In February of 2009, my husband and I bought our first home located on a few acres in Johnson, Vermont. We live here with our dog, Ollie, two cats: Elvis and Atticus, six Nigerian Dwarf goats: May, Chutney, Poppy, Juniper, Willow, and Jokers Wild, and about fifteen laying hens. And to top it all off we welcomed our daughter, Isabel, into the world on January 11th, 2011.

We're slowly updating our 1850's farmhouse while steadily working towards a healthy, meaningful, self-sufficient life together.

This blog details our endeavors along with our successes and failures- all in good fun. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!


May and I enjoying some sunshine
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An Apple a Day...

Lovingly Posted by Melissa Monday, October 19, 2009

Saturday Kyle and I loaded into our little Ford Ranger and headed East.  We stopped in Jeffersonville at Jana's for some legendary donuts and a breakfast sandwich before we met up with Mom who was joining us on our little outing.  Three abreast in the truck (no easy feat, believe me) we made the long haul to Shelburne Orchards for a morning of apple picking.  The day was perfect; the air crisp and cool but the unending sunshine and happy company kept us warm.

Its amazing how beautiful the drops were.  We couldn't have found better apples hanging on the trees than those we found nestled beneath their canopies.  Sure there were some that were a little too past their prime but those we left for the local field mice and deer.  My brother, Zach, and sister-in-law, Viola, arrived to help gather.  Time flew as we filled the bed of the pickup and before we knew it we were done and it was time to head home.

As soon as we arrived we immediately set in to getting to work.  Two pots cooking apples for applesauce and the canning pot were set on the stove while we peeled, cored, and sliced apples to freeze for treats to be baked later during the chill of winter.  My dear friend, Ali, arrived to help us with our monumental task.  While we processed the apples I turned on the grill (maybe for the last time this year) to cook the burgers for dinner; black bean burgers for Ali and I, and regular beef burgers for Mom and Kyle (although I think Kyle had one of each, he loves those black bean burgers so much).  After our break for food, Ali started working on four loaves of apple bread which I think turned out deliciously!

By the end of the day we had finished off a good chunk of the apples from the back of the truck.  We managed to freeze six gallons of apples and can about twelve quarts of apple sauce.  It was a great day, full of good friends, good food, and lots of laughs.  Thanks to everyone who made a beautiful day even more special.


  2. You are totally awesome!!! So much energy and so many friends and family who have the same interest. You are very lucky.

    Do you have a recipe for the black bean burgers? I am vegetarian and they sound great.

  3. Melissa Says:
  4. Hey Beth! Thank you so much! We certainly are blessed with some wonderful friends and family members. :)

    Yes the black bean burgers are delicious! Pretty much just one can of black beans (drained and rinsed), one egg, 1/2 cup corn, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper to your own preferences (I like ALOT of cumin and garlic!!).

    You blend 1/4 of the beans in a blender/food processor with the egg, garlic and spices. Then knead in the rest of the ingredients, shape into patties and then throw on the grill (~350 degrees) for about 9 minutes each side.

    SO good with spinach and red-pepper paste!! Try them out, let me know how you like them. :)