To Peel Or Not To Peel…..

Apple Peel

Do you believe there are more vitamins and nutritional value in the skin of a fruit or vegetable?  I always did, because my dad told me so (insert laughing emoji)!  He also told me if I ate the crust of my bread my hair would curl… (insert hysterically laughing emoji).  Didn’t happen.  Hair is as straight as a pin.

I decided to do a little research on this very matter with apples.  We have a whole orchard full of beautiful, delicious apples. To peel or not to peel, that is the question???

I, of course, went to my favorite resource, Google, where you can find everything you ever wanted to know about apples (and everything else you ever wanted to know or not know – insert rolling eyes emoji).  Some pro peel, some bleh peel.

We all know apples are one of the most nutritious snacks available.  According to one article I read in a Huffington Post article, a medium apple with skin contains 4.4 grams of fiber.  Without the skin, there is only 2.1 grams.  Apparently, the cut-off for what is considered a “good source” of fiber is 3 grams.

I read another article from The Washington Post stating that by peeling apples you miss out on powerful nutritional pluses.  Not only does the peel have a good source of fiber, they have 25% more potassium and 40 % more vitamin A.  According to Elaine Trujillo, a registered dietitian nutritionist, the peel contains bio-active compounds polyphenols, pectins and ursolic acid.  I have nooo idea what any of that is, but apparently it’s supposed to be good for us.  I’ll have to “Google” it.

I seem to find more benefits to keeping the peel on, then peeling it off, but do your own research.  Do you peel your apples or eat them with the peel on?

I’m going to stick with what dad told me.  I eat my apples with the peel on!

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See you soon!

Karen

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How does the color, ultra violet (purple) make you feel?  Every year, mid-December, I get a phone call from my daughter, Sarah. “Hey mom, did you hear what the Pantone Color-Of-The-Year is”?  Typically, she has to tell me.  Sarah is artistic and is fascinated with color.  I love to hear her talk about it.  We discuss the colors and how much we love them or hate them or how we may see or use them in the future.

I didn’t really think about this until I started to write this blog post, but Sarah’s choice of floral colors for her 2016 wedding were inspired by the 2016 Colors-Of-The-Year!  In 2016 the colors were Rose Quarts (pink) and Serenity (blue). I see purple and green in her bouquet too.  A beautiful summer palette!

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Marcy, of Foster’s Flowers on Beaver St. in York, created the most gorgeous flower arrangements for Sarah and Garrett’s wedding. Wouldn’t you agree?

Do you eat purple food?  I, personally, love to eat anything purple. It’s one of my favorite colors!  According to some, the darker the skin of a fruit or veggie, the higher the nutrient value.  Check out this article from the Telegraph:   https://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/news/start-eating-purple-good-health-science-behind-2017s-new-food/

Last year, 2017, the Pantone Color-Of-The-Year was Greenery (green).  Think about it.  Have you been seeing a lot more green in packaging, paints, furniture, wallpaper, clothing, floral design,  etc.  Green plants are making a big come-back in our homes.  I love it!!!  Pantone sees color trends, selects the color of the year and the trend setters go from there.

Just because purple was chosen for 2018 doesn’t mean green is so yesterday…not at all.  The trends continue on for several years.   Think about green and purple together.  YEESSS!

The following is from Pantone’s website and announcement of the Color Of-The-Year for 2018:

Inventive and imaginative, Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.

A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.

Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.

Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.

Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet. The color is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world. The use of purple-toned lighting in meditation spaces and other gathering places energizes the communities that gather there and inspire connection.

What is purple?  It’s blue and red mixed together.  Complete opposites on the color wheel.  The last paragraph of Pantone’s announcement really hit home with me.  What do you think?

Want to guess what the Color-Of-The-Year will be for 2019?

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Hope to see you soon!

Karen Doyle

 

Let It Bee….

Did you know honey bees are not native to North America?  I had no idea!    I first learned of this in a book by Lisa Mason Ziegler, “Vegetables Love Flowers.  Great read! I highly recommend it if you love to garden.

Lisa does a great job educating us about companion planting, what the beneficials are in the garden (even spiders and snakes….oh my), succession planting and the photography in her book is just beautiful. She even has an on line book discussion.  Loved it!

There are apparently 4000 different types of native bees to North America, and they are in danger too – it seem the honey bees get all the press.  We need bees to pollinate our fruits and vegetables.  Believe it or not, native bees can be better pollinators than honey bees. I am in no way dissing honey bees – I love their local honey!!!!

Honey bees came to North American from Europe with the colonists and have been managed as an agricultural resource ever since.  When a farmer needs bees, honey bees are the easiest to bring in and go away when finished.

Honey bees cannot pollinate tomato plants – wow – who knew!!  The humble bumble bee can! Some plants have their pollen on the outside (like a lilly’s anther, you can see the pollen).  The tomato plant’s pollen is inside the flower – the bumble gets in there and shakes the pollen out!

