Signs of Spring: Farmers Market Opener

Our farmers market opened this weekend. That’s a sure sign that spring is here. We went early this time, and it was still a little chilly.

Weekend Postcard 1st farmers market

The first market of the season doesn’t usually have a lot of produce, but there’s always bakery, coffee and cheese to sample.

cow cookies

These cow cookies always make me smile.

monster cookies

We always buy two monster cookies from the Amish farmer. They are SO scrumptious!

cheese curds

It was refreshing to see the perennials and herbs available this early.

early pansies

early geraniums

early geraniums

early dahlias

early dahlia

It was wonderful to see so many pops of color and soak up fresh air and warm sunshine all weekend. Hope you enjoyed a nice spring weekend too.


Farmers Market – Fall Harvest

We got up early on Saturday morning and ventured to the farmers market, where we found a wonderful fall harvest of goodies. We really lucked out with gorgeous fall weather too.

capital at farmers marketThere were so many colorful varieties of crops.

colorful tomatoes

colorful peppers

colorful carrots

colorful pumpkins

colorful gourds

We saw lots of fingerling potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, sweet corn, apples, and watermelon.

sunflower bouquets

We also saw the usual: cheese, bakery, honey, and flowers. The dahlias were stunning!


dahlia bouquets

red dahlia

I saw a couple new ways people are displaying their crops at the market, from this giant basket of lettuce,

lettuce basket

to these silver platters to show apples.silver platter of apples

My favorite finds were pumpkin scones, pumpkin cookies, apple cider donuts and applesauce.

This particular market really got me in the mood for the fall season, and some fall cooking and baking, which I haven’t been doing much lately. Thanks for stopping by!


July Inspirations

Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately. We’ve been having fun with family from out of town visiting us for the Independence Day holiday weekend.

We went to our famous farmers market on Saturday, and I finally found berries in season!

We were amazed at the size of these beautiful stargazer lilies adorning bouquets for sale.

There was an early crop of colorful tomatoes.

We were also surprised to see such a variety of mushrooms available.

Family time and surprises at the market were great inspiration for my art cards this week. (along with a little Ed Emberley doodle, which is the dude carrying a flag, as if marching in a parade!)

My sister-in-law and I gorged on summer fruit all weekend. We also made the tastiest watermelon slushy, a recipe I will definitely share soon.

Three cheers for the fabulous month of July and more beautiful summer flowers and crops!

Our First Farmers Market Outing

This weekend we made our first outing to the farmers market since it opened back in April. We usually make it to the opener but every Saturday in April and May were cold and grey. Lately, it’s been hot and hotter, which has been a nice change of pace from our eight months of cold.

The Market was crowded as usual.

I was hoping to load up on berries, but there were none to be found.

We saw lots of onions, radishes, and spinach amongst the abundant supply of cheese and baked goods.

The farmers always present such a wonderful variety of unusual colors and varieties of plants from their gardens.

As you can see, I was most interested in all the beautiful flowers!

My Year in Review

It’s great to have a blog to be able to look back on how I spent the past year. Here are my highlights from 2010. (note: I’m choosing to ignore the low points!) I finished a couple quilts.

completed Mod Girls quilt

completed Darla quilt

I started a couple more quilts.

(my chocolate lollipop Road to Spring quilt top)

(my Pop Garden quilt top)

I joined my first quilting bee. I went on my first quilting retreat. Had the time of my life! I shared a few tutorials. I made lots of great new friendships this year that I cherish, so I hope we continue to stay connected. We did a little travel to Las Vegas and New York City.

(Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas!)

(Radio City Music Hall)

I went to a few rock concerts. I experimented with lots and lots of new bag designs. I shared a series of Best Practices. We enjoyed our gardens. We enjoyed the farmers market. I spent some time at my parents’ cottage. I organized a Christmas in July ornament exchange. I am happy my etsy shop was more active. (By the way, did you know I started advertising on a couple blogs? I looking for a couple more to try.) I made lots of custom orders, which are always fun to do. They are challenging and so fulfilling! (still have a couple more to finish) I entered my first craft show. I squeezed in a little hiking and a little skiing.

