A long, dry Summer...

This summer the Concord grapes vines did well with less moisture in the ground under the arbor as did the lavender and the foxglove in other parts of the garden. The basil is still doing well especially the plants in a very large pot. The peach trees had no blossoms due the the warm spell early in the season followed by a frost. The pear tree bloomed but all the blossoms dropped and no fruit appeared. The potatoes and beets are much smaller then usual. The broccoli is finally coming along. The winter squash and pumpkins are veery small and there are not many of them. 

More attention needed to be paid to mulching earlier in the growing season. It keeps the soil at a more even temperature, retains moisture and keeps the weeds under control. And much more attention to the changes that took place!

More photos at: Annisquam Herb Farm on FaceBook

The final preparations are in full swing for the Annual Annisquam Arts & Crafts Show! Mark your calendar, October 8 & 9, 2016, 10a-5p, Annisquam Village hall, Leonard St., Gloucester MA 01930
Hand knit, one of a kinds items, preserves and gift items



There are always things that seem more important than vacuuming. 

This house is not large. Once started the cleaning really does not take that must time.

I found the perfect vacuum for the job. The rug beater attachment pulled the dirst out of the area rugs. The regular head has a dusting pad so you vacuum up the grit and dust anything left behind!

The whole vacuum assembles and disassemble very easily. The dust canister is super easy to empty. It is so light weight it is hard to believe it can do such a wonderful job. And is stores in a very small space. And ... as if that were not enough ... you can use just the head unit with a the small nozzle to clean the peat moss out of the back of the car.

The bonus - I get to spend more time in the greenhouse!


Another Great Book

Seedlings started in the house now are growing well in the solar heated greenhouse: broccoli, cabbage, onions, leeks and tomatoes. Potatoes were planted in the floor of the greenhouse last fall and should be popping up soon. Parsley and volunteer celery have been available all winter. The curly kale and the Italian kale are coming back and are a delicious addition to the Sunday morning omelet. Out in the open the red mustard has sprouted. We hope for a mustard seed crop to harvest this year. Last year the birds ate most of the beautiful little seeds.

 In  Four Season Harvest you will learn how easy it is the grow delicious food all year long even in a small space.

Book for a gardener

A Must Have  

I keep this book close at hand all year long. I figured if Eliot Coleman could grow food on the Penobscot I would have a pretty good chance here on Cape Ann, a few miles South.

I have used the soil blockers successfully. But the very best advise is how to improve the soil.


Healing salve ...

This beautiful salve, inspired by the LaerningHerbs Medicine Kit purchased many years ago, is a staple in the first aid kit. When my grandchildren were young they called it boo-boo cream. It is a simple recipe of olive oil, beeswax and lavender essential oil.

Recently a dear friend skinned both shins severely. Her doctor suggested cocoa butter once the open wounds had closed to help with the scabs. She had bought a jar labeled cocoa butter at the drug store. The ingredients listed mineral oil and fragrance among other items. Not what I would have chosen! As soon as I returned home I went to work creating a salve with organic, unrefined cocoa butter, olive oil, beeswax, vitamin E and lavender essential oil for her legs. As far as I am concerned, a much better ointment for the skin.

These small containers make wonderful gifts and items for your organization's holiday sale. You can be assured they will be used and requested next year! (Don't let anyone know how easy it is :) )

PS: The Medicine Kit is a great gift too!

If you do not have a local supplier you can buy the beeswax, cocoa butter and the essential oil from Mountain Rose Herbs


The Backyard Growers Program on Cape Ann

This is a wonderful program on Cape Ann!

Since 2010 Backyard Growers has built over 150 raised bed gardens, serving hundreds of Gloucester residents. We serve 100% of public school students from preschool to 6th grade, providing true seed-to-fork experiences for Gloucester kids. 

The Backyard Growers Program (BYG), in partnership with The Food Project, helps low- to moderate-income Gloucester residents create sustainable backyard vegetable gardens. They provide raised beds, compost, garden installation, seedlings, seeds, training, and mentoring.

To read more...For more information:

You can LIKE Backyard Growers Program on FaceBook.


"Use to be an herb farm" . . .

- the words leapt off the page of real estate listings!

