Sunday, May 15, 2022

No Grocery Stores or Restaurants for a Year

Herb Garden
Yorkshire/Duroc Cross Pigs
 On May 1st, we challenged ourselves to no grocery stores or restaurants for a year.  Now keep in mind, this is after working on our farm for 10 years, expanding our knowledge of growing things, our fruit and nut trees aging into fruitful years, and reading everything we can get our hands on.  We are already successful in growing our own beef, chicken, and pork, growing gardens, trees and vines, equipping our place with plans B and C, and have indeed not been going to the grocery store much.  

The Blueberries and blackberries are ripening in a few weeks, so they are next on the harvest list.

The gardens are planted, both the main garden and the one we call the chicken garden.  We originally called it this because it was designed to grow food for the chickens and was located near the chicken coop.  

Main Garden

Chicken Garden
We have raised a fresh batch of egg layers, and they are keeping our egg cartons full, as well as providing us with some to share.  

Free Range Egg Layers

This also looks like a banner year for our fruit trees, and here are a couple of examples.  Life is good!


Asian Pears

Friday, May 6, 2022

Busy Spring

 So much going on.  Made strawberry rocks to keep birds from pecking my strawberries.  If I can just keep the dogs from carrying them off.  lol

Got an LGD Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd mix.  Even at 4 months, he was already as big as my border collie mix dogs.    He is a sweetie with our grandchildren.  

Put new shoe strings into my old farm work shoes.  Lol.  I keep thinking it won't take long to work them in.

Made more rain barrels.

Had an Easter Egg hunt.  Chocolate - mmm, mmm, good.

And opened our produce stand (among other things.)  Life is good!

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Spring Tree and Vine Planting

 Today we planted some trees and vines here in zone 7B.  We planted male and female fuzzy kiwi vines in the growing area.  We left plenty of room to construct a trellis beside them.

An All-In-One Almond Tree next to our hazelnuts in the backyard.  This time we chose to put it in a dog protected area as the deer killed our others by trying to scratch their antlers on the young trees.

Lastly, we planted three hazelnut trees as replacements from some that did not make it.

This year we ordered from Burnt Ridge Nursery in Onalaska, Washington.  I have to admit that so far I was impressed by the size of the bare root stock.

May God bless these vines and trees to be fruitful and healthy.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Pre-Spring Farm Work

 Past experience helps with planning for the year and making it happen.  We knew we needed some pork for the freezer coming up, so bought two piglets to grow.  Meet Pinkie and Dottie.  We often sing to the old song "Frankie and Johnnie".  Luckily we had all the equipment from the past, but had to drag it out and put it together.  We have had them for not quite two weeks and they have already grown quite a bit. 

Speaking of having grown quite a bit, The seedlings have grown and several of the plants have been transplanted to have more space to themselves.  Some new items we have added this year are:  Chicory to try as a coffee substitute, cumin which I use all the time, sage which I have been buying as a plant, and Tulsi Basil which can help regulate blood sugar and is a good all around medicinal.  

Last year was the first year our Paw Paw trees bloomed but did not make fruit.  Upon further reading, it seems that the trees need to draw flies over to pollinate the blooms.  As the blooms are a non-descript brown, many recommend adding something that will draw in flies.  Some suggested hanging a dead fish in the branches.  Me, I figured if I could clean out the barn, surely that cow manure would bring over the flies and two jobs done at once.  Fingers crossed.

My husband went to help a friend with some pigs and brought home meat for the freezer on which he is practicing his charcuterie skills.  Great job honey!  Thanks Kirsten and Walter!

Life is Good!

Saturday, January 29, 2022

January Farm Work

It's so nice to work in our greenhouse on a cold day! My husband actually had the same idea, so we had to share.

 He was working on getting a bee hive up to par as we hope this year we can split the   hive instead of having them all fly away. . .Wish us luck! It's really good to have some inspiring friends like Victor and Nancy! Thanks guys!

I was working on planting our peppers for the spring.  Today I planted 24 bell peppers in mixed colors (Ferry Morse), 6 of cayenne (seeds saved from last year), and 6 jalapeno (mild saved from last year's seed packet).  

Our other seedlings are making good progress.  In these two flats are broccoli (one flat), snow peas, cauliflower, and cabbage (second flat).  So far, so 

New herb rack from scrap wood, leftover paint, saved peanut butter jars, and printed labels.

Other than that, this is the time for home maintenance, growing out some new pullets (chicken flock maintenance), starting our lean-to shed on the nice days, and experimenting with cooking all of our wonderful garden treasures and sitting in front of the wood stove.  Life is good.