Monday, June 28, 2010

Some critters

Just some critters from today on the homestead.

Rose the farm dog.

The barn swallows have hatched.

And one is learning to fly.

The frogs like the pumpkin patch.

And the tree frogs the grape arbor.

Boo Boo catches moles and generally lays around.

They eat a lot of bugs.
This guy hung out on the back door for a few days.

More barn swallows, the nests were there when we arrived and we just couldnt get rid of them when they already had eggs.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

One Day Harvest 25 June and Garden Update

We had our first harvest plus some garden update pictures at the farm.

We have had a steady raddish and lettuce harvest, very hot purple and red raddishes.

The first of many yellow squash.

We let the cucumbers get a little too big...we are making pickles this week.

The pumpkins are numerous and comming along nicely.

Hard to tell, but these are softball sized "Purple Cherokee" and we have probably 40 or 50 that will undoubtedly all ripen at the same time.

This was our first one day harvest from the test garden. We ate the peppers roasted, with an herbed cream cheese and a little bread crumbs on top. The peas were just cooked up and eaten with a bit of butter.

Judy has 30 or 40 Lillies of all colors and types that are doing great.

The blackeyed peas are healthy and just starting to get blossums.

We have progressive plantings of corn. We got a late start but they are doing well.

This is the second patch of pole beans. They too are progressing nicely.

Cabbage, squash, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, peas, beans...this was our first plot when we arrived at the end of April and we learned a few things about "spacing".

My favorite seat over the corn patch and between the Persimmon tree and a couple of walnut trees.

Rose has a particular fondness for the sunflowers.

Jrs Visit

Number 1 son visited last week on leave from C-17 load masters charm school courtesy of the USAF....if only I would have known!! It was very hot but we put him to work and he seemed to really enjoy it. We ate good, visited Baker Seed, feed stores, and he got to drive the tractors of course.
He helped plow up the new Sorghum patch.
And we fought over who got to work the Kubota.

Dear old dad mostly got relegated to farm hand status.

But threats and coersion sometimes work.

At the end of the day, you still have to get hands on. Interestingly, we didnt fight over who got to do the hand work.

The mowing worked something like an old Tom Sawyer in "I need to go mow and its so fun I want to do it myself, why dont you watch TV?"

Worked like a charm.

Note the shades.

Then it was time for the oil change...we used the garden shed since the workers had the other garage tied up with the instal of the doors and windows.

Farming is hard work.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Update on the House Remodel

Well the roof is on, the roofline changed, gutters and downspouts are installed (yet to be tested during this drought) and we have the new doors, windows and countertops in.
You can kind of get a feel for the old countertops in this picture, you know its bad when you have a 5 second rule for the counters and sinck if you drop something edible on them.

And the counters beside the stove as well.

The old counters were formica over oak and they were a bear to remove.

But the new counters and sink..aaahhhh. Still formica in keeping with the old fashioned nature of what we are trying to do (and because the money is drying up) but it really came out nice.


The french doors are in the next post.

And the gardens arent doing too bad either.

Corn, pumkin and peas in this shot.

First Gleanings from the Garden

Holly has been cutting lettuce for awhile now and we have started harvesting peppers and raddishes...she was so proud I had to post these.

We have red, purple and White radishes.

These are sweet carmon peppers and we have a bunch.

And the prickly pear has bloomed. There are several other blooms comming. 100 degree heat does that.

And finally, we grow very large insects too. I dont know what this was but it had pinchers and was so big he had two ticks on him and a tattoo.

The Baker Seed Company Visit

We went to the Baker Seed Company in Mansfield last Friday to buy our next set of heirloom seeds for the next planting and to get some Mennonite Sorghum seed (its very late to plant sorghum but we are just doing a test patch this year with plans to grow a lot of sorghum next year). The ultimate plan is to use the belt drive PTO off of the Allis Chalmers to run a sorghum press and make molasses next year. Anyway they have an old time town set up where you can go into the buildings and if you want to buy something you just take what you want and then settle up at the seed store (we bought pickled corn, curry spice, peach preserves, and some soap). We also had lunch which is vegetarian and you pay by donation.

Its not very far from our farm (about 24 miles) to Bakersville and we enjoy visiting there because we get great ideas.

Its set up like an old time village and its rarely crowded. They also have Blue Grass concerts, animals, and various festivals at different times of the year. The best part is they have hundreds of varieties of heirloom seeds.

There is a bakery, general store, small seed museum, apothecary etc where you can browse and buy things. We got our beead board design idea for the inside of our house from the apothecary and in fact are pretty much duplicating the color scheme (old fashioned light green on bead board with white tile around the tub and a slightly darker green trim).

I wanted to buy this for Holly but she said would have matched her dress.

This guy was sure noisy.

He looks cute but there was a sign that said he bites so we didnt give him the rubbin he was looking for.
While we were there we saw a beautiful grape arbor over a gate leading to the main house and when we checked it out it was just a hog panel bent into an arch and anchored by 4 T-posts...sooooo

Since we had unused hog panels in the barn and some extra T-posts we came home and built our own. Eventually it will be completely covered in vine and will have bushes on either side of the walkway between the well house, the stone garage and the back of the house.

The vines have already grown about 6 inches since this picture was taken5 days ago.