Monday, August 31, 2020

Summer's Finest Hours are Passing

Harvest season is upon us and summer's long hot days are waning, as cool north breezes begin to blow, hummingbirds have left for warmer climates, and the once lush green shrubbery and trees are beginning to show peeks of yellow and orange.  It always amazes us as we see the seasons so quickly transition from one to another.  This has been a beautiful summer in every way.  We have had no fires locally, and skies have been blue most of the summer.  For that, we are grateful beyond measure! My garden is decked out in glorious blooms, and it is a most delightful place to be this time of year!

These sunflowers grace the world with their glorious golden faces
that follow the sun's direction so faithfully. 

This little banty is one of the new little ones roaming our yard. She is a "Frizzle banty" chicken.. and just as sweet as she can be with her curly feathers! This is my first time to have a Frizzle chicken.  If you're like me and you didn't know what a Frizzle chicken was, here is a link to an article that helps explain them a little better.  Frizzle Chickens

And this orange-haired little boy has enjoyed taking many a nap in my lap
as I drink my morning coffee...
we both enjoy the sweet snuggles :) 

Kale has grown prolifically in my garden this year! 

One of the ways we enjoy kale is by making kale chips. 


They can be baked in the oven, or even on the grill! 


Kale chips are so easy to make! Once you've tried them, I am sure even your pickiest eater will love them.  They are salty, crunchy, and addictive!  

To make kale chips, preheat oven to 350. Strip the leaves from the stalks, about 10-15 large stalks is usually enough for one cookie sheet.  Cover the cookie sheet with tin foil and spread out the washed and dried kale leaves onto the tinfoil.  Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tsp of salt over the kale.  Mix together for several minutes with your hands, until the kale becomes fragrant and dark green.  Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the kale has become crispy to touch.  Enjoy! 

Tomatoes growing happily on the vine... I am eagerly awaiting their ripening!



I planted sunflowers, pumpkins, and squash in this new bed that I made earlier this spring.  I layered straw, compost, peat moss, and several bags of garden soil in a long raised row.  I did not till this area, but just laid down newspaper on the ground, and built the layered row, as I wanted to try this method of gardening, and so far, things look really good! 

The entrance to my whimsical little tea and prayer garden area. 



Each week dear friends of mine meet for prayer here in my tea and prayer garden. 
It is a treasured and special time of the week for all of us.  I decorate the table with a fresh bouquet from my garden. Today I used kale and dill as well as my gladiolas, pincushion flowers, and one of my dahlias. I just love gathering a flower bouquet from my own garden! 

As the weather has begun to change, with a bit of nip in the morning air,
I decided it was time for a pot of chicken soup to grace our evening meal. 


Have you ever used nutritional brewer's yeast? It adds the most remarkable flavor to meaty soups... so much so that I don't buy chicken bouillon any longer, I just use the nutritional yeast.  So good for you, and really adds the best flavor to the meat dish! 

Enjoyed with a slice of my sourdough bread, with roses from my garden...
this soup was just perfect! 


I now have a website dedicated to the book I published earlier this year.  You can visit it at http://www.mountaintopspice.com    I will be sharing blog posts about the book on that website,
and it is also available to order there as well.  I will still be blogging here as always,
this is just a website dedicated to the book I wrote :) 

I dearly love the season of Fall, and it also means a busy harvest season too.  I have been putting up green beans, squash, peas, corn and tomatoes.  The potatoes are doing great, and I began harvesting them through the late summer.  It is a wonderfully busy time of year with the harvest season.  Are you harvesting produce from your garden or local farmer's market? It feels good to squirrel away food for the long winter months ahead.   

2020 has been such a roller coaster ride of a year... and now we are on the downhill slide for sure, as we enter the season of Fall.  Has Fall begun to make an entrance into your world yet? 

Many blessings to all of you, my dear readers :) 


23 comments:

  1. Dear Marilyn what a delightful sharing :)

    your garden is ENCHANTING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    i LOVED LOVED what you said about sunflowers ,how nice it would be if we all become like sunflowers and face our Lord faithfully !
    your plants are growing astonishingly amazing :)))
    thank you for the recipe ,sounds delicious ,i never tried this one
    your soup looks healthy and compelling , how nice to have friends in your beautiful soothing garden and say prayers :) must be a spiritual experience .
    i too love the fall most though my arthritis do not allow me to enjoy it anymore :(
    wishing you all the happiness and more and more blessings my dear friend!
    hugs !

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  2. No fall here yet for us, Marilyn, as the south is far behind you! Your garden is magnificent and it seems your harvest is/will be plentiful. Such great rewards for hard work from loving hands. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!
    Blessings!

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  3. Yes Autumn is very quickly approaching and we are embracing the changes and enjoying once again the cosiness of our little cottage. Your prayer garden was a delight to see. I love this time of year as we harvest/reap the rewards of all our hard work and prepare for the cooler months.

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  4. Autumn changes are happening here in Lancaster County, though some years it is still summery through September. I love the changes that happen with each season.

    Your garden is always enchanting.

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  5. Your garden is bursting with good things! I do love Fall. Happy September and happy harvesting to you!

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  6. That bowl of soup looks so hearty and delicious. Thank you for the info about yeast flakes...I'll look for it.

