Monday, August 31, 2009

Rewards of gardening, tomatoes, FB and website overhaul

Friday night we had company for dinner and the evening. It was really wonderful to serve them a meal that mostly came from my garden.... fresh salad with most ingredients picked early Friday morning - lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red onion, zucchini. The red potatoes and carrots were ones I dug that morning with the shovel which I broke. (Guess it was pretty old). Dessert was a crumble of our fresh raspberries and rhubarb, as well as some purchased cranberries and cherries thrown in. My son and his wife have taught me how to make our own butter, and I make my own salad dressing... it was a great meal!

On Saturday, my daughter-in-law and I canned 115 pounds of tomatoes! Yes - you heard that right... it took us most of the day. But it is so worth it to have fresh tomatoes in the middle of winter that taste like they should, and that don't come out of a can. We have very few things from cans in our household... we are just not keen to expose ourselves to the problems that the metals cause according to recent research. Here is my share - lined up in my "dry" coldroom, ready for when spaghetti sauce is on the menu...

In addition to all of this, this has been an intense week as I have completely overhauled my website. The look is clean, simple, and totally updated. No more black backgrounds. No more "Thistledown Arts". I have decided to go with my name as my brand ... people remember personal names more than a company name when it comes to art. You may have noticed that I have changed the header on this blog as well - but unfortunately, I don't think I can change the URL from Thistledown Arts to Joanne Giesbrecht - unless someone can tell me how...

So, why don't you take a look at my website? I hope you'll like it and find it easy to navigate.

You can give me feedback in an e-mail, by making a comment on this post OR you can visit me at my new Fans page on Facebook. Just click on the Facebook icon on my blog page, then sign in as a fan, and we can connect there.

Have a wonderful week!


L.Holm said...

Hi, Joanne! Holy Cow, what a lot of tomatoes! I'm in awe of your ability to do all of that canning and cooking AND painting. You truly are creative.
Agree about the move to using your name. Your web site looks great. Nice and clean and easy to navigate.

Joanne said...

Hi Liz! It is so good to hear from you! Thanks for taking a look at my website - I appreciate your professional opinion! As for the tomatoes - it helps when there are 2 of us doing the work. The time just flies by, especially when we are chatting and playing games. It was lots of fun. Have a great week, Liz!

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Kim said...

I agree with anonymous...just kidding. Looks like you'll need to add comment moderation again.

On another note, I liked your website too. It's really, really nice.

Joanne said...

Thanks, Kim. I know you understand the amount of work that goes into putting together a website, so I am happy that it seems to be working okay, and that you like the look of it. Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Funny Kim comment......

But not funny is 115 lbs of processed tomatoes. THAT is spectacular!
Once you have fresh food, for all the work that it entails, it makes you so appreciative not only of what real food is, but of how it gets to the supermarket.

This speaks to my heart, as we're committed here on St. Croix to get local farming up and recognized as a viable industry, as well as food security since 95% of our food is shipped in. It was 3 weeks after 9/11 before the ships resumed.

It's smart to use your name- it is who you are and what people should remember.

I'll have to look for you on FB.

Joanne said...


I am so glad someone else is conscious of and appreciative of our food supply. I can't imagine how difficult it would have been to be without a shipment for 3 weeks after 9/11, especially when importing is such a HIGH percentage of your food!!!

I have only just discovered that there is such a thing as a pressure canner - like a pressure cooker, but for canning jars! It takes about 7 minutes to do 7 quart sealers. I am searching to see where I can find such a thing as that would more than triple the amount I could do in one day. Using the enamel pot, it takes 30 minutes to do 7 quart jars in the boiling bath! We did 52 quarts - so with replenishing the water and bringing it back to a boil, you can imagine the amount of time it took us. BUT - so very worthwhile!

Thanks for your visit and comments. It is such a treat to see your name come up on my blog! Happy autumn.