Aug 28, 2010

Farmers Market Saturdays

While those of us on this side of the pond (in the US, anyway) can look to Local Harvest for a listing of farmers markets in the area, those wanting fresh produce in the UK also have a great website to search for markets in their area.

Certified Farmers Markets is a great site that lists the markets currently taking place in the UK.  They offer news, tips and a running list of what markets are happening each week.  The markets on their site are inspected to make sure that they are "the real deal."

For those of us in Canada, the Travel to Wellness website has a smaller listing of markets in Canada, with links to more markets in certain areas.  This may not be a comprehensive listing of all the farmers markets in Canada, but there's a very good chance you will find one in a city near you.

September is nearly upon us, and the growing season is coming to a close for those of us who live in seasonal areas.  For us in the Valley, we are still expecting apples, pears and grapes, but most of our crops have come to fruition.  Soon the farmers markets will be more tailored to Harvest Festivals.  Do take advantage of your local market before it's gone for the season!

Aug 21, 2010

Farmers Market Saturdays

I'm back on task here, after a stuttering start to my week. What seemed to be exhaustion from too much fun last weekend, turned out to be some sort of bug/cold/flu thingy which I'm still working on kicking. I missed setting up at our local farmers market today because I could barely get out of bed, but now seem to have found a bit of energy and am heading out to water the gardens.

One of the great things about frequenting farmers markets is the variety of produce I get to see, and the inspiration it provides when it comes to my own garden.  I had never grown "chocolate" peppers (or knew that there were brown peppers) until I saw them at a market a few years ago.  Now I have plenty of items in my garden that were first spotted at a local farm stand or Summer market.

This little clip is a tour of the Carrboro market in North Carolina.  I love that people get so into farmers markets that they bring their video cameras! 

Aug 18, 2010

So Spank Me

I missed last Saturday's Farmers Market post - although I went to several markets.  I also seemed to have had a blurry few days since Saturday - so I'll try to break it down for you (and me - because I barely remember what happened.)

I went here:

To buy this:

Then the cats and I did alot of this:

There was also a Mexican-themed golf night:

Where I lost several balls (although this is not me digging in the lost lagoon.)

But had a fabulous time - and a few shooters, lovingly named "Mexican MotherF***ers."  Yes - it did hurt a little the next day....

So you'll just have to forgive me if blogging is taking a back seat to recovery (and heat management) this week.

Thanks for understanding!


Aug 13, 2010

I Do Not Have Triskaidekaphobia

photo found at

No, that's not something you'd get from your cheating boyfriend or girlfriend.  It's the fear of the number 13.  Fortunately, I am rather attached to the number 13 and have always considered it rather lucky.  Today has been a great day.  A nice sleep-in, happy co-workers, an early paycheque, reservations made for a girls night out for tomorrow and a few good laughs, have made today a high point to end the week on.  All that was left to do was buy a lottery ticket - which I did.

Now that I am suitably slipping into the weekend (lime daiquiri soon to be in hand,) it's time to draw the names for the giveaway!

First up is the Animal Speak Runes set from Ted Andrews.  This great set goes to:  Chris from A Badger and a One Eyed Toad!

Next is the Celestial Tarot set - which goes to:  Jen from Chasing Domestic Bliss!

Congratulations to both of you!  Please send me your mailing address to:  rueandhyssop (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll send those off right away.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the draw.  I've got a few things up my sleeve for September when my birthday rolls around again, so there will be more goodies up for grabs then. 

I hope everyone had a wonderfully lucky Friday the 13th!


Aug 12, 2010

Pumpkins and Perseids

I'm not sure what's going on with the pumpkins.  I'm sure they are mocking me.  I've always had great success with growing pumpkins.  Rocking pumpkins, if I do say so myself.  But something has happened in the past three years that makes me wonder if pumpkins are done with me.  Perhaps I've had my pumpkin success and must move on.  I'm not sure.  But I do hear snickering from time to time as I walk past the "pumpkins" in my garden.  Which are actually ornamental gourds. 

I bought pumpkin plants.  I know I did.  Two years ago my pumpkins turned into zucchini.  Lots and lots of zucchini.  I figured it was a fluke and bought plants at a different garden center last year.  They didn't fruit.  I got plenty of leaves and flowers - just no pumpkins.  This year, I tried another garden center, and I have two huge plants full of ornamental gourds.  What the hell? 

At any rate I'll have more than my share of gourds for decorations this year.  And will have to spend a fortune at the farms stands for pumpkins...

In desperate need of a laugh, I went out to the movie Dinner For Schmucks.  Mission accomplished!  I laughed my mascara off.

What I am now looking forward to is the Perseids meteor shower tonight.  I'm setting my alarm for early Friday morning 3:30-ish, in the hopes of catching some of the falling-star action.  Friday also brings the 13th - and the draw for the prizes in my Lazy, Hazy Days giveaway.  So if you haven't entered, run over and leave a comment on the post.

I'll be seeing you under the stars tonight!

Aug 7, 2010

Farmers Market Saturdays

A quick tour of the Ventura Market in California - taking place every Saturday.

This time of year our market is overflowing with produce; there is so much in season right now!  Do take some time and support your local growers and head out to the farmers market in your area.  Most markets will run until the Fall - as long as there is fresh produce to pick.  Even though the Summer days are shortening, there is still plenty of time to enjoy it's bounty.

Aug 6, 2010

I'd Like To Thank The Academy...

I noticed recently, while reading Patti Wigington's fabulous blog over at's Paganism & Wicca page, that my blog is listed under her "Related Blogs" list on her sidebar.  You can't see me here - but I'm blushing.  I've been a big Patti fan for quite a while, so this is rather huge compliment for little ol' me!  Thank you Patti!

