masada with the Dead Sea in the distance.

The Dead Sea is alive with healing minerals

The Dead Sea is alive with healing minerals

It is also a young nation, born in 1948, just a year before my birth.  In the brief span of its existence, it has seen about five major wars and several more periods of serious unrest; yet its people tenaciously cling to the only real estate the Jewish race can claim as its own from the time of Abraham.

Israel was brought back from swamp and desert  by returning Jewish settlers beginning about 1900 and now bears four seasons of fruits, grains and vegetables–enough to supply the fresh produce of Europe.  Our son noted that the lifestyle of regions is often more apparent seeing how the locals shop and what they eat.  Our first day in Israel we experienced first-hand some typical “fast food” of Israel–shawarma pita sandwiches stuffed with seasoned lamb and chicken.  We entered a cool, rock-walled cafe’ in the ancient city of Joffa and were quickly served the savory hot sandwiches and canned pop.  After a ten-hour plane trip and morning touring Caesarea and Joffa, we both quickly finished off our sandwiches.

The Old City

The Old City

Arab Market at the Mt. of Temptation

Arab Market at the Mt. of Temptation

Above is a Jewish open-air market in the Old City of Jerusalem.  Most residents buy fresh produce daily.  Our Jewish guide mentioned that his children had three favorite staples for breakfast every morning–tomatoes, cucumbers and onions, all  grown locally.  I can do fresh fruit easily for breakfast…but onions would be a stretch.  Our lovely breakfast buffets in the three hotels in which we stayed did indeed have a varied assortment of fresh vegetables as well as fruits for breakfast.

The second picture is of Butch and I with our friend and tour coordinator Cindy Winkler of Peoria Charter Coach.  We are posing outside a small Arab market.  Pastor Farrell bought a bunch of fresh bananas and passed them around our group as a treat.

Roman Aqueduct at Caesarea

Roman Aqueduct at Caesarea

The Roman aqueduct above brought spring water from the foothills into the Mediterranean coastland city of Caesarea.  Caesarea was built by Herod the Great, the governor of the Roman region of Palestine at the time of Christ.

The Temple Mount from The Mount of Olives.

The Temple Mount from The Mount of Olives.

Snapshots of Israel would be incomplete without an iconic picture of the Temple Mount in the city of Jerusalem.  It is said that Israel is the center of the world [Ezekiel 5:5], Jerusalem is the center of Israel and the Temple Mount is the center of Jerusalem.  The Temple Mount or Mount Zion is where the culmination of world history called The Times of the Gentiles will take place.  The ruler who takes the Temple Mount will take the world.  The final battle called Armageddon will pit the forces of Antichrist against the armies of Jesus Christ.  The result is swift and devastatingly final.  Christ’s win is decisive [Revelation 14; 19].

I took this picture from the Mount of Olives where Christ will alight at His return [Zechariah 14:4; Acts 1].  He will then ascend Mount Zion where the 144,000 select Jewish forces are waiting to welcome Him [Revelation 7, 14].  These Jewish Christians will have received Christ as Lord and Savior during the seven-year Tribulation and are specially sealed for evangelism in preparation for their Messiah’s return.  Zechariah 13 reveals that two-thirds of the Jews will die in the Tribulation but the remnant of one-third will be refined in the fire and will be brought into the Millennial Kingdom, redeemed, to repopulate the earth.

My husband and I even ventured into the Dead Sea for a quick dip in the heavy, mineral waters.  The water of the Dead Sea is similar to swimming in soft-set gelatin; the water is so buoyant, it can take one off their feet.  The brave ones in our group smeared themselves with the black mud in order to get the maximum benefits of spa bathing.

Israeli Defense Forces [IDF] soldier defending the border between Jordan and Israel at the traditional site of Christ's baptism on the Jordan River.

Israeli Defense Forces [IDF] soldier defending the border between Jordan and Israel at the traditional site of Christ’s baptism on the Jordan River.

I chose this last picture as an example of life in Israel.  Daily routines are filled with the same maintenance we experience here, but young soldiers stand guard at check points and borders with M16 rifles.  Both young men and women are required to serve for two years in the IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces.  Defending their right to exist is daily life in Israel.

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Home From Israel

Eating a pita of Seasoned Lamb and Chicken--Delicious!

Eating a pita of Seasoned Lamb and Chicken–Delicious!

