Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Baby Toes

  Is there anything sweeter than an infants digits? Fingers and toes are such a statement of God's wonder. These little ones come into this world with such itty bitty but perfectly formed little features.

  Caleb is a healthy growing little guy. Well, not so little....2 months old yesterday and he's gone from a start of 9.5 lbs to a current 15 lbs! Do you suppose those feet will ever approach his grandpa's (me) size 14? Will those hands ever reach the size of his great-grandpa or even great-great-grandpa?
  We have all 4 grandkids here today. Katie has surgery this afternoon to remove "the bag" and reattach her colon. We pray all goes well.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Finally......A Good Hay Source

  After buying hay last year from 6 different farmers, and being disappointed to varying degrees with all of them, I finally found the right one! And Bill lives just a mile away! I bought 40 bales for next winter at $35 per bale. This is nice fescue and orchardgrass hay, cut May 15 and baled right. Bill fertilizes and controls weeds, which is rare around here. He has a customer base that takes most of his 100 acre production, but he sold me 40 bales!

This is one field

Wow...hay that is actually leafy, green and weed free !!

Next winter's hay, all lined up on pallets

I covered about 2/3 of it before a wind storm and shower stopped me. I'll finish in a couple days when it dries out well. Here I just got started.

This pink rose anchors the corner of the garden. It came with a large batch of red Knockout roses we planted 3 years ago. I moved it here and replaced it with a red one. I don't know what it is, but it is as hardy and carefree as the Knockouts, and really pretty.

The Knockouts are at their prime and the Day Lilies are ready to burst out in blooms.

We are still picking a lot of asparagus, spinach, leaf lettuce and strawberries daily.
Chicken salad with fresh homegrown greens again tonight. Supper time...gotta go!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Picture Friday - Rain & Blossoms

  Rain today....2 inches predicted through the weekend. I went outside between showers this morning to snap some pictures. It is always most beautiful after the rain.

Bogart enjoying a late breakfast while Baxter and Pandy check out the cameraman.

Remember this rose bed after pruning...

Same view today....

Knock Out roses on the berm are blooming well; day lilies are budding.

Potatoes and onions are thriving.

Can't wait for these luscious blackberries to ripen....

As well as the raspberries and blueberries...

  Yesterday I replanted the pole beans and sweet corn that didn't germinate earlier. Put in a few sweet potato slips and planted okra. The cantaloupe, cucumbers, beets and yellow squash are up and loving this rain. Tomatoes and peppers starting to get their feet under them. They should take off now that 85-92 highs and 55-65 lows are forecast following this rain. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Garden Update...and Lessons Learned

  A gorgeous 70 degree day with all sunshine today. Supposed to be that way all week, then quite rainy the rest of the month.
  I think I get in a hurry! The early tomatoes and peppers I set out under cloches are no farther along than those I set out last week. Most of the early corn and pole beans are going to have to be re-seeded. Didn't even germinate. Next year I think I will check soil temperatures and be more patient.
  Some things are doing great. I hope the potatoes beneath the ground are doing as well as the tops above the ground. They are tall and beautiful. The asparagus is still producing daily, and the leaf lettuce and spinach are also doing very well. The strawberries are's a battle keeping the birds away, and of the 4 varieties, only one is living up to expectations. I will re-plant most of them for next year. Any variety suggestions?

  Here is today's harvest with help from grandson Jackson and Obie. Jackson suggested we combine all these things with some walnuts and bleu cheese for a fine salad!

I have high hopes for a big blackberry harvest. Last night was 39 degrees, but there should be no more frost danger.

  Here's hoping the crazy weather is past us and not many of you were hurt by frost, wind or whatever else has been ravaging the country.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Duck Dynasty Connection

  This is a post I have been intending to make for some time now. Many of you are aware of the Duck Dynasty hit show on A&E Cable. I'm sure many of you are fans of the show.
  Our connection is this: our son, Dave, is Merchandising Manager for the Lifeway store chain, headquartered in Nashville. They are working with the Robertsons to handle a number of their books and such in the Lifeway stores. Dave and some co-workers recently made a trip to Louisiana to meet with the family. Here is Dave with Phil and Miss Kay in the kitchen of their home, and with Uncle Si.

