Old Stone Well Farm

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When Life Gives You Green Pumpkins

It’s so great to be back home at Old Stone Well Farm, just in time to enjoy autumn’s arrival. And what better way to cozy up to a new season than with a delicious recipe I discovered — one that I make using unusual ingredient.

Come. Pull up a chair. Get cozy. Join me as I see God’s provision right in my little shabby garden. Click on the video below.

And never miss a visit at Old Stone Well Farm, subscribe to this growing YouTube channel, and share with your friends. There’s always room in my old kitchen for more!

P.S.

And here’s the recipe I mention in the video. Let me know if you make it and what you think of it!

Long Winter Green Pumpkin Pie

(As featured in the Little House Cookbook)

Filling

Four pound unripe green pumpkin

1 cup brown sugar

1 pinch each of ground nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (or you can substitute hard cider or apple cider)

1 teaspoon butter

Pie Crust (You can make your own or cheat like I do…using premade pie crust. I have yet to master the art of a flaky crust.)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup vegetable shorting

1 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel the green pumpkin, cut it in half and the quarters.

Cut pumpkin quarters into pieces that resemble apple slices to measure 5 cups and place in a large bowl. Add to that, the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, apple cider vinegar and butter. Stir.

Pour pumpkin mixture into a prepared pie crust, add the top crust, crimp edges and brush with egg wash. I have also seen recipes where cook the pumpkin mixture on the stove for about ten minutes. That might ensure the pumpkin slices will be tender.

Bake at 45-50 minutes or until the pie crust is golden brown.

You can order the Little House cookbook here on Amazon,

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/006…

Old Stone Well Farm

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Beauty All Around — Even at 1 A.M.

Friends, there will be no new episode of Old Stone Well Farm today. Feeling a bit under the weather after a week away in Louisville. Yes, the world has reopened for this country pastor and my traveling schedule for my work with the Presbyterian Mission Agency has begun.

But, as I was driving home from the airport at 1 a.m. I had a few God moments: I noticed how brilliant the stars were sparkling; I noticed how the abundance of deer on my path forced me to slow my anxious pace down and be in the moment; and, I noticed how my high beams announced that we had just had our first hard frost, as the the fields before me were a ghostly white. I was tired. I was eager to climb into bed.

Yet, I was once again reminded of the serene beauty of God’s creation that is always present to us if we open our eyes.

What beauty are you seeing today?

Let me know. And Old Stone Well Farm will be back!

Blessings!

Donna

Old Stone Well Farm

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Keep Climbing

I just came back from an opportunity to realize a dream.

I was in Florida speaking about and sharing with others Old Stone Well Farm Media & Ministry.

And so, this time together will be a short one as I need a day to hug my chickens, mow the lawn … and find time to be still with God and ponder what this recent trip means.

But during my travels I thought about what it means to “keep climbing.” (That was the tagline of the airline I flew…talk about a God moment!)

What does it mean to soar high? Am I really ready to realize a dream? Are you?

Come and join me today in seeking to climb and dream. Click the video below…and take time to comment. I love hearing from you. And share with others who might need to be inspired to realize a dream this day.

Are you ready to begin living…really living? I hope so, because I don’t want to do this alone. Join me in believing with God that all things are possible!

Blessings,

Donna

Old Stone Well Farm

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Picnics in the Pasture

The death of the Queen, the anniversary of 9-11… along with so many other losses and stresses in my life … made me realize something important: I don’t want to anything to rob me of my joy — or peace.

Yet there seems to be so much, for lack of a better word, pure ugliness in the world. I have been especially heartbroken lately hearing colleagues (especially in ministry) saying that if someone doesn’t agree with them, they can leave. The games I see being played are so petty. The talk about love is just that: talk.

As I take my picnic blanket and enjoy time in the pasture, I think about how big I want my blanket to be, how I want to live my life welcoming others…listening to others…including others. So, come. Click the video on below and sit with me for a while.

And I would love to hear from you.

Better yet, send me a picture of your picnic that I encourage you to have.

Blessings!

Old Stone Well Farm

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Resting From Our Labors

Deer running through the pastures. Goldenrod casting a heavenly glow in the fields.

The seasons are changing here at Old Stone Well Farm…in many ways!

As I take some time to step back and breathe — and share with you a wonderful opportunity Old Stone Well Farm has been blessed with — I invite you to do the same: step back and breathe.

While not our regular time together, I pray for even a few short minutes you will find rest, peace and enter this new season with me here in Vermont with eyes open to the God moments all around. (Click the video below, and I will be back with more Old Stone Well Farm adventures!)

Blessings!

Old Stone Well Farm

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Dreams Require Baby Steps … And Listening to Your Life

After watching my stone mason “listen” to the stones in the creation of my 18th-century outdoor bake oven, I began realizing that for dreams inside our hearts to become true, we — as Frederick Buechner puts it — need to “listen to our lives.” Listening the leads to taking those important baby steps in making things happen. So I invite you to some to my Vermont farm as I pray about dreams, baby steps and listening. (You will also see my latest 18th-century hand-sewn creation!) So click on the video below. Stay awhile. Renew. Relax. Feel God’s Spirit! And I would love to hear what small baby step you might take this day in making your dreams come true!

Old Stone Well Farm

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Grossvater’s Wisdom: Swiss National Day at the Farm

I cannot believe how fast the summer is flying by. As we head into August, the month starts with the celebration of Swiss National Day here in Vermont.

