The Work of Children

Play is the work of children – Jean Piaget

Rake | ©Nissa Gadbois

Jean Piaget was absolutely right, as were several other of his predecessors – Play is a Child’s Work.  There is nothing quite as magical as watching a young child imitate adult life especially when their imaginations are so lively – creating entire fairy worlds in which to live, and work, and play.  Their mud kitchens, and self-made forts, and invented games, are all so deeply meaningful.  They give children the opportunity to explore critical thinking and creativity at the same time.  If you have watched a little one, and listened to his or her speech, you’ll hear what important problems they are solving.

Perhaps if we grown-ups would return to play alongside wee folk, we could think of new ways to solve big problems.

She Blooms

The Rose is without an explanation; She blooms, because She blooms – Angelus Silesius
Rosa Rugosa | ©Nissa Gadbois
 

This beauty was overlooked on our farm up until this year.  But the goats noticed her before I did.  I’m horrified at what they’ve done to the lower half of her.  She is a venerable shrub – rather enormous.  Once she has done blooming, I will make some cuttings and give her children pride of place in our gardens.  Not only is this Rosa Rugosa a beautiful thing, it is also a very useful culinary plant.  You can make so much from the petals, but also from the great big hips that come at the end of the season.  You can make everything from an elegant syrup to a luscious dressing for poultry.

If you would like my Rose Recipes eBook, please make a gift of $25 or more.  Proceeds support our farm and ministries.

Beneficence of Nature

The indescribable innocence of and beneficence of Nature — of sun and wind and rain, of summer and winter,–such health, such cheer, they afford forever!  Henry David Thoreau

Achillea Millefolium | ©Nissa Gadbois

achillea millefolium | ©Nissa Gadbois

Herbe de St. Joseph (achillea millefolium)The legend is that St. Joseph hurt himself while at work and the Child Jesus brought him a sprig of this herb to stanch the bleeding.  It is used today for bleeding wounds as well as for fever, inflammation, and menstruation.  It is also used as a decongestant and expectorant.  How blessed we are to have ample supplies of yarrow here on the farm.  It is a very useful herb for the home apothecary.  The essential oil from this plant is a brilliant azure.  It is wonderful how God has hidden such surprises all around us!

I love teaching our children about the uses of the plants that grow here on the farm.  It seems a shame to undo what God has so perfectly cultivated here.  We are doing our best to plan to leave wild areas or to propagate natives to place within our gardens.

Summer Sausage Skillet

Summer Sausage Skillet
Serves 12
Super easy and nutritious luncheon or dinner.
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 lb. bratwurst
  2. butter or ghee
  3. 3 large shallots (or one small onion), sliced
  4. 2 T garlic, chopped
  5. 4 lb mixed greens (kale, collard, mustard, spinach, rabe, etc.), chopped
  6. salt and pepper to taste
  7. pinch nutmeg (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place sausages on a shallow pan - a jelly roll pan is ideal. Cook until evenly browned and cooked through - about 20 minutes. Remove from pan, cool slightly and slice into 1" pieces. Set aside.
  3. In a large heavy-bottomed skillet, melt butter and sauté shallots and garlic until shallots are translucent. Add greens and a small amount of water to cover the bottom. Season with salt an pepper, and nutmeg if desired. Cover and let cook until greens are wilted.
  4. Add sausages to skillet. Heat through and serve.
Notes
  1. This is a great easy-to-make meal for those days when you want maximum impact for minimum effort. Serve with a side of fruit sauce or compote and you've covered all the flavour bases. You could also halve some cherry tomatoes and toss them in right before serving. We rarely eat potatoes anymore, but this would be delicious with mash on a rainy day.
  2. We prefer to use bratwurst with this recipe, but you use whatever sausages you like best.
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