Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Walkabout 8-24


While the calendar still says August, there is a difference in the air and the light that lets me know FALL is right around the corner.





The heat and humidity gave way to fog and cooler temperatures and we got THREE inches of rain in twenty four hours on Saturday! But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

bush hogging the spent crops
It’s the time of year when the gardens look tired and overgrown.  The grass for grazing looks tired and somewhat overgrazed. And, quite honestly I’m feeling a little tired and over…something. It’s really hard to be enthusiastic this time of year. 
Is this Gus' first tractor lesson?

The Boss can bush hog in the gardens, but there’s not a lot we can do for the paddocks, except pray for rain.  This rain will really help the outlook for fall grazing. It helps our (my) attitude, too.
the hens enjoy the garden waste


 
There are other signs of fall.  There are lots of garden spiders spinning intricate webs in the spent plantings.  While there are lots of folks who find spiders creepy, I have always liked them…well, except for walking into spider webs, can’t say I enjoy that.   Did you read "Rock on, Charlotte"?

I guess I should feel bad that there are so many thistles...but, the butterflies and bumblebees (and goldfinches) are enjoying them.






















each little "nest" is only about the size of a pencil eraser






As I picked beans (for at least the eleven millionth time) I noticed a lot of little birdnest fungi in the dead and dying leaves that litter the ground of the bean bed. Part of the fungi family Nidulariaceae these unobtrusive little plants actually help break down old plant matter in the garden.  …and they’re just kind of cool. You can read more about them HERE.

Checking the onion harvest



The Boss and I finally got all the onions trimmed and sorted and stored for winter.  That was a pretty
big job and took us the better part of two days to complete it.  It’s a good thing we like each other and get along well…we spend most all of our time working together!  Now that all those drying onions are out of the barn, the Boss can focus on getting the rest of the barn cleaned out before the ewes come in for the wintertime. 
trimming onions



cleaned, sorted onions

some of the onions in storage


The shift in light means there is also a shift in the crops for harvest this time of year. There are BUNCHES of tomatoes.  And, the peppers are FINALLY coming in along with broccoli and chard.  Actually, we have managed to have broccoli and chard all summer, but this harvest looks especially pretty.  And, the fall potatoes look to be the best (or at least the nicest plants) that we’ve ever grown.  Just another month or so and we will see what lies beneath the surface.
Kennebec potato blossom








healthy potato plants

Bright Lights chard

beautiful peppers

red cabbage

pepper blossom

gorgeous broccoli

















All the fresh produce gives us an opportunity to work on some new marketing ideas. Presently, we are working on photographing some of our lamb recipes. It's a real team effort. I make the recipe...and he takes the photographs. ...and we both enjoy supper!


Then, we can post pictures and recipes (check out the recipe tab at the top of the page). The photos are used as part of our Market set-up. This week,we took advantage of the prolific tomato crop and followed a customer's advice for a new type of home-made pizza.  Instead of sauce, we sliced San Marzano tomatoes and topped with lamb sausage, red onions and cheese. 



 It was superb!  
-TLeightonWomack Photo


I’ve started more seeds for transplants and the hoophouses are nearly filled to capacity. It looks like we should have lots of greens for fall sales. It’s a toss-up as to which is more popular…kale, lettuce or spinach. And, I am still wondering just how much spinach we could grow and sell. As of yet, we have not found a limit. Yes, I did start more, more, more. I’m going to need more hoophouse room. (just kidding, Boss)

Saturday was a great day.  We woke up to 1 and ¾ inches of rain in the gauge (and it was still raining).  The rain let up for Market, The Findells provided some great music (and quite possibly caused the rain), and we had a tremendous sale day. Then we took the whole family out for a delicious lunch at the Depot.   After we got home, un-packed, did chores and started to relax...it rained, AGAIN.  Over 1 1/4 inch this time!  Wow! a summer's worth of rain in one day.

That pretty much sums up our week. Certainly doesn’t seem like much…

…oh, wait.

There was a big, really BIG, announcement in the family this week.



