Wisteria, Lilac, Lemon Balm, freshly collected.
This project began as a very different project, as is often the case with projects on a farm. You think you know what the end result will be, then it doesn’t go as planned and something even awesomer results. Yes, I just heard myself use “awesomer”… Sometimes when one project turns out to be a fail, you can roll it out into something else. That is this project, which began as just an effort to dehydrate and preserve a bunch of mandarins for Dr. Farmer Moomin, cuz he loves his mandarins.
In the dehydrator mandarin and mandarin peel and several other things.
It began when the effort to dehydrate mandarins turned out to be an epic fail…. Except for the smell while they dehydrated! The smell was incredible. We all lost our stuff over that beautiful aroma.
Lilac, wisteria, lemon balm, in dehydrator.
Inspired by the smell, when Dr. Farmer Moomin, said dehydrated mandarin didn’t taste good… I popped my freshly dehydrated mandarin peal, in a bowl, then I went out, cut a lot of wisteria, and lilac, and of course lemon balm. I put them in the dehydrator also. I have found setting flowers on a rather low setting and just letting it take it’s time preserves the beautiful fragrance as well as the color of flowers.
When, finished dehydrating the flowers were mixed in a large bowl with the mandarin as was the lemon balm. What resulted was an incredible fragrance…. Which I then bagged in small white mesh bags.
I hide these all over the house. Every drawer, closets, bathrooms, etc…. There is no wrong place to smell something truly beautiful.
Wisteria, Lilac, Lemon Balm, freshly collected.
But, now, I hear the gardens and the mostly sunny sky calling me. They say they need me outside putting in the medicinal garden. I can see out my window, the Pequod, sailing on a cerulean sea above me, not far behind a giant fluffy Moby Dick, the woolly Pequod, appears to follow in hot pursuit, small cannon balls of fluff lay about around Moby Dick the big white cloud whale, evidence of the Pequod firing it’s canon balls at it’s whale foe. Off, in the distance in the cerulean sea, porpoises appear to be playing off in the blue distance over head. They invite me out to play with them from my position, stuck to the earth by the bottoms of my feet… So I will go now to spend some time with them, and with the ocean of sky and the earth beneath it that calls to be planted.
Thank you for your help with this fabulous little project.
It was fun taking a little time from my busiest season to do this little project.
As always, thank you for reading.
Amanda Of Wildflower Farm
Tags: airbnb, B&B, bed and breakfast house, Central Massachusetts, farm, farm blog, farm crafts, farm made, farm wife blog, farmer, farming, farmmade, farmstead, flowers, fruit, handmade, herbs, homemade, homemade potpourri, homestead, homestead blog, homestead farm, homestead wife, homestead wife blog, homesteader, homesteading, house wife, housewife, housewife blog, Innkeeper's blog, life style, lifestyle, lodging, making sachets, massachusetts, natural crafts, new england, new england homestead, new england homesteading, old fashioned house wife, old fashioned housewife, old fashioned housewife blog, potpourri, sachet, self sufficiency, self sufficient lifestyle, simple handmade project, simple living, simpler living, spring potpourri, Tourism, travel, wildflower farm, Wildflower Farm Potpourri
Wildflower Farm, is a small New England homestead, B&B and AirBnB, in the Baystate. We came out here 7 years ago, when we returned from the better part of 10 years as peripatetic aristotelian nomads, for my husband's post docs. Upon our return, we had a plan. We had a lovely home. Everything was so clear. Then, I got sick. Things I used to eat all the time during our travels elsewhere in the world and even here before I left almost 10 years earlier made me ill. It took a couple trips to the ER and a trip to specialist... It became clear, something had changed in the way food is processed in this country since last I lived here. Some off label things was inevitably going to be my demise.
My husband and I looked around to see the clear path we were on, had exploded in front of us. We decided we had to create a new path for ourselves. We put children on hold. We found a small piece of land with a house we loved in a rural suburb in a right to farm area. I began researching how to do it ourselves. Grow it ourselves, make it ourselves, survive on our own as much as possible. We bought the property, and began plotting a new course. One that didn't involve off label chemicals. Closer to nature, with a lot more DIY, gardens, and animals for the products they provide. We created a life we loved though it hasn't always been easy and has of course come with compromise with each other, and even with ourselves.
Our family thought we had lost our minds. What were we doing leaving the city? We had no idea how hard this would be. They thought we would be back in 6 months. That was over 7 years ago, now. We have been making it work. They were not wrong, it isn't easy. But has anything worth doing ever been easy? And for us, avoiding as much store bought food as possible was simply necessary so I could live given how sick I was getting.
Then Covid hit.... We were lucky to have this place. It has allowed us a lot less need for public use territories which has kept us a lot safer and spared us much of the risk others face daily. This place, has given us a privilege through this of great meaning to us. To be of use in a difficult time. We have been able to help friends family and even strangers in need when things couldn't be found on store shelves. Or money was tight due to not working, rent being due and a child at home, or some other draining situation. We are so very grateful to have been able to not be helpless like so much of society through this miserable time. Our families, got used to it some time ago, us being out here. They made peace with it the day there was no bread and they had to ask me for some. Or when fresh vegies were rotten due to supply chain issues but they could find plenty in my garden.
Wildflower Farm, was a place I dreamed of. One of those sweet pastoral dreams a city dweller grows up knowing will never come true, that became unavoidable when I became ill. I never expected to get to do this. I never thought I had what it takes to make this work. I have learned pacing myself is important, compromise is critical, hard work never ends, burn out is real so breaks are just a necessary evil.
We are not fully self sufficient, but we work hard in that direction as we create a new path through life for ourselves, always reaching to do even more ourselves and to get closer to the ideal we envision. We are however far more self sufficient than many in this world. 7 years in, we continue to learn and grow in this homesteading lifestyle. We welcome comments and advice and ideas and questions.
We welcome visitors from all over to our home with strict covid policies in place. We spend our time learning to live all over again in a more environmental and sustainable way though even there we are far from perfect always learning and growing doing better as we know better.
This little homestead farm is a magical place named for the New England wildflowers that grow all around. A place where a physicist, watches the night sky on clear nights with the aide of mirror and glass, and a woman, works endlessly in the gardens, the kitchen, and a variety of projects to create and to keep a very unique life style running and functioning. Wildflower Farm, has become so much more than simply a piece of land we can grow a few vegetables on. The longer I spend here, the more alive the land seems, the more I learn about it's function and the more meaning it has. My place in the universe and the next steps on our new path become ever more clear.
We welcome you on this journey with us.