Fairy Fun

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By August the Home Place Fairies and I have been faithfully tending the gardens here at the farm since early spring. Late summer days in Maine can be hot and heavy and traditionally it is a time when I pause from my daily gardening chores to sit or wander soaking in the loveliness and bounty all around me. The fairies are playful little sprites who always find time to play and be merry.

Being fair little beings their fairy skin is tender to the bright sunlight of an August summer day so they tend to the gardens now only at dawns early light or just before the sun sets and a soft gentle chill sets in.

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By mid day most of the fairy folk head for the enchanted forest and bask in the shade. Those few who venture out to the gardens take parasols creating their own protective shade.

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Delphinia and La Rosa soar through the kiwi arbor as Nightingale approaches  suggesting they return to the forest to wait until the sun sets lower on the horizon.

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A breeze picks up and Nightingale joins the other fairies frolicking beneath the shade of the kiwi arbor heavy with fruit. She  cheerfully sprinkles fairy dust everywhere she goes.

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Delphinia is next as she glides to a landing.

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Last is La Rosa with her wand all a glimmer.

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“To the enchanted forest and the shade”,  she says. And so the fairies head to the forest and I am left alone in my garden with visions of fairy folk in my head.

 

 

August Garden Just Before Dusk

August is a month of great beauty in my garden.

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Here are some images taken right before dusk, a time when birds nest in for the evening; when butterflies stop fluttering and our honeybees have returned to their hives

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During the quiet morning hours, or right before dusk, I like to sit or meander about in my garden, soaking in the sounds and natural beauty abundant all around me. 

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When darkness falls the fairies are snug and cozy in their chambers relaxing after their busy day spent tending vegetables, flowers, herbs and seeds. 

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Come twilight they will sing and dance among the flowers with the wildlings, not to work but to play.

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Every garden is a paradise, a source of beauty, harvest and inspiration.

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Where gardens grow fairies reside.

 

 

Days of August

If you are among those fortunate enough to find yourself deep within the heart of a wild garden during the days of August you may encounter Fairy Folk when they are most playful.

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Take time to stop; smell flowers and listen to birds as they sing with their entire beings.

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There is so much magic in the natural world.

Fairies ask that we take time out each and everyday to notice and contemplate the beauty that surrounds us.

 

 

 

Midsummer

In August on the north side of a small mountain in Maine

Where the Elfswort blooms golden and 6 feet tall,

Home Place Fairy Folk dance the Midsummer Waltz of the Fairies.

Midsummer Waltz of the Fae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amid Scarlet Monarda, Red Astillbe; beneath Joe Pye Weed and Phlox, all shades of white and pinks of every hue, Fairy Folk whirl and twirl as they usher out the heat of summer and welcome the cooler temperatures of Autumn.

 

 

Within the Heart of an August Garden

Within the heart of my garden there is a special place for just being and thinking.

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Birds congregate with butterflies; Fairy Folk and a special child or two.

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Dreams and secrets are shared here.

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A place where for an hour or two you can be anything or anyone you dream your self to be.

You can even ask a bird how she sings!

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Tiny wonders, everywhere.

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Harvesting Flowers

These brilliant red monarda flowers cozied up to a bit of magenta phlox and day lilies are a brilliant bit of Maine Garden Magic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harvesting Fairy dusted flowers for arrangements is one of the most pleasant ways I can think of to spend a morning, or an entire day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flowers sprinkled with fairy dust have a certain something extra special about them

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and are welcome at both happy celebrations as well as those which are sad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fairy dusted flowers shimmer and glow,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

spreading goodwill and cheer wherever they go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether one stem or pots of plenty, flowers aim to comfort and please.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A single pinch of fairy dust encourages flowers to sprout, blossom and grow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy first day of August from Seamstress to the Fairies!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picking Blueberries on Blue Fairy Hill and Blue Berry Yogurt Bars

When  blueberry season arrives folks ask me for my fairy fine recipe for yummy Blueberry Yogurt Bars. As August approaches there are plenty of fresh blueberries to be had here in Maine.

Remember you can certainly use frozen berries if you do not have fresh and have the same results.

Mid July through August are the months for harvesting blueberries here on Blue Fairy Hill. The fields are bountiful with berries and glimmers of fairy dust attest to the hard working Fairy Folk who help to sweeten berries here on our farm.

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Blueberry fields or barrens as they are called, are covered with ripe fairy sweetened organic blueberries every other August much to everyone’s delight.

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Friends and neighbors gather together to harvest nature’s bounty of sweet satisfaction.

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Low bush blueberries are rather small and very sweet tasting. They grow on rocky ledges in wide open spaces.

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Blueberries may be picked by hand.

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Or they are picked with large metal rakes like these children are using, which allows you to collect berries faster than when hand picking.

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However you decide to harvest blueberries the important thing is that you enjoy the process and take in the beauty of nature all around you.

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Wild Maine blueberries generally grow on high rocky land which offers you spectacular views while you pick.

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I prefer picking berries by hand or using a small wooden blueberry rake which Sampson the Troll made for me over 40 years ago.