If you haven't been reading Patti's blog - please RUN over to and start immediately.  You can follow her on Facebook too.

Speaking of Facebook - I caved.  Yes, I know.  I said I was done with it.  Yes, I'm a hypocrite.  I can make all kinds of excuses like "I'm not really addicted to anything else...except Diet Coke...and chocolate...and Halloween merchandise...and bookstores..." 

I will mention that I am listed under my two names (mundane and moniker) "Jen Rue" and there is a wee button on the sidebar here if you want to friend me.  I'm listed like this so that the previous issue I was having with exes and old school chums (who conveniently forget that they called me "fatty" or were generally horrible to me) tracking me down, won't be an issue this time around.  I'm also not playing any games over there.  There just isn't enough time to be virtual farming when my real life garden is in a state of upheaval.

I would also like to thank Wine for getting me through the Summer.  Specifically chilled Gewertz and Reisling - but any sweet white will do.  Or anything from Therapy Vineyards in Naramata, BC, because anything I drink from them makes me feel like I've gotten the thumbs-up from Mr. Freud himself.

I would also like to thank my cat Daisy for making me work so damn hard for her affection.  You make boyfriend drama seem like easy living.  Yes, I will get off this computer shortly and walk you in the backyard.  And stand there for eons while you sit in the shade eating grass and contemplating the world.  And then I will give you a treat, and run the tap for you so you can have the running water you like.  And yes, I know that after all of this, you still won't let me pet you for more than 2 seconds. 

I would also like thank these guys.  Because after an afternoon of arguing on the phone with a rep from Revenue Canada (think IRS in the USA) about whether or not the payment I sent in last month for payroll deductions should have been credited to June of 2009 (what?) or June of 2010 - I need a little laughter release.  And even though The Hangover came out about a year ago now - watching three men and a baby cruise Vegas in a police cruiser never really gets old.

At this time of year, while still trying to embrace Summer and appreciate it for what it is...whatever it is...I do appreciate those who look ahead to Autumn.  I mention Jaz so much you'd think she was my twin sister, but I do have to say that if you haven't seen the collection of Autumn/Halloween items quickly growing at her place, you have to run over and check it out.  I don't know that anyone has not heard of Octoberfarm - but if you are new to blogging, run over there and say "hi."

I'm also giddy after stashing away a super-cool book and deck set of the Halloween Tarot for Mrs. B's 31 days of Halloween.  She's already started collecting names of people/shops who want to donate prizes for this year's month of madness - check it out here.

Finally, I just want to say thank you to YOU.  It's the friends you make while blogging that make it worthwhile.  Every comment is so appreciated.  I wish I could send you all a nice bottle of wine - but I'll lift a glass to you instead - cheers!  And thanks from the bottom of my witchy little heart!

PS - don't forget to enter the Lazy, Hazy Days giveaway.  It's not wine, but the prizes will distract you from that Summer heat!

Aug 3, 2010

Haze and Giveaways

Summer in my Valley is also know as "fire season."  We had plenty of rain this Spring, which was great for the lakes and water table, but also allowed the brush on the roadsides and hills to grow quite tall.  Lush green grass is pretty.  Tall, dry grass in July is dangerous.

Due to careless smokers that toss their cigarette butts, or Summer lightening, or birds creating nests on telephone poles (that subequently drop sticks or debris on the lines and cause a spark,) we usually have at least one fire close to town, and several in the hills around the Valley. 

This little fire pictured, was not far from my friend's ranch - but was put out very quickly by fast-responding fire fighters and bombers.  The fire currently burning through grassland South-West of here is not being attacked as agressively as there are no homes in the area.  Still, the haze covering the Valley these last few days has been intense and you can now distinctly smell the smoke in the air.

The other thing that happens during a fire, is people get really pissy.  The haze makes it less desireable for tourists to sit on the beach all day, so they wander the stores and the towns looking lost.  Locals who have a hard time with respiratory issues are forced to stay indoors, and the smoke even causes headaches and allergies in some people.

Instead of buying into the mass-grumbling now occuring locally, I am enjoying the slightly cooler weather the cloud cover (okay - haze) has brought, and now seriously thinking of pulling out some harvest decorations.

I'm also in the mood for another giveaway!

So - here is my Lazy, Hazy Days Giveaway:

Up for grabs is The Celestial Tarot set.  While you're watching the stars this month (and there are plenty of meteors to be seen) why not consult the stars too, with this deck illustrated with astrological signs and symbolism.

Also up for grabs is a set of Runes by Ted Andrews.  Unlike tradional viking runes, this set is carved with animal symbols and comes with a book explaining what each totem means and how to use the set for divination. 

All you have to do, is be a follower of my blog, and leave a comment on this post.  I will draw the names of the winners on Friday the 13th of August.  I don't buy into the superstition of this day - it's always been very a fortunate day for me.  And now it will be for two more people!  Good luck!

Aug 2, 2010

Farmers Market Saturday - Faire Edition

My farmers market post is a little late this week, as I was marketing all weekend with my small business.  Yesterday we attended the August Faire, in a magical little town not far from here.  It wasn't a Renaissance fair - more of a family fun day - but it made me think of the fairs going on around the country this time of year. 

I've never been to a Ren fair, but this one in Washinton state is only about a six hour drive from me - so it's a definite possiblity for a camping trip next summer.

This site - the Renaissance and Pirate Faire Directory gives you listings of all the faires happening in your area.  You can search by state, or by the type of faire you want to attend.

As for me, I had a wonderful time at the August Faire and a very nice Lughnasadh/Lammas.  We had thunderstorms in the evening, but not before we were able to have a nice, sunny day at the market and enjoy mini doughnuts, beautiful Indian currys for lunch and, of course.....lemonade!