Category Archive: Garden

2018
09/17

Category:
farming
food
Garden
Knitting
Life

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Chicks moving day

Chicks moving day finally happened!.   They are now in the barn in a safe cage and out of the sewing studio.  I know they weren’t in here very long, but they don’t belong in here.   They belong in the barn and now that they are feathered, that’s where they are.  They also have perches and more room, so win for all.

We picked up the building permit to be able to double the size of the barn roof, picked up a gift for a friend and went to the feed store.

Many of the apples are ready to pick, so I spent some time picking 5 grocery bags full.   I don’t climb ladders, therefore I tried to shake some down.  I will pick more tomorrow and then the rains will be back.   It seems at this point, I’m running out to do what I can on the days that it doesn’t rain.   And it wasn’t that long ago that we were wishing for rain.  It would be nice to have alternating days.The last three days, I worked on this scarf during appointments and free time, but decided there are things, I don’t like about it, so raveled it and will start again.   The white is angora rabbit plied to black wool, so it is very soft and warm and I anticipate wearing it during the cold this winter.

2018
09/02

Category:
Garden
Life
quilts

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Potatoes; kennel quilts

Potatoes:

The ground where I wanted to plant potatoes was hard this spring but I had 2 helpers for part of the day.  I strung string so they would know where the beds were.  I asked them to dig a hole deep enough to cover the potatoes about 3″ and about a man’s hand width apart.  The ground was hard, but the weeds had not yet started.  The rows are 32′ long and there are 8 of them.  I needed to plant many potatoes because we didn’t have time to prepare the soil.   So they put the potatoes in the ground and I did fertilize maybe 3 times in the early part.  We planted white, Yukon , red, and blue potatoes, in uneven amounts.   I just needed potatoes for the winter.  When it was really hot, I watered weekly for half an hour each row with drip hoses. We never found time to weed them. The dogs dug holes in the potato lie in and be cool.

I have dug maybe a total of 35+ feet (there are 250 feet of potatoes and some onions) of potatoes and filled 1.5 of the 4 gallon buckets.   It is not easy getting the ground to give them up either.   I cannot get a pitchfork in the soil, how does that bit of soft potato with an eye manage to push into the ground.   And many of these potatoes are very large.

Kennel Quilts:

These are small kennel quilts.  The photo is the front of one and the back of another to better show the minimal quilting.  The people who rescue small animals during a crisis such as floods or fires use many of these in the small kennels.  Finished 12 x 18″ is the only size they accept and are so easy to make.   Cut two pieces of fabric 12.5 x 18.5″ plus batting.  I used an old mattress pad to give it more cushion on these.  Put the bottom piece right side up, the top piece upside down, with the batting on top.   Pin as needed and sew around the entire sandwich minus 4-6″ to get your hand in to turn.  Turn right side out , press, and if you topstitch a bit less than 1/4″, you may be able to catch the opening in the top stitching.   On one I did a big x from corner to corner and on the other, just 3 lines on a diagonal.  The part that takes the longest is choosing scraps that are large enough, but not so large as to waste fabric, and cutting it out.  If you click on the red “kennel quilt”, you will find more information about these.  They are extremely easy and if you don’t sew exactly perfect, the small pets won’t complain.

2018
08/16

Category:
food
Garden
Life
quilts
Sewing
sheep

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Moving boys, hoop house update, quinoa casserole

 The young boys are moved away from their sisters and mothers.     One here seems to think the trip was just too hot and tiring.  They and their mothers have “baa-ed back and forth all day about how evil we were to separate them.  Such is life on a farm

The hoop house has been overrun with growth plus the fact that I haven’t had time for it for over a week.  After a number of foods were nearly done, I poked some “delicate” squash plants along one side.   Well that’s what the label on the plants at the store said.   They are not Delicata, but they are squash and at least one pumpkin.  They are threatening to take over the entire place.   It’s near enough to the end of the season, I won’t pull them, but neither will I believe labels next year.    Squash plants are now forever banned from inside the hoop house.   They are just too happy in there.

This morning I picked tomatoes, onions, parsley, cantaloupe, cucumbers, red and orange peppers from the hoop house.   Now they all have to be dealt with.

