Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving

Here at Possum Creek, Thanksgiving is a time to pause in our demanding little world and reflect on the blessings and gifts that we have been given over the past year. The end of the harvest has come and winter is not far behind. Time for a little quiet pause with family and friends is very much needed after a year of hustle and bustle.

So, from our farm to yours, from our house to yours and from Possum Creek to you and your family, a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Potpourri - A Recipe

Our assignment this week was a simple one. Tina (Yahoo blogsters list) wanted us to blog a recipe. Didn't matter what kind of recipe it was. Could be a craft, culinary, oil, vinegar, soup, soap and so on. We are also talking about making herbal gifts for the holidays at The Essential Herbal Yahoo list so I thought I would kind of kill two topics with one stone and post one of my favorite potpourri recipes. It is very simple and makes as large a batch as you need it to be. It is a good seller in shops and online and looks really pretty in a bowl as you can see by the picture.

Hips N Stix with Gingerbread Boys

Part 1 Salt Dough Gingerbread cookies

1 cup salt
2 cups flour
1 cup water
2 TBS vegetable oil

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Add oil and water until well blended. Knead with hands until smooth. Roll out dough (I divide dough into smaller balls to make it easier to roll out) and using a small cookie cutter, cut out as many shapes as you can. You can find trees, gingerbread men, and seasonal cookie cutters at stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby in the cake decorating area. Into a 250 degree oven for two hours. Check to be sure they are hard all the way through. If the weather is humid it might take more time. Let cool completely.

Part 2 Potpourri Blend

Take several cups of rosehips that are completely dried and blend with several cups of small cinnamon sticks. You can buy cinnamon sticks at the health food store or online in different sizes. For this project they need to be about an inch. Mix the hips and sticks together in a large bowl. Add fragrance oil of choice. For this blend we used Gingerbread which you can find at many of the soap or candle making websites. We used 2 ounces for our blend but we are making a very large batch (10 pounds or more). Gently stir the oil all the way through the hips and sticks. Add your now hard cookies and very, very gently stir then in the blend. This blend can be covered and sit for a few days to finish blending together.
This keeps very well in a covered container. If using a plastic container it will leave a scent in the container. Looks great in a large glass jar too.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Possum Creek introduces its new Website

I can't believe how busy I have been the past month or so. The last entry was almost a month ago with pictures of the festival we did. Time fast forwarded when I wasn't looking, I guess. Making holiday products for the website, shows and the farmers market has taken up much of our time. Add to that we're in a mad scramble to get the plastic on the new greenhouse so we can actually start using it this winter. We're almost there and need one more calm, windless day to finish.

What I have spent a good majority of my time on, and it is time well spent, if I say so myself, is the farm's website. With the help of a fantastic web designer from the Big Apple, I completely re-vamped, polished and brought the website into the modern era of web technology. Technology is constantly changing and leaving a website to sit fallow is not good business. I learned that websites much load faster, images must be smaller, sharper and quick to download and text must be concise and search engine friendly. I spent quite a long period of time researching web host companies who offered the right system, security and assurance that they would be up and running 24/7. It has been quite a liberating experience with completely redesigning the site, finding a new cart that fits what I see for the future of the farm and have it all fit together with few glitches. I know some of you know what I mean about glitches.

I haven't been completely chained to my computer these last few weeks. Plant material is coming into the greenhouse almost faster than we can pot it up. Wholesale orders call for organically grown herb plants to be ready earlier in the spring than mail-order and retail. We have to be ready to begin shipping by the end of February so that means planting and potting up begins now. There are going to be some incredible looking gardens and nursery centers this spring, because our herbs and perennials are heading all over the U.S. and in the local Chattanooga area. I will be blogging about our new selections in the weeks to come, so stay tuned.