February 2018 Blog
Spotted Bear Vineyards & Lavender Farm
February, and here I sit and write with snow covering everything outside and minus zero temperatures for the last three days. There were other winters when right about now I would be starting to enjoy all the tulips and other bulbs I planted last fall, but that is just not happening this year. So, all I can do is take advantage of the time to plan and prepare for spring and summer.
The vacation rental cabin on Finley Point has gotten an incredible overhaul during the past month. A Baker's rack was added to the kitchen for extra storage and convenience. It’s very stable and has given us quite a bit more counter space.
I found it on Amazon and all of the items purchased from Amazon for the cabin were ordered through “Amazon Smile” with a percentage of the price going to the Colorado Prairie Initiative. The cabin is currently booked very heavily in July through Airbnb and VRBO, but there are still plenty of openings in the other months.
The “old lady” decorating style that we inherited with the cabin is gone and now it is in with the new look which I like to call “Hudson Bay Company, Great Northern Railroad" cabin motif. Going for the “kick back your heels” and enjoy what Flathead Lake has to offer a visitor. I recovered the dining room chairs, took down the lace curtains and added small conveniences such as more mirrors, utensils and appliances.
Running late on starting my pepper seeds, and will try to get that accomplished this weekend. I added d’espelette peppers to my current seed collection consisting of shishito and chile d’agua peppers. D'espelette Pepper peppers are the backbone of Basque cooking and I hope that they do well here in Montana.
I just renewed my Montana plant nursery license for 2018 and will offer lavender plants for the first time this spring. On the list of offerings are Buena Vista, Phenominal, Provence and Ellagance lavender plants. Just contact me by email or phone or the Spotted Bear Vineyards facebook page if you are interested in 4” plants. These will be for pick up at the vineyard only. Twenty-five per cent of all plant profits will go to the Mission Valley Animal Shelter.
Looking forward to distilling my own Spotted Bear Lavender Farm’s essential oil from fresh flowers this summer but until then I have purchased some essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs to make several household cleaners. My favorite is the “Thieves Blend” which uses clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils. I always add lavender essential oil because it just makes it better. Mix the Thieves Blend combination with water or white vinegar or witch hazel or even vodka and it makes a great cleanser and disinfecting agent.
Before I end the blog for February, I have to include a picture of a mountain lion that was taken on our property on December 6th, 2017 by our game camera. I have other pictures of cougars taken in the same spot but this one is just so clear and spectacular.
Spring really is trying to arrive. My lilacs actually have buds in this minus seven degree temperature so hopefully, very soon I can get back to gardening and enjoying what spring has to offer in Montana.