Yellow Squash, Professional Vegetable, dies at age three months.

Yellow Squash, who was grown from seed, and who became the first vegetable in the garden to flower though his career was cut horribly short, passed away on July 22 in the studio garden as a result of a lack of pollination and flooding rains.

When he was only 2 months old, he began flowering wildly, competing against a field ripe with well-known vegetables and managed to place first in this endeavor. Later that same month, he won his first of many Garden Titles and his career leafed extraordinarily quickly. In his short time growing professionally, he became a spokesplant for unpollinated squash that gave him a direction in his life and, in his own words, inspired the young plant he grew up to be.

Yellow leaves behind his companion of three months, Green Zucchini, his growers, and many vegetable friends and weeds.

There will be a family-only viewing at the studio garden on Friday followed by a public viewing for friends and workshop attendees that will continue until the garden plot is cleared.

In remembrance of Yellow and in lieu of flowers, the family is accepting squash.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn | Permalink  

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All the Pretty Soaps


I’ve been playing around with soap lately, trying out different flowers, seeing what happens. Here’s the wild phlox soap.
Yep, the pretty pinks and purples turned green in the soap. Not all flowers lose their color. Here’s marigold.
And this is clover on the right, dandelion blossom on the left.
Dandelion blossom turns the soap darker after time, I’ve discovered. This is dandelion blossom soap, below to the right, after a couple of weeks.
On the left in the above photo is mint. Most herbs retain color nicely. (And if you grind them finely, they sometimes turn soap a light green.)

This is rosemary soap. (Not green–I didn’t finely grind the herb.)
Sassafras tea soap–the color comes from the tea.
This is chamomile soap, and the color here is from the chamomile essential oil itself.
I’ve also been trying a different mold. I mostly use a regular rectangular soap mold, or Pringles cans for round soaps. The chamomile soap was made using a french bread pan.
Each well will hold two pounds of soap.
Of course, there are no end caps. But–no big deal!
After lining the pan with parchment paper, I used bars of soap (also covered by parchment paper) to prop up the ends until the soap firmed up.
Soap loaf!
I like it!

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  1. IMG_5998

    July 16, 2015 - Flower Identification Test

    Pop quiz!

    Identify this flower!

    And this one!

    To be honest, I have no idea what they are. I want to dehydrate some of the petals to put in soaps, but I have no idea what to call the soap because I don’t know what the flowers are! Help!

    If you’re the first person to correctly identify both flowers, I’ll send … Continued…

  1. IMG_5776

    July 7, 2015 - Canning Camp, August 29-30

    SATURDAY and SUNDAY, AUGUST 29-30, 2015

    Canning Camp retreats are full days of old-fashioned and new-fashioned preserving arts with ever-changing workshops for the first-timer at a Sassafras Farm retreat to repeat attendees ready to learn something new and different. All workshops and activities will take place at Sassafras … Continued…

  1. IMG_5809

    June 19, 2015 - When the Rain Came Tumblin’ Down

    It’s been raining here every day. EVERY DAY.

    Even if I do have to wipe off my camera lens between every photo because it’s so humid, the lens fogs up in seconds.

    Though it does lend a magical mysterious ambiance to the garden. But it’s no mystery what the rain is doing! My tomatoes are blooming! And … Continued…

  1. IMG_5781

    June 16, 2015 - Wonderful Wildflower Weekend!

    We had an absolutely fantastic weekend with wildflowers! This was our June Wildflower Power Primitives & Pioneers retreat, with my artist teaching partner Kelly Walker. Two wildflower-themed days packed with more wildflower projects that you could shake a daisy at! Everyone who was here said it was more than they expected. We took a walk to pick wildflowers then made wildflower … Continued…

  1. IMG_5758

    June 11, 2015 - Wildflower Soaps

    While I was out playing with wildflowers the other day, I picked some clover and dandelion to dehydrate–then I made soap! I’ve made quite a bit of soap lately. Here is a sampling of the different soaps I’ve made in the past week or so.

    Far left, lavender. Then there’s a bar of brown sugar and oatmeal, and a bar of the cinnamon sugar. … Continued…

  1. IMG_2139

    June 10, 2015 - Cheese, Bread, Herbs, and Soap!

    Come learn at the farm!

    Summer Cheese, Bread, Herbs & Soap Retreat
    July 9 – July 13, 2015

    This retreat is offered with options to choose the entire retreat or only parts. The retreat will last five days, but it’s up to you whether you choose one day, two days, three days, … Continued…

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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