My husband and I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit Israel.  After the fog of jet lag began to clear, the impact of this hauntingly historic nation began to flood my thoughts.

Our first lunch was in the ancient city of Jaffa.  The falafel and the shawarma pita sandwiches are like burghers and hot dogs to the citizens of Irael.  We enjoyed both!  Jonah fled from the Lord’s command to evangelize Nineveh from Jaffa.

Ruins of Caesarea on the Mediterranean

Ruins of Caesarea on the Mediterranean

Herod the Great rebuild a “modern” Roman-style city on the ruins of a Phoenician city and named it Caesarea in honor of Rome’s ruler.  The Mediterranean has crept over part of the ruins but the outline of the harbor Herod constructed is still visible.  To entertain visitors to his port, Herod constructed a hippodrome and theater.  Water, a precious commodity in this arid land, was brought from the hills by Roman aqueduct.

Hippodrome Race Track

Hippodrome Race Track

Roman Aqueduct at Caesarea

Roman Aqueduct at Caesarea

View from Mt. Carmel

View from Mt. Carmel

The Mt. Carmel range where Elijah bested the prophets of Baal gave us a dramatic view of the Jezreel valley.  It was exciting to see where Bible history took place–and to see where prophecy will be fulfilled in the future.  This valley is also known as the Valley of Megiddo or Armageddon where the final battle for world domination will take place [Revelation 16:16].

Tel Megiddo

Tel Megiddo

Tel Megiddo is an active archeological site.  The foundations of several ancient cities have been unearthed here.  As one city after another crumbled and fell, another was built on its base.  It overlooked the ancient highway connecting Asia, Africa and Europe.  Israel is a land bridge connecting these three major continents, which is why so many historic battles have taken place in this location.  The best-selling book The Source was written based on the archeological dig at Megiddo.

The Historic Highway Connecting the Ancient World

The Historic Highway Connecting the Ancient World

Notice the highway in center/right in the distance.

Galilean Fishing Boat

Galilean Fishing Boat

A typical Galilean fishing boat from the time of Christ was found submerged in mud in the Sea of Galilee.   A replica took our tour group across the Galilee to our beautiful hotel in Tel Dan.  From the Mediterranean to the Sea of Galilee–Israel is all about the precious source of water.

Israel blooming as the rose...

Israel blooming as the rose…

Peggy thought the lush blooming shrubs we saw everywhere were bourgainvillea.  We saw booms in purple, pink and a brilliant salmon shade.  Although rain had not fallen in Israel for six months, drip irrigation and tenacity define the will of the land–and the people–to produce in spite of obstacles.  The first of the winter rains arrived in Jerusalem the last day of our trip.

The Ruins of Beit Shean

The Ruins of Beit Shean

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Beit Shean [Beth Shean], 17 miles south of the Sea of Galilee, is one of the Decapolis Cities [10 cities] that profited from the trade routes.  It was the most extensive ruins we saw.  Original sections of intricate mosaic floor had been preserved.  We had a brief worship service in the theater where the acoustics were so good, we did not need a microphone.  The Roman-style baths had heated water and an intricate system of under-floor heating.

Camel at the Mount of Temptation

Camel at the Mount of Temptation

Arab Market at the Mt. of Temptation

Arab Market at the Mt. of Temptation.  Butch and I with our awesome tour coordinator, Cindy Winkler of Peoria Charter.

We also saw Capernaum, the Mt. of Beatitudes and the Syrian and Israeli bunkers on the Golan Heights left from the Six Day War, 1967.  Everywhere you look in Israel is historic.

The Old City Walls of Jerusalem!

The Old City Walls of Jerusalem!

Jerusalem, Jerusalem…a white city on three hills.  The three valleys of the city cut green clefts among the tightly clustered buildings.  Old blends with new.

The Security Wall between Israel and the Palestinian Authority territory.

The Security Wall between Israel and the Palestinian Authority territory.

The Wall reminded us that checkpoints and security are necessary to keep Israel safe.  Inside Israel proper, children play outside after dark, swim on the beaches and mothers push baby strollers on dusky streets.  Hitch hikers are common, young men and women.  They hope to get a ride to reach their destinations faster and without cost and will hitch hike around bus stops hoping for free rides even in the Galilean hills and wilderness.  Our tour guide said it is common to especially give rides to young soldiers, identified by their carrying M16 rifles which they are required to carry to and from base.