Then I picked some overripe apples as I’m out of applesauce and it makes a great sweetener in baked goods.  I was able to can 10 pints.   I picked a lot more apples – or rather shook them out of trees.  I’m not sure how ripe they are.   I’ll test them tomorrow.

 

While the apples were processing, I cooked some quinoa in broth.  In another pan, I sautéed onions and added broccoli until just cooked but still green.  Then I made a cheese sauce.   I mixed it all together, reserving half the cheese sauce, put it in a greased casserole dish, topped it with the rest of the cheese and that will be our casserole for the weekend.

After lunch and a rest, I had to sit down and pay bills.

And this is why you have not seen sewing or quilting.  When the rains start, and days are shorter, there will be time for sewing.  “To everything there is a season”

2018
08/07

Category:
farming
Garden
Knitting
Life
sheep

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Winter beanie; ducks, grapes, and sheep

Winter Beanie

I found this Rowan tweed in my small stash of skeins.   I doubt that I purchased it, but I don’t know from where it came.  There are two balls of it and one is enough to make a beanie.   Since it is hot, that’s my latest project.  I have no pattern yet.  I cast 100 stitches on size 6 needles and am doing a flap of 4″, then will decide if I want to get fancy or not.   I may just do a stockinette stitch since I plant to wear it to work with the animals when it gets cold.

DUCKS:

Just look how much these ducks have grown in a mere 3 weeks.   Last year the baby ducks all drowned.  It turns out that infant ducks don’t have the oil in the feathers to keep from drowning for 2-3 weeks.  This year, our son has been giving them a lot of attention and has gradually been giving them deeper water.   They have enough oil on their feathers and are very good at swimming, so he doesn’t have to worry about them, but now he has become quite fond of them.

GRAPES:

While someone wasn’t watching, the grapes grew right through the top of the netting.   No use cutting them back now.   We will wait until they die back and next year have a better plan.

SHEEP:

It’s just too hot to do much besides lie in the shade, so other than coming in to eat, most of the day is spent lying in the shade chewing cud.

2018
08/06

Category:
farming
Garden
Life

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Garden and company

GARDEN

Though it’s difficult to see from this photo, I filled a 5 gallon bucket about 2/3 full of potatoes this morning.  We planted quickly in bad ground about 8″ apart in long rows.   I am delighted that we have so many potatoes.   They are so near the surface, however, that we will either have to cover them for the winter and take as needed or take them from the ground  before freezing and hope the garage will be cool enough.

Company

Our daughter came to visit today and left with 5 large zucchini (possibly to share), kale, tomatoes, and some orange peppers.  In this heat, the garden is watered daily, one can almost see the growth of the vegetables daily.

Yesterday, our son and his wife picked up their new Abyssinian kitten.  He is 3 months old and they have been a bit impatient to be able to take him home.  He is the cutest thing, and has some growing to do to grow into those ears.

2018
08/02

Category:
farming
Garden
Life
sheep

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Clockwork; new washing machine and vet visit

CLOCKWORKToday went like clockwork with all the appointments happening right on time.   First Bracken and I spent two hours picking berries.  Then the fellow I hired to help me catch up on some barn cleaning showed up.

 

NEW WASHING MACHINE

We decided to purchase a washing machine with an agitator spindle because we have not been happy with the way the clothes were being cleaned, plus we like the tub fill of water at times to soak the clothes.  Since our last machine lasted just over a year, we decided to roll the years back and get one like we had a few years ago.  This is a 4.2 GE model.  The installers were here 5 minutes early and were done in 20 minutes, taking the broken one with them.

 

VET VISIT

Butler needs some health tests before he can join the other boys, which he so badly wants to do.   Here he is watching them while waiting for the vet and his long needle to draw blood.

 

And after all that, I had a 3 hour phone conference as we are setting up a new sheep registry.   It has been a very busy day.

