Making dreams come true takes a lot of nurturing from family and friends. If you are lucky your family and friends are all rolled-into-one. My sister, Janae, has always been supportive of my ambitions. She is my best sister-friend, listening, encouraging and helping shape the goals for Quillisascut Farm School. Here is Janae’s story on the emerging dream that is Quillisascut Farm.
I think there’s a vortex of positive energy there. Isn’t that supposed to be a special place on earth where all the points of positive energy converge? I think it’s something like that. I have always thought there was a special power at Quillisascut Farm since the first time I went there, when Rick and Lora Lea lived in the little house that later became a chicken house. There’s a special feeling there. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean. It must be a vortex, like in Arizona. Especially when there is a late afternoon golden sun.
Many years ago, on one of my visits, she talked about ‘sustainability’. I had never heard the term. “What does sustainability mean, Lora Lea?” Certainly that was my own ignorance, but I wasn’t alone. It was a new term and very few people had even heard the term yet. She was already living it. Continue reading
Imagine growing up on a goat farm. It probably wasn’t as dreamy as you might think. Our daughter, Willow, typed-up a few of her memories for this post. If you want to read more stories of Willow’s growing up on the farm add your words of encouragement in the comments.
Growing up on Quillisascut Farm has definitely shaped the person I am today. At a young age I learned the cycle of life and death by observing and helping Rick and Lora Lea with raising the animals, planting and harvesting the garden, and butchering the meat that we ate. Initially, my parents were apprehensive about their young daughter watching a goat be alive one moment and then killed and butchered the next. Yet, when they saw the sudden curiosity in my eyes as I picked up a goat head, they knew from then on they had nothing to worry about. Not only was I not scared or disgusted to watch an animal butchered but I was also learning a valuable lesson on anatomy at a young age.
When my parents butchered chickens they would show me what the heart, gizzard, lungs, or liver looked like and where they were located inside the chicken.When Lora Lea cooked liver and onions for dinner, my friends and I would get really excited, which surprised my parents since most children plug their noses to the sheer idea of eating liver and onions. Continue reading
What do you do with the first of the seasons fresh peas?
We have been harvesting a few things from the garden; baby beets, turnips, carrots, even a few cucumbers, but for us peas are just coming on. It is the second week of July, and the thermometer is reading 98F. The first picking was on Tuesday, enough for dinner and a bag blanched for the freezer.
My Mom used to make creamed new potatoes and peas. They seemed so fresh, tasting of the earth and sun. We wanted something a little lighter, a creamy hot-dish sounded too heavy, so we settled on one of our old favorites “Matter Paneer” (Peas and Cheese)
There were a couple tubs of firm ricotta in the walk-in, so we used that for the paneer.
The ricotta was made with apple cider vinegar and paneer is traditionally made with lemon juice. I believe the firm whole goats milk ricotta works fine in this recipe. Continue reading
If you remember back a few months ago I sent out an invitation for Quillisascut love stories?
Well, we have a new entry from Aage, who has spent every summer of his life (five years!) here on the farm, he has a unique story to share. I am surprised he does not mention chokecherries or finding a mother-lode of grapes hanging-on the vine.
What would you add?
Quillisascut Love Story for Lora Lea- by Aage Bonnell, Age 5
I love doing chores with Rick and not just at night.
Sometimes I play and then do chores with Rick in the morning,
and then the chores fade into the night.
I like waking up first thing in the morning. It’s just the start of the day
and I like to see what I can do before breakfast Continue reading
A first for our farm is a strawberry patch large enough to fill our desire for fresh fruit plus give us berries for processing. A few have been frozen whole for later use, we have had some as the lead role in spring desserts, and combined another harvest with rhubarb for jam, but now there is enough to make a batch of purely strawberry preserves.
I have been pondering flavors to add; you know that surprise addition that will tease the tongue. Champagne, sage flowers, spearmint, elderberry flowers, or vanilla, are all ideas that have come to mind. But none of them sound as intriguing as leaving them single. Simply strawberry coming at the tongue, straightforward, the full flavor of ripe June fruit, a little sugar, a squeeze of lemon juice and nothing more. That is how I am going to play it this time. Continue reading