Israeli Defense Forces [IDF] soldier defending the border between Jordan and Israel at the traditional site of Christ's baptism on the Jordan River.

Israeli Defense Forces [IDF] soldier defending the border between Jordan and Israel at the traditional site of Christ’s baptism on the Jordan River.

We visited an olive wood carving shop operated by Christians in the city of Bethlehem in PA territory.  I purchased an Eilat stone bracelet, the bluish/green stone of Jerusalem.  The Church of the Nativity was crowded and more shrine than original site.  The proximity of Bethlehem to Jerusalem made it clear how Mary and Joseph could have easily made the trip on foot to the Jerusalem Temple to dedicate baby Jesus.  Another fascinating stop was our tour guides favorite market in Netanya near his home.  It was not a supermarket but a spice and produce market.  We bought locally-harvested dates, frankincense and myrr oils, spices, and lotions from the Dead Sea.

Jonathan Farrell reading scripture to wife Jaime on shabbot

Jonathan Farrell reading scripture to wife Jaime on shabbot

Our teaching pastor on the trip, Jonathan, was asked to read the passage from Proverbs 31 to his wife Jaime to celebrate the Jewish shabbot or Sabbath evening meal.  We passed bread dipped in salt and a bit of red wine and listened to the Jewish families around us singing their prayers.

Shabbot Meal

Shabbot Meal

My Shabbot meal was roasted chicken, vegetables, hummus, and challah bread.  Delicious!  The hotel buffets were always kosher which means there was no meat at the morning meal and no dairy in the evening meal.  Breakfast did have eggs and plenty of cheese, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables [which they eat extensively even at breakfast], yogurt and always a wide variety of breads.  A whole honeycomb was often on the buffet table.  The evening meal also included small cakes and sweets made without dairy.

The Dead Sea is alive with healing minerals

The Dead Sea

I found the Dead Sea and the wilderness around it to be hauntingly beautiful.  A smoky mist hung over the warm mineral water obscuring the hills in the distance.  Although the sea is called “dead” because it is a stagnant body of water, it is alive with an abundance of salt and minerals.  The Dead Sea is also the lowest elevation in the world, which many believe adds to its healing properties.  We visited the famous Ahava mineral works and saw a video about how the properties of the “sea” are harvested for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.  This was the outlet I was waiting for.  I purchased a system for my particular skin care needs–elderly–and a tube of concentrated Dead Sea salts and minerals that help with aches and pains.  Israel makes good use of every resource.  We dipped in the sea and had a hard time keeping our feet; it is so buoyant there is a trick to getting down into the water without falling.  The water is like oil on the skin and it is recommended that bathers not stay in it for more than fifteen minutes at a time.

Water is the vital component of Israel.  All water is recycled or carefully collected from the Jordan, Galilee and the springs.  Israel is also the leader in the desalination of sea water from the Mediterranean and Red Sea.  Water is a metaphor for the young nation of Israel.  Only where Israel has irrigated is there lush forests of dates, avocadoes, cherries, citrus, tomatoes, potatoes, vegetables, persimmons, melons, and virtually anything else that grows.  The soil produces abundantly a 4-season crop rotation in the moderate climes.  But water is scarce and valuable.  Just as Israel must have water to survive, the people of Isral need Christ, the living water [Jn. 4:13-14] to spiritually survive and thrive.  In Ezekiel 47, the Lord will manifest His spiritual presence in the Kingdom by creating a kind of artesian spring that gushes out from under the threshold of His newly-built Millennial Temple.  His presence as King in the kingdom is the source of this living spiritual and literal water of life.

Before leaving the Dead Sea area we visited the well-known archeological site of Masada.  Masada is revered by Israel as a symbol of Jewish tenacity.  Rather than be captured by the Romans, this remnant of Jews from the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 killed each other–men, women and children–rather than be tortured and captured by the legions of Rome.

Masada plateau. Most of us rode the cable car to the top. Five hearty souls did the trek.

Masada plateau. Most of us rode the cable car to the top. Five hearty souls did the trek.

My husband especially enjoyed the Mount of Olives because from its perspective, he could see across the Kidron Valley to the Eastern Gate of the Temple Mount wall and put the pieces of Jerusalem together.

The Temple Mount from The Mount of Olives.

The Temple Mount from The Mount of Olives.