Happy, happy, happy !

  These folks are the real deal. Although many of the situations on the show are staged, the people are exactly who they are; good, decent, Bible believing, straight forward folks.
  I have read Willie and Korrie's book "Duck Commander Family" and I am currently reading Phil's book "Happy,Happy,Happy".

  Here is a link to a U Tube video that Lifeway made of Phil speaking from the porch steps of their modest home. It has over 1/2 million hits.

Duck Dynasty - Phil Robertson speaks

 All in all, it's an amazing story. Their season finale show recently was the highest rated show on cable or broadcast TV for that evening. It's good to see success for a clean, family and God centered show.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

10 Acres Is Enough

  I imagine this little book is familiar to many readers, but it is new to me. I haven't finished reading the entire book yet, but I am enjoying it so much.
  Edmund Morris published this book in 1867. He recounts his family's life as they sold their Philadelphia business in 1855 and became debt free, settling on 11 acres outside of Philadelphia. They proceeded to make a fine living off 10 acres of fruit tress and berries.
  In addition to the very interesting details of establishing this little farm, Morris imparts a treasure trove of philosophy and wisdom. I am sure I will incorporate bits and pieces into many future blog posts.
For starters, here is a good one:

  "I knew that I was not rich, but it was certain that I was not poor. In contrasting my condition with that of others, both higher and lower upon fortune's ladder, I found a thousand causes for congratulation, but none with regret.
  With all his wealth, Rothschild is compelled to be satisfied with the same sky that was spread over me. He cannot order a private sunrise to enjoy with a select circle of friends, nor can he add a single glory to the gorgeous spectacle of the setting sun. The millionaire cannot have more than his share of the pure atmosphere that I was breathing, while the poorest of all men can have as much. 
  God only can give all these, and to many of the poor he has thus given. All that is most valuable can be had for nothing. They come as presents from the hand of the Creator, and neither air nor sky, nor beauty, genius, health or strength can be bought or sold.
  Whatever one's condition in life, the great art is to learn to be content and happy - indulging in no feverish longings for what we do not have, but to be satisfied and thankful for what we have."
  - Edmund Morris in Ten Acres Is Enough

Friday, May 3, 2013

Plant Now; More Rain Coming!

  The storm system that has been wreaking havoc all across the continent will hit us tonight. 2.5" rain expected starting tonight, after 2.5" last weekend.
  So I have been trying to take advantage of the nice days this week and finish most of the spring planting. Before I could do that I had to catch up on mowing, weeding and edging. This may not be typical weather, but it is good grass growing weather.

Picked the first ripe strawberry this week. See the red one?

The blackberries are promising a good crop.

I have struggled to establish blueberries, but half a dozen bushes are loaded this year.

The Red Norland potatoes are blooming and the Yukon Gold aren't far behind.

The raised bed on the right has some leaf lettuce, spinach and the remaining snow peas the rabbits didn't get. Asparagus beds in middle of the picture are in full production.

This is a normal daily cutting.

After 2 years of tilling in lots of composted cow manure in the fall followed by a winter cover crop, these beds tilled up nicely.

  I set out tomato plants, peppers, cilantro, sweet basil and yellow squash. Planted cucumbers, beets, cantaloupe and more pole beans.

These back 2 beds are 6' x 52'. I plant winter squash, melons and pumpkins here. But first I had to pull a few weeds and lots of volunteer wheat from the straw I scattered last fall. Here is a before and after....2 hours either bending from the waste or on all fours pulling green stuff. (And the doctor asks if I get regular exercise!) 
The row on the right was half done before I took the picture.

  After that, I planted butternut squash, watermelon, cantaloupe and pumpkins.

Remember this picture from Katie's shower? The onesy I got for Caleb?

Here he is wearing it.

It was a good week! Stay safe and well until next time.