Monday, August 15, 2011

Update on Happenings Around the Farm

The pending surgery was like a sword of Damacles hanging over our heads because I will be layed up for months and we have so much to do. But we just buckled down and did what we could over the past few weeks and like most things, we will get through it.

We continue to harvest mellons, squash, cucumbers, peppers and herbs but the tomatoes are about played out.

The banana trees are all doing well and they really like the heat we are having.

Strangely, our grapes are also doing great but overall its not been a great grape season around here. We should get enough to do some grape jelly.

The Maples we planted out front have established quite well and they even survived a huge storm we had the other day where we got over 60 mph wind gusts.

The Crepe Myrtles are in full bloom and survived the great blizzard of 2010 

Our corn is producing heavily and we are getting a much better yield this year. We high grade out the best looking corn and use the rest for silage for the cattle....and boy do they like the corn. We dont use pesticides on our corn so we have had some damage from horn worms and we have lost some to deer and racoons but we plant enough for everyone.

Maybelle got her first deworming now that she is 5 months old and we use topical Ivermectin.

She is so gentle she just laid there while we were de-worming.

We have a couple hundred spoon and birdhouse gourds growing that we will make into water dipping spoons and bird houses over the winter. Have we gone country or what?

We also have a bumper crop of crocked neck, lemon and butternut squash. We eat a lot of squash and we also freeze a bunch.

This second corn patch was planted a couple weeks behind the other corn patch and consists of a couple heirloom varieties. We should begin harvest of it this week.

This is the $50 refer we got a few months ago and its full of produce waiting to be processed or sold. We sell some from our roadside stand and the small grocery in our town buys produce from us. We also donate a bunch.

Our cucumbers have been so prolific this year that this is the third batch of pickles we have put up. Sweet pickles, kosher dill, bread and butter pickles.....we like pickles!

Processing corn is a production line event and this is just the first picking.

We got a large harvest of sweet yellow corn and white shoe peg corn. We blanch the cobs then freeze them and for corn that doesnt look good enough for corn on the cob we blanch it then cut the kernals off and then freeze the corn as nibblets.

Holly, Judy, Chris and I picked about 5 gallons of blackberries and we could have picked 30 gallons. We havent processed it yet but it will become jam and preserves.

We have so many blackberries that getting our 5 gallons only took about 40 minutes.

Holly sure filled her bucket fast.

So..we have been busy. During these past few weeks we have been hearing about all the calamities in the stock market, the inability of our government to actually govern, we hear about the projected shortages of beef due to the drought, the rising cost of food and it just makes us feel secure that we have the ability to feed ourselves. Its hard to relay in print how it feels to have that security but its something I have never experienced before and I like it. The cost of my surgery has pretty well wiped us out but we live debt free and have a sustainable retirement income and a productive piece of land so we will be okay. We still have many projects coming in the next few months and years but we have a great feeling of accomplishment from what we have tackled in the last year and a half. None of us miss the daily grind of work and living for the weekends.

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