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After these children gather containers full of blueberries they will take them home for their Mothers who will use them for baking.

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Below is a recipe the Home Place Fairies shared with me. I hope you enjoy it as much as we all do.

 

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BLUE FAIRY HILL YOGURT BARS

Preheat your oven to 350

Line a 9 x 13″ baking pan with aluminum foil.

Lightly spray foiled pan evenly with oil and set aside.

Next make a crumble for your bottom crust and topping as follows.

BOTTOM CRUST and CRUMBLE TOPPING

1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar packed

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

pinch of salt

1. In large bowl whisk melted butter with sugars to combine.

2. Add flour, pinch of salt stir to combine. Mixture will be dry and crumbly. Set aside 3/4 cup of this mixture to use later as topping.

3. Transfer remaining mixture into oiled pan. With your fingers hand pack, pressing the mixture to create a thin, even, flat crust. Set aside.

YOGURT FILLING

1 large egg at room temperature

1/2 cup Greek  Yogurt at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1 Tablespoon all purpose flour

 

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1. In medium bowl add egg and Greek Yogurt, sugar and vanilla. Whisk together well.

2. Add the Tablespoon of flour and whisk again.

3. Pour this yogurt filling evenly over the crust spreading with rubber spatula.

Set aside.

BLUEBERRY LAYER

3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 handful finely chopped walnuts (optional)

1/4 cup sunflower seeds (optional)

 

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1. In separate bowl toss in blueberries, sprinkle with the sugar and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Drizzle with 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice and gently mix to combine.

2. Evenly spread blueberry mixture on top of yogurt filling. (Then if you choose toss on some chopped walnuts and sunflower seeds. (Fairies love seeds and nuts and so do I)

 

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3. Next take your reserved 3/4 cup of the crumble/crust mix and evenly sprinkle on top. Gently squeeze the crumbs through your fingers as you spread over filling. I sprinkle some fresh blueberries on the crust.

4. Place pan on middle rack in preheated 350 oven and bake for about 40 minute for fresh berries and 50 minutes for frozen blueberries. Baking is complete when crust has turned a nice golden brown and berries have bubbled.

5. Remove pan from oven and place on wire rack and let cool completely. Then set pan in fridge to cool firmly before cutting into bars.

 

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6. After cooling in the fridge for about 30 minutes I lift the foiled dessert in it’s entirety from the pan and carefully remove the foil from the large “blueberry bar” and set dessert on cutting board and cut into small bars.

 

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8. Now you can cut the bars into small pieces without them crumbling and falling apart.

Blueberry Yogurt Bars may be stored in your refrigerator for up to 10 days, though they don’t last that long in our house.

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Serve your Blue Berry Yogurt Bars plain and simple or with some fresh blueberries and a sprig of mint.

 

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They also taste good with a dab of whipped cream, or scoop of ice cream. Oh, if you happen to know some Fairy Folk like I happen to you can even add a dash of Fairy Dust! Yum, magically delicious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Individuality

Be yourself.

 

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Everyone else is already taken.

Oscar Wilde

 

 

 

 

Esmeralda’s Fairy Sweetened Summer Kale

 

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Esmeralda Fairy enters my greenhouse each and every morning with her baskets of fairy dust flavoring our kale plants, so divine.

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We are very appreciative of Esmeralda’s efforts and welcome the Home Place Fairies that help tend our gardens.

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It is very important to express appreciation and gratitude to all of those who offer their services so selflessly.

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The Wizard and I harvest Esmeralda’s Fairy sweetened Kale from our glass greenhouse from March until late November… when we let the greenhouse rest for the winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My family loves kale which I grow in straw mulched garden rows next to bush beans and kohlrabi, lettuce and chard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoy planting kale in different environments such as raised beds covered with remay.  Remay is a sheer gardeners fabric which lets in the warming rays of sunlight as well as rain drops pass through.  Remay protects Kale’s tender leaves from insects such as aphids, weevils or mites

Kale is delicious and used in many Fairy Folk recipes here at the farm.

 

“Troll Slaw” A Troll Tale and Recipe

Trolls are an elusive group and among the largest inhabitants of the Fairy Kingdom as well as perhaps the most misunderstood.

Here on the north side of a small mountain in Maine we live and work side by side all sorts of magical beings including a Clan of Trolls.

Some Troll facts :

Did you know that Trolls have the gift of invisibility so they are not often seen? Did you know that Trolls speak in tones so low they are seldom heard? Trolls love music, and some of them sing but the vibrations are of a frequency that other beings can’t hear them unless they want them to…which mostly they don’t. Trolls are very, very shy and with the exception of the Grand Fairy Spring Ball they mostly keep to themselves.

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Eugene is a dear friend of mine and a Troll from the Clan of the Knoll. He is a metal smith and constructs all sorts of magical implements, such as the lovely Miss Millicent Mae Mailbox, as well as bells and finely tuned keys for mbiras and kalimbas.

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Eugene’s cousins Beyla and Laszlo Troll are craftsman too; they carve rustic furniture

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and paint not so rustic furniture.

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They live nearby in enchanted lichen covered caves close to the top of the hill.