The Mount of Olives

The Mount of Olives

When Christ Jesus touches down on the Mount of Olives at His return [Zech. 14:4], the mountain will split creating a rift or bigger valley between the mount and the Temple Mount.  This valley will extend to the Mediterranean on the west and the Jordan River on the East.  The artesian spring from the Temple will fill this new valley with water. A natural waterway will result connecting Jerusalem from two directions to the Mediterranean and Red Seas making it more accessible for pilgrimage during the Kingdom.  The Jordan will spill into the newly elevated Dead Sea filling and cleansing it.  Ezekiel 47 prophesies that the waters of the Dead Sea will produce a multitude of fish like the Mediterranean during the Kingdom but the salt swamps will be kept for their natural benefits.  On either side of the newly restored Jordan River, trees producing multiple harvests will be for food and “the healing of the nations.”

Our Lord, the master of visual aids, will use this spiritual water from the Temple to heal the land and spiritually heal the people who breath in the spiritual life completed in Christ [Zech. 12:10-13:1-2].

Jerusalem City Streets

Jerusalem City Streets

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The Old City

The Old City

We walked the narrow streets and covered alleys of the Old City passing Arab, Christian and Jewish “quarters” that had been inhabited for centuries.  Many homes and shops had to be rebuilt after the destruction of the city in A.D. 70 and during the wars but families returned to their foundations.  I felt time slip away in the Old City.

Garden of Gethsemane

Garden of Gethsemane

From the Mount of Olives we followed the same path down the hill Christ took on Palm Sunday.  We had prayer time in the olive garden where Christ prayed the night He was arrested.  From this garden, the sounds of the city across the valley must have filled his ears.  The garden may also have been filled with families camping out in the groves around the city–poor pilgrims who journeyed to Jerusalem for Passover who could not afford or find space within the city proper.  He may have sought a solitary space in which to commune with His Father.

The Western [Wailing] Wall

The Western [Wailing] Wall

I felt close to the Lord in prayer when I touched the Western Wall and prayed for the peace of Jerusalem [Psalm 122:6].  When the Prince of Peace returns, He will bring global peace not only for Israel, but for the world.  My friend Colleen and I left small notes in clefts in the wall with prayers, as is tradition.  The Jewish people are largely secular and in spiritual darkness regarding the Old Testament Jewish religion. The Jews are His chosen people [Deut. 14:2].  The land of Israel is given to them forever [2 Chron. 20:7]. But they are currently in darkness regarding the truth of Christ.  I honor them and respect their traditions not for the sake of who they are today, but who they will be in Christ at His return.  After coming through the fire [Zech. 13], the remnant of believing Jews will live with Him in the earthly Kingdom promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

It is for the sake of God’s holy name that all His covenant promises will be fulfilled.  As a preview of their redemption, we worshipped with a Messianic Jewish congregation, King of Kings in Jerusalem, on Sunday evening.  The worship was enthusiastic and Spirit-filled with over 1,000 at the English evening service.  They hold their Hebrew service Sunday morning.

The Temple Mount

The Temple Mount

It was chilly on the Temple Mount.  The breezy coolness was appropriate in an atmosphere dominated by Jordanian administrators of the site that is dominated by the Dome of the Rock on the north of the site and the Al Aqsa Mosque on the south.  The Dome of the Rock is a monument but the Al Aqsa is an operating mosque of Islam.  Some Orthodox Jewish groups were on the mount but were accompanied by armed Israeli police as they prayed.

Some day, perhaps soon, Christ will take the Temple Mount in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit and plant His flag [Revelation 14].  As Israel is the epicenter of the world [Ez. 5:5], so Jerusalem is the epicenter of Israel and the Temple Mount is the epicenter of Jerusalem, which is why it is such a contentious issue.  The one who possesses the Temple Mount ultimately possesses the world according to God’s plan.  This makes Israel both a blessing–and a target.

Golgotha

Golgotha

Although the Church of the Holy Sepulcher claims it is covering the site of Christ’s tomb, Golgotha and the Garden Tomb has more archeological evidence of authenticity–more of which was unearthed while we were there.