 

 

2018
07/31

Category:
farming
Garden
Life
sheep

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Meet Bracken; Meet Butler

Meet Bracken:

Bracken is an 8-year-old border collie who was in the top 50 in sheep dog trials in the US.   She is being retired here because she needs a job and I need a dog that knows how to bring in the sheep when needed.   I got so much more than I expected.   She is incredibly loving and sweet.   She stepped into the stall tonight at feeding time, and I saw her do nothing, but the sheep filed out, I filled feeders and then let them back in.   That was so much more pleasant than trying to put hay in feeders over the top of the sheep.

 

Meet Butler:Butler is our new polled ram who will service the daughter of the rams we have been using.   He is not only beautiful, he has very soft wool and is halter trained.   He will make a great addition to the Shetland flock.

Look at gorgeous red peppers.   What a difference a hoop house and a very hot summer make!

2018
07/26

Category:
farming
Garden
Knitting
Life

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Autumn socks are finished

 

Autumn socks are finished because I am dealing with spotty internet.   They are made from Lorna Laces sport weight wool on #4 needles.  I’m not crazy about how much orange is in the pattern, and can hardly believe I bought this yarn.  So I used plain stockinette stitch and they are done and wearable.   And when I’m wearing socks, I’m not looking at them, so who knows, the person looking at them may like these colors.  

The internet here has been extremely spotty because of modem problems.  I have been having horrible withdrawals, however, there is enough to do around here, that I have kept busy.   There are now 90# of blueberries in the freezer.  The socks are done. The garden is doing well, though, it has to be watered daily.   The dogs are digging holes in the dirt to stay cool.   It is an unusually hot summer.

20 ton of hay is being delivered in the morning.   I believe I have coordinated enough people to get it unloaded and stacked before noon.  I have water and Gatorade in the refrigerator for the workers and I really hope they will be done before noon, when the temperature is scheduled to reach 80 degrees.   This is too hot to have to be working this hard.

There has been so much to do this summer that it is going fast and before I blink a  few more times, I’ll be wondering where it went.

2018
07/22

Category:
farming
Garden
Life

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Bathing Lacey

Most things are easier than bathing Lacey, an 85# dog that doesn’t wish to be bathed.  And of course there are no photos of all this, because how does one hold a camera while the dog is forced into a large tub, climbs out, slips out of her collar and goes and hides.   However, I cornered her and the second time, she and I were together in the master bath – this time with the door closed so she couldn’t get away.  And she is spending the night in the house to get nice and dry before she returns to her digging habits.

We are very much enjoying the fresh vegetables from the garden.  I made several Zucchini lasagna casseroles since we are busy enough that it is convenient to have something to quickly take from the freezer and have a good meal.  Today I picked 2 small zukes for sauteing.  There are many green peppers on the plants that I’m hoping will turn red and orange as they are sweeter, but I needed one today, so I did pick one.

In addition to the vegetables we are enjoying packing away blueberries for this winter.   I picked another 15 pounds this morning.   I’m very happy to not have to pick them everyday.  A new friend from Canada has commercial blueberry fields, and was telling me about the machines they use to pick the berries.   I will continue to hand pick these – yes more labor intensive, but I don’t have acres and acres of berries, so it’s okay.

 

 

2018
07/18

Category:
farming
Garden
Life
quilts
sheep

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New arrival, blueberries

Here is our new arrival, still wet, and having her first meal.  We thought McKenzie and the other Shetlands were all bred earlier, so were not concerned and put all the ewes together with our Cormo herdsire.   Dumb idea which won’t happen again.   This was a bit of a surprise as we thought we were done.   And again, we think we are done.

These are the blueberry bushes that I am becoming very acquainted with.   See on the right how the berries will ripen 2-4 at a time/place.   So the same bushes are picked over and over again.  It seems slow as I only get about 5# or l gallon an hour.   However, I now have 50# in the freezer.  We love blueberries in various ways during the winter.

My design wall is not as big as needed for this flimsy.  I have finished and the border you see on the bottom is all the way around.   Next, I will pick out the backing and get it on the quilting machine where I will look at it for 2 weeks and then decide I need to get it done right away.   And the frenzy will begin, but it will get quilted and bound in time for gifting.

And in between the other fun stuff on this farm,  with this heat, we are fighting fly strike, which is no fun for humans or animals.