SFH Journal: 2018-05-16

Daily Highlight:  Although we had a very simple meal of pasta salad and mozzarella caprese for dinner, the fact that we can now use fresh basil from the herb garden adds to the level of enjoyment. As the season progresses, there will be more fresh items from our gardens and from Waterpenny Farm, located within walking distance from Serendipity Farmhouse.

(Caprese – denoting a salad of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil; we add extra virgin olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.)

Weather: The rain continues. Although the high temperature of 73º kept life pleasant, the average humidity of 91% reminds one that the hot sticky days will return.  (Detailed Summary – click here.)

Plantings: Nothing to report.

Harvest: Clipped just enough basil from the herb garden for our mozzarella caprese.

SFH Journal: 2018-05-15

Asparagus-1Daily Highlight:  On this day, the Feast of St. Isadore, we celebrated by grilling country style ribs. Two foil packets joined the ribs on the grill. The first contained quartered potatoes with olive oil, salt & pepper, and other seasonings. The second had a very tasty mix of asparagus from our vegetable garden along with squash and onions. This packet was seasoned as the first. Fortunately, this feast day meal was prepared before the evening thunderstorms rolled in.

Weather: Beautiful spouse contends that, during this hot, sticky day, I moaned, groaned, complained, and whined continuously, non-stop, and without end. – My clever defense is: “Guilty as charged!” Shoveling, digging, raking, and planting shrubs should only take place on cool and dry days.  (Detailed Summary – click here.)

Plantings: Nothing to report.

Harvest: Nothing to report.

Report to St. Isadore

May 15th, the Feast of St. Isadore – A report and accounting of our labors at Serendipity Farmhouse.


St. Isadore, because we have asked you to be our patron for all things agricultural, horticultural, and in all efforts involving physical labor, it is proper that on the day of your Feast that we make this report.


Part I – The Herb Garden

Close to our back door, we have planted herbs to add flavor to our foods. A small cherry tomato bush will provide color for our salads. Loving Spouse has added several flowers because they are pleasant to the eye and for the practical reason to keep insects away. Although there was damage due to frost, the herb garden is now flourishing.

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Part II – The Vegetable Garden

Not all is going well in the vegetable garden. Recent heavy rains have beaten down the collards and beets. More rain is predicted this week. On the other hand, the okra and beans are sprouting quite nicely. Three different types of hot peppers are thriving. It was the first season for the asparagus. They have done well and they are tasty. Next year looks to be even better.

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Part III – Flowers and Plants

Today, we planted a new lilac bush in the place where a holly tree was taken down by strong winds. We also planted new grass in several areas. Yes, we even planted grass where our world-famous dirt pile used to be. Meanwhile, the rhododendrons near the shed are in full bloom, as are the small irises near the wellhead in the front. Our magnolia tree is promising many blooms come June.

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That concludes our report, St. Isadore. We have tried to be good stewards of what God has bestowed on Serendipity. The fruits of these labors constantly bring us joy.

Finally, today we held a belated May Crowning in our special garden.

May Crowning

SFH Journal: 2018-05-14

Daily Highlight: Severe evening thunderstorms brought heavy rains and several power outages. A utility pole hit by a tree was seen burning. Our parish lost power for air conditioning and fans. Now, the river is rising. Fortunately, things quieted down after 7:00 p.m.

Weather: Certainly a wild weather day. (Detailed Summary – click here.)

Plantings: Nothing to report.

Harvest: Nothing to report.

SFH Journal: 2018-05-13

DSC_0206Daily Highlight: Mothers Day – I offer a thank you and a prayer for many blessings for the women close to me who have brought new life into this world. The gift you have given is beyond description and compare.

Their were many wonderful gifts for my beautiful wife. Daughter #2 knows her mother’s passion for ‘fashionable’ yard art. Now, our backyard is adorned with a pink flamingo that lights up in the dark.

Weather: Temperatures are moderately high and the thunderstorm season is here (Detailed Summary – click here.)

Plantings: Nothing to report.

Harvest: Nothing to report.

SFH Journal: 2018-05-12

Daily Highlight: Lovely Sister-in-law’s visit sadly came to an end this morning. Due to an early flight time we had to depart for the airport at 5:00 a.m. Hugs and warm wishes were exchanged. Happily, dear Sister-in-law arrived safely at her destination. Serendipity Farmhouse is now quiet and Mr. Monte is wondering why his ‘new friend’ is not at dinner with us.

Weather: It was relatively cool in the morning and just fine for mowing the lawn. The afternoon was hot and sticky. Evening brought cloudy skies and some cooling. (Detailed Summary – click here.)

Plantings: Nothing to report.

Harvest: Nothing to report.

SFH Journal: 2018-05-11

Daily Highlight: This is the last full day of the visit. We’ve decided to keep it quiet and private. Skyline Drive and the Shenandoah National Forest are just part of our backyard at Serendipity Farmhouse. So, we went to the Shenandoah Skyland Resort for lunch. The clock might be ticking and saying Sister-in-law’s visit is coming to a close, but the view from Skyline Drive is timeless and enchanting. We’ll worry about tomorrow when it comes. For now, let’s just be family.


Weather: Today, was a little warmer and the humidity is beginning to climb. Yet, it was five degrees cooler on Skyline Drive – absolutely perfect for a quiet drive and lunch. (Detailed Summary – click here.)

Plantings: Nothing to report.

Harvest: One more asparagus spear was ready for harvest today. It’s been a good first season so far. (You can learn more about harvesting asparagus here.)