Cistern in the garden

Cistern in the garden

The Tomb Opening Behind Us

The Tomb Opening Behind Us

The Empty Tomb

The Empty Tomb

I kept the empty tomb for last because it is profound for its very emptiness.  There is not enough space to speak of Hezekiah’s tunnel, singing in the church at the Pool of Bethesda, the Pool of Siloam, the bar mitzvahs at the Western Wall, viewing fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and seeing Jerusalem city life in a land that lives in constant threat of war and invasion.  One profound experience was seeing a courtyard of Jewish children playing with a soccer ball during school recess.  The sound of children playing and elderly people leaning on their sticks is a preview of the peace of Jerusalem that will exist for a thousand years when YESHUA HA-MASHIACH [Jesus the Messiah] comes.  Shalom Israel.

 

 

 

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Vitamin C Essential Oil

 

BOUQUET OF ROSE HIPS AND BITTERSWEET

BOUQUET OF ROSE HIPS AND BITTERSWEET

It is mid-October and the garden is dying down.  Branches of rose hips are ripe on the rose bushes and ready to be harvested.  The rose hips are the bright red berries above.  It is perfect timing to harvest the fruit of the rose as cold and flu season will soon be upon us–time to make some Vitamin C Essential Oil the good old-fashion way–from scratch!  Rose hips and pine needles are both very high in Vitamins C.  Rose hips are high in vitamin C, E, B Complex and A.

I want to use some of this oil for gifts so I think I will use the amber vials I kept from an herbal supplement I used to take.  They have good screw-lids and are a pleasing shape.  After cleaning them, I left them to dry on paper towels.  I think I will also add some dried rosemary and sage to the oil for their healing properties for cold and flu and lemon thyme because it is an antiseptic herb and has a pleasant lemon scent.  The Base will be coconut oil because it is the oil I have most abundantly on hand.

This oil is not made to be taken internally, although the herbal ingredients could be used to make a healthy tea.  The pine and rose hips both brew up well with a sweet, lemony taste.  But this time, I am extracting their oils to make an essential oil that can be massaged into the skin.  The vitamins and anti-oxidants are more easily absorbed into the skin through the bottoms of the feet and the coconut oil helps with dry winter skin as a bonus.

I have made this oil before just using the rose hips which produces a bright orange oil.  Because I want a high concentration of vitamin C to boost our immune systems, I am going to add the pine needles and other herbs .  We are taking a trip and the long hours on the plane are an easy place to catch a bug.herbs-and-jars

 

JARS OF HERBS AND GLASS VIALS FOR THE OIL

ROSE HIPS AND PINE NEEDLES

ROSE HIPS AND PINE NEEDLES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups ripe rose hips
  • 1 cup Red Pine or White Pine needles
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried lemon or English thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 2 pints Cold-pressed organic coconut oil  [Costco or Sam’s Club are a good source for good-quality and reasonably-priced coconut oil]
  • Sweet Orange, lemon or pine essential oil [optional]
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place rose hips, herbs and pine needles in a Pyrex baking dish.  Pour coconut oil evenly over herbs.
  2. Place in the hot oven for 20 to 30 minutes until the rose hips are soft.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until warm but not hot.  Place in batches in a blender with enough of the oil to blend.
  4. Strain through a mesh strainer into a container, pressing oil out of the fiber well with the back of a wooden spoon.  Add essential oil for fragrance.
  5. Fill vials with oil and cap.  Allow to cool.  Label.
PROCESSING THE HERBAL OIL

PROCESSING THE HERBAL OIL

 

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An Autumn Barn Tour

Touches of fall accent the porch and great room of our restored dairy barn in the village of Groveland, IL.  This season we have also decorated the Old Towne Grove Wedding Chapel and Garden Grove Chapel on the property.  Autumn brides are surrounded by pumpkins, bales, harvest wreaths and fruiting crabapple trees.

In the great room kitchen, the pump on the dry sink is surrounded by pumpkins, corn and an orange sage scented candle.  Even the coffee table sports a large pumpkin in a wreath of leaves and copper ribbon

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A BRIGHT  DOOR WREATH, PLUMP HARVEST PILLOWS ON THE PORCH SWING, PUMPKINS AND CORN STALKS ON THE FRONT PORCH SAY “WELCOME AUTUMN.”  THE SLATE WELCOME SIGN BESIDE THE DOOR ECHOES THAT SENTIMENT.

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ABOVE:  BIRCH BARK BASKET WITH AUTUMN BIRD NEST ON THE KITCHEN NOOK ROUND OAK TABLE.  BELOW:  LARGE CAST IRON PARLOR STOVE WITH BIRCH TWIGS, MINIATURE DEER AND MINI PUMPKIN.  OIL LAMPS ARE POSITIONED THROUGHOUT THE FLOOR FOR ATMOSPHERIC LIGHT.