I called for an appointment - just to see it, you know. Two small stone buildings and . . . a greenhouse! What potential. That was late in 2004. Lots of work has been done with lots more to go. The gardens surrounded by stonewalls are filling with herbs, wild flowers, medicinal plants, vegetables and fruit trees. Turkeys walk thru as well as a fox. Hawks glide over head. Hummingbirds visit the arbor with scarlet runners planted just for them. Plans for more garden beds fill the air. Stone walkways are taking shape adding to those that have existed here for years. The greenhouse will be planted again for the fall and winter.

The days fly by! Must get back to work.

This property was part of a larger farm years ago. In more recent years Dorothy Norton, one of the members of the Folly Cove Designers lived here. Her sister Peggy, also a Folly Cove Designer member, lived in the little house out front. They had an herb mail order business with many items offered from the plants they grew.

The gardens are coming along with many loads of seaweed, marsh grass and other composted able materials added. The greenhouse is now thriving after many years of work on the soil. It provided greens for the table most every day. It also houses several potted plants-the neighbor's and mine-during the winter months.


Annisquam Sewing Circle Christmas Fair & Luncheon

ASC member creating a favorite item - a boxwood tree
The ladies of the Circle have been busy all year long preparing for the Annual Christmas Fair.

Saturday, December 5, 2015
Fair 8:30a - 12:30p
followed by the Annual Luncheon
Luncheon 12:30p 
 in the
Village Hall
34 Leonard Street, Annisquam, MA 01930

You will find many one-of-a-kind items  including hand-knit hats and scarves, gifts for adults, teens, children and pets, gourmet foods, potted bulbs, holiday greens for inside and out and so much more.

Lines form before the doors open! Come early and do your gift shopping!

Come early for the best selection! Free to all. Gifts for everyone on your list.
A reservation for the Luncheon a must!

Reserve a table for your group - please call Linette French at 978.283.2247.



Don't miss the ANNISQUAM SEWING CIRCLE'S ANNUAL PLANT SALE on Saturday, May 24th from 8 am to NOON!

The PLANT SALE includes a wide array of the freshest, brightest Annuals and Perennials from a leading, local garden center. There will be hanging baskets, bedding plants, rose bushes ~ all chosen to thrive on Cape Ann. You'll also find precious perennial plant treasures dug from our member's gardens at a bargain prices!

Entertaining Memorial Day Weekend? Likewise not to be missed is our BAKE SALE TABLE with delicious pies, cakes, and savory treats. Many items will be prepared from recipes in our award-winning Annisquam Sewing Circle Cookbook, " A Circle of Recipes,” which celebrated the 175th Anniversary of the Sewing Circle. “A Circle of Recipes” cookbooks will be sold at the sale and make a wonderful hostess gift. Come early for the best selection at this always-popular MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND EVENT! The plant sale is in Annisquam, Gloucester, off Rt. 127. Turn at Leonard Street at the Annisquam Village Church and follow the street to the Village Hall.


A quick supper or appetizer using greens from the garden!

Crustless Veggie & Cheese Pie

Preheat oven to 400

  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large fry or sauce pan
  • Add 1-½ cups finely chopped onion. Cook until tender approx. 3 minutes.
  • Add 1 pound frozen spinach or 2-½ cups fresh, finely chopped greens (kale, chard, mustard greens, spinach). Cook 1 minute.
  • Add finely grated rind of one lemon, ½ cup finely chopped flat parsley, 6 ounces by weigh feta cheese (can use part feta, part cheddar or any other combo you like)
  • In 2 cup measure of bowl combine 1-½ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese or small-curl cottage cheese, 2 eggs, ½ cup finely grated Romano cheese, ½ teaspoon salt, ground black pepper to taste until well blended.
  • Add to onion mix.
You can stop here and bake later.
  • Scrape into 9" or 10" pie plate.
  • Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
  • Brush each of 8 thawed sheets of fillo dough with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Crumple each as you go into nest shape and place on top of filling. 
  • Return to oven. Bake 10-15 minutes until film is golden brown. 
  • Serve hot or cool. 
Fillo does not stay crispy when refrigerated so eat and enjoy!