It’s My Blog and I Can Ask You to Vote for Holly’s Cake if I Want to…

Cakes for Occasions's photo.

so I will!

I know I’m way far away from gardening at the moment, but I’m not far away from creativity, passion and spirit!

My oldest daughter Holly decorated this cake to represent Salem High School in the Cakes for Occasions Cake Wars event on Sunday morning. Cakes for Occasions is a bakery in Danvers, Massachusetts that specializes in absolutely delicious nut and peanut free cakes and pastries.

Holly really put her all in to the design and decoration of this cake because that’s the way she does things like this, and she wants to win cupcakes for her classes’ prom.

Now it’s time to vote and we need your help!

To vote, click on this link 

on facebook, like her cake and share with your friends so they can like and share too!

I just know she can do it!

Please share my post widely, re-blog, like, share on facebook, tweet… whatever social media your into!

Thank you all so, so much for your help!
Cakes for Occasions's photo.


Let Us Give Thanks

Let Us Give Thanks

By Max Coots

Let us give thanks for a bounty of people:
For children who are our second planting, and, though they grow like weeds and the wind too soon blows them away, may they forgive us our cultivation and fondly remember where their roots are.
Let us give thanks:
For generous friends…with hearts as big as hubbards and smiles as bright as their blossoms;
For feisty friends as tart as apples;
For continuous friends, who, like scallions and cucumbers, keep reminding us we had them;
For crotchety friends, as sour as rhubarb and as indestructible;
For handsome friends, who are as gorgeous as eggplants and as elegant as a row of corn — and the others — as plain as potatoes, and so good for you.
For funny friends, who are as silly as brussels sprouts and as amusing as Jerusalem artichokes, and serious friends as complex as cauliflowers and as intricate as onions;
For friends as unpretentious as cabbages, as subtle as summer squash, as persistent as parsley, as delightful as dill, as endless as zucchini, and who — like parsnips — can be counted on to see you through the long winter;
For old friends, nodding like sunflowers in the evening-time, and young friends coming on as fast as radishes;
For loving friends, who wind around us like tendrils, and hold us despite our blights, wilts, and witherings;
And finally, for those friends now gone, like gardens past, that have been harvested — but who fed us in their times that we might have life thereafter;
For all these we give thanks.

Source: the late Rev. Max Coots, who was Minister Emeritus of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Canton, New York. His passion for gardening yielded this beloved and much used meditation.

A facebook friend of mine shared this poem and I thought it was kind of perfect for today.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends!

Love, Michele


Here’s a post from our blog at my workplace this morning. Yes, we had over five inches of rain here in Salem over the past few days! It’s tapering off now and the wind has finally died down. Time to get back out in the garden! Michele

Bass River Gardens


When we checked our range gauge this morning it was overflowing! We’ve received over five inches of rain on our roof in the past two days. That’s a lot of rain!

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Winter Isn’t So Bad at Bass River

Check out the blog post that we photographed and wrote today at Bass River, Inc. These gardener/bloggers are awesome!! We’re growing things and staying warm! Michele

Bass River Gardens


Vinca is flowering


More blooms


Seeds sorted by Jesse and Steven


Tropical plants by the sun


Chocolate Mint planted by Nathan


Will the bean sprouts push the pennies up?


Repotted houseplants in the sun






Pansy seedlings planted by room 3.


and mesclun greens that the Dayhab program is growing!

It’s 10 degrees outside but it’s warm and green at Bass River!

photos by Mike C and Bill D.

text by Laurie K and Michele

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Organic Rubine Red Brussels Sprouts

Take a look at some beautiful red brussels sprouts in the Irish country side. This post made me smile this morning! Michele

Mom in the Garden

We have patiently waited for our Brussels Sprouts (Organic Rubine Red) to be ready to harvest.  Just in time to fulfill the Irish tradition of serving sprouts for Christmas, our Rubine Red sprouts were ready to be picked this week! I was thankful that my husband had gone out into the garden while it was still sunny.  We had our first hard frost this week, which gives everything a lovely crystal look, but is cold to be harvesting vegetables!

My husband enjoys cooking, even more so when he doesn’t use a recipe.  So I can tell you that they tasted delicious, but I can’t give you an exact recipe!  He boiled them for a few minutes with some rashers (similar to Canadian bacon), and then baked them in the oven while the turkey was cooking.  They looked pretty too, being rather purple in color.  I know that earlier in the…

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I just had a gingerbread cookie a minute ago that was made by the friend’s husband who I was talking about when I wrote this post last year. They use their secret family recipe and it was absolutely delicious! Anyway, here’s the recipe that we use here at The Salem Garden. We love it and it’s quite easy to make and roll out. I hope we make some here in the next few days! Snow is coming so I think there’s a good chance it will happen. Enjoy everything (especially the gingerbread)! Michele

The Salem Garden

There’s nothing like the smell of gingerbread. Yesterday one of my friends came home to the  scent of gingerbread baking and posted a thank you note to her husband on facebook. I thought that was so cute! It really does welcome you in.  We love to make gingerbread in our house and my oldest daughter has taken our gingerbread recipe to new heights.

Here she is baking a batch last Christmas.


These days she uses a very simple confectioners sugar and water icing and pipes designs on each cookie. If we make them this weekend I’ll try to share some photos. They are simple and delicious!

Here they are a few years ago with lots and lots of buttercream frosting…the younger the kids the more frosting and sprinkles.


This is last weekend’s creation….


Piping is big right now, Buddy Valestro does lots of this…

We love this gingerbread!  Here’s the…

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