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.
At Home With the Gadbois Family http://gadboisfamily.com/

Mulberry Tree

O, the mulberry-tree is of trees the queen!
Bare long after the rest are green;
But as the time steals onwards, while none perceives
Slowly she clothes herself with leaves–
Hides her fruit under them, hard to find.
But by and by, when the flowers grow few
And the fruits are dwindling and small to view–
Out she comes in her matron grace
With the purple myriads of her race;
Full of plenty from root to crown,
Showering plenty her feet adown.
While far over head hang gorgeously
Large luscious berries of sanguine dye,
For the best grows highest, always highest,
Upon the mulberry-tree. – Dinah Maria Murlock Craik

Mulberry Tree ©Nissa Gadbois

Empty Nest

All of a sudden, the nest is empty. The birds have gone, and what had been a constant blur of activity is now nothing more than a few discarded feathers. – Marci Seither

Empty Nest ©Nissa Gadbois

Empty Nest ©Nissa Gadbois

And just like that, they’re gone.  The nest is empty.  I wasn’t prepared for how sad I felt at seeing this beautiful little avian home bereft of life.  I think about how lonely it is for those older folks who perhaps never married, were unable to have children, or whose children, for whatever reason, are not close to their parents physically or emotionally.  

How blessed we are to have a full retinue of children ranging from toddler to adult!  How grateful I am for the courage – and ability – to have said YES to life.  Our nest will never be empty.  It will be full of colour and song for as long as we live, God willing.

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