For those of you who don’t know…this is our daughter and son-in-law’s dog, Savannah.

And, yes, her “announcement” means that we are going to be grandparents!

Now, that news makes for a very

               Happy Sunday!


Thanks for stopping by.  Come back and visit us again real soon.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Why You Gotta Be SO Mean?



You, with your words like knives and swords and weapons…
All you’re ever gonna be is mean

You, with your switching sides and your wildfire lies and your humiliation…
And all you're ever gonna be is mean

All you are is mean
And mean, and mean, and mean, and mean

Why you gotta be so mean?
 -Taylor Swift --“ Mean”



Sorry about channeling Taylor Swift…I’m not usually a fan, but this song is stuck in my head and it seems appropriate.

Is it just me, or does it seem like an awful lot of folks are just plain MEAN?  SO MEAN?

It’s no longer acceptable to have an opposing view, to have some sort of civilized debate and discussion or even to agree to disagree.

In today’s world, heated words immediately follow any mention of opposition.  Things escalate and suddenly death threats are flying.  Or at least wishes for hurt to the “other side”.   
    
The Ag crowd jumps at shadows and gets mean and ugly. http://farmprogress.com/blogs-wading-muck-was-worth-8828  
Locally, the power company is under attack for proposing a survey for a possible pipeline. http://www.newsleader.com/story/opinion/editorials/2014/08/14/dominion-proposal-seems-like-done-deal/14064537/    


I could go on and on.

The world is a mean, mean place these days.  And, I’m not even talking about all the wars and skirmishes around the world.

Even when someone dies…someone else needs to be mean about it.  No matter what your stance on suicide, Robin Williams’ family had to be hurting and it couldn’t have helped at all to see and hear headlines that were just plain mean (and utterly vile in some cases). ...and it certainly didn't help anyone else.

I’ll skip the rest of the news headlines that exemplify the MEAN in people. I’m sure you’ve seen them, too.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have an opinion.  I would never say anyone shouldn’t openly speak their mind. And, I am not in the least opposed to occasional angry outbursts. I would be hypocritical to ever even  suggest anything like that…I’m an opinionated, Southern woman with red hair, an Irish temper…and well-developed vocabulary…believe me, I will tell you what I think! (Yes, I do see my entire family nodding their collective heads in total…and vehement…agreement)

But, could we all just take a step back, draw a deep breath and think before we jump into a conversation with harsh words and cutting commentary?  Oh…yeah…could everybody please make sure they have all the facts before jumping to conclusions?  Listening, actually listening…not just hearing words…seems to be a lost art.

Disagreement should be expected.  Debate and discussion should be encouraged.  (Sometimes, we haven’t seen the big picture and cannot fathom the far reaching effects) But, discourse should be civilized and it is not necessary to “convert” the opposition every single time.  Disagreement does NOT make the opposing point or position invalid.  Perhaps we should open our minds and our hearts just a little when listening to others. 

The loss of Robin Williams brought to light a number of great quotes from his various movie roles.  This being one of them.




So…

  I’d like to use my words/ideas to change it for the better.


                                   ...where ya (DON'T) "gotta be so mean".





Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Faces of the Fair

Big top at the Rockingham County Fair

Here are a few of the faces I saw at this year's fair...

goldfish on the midway


Her name is Attitude

She looks to HAVE an attitude

a CUTE face


sleepy faces

Fun!  or Terror?  You decide

Hi! I'm a photogenic goat.

Boer goat


Hey! It's me again...did ya get my good side?
Hereford heifer
Angus calf
I don't want no bath!

Mama and newborn Jersey calf

Suffolk lambs waiting for the show

Thoughtful, focused faces

stylish Holstein girls

Pretty Jersey girl

I think he just woke up

and this one is plum wore out!
the face(s) of determination

three contented cows enjoy a snack
 
the face of hard work
Apparently no one enjoys a bath
Disgust is the only description of the look on her face!



Being at the fair is exhausting
Bet you never saw a face like this!
Now, this looks like a HAPPY hog!

Hope you enjoyed this little trip around the fair!