    I enjoyed my visit here on this first day of September. You have me wondering where my hummingbirds will go. Fortunately, they're still visiting many times a day.

    Enjoy September🌻

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  7. I know it is but have to say it this way~ Is that really your garden!!!??? Wow! It's just beautiful like something from a magazine that you know was photoshopped to make it so attractive. Blessings abound! I too love autumn and am patiently or not so patiently awaiting its arrival - supposed to be 101* Friday, arg.

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  8. Since I'm so close to you I have to admit that fall is in the air isn't it? I truly wish I embraced the seasons change as happily as you do but I have to admit, I dread winter and it's snowy, blowy days.
    Your gardens are delightful, both your tea/prayer garden and the veggie one. I have tried nutritional yeast and use it quite often. As you said, it adds so much to a dish.
    Thank you for the beautiful respite from normal life in the city. I can picture myself sitting down and studying with you and your friends while inhaling the beautiful fragrance all around.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  9. Oh my, I really loved all your pictures. The little frizzle banty is so cute. Years ago my older brother had a little banty and he was a mean little stinker! They really are cute chickens. Be still my heart . . . your tea and prayer garden is so pretty and inviting. I love it.

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  10. It is cooler here now and the leaves have seen better days. Autumn is nigh.

    Love your little chicken. Such an unusual one. We will try the kale chips. We can’t eat it fast enough.

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  11. Your garden is wonderful. I especially love the Dahlias.
    I have never heard of Frizzle chickens so I'll follow that link and find out more. When I saw yours I just thought it was a very windy day.

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  12. Beautiful garden, beautiful and inspiring blog! You have a wonderful way with words!

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  13. Everything looks so pretty! I will have to try kale chips.
    I've never heard of nutritional yeast, but will have to look for some. Some chicken noodle soup sounds good.

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  14. Loved all of the beautiful pictures. You captured everything so well. I always feel inspired and lifted after reading your blog post. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  15. Love seeing your beautiful garden and your Tea room, that is so special. Love that you actually use it with friends each week. Since I live in Florida, fall is still a ways off, but I can tell by subtle changes in the sun and the trees around us that it is coming. I honestly think we will have an early fall here, such as it is. I wish I had some fresh garden produce to put up...we haven't even seen any good farm stands this summer. Not sure why. Perhaps because of the virus people just aren't doing them. I've missed them because the store produce just isn't as good. Loved your post. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us.

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  16. Each picture shows o much beauty. Yes, it seems that we are heading into fall much faster than I had expected.We have had a number of very chilly days.

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  17. Hi Marilyn! So much to comment on on your blog! First.. congrats on the new website for your book! It is really nice! Second.. your garden is just wonderful and I love your prayer and friendship garden. I "strolled" through it at least twice to look at everything there. The orange glad is just beautiful in your bouquet. My hubby and I both love glads! We planted 18 year when we moved in 5 years ago, and only a few have survived the winter cold. About 5 came up this year and I need to dig up the bulbs and separate them and hold them over the winter as they don't do well when the temps get down below zero I guess. Third.. that soup looks yummy and we too use the Nutritional Yeast flakes. We love it and the flavor. I use it in baking also. And I see you make sourdough bread! My husband used to love making it but he doesn't so much anymore as it means he's just eating way too much bread..... and I can't eat it as I have to eat totally gluten free. He's tried gluten free sourdough but just can't get a decent loaf of bread with it. And fourth.... we didn't plant any veggies this year. I do have raspberries which didn't do well at all.. just too hot and dry and not enough spring rains I guess. I planted two new blackberry bushes but they haven't done well either. Just too dry, even though we water alot. We are hoping to find some good apples in bulk and make our own freezer applesauce, as we both love it so much. Nothing compares to chunky freezer applesauce! Enjoy the week there. It's hot here again and going to be hitting 100 later this week. Darn! xoxoo Marilyn

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  18. I've been waiting for pictures of your garden like this, in full bloom, all summer long. It's such a magical place. I can just imagine the peaceful gatherings and the lovely walks through it with your farm friends! Someone commented that it's enchanting and I agree. And what!?! You wrote a book?? How did I miss this? I am off to check it out. Congratulations my friend. I think that's wonderful. I can't wait to peek! xo

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  19. Such a beautiful garden! You've put a lot of love and work into it and it shows! Someone asked me recently, "Do you garden?" "Well, I do yard work." Hahaha, big difference! YOU are a gardener!

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  20. Your garden is looking lovely.

    Yes, kale chips are yummy and your chicken soup looks delicious too.

    Happy September and Happy Fall/Autumn.

    All the best Jan

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  21. A wonderful end-of-summer post, Marilyn! Congratulations on your book, too! I never purchased nutritional yeast but I want to try it now! I use bouillon a lot. I also read your post of your daughter's wedding; what a gorgeous bride she is. I wish her and her groom blessings as they begin their life together. You are lovely, too, Marilyn!

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  22. Wow you've had quite the garden there this year. Everything looked so healthy and lush. I bet you used veggies from your garden in that soup, which by the way looked delicious.

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  23. I always enjoy a tour of your garden, so bountiful and cheerful. I'd love to drop by for a visit and a bowl of that chicken soup.
    Amalia
    xo

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