Thursday, May 27, 2010

Buttonwood Memorial Weekend Events and Special Deal

Check out our Memorial Weekend Events and Special Deal in honor of our U.S. active duty Armed Forces and veterans at the Buttonwood Inn located on our home page!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Alliums first to bloom...

The alliums are the first to bloom among the native New Hampshire spectacular beauty, the lupine, in our backyard garden. An allium is a unique, single stalked flower that towers  3-4 feet above the other flowers with a globe-shaped spikey flower, which is still attractive after it's dried.  Alliums are deer resistant and are planted from bulbs in the Fall. 

Lupines grow among each other in home gardens and in fields across New Hampshire.  We even have a June Lupine Festival in their honor when they bloom in various shades of purple, pink, and white. 

A few years ago, when we first bought the Buttonwood Inn, we had about two to three plants--now we have more than a dozen along the pool fence in the back yard and quite a few more in the various gardens around the inn.  I've transplanted a few after they bloom where they've spread their seeds in the garden.  The suggested way to grow lupines is to harvest their seeds in the early Autumn, dry them, and plant them the next Spring.  Aside from their beautiful conical-shaped summer blooms, lupines are hardy, deer resistant, and require little care.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Going organic—planting a garden…

Now that the snow has melted and the weather is a balmy 80 degrees (Yikes!) here in North Conway, NH, it’s time to start the vegetable seedlings in the egg cartons and place them in the sunny windows in the inn. We’ll expand our NH garden to nearly twice the size this year and place some vegetable and herbs in between the flowers too.

The rhubarb is growing and I should be able to harvest it by the end of May. As usual, I will make Honey Rhubarb bread as a starter for breakfast, which is a favorite of our guests. Here’s an interesting recipe for an Upside Down Rhubarb Cake from the Martha Stewart website.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Do you know the source of the food that is on your plate?

In a recent PBS, P.O.V. broadcast of the 2010 Oscar nominated documentary entitled, Food, Inc., the filmmaker, Robert Kenner, shows that the food we eat in America is not generated on small farms any longer. Over the past few decades, small farms have been eliminated and now a few major corporations provide our food. It’s a highly mechanized process dictating how the animals are raised in the most inhumane conditions. Cattle, pigs, and chickens no longer graze in green pastures eating grass or grain, but exist in large feed lots crammed next to each other steeped in their own excrement. To control disease, the animals are given antibiotics in their corn feed, but more strains of E. coli have developed affecting 73,000 Americans annually.

You can also read the article, "Getting Real About the High Price of Food," in Time magazine by Bryan Walsh.

We do have a choice, however, to eat organically raised animals, vegetables, and fruits though a little higher in cost. In fact, here in New England, there are many small, family-owned organic farms going back to the natural way of raising animals in pastures feeding on grass and grains. Bill and I just ordered a quarter of grass-fed beef that will rotate feeding on grass in the open pasture, which turns out to be economical and ensures a safe food source.