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ABOVE:  THE DINING ROOM TABLE IS SET FOR A HARVEST DINNER.  BELOW:  THE BUFFET ANNOUNCES “ETHEREAL AUTUMN” ON A MINI SLATE.  THE VINTAGE MOOSE PLATTER IS THE CENTERPIECE.

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BELOW:  THE VINTAGE PRINT “PILGRIMS GOING TO CHURCH” IN ANTIQUE OAK FRAME IS FROM A ONE-ROOM SCHOOL.  IT IS APPROPRIATELY FRAMED IN AN AUTUMN GARLAND FOR OCTOBER AND THANKSGIVING.

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BELOW:  A LAVISH HARVEST WREATH WITH FRUIT, FLOWERS, AND PUMPKINS GREETS VISITORS IN THE FOYER.

im008468Living in a restored dairy barn is a cross between traditional farmhouse and rustic cabin decorating.  After dismantling three older barns in Tazewell County, we used the salvaged barn board to turn a hay barn with side lofts into three upper floors.  The lower level stable became my 1910 kitchen and workshops.  Welcome to the Farm Grove barn.

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HAPPY AUTUMN.  EXPERIENCE EVERY SIGHT, SCENT, AND SOUND.

FROM THE FARM GROVE BARN,

SHARON

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APPLE INTERLUDE

Red Delicious By the Lake

Red Delicious By the Lake

A brief interlude to celebrate the apple harvest occurs in early September.  Friends come to pick our harvest, sharing in the bounty of organic apples.  Most are not perfect but they are delicious.  This season, the Yellow Delicious and Jonathan trees in our back yard have a good amount.  In their honor I baked two cider/apple pies.  Yum.

Fallen apples litter the garden causing the Canada geese to visit for nibbling and sending an aroma of cider into the air.

Unfortunately two of the apple trees in the chapel garden are not doing well.  Our son Dirk is planting new trees to take their place, probably the dwarf varieties which produce so well.  The Red Delicious above is a dwarf that was an anniversary gift from my mother over 15 years ago.  The fruit is a seasonal reminder of heritage.

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Faux’ Chickens

Concrete Chickens Around the Sheep Shed

Concrete Chickens Around the Sheep Shed

My grandmother raised chickens on a long, narrow city lot.  They were a natural  outcome for a farm girl transplanted to town.  Fresh eggs were a significant part of my grandparents’ diet and that self-sufficiency appeals to me.  But animals–pet or livestock– are not a commitment this retired couple is ready to make.  So, the concrete chickens I found at a country auction will do just fine.

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A Day in the Garden

July 7, 2016 in the garden — a morning rain followed by 83 degrees of extremely high humidity and an overcast sky threatening more showers.

Bird Bath on the Patio

Bird Bath on the Patio

  • After a rain is the best time to pull weeds.  I cleaned a small sweet pea bed that had already been harvested and re-planted it with Porcelain Doll pumpkin sprouts thinned from the pumpkin tubs.  I have a hard time throwing away any viable sprout, even though I have already planted thinned sprouts in two other places.  But then I love pumpkins and can never have too many around the barn in autumn.
  • The perennial bed includes wild flowers such as golden rod, bergamot/bee balm with a bloom like a lavender firework, and Queen Ann’s lace–the doily of the garden.
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  • I picked 8 cucumbers.  By next week I will have enough to make Bread & Butter pickles
  • The watermelon plants in one of my hay bales are being joined by butternut squash vines from a bordering bed.
  • Watermelon Starts

    Watermelon Starts

  • The two zucchini plants are blooming in the second bale.
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  • I checked to see if more early apples fell in the storm and picked up about 6 more = fresh apple sauce for Sunday dinner.
  • While I was in the orchard, I noticed one of the peach trees was dropping fruit.  Unfortunately I saw top fruit being attacked by Japanese beadles–they are back.  If they go for my roses again, the traps will go up.  Meanwhile we picked the peaches to allow them to ripen slowly inside in the basement fruit cellar…otherwise, they would be riddled by the bugs.
  • One day’s organic harvest from the garden.
  • Cucumbers, early apples and peaches

    Cucumbers, early apples and peaches

 

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