Turquoise Barn

An Eco-Conscious, Green-Certified Retreat, Event, & Education Center located in the Catskill Mountains on an Organic farm. Offering group workshops, retreats, outdoor event space....specializing in sustainable Botanical Cuisine, Nature Therapy, and more! An ideal venue for YOUR retreat, wedding, or friends/family gathering. For more information, please visit our website.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ch..Ch...Ch....Ch....Changes....Autumn is Here

Yes – it’s that time of year again when I get to quote one of my favorite David Bowie songs......The leaves are flying from the trees as the colors are intensifying daily, the evening light is amazing, the sunsets intensely fiery, the apples abundant & crisp bright orange & yellow squashes are all ready to carve & eat, and although the sun still feels warm when present, the air has that oh so familiar chill…..

In the garden still plenty of, tomatoes, basil, chives, oregano, rosemary, thyme, parsley, red amaranth, cabbage, carrots, swiss chard, some corn but loads of collards & kale – which by the way gets sweeter after the first frost…which fortunately we haven’t had yet…..close but no real damage……Flowers are still blooming….. nasturtiums (really), calendula, zinnias, cosmos, and now mums.
Lots of tomato, basil & parsley freezing (I don’t can), sauerkraut/kimchee, elderberry tonic making; and green herbs drying.  Today I’m dehydrating parsley, mint, & nettle seeds and some non-seeded nettle leaves.  Tomorrow I will use the rest of the zucchinis, onions & some carrots to make confetti crackers.  I’ve also saved some sumac seeds to experiment with over the winter.

The elderberries are gone; either picked by me or eaten by the birds; edible stinging nettle leaves are still to be found in new & old places and the seeds are still plenty.  The leaves, seeds & roots of a variety of yummy wild edibles are still available for harvesting such as dandelion, yellow dock, burdock, & amaranth.…Oh and mushrooms, which I will hopefully be learning more about on a walk coming up at the end of the month.


My cats are still killing birds, voles, & mice, but I’ve noticed less frogs (thank you) and the chickens are still having fun finding all the goodies in the still soft ground.  Most birds are still around – I saw 2 Blue Jays in the apple trees this morning.  Bees always seem neurotic this time of year – I’m sure they are also  preparing for the cold gray winter which will soon be here…….

Yes,  I will miss my garden, the singing of the birds and buzzing of the bees, watching my little guy run, jump & climb outdoors, warm breezes, eating meals and setting up my office outdoors, and my crazy schedule (well maybe not so much).   That being said, there will still be food from the yard & garden to eat, and time to focus on indoor activities.  I will have time to order seeds & dream about next years garden, experiment with some new recipes (see one below), while working on my book, revamp my website, and get my studio active again. 

But what about the SUN????    I’ve always been a sun worshipper -  I crave the sun like food and will take it in whenever I can (without toxic sunscreen – TYVM).  This all makes sense as I found out I am severely deficient in Vitamin D.  So what’s the solution besides taking a supplement and sitting under a sun lamp (sorry - just doesn’t cut it for me)???  Well....I will stay busy doing the above mentioned tasks and then escape to a warm tropical paradise. 

This year I am planning on coordinating some learning retreats in faraway warm & sunny places. 
Think vegan & raw food, wild edibles, art, exclusive tours, sun, sand, sea, REJUVINATION, making new friends and loads of fun……….I’ll keep you posted.  

In the mean time, I will be present and enjoy one of the most beautiful, miraculous, times of the year......autumn…Hope you will too! 

And since this year has been one of the most abundant for apples, (our branches are literally weighed down with apples) I will leave you with this delicious apple cobbler recipe...........enjoy :)

Better than Baked Apple Cobbler        
6-8 apples
1/2 cup soaked raisins
1-2 T sweetner of your choice  (coconut nectar, raw honey, agave) adjust according to your preference & sweetness of your apples..
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp cinammon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt

Chop and peel 1 apple and puree with remaining ingredients. 
Cut up remaining apples (peeling is optional) place in large bowl and mix with puree. 

Topping Crumble:
1 cup nuts - Pecans or Walnuts or both
1/2 cup dates
1/2 tsp sea salt

In a food processor, pulse/chop walnuts, add chopped dates, sea salt & vanilla pulse again  (should be crumbly).  Top bowl of apples with crumble.  Dehydrate for 4-5 hours or until apples are soft.

Icing - (optional but highly recommended)
1 thai coconut (meat only - save water and drink to rehydrate yourself or freeze into ice cubes)
2 T coconut nectar (or sweetner of your choice)
dash vanilla
pinch sea salt
Blend all ingredients together and drizzle over warm cobbler. 

If you are interested in scheduling classes, workshops, or a mini-metreat at Turquoise Barn or if you would like to attend the wild edible walk with Marguerite Bower at the end of this month, please contact me via email or phone.  After the walk, in addition to a demo, I will  be talking a bit about detoxing and Chris Rosenthal, will be speaking about emotional & mental health. 

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