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I’m an avid podcast listener, are you?  One of my favorite podcasts is “Living Homegrown” by Theresa Loe.  I recently listened to podcast # 141 (www.livinghomegrown.com/141 ) where Theresa interviews Lisa Mason Ziegler and podcast # 147 (www.livinghomegrown.com/147 ) where author Paige Embry is interviewed by Theresa regarding our native bees.

Both podcasts are full of educational facts about our native bee problems.  Paige Embry has written “Our Native Bees: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them”. This book looks fabulous and is on my Amazon wish list!

Please know that I, in no way, make any $ off of any of the books or podcasts I recommend.  I find the books and podcasts highly interesting, and want to pass on what I have learned to you.  If we work together, we can all make the world a better place! Yes?

If you would like to receive more info about our farm, what I’m learning (you’re never too old to learn, right???), tutorials, etc., please hit the yes, please button on our contact page.  For subscribing, you will receive my little recipe “TASTY” pdf of Family Tree Farm’s Favorite Summertime Recipes

Happy Summer!

Karen Doyle

 

 

Wabi-Sabi

Have you heard about Wabi-Sabi?  What is it you ask?  A new dance move, or is it a song?  Nope, Wabi-Sabi is an ancient Japanese practice that appreciates imperfections in life and the ability to age gracefully.  I am fully on board with this – how about you?

So, how does Wabi-Sabi relate to gardening?  As per “Garden Media Group”, Wabi-Sabi gardens imitate nature in a way that allows you to relax and appreciate their humble and imperfect forms – yes, even the weeds.  I am so into this!  I’m not sure about the weeds, but then again, I use Goldenrod and Queen Ann’s Lace in my flower bouquets.

Then there are dandelions!  I have a recipe for dandelion wine that my dear Uncle John passed on to me years ago.  I’m gonna have to dig that out!

As a flower farmer, I am always experimenting with new flowers.  I plant a lot by seed.  Check out my lovely stand of pigweed I grew last year!

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My only guess is, I thinned out the real flower and left the weeds.  They grew so nicely in a row!  The hubs kept telling me it was a weed.  I, of course, didn’t believe him – BAHHAAAA!  I’m sure it will happen again, but this time I will embrace the practice of Wabi-Sabi!  Maybe I can use the weeds in bouquets!

I love to pick flowers.   Many times, the flowers that I pick are not always perfect.  I love them anyhow.  I will pick them and use them even if they do lean a little this way or a little that way.  I love using the center disk of a flower in an arrangement after all the petals fall off.  There is something in their imperfection that I love and is unique.

 

 

I have watched others while they are cutting flowers and they do the same.  Just because the flower is a little wonky, doesn’t mean it won’t fit in.  That imperfect flower always fills a spot where something is missing.  Wabi-Sabi was meant for me, how about you??

I love this quote:

Imperfect Gardening

“The garden is a natural place to embrace Wabi-Sabi – the art of imperfect beauty, and practice the delicate balance between nature and nurture.”

     Ilana Goldowitz Jimenez, PhD.

Do you want to be part of Family Tree Farm’s community?  Click HERE to receive the latest farm updates, recipes, tips, tutorials and more delivered right to your in-box one to two times a month.  This month I’ve created  “TASTY” Farm Fresh Summer Recipes.

It’s Hard To Work The Plan….

My beloved Father-In-Law, Dick Doyle, once told me, “it’s fun to plan the work, but hard to work the plan”. I keep thinking about his words as I’m on my hands and knees this spring planting, planting, planting.  Why did I buy so many plants – YIKES, how many seeds do I have to plant?

Are any of you in the same boat?  This spring has been so unpredictable – one weekend I was wearing my winter coat with three layers under it while watching my granddaughter play lacrosse, the next week I was planting in 80+ degree weather.

The seed catalogs started rolling in just after Christmas.  My spring job here on the farm is to plan and plant our PYO Flower Garden.  I had so much fun picking out all the wonderful flowers I want to plant.  Someone, please make me STOP buying seeds!  Well, no one did. The hubs did roll his eyes at me as soon as the seed packets started arriving in the mail,  but it was too late!!

Don’t get me wrong – I love spring.  I love to plant something and watch it grow, but OH my aching back.   Ah, yes, it’s a labor of love.  I can’t wait to see all the flowers blooming and have folks taking a time out just for themselves, enjoying the garden and cutting beautiful blooms to take home.

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I’m sure many of you will be asking yourselves the same question over the next couple weeks – why did I buy so many plants?  How many zucchini do we really need?  Just remember:

It’s fun to plan the work, but hard to work the plan.

Can you dig it?  Bahhhaaa!

Every year, I get a lot of questions about how we constructed our vertical pallet flower fence at our roadside stand.  It’s so simple – maybe you have an area around your home for something like this.  I made a short video on how we did it…

 

Don’t forget to plant some flowers in your vegetable garden this year.  The flowers will attract beneficial insects and make your garden chores happier!  Check out my list of 5 Easy Annual Cut Flowers HERE.

See you soon!

Karen