(trail at Peninsula State Park)

(riding the chair lift at Tyrol Basin)

I lost a total of 22 pounds! I quit my corporate job! Scary and freeing in the same breath! I went back to school! So far, I’ve taken a design class, a drawing class and a computer graphics class. Looking back at the amazing variety I experienced this past year makes me feel like one lucky girl! I am excited to continue to move forward, so cheers to a Happy New Year!

October Farmers Market

It’s been about a month since we made it out to the farmer’s market, so it felt great to get out there today.

I love all the wonderful colors and varieties of vegetables to discover at the market in October.

It was the first day of the season that we had to bundle up with jackets and scarves because it was cold and windy.

I was amazed to see the things farmers are still offering for sale, like these beautiful, rich-looking flowers.

I bought a bag of Macintosh apples, which I peeled and cored just as soon as we got home.

I made a small batch of cinnamon applesauce, which I love eating while it’s still warm.

I also made my favorite dessert, apple crisp, using an old recipe from my aunt MaryAnn.

Peel and slice three apples. Layer on bottom of square pan.

Mix 3/4 cup oatmeal, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup flour. Sprinkle over apple slices.

Melt 1/2 cup butter and drizzle over apples and crisp mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

We are lucky our farmer’s market lasts until early November, so hopefully we will be able to fit in at least one more trip.

Farmers Market is Open

I am happy this “fine” Monday because our farmers market has officially opened for the season!

This market brags to be one of the largest in the midwest, with over 150 vendors. It has a four-year waiting list to get a vendor space!

Since it’s still quite early in the season, there weren’t many fruits and vegetables for sale yet. There were lots of flowering containers, cheese of course, and bakery.

We always buy something from the Amish, who make the best baked goodies. This time, I decided to try one of their mini bumbleberry pies, which has four different of berries. I bought it with the intention of trying pie for breakfast (thanks to Emerald for the idea).

I have always wanted to plant some of these lovely primrose perennials, so that is my mission this week. Wouldn’t those bright colors make a great quilt?!

There’s nothing like the opening of farmers market to get you excited for the growing season and sunny, warmer days!

Another Day at the Market

You know me, I love going to the farmers market on Saturday mornings. June is such a great time at the market because strawberries – my favorite food – are in season!

strawberries at marketI only bought three quarts this time – two quarts to freeze for smoothies in winter and one quarter to eat now.

We saw lots and lots of sugar snap peas,

sugar snap peas at marketand beautiful heads of lettuce.

lettuce at marketI don’t like radishes, but I thought this pile was pretty. I’ve never seen radishes that were a color other than red.

radishes at market

I almost forgot to show you the stack of pies for sale at the Amish booth. They make the best bakery!

stacks of Amish pies at market

Check out the gorgeous peony bouquets for sale.

peonies at marketThere always a fantabulous selection of flowers. (are these dahlias or mums?)

pink dahliaI don’t know what variety these are, but aren’t they cool?

red dahlia at marketI’m so happy it’s summer!

In My Spring Garden

I have been taking a lot of pictures around our yard and gardens this spring.

flowering crab treeWe have these great flowering crab apple trees that look like giant blossoms in spring.

flowering crab in front yard

The bleeding heart shrub proves to be spectacular every year.

bleeding heart bush

Great close-up subject for drawing practice.

bleeding heart flowersSomehow, we even got white flowers out of the same plant. I think they are so mystical looking, especially with those rain drops on the leaves.

white bleeding heart flowers

We planted more bulbs last fall, which I had forgotten about, so these were a nice surprise.

new pink and white tulips

These tulips are my favorite!

my favorite tulips!

Check out these gorgeous dahlias I found at the farmers market today.

red and white dahliaI wish they were perennials around here, but our climate is a little too cold for them to last past summer.

purple dahlia

Isn’t planting season the best?! Once we get past the last chance for frost, I will be planting the vegetable garden, which will be strictly a salsa garden this year, and annuals in our containers. I can’t wait to get cosmos and zinnias too. I hope it looks as nice around here as a botanical garden by July!