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Most Trolls of the Knoll are carvers and make lovely over sized furniture and exquisite instruments.

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Just below Beyla and Laszlo’s cave lives William Edwin Troll and his wife Nora Russell Troll.

William Edwin is a talented musician who plays many instruments including the piano, the zither, violin, cello, viola, mbira and kalimba. (to name just a few!) William Edwin also composes music which he plays for his wife Nora as she prepares their meals.

Nora Russell Troll is just as talented as her husband. Nora Russell plays piano and is lead soloist in the Grand Troll Opera. She and Edwin make quite a pair and during the Grand Fairy Spring Ball if the breeze is just right you can hear her accompanying his melancholy playing as she hits both the high notes and the lowest of the low with her beautiful voice. Who knew Trolls could sing and play music, and so beautifully at that?

But there’s another thing about Trolls that might surprise you even more…

All Trolls are excellent chefs.

However, as you may have guessed, unlike Fairies or Pixies or most residents of the Fairy Kingdom Trolls are not vegetarians; they consume copious amounts of fish along with the furred and feathered.

Worry not, they consume only what they need, always blessing the food they eat with gratitude.

Out of respect for other members of the Fairy Kingdom while attending The Annual Grand Fairy Spring Ball all Trolls leave their meat dishes at home and prepare a beautiful vegetarian dish which always, always includes cabbage. Trolls absolutely love cabbage!

Their favorite meatless recipe is Troll Slaw. Yes, Troll Slaw not Cole Slaw….same thing but with a few differences.

Following is the recipe and I think you might appreciate the creativity of the Troll Clan in a way you never did before after you sample just one bite. Yes, it’s that good.

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TROLL SLAW

Dressing for Troll Slaw:

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper or a pinch or two more.

2 Tablespoons Stevia (Truvia) or  1/4 Sugar (I do as the Trolls and use stevia)

1/4 cup minced and chopped fine cilantro

2 tsp peeled, grated and chopped fine fresh ginger

 

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In small bowl or a 1 cup glass measuring cup whisk together the above ingredients, cover and let set.

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For The Slaw:

3 cups very thinly sliced and chopped small organic red cabbage

3 cups very thinly sliced and chopped small organic green cabbage

4- 6 scallions chopped thinly

2 large carrots grated

1/2 red bell pepper sliced very thin and diced small

1 large handful of snow peas sliced very thinly (snip off ends if need be)

1 can organic garbanzo beans drained and well rinsed

1/4 c. or to taste sliced and diced jalapeno peppers, I use organic in jar with NO yellow dye!

1 handful organic dried cranberries ( or raisins)

8-10 seedless organic pitted dates

1 handful of pine nuts (you may substitute sunflower seeds)

 

1/8 or so cup of organic black sesame seeds

4-5 beautiful heads of calendula flowers if you are fortunate enough to have some.

 

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For your slaw the Trolls highly recommend all your ingredients be at room temperature and I agree; it really does make a difference and you will find that warm cabbages are more welcoming of the oil and vinegar.

 

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With clean washed hands do as the Trolls do and mix all of the above slaw ingredients (except black sesame seeds and calendulas) together in a large bowl. Set aside.

 

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Right BEFORE you are to serve your slaw, whisk your dressing and drizzle on slaw, tossing and turning to coat all ingredients evenly using two wooden spoons.

Dressing minutes before serving prevents the slaw from becoming soggy, (unless you prefer soggy slaw of course). Trolls prefer their cabbage crisp.

Lastly sprinkle on your sesame seeds.

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Finally, if you happen to have calendula flowers, which are edible by the way… snip off 5 or so flower heads and gently but firmly pinch off only their petals then sprinkle petals atop your Troll Slaw as a lovely garnish.

Nora Russell Troll is a romantic and always looking for ways to make William Edwin smile. Sprinkling on the edible and cheery calendula flower petals is a very special way of expressing her love for him.

I think after you try this recipe you will have a whole different appreciation for Trolls, because Troll Slaw is REALLY good….Trolly good!

Enjoy

Click on the above link to hear William Edwin Troll play his beautiful Marguerite Waltz for Nora Russell as she prepares his slaw.

William Edwin Troll on violin and Beyla Troll accompanying on piano.

I suggest you play this as you prepare your own Troll Slaw.

Troll Cave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Some Fairy Fun Facts:

William Edwin Haesche (born in New Haven Ct on April 11, 1867 ) was an American composer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gr. Uncle Will co-founded the New Haven Symphony Orchestra where he played first violin and conducted the People’s Choral Union, a choir of 250 voices. In 1903 he became instructor of instrumentation at Yale University. At the end of his life he taught violin and music theory at Hollins College in Roanoke Virginia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He wrote a number of works for orchestra, chamber music and songs, as well composed choir pieces. Will composed “The Marquerite Waltz” for viola and piano. In 1890 he married Gr. Aunt Nora Helena Russell, a noted soprano.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Together they created their own great story of music, love and companionship.

 

 

Live now the stories your children and their children will later tell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The possibilities are endless.

 

 

Copyright © 2024 Robin Horty