My father’s family is from the picturesque village of Appenzell, and so my Swiss roots are deep and dear in my heart.

This year, though, I think of the lessons I have learned from my grandparents, most of all my grandfather, who is called “grossvater.”

So join me today as I share lessons and wisdom — and information on a Swiss chicken I would love to get!! Click the video below to start our time together.

As always, it’s a joy to have you with me.

Blessings!

Donna

Old Stone Well Farm

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Summer Sabbatical

Writing deadlines are tight and I know I need to take time to breathe, to be in the God moment. But since I can’t fully do that right now, I took a few minutes to take note of the gifts all around me. I called it my “summer sabbatical” and while it wasn’t very long, it was just what my soul needed.

I share with you this day the importance of finding a pace that restores you, not wears you out. So take time to give thanks for this very moment…for it is a moment filled with beauty. (Click the video below to begins!)

Like, share, comment…and if you haven’t, subscribe and tell your friends about Old Stone Well Farm either here at Accidental Country Pastor or on YouTube — type in “Old Stone Well Farm” — and you will discover more than 100 videos there to enjoy!

I love hearing from so many of you who come, and I love seeing where in the country you are visiting from! So drop me a note!

Blessings!

Donna

Old Stone Well Farm

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Kitchen Treats from the Farm (Or My Amish ‘Salad’ Saga)

I’m in the kitchen sharing with you how my Indian Strawberry Cornbread turned out, as well as sharing my adventure with an Amish recipe. It’s a fun time here at the farm. So join me…and make sure to leave a comment telling me what you think of these recipes — and if you are tempted to make them yourself. Speaking of recipes. Here they are:

Indian Strawberry Bread

2 Cups of Corn Meal

1 Egg (I forgot the egg when I made mine…so maybe the egg helps!)

½ tsp of Salt

2 tbsp Shortening

Just strawberries and their juice Enough to moisten mixture to cornbread consistency, sort of soft, but not too stiff.

Use white fine corn meal, add salt and melted shortening (butter or crisco) Beat egg a little, and add moistening your mixture with strawberries and their juice (If using frozen strawberries melt them first and they have a little juice with them. If using fresh strawberries, sugar them and let them set awhile until there is juice.) Use a 9 inch pan, bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes until it seems done and golden on top.

Creamsicle Salad (This is enough for a Barn Raising!! So if you have small gathering, cut the amounts in half.)

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

20-oz. can crushed pineapple, drained

16-oz. tub whipped topping (like Cool Whip)

2 cups mini marshmallows, fruit-flavored or regular

6-oz. pkg. orange gelatin

1 to 2 15-oz. cans mandarin oranges

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and pineapple. Fold in marshmallows, whipped topping, and orange gelatin. Lastly, stir in mandarin oranges. Spoon into a large glass bowl for best presentation and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least two hours before serving. Can sit out for at least an hour without getting watery.

I got this recipe from Amish365.com, a great resource for Amish living.

Blessings!

Donna

A Raccoon Came to Breakfast

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And so, it begins.

This morning there was a raccoon at the chicken coop trying to get its paws inside, reaching for them. Luckily, I chased it away.

But once a raccoon has found its rural vending machine, it will come back eager to select a treat — or two or even five (the number of chickens I have). There’s not much you can do to safeguard your chickens.

The more I read about raccoons, they are smart little bastards — able to open doors, unlatch latches, reach in through wire fences and gnaw and chew on a wing or leg of a still alive chicken. The latter is actually a gruesome tale I read on one of the many chicken chat groups I frequent. Ugh. That is definitely a sight I do not want to see.

My neighbor lost all 10 of his young chickens last week. Bits and pieces were left behind, as well as the hearts, which were eerily placed in a ritualistic-looking circle. “Raccoon,” was all he could mutter to me without breaking down in tears.

My writer’s mind began narrating this spooky little story into the pages of a still unwritten manuscript I have been toying with about a young pastor stumbling upon an 18th-century homestead — that seemed to be calling for her — only to discover ghost children roaming its rooms, calling out, “Pastor, welcome home.”

The story is actually inspired by an old 18th-century saltbox house I had purchased as a new pastor moving into a rural community. The day I closed on the property and officially received the keys, I discovered in an overgrown corner of a pasture headstones from the early 1700s. There was also a shuttered window banging on the upper level of the garage one day soon after I moved in. The noise was so annoying that I ventured in the wind and the rain and climbed the rickety ladder to the loft to secure the window. It was then I noticed a child’s tea set laid out in front of the window. The hair stood on my neck. I felt like an intruder. Or maybe I wasn’t? Maybe I was supposed to be at this poltergeist playdate. “Pastor, welcome home…” (Cue spooky music now.)

Turns out, the previous owner of the saltbox had a side gig as an antique dealer. Thus, the old children’s tea set in the loft.

But I digress. Back to the raccoon.

The carnage the raccoon left behind was horrific, my neighbor said. We then just stared at the now-empty coop, both of us offering a holy, silent blessing to life — and its fragility.

I then heard him speak softly, sadly: “Watch out for your flock.”

Today, a raccoon showed up at my coop. My girls won’t be running freely today chasing bugs or inhaling worms. Sorry, ladies.

It will be a miracle if my chickens survive the summer. Luckily, I do believe in miracles. I also believe in God’s strength to help me face whatever I will need to face if said miracle turns into a massacre.

(And no, I didn’t take this picture. I was not lucky enough to capture such a funny photo.)